Friday, December 30, 2011
Paul Pierce Makes His 2011-12 Debut & Magically The Celtics Are A Different Team
I can't sit here and pretend that beating the Detroit Pistons means anything since they're one of the worst teams in the NBA.
Still, tonight's home opener for the Celtics couldn't have gone much better as Boston (1-3) rolled 96-85 at TD Garden over the Pistons (0-3), for their first win after a miserable three-game road trip to start the season.
Celts captain Paul Pierce made his inaugural appearance of the 2011-12 season and it was an effective one as he put up 12 points, five assists and four rebounds in just 23 minutes of action.
Facing Detroit for its home opener wasn't a sexy matchup by any means; I don't think the NBA could have conjured a much worse one in that regard but in terms of teams that the Celts could beat on most nights, it's hard to top the Pistons who are going nowhere fast.
To illustrate how much of a pushover Lawrence Frank's (it was nice to see that pipsqueak again) squad is, Jermaine O'Neal had a team-high 19 points and seven rebounds for the C's. Ray Allen added 17 points and Brandon Bass had 17 points off the bench.
As a team, Boston shot a perfect 19 of 19 from the free throw line which offset quiet performances from Rajon Rondo (9 points, 5 assists) and Kevin Garnett (8 points).
Greg Monroe led Detroit with a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds. Tayshaun Prince and Jonas Jerebko were the other Pistons starters to score in double figures, both had 10 points. Austin Daye scored 11 points off the bench and rookie Brandon Knight put up 10 points.
Boston was in control from the start although they didn't really open it up until the second half. The Celts outscored the Pistons 24-22 in the first quarter and led 50-43 at halftime. A big third quarter (36-21) allowed Doc Rivers to not play the starters more than 29 minutes (which is big for such an old group). Detroit took the fourth (21-10) but who cares?
Boston shot much better than Detroit (52.2% to 43.0), made four more 3-pointers (7-3), had seven more assists (25-18), six more blocks (6-0) and six more points in the paint (11-5).
Up next for the C's, a home-and-home with the Washington Wizards on Sunday in DC and Monday in Boston. The Wizards (0-3) are still awful but they're young and athletic so I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they give the Celtics trouble in at least one of those games.