Yes, Kevin Garnett didn't play. Yes, Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko are sidelined. But, Rajon Rondo is also sidelined and the Celtics are a very young team and new to each other. And, the Celtics stayed right with the Nets throughout the game. They came up 2 points short at the end, but this season isn't about wins and losses as much as it is about development, and we saw some improvements and positives in this game.
Sean Grande had the tweet of tne night as he documented the moment in time that Paul Pierce scored against the Celtics. And even though it seemed to a lot of fans as though the world would end when Paul Pierce was traded to a divisional foe, it continues to go on, even after Pierce played against his beloved Celtics.
8:40pm, October 15, 2013. Paul Pierce scores against the Celtics. Earth continues to rotate.
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) October 16, 2013
Pierce still loves the Celtics. He loves his former teammates and he will always bleed green, even though he's wearing black and white. Paul Pierce will always be a Celtic but for now, he's on loan to the Nets to give him a chance to win one more ring. From ESPN Boston:
But Pierce misses Boston. He didn't say it explicitly when the Celtics visited the Barclays Center on Tuesday, but he didn't have to. How else do you explain how Pierce has made sure to watch a couple of Boston's exhibition games (most New Englanders aren't even watching these games)? Or why he got Jeff Green's phone number and plans to communicate with him during the season to help him navigate an increased role in the absence of Pierce and Kevin Garnett?
Paul Pierce spent plenty of time catching up with his former Celtics teammates.
Pierce burst into the Celtics' locker room 90 minutes before tipoff Tuesday to see old friends and ease a bit of that homesickness. He greeted Avery Bradley with a big smile and asked about the birth of his first child last month. Pierce then visited with Green and Brandon Bass and stressed the need for them to step up as locker room leaders this year. He even sought out staffers such as equipment manager John Connor and director of team security Phil Lynch to say hello.
It's hard to watch Paul Pierce play for the Nets, but it's even harder for Paul Pierce to watch the Celtics play without him. But, enough of that. The Celtics continue to show some progress toward becoming a cohesive team. Brad Stevens used the same starting lineup for the second game in a row and that's something: Crawford, Bradley, Green, Bass and Sullinger. But, that doesn't mean that he is finished looking at different combinations as he still has work to do as he learns his team and the tendencies of each player.
I love Gerald Wallace. I've always liked his game but I really like him as a Celtic. He plays defense and he hustles all out on the court. He was just 2-9 last night for 4 points but he also had 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal. His defense helped to disrupt the Nets on the other end and that's always a good thing. Avery Bradley is also turning up the defense and with Crawford helping out with the ball handling duties, Bradley is free to play his game and has looked better these past couple of games. Bradley finished with 7 points and 9 rebounds to go with 3 assists and 2 steals.
Jared Sullinger had a slightly off game shooting just 2-6 for 6 points along with 2 assists and 3 steals but, he didn't grab a rebound and that is strange for him. Kris Humphries continues to do good things on the court with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Kelly Olynyk is showing why he was a lottery pick with 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists, but he fouled out in just 19 minutes.
Jordan Crawford continues to surprise and impress. He has taken the ball handling burden from Bradley and has been making good decisions with the ball. He finished the night with 10 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. And, last but not least, Kris Humprhies wins the very first Tommy Award of his career.
"He's become a hero with this ballclub. What he did tonight was give you all-out hustle." Kris Humphries wins the #TommyAward!
— Tommy Heinsohn (@CSNTommy) October 16, 2013
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