There was something missing last night. If you listen to Gerald Wallace (and I'm getting close to tuning him out completely) it was effort. That may be true, but there was something else important that was not there. Or rather someone else. Jared Sullinger.
Here's the nitty gritty: Sullinger has been a plus/minus beast for Boston since he slid into its lap in the 2012 draft. In the 138 minutes he's played this season, Boston is plus-30 and owns glossy ratings (points per 100 possessions) on both offense (107.4) and defense (98.9). In the 294 minutes that Sullinger has been off the floor, Boston is minus-38 and its ratings sputter on offense (94.4) and defense (100.8). Sullinger's impact is impossible to ignore; good things happen when he's on the court. The team rebounds better, it defends better, it passes better.
Chris Forsberg points out that the Celtics are 0-2 without Sully and 4-3 with him. Even when he's healthy, he's still getting into game shape after offseason surgery, so he might get even better with more playing time.
The Celtics have no shortage of power forwards, but they need their best players to play and play well to win basketball games.