By Matt Noonan
Sunday’s matchup against the New York Knicks proved a variety of things about the Boston Celtics. And with that being said, here are some takeaways and leftovers from their first loss of the season.
* First, Boston’s a decent team. However, they aren’t exactly a great team. New York utilized a late rally to end the game, which certainly is a cause of concern for the Green and White, who feature a variety of veteran players. Can their ancient legs keep up with the young brass of the NBA for the remainder of the season? We’ll see!
* Second, Brandon Bass might indeed be a steal, but after one game that’s hard to determine. Bass ended three quarters with a double-double, and then finished the game with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Can he produce those numbers every night? It’s unlikely, but as long as he scores 10 points and pulls down five rebounds, he’ll certainly be a factor against various opponents.
* Third, the Celtics certainly missed Paul Pierce. Boston could have benefited from his presence, but scoring 104 points without their leader is quite impressive, eh? He missed a majority of training camp and both preseason affairs against the Toronto Raptors with a bone bruise in his right heel, but no source has confirmed if he’ll play Tuesday against the Miami Heat. However, if you’re Pierce, you’d certainly want to make sure your heel is fully healed before taking one step onto the parquet.
* Fourth, Rajon Rondo played defense, as well as recorded 31 points, 13 assists, and five steals. Sure, he’s no Chris Paul, but for the men sporting the Green and White on Sunday, he acted like a star. Yet, head coach Doc Rivers told reporters after the game concluded that he hopes his starting point guard will play more aggressively, so it’ll be interesting to see how Rondo responds to his coach’s wish.
* Finally, my last thought pertains toward Kevin Garnett’s inappropriate behavior after the buzzer sounded. I understand that he was frustrated after his missed shot, but attempting to strangle an opposing player or create some type of tussle is certainly unnecessary. Garnett is a leader, and if the league decides to fine or suspend him for his behavior, don’t expect Boston to perform well, especially against the New Orleans Hornets or Detroit Pistons.