When Rajon Rondo tore his ACL, the Boston Celtics lost a lot of their big-game firepower.
That doesn't mean they don't have guys who have been there before, though. Paul Pierce is still showing he is capable of winning a game on his own. Same goes for Kevin Garnett, after posting 27 points and 10 boards against the Toronto Raptors.
While on the current six-game streak, Pierce has come up big against both Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. He may not have out-dueled either of them entirely, but the scoreboard doesn't lie. He also hit the clinching three against the Los Angeles Clippers. Pierce can still hit big shots as consistently as anyone, and that is a scary thing in the postseason.
This isn't to say Garnett is as dominant as he once was. He is in the paint less and less, while his turnaround fadeaways are becoming more frequent.
Still, when he is on the court, Boston is one of the best defensive teams in the league. He was voted an All-Star starter this season for a reason. No individual in the league means more to his team defensively than Garnett.
Jason Terry is also starting to figure out his role in the post-Rondo world. It has freed him up to run with the first team in the second half.
This gives Boston's offense a bit more of a perimeter punch late in games. He has scored 12 or more points in six of the last seven contests and has shot 57 percent over that stretch.
These three veterans are healthy and understand better than anyone what has to happen without their star point guard on the floor.