For the majority of the game I had Kevin Seraphin (lightly) penciled in for this section. But then the 4th quarter happened, when Chris Singleton unleashed himself on the floor as if he missed being a starter. Singleton finished with 14 points in 25 minutes, dropping 12 of those points in the final period alone. He fiercely attacked the rim, hit a couple jumpers and was an enforcer on defense. Singleton had been getting minimal burn prior to tonight after being a starter for all but 15 games last season. Despite the self-destructing finish for the team, it was a refreshing night for Chris. Whether he has another one like this remains a question, but I’m happy for him now.
Paul Pierce was a complete non-factor for the Celts, misfiring on 10 of his 12 shot attempts. He frequented the free throw line which made for most of his 15 points. At times Pierce simply missed what were normally good looks for him but credit Bradley Beal’s defense on a few of those misses as well.
Kevin Seraphin is gradually shaping into well-tuned big in this league. After missing the tail end of the preseason with a leg injury, the Frenchie has been nothing short of impressive since he’s been back in the rotation. Tonight was no different, until he pissed off Kevin Garnett in the 4th quarter, setting him off and triggering a rageous finish for the Celts. But despite the late-game collapse, Seraphin displayed his fearlessness along with his continued progression as a force on both ends of the floor.
Resilience. The Celtics just never found the opportunity to put the Wizards away. There were several stretches during the game, some of them longer than others, where the Wizards were caught up in the midst of what could have been a dooming Boston run.. you know the scary ones where an angry drunk crowd gets rowdy and you feel more intimidated than William Costagan in Frank Costello’s sketchy Irish pub. I guess that’s a fair analogy considering Costagan gets shot in the face in the final minutes of the movie. By the way, I'm referencing "The Departed". Nonetheless, when the ‘Zards were on the brink of demolition down by 10 going into the final period. They found their source of survival when Chris Singleton morphed into a MonStar and led the Wizards back into the game. The Wizards also dug themselves in an 11-2 hole to start the game, before going on a 14-4 run to take the lead later in the first.
Only seven free throw attempts? Six of those attempts didn’t exist before the final quarter. Although this really isn’t a knock on the Wizards, the ultimate failure to reach the stripe was a factor in the Wizards inability to put a lot of points on the board. You can’t really blame it on a lack of shots around the rim -- the Wizards attempted nearly 30 shots from inside the paint area. Credit Boston’s defensive pressure down low, led by who other than KG.
Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor. These men have merely become questionable commodities for the Wizards and their lack of minutes on the floor tonight signifies that. The two newcomers have left us with much to be yearned for in replacing Rashard Lewis. Combining for only 4 points in 30 minutes, Oka-riza found themselves planted on the bench for virtually the entire second half and overtime, surrendering their minutes to Martell Webster, Kevin Seraphin and Chris Singleton, who combined for 46 points. What really makes this ugly is the simple idea of how these two landed in Wizards uniforms: as a measure of relief from incompetence (Lewis), and an infusion of competitiveness and championship experience for a struggling young franchise that desperately needs it.