We didn't have many moments to gloat about in this game one of 82 campaign dribble-fest toward banner 18. Freshly minted leader Rajon Rondo had a double-double, but it barely registered on the Richter scale for the type of performance we expect from him in big moments.
He was constantly double teamed; a new phenomena for him. Everyone now knows that you have to contain Rondo to stop the Celtics.
Translation: stop him from getting a triple-double and double-team him with longer players.
The Captain, Paul Pierce, managed to produce 23 points and put everyone on notice that his demise was greatly exaggerated. Kevin Garnett looked exhausted as if the emotional toll leading up to the season-opener affected him him more than he cared to admit.
KG may not be able to maintain the type of 2011-12 post-mid season surge he had all year, therefore it is important that Doc has enough 'bigs' to help carry the load till the second season.
Enter the oft maligned and under-valued Brandon Bass, who just keeps plugging like the "Little Engine that Could". From his Dallas Maverick days to last years preseason exchange with the Orlando Magic for Glen 'Big Baby' Davis. It was viewed as an even exchange.
After a year in the Doc Rivers' system we all see now that ignoring him or underestimating his worth is not a good thing.
For the second year in a row Brandon has had a double-double in the season-opener as a Celtic. All this, with the enigmatic rookie savant Jared Sullinger breathing down his neck for playing time as a starter.
Sullinger will have his day, but Bass is clearly ahead of the curve. What keeps him there is that neither one are stalwart defenders and he has one more year of experience in Doc's system. So for now, 'B' has nothing to worry about, because the speed of the game on opening night overwhelmed the rook, Sully.
All he has to do is to keep lowering the boom on anyone who says that he is expendable and view him as someone who should not be taken seriously.