As part of Marc Stein's Weekend Dime, a Western Conference scout offered his take on the Celtics after the first quarter of the season:
"Have the Knicks and Nets passed them up? I'll buy that. But I don't think they're going to fade away just yet. They were on a track (last season) like they were fading, but they've added ... I don't want to say younger legs but some quicker legs.
"People say there's no fear factor any more with the Celtics, but I'm still a huge (Kevin) Garnett fan. Say what you want about him slowing down and all the huffin' and puffin' he does, but he covers up so many mistakes. All that little stuff he does. If he can stay healthy, they'll be heard from (in the playoffs).
"The little passes to Rondo, the little drop-offs, illegal screens he sets that don't get called for. And then defensively he covers up so many mistakes with his length, his ability to stop guards on pick-and-rolls, zoning up in the middle of the paint. It doesn't surprise me that they drop off (defensively) so much when KG's not out on the floor, because Jeff Green isn't doing those things. Nobody (else) is.
"I don't know if Paul Pierce can do it every night anymore, either, but when I see him I still think every shot is going in. All his misses feel like in-and-outs to me."
Hop HERE to read the full Weekend Dime.
Your turn to play scout: Agree with that assessment? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts on Boston's early season play.