- Green Street - http://greenstreet.weei.com -

Fast Break: Celtics team effort scratches Raptors

Without starting point guard Rajon Rondo [1] for the eighth consecutive game, the Celtics [2] shared the wealth anyway — assisting on 28 of their 37 field goals — to dominate the Raptors from start to finish, 100-64.

Captain Paul Pierce [3] led the way with just 17 points for the Celtics (11-10), who eclipsed .500 for the first time since Jan. 4 and improved to 4-2 on the second night of the deadly back-to-backs. Ray Allen [4] (12 points), Brandon Bass [5] (12 points), Avery Bradley [6] (11 points) and JaJuan Johnson [7] (11 garbage points on 5-5 FGs) all reached double figures as 10 different Celtics scored at least six points.


Start C’s up: Considering both teams were on the second night of a back-to-back, it wasn’t pretty basketball early, but the Celtics went on a 12-0 run midway through the first quarter — thanks to six straight Bass points sandwiched by four from Pierce– that gave the C’s an early 25-9 advantage they never relinquished. Even against the likes of the Raptors, the Celtics have had trouble getting off to good starts, so Doc Rivers [8] had to like what he saw against Toronto.

Moore Bradley: Without Rondo for an eighth straight game and Keyon Dooling [9] for his 11th game in 12 outings, the point guard duo of Bradley and E’Twaun Moore [10] (8 points) continued to hold court — this time both in the same game. Bradley’s getting a knack for getting free under the basket, and his fellow starters are rewarding him for easy buckets. And Moore is proving himself as simply a good NBA offensive player, especially evident on one particular shot clock-beating pull-up jump shot.

Downtown Kedrick Brown: The Celtics connected on 12-of-24 3-pointers, actually shooting almost as well from beyond the arc than they did overall (52%). The dozen treys tied a season high for the C’s. Pierce led the way, burying 4-of-6 from long distance, while Allen, Pietrus and Sasha Pavlovic [11] each added a pair.


Where’s the Quis? It’s becoming increasingly clear Marquis Daniels [12] has fallen to fourth on the small forward depth chart behind Pierce, Mickael Pietrus [13] and even Sasha Pavlovic. When Rivers looked to the bench in the second quarter, he turned to Pavlovic, who submitted another strong first-half outing (6 points).

That darn Cavs loss: Considering not much went wrong in the Celtics blowout of the Raptors, let’s return to that blown 12-point lead in the final five minutes on Sunday. If not for that loss to the Cavaliers [14], the Celtics would be on a seven-game winning streak, owners of a 12-9 record. Instead, they’ve climbed over .500 for just the second time all season. It could be worse, considering they almost blew a 22-point lead against those same Cavs on Tuesday. Currently, the C’s are tied with the Magic for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.