The final scoreboard showed only a 12-point win for the Boston Celtics. It was not at all indicative of how one-sided this game was.
The Knicks got going late, but the Celtics were completely dominant in this one. For the third straight home game, Boston played the role of Will Hunting’s father, beating an opponent as if with a wrench, jumping to a 19-point halftime lead before finishing with a 109-97 win.
Paul Pierce was vintage, scoring 29 points in only 24 minutes. He scored with the ease of a knife slicing through cream cheese, shooting 11-17 from the floor in his second straight encouraging performance. Pierce was joined in double figures by Kevin Garnett, who finished with 24 points on 9-11 shooting, and Marquis Daniels, who scored 10 points while showing his value off the the bench. Rajon Rondo finished with 12 assists, and Shelden Williams scored 8 points in 8 productive minutes off the bench.
Still, I don’t know what it all means. It’s nice to see the Celtics pound undeserving opponents, but it’s tough to judge the meaning of the three blowout wins when they sandwiched a performance in Cleveland that not even the Knicks would have been proud of.
The next nine games will be very telling for the Celtics, as they play eight above-.500 opponents, including the surging Mavericks, Spurs, Jazz, Nuggets, and Thunder. As much as I’d like to believe tonight’s performance is indicative of a turnaround, I won’t be able to trust it until the Celtics prove themselves against competition that will actually show a little resistance.
Until then, blowout wins against mediocre teams will have to suffice.