BOSTON – No one missed Kevin Garnett.
There was no trash-talking, no flying elbows, a substantial drop-off in profanities and minimal chest-pounding.
The Boston Celtics just played basketball - and played about as well as they have all season.
Ray Allen shot the ball like Sweet Ray used to do back in the good old days, Rajon Rondo picked apart the Miami Heat defense and Glen Davis -- formerly "Big Baby" but now the "Ticket Stub" -- made everyone in Boston forget that KG was serving his suspension and watching from home.
Boston decimated Miami by 29 points Tuesday night to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
"It was an embarrassing loss," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the 106-77 setback.
The shocking part is that Garnett never took the floor and Paul Pierce was a non-factor for nearly the entire game and finished with just 13 points on eight shots.
The even crazier part is that this Celtics team, one of the most inept in the entire league on the glass, crushed the Heat on the boards, holding a 50-33 rebounding advantage.
"This is a game we're supposed to win with or without Kevin," Pierce said.
"They're just as good," Miami big man Udonis Haslem added of the Boston team sans Garnett.
Let's not get carried away.
There's no need to start the movement to sit Garnett in favor of Davis in Game 3 in Miami.
This Heat team just doesn't belong in the postseason.
Sure, they won 12 of their last 13 games prior to the playoffs and battled Boston for a while in the series opener.
But they haven't beaten anyone good in a while.
In fact, their best victory in that stretch came against a Milwaukee Bucks team that has the 14th-best record in the NBA. Only a pair of the dozen wins came against postseason teams. Two came against Philadelphia, two over New Jersey and one versus Minnesota - arguably the three worst teams in the entire league.
Let's face it: This is Dwyane Wade and a bunch of mediocrity.
Michael Beasley, the second-year forward who was chosen behind Derrick Rose with the second overall pick, has been an enigma and a disappointment thus far in his career. Jermaine O'Neal is virtually useless and closing in on forced retirement.
When Quentin Richardson is your No. 2 option, you're in trouble.
The only way this team wins is if Wade goes off - or Beasley wakes up.
"It's going to click one day," Wade said of Beasley. "I'm hoping it's Game 3. He has the ability to make us a tough team to play, but it's on Mike."
The Celtics haven't had it easy the last two seasons in the first round of the playoffs, going to seven games against Atlanta two years ago and needing seven games and seven overtimes to dispatch the Chicago Bulls last season.
But this one won't go to the limit.
In fact, it may end up in a sweep.
"All we've done is win two home games," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "They haven't had a chance to play at home yet."
True, but the Celtics have fared better on the road than they have on their home court this season.
However, the TD Banknorth Garden was friendly on Tuesday night.
Allen made 7-of-9 shots from beyond the arc, Davis finished with 23 points and eight boards while getting the nod over Rasheed Wallace to start the game and Rondo's line read 8 points, 12 assists and 7 boards.
There was a more than 16-minute stretch that begin early in the second quarter and lasted midway through the third in which the Celtics outscored Miami, 44-8.
Even Rivers admitted there may have been no more impressive stretch all year long.
Davis outworked the Miami Heat big men - in the paint and also in transition.
"I just knew that the Big Ticket (Garnett) was out, and that the 'Ticket Stub' had to fly today at the beginning," Davis said with a smile. "Today they needed the 'Ticket Stub', and the 'Ticket Stub' came."
Davis was far from an understudy to Garnett as his performance was as impressive as just about any Garnett has had all year long.
"It was a case of one man impacting the game simply with his effort," Spoelstra said. "I don't think they ran one play for him."
Rivers didn't need to.
The rout was on.
And KG was sitting at home watching.