In the past week, we’ve seen the Celtics play 4 games (I guess you have to count the win vs. Cleveland, the worst team in the league), with the past three coming on a 4-game West Coast Road trip. They did not look particularly good in winning one of the first two games on the trip, but Sunday they came through in a big way, beating the rival Lakers at L.A.’s Staples Center. Realistically, all any fan should have been looking for from this trip is to win 2 games and to beat L.A. Well, with one game left in the trip, mission accomplished. This week’s Player Power Rankings come w/ heavy emphasis on this road trip (Last week’s ranking in parenthesis):
1. Paul Pierce (Last week’s ranking: 1): Was the best player on the team Sunday vs. the Lakers. Scored 12 straight 3rd quarter points to give the C’s a lead they never relinquished. Ended w/ 32 points. Played solid “D” on Kobe as well.
2. Kevin Garnett (3): Only Celtic to bring energy all three games of current road trip. Near triple double vs. Portland, ejected vs. Phoenix (hey at least he showed some passion), and a BIG effort vs. Lakers w/ 18 points, 13 boards and 5 assists.
3. Ray Allen (4): Hit some absolute daggers vs. Lakers Sunday. Held team together for stretches playing w/ 2nd unit. Led team in scoring vs. Portland as well.
4. Rajon Rondo (2): Didn’t bring any energy and played very sloppy in first two games of road trip. Came back nicely vs. Lakers w/ 10 points and 16 assists. I know I’m being hard on him, but he’s the guy who needs to bring it every night on this older team.
5. Big Baby (5): After getting hurt Friday in Phoenix, had a real nice game vs. Lakers with some tough , tone-setting buckets underneath.
6. Kendrick Perkins (N/A): Great to have Perk back after missing first 42 games. He’s a bit rusty but the Celtics were +13 when he was in the game vs. Lakers (team high).
7. Nate Robinson (8): Nate had been playing poorly but had a BIG game vs. Lakers with 11 points off the bench. Anytime a Celtics bench player has makes a big contribution in a road game, it’s a real good thing.
8. Shaq (6): Tough week for Shaq, missing two games w/ a hip injury, and getting in foul trouble and scoring zero points in his annual LA-homecoming game.
9. Marquis Daniels (7): Meh. Yeah, that’s all I got on Marquis.
Doc Rivers made it real easy to decide who my top 9 were, and who the rest were. Basically, if Doc played you versus the Lakers, you made the Top 9. If not, then you didn’t.
10. Semih Erdin (10): Now that Perk’s back, he’s getting less minutes, but is still somewhat productive when he plays.
11. Von Wafer (12): Had a nice game vs. Cleveland, producing some scoring punch and energy off bench.
12. Luke Harangody (11): Also had a decent game vs. Cleveland. Hasn’t scored a point on this road trip.