Originally posted on Celtics Town  |  Last updated 4/14/13
Despite an inefficient night from Pierce, the Celtics pounded the Magic.Well, they did it. For better or worse, the Celtics have clinched the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, thereby avoiding a first-round matchup with the Miami Heat. Instead, Boston will face the New York Knicks, a team which has had considerable success against the C’s throughout the season.But all of that comes later. Tonight, the Celtics did something unfamiliar and kind of fun: They ran out to a big lead early and never surrendered that lead on the road against an inferior team. We also saw Doc’s projected playoff lineup get some more successful time on the court together, and perhaps we can make a more educated judgment on how well they will perform against good teams.But for now, let’s get to the bullet points about tonight:Courtney Lee broke out of his (season-long?) shooting slump and dropped 20 points on 7-10 shooting, including 3-3 from behind the 3-point line. What was more encouraging was the variety of ways in which Lee scored. He beat the Magic on a series of backdoor cuts, pick-and-roll jumpers, spot-up 3-pointers and transition layups. It should be noted that 13 of Lee’s points came in the fourth quarter when the game was already well in hand, but who wants to be a killjoy?We don’t have a big enough sample size to make any kind of sweeping declarations, but Jeff Green certainly seems to be more comfortable offensively when he is playing a stretch-4 role. I’m not really sure why, but he seems more likely to pull up for a long two-pointer than drive to the basket or spot-up for a 3-pointer when he is the shooting guard or small forward. Tonight, he was 6-17 and just didn’t look like himself. He would pull up awkwardly for weird floaters and jumpers where normally he would simply beat his man to the basket. Green’s performance is a big part of the reason why I don’t like Boston’s new big lineup. But again, we don’t have much of a sample size to draw conclusions from. So to be continued.Brandon Bass is coming around. I’m knocking furiously on wood at the moment, but after yet another efficient shooting night (6-7 from the field), I think we can safely say that Bass seems far and away the most comfortable we have seen him this season. Good timing.Kevin Garnett was 7-8 from the field, 6-7 on his jumpers, and he grabbed nine rebounds. More importantly: There is an obvious uptick in Boston’s defensive schemes whenever Garnett is on the floor. It was great to see him back.Whenever Jordan Crawford crashes into the middle of the lane, I get ready to roll my eyes, but he often manages to get close enough to the hoop that his turnaround fadeaway is actually a decent shot. Tonight he got a little bit too pumped up after a layup, screaming “AND ONE!” at the ref who clearly had told him to cut the crap. He got a technical for his efforts, but the Celtics will take a 7-10 shooting performance with three assists, no turnovers and one technical from Crawford in any game.Paul Pierce showed some rust, shooting 4-12 from the floor and 1-5 from 3-point range, but he contributed to perhaps the highlight of the night: A sweet alley-oop pass in transition to Jeff Green who slammed it through with one hand.Here’s something interesting to overthink: With 29 minutes available at center (Garnett only played 19 tonight), Doc gave Chris Wilcox 19 and Shavlik Randolph just 3. In his last two games, Randolph has grabbed just one rebound in 13 minutes combined. Has Doc decided Shavvy doesn’t have a spot in the playoff rotation? It’s hard to tell, since the entire rotation has been in flux for months due to injuries, but Randolph’s minutes have taken a noticeable dip in the past two games.That will have to do it for tonight. With just two games remaining and the seventh seed secured (and the sixth seed out of reach), it will be interesting to see if Doc decides to play Pierce and Garnett to keep them in game shape or let them rest. My guess: Both get playing time, but neither gets more than 20 minutes per game. But we will see. Next up, the Celtics play some incarnation of the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday at home.Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Browns reportedly were shut down on Jimmy Garoppolo trade attempt again

Browns plan to use Jabrill Peppers on offense and defense

Kevin Durant perpetuates 'Cupcake Wars' with Thunder

Bill O’Brien: Tom Savage is the Texans’ starter

Redskins deny Cousins trade report; Browns cite ‘bad reporting’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Roger Goodell weighs in on NFL's evolving marijuana debate

Gregg Popovich: Kawhi Leonard ‘the best player in the league’

Shoe companies walk away from deal with Lonzo Ball

Mitchell Trubisky didn’t even think the Bears would draft him

John Lynch: 49ers landed ‘two of our top three players’

Report: Buccaneers passed on Dalvin Cook due to Doug Martin

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Box Score 4/28: NFL Draft gets younger every year

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

Box Score 4/27: Waiting for Goodell to call our name

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker