Paul Pierce, SF43 MIN | 11-19 FG | 17-18 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 43 PTS | +2Why no A+? Call me a harsh grader if you want, but the two rebounds stick out to me like a sore thumb in 43 minutes. I won’t let that ruin Pierce’s masterful offensive outing, scoring 40 points for Boston, the first time anyone has done that since 2006, when Pierce himself posted 50. It was a magical night for PP, it was just that much more so for the Knicks. Now it’s just time to worry about his health and about the 43 minutes.
Brandon Bass, PF35 MIN | 6-8 FG | 3-6 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +6Tough night defensively, having to guard the likes of Novak, but that was a personnel problem for C’s more than anything else. Standard positive offensive outing for the big man.
Kevin Garnett, PF35 MIN | 7-14 FG | 6-8 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS | 0 I know it wasn’t on him 90 percent of the time, but way too many open lanes to the hoop in the second half for New York, resulting in easy buckets. Then again, that’s what happens when your opponents is shooting 60+ percent from downtown.
Rajon Rondo, PG39 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 13 AST | 13 PTS | +1 Starting to worry about all the bumps and bruises with Rajon. The wrist is starting to bother him again and the tailbone seems to be a recurring issue every year, given how aggressively he goes after rebounds, leaving himself vulnerable. Next time I complain about him taking it easy on the glass, I’ll remember nights like this where he gets beat up for it.
Avery Bradley, SG38 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 17 PTS | -45-of-6 from downtown for Avery, making me wonder how soon we have to have a conversation about the second-year guard being worthy of crunch-time minutes this year.
Five Things We Saw
Instead of grading the whole bench, who collectively played a whopping 50 minutes and scored two points, I’ll just give them a big fat D. Not a lot of opportunity given to them, but they made the worst of it when they were out there.
Knicks 19 3-pointers were the most made by an opponent against the C’s in their history. Boston had been the top team defending the 3 in the league prior to this game. Pierce postgame: “We didn’t defend the 3 at all tonight. We dug ourselves a huge hole that we couldn’t climb out of.”
The C’s still had a chance in this game despite the hot shooting by the Knicks, but were punished in the second half by the offensive rebounds, setting up plenty of second chance points. Allowing 10 offensive rebounds when you’re already giving up 56.8 percent shooting is always a recipe for disaster.
Too many minutes for all the starters in my book. They kept it just close enough for Doc to keep pushing with them, which is frustrating since nearly everyone got dinged up and you can make the case the more important games are coming up in the next two contests.
I’m happy the C’s don’t have to worry about playing the Knicks for the first couple rounds.