Say it with me: TEAMS WIN GAMES. DEFENSE WINS GAMES.
This is what the Celtics were tonight. We played good defense and we played as a team. The whole team too (everyone say "tanks" to Peter Vecsey who called Doc out for playing everyone the last 2 regular season games instead of trying to ensure meaningless wins. I guess that 39 point 2nd quarter, largely from the bench, was a bad thing from his persective. Thanks Doc for getting the youngins time and being smarter than that perennially pathetic media pundit)
Paul and 'Toine really didn't have good offensive nights, but both did the "little things" to help the team win, including playing some quality defense against Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson, respectively. We all know these 2 guys aren't going to be stymied all series, so next game, look for them to explode. Let's just hope they remember, like they did tonight, to keep everyone involved.
Ricky Davis was the spark, after a slow start that seemed like the Celtics were shooting at a hoop that had a lid on it. Al Jefferson continued to show that "the Future" is bright indeed, with some great play on both ends. The 2 handed block he had on J.O. was phenomenal and his post play on offense was smooth and relaxed, like that of a veteran. Banks was under control and hitting some big shots and dishing the pill too.
Raef LaFrentz........the game he had was stellar, IMO. He started 5-5 from the field, hitting big 3's. He blocked and altered shots, hustled for loose balls and helped keep the Pacers defense off-balance and spread thin.
There's no one on this team that stood out as having a particularly bad game. Even Mark Blount posterized someone with a thunderous dunk off a nice feed from Banks.
Doc even stepped in during the first part of the 4th quarter, calling a timeout and chastizing the Celtics for letting down. He told them that the difference in the quarter thus far was that they were hustling and we weren't. The C's came back out and went right back to work on the Pacers, as if no lull had even occured.
I can't say I expect the rest of this series to be this easy, but I'll take it. Playoff basketball was evident from this team tonight. We passed well and played defense and that's how you win playoff games.
Celtics lead the Series 1-0. Let's Go Celtics.