It wasn’t pretty or convincing, but the Celtics were able to outlast the pesky Pistons with a 105-100 win by outscoring Detroit 33-25 in the fourth quarter. When was the last time we could say the Celtics outscored and outplayed an opponent in the final quarter? The Celtics forced the Pistons into bad shots and stayed away from fouling while hitting their free throws and making big plays — especially from Nate Robinson.
We are beginning to see more from Robinson and this is why Danny Ainge was so determined to get him from the Knicks. He can score in bunches and is an above-average 3-point shooter when he is on. He finished with 14 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist in 15 minutes and sparked the offense. He didn’t over shoot, like he was guilty of in New York, he but he took confident shots that other teammates would have passed up.
Charlotte waits for the Celtics in Boston and it has already been there for a day, so it will be sort of like a road game for the Celtics in the early going because they are getting into Boston in the middle of the night. The Celtics need an inspired effort Wednesday or this win is all for naught.
Paul Pierce — He just wasn’t himself again with six shots in 29 minutes with three fouls and bad defense on Austin Daye (why didn’t he play more in the second half?). At least he got out of the game healthy and he should be ready for a big game Wednesday.
Kevin Garnett — We didn’t see that old school KG but he is still showing flashes of getting his legs back. Like Pierce, he didn’t take a lot of shots, but he played strong defense and grabbed nine rebounds with two steals. A solid night.
Rasheed Wallace — Wallace didn’t try to do too much in his second game back to Detroit and he hit two big 3-pointers and added six rebounds and two steals. Wallace just needs to be more consistent, the Celtics don’t expect greatness, just stability.
Ray Allen — Once again, Ray leads the team in scoring and his shoot looked fluid, something we couldn’t say a few weeks ago. He made things difficult for Richard Hamilton, who took just nine shots.
Rajon Rondo — It seemed Robinson replacing him at point guard gave Rondo more energy and he was effective with 11 assists, but he still needs to stop the silly turnovers. He made too many risky passes and it almost cost the Celtics.
Marquis Daniels — Two points, no rebounds and two fouls in 20 minutes. Not one of his best nights, but he made a difference defensively.
Glen Davis — In the first half, he was shooting at an alarming rate and in the second half he decided to use his size and score where he is comfortable with the ball. He finished with 12 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 18 minutes. But he still missed nine shots.
Shelden Williams — Welcome back Warlord. He played in three games (7 total minutes) since Jan. 14 and then Doc Rivers springs him in the first half and he delivers with six points and four rebounds in 16 minutes. He made a difference defensively and grabbed some key rebounds.
Tony Allen — Tried shutting down Ben Gordon and was effective, but a ticky-tac foul on Richard Hamilton that led to three free throws was not the smartest play.
Nate Robinson — He canned four 3-pointers and added 2 rebounds and 1 assist and gave Rondo some much-needed rest. He is fearless in going to the basket and gives the Celtics another athlete who is not afraid to make the big play.