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Celtics-Pacers Game Blog: First Quarter

We are live from the Garden for tonight’s game between the Celtics [1] and Pacers. This is a revenge-special for the C’s who were blown out in Indiana earlier this year, easily their worst loss of the season (there’s not much competition, but still).

The C’s are without Tony Allen [2], who might have helped on emerging star Danny Granger [3], but look for Paul Pierce [4] to take it up a notch tonight. The Pacers are coming off a win over the Lakers last night and looking to make it two in a row against the NBA’s elite.

As a wise man once asked, “Are you ready?”

— FIRST QUARTER WRAP: Strange quarter for the Celtics. It started with Rondo getting hit in the head and ended with them putting up 23 shots and scoring 28 points. Of course, the Pacers also got up 23 shots and scored 27, so this is not your typical Celtics game.

Ray Allen [5] is carrying the Celtics with 13 points, while Danny Granger and Troy Murphy [6] have combined for 16 for Indy. Also of note, the Celtics are cleaning up on the boards with a 14-9 rebounding edge.

Over to you Jess…

— Rondo just got an elbow in the face. That would be the last thing the Celtics need right now. Eddie House [7] is in the game.

— Whenever you see Rasho Nesterovic don’t you just want to say his name in your best Stephen A. Smith voice?

–Hope Gabe Pruitt [8] is ready to play. House just picked up two quick fouls. Rondo returns, but the Celtics are likely to play two point guards at times tonight.

— KG is working on Nesterovic. When I was writing that KG profile for Boston mag I talked to the great Britt Robson from the Minnesota paper, The Rake. Robson sort of casually mentioned that Rasho was probably the best center KG played with in Minnesota. It wasn’t necessarily a compliment.

— Doesn’t look like Troy Murphy still writes REDRUM on his sneakers anymore, like he did at Notre Dame [9]. Probably a wise move.

— Lot of empty seats in the building tonight, by the way. Could be the Pacers. Could be because it’s a Wednesday night. Could be a side effect of the bad economy, but it would be unwise to make that kind of drastic leap at this point. Bears watching, and not just here in Boston, either.

— Great weakside rebound by Rondo. One of the things that I would love to have quantified, and something that Celtics stats guru Mike Zarren hinted at [10] in a mini-New York Times profile is how important Rondo’s ability to rebound really is.

— Great quarter by Ray Allen. As great as Pierce is, as great as Garnett is, as great as Rondo is going to be, there is no one more fun to watch than Allen when he has his shot going.