|Kevin Garnett, PF 31 MIN | 8-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 19 PTS | -2
It took him a couple of games but KG looks exactly the player he was the second half of last season. You can’t expect the same per-minute production beyond a half hour of playing time but here, at an efficient 19 and 10 in 31, you’ve got everything you could want this early in the season. And on a team with a batch of bad pick and roll defenders at the big spots (at least so far) KG’s defense remains a nightly revelation.
|Jared Sullinger, PF 19 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -7
Played like a rookie. Is a rookie. Not a huge problem.
|Paul Pierce, SF 36 MIN | 8-16 FG | 6-9 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 24 PTS | -5
The Celtics are on pace to burn out Pierce this season. He’s up two minutes per game over last year. After a miserable start against the Sixers, he got it going in the second half, on his way to a 50% shooting night and 9 FTA. If KG is Boston’s best player from minutes 1-30 and Rondo the best from 31 minutes and onwards, Pierce is the team’s best scorer from minutes 1-48. He could play until he’s 40.
|Rajon Rondo, PG 42 MIN | 6-17 FG | 2-4 FT | 2 REB | 20 AST | 14 PTS | +2
I’d argue the 6-17 shooting is at least as representative of his night as the 20 assists, a number that he reaches regularly enough to render it unremarkable, if not unimpressive. Still, he didn’t control the game the way a player of his caliber should and in the final estimation, Holiday outplayed him.
|Courtney Lee, SG 19 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -6
Our pre-season expectations were reasonable but yet again tonight, he’s nowhere near meeting them. It’s not for a lack of effort. He’ll prove a valuable part soon enough.
|Jeff Green, PF 18 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -6
Played like a rookie. Makes $9 million per year. Big problem.
|Chris Wilcox, PF 12 MIN | 1-1 FG | 4-6 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +1
It’s not always pretty but his conditioning and hustle (notably, the 6 FTAs) are making up for his lack of game reps. With Darko already an afterthought and Collins no more than a specialist, Wilcox could be logging major minutes, and soon.
|Brandon Bass, PF 23 MIN | 2-7 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -5
Off night on the glass and shooting the ball. Motor fires hard, mind you.
|Jason Terry, SG 29 MIN | 5-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +5
With Lee, Sullinger and Green all struggling, Terry’s offensive confidence and shot creation are joys to watch. It’s clear Jet is the only other natural scorer on the team besides Pierce, which makes him the most indispensable part of the bench. Maybe the only indispensable part.
|Leandro Barbosa, SG 11 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -7
If he’s effective in short minutes, it’s a good sign for the Celtics. If he’s mediocre in longer minutes, it’s bad. Tonight, he displayed elements of both sides of that false dichotomy.