|Paul Pierce, SF 17 MIN | 10-13 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 24 PTS | +33
24 points on only 13 shots. 24 points in only 17 minutes. 24 points despite shooting with half the Hawks roster closing on him or hanging on his shooting hand. 24 points despite taking a series of difficult fadeaways and off-balance shots that you sorta only like because they went in. Well, results trump all and on this night, so did Pierce.
|Brandon Bass, PF 31 MIN | 3-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +28
Another marginal night from Bass, whose offense remains M.I.A. and not in the Sri Lankan pop star way. He was more aggressive tonight and Rondo found him some open shots but the breakthrough may not come until the second round. Worked hard on defense and, at least to me, seemed to lose himself less than usual.
|Kevin Garnett, PF 27 MIN | 6-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +33
My favorite part of KG’s whole night was that he only played 27 minutes. Also, he shot 75% from the field. That was pretty good, too.
|Rajon Rondo, PG 35 MIN | 8-11 FG | 2-5 FT | 3 REB | 16 AST | 20 PTS | +27
What did you like best? The 16-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio? The dazzling array of knockdown jumpers? The best-in-ages perimeter defense to key the early run? An untouchable effort from RR, who would have gone 25-25 had this game been more competitive in the second half.
|Avery Bradley, SG 19 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +22
Both teams play hard (sometimes) but nobody seems to play as hard as Bradley who, long after the game was out of reach, went to the floor three times in a minute and shoulder-tackled the upright basket support column. Related: I’m not sure upright basket support column is the proper name, but the C’s won by 22 so who the hell cares?
|Ray Allen, SG 19 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | +1
A really nice night for Allen, who got a lot more done than just shooting and who can put comparisons to KG in ’09 and Shaq in ’11 to rest. He’s back and unless something goes sideways tomorrow on recovery day, the Celtics have a dangerous weapon on the bench, and a hedge against Bradley snapping in half.
|Keyon Dooling, PG 12 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -5
Playing his best basketball of the season and despite needing 16 seconds to unload a three-point-shot, is seeing them find twine after a long stretch of nothing. And all that seemingly spurious Doc Rivers talk about his defensive impact? Turns out there was something behind it after all.
|Marquis Daniels, SG 22 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | -2
No individual Daniels performance in the last three years sticks out. Neither did this one. But it’s nice to see him back, contributing and looking as impassive as ever.
|Mickael Pietrus, SF 13 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2
A nearly empty stat line pulls him ahead of Brandon Bass for most disappointing first round. I assume somebody will mention his defense in the comments.
|Greg Stiemsma, C 18 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -4
The numbers don’t do him justice. He was rotating and deterring to great impact in the first half. In fact, he looked more spry than pretty much any Hawk, which, given the athleticism deficit, is a pretty solid achievement.