A win over the Wizards is nothing to write home about, but the Celtics did it in convincing fashion (for the most part). The real test will come Monday night, when they host the same Wizards at the TD Garden in the back-end of a home-and-home. How Boston reacts to their second back-to-back of the season will be key for the aging squad.
But first, here are the Ups and Downs from Sunday night’s W.
Rondo’s Triple Double: Rondo is off to a great start this season and Sunday night was no different. He notched the NBA’s first triple-double of the season with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists, dominating the Wizards from start to finish. He shot 7-for-10 from the field, and is hitting 57-percent of his shots for the season. Doc Rivers commended Rondo after the game for “calling a great game.”
Garnett Awakens: KG had the break-out game he has needed this season with 24 points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes. Garnett, who said his defense is ahead off his offense, scored 10 of his points in the fourth quarter and in only six minutes. He also got to the line four times in the final frame. In all KG hit the charity stripe six times, the same total he had over the first four games. How he follows this up Monday night will be key, as the 35-year-old adapts to the shortened NBA schedule.
Strong D Early On: The Celtics allowed just 34 points in the first half, holding the Wizards to just 28-percent shooting. Early struggles had done the Celtics in over the first three games, so it’s good to see them put together a strong first half.
Balanced Bench: The Celtics got 22 points from their second unit, with Brandon Bass leading the way with eight points. Marquis Daniels only scored two points but chipped in with three assists and three steals. Greg Stiemsma had three more blocks in 12 minutes, but was -11 during his time on the court.
Foot Off The Gas: The Celtics saw their 17-point halftime lead dwindle in the second half, with Washington getting as close as seven. Because of this, Doc Rivers couldn’t rest his starters in the front end of a back-to-back which could come in to play Monday night. The bench did score 22 points, with the starters the ones getting sloppy. Going for “style points” cost them some rest, so it’s no one’s fault but their own if they look a little tired Monday night.