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Full Recap: Questions stemming from C’s victory

 

Following the Celtics’ 107-103 victory over Golden State, I thought we’d recap the game by answering a few related questions. Let’s get started.

Why was this a close game, again?

The short answer is rebounding and bench. The Warriors outrebounded the Celtics by 11, and consequently attempted 11 more shots. And Monta Ellis isn’t exactly a guy you want to be giving a whole bunch of extra shots to. He continues to go relatively unnoticed, but Ellis is averaging 25 ppg and is flat-out one of the best scorers in the league.

As for the Celtics’ bench…it still seems a little weird watching the 2nd unit play together.  And that’s saying something when you consider all the injuries the Celtics have suffered this season. Doc Rivers still needs to figure out his rotation as we head into the final two months of the season, and right now it seems pretty unclear. Nenad Kristic is looking more and more like he is going to be a reliable center for this team, which certainly will have an impact on the rest of “big man” rotation. As for the guards, unless Delonte West proves he can stay healthy, the Celtics are a bit weak in this area.

What can we realistically expect from Jeff Green?

Tonight we saw best-case-scenario Jeff Green. He was extremely efficient (8-11 FG, 5-5 FT). He was energetic and communicated on defense. He created his own offense when he had to, but otherwise fit quite nicely into the system. Sure, he could have pulled down more than 1 rebound. But wherever Danny Ainge was sitting, I’m sure there was a smile on his face tonight.

With that being said, it would be unrealistic to expect this kind of performance from Green on a nightly basis (one reason being that the Celtics won’t have the Warriors guarding them in most games). While Green certainly is a talented offensive player, he has no automatic component to his game. There will be nights when his jump shot is off, and there will be nights when his height disadvantage will make it difficult for him to score inside. I’m prepared for both of those scenarios. But over the last 3 seasons, Green has steadily averaged 15 ppg and 6 rebounds, and I don’t see why he can’t replicate that type of production with the Celtics.

The thing that struck me most of about Green’s game tonight? His youth. Watching him run up and down the court. Finishing off highlight-reel alley-oops from Rajon Rondo. He brings a different element to the Celtics’ offense that I just realized they’ve been missing for a long time now. As efficient as the Big Three are, they can’t exactly jump out of the gym anymore. Green gives them another option when a play breaks down or the offense is stalling. And when he and Rondo truly get on the same page, I think we’re going to see even more of his ability shine through.

How effortlessly did Ray Allen and Paul Pierce each just score 27 points?

A lot has been written about Pierce’s incredible efficiency this season and Allen’s career-year from the 3-point line. But for some reason, I still find myself in awe of these guys. It seemed like neither guy barely broke a sweat tonight, but at the end of the game, there they were with 27 points apiece. Ray carried the Celtics in the first-half, scoring 20 points and making 8 of the 9 shots he took. In the 3rd quarter, Pierce simply took advantage of mismatches and got a bunch of easy buckets. Stephen Curry? Post you up. Vladimir Radmanovic? Blow right past you. Pierce made all 8 of his free-throws and added 7 rebounds.

Speaking of Curry, is it wrong that I officially think his jump-shot is prettier than Ray’s?

Ray gets “degree of difficulty” points because he jumps higher off the ground and releases the ball at its apex. Which technically is exactly what you’re supposed to do when shooting a basketball. But man, the way the ball comes out of Curry’s hands…I could watch that all day.

Where is Troy Murphy going to get his minutes from?

Murphy only played 12 minutes tonight, failed to score a point, and recorded 2 rebounds and 2 assists. For all the excitement that accompanied his buyout/contract signing with the Celtics, is this guy even going to be a factor once the playoffs start? It’s certainly still early, but at this point I would have to say no. Considering Shaquille O’Neal and Glen Davis were not in uniform tonight, it was still hard for Doc to find minutes for Murphy. He definitely is going to help this team in its effort to secure the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but unless there is an injury to one of the bigs, it seems to me he’s the odd man out.

What is Von Wafer’s status?

Wafer is supposed to miss a few days with a strained right calf. He injured it after landing awkwardly on right leg following a made jump-shot early in the 2nd quarter. Obviously, this news is disappointing for the Celtics, who are already without Delonte West for a little while longer. But even more so, it has to be frustrating for Wafer, who recently has asserted himself as a reliable offensive threat coming off the bench.

  • jpbl1976

    I think Ray's stroke is prettier by a wide margin — and I would say that even if Ray weren't a Celtic.

    • rav

      Agree. Mike it is/you are completely wrong. Sorry to have to be harsh.

  • Chris O

    Ray stroke is divine, clearly the sweetest I have ever seen and I am not saying that because he is a Celtic. Also I watched the game and Green got 2 boards but was only credited for one. He grabbed a Monta Ellis? miss that didn't even hit the rim during transition. Then later in the 4th I see him get a rebound and hear Mike Gorman say this is his 1st rebound of the game…can someone check the game tape and correct this lol

  • Chris O

    Also Murphy is and was destined to be the 5th big (after KG, Shaq, BBD, Krstic). The C's will go 5 bigs deep at times in the playoffs. He is expected to only b playing light minutes now regardless because he is clearly not in game shape. He hits a few of those shots and everyone is going Whoa Troy Murphy 6 pts (assuming hits 2 wide open threes), 2 rbs, 2 asts in 12 mins what a beast blah blah blah. Can we stop overreacting like the New England sports fans we are lol. Its like when the Redsox lose 3 straight out of 162, we freak when they are still 88-50. I mean c'mon

    • Matt

      Jermaine O'Neal is supposed to be back soon as well. I think that pushes Krstic out of the rotation.

      • Robert

        After the way Kristic has been playing? I doubt that. He's either going to be backing up Shaq or starting. Even if Nenad doesn't start, he'll still probably play 20+ minutes since Shaq generally maxes out at 25.

        Just about the only thing Jermaine has over Kristic is shot-blocking.

        • Matt

          That may be true at the present, but don't forget Jermaine has been playing injured all year. I expect him to be pretty solid coming off a clean knee this time. He has the potential to be great with us. I remember watching a game earlier this year against I think Orlando when Jermaine fumbled like 3 straight passes from Rondo that would be easy baskets in transition. There's no question a healthy Jermaine O'Neal can give you more than Krstic – on both ends of the floor.

          I think it all depends on how he recovers. Either way there's basically one rotation spot up for grabs between Krstic, Jermaine and Murphy come playoff time..

          • Robert

            I'll give you the defensive side of the ball. As I said, Jermaine is a better shot-blocker and Krstic has never been known for any aspect of his d.

            Offensively however, I'd still give the nod to Krstic. Jermaine has pretty much abandoned any back-to-the-basket moves at this point in his career, he's largely a face-up shooter. Krstic has a similar game, most of his shots are mid-range jumpers. And I think he's better at it then Jermaine. Slightly more range, and more accurate.

            It's really a moot point though, because we would need to actually see a healthy Jermaine, something that I think most of remain skeptical about.

          • Chris O

            Yes I would love to see it but I doubt we are getting a healthy Jermaine…=(

  • Mariya

    I disagree. Ray's jumpshot is a thousand times prettier, IMO.

    • Chris O

      Agreed Mariya, he literally has the sweetest shot I have ever seen.

  • right_for_the_moment

    Curry's shot is prettier, but Ray's is better imo

  • Tom W

    I can't decide whose jumper is prettier, all I know is if I could swap my jumper for either of theirs, I'd be the happiest dude in history.

  • Nate

    Monte Ellis is living proof of one of the major flaws in the NBA, that being, how much of an impact the media and your teams market plays into how successful you are as a player. Ellis numbers…. 24.9ppg, 5.4 apg, 3.4 rpg. These numbers didn't even get him to the allstar game. Derrik Rose's, a favorite MVP canidate, numbers are interesting to look at here. 24.6 ppg, 8.1 apg, 4.4 rpg. Now I know it's not all about the stats but I felt that this was an intriguing comparison.

    • Robert

      Monta has a label as a selfish gunner on a team of gunners who play no defense. So his numbers as seen as "in-efficient stat padding", whereas Rose's numbers are "winning basketball".

      What's funny is that Ellis' career FG% is .471 and Rose's is .470.

      • No Fool

        All the stats you've posted are meaningless. Rose's career TS% is lower, but this season they're about the same. (.535-.536). Also, Rose is almost twice as likely to assist someone, and more likely to rebound (by ast % and reb%) than Ellis. And the most salient fact is that Rose's adjusted plus minus this year is good, and Ellis's is AWFUL. (10.0, and -7.3 respectively)

        • Chris O

          Thank you No Fool, exactly what I was trying to say, plus Rose is light years ahead of Monta in D. Coach or no coach.

        • Nate

          Rose does play PG…. So his assists numbers should be higher. I'm not saying MOnte is better because he is not. I'm just pointing out the fact that a lot of these awards (MVP, All Star) are media pushed with an agenda in mind. The agenda being who will make the NBA, ESPN, Sponsers, Nike, Addidas, ect, more money.

      • Chris O

        You guys are also missing Rose has 3 more assists and an extra rebound a game (yea that matters). He also plays CONSIDERABLY better D. That being said Monta is a BEAST.

      • Nate

        Yeah, check these numbers to for this season .

        Rose FGM-A 8.9-20.2 for .442 FG%
        Ellis FGM-A 9.4-20.6 for .455 FG%

        As great as Rose is, MVP? I haven't bought into this push for him as MVP. The reason the bulls have been good this season is defense and rebounding. Of course Rose is an all star player that has contributed greatly to thier success but the teams consitency is on the defensive end. I attribute thier success to Coach Thibodeau.

        • Chris O

          I agree Thibs is a beast of a coach, especially defensively. But Rose gives EVERYONE fits on both sides of the ball. He is clearly not only one of the best offensive PGs but one of the best defensive as well (I would actually only put him behind Rondo for full time pointguards). He is being considered for MVP because of his nastiness and team success. Guys most of the best players and scorers don't shoot lights out. High FG% doesn't have to occur for a guy to be MVP. Kobe was MVP in 07-08 with a fg% of .459 and there were plenty of players a lot higher than that. A.I. one of the greatest pure scorers in league history was a .425 FG% for his CAREER. He also won an MVP with a much lower FG% than .442 that Rose has this year.

          • talesofJP

            Rose is amazing. I don't have any statistics, just the eye test. He's the MVP

        • No Fool

          If you watch the Bulls, you'll see that their offense is almost literally Derrick Rose with a side of Carlos Boozer. He's actually not great defensively (about average), but they wouldn't be able to score at all if it wasn't for him.

  • talesofJP

    Good win, starters played a bit too much, as is almost always the case with Doc. Especially Ray and Rondo. Obv, we are thin there right now, but there has to be a way to avoid playing Ray's sore knees for 39 minutes.

  • Mike

    Well the Celtics just signed Arroyo. Not sure what to think, I think Johnson should have remained with the team.

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