If you told me at the beginning of the season that Avery Bradley and Sasha Pavlovic would start a mid-April tilt against the Orlando Magic, I would have puked on my shirt, walked into my closet to retrieve a new one, cried for 20 minutes, eaten two gallons of chocolate ice cream, and then braced myself for all sorts of ugly. But this is not the beginning of the season, so when Bradley erupted for 17 first-half points I was not surprised, and when Pavlovic actually played like Pavlovic, which is to say with hesitancy and a lack of polish, I was.
We’ve gotten to the second paragraph of this recap without mentioning Paul Pierce, and for that I extend my apologies to The Truth. It seems that whenever Rajon Rondo misses time, Pierce morphs into a 6-foot-7 version of Boston’s favorite No. 9, and tonight was no different. Pierce established a new career high with 14 assists, spent much of his night running the pick-and-roll flawlessly, and generally played the roll of point forward which the Celtics needed from him. One of Pierce’s favorite saying is “give the game what it needs.” One night the Celtics required 43 points (actually, more) because they can’t stop anybody, so Pierce did that. The next night, also known as “tonight,” the Celtics required dimes because of Rondo’s absence; Pierce, as Pierce tends to do, obliged. He also drilled every big shot down the stretch, which was a plus.
Glen Davis started the night with a barrage of made dunks and layups, prompting me to fondly remember the days when drool came pouring out of his mouth. When Von Wafer entered the game a few minutes later and re-introduced himself to the TD Garden crowd with an and-one, I almost expected Stephon Marbury, Nate Robinson and Mikki Moore to run onto the court and score 10 points apiece. Sadly, no such occurrence came true.
Orlando made a run to cut the lead to one point during the fourth quarter, and Davis dunked with 30 seconds left to cut the C’s lead to two again. That was when ‘Da Truth went back to his normal strength, shot-making.
P.S. — There will be no eating in Greg Stiemsma’s front yard, Earl Clark.
P.P.S. — E’Twaun Moore doesn’t always score or get minutes, but he carries himself like someone who will be good at some point down the road. You can trust me, too: I’m the same guy completely wrote off Bradley last season, even though he was just 20 years old.