The Celtics were in a dogfight early without Rondo, Shaq, Jermaine, and Delonte. But on Thursday night it was more about who was there instead of who wasn’t. Boston had six players score in double digits including double-doubles from Pierce, Garnett and Big Baby. Rookie Semih Erden played his best game as a Celtic with 10 points with some night highlight dunks.
The "KG’s Revenge” storyline continued against Atlanta as Kevin completely dominated. Garnett’s 17 points came on 8-10 shooting, and his 14 rebounds gave him his 13th double double of the season. On the other side of the coin he and Pierce had Josh Smith pulling his hair out. “J-Smoove” had a night to forget, shooting 0-8 from the field, with 1 lonely point from the foul line. Head to head KG is shooing 16-20, Smith is 0-11. It’s safe to say that The Big Ticket is back.
Another story of the night was the early playing time of Avery Bradley and Luke Harangody. Bradley was noticeably nervous as he immediately got stripped and gave Jeff Teague a breakaway dunk. Avery would redeem himself shortly thereafter with a steal leading to a transition basket for Marquis. Luke Harangody on the other hand seemed cool as a cucumber, Heinsohn 2.0 would go 2-4 from the field and fight for an offensive board. It’s clear that once these guys get experience they’ll be a couple pretty good players. Also worth mentioning, Harangody is a 4 year college player nearly 23 years old, Bradley is barely 20.
Pierce on Avery Bradley
We’re trying to get his feet wet at different times especially back to backs, try to get his young legs in there, get him some confidence. He came in there, he’s handling the ball a lot. We’re asking a lot of him. He’s just got to understand the mentality he has to have. Being a bench player, guy who doesn’t play every night, but when he’s called on he’s just got to be ready, not to ease into the games. He’s learning so much. I really like the kid actually because i see how he works. He soaks so much up at practice and you can see him wanting to get better. He’s always asking questions. He’s always in the huddle. Just the little things we can see, we know this kid is going to be a player. It’s all about getting more time and experience.
Pierce wouldn’t be too bad himself tonight posting double digit assists. With Nate’s passing a little bit off in the first half, The Captain would start to take more of a playmaking role. With Pierce handling the ball it seemed to propel Ray Allen coming out of halftime. Pierce is going to show just how valuable he is in the absence of Rondo. The Truth really is one of the greats.