Considering how inefficiently the Celtics  played in the first quarter, they are fortunate to down by just a point as we hit the second half. It’s anyone ballgame, friends…
–-THIRD QUARTER WRAP: Call it the Paul Pierce  show. The Captain destroyed Peja Stojakovic, scoring 13 of his 23 points, while keeping Peja to just a deuce. The C’s are holding five, 69-64, but honestly I expected more from this game. These two teams played epics last year. Tonight’s game is tight but the style and pace have been less than pleasing. Not exactly Free Darko  tonight, in other words.
On to the fourth quarter with Jess.
— The two bright spots in the first half were Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett . Pierce has been the one starter who hasn’t played up to expectations to this point. Of course he practically won a pair of games by himself with ridiculous fourth quarters, and he has played very good defense. That’s the thing with this team, though, they can afford dry spells from their Fab Four (and yes it’s four) and still win convincingly.
— Rondo just got popped by Hilton Armstrong and Peja Stojakovic. Before the game we were talking to Rondo about his football playing days–he was a quarterback–and someone asked him if he had been hit harder in football or in basketball. Rondo said hoops. He was then asked if there was one specific time he could remember getting hit on the hardwood and he kind of laughed and said that he gets hit so much it’s hard to tell. Just thought that was kind of funny.
— Foul trouble is starting to mount up. KG, Rondo and Perkins all have three fouls.
— Pierce is killing Peja. 16-0.
— And of course Peja just scored. It’s 19-8 Celtics so far in the third, but the biggest number is zero, as in no turnovers. They had 11 in the first half, which even for them is a lot.
— So here’s my Rasual Butler story, and yes I have one. When La Salle hired Billy Hahn, a friend of mine went up to Rasual and said, “the new coach is going to make you play defense.” Butler looked at my friend cross-eyed and said, “Man, Rasual don’t play defense.” He was kidding, but it was such a good line that I felt like I had to share.
— Sean Marks is still in the NBA?
— Chris Paul  was playing about 10 feet off Rondo when he buried that jumper. That’s the only flaw in his game. Alex Speier texted me at halftime to say Bill Walton  called Rondo an All-Star on ESPN. Big Red then proceeded to give a five-minute digression on the genius of Jerry Garcia’s performance of Althea at the Cow Palace in 1987. (OK, I made that last part up).
— Posey being Posey. He’s got sharper elbows than Dikembe Mutombo.