Boston Celtics Jermaine O'Neal Helps Set Tone During Preseason Win

By Rob Nelson

The Boston Celtics displayed last night why they will have a say in who comes out of the Eastern Conference. Last night they showed that this team is still one of the best defensive teams in the league. Behind the great defensive play of center Jermaine O’Neal (4 blocks) and Kevin Garnett the Celtics shut down the Raptors offense in the 81 to 73 win in Boston.
Jermaine O’Neal and Kevin Garnett owned the paint the entire game. JO looked like a force as he made some incredible blocks including a block on a dunk attempt that got the Garden crowd on their feet. Kevin Garnett was his usual great help defender self. The man sealed off the middle and made life miserable for the opposition trying to get into the paint. The other guys fed off their energy as Bass and WIlcox stepped in and did just as good a job controlling the paint. Even the rookies like Greg Steimsma and JaJuan Johnson put the effort in to control the paint as the Raptors struggled for easy baskets.
The perimeter defense was just as good. Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, and Keyon Dooling set the tone for the rest of the players. They were tenacious fighting through picks and screens and rotating perfectly to bother all lanes and shots. Guys like E’Twaun Moore and Avery Bradley came into the game and followed the example set.
The result was Boston held Toronto to only 73 points on 32 percent shooting for the game. The starters and core players gave up only 31 points in the first half. The third string and some second unit players would slip in the second half, but Toronto would only score 41 points with their starters and core guys playing a bulk of the minutes.
The Eastern Conference will be tough this year. A lot of people do not think Boston can compete, but the defensive effort form last night shows other wise. The Raptors may stink and it may only be preseason, but Boston showed they can shut an offense down with ease. This means Boston will be competing this year for Banner 18. Remember Go Green Or Go Home!!!!!!!!!!!

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