First things first.
Be sure to rewatch for the supportive Paul Pierce standing fist pump. And maybe suppress the urge to whisper “too little, too late” at your computer screen while slowly shaking your head.
Both teams’ stars sat the entire game, or they would have if not for the Knicks’ decision to bring Amare Stoudemire’s knee 20 minutes closer to complete structural failure in a meaningless game. That leaves us with nothing to talk about but the bench players, many of which will probably not see the court for more than 15 more total minutes in a Celtics uniform. We’ll limit the discussion to the things about these players that defied expectations, some good and some bad.
- Avery Bradley revealed that he is pretty okay at basketball, even if he still can’t shoot one all that well. He got to the rim with great frequency and success against the stiff New York interior (stiff like dead, not like difficult to bend) and basically did more in one game than he did in the entire season up to that point. He also had two pretty sweet dunkotrons, one of which is above and the other of which is below (the jump).
Fun stuff. You can se Pierce stand up again, but the first pump is just out of frame. By the way, if “dribbling posture” is a thing, Bradley’s is easily the worst in the league.
It’s not a good use of anyone’s time to speculate as to how the 2010 draft could have gone differently for the Celtics. Yes, in retrospect the C’s should have grabbed a backup for Allen or Pierce instead of Rondo, given that Ainge was seeking out ways to dismantle his team to get a backup 2 or 3 several months later. But if the Celtics had gone for a Jordan Crawford or even a Landry Fields, they wouldn’t have gotten the chances they got with other teams. They would have sat, and we’d potentially be wishing the Celtics had signed that Bradley kid who’s doing so well in New Jersey or wherever.
- Nenad Krstic has undergone a total philosophy shift since coming to Boston, confining his shot attempts almost exclusively to the rimmed area (even though he’s a better jump shooter than Glen Davis, probably) and wolfing down a passable number of rebounds for his time on the floor. More than he did in OKC, anyway. He had six tonight, three on offense, where he always seems to outrebound the rest of the team. Someone on the coaching staff will eventually intervene to correct that, I’m sure.
- Sasha Pavlovic can shoot a little, but chose to wait until now to reveal this fact. Tonight’s game should at about one minute to his per-game playoff minutes, doubling his per-game playoff minutes.
- Glen Davis finally shot over 50 percent and achieved eight rebounds. Haven’t had enough Glen Davis yet? Check back for more in “Bad Surprises”!
- Troy Murphy is not the rebounding savior we were hoping for. He’s not really the anything we were hoping for. He grabbed four boards in 27 minutes, and converted a decent percentage of his six shots. He either needs more time than the Celtics are willing to give him to play himself into game shape, or he inexplicably fell off a cliff after last season.
- Jeff Green is not a very efficient scorer. Whoops! That is not a surprise. He’s never been a superlative jump shooter, and he’s about exactly league average at the rim for his career, which would be okay if he hadn’t been a power forward pretty much the whole time. He’s also a slightly-below-average three-point shooter, which is presumably why the Celtics have him taking about a quarter as many threes per game as he did in OKC, which would make sense if he weren’t actually better from there than he is shooting jumpers from anywhere else. If you give him 13 attempts, like he got tonight, it’s not that crazy to expect he’ll make about six, like he did tonight.
Remember when people were really seriously calling Jeff Green the best player in the Perkins deal? Why, if that was the case, was EVERYONE calling it the Perkins deal?
- Glen Davis is seemingly done taking shots at the rim for his career. Remember when Glen’s shot selection was the primary concern of all Celtics fans and we posted about it basically every other day? It seems very stupid that we were ever worried about that, given all the other things that would eventually need worrying about. Anyway, the debate is over, and Stretch Davis seems to be around for good. Who knows how to even feel about this, seeing how Glen seems to get blocked two-thirds of the time he goes to the rim anyway.
On that note, now is the time to cleanse your brain of the regular season. It’s playoff time, and it will be the mission of this blog to get you in playoff mode over the next few days. Remember: they call it the second season, but this is the more fun one!