Rajon Rondo had a way of sneaking up on the 76ers. 

At first, it seemed like the Celtics' 96-86 win over Philadelphia Friday night would be a shooters’ match between Ray Allen and Elton Brand. The veterans jumped out to hot starts -- Brand scored 12 points in the first quarter and Allen was right behind with 11. 



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MIchael Finley's impact on the Celtics will be more than his on-court production. (AP)Before P.J. Brown became the modern standard by which all Celtics veteran free agent acquisitions are judged, there was some question as to whether the veteran power forward still had game.



Paul Pierce was right about two things:

1. It didn’t matter if the Celtics won big just as long as they won at home.
 
2. If they held their opponent to less than 40 percent shooting and 100 points, they would come out on top.

On Wednesday night, they did both.



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There is a certain rhythm to the Celtics pregame routine that is rarely ever interrupted. For the 40 or so minutes before the game when the locker room is open to the press certain mores are understood and respected.



Nate Robinson made a big contribution to the Celtics' win in Detroit. (AP)The Celtics don’t need to care about style points right now, which is good because there weren’t many to be had Tuesday night in Detroit.



Kevin Garnett and the Celtics have grimaced a lot of late. (AP)Time was short Monday afternoon after the Celtics practice, which was just as well because the answers to the problems that have plagued the team for the last two months were as up in the air as the impending plane ride to Detroit.



Blowing the lead to the championship-contending Cavaliers was bad.

Blowing the lead a team that came into the Garden with five wins was worse.

“I’ve got nothing to say,” Kevin Garnett proclaimed after the game. “I feel disgusted.”



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Rajon Rondo was a focus of the Cavaliers defense Thursday night. (AP)Here were the Celtics cruising right along with a nice little lead and Rajon Rondo making like a cross between Earl Monroe and Clyde Frazier.



Nate Robinson saw limited action Tuesday night against his former team as he begins to understand his role with the Celtics. (AP)“Just come in and just be Nate.”

Those were the words of advice Nate Robinson remembers hearing from Doc Rivers when he was traded to the Celtics last week.



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Ray Allen, here making a pass over Sergio Rodriguez, made the defensive play of the night in the game's final minute to secure a win over the Knicks. (AP)There was a surreal quality to the Celtics' 110-106 win (click here for recap) over the Knicks Tuesday night at TD Garden.