Right from the start it didn't seem like a regular season game in March. The intensity was up and both teams came out looking for a victory.
Paul Pierce's lefty reverse in the first quarter and several of Rajon Rondo's finishes in the initial twelve minutes as well, were awesome.
The Birdman was in the house early on. Does anybody not like him? On his first offensive possession Andersen grabbed an offensive rebound and battled down low with Glen Davis. And it definitely sounded like the home crowd almost cheered for him. Having said that, the fact that he was suspended for drugs is not a hard sell.
The MVP chants for Pierce were a great gesture. Nice moment. But let's not kid ourselves. And yes Tommy Heinsohn has as they say, "forgotten more basketball than I know". But come on. How can he rank Pierce and KG, who as we all know, both play on the same team, #1 and #2 respectively in the MVP race...for the NBA? With a hat tip to Ray Allen no less. This might be the most biased Heinsohn has ever been. And that's saying something. He once convinced me that Gerald Green would be an All Star. The same Green that languished on the bench in Minnesota, got dominated in a Slam Dunk contest by Dwight Howard, was traded twice and cut by the Rockets over the course of 9 months.
Pierce played 36 minutes and KG logged 34 and a half in a 20 point victory over a western conference power. Nothing wrong with that.
At one point in the second the Celtics sent out Tony Allen, PJ Brown, Glen Davis, Eddie House and James Posey. The Hornets countered with Chris Andersen, Jannero Pargo, Bonzi Wells, David West and Julian Wright. Unfortunately Leon Powe was in foul trouble and had to be replaced by Brown before the other 9 were on the court at once. Still, those are some wacky lineups.
How about Kendrick Perkins throwing an ally oop from the three point line to KG? And the right handed finish with authority was nice as well. However, KG's dunk in the third quarter, shortly after picking up his 2nd foul, was vicious. Just vicious.
You knew New Orleans was in trouble when it did not turn the ball over once in the first half and only lead by 4 at the break.
Peja Stojakovic does not have a jump shot that looks like Ray Allen's or the aforementioned Gerald Green's for that matter. But once the ball leaves his hands it is something to behold.
I've been disappointed with the home crowd lately. Not tonight.
We've got the makings of a Tommy Heinsohn/Ken Mauer blood feud. Something to watch for...
Who said Rondo can't shoot?
I felt better about Tony Allen, Eddie House, Leon Powe and James Posey starting the 4th quarter because KG was out there.
Chris Paul has more of an edge than I realized, which is probably one of the reasons he is the best point guard in the Association.
Just when it looked like Eddie House's minutes against good teams were a thing of the past he plays a role in payback victories over Phoenix and New Orleans.