Led by Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett, the Boston Celtics (15-17) dominate the Indiana Pacers (19-14) in startling fashion on Friday night, 94-75.
Here were a couple keys to the victory:
Rajon Rondo sprints around the Pacers:
When Rajon Rondo steps onto the court night in and night out many Celtics fans don’t know which point guard will show up: the laid back player or aggressive general.
On Friday, it was the relentless Rondo. The guard who wasn’t going to be denied around the basket with his skillful quickness off the dribble and behind the back actions.
Indiana showed a ton of vulnerability against Rondo and he made them pay immensely. It allowed Boston to start getting aggressive emerging into the front court–taking effective shots early in the shot clock.
The 26-year-old posted a heavy 18 points and seven assists contribution in his 30 minutes of play. His ball distribution was key to the victory in placing the players around him in the right destinations to take and make shots.
Avery Bradley is just what Boston needed to bring Rondo’s defensive intensity out from the darkness. As it showed, Rondo can now take a gamble here and there off the ball due to the presence Bradley on-ball defending.
“Bradley changes our whole defense,” Jared Sullinger stated after the game.
In the end, a grin was on the Celtics point guard, but the main factor is can he keep his performances consistent. The answer Friday was yes.
Bench contribution outstanding:
The Boston Celtics supporting cast has started revamping their production, and last night’s showdown was a statement.
Expectations have been relatively too high for Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, and Jared Sullinger, but against the Pacers they lived up to them.
Courtney Lee coming off the bench for Rajon Rondo is the greatest thing that could happen for the four-year guard. It is evident throughout his 13 point and five rebound attainment. There is not as much pressure on him off the bench rather than starting.
Over the course of the past 10 games, Lee has averaged 9.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.0 assist per game.
Houston, the Jet has took off.
Jason Terry’s impact was little last night, but all the matters is he poured in six points and two rebounds. His presence in the corner was relevant as the Pacers were creeping towards him more than Rajon Rondo. In result, allowed his guard to drive to the basket with ease.
Kevin Garnett’s character has impacted rookie power forward Jared Sullinger vastly. The former Ohio State Buckeye presented an eager and aggressive mindset to grab offensive rebounds and a defensive toughness matching up with a strong player in Tyler Hansbrough.
Sullinger did foul out, but produced seven points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes.
Tonight, Doc Rivers’ team will face the red hot Atlanta Hawks at 8 p.m. With game in Atlanta, it’s tough to say which Celtics team will come to play. Boston facing a back-to-back night will be tired from last night’s contest, but consistency will important if the Celtics want resume their successful play.