BOSTON Mickael Pietrus hasn't been himself at all in Boston. Most games, you'll find him around the 3-point line all the time.
Sure, he loves to shoot 3's. But that's not the reason why he's taken up residence behind the arc.
"My knee, it wasn't feeling real good," Pietrus told CSNNE.com. "So I couldn't do some of the things I'm used to doing. But now, I feel great, my knee feels great. You see the real MP right now."
And it is indeed a sight to behold, as Pietrus displays the all-around game that the Celtics have said from the time he arrived would be on display at some point.
Celtics fans got an eyeful on Friday, as Pietrus' strong play was among the reasons for Boston beating New Jersey, 107-94.
With the win, Boston (18-17) has now won three in a row after losing their previous five straight.
And Pietrus, filling in for Ray Allen (sick), was among the standouts propelling the C's above-.500.
He had 11 points and five rebounds, but even more impressive was his defense.
Along with limiting the scoring of whoever he had to guard, his ability to force turnovers when the C's went with their full court trapping press was impressive.
New Jersey turned the ball over 11 times in the first half for 14 points for Boston, many of which were created by Pietrus' defense.
And while he had a 3-pointer made in the first half, he was even more effective scoring off the dribble, or in one instance, faking the long-range shot, stepping in and then passing to a teammate as the Nets defenders collapsed on him.
"I'm just trying to do what I can to help us win," Pietrus said. "Now that I'm healthy, my knee's feeling great, I can do more."
Pietrus underwent surgery on his right knee last July. After being traded to Phoenix from Orlando, Pietrus was then traded to Toronto. However, the trade fell through due to Pietrus apparently failing the physical.
The Suns eventually bought out Pietrus out, which allowed him to become a free agent.
Once he cleared waivers, there was no need for the C's to put on a hard recruiting job to land him.
"Boston was where I wanted to be all along," Pietrus said.
When Pietrus arrived in Boston in December, he talked about doing what he could to help the Celtics win a championship.
Although that seems a bit far-fetched right now with the C's hovering around the .500 mark, Pietrus' focus hasn't changed.
"It's a long season, and we're getting better, getting healthy," he said. "I love my team; I love being a Celtic."