|Kevin Garnett, PF 32 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | -4
Was it just me or did KG look a step slower than usual? The Heat can make anyone look slow but it’s usually not that evident for a guy like Garnett. 12 rebounds is nice but the usual defensive stalwart was on the floor for 32 out of the 48 minutes of a game in which the opposition scored 120 points. I know that is unacceptable in KG’s mind so I had to bump him down to a B. It’s a little sad and a little awesome that the most memorable KG moment tonight was totally snubbing Ray Allen pregame.
|Brandon Bass, PF 28 MIN | 6-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | -8
Tonight, Bass put all the facets of his game together in one beautiful offensive gem. He shot well from midrange, mixed in a few power dunks, and CRASHED the glass hard. I know Miami is a small team but Bass made it a point to be near the rim when the shot went up. Let’s hope he brings that type of effort for 81 more games.
|Paul Pierce, SF 41 MIN | 6-15 FG | 9-9 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 23 PTS | -17
Pierce started off hot and seemed to be really asserting himself early. His effectiveness devolved into forcing shots and unsuccessfully attempting to draw fouls. He can play better and will if he’s given fewer minutes.
|Rajon Rondo, PG 44 MIN | 9-14 FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 13 AST | 20 PTS | -13
Rondo seems poised to put up a lot of triple-doubles this season. That fact, however, is not the only reason why he gets an A. He gets an A, first and foremost, for being the grittiest player out on the court tonight. He HATES the Heat and he doesn’t care what you or I think about it. I love the old school way he fouled Wade with 17 seconds left. If Wade is going to go hard to the hole with a commanding lead and the time ticking down, Rondo going to make him think twice. Secondly, Rondo earns high marks for almost single-handedly willing the C’s back into the game after getting over some earlier frustrations. That is some true leadership.
|Courtney Lee, SG 24 MIN | 5-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -7
Lee had a fantastic first quarter and final four minutes. In between then? Not so good. He was also plagued by a bad whistle tonight which seems to be common for him; almost too common. It makes you wonder whether or not Lee is good at hiding obvious fouls from TV cameras but bad at hiding them from officials. We’re used to seeing Wade throw his head back, get a whistle, and then making a shot unaffected by a foul and Lee was on the other end of a lot of them.
|Jared Sullinger, PF 8 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -3
Sully acquitted himself well for his first NBA game. I predict he’s in for more minutes against worse teams.
|Jeff Green, PF 23 MIN | 0-4 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -7
Green couldn’t finish a layup, couldn’t convert an outside shot, couldn’t make a defensive rotation, couldn’t guard the pick and roll, and couldn’t guard anyone one-on-one. Tonight was just a not a good start for a guy who has a lot of doubters.
|Jason Terry, SG 25 MIN | 2-7 FG | 4-4 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -10
In the first matchup between Ray Allen and Ray Allen’s replacement, the replacement got completely demolished. I have no doubt Terry will be a huge contributor for the Celtics this season, but it just wasn’t there tonight. Aside from two really good drives in the first half, Terry disappeared and had trouble guarding Allen off the dribble.
|Leandro Barbosa, SG 16 MIN | 6-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | +4
Barbosa has been with the Celtics for just shy of 13 days and he came off the bench tonight to score 16 points in 16 minutes. He was exactly what Terry was supposed to be for the C’s. The knock on Barbosa is that he doesn’t defend and the knock of the Celtics tonight is that no one defended. Let’s hope the Celtics fix their problems as a whole so they can afford to keep Barbosa on the floor.