More important, he was aggressive at both ends, including both stripping Giannis Antetokounmpo in the half court and, later in the game, dunking over Milwaukee's superstar forward.
The Celtics had a team meeting in the immediate aftermath of their ugly loss at home to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, and they felt they needed a follow-up to continue to iron out their issues. The Celtics have given up 111 rebounds the past two games while grabbing only 73.
Thirty-one games in to a season that began with so much promise, the Celtics find themselves looking for answers in a team meeting.
The team, though, clearly thought otherwise and spent more than a half hour talking about exactly why before allowing the media into the room to ask them about it. "(We're) trying to do something special, trying to make sure we're all clicking on the same cylinders".
The Celtics gathered in their locker room after a third straight defeat, keeping the doors closed for more than a half-hour, and opened the discussion about what ails them.
The team made the announcement a day after Baynes left the Celtics game against the Phoenix Suns in the first quarter after deflecting a pass.
"We just tried to play a bit harder, a bit sharper", said Antetokounmpo, who also had eight rebounds and five assists.
The Greek Freak has been putting up a strong case for MVP ever since the season started, and he seems to amp up the intensity against teams that won't go down without a fight.
"It's just trusting one another, so that's an everyday thing, " said Irving. So that's an everyday thing.
"I think everyone can see that we've obviously had some inconsistencies regarding our play", Irving said. It's an everyday job.
Milwaukee Bucks: Time to seize the opportunity in front of them (read here): Dan Larsen looked ahead to what the upcoming slate looks like for the Bucks and why they should beat up on inferior opposition to prove their worth among the league's elite, given their resounding success so far this year. "It's not for everybody to know what we talked about". I've been saying it since the beginning of the season.
That win streak never saw a foe as formidable as the Bucks, though.