After every game, we'll take stock of how each individual performance affects the player's overall value.
Ray Allen: Ray did NOT have it working last night. Doc won't do it this season, but it's definitely time to move Ray to the bench. He can still close games out, but he needs to do a majority of his work against 2nd team guys.
Kevin Garnett: He had a tough start to the game, but he finished brilliantly. He nailed a few 4th quarter shots to keep Milwaukee at bay, and he finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Just more brilliant work out of KG, who I wrote off at the start of the season. I've never been so happy to be so wrong.
Keyon Dooling: He hit shots. Four of them. ALL FOUR THAT HE TOOK!!! I know he was playing his former team, but I'm begging for this to be the beginning of Keyon being productive. All will be forgiven if he can be productive now.
Greg Stiemsma: Spectacular all around performance in front of his home friends and family. 6 points on 3-5 shooting shows he can chip in when the focus is on everyone else. 4 steals shows he's picking up the defensive rotations. 3 assists shows he's picking up the offense better too, and recognizing what the right play is. The 5 blocks? Amazing. And a couple were great recoveries to dismiss what seemed to be easy Bucks baskets. I'd like more than 4 rebounds in the 24 minutes… but the rest makes up for it.
First, the switching on the picks maneuver was brilliant. Doc and his staff are great at in-game adjustments and they're not too proud to deviate from their core beliefs. Switching on the picks is just another wrinkle, like the zone defense, that shows this staff has a grasp on this current team's abilities, and how it doesn't quite match the abilities of teams past. The switching won't always work, but it's the willingness to try these things that makes Doc and his staff worth the money.
Second, the Celtics had Pierce bringing the ball up again in the fourth, but quickly abandoned it when things started to fall apart. Once they did, the C's offense kicked back into gear, guys started making shots, and the game was over. It made me so happy.
I feel like this was perhaps the most solid win of the season. To me, that means the Celtics, for the most part, executed a consistent strategy throughout the game… making adjustments as needed. It wasn't necessarily a game of runs, which the Celtics are not just prone to… it's almost become their signature. The wild ups-and-downs weren't really there. Of course, there were small runs… but this was perhaps the most consistent, top-to-bottom performance this team has put forth.