The new rebuilt bench played great.
The Celtics defense was good enough to hold the Cavs to 89 points.
Kevin Garnett looked good.
The Celtics head into tonight’s home opener on a high note after focusing only on basketball for 48 minutes last night in Cleveland and leaving with a very satisfying win.
That the Celtics were able to put off-court distractions like the Rondo contract posturing (by both sides), and Glen Davis’ altercation behind them is a sign of what makes this team special. They are as tough minded as any team in the league. Maybe more.
Their focus under duress was forged in the crucible of last season’s grueling playoffs, while undermanned, and serving up no excuses, nor accepting any. You have to love this team.
Now, they opened in very hostile enemy territory, absorbed an initial punishing assault, and then stormed the beaches, raised serious basketball hell, absorbed another run by the Cavs, and walked out with a stolen and well deserved victory.
They have a ‘kick butt and ask questions later’ attitude that you have to appreciate. That attitude and their combined talent will work well in most circumstances. They have a goal. It was summed up in their absolute disdain for watching the Lakers get their championship rings shortly after the Celtics rose up on the Cavaliers. They believe they should have been the team getting those rings. One Kevin Garnett injury put an end to that possibility.
They are 1-0 and heading towards a special season and they will tell you so.
Tonight they open at home against the resurrected Charlotte Bobcats under coaching legend Larry Brown.
Under Brown, the Bobcats added some bite, playing the Celtics tough every time last season, including two overtime games (one was double OT) and Charlotte won one of those games. This year should be no different.
The Bobcats are dealing with their own injury issues. New comer Raja Bell has a torn ligament in his wrist that he has decided not to have surgery on for now. He won’t play tonight.
Center Tyson Chandler is recovering from ankle surgery and won’t play a full game tonight. He is healthy now, but needs to get game conditioning before he is ready for full time minutes.
With Bell out, Coach Brown will start Stephen Graham with Raymond Felton, Gerald Wallace, Boris Diaw, and Tyson Chandler
The Celtics are ready for game two in their quest for title two in their era, and banner 18 in Celtic history. I’ll be there to give you a report later.
Bonus! All fans at the game will get a free Celtic t-shirt.
Also…the Celtics will unveil the new Lucky character as their mascot. Maybe that was part of the problem last season. No lucky.
Paul Pierce will welcome the fans back before tip off with a crowd address.