|Paul Pierce, SF 43 MIN | 8-19 FG | 5-6 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 21 PTS | -3
Could have used a few more calls from the zebras but another grit and balls special from Pierce, who, if he didn’t come close to playing LeBron James to a draw, at least kept it respectable enough for the Celtics to have a chance. Still facing Miami doubles and not always handling them well. Made a few lazy passes tonight, and turned it over a few times. Only had two shots in the paint all game.
|Brandon Bass, PF 29 MIN | 2-4 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -15
Came out of the gate closing out HARD on shooters. He’ll never be the most efficient defensive player, in man-defense or as part of a team, but he busted it while he was in there. Mostly a non-factor on offense but we’ll take 10 boards in 29 minutes anytime we can get them from Bass.
|Kevin Garnett, PF 45 MIN | 6-18 FG | 6-6 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 18 PTS | -6
KG shot 33% and made a few crucial mistakes down the stretch, possibly out of exhaustion. And he barely touched the ball below the free throw line before the fourth quarter (That’s on Doc, even if KG was post-averse tonight). Despite all errors, KG also played 45 grueling minutes on defense and was a major reason why Dwayne Wade struggled in the first half.
|Ray Allen, SG 43 MIN | 5-11 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | -2
An incredible return for Allen, who somehow shook off bone spurs in his ankles to log 43 effective minutes, and not just on offense. He had help with the C’s consistent trapping of Wade but he was moving well out there and knocked down a massive three in the fourth to push the game to overtime.
|Rajon Rondo, PG 53 MIN | 16-24 FG | 10-12 FT | 8 REB | 10 AST | 44 PTS | -4
Stop me when you disagree. The single best game by a Celtic all season. The single best one-game performance of the Big Three era. The best game of Rondo’s career.
RR was astounding tonight. He played the entire game, 53 brutal minutes. He shot 66% from the field on the way to a career-high 44 points. He got to the line 12 times. He hit 10 of his free throws. He only turned the ball over three times. He scored all Boston’s points in overtime. Incredible heart on this kid. Can’t believe some of us (raises hand sheepishly) wanted him traded. Also, you can safely ignore almost every other A+ we’ve given out this year. They’ve all been bell curved down.
|Keyon Dooling, PG 15 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +4
Very good minutes from Dooling, including a major play to set up Ray Allen’s fourth quarter three.
|Ryan Hollins, C 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | 0
Completely useless tonight. In his one minute he botched a rebound that led to a Miami three and he failed to convert an offensive chance.
|Mickael Pietrus, SF 28 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -5
I’m out on Pietrus. His defense is overrated and he’s been a terrible shooter for the Celtics since the first month of the season. A whole number of bad decisions tonight, biting on shot fakes, and losing his guy in transition. The odd defensive stop or saved ball makes up for all this? Au Contraire Bonjour.
|Greg Stiemsma, C 5 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +2