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On The Board: Celtics 96, Pistons 85

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Oh my how the Celtics needed that!

And the best news is that the Celtics held the Pistons under 90 points after failing to prevent that in their first three games.  Were there defensive lapses? Sure.  But the overall defensive display was impressive.

Along with the return of defensive basketball, the Celtics also got some unexpected contributions from Jermaine O’Neal  (19 points, 7 Rebounds, ZOMG +25!) and the Cap’n Paul Pierce (12 points).  Pierce’s line may have looked pedestrian by his standards, but he showed no ill-effects from the heel injury and made all his patented step-back jumpers.

Despite the convincing win, the Celtics’ all bench unit still looks pretty lost.  That is definitely something to watch as the season goes on.

* * *

We’ll have more for you Celtics’ fans to chew on tomorrow but tonight, I’ll leave you with this:

During the post-game presser, Doc Rivers mentioned that he took Lawrence Frank out to dinner last night (they are former colleagues after all) and Doc said that there was “no chance” Paul was going to play.  As you well know, Pierce did play and really changed the entire way the Celtics started the game.  He also was the only player with which the Celtics ran isolation plays.

It’s funny.  After years of seeing Pierce be the offense and go exclusively “one on five” for substantial stretches, I never thought I would be so happy to see him post his defender up on the wing, face up, and make a move.  This may prove to be the biggest luxury the Celtics have this season.

After the game,  Frank had this to say about Pierce:

“Paul changes the game for them. Regardless, I know he’s only practiced once this whole year, but you know what he’s capable of doing.  He’s an outstanding defender as well.  He’s got a pretty decent shot at the Hall of Fame.”

I wasn’t actually in the room when Frank said this, but I can only imagine that he was joking a little.  Pierce not making the Hall of Fame?  He’s underrated but not THAT underrated.

  • High Rollers

    The best wins are team wins. That puzzle piece named Pierce is ESSENTIAL.

  • James Patrick

    63 Game winning streak begins tonight!. Just 62 more to go! :)

  • Phil

    I refuse to believe that Pierce only scored 12, I saw him score at least 20. He looked great tonight, made a huge difference when he was with the starters and bench.

  • X-RIP-X

    When KG and Ray came in the 4ht (around 9 to go with 18 point lead) instead of JJJ and Moore, I finally got it… Those minutes are training camp/preseason minutes. Team needs to play together, starters first, then the bench and in the end the rookies. If this were FIGABABA (did i get it right? :)), or 20th+ game in the season, I think rookies would have got in. Let's face it, Detroit wasn't comming back tonight, even if they cut the lead.

    Nice win, great to have PP back and JO amongst the living!

  • someguyinsac

    I'm happy tonight, finally!

    Go Timberwolves!

    • someguyinsac

      Dang it! The Wolves were robbed with a block call instead of a charge call, with a minute or so left to play. :(

      • JCP

        Someone needs to let the refs know that the lockout is over…

        • someguyinsac

          The NBA needs to resend the memo to them, I guess.

  • Batman

    I'm a little ashamed as to how bias the refs were towards us
    But it evens out from the bad calls the last 3 games

  • ElRoz

    I don't think I was seeing things, but Rondo seemed either upset and seemed to pout for the whole game…or he seemed to have some sort of ailment like a flue or what not?

    There was to em something CLEARLY not right with him…either another disagreement with Doc or some fever or I don;t know what…but he looked unhappy and tired.

    • Batman

      I think his ankle was gimpy

  • JCP

    I really enjoyed seeing some of those predominantly bench-player units in the 4th quarter NOT totally give up a lead in 30 seconds. That seemed to be the story of our lives last year and, while they did still look a little lost, the bench already looks stronger.

    And… while big baby holds a special place in most of our hearts, Bass is amazing for us off the bench and a ridiculous upgrade.

  • red

    offensively Bass is going to be a beast Miami has no one who can stop him when he is on the court with all 4 of our all stars .watching BBD and our aging core i forgot what a truly gifted athlete looks like i guess this is what Powe would have been with 2 good kneess

  • I_Love_Green

    Feels good!

  • mhollo_celticsrule

    Well done lads! Let's show everyone there is still one more championship left in us with the big four!!!

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