They had plenty in reserve
The Celtics' bench made a strong statement in last night's win over the Nets. The reserves included two players (Stephon Marbury and Mikki Moore) who were not with the team at the start of the season, plus one (Bill Walker) who has played more minutes for the Utah Flash than the Celtics, and another (Brian Scalabrine) who is recovering from an injury and would not have entered the contest "even if everybody fouled out," coach Doc Rivers said.
Of the three bench holdovers from last season, only Eddie House has performed consistently. Tony Allen has missed 34 games with injuries, and Gabe Pruitt is barely in consideration, notching his fifth DNP in six games.
House (15 points) and Marbury led the way during a 37-20 second quarter against the Nets. And Allen displayed flashes of form, his spectacular reverse dunk off an alley-oop a highlight of the third quarter.
"It was good to see him get up there for the alley-oop, showing some good athleticism, especially after the knee injury, hand injury, and whatever kind of injury he's had throughout the last couple years," captain Paul Pierce said of Allen. "I was definitely surprised. I haven't seen him jump in a while, so that looks like the T.A. of old."
"I've missed it a lot," Scalabrine said. "That's why I'm going out there. I'm going to do some rebounding for the fellas during layup lines."
Rivers joked, "I'm sick of his outfits, they're distracting, on the sidelines. So we told him, 'Put a uniform on because we have an extra spot.' "
"Any time you match up two good point guards in our league they get up for the matchup," said Celtics center Kendrick Perkins. "I could just tell Rondo's focus before the game, he was up for him. He takes these matchups pretty personal. With [Harris] making the All-Star Game, Rondo had a legitimate shot at making the All-Star Game and Devin was picked over him, there's always a chip on his shoulder."
Said Rondo, "I'm pretty comfortable, as comfortable as I've ever been, probably these last five or six games. Paul [Pierce] and [Glen Davis] and Perk were giving me great picks in transition. I tried to attack the rim, get the ball up to the basket whether I missed or made it, give our bigs a chance to rebound."