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Paul Is Back

I won't go into a full game recap, but I'll share some thoughts on tonight's game:

1. I talked about the streakiness of this team, and it was evident again tonight. I guess it will just take some time for all these contributors to get a rhythm working together in order to create some consistency. Going 10 deep is great when everything is falling (like the first half). Its not so great when the ball isn't going in (like the second half). How painful was it watching Darius punk his way to 7 straight FGs, doing that stupid antena thing, and talking trash? If ever there was a time I would condone putting Kendrick in there to put a hard screen on a person, that would be the time.

2. We have improved on rebounding from the first couple of games. That's a good sign. I hope that we can keep it up. Al Jefferson definitely helps in that regard. Paul has really shown what he can do in that regard. Even Blount and Raef were getting in on the action. They were only plus-one tonight, but that's better than negative 15.

3. Speaking of Al, what a great first half for him. He showed me a lot of why we are so excited about his future on this team. He's got talents that are impossible to teach, and he only really lacks things that can be taught. This kid is going to so fun to watch grow up and mature.

4. Raef showed why he's valuable to this team when healthy. He stretches the defense like a Robert Horry, drawing big men out to where they don't like to roam. He seems like a smart player too. He's giving me inspiration to heal up my knee and get back on the court.

5. Saving the best for last, what is better than seeing the Paul Pierce of old return to his former glory. He took a big step back last year, due largely to the difficult position Ainge put him in. But scratch that off the books and think back to a time when he was leading the league in 4th quarter efficiency, drilling shots to win games like tonight, and prompting Bill Simmons to talk about him priming himself for a pantheon leap. He's back.