Originally written on State Of The Celtics  |  Last updated 3/9/12

So now we know that all it takes is an embarrassing, ego-crushing, effortless loss in their previous game for the Boston Celtics to come out and play the game of the year.

The final score doesn't do this one justice as the Celtics had it wrapped up by halftime. Everything that Boston did (besides rebounding, because I guess they're immune to that) was crisp, clean and on point. The defense, which forced 28 Portland turnovers, was as suffocating as it's been in a long time, which is saying something given that their defense has been the one thing that has been fairly consistent all year. The ball movement would have made Norman Dale and the Hickory High School hoops team cry tears of joy. They refused to walk the ball up the floor. They shot lights out. They got everyone involved. They did everything that they're expected to do on a nightly basis and the result was a 40-point lead in the third quarter.

Ray Allen got out of the deathbed that he appeared to be stricken to in Philadelphia and hit just about everything that he put up. Paul Pierce played in his 1,000 career game and had an efficient scoring night. Rajon Rondo did a great job setting the tempo early, although his stats really didn't show it. Avery Bradley hit five of his seven shots. Sasha Pavlovic had a good game offensively and E'Twaun Moore and Marquis Daniels saw actual playing time in an NBA game, which are the most-telling signs of how well everything really went for Boston tonight.

The Celtics will now play their next gazillion games on the road, so hopefully they can bottle up this type of play, continue to eat and/or drink whatever they had before they took the floor tonight and bring all of that with them out west/north/south over the next two weeks. Thanks lockout.
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