A glance at the plus/minus stat tells you all you need to know: All seven Boston bench players finished in the positive, including a plus-14 for House that was second highest on the team to Rajon Rondo's plus-20.
"In the first half, I thought [the bench] was the group that actually stretched the lead for us and got us going," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "I thought, in the first quarter, we just traded baskets. Both teams were scoring and neither team was playing a lot of defense. Once we just started defending in the second quarter, we stretched the lead. Rasheed was great. All of them -- [Brian Scalabrine] and Shelden [Williams], that's what we need from them every night."
The Celtics' second unit often rescued the team early in the year. In fact, Boston's bench outscored opponents in 11 of the team's first 13 games of the 2009-10 campaign. Since then -- with Marquis Daniels battling a thumb injury and now sidelined for at least two months after surgery to repair a torn ligament -- the unit had been outscored in seven of the Celtics' previous nine games.
On Saturday, Boston finished with a 44-27 advantage over the Bulls in bench points.
The bench domination even allowed the Celtics to experiment in the first half, where Rivers utilized an all-reserve combination of House, Tony Allen, Williams, Scalabrine, and Wallace early in the second frame. There's no pure ball-handler in that group, however, (this is where they miss Daniels most) and after a few bad passes, Ray Allen returned to run the offense.
Boston may need to address the lack of a true backup point guard before the postseason (you sure you're truly retired, Tyronn Lue?) but if its bench continues to produce like it did Saturday, the Celtics are going to be tough to beat.