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An Inevitable Loss: Pacers 97 Celtics 83

 
Boston Celtics 83 Final
Recap | Box Score
97 Indiana Pacers
Kevin Garnett, PF 29 MIN | 10-19 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 21 PTS | -8

An aggressive night offensively from KG, who shot 53% from the field and played until he was completely exhausted. Let’s remember that instead of the fact he managed only 5 rebounds. That’ll be standard issue as long as this team runs out the same non-big men at center. Overall, Boston got more from him than I would have expected after last night’s long minutes and tonight’s short turnaround.

Paul Pierce, SF 36 MIN | 5-12 FG | 9-10 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 21 PTS | -6

He played with force (10 free throw attempts), which was encouraging but he also forced it (6 turnovers, many of them egregious), which was not. It’s a work in progress with Pierce, but he’ll get there in time. Tonight was a step forward, albeit a clumsy one.

Jermaine O’Neal, C 25 MIN | 0-6 FG | 3-4 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -10

He’s become total deadweight on offense unless someone sets him up on a pick and roll. Otherwise, he shouldn’t get the ball. His defense, too, seems buttressed by people’s recollections as much as what he’s giving Boston now. Context: twelve boards and three blocks in 25 minutes is nothing to sneer at, especially given the fact he’s being asked to do too much at his (effective) age.

Ray Allen, SG 34 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | -19

Allen struggled on defense tonight but that probably would have happened even had he not played long minutes last night. Paul George just overmatches him at this point in his career. The iciness on the offensive end was predictable too.

Rajon Rondo, PG 36 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 9 AST | 6 PTS | -8

Rondo made efforts to push tempo but didn’t manage to control the game the way he did last night, in part because he didn’t have the kind of energy required to compete with an entire team’s defense (it’s amazing how often he has to outwork multiple guys to create a shot on the offensive end). Also turned the ball over 4 times. Anyone count how many assists he lost off the C’s missing easy shots?

Mickael Pietrus, SF 19 MIN | 1-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -2

He was hurling up bricks from the arc tonight, not that it stopped him from firing. Nothing on the boards, it should be noted.

Brandon Bass, PF 23 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | -8

Bass has a great lunchpail attitude out there. Always plays hard, always goes at the rim, always brings energy, usually shoots decently, and is bringing in more rebounds lately. He’s miscast as a starter, so it was good to see him come off the bench again tonight.

Greg Stiemsma, C 9 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4

Two blocks in nine minutes isn’t exactly Bill Russell (no matter what Tommy says) but how can the Celtics continue to run JO out there instead of Stiemsma? At least Greg can hit a jumpshot.

JaJuan Johnson, F 3 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +4

Ignore the grade as the body of work merits an incomplete more than anything else, but it’s still nice to see the kid in a game, even in garbage time (although he did defend one out-of-bounds play in the first half). One tip for him: call Glen Davis for nutritional tips. JJJ needs to bulk up.

E’Twaun Moore, G 20 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 7 PTS | -5

Twenty minutes! That doubles his entire season total in one night! Moore’s finally at the point he won’t be denied. He’s raw but confident, and you don’t cringe when he’s handling the ball like you do with another young point guard on this roster. I like his scorer’s mentality.

Avery Bradley, SG 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4

He’s playing himself out of the rotation. Go look at his one missed field goal attempt from tonight. He had a good look at the rim from about 18 feet and didn’t even draw iron. What’s the goal here? Develop Bradley or win games? These two things are not compatible.

  • Sophomore

    Sigh. Put a fork in these Celtics. They're done.

    I remember the early 2000s. I stayed a fan then and I'll stay a fan through the next set of lean years. Time to blow it up and try to collect some picks, Danny.

    Thanks for the run, KG, Ray and Paul. Time to go.

    • CelticsBIG3

      strangely enough, (not really if you know his work ethic), ray can continue to contribute for this, whereas pierce is the guy i can see saying ship him out

      • CelticsBIG3

        although i would never want to by the way. love paul, just his struggles make me constitute that comment within the realm of "time to go"

  • smalltownID

    As long as Stiemsma and Moore can produce there is still hope for a playoff appearance. Inevitable loss though? Unlikely sure, but inevitable?

    • Ryan DeGama

      Artistic License.

      • CelticsBIG3

        no it was def inevitable.

  • IBleedGreen

    Opposite from last night, Pierce and KG had a decent game but Allen and Rondo didn’t do enough. Consider how the bench has performed so far, it’ll take all four of them to have a good game to win. Easier said than done…

  • IBleedGreen

    Bradley is hands down the worst player in the NBA.

    • CelticsBIG3

      haha

  • Chris from Danvers

    Rough game, but a slight silver lining…..seeing Moore in the game for 20 minutes shows that the team is already thinking about the future.

    As the Celtics were constituted for this year, it was designed to be a wait and see game. Wait for fall 2012 and see what these guys can do while we wait. So far, I can't wait because I don't like what I see.

  • skeeds

    ok, I think I get what's happening. The heavy minutes Doc is playing his starters, the way he uses the bench. Guys, Doc is having a training camp in season. Seriously. He's trying things all the time, at the cost of the offense working.
    And although we still suck, we are getting all around better. Bass especially seems to be finding his spots, working on the pick n roll with Rondo.
    With the exception of Ray, who did have to come back down to earth with us mortals eventually, all the guys are steadily improving. Which is no compliment off course for the likes of JO and Pierce, who have improved from godawfull to lousy. Who knows, they might actually reach a point they resemble real nba players eventually…

    The best thing that could happen, is we have an opposite-than-usual for us season. Start cold, and slowly pick it up in time for the playoffs.

  • -jp

    Just praying thy are playing into shape and that they will be rolling by years end. It’s a real possibility we don’t make the playoffs this year. Look at the good teams in the east. Are we better than philly, ny, or Indiana? Just get a playoff spot.

  • g

    Enough with the “old” word. KG and Ray were “old” when they arrived, but the difference was we had an anchor, aka, Perk, a great anchor, KG’s anchor which JO is far from, never was. Had Perk not been there, we’d have seen the same scenario – almost. We had a cast of players who had time to gel. This year Boston had how many returning players?! Cohesion matters. This team is showing little cohesion. KG is the same. Ray is the same. Rondo is better, Paul … Is a hot mess. Something is off with him, mentally AND physically. He will come around. But if we cannot anchor our defense, like Chicago can with Noah, we will fall. Trading these players for what? Please, “think Mcfly, think”. We severly miss Green and not Gerald! People all age differently! Look at Oden for example. The C’s have massive holes that even if we had younger stars we’d be falling short. We have no center and that is the difference from winning to losing!

    • skeeds

      Dude, actually, KG is nowhere near the same. In 2008 he was defensive player of the year. Averaged 19 and 10. He was by far the best PF in the league! You could play JO's grandma at the 5 that year and we would've won a championship the way KG was playing.

      I miss Perk too, I loved the guy, and he was great for us. But he was hardly a player we shouldn't be able to recover from losing. One way or another we should've made it work by now…

  • Anthony

    G – gonna have to disagree with you about KG. He's far from being the same when he arrived. KG keeps trying to tap the ball instead of just grabbing the rebounds. He gets beat a lot more on defense and not much more than a 18ft shooting big man.

    As much as I hate the way the team is playing, 5 of the losses arent exactly inexplicable.
    Knicks – a couple of technicals and blown calls from winning
    Miami – a couple of bad calls stopping momentum from comeback
    Dallas – missed KG layup. bad pass to Ray for potential tie
    Chicago – down 1, Pierce enters game and ruins any chances comeback
    Pacers – on the road against what is a very good/balance team

    Silver lining – here's the Celts' record from 12/25 – 1/15. This is generally the time the Celts play their worse ball.
    07/08 – 8 wins 3 losses (january is their worse month)
    08/09 – 5 wins 7 losses (kg goes down with injury)
    09/10 – 5 wins 6 losses (january is horrible month. april was worse but had less games and celts needed to rest starters for playoff run. Lost perk, lost finals.)
    10/11 – 7 wins 5 losses (Not a great record considering they have 4 All-Stars. Celts were 23-4 before this. Exactly a month before the Perk trade)
    11/12 – 4 wins 7 losses

    Go Celts!

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