Coming into the day, you know this is a statement game. Eighty-two games in a season (most seasons) and all are not created equal. Thirty-three games in and this is the first bump with the suddenly mighty Knicks. When you hear Rondo isn’t playing in tonight’s important match-up with the Knicks, you think….AGAIN? He bumped a ref AGAIN! In the waning moments of Saturday’s win against Atlanta, he bumped a ref? How does that happen? Doesn’t he get it? When will he understand how important he is to this team? When will he stop…and then you let the Celtics show you what they are made of. With or without their offensive centerpiece. With a growing sense of themselves and who they will become this season, the reset button Danny Ainge spoke of seems like it might actually exist. Bradley comes back and the tenor of the entire team changes. Maybe they just needed a unifying piece. Or maybe he’s that important in all the ways that don’t appear in a box score. You know he’s good, but is he that good?
One game down, three to go against the Knicks. How many times have we said it? The Celtics are not done. You want intestinal fortitude and selflessness, watch Avery Bradley get up in his defender’s grill, using his lower center of gravity, dug in like a lineman on the goal-line with his long arms swooping in every direction. You want will power, watch Jared Sullinger plant himself in the paint, and carve out space. You want unflinching determination, watch Kevin Garnett play defense. You want clutch, watch Paul Pierce isolate
To read the entire post: click here: http://darkoindex.com/2013/01/07/lets-get-physical-celtics-stymie-carmelo-and-the-knicks-without-rondo/