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Comeback Kids: Celtics 91, Magic 83

Boston Celtics 91 Final
Recap | Box Score
83 Orlando Magic

Paul Pierce, SF
44 MIN | 7-18 FG | 8-11 FT | 6 REB | 10 AST | 24 PTS | +9
In the first half Pierce went 0 for 5 with a couple turnovers and looked unable to handle the extra attention the Magic’s defense was giving him with Rondo/Ray out. Second half comes around and he turns into vintage Pierce, playing a tremendous final 24 minutes on both sides of the floor. His third straight terrific all-around line as point forward. Anytime you jump start a 21-point 2nd half comeback you get the A.
Brandon Bass, PF 29 MIN | 4-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +5
I’m grading on a curve tonight, so this was more like a C night for Bass, but his big shots and defensive play late guarding Hedo was what counted the most. Besides getting lost in the lane a couple times, Bass is taking the open shots he needs to without hesitation. It was an off night overall, but he still came around when it counted.
Kevin Garnett, PF 35 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 12 PTS | +23
As good as you’ll see Garnett defensively this season. Four big blocks, lots of scrappy play to help the C’s contain Howard and limit Orlando to 25 points in the second half. Hit a few tough shots early in the second half to help C’s tread water before PP got going.
Mickael Pietrus, SF 32 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | -1
Pietrus was the only guy that came to play early with a couple early threes, so it came as no surprise that the team’s offense fell asleep once he went to the bench. 32 gutty minutes after coming back from a shoulder injury, and even more impressive that he stayed in the game after being bodyslammed by Howard when going for a board in the 4th quarter.
Avery Bradley, SG 25 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | -13
Back to reality for Avery tonight, with at least 3-4 unforgivable ballhandling turnovers early on, along with some spotty decisions with the ball. But the defense was still there and in the second half Avery finally realized he should cut to the hoop when Orlando was ignoring him.
Keyon Dooling, PG 9 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -12
Left the game with a hip pointer in the second quarter, but I’m feeling generous tonight. There’s no incomplete option, but Keyon did a nice job cheering on the bench.
Chris Wilcox, PF 19 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +4
Some tough defense down low on Dwight and a couple strong moves to the rim gives us some encouragement on the athletic big’s potential for this team this year. A building block performance, especially coming off a long absence.
Marquis Daniels, SG 18 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | +13
C’s ran their offense through Marquis in the 4th and Daniels did a terrific job with his decision-making and distribution. The defense was phenomenal as well.
Sasha Pavlovic, SF 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | 0
Didn’t see the floor in the second half. Did a terrific job of cheering from the bench. Give him an B! Remember we are grading on a comeback curve here!
Greg Stiemsma, C 7 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -15
Looked overmatched on both sides of the floor. The 26-year-old rookie has come back down to earth in limited action over the past two weeks.
E’Twaun Moore, G 18 MIN | 5-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | +27
Graduated from JV to Varsity tonight. According to mySynergySports he had missed all 14 of his spot up shots before today. He made them all tonight, largely from downtown. We all saw the guy could play in the preseason, and he was finally able to show it on both ends of the floor tonight.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Biggest Celtics comeback in the regular season since 1996. It doesn’t beat the Nets comeback back in the 2002 playoffs, but this is probably as good as it gets. As Doc preached in the postgame, it’s a character building win.
  2. It was a dominating performance on defense in the second half as the Celtics held Orlando to 25 points overall, and just 5 points through the first 11 minutes of the final frame. All without JO, Rondo and Ray no less. You can’t say enough about the will of the guys on this team.
  3. Despite having a back-to-back tomorrow against the Pacers, I loved Doc deciding to play KG and PP big minutes. No way the team completes this comeback without firing all their bullets from those guys. The home crowd tomorrow will help, along with the return of Ray, and hopefully Rondo. Getting the win tonight was worth the repercussions.
  4. How happy was everyone to see Glen Davis taking all of those shots in the fourth quarter? Just a vintage performance by Baby from March-May 2011.
  5. I can’t wait to see Stan Van Gundy’s quotes from his press conference.
  • I_Love_Green

    When we need a lift on defense, put Avery in.

    When we need a lift on offense, put E'Twaun in.

  • Ryan DeGama

    Really pleased I chose today to question E'Twaun's viability as an NBA player.

    • http://CelticsHub.com Brendan Jackson

      "but [Avery Bradley's] an NBA player, and since E’Twaun Moore is probably not, Boston might as well stretch him out the next few months." Priceless.

      • I_Love_Green

        Ryan CLEARLY thought it was opposite day.

  • High Rollers

    Grit. Tastic.

  • someguyinsac

    Yippee-ki-yay, mother***er, we're back!

  • LACelticFan

    Great win tonight way to show that championship attitude.

  • Mark

    Big win tonight. On a side note, as much as I'd love to see Dwight in green he is just so mentally weak.

    Since I don't, and won't, go out of my way to find SVG post game comments I'd love to see the best of the best posted here. Especially any that involve the waste of space known as Big Baby.

    • guest

      Give him a year here, Doc will change that.

  • Ted

    "C’s ran their offense through Marquis in the 4th and Daniels did a terrific job with his decision-making and distribution."

    I just watched a replay and counted two touches in the mid-post before he was taken out for good at the 6 minute mark. Daniels passed out for assists on both, but do two plays really get him an A?

    • CG12

      You also charitably forget that Marquis had two terrible TOs on attempted cross-court passes in Q2. I don't know what it is with the Cs and those passes, but it is something they have been doing all year. They really need to cut down on the turnovers. Avery had a couple of flat-out giveaways last night where he just lost control of the ball.

  • Lakershater13

    With Rondo, Bradley and Moore can anyone justify Dooling getting serious minutes the rest of the year? Any trade value with Dooling?

    • jimmy

      moore should b the back up to ray and marquis needs to ride the bench

  • ripsonics

    I just love THIS TEAM.

    for those that don't know… I'm from Seattle, so its not the same for me. I LOVE THIS TEAM. Ask my roommates when they lose I am a pissy loser.

    I am so glad they won, and I will cheer for them forever. Go C's. Ray Allen. You're my favorite player of all time. Dh is coming to Boston.

    I love this team,

    GO C'S

  • ripsonics

    KG was +23.

    Hey HATERS show ur face and tell me you thought he was done. Second highest other than Moore. He is good to go in my opinion..

    Last thing I'll say – IF.. and I mean IF… The Celtics win tomorrow night.. we are back.

    GO C's

    • KBA

      Completely agree… a win against the pacers (already lost to them twice) would def mean we are back. It'll make it a 4 game win streak and bring us back to .500. Next 4 games are against Cavs (twice), Cats and Knicks. This could become a (gulp) 8 game win streak if we win today!!!
      I think it's great that the young guys are getting meaningful mins (except JJJ). I saw him shoot a turnaround baseline J against the first Magic game in garbage time – little KGish. I think he can add value given the chance. We have a lot of players that deserve minutes, certainly a good problem but I don't know how productive anyone can be with very limited meaningful mins.
      LETS GO C's!!!

  • Rip

    since PP is playing point forward well these days, any of you guys think it's time to bring him off the bench to give the bench a playmaker? Rondo, Ray, MP3, SuperBass and KG starts then moore, bradley/sasha, pierce, wilcox and JO (so we always have a big on the floor) off the bench? Pierce still gets his minutes but handles quarterbacking duties once rondo rests. I'd love to get JJJ in there for wilcox though. Thoughts?

  • sightline75

    What i like about the last 2 games is that with different personanel in the first and second units the Celtics were better than before. Guys are getting into the system and the veterans are looking better with more game time, but it demonstrates that we can use different combinations for the starting and secondary units successfully. Ray Ray could go to the bench and stretch the defense for the second unit, or Bass can start and allow JO to work latter in the game. Its great to let the rookies have a chance in something other than garbage time. I will say again though, we should have drafted MarShon Brookes, instant offense like that in the second or first unit, would have made us a contender in the east.

  • W2.

    I do not think Pierce needs to go to the bench, but I do like him with the second unit as a playmaker first then a scorer. My frustrations with Paul are when he is playing with the second unit and tries to do everything himself. When he keeps the ball moving it rewards the young guys and they seem to play a bit better. So, no go on the supersub from where I sit.

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