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Lethargy In Motion: Notes From C’s-Nets

 

ESPN Box Score  Nets Are Scorching Nets Daily

EASY RIDERS

I completely support the meandering route the Celtics took to victory last night. Why bother putting in a full effort in a season where managed minutes mean more than margin of victory? Boston wisely phoned in the first half of the game and let a deeply wounded Nets team (sans Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries) hang around until the third quarter. Then, Paul Pierce and company exploded for a 29-12 frame that buried New Jersey for good before cruising home in extended garbage time in the fourth (Hello JaJuan Johnson!)

In what’s becoming a trend, Boston got dense production from its stars despite limited court time. Pierce put up 24 points in 29 minutes to go with 6 rebounds and 5 assists, Kevin Garnett cool jazzed his way to a 14-12 double-double in 26 minutes and Ray Allen took the night off with the sniffles. Oh, and Brandon Bass did his usual black hole thing to the tune of 15 points, 13 rebounds (4 offensive) in only 26 minutes of work.

All good, then. Win secured.

A few more errant thoughts after the break, along with our nightly highlight gallery.

***

  • Am I supposed to be confident about Jermaine O’Neal’s reliability? Because his offensive game terrifies me right now. You barely have to guard him to force a front-rimmed jumper. Are his legs already dead?
  • It’s entertaining watching Avery Bradley apply on-ball pressure because it seems to happen outside the context of the team defense. Especially when he goes full court on guys. He’s just doing it because he can and if he gets rebuffed, he’s still quick enough to recover. That’s great. He also looks a bit more confident in the sense that he’s no longer losing his dribble and throwing up airballs like he did last season. He actually knocked down a nice spot-up three late in the third quarter. However, Bradley still reminds me of those overmatched guys in pickup hoops who get the ball, dribble twice and then pass it right back, happy to have played any part in the offense. Bradley needs more confidence and more seasoning. Both will come if Doc Rivers continues to give him court time. In that sense, the lockout may be the best thing that could have happened to Bradley. Doc has almost no choice but to play him.
  • MarShon Brooks is going to play in this league for awhile. Between him and Norris Cole in Miami, Danny Ainge missed two young difference makers in the back of the first round of last year’s draft. These are not his only late first round misfires the last few years, as a couple of people have noted in the comments recently.
  • Brandon Bass is wonderful. He assaults the rim like it knocked up his sister. In an offense that often ends up too democratic for its own good, it’s useful to have a guy who thinks score first no matter who’s between him and the basket. That kind of bulldog mentality is going to be useful come the playoffs, especially because he comes with a low turnover rate and some offensive rebounding skills.

***

STAT’S INCREDIBLE

Marquis Daniels is shooting the ball terribly right now (32.5% from the field before his 0-7 last night). Let’s hope this is just him getting his feel back after missing so many games late last season.

***

HIGHLIGHT GALLERY

3. So unnecessary, but so Rondo.

2. More Rondo, who seems destined to dominate these highlights over the full season. When he’s taking the ball strong to the hoop in transition, he’s just deadly.

1. Here’s a Bradley special from last night, harassing the Nets into a turnover.

0. And here’s the other end of the play with Rondo’s tricky dribble. Not quite as pretty. KG overpasses here rather than just taking the ball in for a layup. Result? Zero points. New Jersey ball.

 ***

Tommy’s Complaint Corner

Like the sedate TD Garden crowd, Tommy was unusually mellow last night. So, with no real explosion from the CSNNE broadcast and no obvious fakery to be invented, we’ll let sleeping Tommys lie.

At least until Friday night.

<cue ominous music>

  • CG12

    A few notable Cs storylines developing this year, from a fan's perspective:

    The awesomeness of Brandon Bass. Bass for Baby could be the fleecing of the year. I can't think of anything Glen Davis does better than Bass, except for taking charges, I guess. Bass is a play-maker on the second team, which is huge. You need to have a difference maker or two on your second unit, or else you get 4 or 5 placeholders out there, with no one looking to do anything with the ball. Bass is also earning / reinforcing a reputation as a black hole. He is getting doubled when he puts it on the deck – it will be interesting to see if he can adjust for that and start making plays with his teammates.

    Avery Bradley – stiff or sparkplug? AB is clearly a far from finished product, but fan opinions on him vary surprisingly widely. I am feeling very positive about his contributions and did even before last night's game. I see him gaining confidence on the offensive end, and there isn't much more that needs to be said about his D. He is fast, strong, and seems to have a decent shot in there somewhere. It seems to me that he is actively trying to make plays on offense, rather than just being a relay station. Others see a guy with no confidence and little talent. There was a stretch, in Q3, I think, where Bradley looked really out of whack and maybe had a couple of TOs. I was worried that I could see him visibly losing confidence right there on TV. But Doc left him out there, he kept playing nasty D and looked to make his type of plays on O. I was delighted to see that he didn't just fold like a tent. I am increasingly optimistic that he could make real contributions this year. And don't forget that he is still really young – he is just 21, younger than both JJJ and Moore.

    • Mark

      It might go forgotten around here after how the last 2-3 months of his C's career played out but Baby was a very good post defender and good overall. I imagine that Bass will improve in time but his ceiling is not as high as Baby on the defensive end.

    • smalltownID

      Baby could be a black hole at times but he is definitely a better passer and defender. We have always known Baby's greatest assets were intangibles or uncommon recorded stats like charges, tipped balls kept alive in huge situations. Baby only had one season (last year) when he was not clutch the majority of the time. So keep that in mind. Sometimes guys cave in the big games. That will be the ultimate test of this trade. Will bass hit the open shots and come up with the loose balls in the last two minutes of the game?

  • NHBluesMan

    "He assaults the rim like it knocked up his sister."- too funny

  • W2.

    Honestly, I am pleased to see that Doc and Danny are feeding Avery minutes. He will struggle. But so what. I am glad he is on the court. He can't be worse than Marcus Banks!

    The otherside of the coin is Marshon Brooks looks confident and explosive (opposite of JJ from what we have seen so far) which is kind of a bummer as many Celts fans were really h

    There is a SVG quote that makes me think that Baby is in his doghouse already and that he may not have wanted him there at all.

    Perhaps BB can teach Wilcox to play with some more fire around the rim. I expected more from him.

    • Jamie

      The same doghouse that Bass was in with SVG. BB is losing minutes to Ryan Anderson that's bad

  • W2.

    Wow. Space out during post. Sorry admin. and fellow readers.

  • Chris from Danvers

    Good points all around. A few notes I made from the game….

    Noticed the comments by SVG, too, talking about Big Baby. Seems baby is not worrying "about the right things." Though I loved Baby, it is night and day with Brandon Bass. He is athletic, able to get out on the break, and dunks with authority. Great pick up.

    Noticed how good Marshon Brooks looks with a lot of time. Was hoping they could have kept him.

    Nice to see Wilcox coming back into the flow. Still a little slow, but like his rebounding presence.

    Nice to see KG starting to round more into form. I remember hearing that he likes the training camp and full set of preseason games to get his legs underneath him….now I see what he means.

  • phreesh

    What was the deal with Bass in Orlando? Why would they move him? Looks like a real steal for the Cs.

  • CG12

    Hey, CelticsHub, anyone heard anything about what is going on with Greg Dickerson? Seems like it must be something more or different than a run-of-the-mill illness. I think last night was the first night that they didn't give him a "get well soon, buddy" shout out, and I am wondering if that means Draper has the sideline gig for the foreseeable future. I never cared much for Dickerson as a reporter, but hope he's doing okay.

  • I_Love_Green

    Was wondering the same thing.

  • Morpheus

    Let's not kid ourselves here. Marshon is going to be a baller, but would he be getting minutes here? No, he'd be getting the same treatment JJJ is getting, the rookie treatment from Doc. Truth is, we can't say who the better player is between Shon and JJJ, because the latter of whom is nailed to the bench.

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