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After a demoralizing loss to the Cavaliers on Sunday (come on, who thought the Celtics would win in Cleveland?), the Celtics had to get right back on the horse for a game Monday night at home against the Pistons. Detroit has undergone a roster transformation, sending away Chauncey Billups (and then Allen Iverson), and Rasheed Wallace for Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. As you can imagine, that’s not a fair trade-off, especially considering the Pistons entered Monday’s game a pitiful 23-43.
Any concerns of a letdown from a tired Celtics team was quickly silenced, as the C’s built a 16-point lead after one quarter and a 29-point lead at the half to coast to a 119-93 win. Paul Pierce scored an effecient 15 points in just 17 minutes of play.
Doc Rivers was impressed with his captain and with his team’s level of play.
“It’s coming around,” Rivers said. “It’s still not there, but that was great to see. He looked explosive. I think he’s getting closer, and our team’s getting closer.”
Kevin Garnett had a strong game in support of Pierce, finishing with 14 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Kendrick Perkins helped out KG, pitching in 11 points with eight rebounds and three blocked shots.Ray Allen, too, was effective, scoring 15 points.
Rajon Rondo has had better days (3 points, 6 assists) but he’s the only player on the Celtics I’m not concerned with. He’s played at an extremely high level all year, and look for that to continue.
With the regular starting five in tact, the Celtics are 32-12. Meanwhile, in any game without the Big Three, Perk, or Rondo, the C’s are just 10-12. Maybe this team just needed to get healthy to build team chemistry and push toward the playoffs.
In a blowout, Doc Rivers went to the bench early and often, and everyone played like a top sixth man. I mean, everyone! Michael Finley played only 13 minutes, but scored 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting (3-4 from beyond the arc).
Glen Davis (13 points, 6-8 shooting) and Marquis Daniels (11 points, 5-7 shooting) also finished in double figures, while Nate Robinson and Rasheed Wallace did their part too (eight points each).
There’s not much time for rest, as the Celtics will be back on the court on Wednesday to face the Knicks.