In a way, the NBA All-Star Game is unfair. It honors the players who excel in the first half of the season, when regular-season pressure is generally pretty low, and playoff spots are yet to be determined.
There should be some kind of award for those players who brought their games to another level in the second half of the season, right? That's where NBA.com steps in.
The site put together a list of the league's best players in the second half. No surprise, two Celtics -- Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo -- made the cut.
He's averaging roughly 22 points, six rebounds and four assists since the break and showing no signs of wearing down as the playoffs approach. The Celtics snatched the Atlantic Division title from the Sixers in a year in which many predicted they could finish third. Pierce's outside shooting has been a big help, given Ray Allen's frequent absences. If nothing else, Pierce has cemented his rank among the five greatest Celtics of all time.
The guy is an assist machine right now, racking up double digits since mid March, including 20 against the Hawks. His jumper remains about as pretty as a pimple, but when you dish the way Rondo has since the break, it rarely matters when his shot is off. His playmaking and ability to get easy shots for teammates is what drives the Celtics right now.
We understand the entire list can't be made up of Celtics, but why no love for Kevin Garnett? His move from power forward to center has arguably been the biggest spark in the C's torrid second-half run through the regular season.
Do you think the Big Ticket should be somewhere in this piece? Let us know what you think in the comment box below.