The Celtics defense and rebounding effort were big in this win. The bench defense was the best effort from them so far this season.
Pierce's heroics weren't needed in this game as he played only 28 minutes and finished with only 9 points to go with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. In fact, Pierce's 28 minutes were the most of any starter.
KG's good luck ritual to start the game is obviously working. He had a very relaxing game in this one with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals in only 25 minutes of play.
Rajon Rondo had his way with Allen Iverson, outplaying him in just about every facet of the game. Rondo finished with 18 points, 1 rebound, 8 assists,and 3 steals in just 25 minutes. Rondo frustrated Iverson on both ends of the court the entire game.
Tony Allen led a very active bench with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks in 27 minutes. Tony loves the Pistons as his last big game was when he scored 23 points against the Pistons in their last meeting. Tony also anchored a very tough bench defensive unit. Leon Powe was also big off the bench with 7 points, 7 rebounds and 1 block in 18 minutes. Eddie House hit some big shots as the Celtics made a run in the second quarter and finished with 7 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 steal. Even Gabe Pruitt and Patrick O'Bryant got into the act. Pruitt played 12 minutes and finished with 2 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist. POB had 4 points, and 1 rebound in 6 minutes. My favorite moment of the game was when O'Bryant hit his first shot and the entire bench, especially Perk, was up and cheering wildly for him. Ubuntu at its best.
It wasn't really a scrappy game like the NY game was, but Perk picked up yet another technical. I really think refs call techs on him just because of the look on his face. He doesn't even need to say anything. He is a marked man! The Celtics hustled for all the loose balls and rebounds and clearly were the more aggressive team. Leon Powe continues to impress on both ends of the court. I don't think there is another player in the league who takes more charges than Leon.
KG's intensity is rather scary at times. Sometimes I think he may just implode and burst into flames one of these times. I have a feeling that intensity is about to ratchet up a bit as he returns to the court in the Target Center for the first time since the trade.
As good as the Celtics played in this game, there is still one area of concern and that is their free throw shooting. They shot only 68% from the line in this game. They have to improve in that area or it is going to cost them close games as the year goes on.