Just when you thought it was safe to contemplate the meaning of a Rajon Rondo-less loss to a good Brooklyn Nets team, along come the Toronto Raptors to make you forget what the hell it was you were worried about in the first place.
Oh, the Raptors pretended to be competitive at several junctures during this one, but the Celtics started the game hot and ended somewhere between En Fuego and En El Diablo's Hiney.
Because this game wound up every bit the 18-point blowout that the score indicates, I'm gonna keep this one (relatively) short -- like 9 of Andrea Bargnani's 14 shot attempts.
Cutting straight to the highlights, and there were many, the Celtics benefitted from the continuation of several trends including:
* The Rondo Dimedrop Express chugged its way to 33 straight games racking up double-digit assists and closing to 5 the magic number needed to pass John Stockton and move into second place behind Magic Johnson for most consecutive games with 10 or more assists. Oh, and incidentally...he managed only 20 assists in his return from a one-game absence due to a twisted ankle.
* "Rondo to Wilcox" is alive and well.
* The Truth posterized yet another deserving rook with a sweet driving slam over the overly-aggressive youngster, Jonas Valanciunas.
* Jason Terry's comfort level grows with every game. On 7-10 shooting (4-7 from Threeland), Terry took top team scoring honors with 20 points.
* Speaking of growing comfort levels and confidence, how about that Jared Sullinger kid? Sully had his best game as a Celtic (though, admittedly, it wouldn't have taken much to achieve that distinction over his previous 9 games) showing powerful rebounding chops (11 boards) to go along with his college scorer's pedigree (12 points).
* Kevin Garnett and Jeff Green were models of efficiency, with KG scoring 15 points on 6-7 shooting and 5 rebounds in 17 minutes and Green checking in with 9 points on 4-6 shooting with 2 rebounds and 2 assists.
Good thing the Green got some extra rest in this game, because they're traveling to Detroit to complete the second half of a back-to-back against a hungry Detroit Pistons team looking to find a patsy to help them climb out of the embarrassing 1-9 hole they've fallen into in this young NBA season.