If you were told that the Celtics played without Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce had just 7 points on 2-9 shooting, you would probably assume that the Celtics had just lost a game. But it was quite the opposite as the Celtics beat the Heat by 30 points without KG or Ray Allen and with Paul Pierce struggling. Right from the beginning, the Celtics came out strong and they never let up. They started out with a 9-2 lead and never looked back. They played incredible team defense as well as firing on all cylinders on offense, shooting 51% from the floor while holding the Heat to 36%.
Leon Powe had a career night, with a career hight 25 points, 11 rebounds and 1 assist. He came off the bench to play very well on both ends of the court. Doc said in his post game press conference that Powe is earning more minutes and it is good to see him doing well. Also having a career night was Rajon Rondo who continually blew past the entire Heat team to get to the hoop the entire game. He finished with a career tying 23 points to go with 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. Rondo was very aggressive with his offense and showed that he can beat anyone off the dribble when he wants to. It would be great if he would continue to be aggressive and take it to the hoop when KG and Ray are back and healthy. He tends to defer to them too much and if he would play as he did against the Heat all the time, it would give this team another dimension.
As noted above, Pierce had an off night. Playing as the lone member of the 3 Amigos, he shot just 2-9 for 7 points. But even though his shot was off, he still did a lot of good things, finishing with 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. Tony Allen is very close to getting back to pre-injury form. He had several nice drives to the hoop that he finished with emphatic dunks. He finished with 20 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
Scal started the game but picked up 2 quick fouls and went to the bench early. He had a much better game than he did against the Magic finishing with 2 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals in 16 minutes. Perk also spent time on the bench in foul trouble and finished with 4 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 block in 18 minutes. Big Baby Fouled out with 7 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block.
Eddie House had a strong offensive game with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Posey got a warm reception by the Miami fans when he came into the game and played a solid game, finishing with 9 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Gabe Pruitt played 10 minutes of the 4th quarter and did a good job of leading the offense finishing with 1 rebound and 1 steal.
The Celtics were aggressive the entire game. They went after every loose ball, got into passing lanes for 12 steals, and won the battle of the boards 51-36. This aggression is what they have been missing the past month as they have been sliding somewhat. They passed the ball very well and executed the offense while finishing with 22 assists on 40 field goals. The bench had 61 of the teams 117 points in this game. This was a good win because they proved that they are more than just the three stars and that the bench isn't as weak as some have been saying. Now, if only they could continue this aggressive play when KG and Ray come back, they will be ready to go on a tear. Tony and Leon are coming along and providing some very good play off the bench. The Celtics will certainly need it with Dallas coming into town on Thursday. KG and Ray will be game time decisions once again and it is certain that the Mavs won't just lay down and play dead the way the Heat did.