The surreal sight of a Celtics team going blow-for-blow with Miami with the kind of fight that would normally make you wonder if they were on the verge of turning their season around… until you realized they didn’t know their all-star point guard, and the man around whom their offense is crafted, had been felled with a torn ACL. The win was messy and spectacular but may ultimately end up being memorable for the way its triumph marked the metaphorical end of the Garnett and Pierce era.
An indifferent offensive performance by Jeff Green that did little to tarnish one of his best overall efforts of the season. Playing with a rare fire, Green hung in there against LeBron James, using his length to bother the best player in the wold and, in another one of those highlight reel moments that cast his season in a better light than it deserves, threw down a crushing dunk over Chris Bosh.
The return of Ray Allen. The former #20 returned and, in line with the bittersweet emotions surrounding Rajon Rondo’s absence, was greeted with a mixture of booing and cheering by a Celtics fanbase whose natural inclinations towards judgement in the face of “betrayal” may have been soothed by the tribute video the C’s used to honor Allen’s past contributions.
Long minutes for Leandro Barbosa, who will finally get his chance to make his mark in Boston green. Short minutes for Chris Wilcox, whose return from the injured list barely rated a mention. Reduced minutes for Brandon Bass, who holds poll position in the race for the title of “Most Disappointing Celtic” in 2012-13 despite stiff competition.