We've been waiting for the Celtics to have a complete game and it finally happened tonight. You have to expect one or two guys to be on, but when 3 of our stars are clicking on all cylinders, watch out. The stats tell the story.
- 38 points for Paul Pierce (including 6-8 from 3 point land)
- 32 points for Ray Allen (including 8-11 from 3 point land)
- A triple double for Rajon Rondo including a Celtics playoff record 20 assists (breaking Bob Cousy's record - wow)
- And if numbers don't do it for you, check out the highlights here (and boy are there plenty of highlights)
The Madison Square Garden crowd was really hyped for this one. And give them credit, they hung in there even when their team was down 9 - 0 and trailed by as much as 17 in the early going. Of course, the Celtics bench did a great job keeping them in the game, giving up much of that lead. Take a look at the plus/minus numbers (if you can stomach it). At least Jeff Green contributed a few more points this time, but his defense wasn't much to write home about and once again it was up to the starters to pick up the slack. Thankfully, on this day, that was more than enough.
I must say, I'm really happy to see the Rajon Rondo we know and love show up big for this series. Give him room to drive, he'll burn you for 30 points. Make adjustments, and he'll still drop a triple double on you. It helps that he's playing against the Knicks without their starting point guard, but he's still a joy to watch when he's feeling it.
I can't remember the exact stat, but I believe the broadcast posted a graphic showing that Ray Allen is shooting in the 80's percentage wise from 3 point land. That's just plain silly. What else can you say about that? I'm sure there will be people breaking down the various ways that Ray gets open so often, but again, ...its the Knicks. They just aren't that good at defense over the course of a whole game. Release, rotation, splash, repeat.
And of course Paul Pierce was feeling it tonight too. Ever notice how good Pierce has gotten at "the stopper" role. Meaning, when the other team is starting to feel a little momentum and we really need a bucket, more often than not it is Paul Pierce making something out of nothing and getting the pendulum swinging the other direction.
And how about a hand for Kevin Garnett (12 rebounds, leading the team to a 43 - 33 advantage) and Jermaine O'Neal (solid defense and intangible plays tonight) as well? Just a great all around game for the starters. Dear bench, please take note. In fact, take lots of notes. There will be a quiz. We'll need you at some point soon.