Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Boston

Michael PinaFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2013

Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Boston

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    The Boston Celtics had their regular starting lineup on the court for the first time this season tonight, and the familiarity resulted in a 94-75 win over the Indiana Pacers

    It was a game that marked a point of no return for the Celtics, and they played accordingly. With vintage dominant defense for four quarters, the Celtics held the Pacers to an incredibly low 31.8 percent shooting from the floor. 

    Rajon Rondo was active and aggressive with the ball. Jared Sullinger played like a 10-year veteran on both ends of the court.

    The Celtics thoroughly dominated Indiana in a particularly important basketball game. 

Point Guard: Rajon Rondo

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    Rajon Rondo

    Rondo went the entire first quarter without an assist for possibly the first time in his life. It wasn't entirely his fault. The entire team simply couldn't make shots, and Rondo was looking for his own shot.

    He had 10 points in the second quarter, taking turns with drives to the basket and pull up jumpers. Rondo even went down to the post late in the game. He finished with 18 points on 9-14 shooting. 

    Grade: A-

Shooting Guard: Avery Bradley

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    Avery Bradley

    In his second game back to action, Bradley's shot continued to look rusty. He missed his first five shots, including two three-pointers that were wide open from the corner. H eventually got into a miniature rhythm, taking 11 shots and scoring six points.

    In the second quarter he took the assignment of defending Indiana's D.J. Augustin and absolutely obliterated him. He had one steal and no turnovers. 

    Grade: B

Small Forward: Paul Pierce

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    Paul Pierce

    Pierce was the first player in the game to reach 10 points, and it only took six shots to get there. He showed a lift that wasn't there in the past week, punishing the likes of Gerald Green and Paul George in the post. 

    With Boston's defense humming, points weren't needed from Pierce. He finished with 13 points, six rebounds and five assists.  

    Grade: B-

Power Forward: Brandon Bass

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    Brandon Bass

    Bass looked uncomfortable and indecisive early on in his return to the starting lineup. He committed three especially bad turnovers in his first six minutes of action, and spent most of the first half in foul trouble on the bench. 

    It wasn't the best performance from Bass. And with Jared Sullinger playing so well off the bench, it may just be a matter of time before he loses his spot in the starting lineup. 

    Grade: D

Center: Kevin Garnett

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    Kevin Garnett

    Garnett came out and made his first few jumpers, staying out on the perimeter on offense and banging down low with Roy Hibbert beneath the rim. His defensive intensity was kicked up an extra level, running up and down the court with even more energy than normal. 

    He was ejected in the fourth quarter after inadvertently clubbing Tyler Hansbrough in the face while making a play on the ball. Garnett finished with 18 points, and shot 50 percent in 24 minutes of action. 

    Grade: A-

Sixth Man: Jason Terry

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    Jason Terry

    Terry missed his first three shots of the game. The first two came on wide open looks, and the third on an ugly reverse layup off a two-on-one. He scored just six points with six missed shots, but one of his makes was one of Boston's four made three-pointers. 

    Grade: C-

Bench

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    Bench

    Jared Sullinger's stock continued to soar tonight. In his best game as a professional, his presence on the offensive glass was undeniable, keeping possessions alive and on defense he played well beyond his years.

    He grabbed every defensive rebound that was in his area, and did a great job rotating on the back line whenever the likes of David West or Paul George would drive from the perimeter.

    Sullinger finished with seven points, 10 rebounds and a team-high six free-throw attempts in 30 minutes of action. He fouled out late in the fourth quarter.

    Courtney Lee was efficient with his shot throughout the game, going 6-of-8 from the floor and matching Pierce with 13 points. 

    In just under 20 minutes of playing time, Jeff Green was nowhere to be seen. 

    Grade: B+