Hey, there’s a game tonight? After all the pregame hullaboo it was easy to forget that the Celtics  have a real live actual game at the Garden. I don’t want to say it’s been a while, but the last time the C’s played at the Garden, Kevin Garnett  was healthy, Stephon Marbury  was still kind of a Knick (although not really) and the NBA wasn’t pulling out $175 million loans.
Against all that, it will be kind of a nice reprieve to just focus on hoops, which we shall do for the next two hours, 20 minutes or so.
FIRST QUARTER WRAP: At the end of the quarter, Marbury was inserted into the game and he received a rousing standing ovation. So far everything for the Celtics is going according to script. They have a 26-18 lead, Indy is shooting 32 percent and Pierce looks strong.
First Quarter Observations
— So, in case you missed any of it. Stephon Marbury is going to play tonight . (see above) It will be interesting to say the least. Doc Rivers  didn’t seem the slightest bit hesitant to run him out there, and presumably he is in great shape. There’s the old adage about the different between shape and basketball shape (it’s a lot. Trust me), but Marbury is probably about as well-prepared as anyone who hasn’t played in over a year could be.
— Playing the role of Reggie Miller  tonight: Ray Allen . I think he just ran off five different screens to get that 3-pointer. Not that anyone on the Pacers remembers when they used to do that. Whoops forgot about Jeff Foster. OK, there’s one who does.
— OK, I’ll say it. It’s hard to take the Pacers seriously in those electric yellow unis. UC Santa Cruz called , they want their color-scheme back.
— So far Pierce looks fairly solid for having only nine fingers. The Celtics absolutely, positively can not afford to have him miss any time. It’s been said before but it’s worth repeating: Pierce was banged up during the playoffs last year. Forget the knee injury against the Lakers, he was getting mauled on a nightly basis. If there’s anyone on this team that plays well (better?) with pain, it’s Pierce.
— In case any of you were wondering, Marbury is sitting closest to the coaching staff on the bench and during the timeout he was listening intently to whatever Doc was saying in the huddle. And no, that doesn’t really mean anything, but it’s a start.