|Paul Pierce, SF 44 MIN | 12-26 FG | 11-13 FT | 14 REB | 4 AST | 36 PTS | +4
Paul Pierce owned this game. He dominated it. Without him, the Celtics lose by 20. Hell, for much of the first half he was the only Celtic with any kind of offensive mojo at all. Then he played the entire second half on his way to 44 minutes (after 42 minutes Sunday), 36 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists and 13 trips to the free throw line. A+ doesn’t do him justice given how decimated his team was tonight. Even with the turnovers.
|Brandon Bass, PF 31 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -5
He made some crucial mistakes on defense and, without someone creating open looks for him, turned in his second straight single-digit scoring night when the Celtics desperately needed offense from him. Basically, he’s been part of the problem so far on both ends of the court.
|Kevin Garnett, PF 40 MIN | 5-13 FG | 5-6 FT | 12 REB | 5 AST | 15 PTS | +10
KG has struggled against Smith and with the pace of the game. He’s looked, at times, overwhelmed, although just like in game one, he locked in by the second half and triggered the second half defensive shutdown of the Hawks. He also made just enough moves to the basket to help Pierce out. The Celtics needed more from him on offense tonight but he worked the glass (including a couple of impressive contested rebounds) and exhausted himself on defense.
|Mickael Pietrus, SF 19 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +4
Clueless and ineffective for most of this one. When he wasn’t in foul trouble he seemed spaced out until Doc and KG ripped into him and got him locked in on defense. His long distance shooting is in freefall but his size helped against Johnson (in part because it allows Pierce to cover Marvin Williams).
|Avery Bradley, SG 42 MIN | 4-8 FG | 6-8 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 14 PTS | +8
He saved the Celtics with his transition defense a couple of times and covered up for Bass’ mistakes in the halfcourt defense. Plus, he got to the line 8 times on 8 field goal attempts, which is exactly what this team needs. Was terrifyingly fast in transition even when he was out of control.
|Keyon Dooling, PG 21 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | 0
Two HUGE three-balls and some competitive, if not exactly stellar defense against speedier competition.
|Marquis Daniels, SG 15 MIN | 1-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +11
From the grave (!) came Daniels to be a key part of the fourth quarter defensive stand. He even added a bit on the offensive end. His line score really doesn’t do his effort justice.
|Ryan Hollins, C 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +5
A short but sprightly stint for Hollins who even pulled down a couple of rebounds.
|Sasha Pavlovic, SF 13 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +3
Looked overmatched on defense in the first half.
|Greg Stiemsma, C 8 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -5
Too slow, not a factor and mostly bound to the pine in this one. But he had a good game one so this may prove an aberration.