There were many keys to the Celtics' come-from-behind victory Thursday night, but there's one that sticks out like the shine on Sam Cassell's forehead.
When Boston needed a spark from its bench, Eddie House was the man for the job.
The Celtics' backup guard scored 11 points and grabbed four rebounds in 24 minutes -- modest numbers, to be sure. But he brought something to the table that has been absent with Cassell in the same role. With the energetic House on the floor, the Celtics had a +20 point differential, the largest for any player on either team.
House had only a DNP to show for each of the first two games in Boston; Cassell was mediocre in limited action (though it seemed like he shot every time he touched the ball), but the Celtics didn't need much from him. But Rivers gave House a decent look in Game 3 and further integrated him into the game plan in Game 4.
If you're wondering what took Rivers so long, you're not alone.
Cassell has had a great career that includes two NBA titles, but the man is pushing 39 and clearly on his way out of the league. House is a 30-year old role player and hasn't won a championship, but you can tell he's starting to taste it. He's hungrier.
More than likely, this series has at least two games left. When the backup minutes are there, House should get them.