It was just like the old days. The Garden doors opened for the 18,624 Celtics faithful. Paul Pierce strutted towards his fellow starters to close out Eddie Paladino's announcement of the lineups. The Celtics came out and played the type of defense that they've been known for since Kevin Garnett landed in Boston over four years ago. They left their opponent in the dust in the third quarter and never looked back on their way to a convincing victory that was much more one-sided than the final score would indicate. Jermaine O'Neal put in a player-of-the-game performance for the Celtics.
Jermaine O'Neal? That Jermaine O'Neal? The one who I've been killing all season long—which, again, accounts for three whole games—for not playing the type of defense that Boston needed and for being as useless as cat litter in a dog pound on offense? The same guy who has the vertical leap of an elephant? That's the Jermaine O'Neal who was so instrumental for the Celtics? The NBA's Boston Celtics?
In case you couldn't tell, I was just a little surprised by O'Neal's performance on the night. The numbers were great, but it had more to do with his ability to get up for a couple of blocks and be in position on defense and actually getting the ball to go through the peach basket on offense. For reasons unknown to me or any other human, JO looked rejuvenated, refreshed and—one might even say—like the JO of old. He looked like the JO we all said the Celtics would need in order to be successful, except with a little more juice.
Maybe it was because he was going up against the Detroit Pistons. Detroit isn't exactly throwing out Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson from 1986 or Tim Duncan and David Robinson from '99 as their front line. Greg Monroe and Jonas Jerebko are nice players. They're solid role players. They can score. That's about it. They're perfect for a team that is going absolutely nowhere fast. They can be taken advantage of, even by someone like Jermaine O'Neal.
But I don't want to talk about how the Celtics' success came at the expense of a garbage team with garbage defense. I refuse to. Especially on the night when the Captain returned to action. He showed us why he's so important to this team. Everyone followed his lead. Pierce was aggressive and went to the basket early. He got to the line early. He grabbed rebounds. He made the right passes. He played solid defense. He didn't need to score 35 points or shoot lights out. He just needed to set the tone, the kind of tone that Sasha Pavlovic couldn't, and will never be able to, set.
This isn't the night to rag on Pavlovic or any other Celtic either. The win was a collective effort. Sure, some efforts were more impactful and important than others. Still, this was a game where everyone knew their role and filled that role to the best of their ability without trying to do too much. They played team basketball. Celtics basketball.
It was vintage Celtics. It was just like the old days. It made us forget about the past week. It reminded us that this team is better—much better—than their 0-3 record indicated.
But in the same way we talked about how the first three games were just a small sample of a 66-game season, this was just one night of many. The challenge is to keep the ball rolling. On to DC.
Start calling Kevin Garnett "Il Grande Biglietto." The Boston Celtics star has agreed to purchase a minority stake in Italian soccer club AS Roma, according to the Associated Press. "Roma confirmed to The Associated Press that Garnett accepted an offer from James Pallotta, one of the four Boston executives who closed a deal in August to become the first foreign majority...
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Paul Pierce's return to the line-up was the big story for the Celtics against the Pistons
Thoughts I thought
Paul Pierce’s return was easily the most important thing these Boston Celtics needed to finally get into the win column. It was clear from the get go that Paul Pierce was trying to be aggressive and prove that he was ready to return. He got to the basket, got himself...
Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnett is about to become a limited shareholder in the American-owned Roma soccer club.
Roma confirmed to The Associated Press that Garnett accepted an offer from James Pallotta, one of the four Boston executives who closed a deal in August to become the first foreign majority owners of a Serie A club.
Pallotta also is a minority owner of the Celtics...
Perhaps all the Boston Celtics needed was their best player. Losers of their first three games this season, the Celtics welcomed back Paul Pierce and then welcomed themselves to the win column with a 96-85 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
In his debut, Pierce had 12 points, five assists and four rebounds. He hit half of his eight shots from the field and both of his free throws...
The Boston Celtics continue to flounder without Paul Pierce.
The Celtics will be trying to avoid their worst start in 42 years Friday night in their home opener against the Detroit Pistons in a matchup of winless teams.
Boston (0-3) last dropped its first four games in the 1969-70 season. There's no word on a possible return for Pierce, who is out with a bone bruise in his...
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Jonas Jerebko had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons ended Lawrence Frank's 20-game losing streak with a 96-88 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.
Jerebko, who missed all of last season after tearing his Achilles' tendon in the preseason, narrowly missed his career bests of 22 points and 13 boards.
I imagine Rashard Lewis wakes up each morning, admires his grizzly goatee in the mirror, thanks God (or Otis Smith) for his $118 million contract and then spends 45 minutes throwing darts at a board adorned with photos of Nick Young, Andray Blatche and Jordan Crawford. It took just 18 seconds for Young to launch his first step-back, contested jump shot of the night. Blatche continued...
The Pistons were down 86-64 after three quarters, so this game was nowhere as close as the final score suggets it was. The Pistons didn’t play any D in this game as the Celtics shot 52.2% from the floor. Greg Monroe led the way for the Pistons in this game with 22 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Austin Daye pitched in with 11 points and 5 rebounds in only 16 minutes...
Rajon Rondo had 18 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds while Kevin Garnett had 24 points and nine rebounds to lead the Boston Celtics over the winless Washington Wizards 94-86 on Sunday night.
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