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Kevin Garnett missed the game with his strained abdominal muscle. Ray Allen missed the game with the flu. Paul Pierce scored 7 points on 2-9 shooting. So how much did the Celtics lose by?
Lose? To prove just how bad the Miami Heat are, the Celtics had four players with 20 points or more and only one of them was a regular starter (Rajon Rondo with 23) in a 117-87 win in South Florida. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney may have lost in the Florida Primary, but the Celtics wouldn’t make it two in a row in the Sunshine State, destroying the Heat by an identical margin in shooting percentage (51%-36%) and rebounds (51-36).
The starting 5 looked a lot like it did last year (sans Al Jefferson): Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen, Brian Scalabrine, Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins. That team won only 24 games all last year. Despite that fact, the C’s won this game by 30 because the team is way different. Their chemistry is great, and it shows that KG and Ray Allen have had a tremendous effect on returning players from last year. 20 points from Eddie House off the bench sure helped, too. Oh, and how about 25 points and 11 rebounds from Leon Powe!
Powe has been great off the bench recently, taking some minutes away from Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis, which is fine for me for now. Powe paid his dues last season and apparently did so in practice to earn more minutes. He has showed a lot of promise recently and makes me feel more comfortable witht he absence of Kevin Garnett. But trust me, I’d rather have KG out there.
The 30-point win without Ray Allen or KG proves how bad the Heat are. First, Dwayne Wade scored just 7 points on 1-9 shooting. Shaq’s out with another injury as his career appears to be fading. You really know things are bad when your leading scorer in the game is Mark Blount with 20 points and a typically whimpy 5 rebounds. If you look up soft in the dictionary, there’s a big picture of Mark Blount. Heat? Try Miami Ice Cold.
Next up for the 35-8 Celtics is a very important game against the Dallas Mavericks. Can the Celtics play with and beat the West’s elite? We will find out soon enough…