Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo

Baseline to Baseline recaps: Where the Celtics don’t bother with defense

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What you missed while watching a national championship game that lived up to the hype…

Rockets 108, Celtics 102: There are some fighters — whether boxing or MMA — that you just never look good fighting. It’s clenching and grappling and just no flow, and it takes you out of your game. That is what the Houston Rockets do to you. They are a scrappy team that just makes you work for everything. It’s never pretty. It’s never easy beating them.

Without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics are not the same defensive team, as evidenced by giving up 124.1 points per 100 possessions to the Rockets. It was not what you expect of Boston. But credit Houston for spreading the rock around — Aaron Books had 24 but it was about balance as seven Rockets scored in double digits.

Bobcats 96, Grizzlies 82: A snowstorm had pretty much shut down Charlotte (the city), which meant only about 1,000 people showed up to see this one. That smattering of people saw a Bobcats team without Gerald Wallace get 27 out of Stephen Jackson and 18 out of D.J Augustin, who has started to blossom under Paul Silas. Charlotte is 5-2 under Silas (or since Larry Brown got fired) but the schedule is about to get tougher.

Bulls 95, Pistons 82: It’s good to have stars — Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose were the two best players on the court and they decided this game. Boozer had 27 on 12-17 shooting, Rose had 29 on 10-20 shooting. The Bulls defense held the Pistons to 38 percent shooting.

On a bright note for Detroit, Greg Monroe is showing some of that promise he was drafted for, finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.