|Rajon Rondo led the Celtics to a 94-75 win over the Pacers|
Kevin Garnett: KG bounced back from a slightly poor game by dominating an overmatched Pacers frontcourt. He put up a typical 36-year old Garnett statline: 18 points on 50% shooting, with 7 rebounds and excellent defense. You cannot ask for much more. Also he set the tone physically, and intimidated the Pacers all night. His ejection was unfair, the call should have been a flagrant 1 at most. I feel for the sorrow he must have felt due to missing Gino-time.
Brandon Bass: He was inserted back into the starting lineup, but struggled in the early going. He did not shoot a high percentage, and made some boneheaded decisions while turning the ball over a little too much. But he also rebounded well, and played good defense. While he still does not look like the Bass of last year, this was a step in the right direction.
A good Paul Pierce night. He showed off the all-around game by scoring, rebounding, and playmaking. Scored efficiently from all over the court, and he completely dominated Indiana's wings in the post. A very valuable effort tonight.
The star of the night, Rondo personally made sure that the Celtics offense clicked and put his foot on Indiana's neck and ended the game early. Aggressive from the start, he confounded Indiana's bigs and got a ton of easy baskets. He rebounded well, and still played the role of playmaker. His help defense really was a big part of clamping down on Indiana. The only real blemish would be his turnovers, but they were not an unreasonable number (3). Overall, a great game.
Bradley continues to get his legs under him, and his shot is still rusty from the layoff. I like his continued aggression however, as he is not afraid to shoot. And he takes good shots, which will fall eventually. His defense obviously was his main contribution, and he continues to do an excellent job applying pressure to the ball-handler. The energy and skill he brings back to the defense has been a bright light for the Celtics.
Jarvis Varnado: Made a neat save in garbage time.
He struggled to score against a larger frontcourt again, but he more than made up for it. He led the mission to out-rebound the Pacers, by grabbing a team-high 10 boards. He was also aggressive in drawing fouls, getting a team-high 6 trips to the line. But the unlikely highlight of his game tonight was his defense. He did an excellent job harassing David West all night, frustrating the entire Pacers frontcourt. It should be noted that, while the refs do call some unfair fouls on him, Sully does commit some dumb fouls himself. Still, it has been a while since we have had a rookie who could play like this right away.
Played an ineffective 19 minutes. While most of the team looked comfortable tonight in some semblance of a role, Green did not. Doc still has to find out how Green can contribute to this team. The Jeff Green conundrum continues.
Hey he did not look too bad in his new role! Collins was actually effective tonight in being a big body and giving the rim some semblance of protection. If he can continue to keep giving us a couple quality minutes every night, it will really help until Wilcox returns.
Had another excellent game. He played Bradley-like defense, shot the ball well and was aggressive, and also made some nice and smart passes. His energy was great tonight as well, and he also had some highlight-worthy dunks. Lee really seems to have found his groove lately, and will really help the team ease Bradley back in.
A victim of Doc riding the better defenders, Terry actually barely played tonight. He did not shoot particularly well or do anything else of significance, but I would not really blame him. He should be well-rested for tomorrow's game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Garbage time MVP? It is still unclear why Doc booted him from the rotation but it is clear that he will not be rejoining anytime soon. He deserves better, but he knew what he was getting into when he signed.
Conclusion: The Celtics really needed a win tonight, and they got one in the best way possible. They completely dominated the best defense in the league, which was a nice sign of life from their normally anemic offense. Although Indiana is absolutely terrible offensively, the Celtics did their job and completely smothered them. The energy the team seems to be playing with now is a great sign, and it seems like the Celtics are building. Now the problem is finding consistency. The Celtics will be put to the test right away, because their next game is tomorrow against the Atlanta Hawks in Atlanta. The Hawks are coming off of a close loss to Detroit, and have always played the Celtics tough. This should be another interesting test for the Celtics.
What do you think of the grades? Sound off in the comments
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