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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- I can’t wait to see Stan Van Gundy’s quotes from his press conference.
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Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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