So that happened. I don't want to get too excited because it's only one game and the Wizards are not firing on all cylinders yet. In fact I'd argue that Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler will only get better from here on out as they rebound from season ending injuries. However, there was a lot to like. In no particular order:
- Paul Pierce - Okay I lied. I put him first on purpose in honor of the Celtics organization's efforts to not slight The Truth with a Kevin Garnett heavy focus. Pierce put up some numbers and showed some of his vast offensive repertoire. However, he simply did not have to work as hard as last year. That has to continue.
- Kevin Garnett - 22-20. More on him later.
- Ray Allen - I knew his jump shot was beautiful. But I had no idea how smooth he was off the dribble. He is a much more complete player than I realized. And a smart one at that.
- Brian Scalabrine got 20 minutes of time. I did not exactly see that coming. And when Scal missed that 3 after Garnett's message sending block of Arenas, I was disappointed though not entirely surprised. Had the Celtics scored on that possession it would have brought the house down. One more thing. Scalabrine has officially grabbed the torch from Wally Szczerbiak as the guy who will make wild, incredibly non athletic plays.
- Attitude - Things got a little chippy out there. Ultimately nothing came of it but the Celtics do have a whole different edge to them. Not quite a "We're going to charge into the stands in Detroit, attack fans and destroy our franchise" vibe. More of a "We're not backing down" attitude.