Paul Pierce missed tonight's game due to the birth of his daughter. Doc decided to sit KG and Ray Allen as well. You would think since the Celtics have struggled with the Bobcats all season with the three stars in the lineup that we would really struggle with those three out. But, it was just the opposite. The Celtics jumped out to a lead and never looked back. They easily won the game 101-78.
Rondo, Tony, Posey, Powe and Perk started the game. Sam, PJ, Big Baby, House, and Scal got plenty of playing time as well. The player of the game was Leon Powe. He finished with 22 points on 5-8 shooting, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals along with hitting 12-13 from the free throw line. James Posey set the tone for the team as he scored 19 point and pulled down 3 rebounds but brought the leadership and defense that they needed with KG sitting out.
The Celtics shot 44% from the field while allowing the Cats to shoot 42%. The story of this win was on the boards, though as the Celtics out-rebounded the Bobcats 54-35. The Celtics also made it to the line a lot more than the Bobcats as they shot 27-34 from the free throw line while the Bobcats were only 9-16. It was great that the bench that has been often maligned was the team that was responsible for winning this game that was big for several reasons.
With this win, the Celtics clinch the best record in the Eastern Conference. They also clinch home court advantage throughout the playoffs. This win also put them in the record books with the biggest turnaround from one season to the next. As of now, they have 37 more wins than last season and this beats the record set in the '96-97 season when Tim Duncan joined the Spurs.
Doc has said that Pierce, Garnett and Ray will all probably rest at least one more game although he doesn't expect to sit them all out in the same game. Rondo may also miss a game but he plans to play Perk in every game to keep his conditioning up. It has been an absolute fairy tale season and is about to get even better as we get into the playoffs with home court advantage throughout now in hand.