Wait, there was a game between the tributes? I think we were all a bit distracted by the emotional side of things. There were the player intros, the tribute videos, and the cheering when Pierce and KG scored their first buckets. Then there was that odd feeling of ..."hey, these guys are playing on the other team, rooting for their Nets teammates, and basically beating the Celtics with the same tricks that they used to use here in Boston. This kind of stinks."
Pierce was cold much of the night, shooting just 2-10 from the field but one of the buckets was a dagger step-back jumper from the elbow that we all know too well. Garnett likewise only hit 3 baskets, but one of them was off a key defensive stop where he stole the ball from "little brother" Rondo and took it coast to coast to lay it in and basically put the game away.
So basically, neither guy was the Hall of Famer that we knew and loved for the whole game, but they were what they were brought to Brooklyn to be; which is to say "gamers" that knew what it takes to win basketball games.
On the Celtics side of things, Rondo played solid for the most part, and played a full 30 minutes. He actually took 6 threes in this game, missing his first 4 but hitting his next two to redeem himself a bit. He a very Rondo like stat line, finishing with 13 points, 8 assists, and 8 rebounds. I get the feeling that his teammates are still getting used to playing with him and he's still trying to figure out where his teammates like the ball and all that.
I'm not sure what he was looking for on that play where KG picked him off, but either he didn't find something or he couldn't get anything to work. That's a problem to track the rest of this year I think. Who's the go-to guy? If it is Rondo, then how does he find his own shot or an open teammate?
Jeff Green predictably went back into his shell and contributed 8 points on 2-13 shooting.
Sully was mostly quiet, probably still suffering from various hand injuries.
Bass led the way with 17 points on 6-6 FGs. Maybe he should have gotten more looks.
Another solid effort from Chris Johnson with 12 points. Expect him to get another 10 day contract tomorrow. Update: Steve Bulpett reports that he will indeed be signed to another 10 day.
Another day, another hard-fought loss. Except this game was different. It was a bit of a circus and it was very emotional (probably to the point of distracting for some) but the end result was the same.
In short, it really felt like a rebuilding year game.