In what was basically a practice for the C's tonight, Boston beats the Bucks 87-74 in the regular season finale at TD Garden.
The night started off with a brief scare for Celtics fans, as a grimacing Paul Pierce, followed by team doctor Brian McKeon, headed to the locker room early in the 1st quarter. It was later learned that Pierce had sprained his left toe, and would "probably not return." But alas The Truth checked back in to the game with 4:27 left in the 2nd quarter. Knowing Paul, he probably begged Doc to get back out there. Then to the delight and surprise of Celtics fans, he made a driving layup (off a sweet Rondo dish) and a few moments later a deep three. We all breathed some relief. Paul finished with 12 points, before Doc wisely benched him and KG, who struggled a bit, for the rest of the game after the half.
But the real question on most Celtics fans' minds was how would Rondo do after missing the last 3 games with a back injury? He did just fine. Rondo was his old self, and started the game off with 4 assists in the first 6 minutes. It was clear he was in "dish mode," as #9 had 0 pts to go with his 15 assists, 2 rebounds and 4 steals. He did not seem limited at all and moved well.
Avery Bradley had another solid game, putting in 14 points and helping hold Brandon Jennings to a miserable 5 of 14 FGs. I was also very satisfied with the bench, and new additions; Sean Williams & Ryan Hollins combined for 12 rebounds & 5 blocks, and E'Twaun chipped-in a nice 8 pts, 4 assists & 3 boards. He is a guy that Doc continually says will help the C's "win a game." Mickael Pietrus saw his first action in over a week and was visably rusty, but still contributed with 9 pts in 19 mins.
The Celtics will open-up the playoffs in Atlanta this Sunday, as the Hawks blew-out the Mavericks. The NBA will announce the specific dates/times of all the playoff series later tonight.
Well..after an ugly lockout, all the injuries, trade rumors and alot of early season doubt, it's once again playoff time for the Boston Celtics. I for one cannot wait! Bring it.
UPDATE: Here's the playoff schedule: