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The Boston Celtics defeated the Knicks 102-96

CelticsLife Game Recap

ESPN Boxscore

Player Grades:

Kevin Garnett: Another excellent game. Relentless defense, great rebounding, and brought his usual efficient offense. Did a great job playing into the physicality of the game, drawing 7 free throws. Perhaps his best job in the game was to knock around Carmelo Anthony physically and mentally, knocking him off of his game. Garnett is playing with a new energy lately.
A-

Brandon Bass: Brandon Bass continues breaking out of his slump, with another nice game today. He did everything the team needed from him: hit open shots, rebound a little, and play solid defense. As long as Bass can keep giving us these low-mistake, medium-production games, it will all be gravy.
B+

Paul Pierce: The Captain, who owns the soul of the Knicks, had another classic game at Madison Square Garden. Despite getting into foul trouble twice during the game, he still managed to put up an efficient 23 points in the game. Did a decent job of making plays with Rondo out. Had the highlight of the night.
A-

Avery Bradley: Wow. Did anyone think Avery's return correlate this much with our team turning things around? It sounds cliche but his energy just keeps pushing us. He was all over the court, he is really just like a mini-Rondo. He finally had a good offensive game, scoring an efficient 13 points along with doing some playmaking in Rondo's absence. And his defense was crucial bothering the guards of the Knicks. Great game.
A-

Jason Terry: His shot is still missing but he has done a good job trying to contribute in other areas. His energy on defense has been a lot better the last few games, and he also did a decent job playmaking in Rondo's absence. While we did not need his shooting to pull out the win tonight, he really needs to find that stroke again to make the bench that much more dangerous.
B-

Jared Sullinger: This guy plays with the poise of a veteran. That is some high praise for the rookie. When the game got physical, he did not hide, rather he fended off their efforts to try and discombobulate the Celtics. The energy he brings is second only to Avery. And do I even have to say? Good rebounding and efficient scoring from him. Did I mention how much better defensively he has gotten recently? I ripped on him hard in the beginning of the season but he has really improved. Cannot wait to see how good he will be by the end of the season.
A-

Jeff Green: Jeff Green everybody! Just when we had all given up hope, he comes out like this. Great all-around from Jeff tonight, really giving a boost when Pierce was on the bench with foul trouble. He abused Steve Novak off the dribble, played decent defense, and even rebounded! Now everyone is going to wonder why he cannot do this every night. But for tonight, all I can say is "Great game!"
A-

Courtney Lee: Like Bass, while he did not have a huge impact, he did everything you wanted from a guy like him. He played defense, hit some shots, and made few mistakes. When others have it going, it is nice to know Lee can play well in a smaller supporting role.
B

Leandro Barbosa: I fully commend Barbosa to be ready anytime Doc calls his number. Despite not being in the rotation, he played well tonight. He was super-aggressive looking to score, and even made some nice passes. He also brought great energy on defense, and basically just had a near-perfect game. Let us all have a hand for Barbosa, 10th man extraordinaire.
B+

Conclusion:
Wow. Did anyone expect us to beat the Knicks without Rondo? The team really stepped up without him, even getting 26 assists. The Celtics played with the same frenzied energy that they showed against Indiana and the second-half against Atlanta. They did an excellent job limiting Carmelo (6-26 shooting) and getting into his head. The Celtics have something special brewing here. The next game is back at home on Wednesday, against the Phoenix Suns.

What did you think about the grades? Sound off in the comments!

You can follow Jun Pang on Twitter @CjEuLnTICS

Jun Pang 1/07/2013 11:51:00 PM Edit
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