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Baby Steps: Celtics 86, Cavs 83

 

 

It's helpful when Varejao isn't around against the C's

ESPN Box Score • Cavs The Blog• Fear The Sword

Full grades are upcoming but here are five quick thoughts on this one after the C’s snapped the longest losing streak in the Big Three era.

1) First things first, a win is a win. It wasn’t pretty (18 turnovers) with a double-digit blown lead in the first half. The C’s responded though. They hit big shots in the closing minutes, executed down the stretch and even grabbed a crucial offensive rebound(!) in the final minute to help them seal the win thanks to a Kevin Garnett mismatch against Kyrie Irving.

2) Rajon Rondo went scoreless for the first time since last season, and he and Pierce combined for 11 turnovers…..yet the C’s still snuck this thing out. Again, you will take it any day of the week.

3) Terrific minutes from Chris Wilcox (11 rebounds), Mickael Pietrus (+14), and Avery Bradley as well. Now that everyone is back in their usual roles, consistency from the bench will be crucial for this team to get hot again.

4) Keyon Dooling is still not healthy. I don’t want to hate on the guy for gutting it out, but he’s not helping this team right now when he’s out there.

5) Solid return for Brandon Bass, despite going cold in the second half. The new-look starting lineup may stay for awhile, even when Jermaine O’Neal returns.

Plenty more on the way this evening…..

  • green-boner

    rondo was conspiring against the celtics with the officials and they still won!

  • CelticsBIG3

    I guess grades didn't come last evening

  • sightline75

    If we could just get one of the good young guys, like Steph Curry(even Monta). No one wants to come to Boston. This team, with a few good trades could contend, and be in the finals for the next 2 years. Please consider Boston as a prefered destination. The team is yours next year, and you will have great support from the fans, the players and the coaching staff.

  • W2.

    I never thought Avery Bradley would be my favorite player on the Celtics….Rondo and Pierce are as hard to watch as I ever recall. I am trying to hang in there with them (fighting off the fair weather). A win is a win I guess.

    This team is too good not to make the playoffs in the east. I just can't get over how much work it takes for them to score. The Cavs actually made interior passes, set screens, and seemed to work much harder than the Celtics despite having less talent. It is a bit frustrating. Are we really that old? Rondo is not old. He looked off a wide open 8ft. in crunch time. That is not an all-star move. K Irving was the best player on the floor last night hands down.

    • sonofauerbach

      couldnt agree more bra…..im getting sick of watching pierce and rondo honestly. avery brings a fresh spark of youth and athleticism. he plays fundamental unlike rondo the circus entertainer. he can actually move around the court like a basketball player not a slug like pierce. im saying pull the trigger get rid of rondo, move any of the big three for draft picks. this team needs to get younger and faster. but im afraid doc's boner for the Big 3 will never let that happen.

  • JCP

    Glad for the win… I only caught the fourth quarter. Before I continue, I want to say that I'm a huge Rondo fan and wouldn't want him dealt anywhere… but last night at the very end of the game with score within two points there was a moment when it seemed like he just quit on defense. They didn't show the replay but somehow Rondo's man was WIDE open at the top of the key for a three and Rondo was just walking under the basket. One of our bigs (I think KG) started to run and left Antawn Jamison wide open in the corner who got the pass and had a wide open 3 (which, thankfully, he missed). Meanwhile, Rondo was still hanging out under the basket. Did anyone else notice that?

    I still love Rondo and that one play doesn't change that… but that one play just ticked me off to no end.

    • CG12

      I did notice it. It happened several times. I was so flabbergasted, I rewound the plays on my DVR to make sure he didn't get taken out by a pick or shot by Claudine Longet. Nope, just not running and cheating on theoretical future passes into the low post. I have been complaining about Rondo's defense for a really long time, but have generally tried to maintain a positive perspective on his contributions. It is getting harder for me to do. If Rondo comes within a mile of All-Defense, it will prove forever that the fix is in. His recent selections have been nearly as absurd.

  • JCP

    Oh, and off topic… how about D Wade breaking Kobe's nose at the All Star Game. I loved the ESPN talking heads saying "This is not a big deal because Wade has zero history of cheap shots, or suspiciously dirty play".

    Really? How about when he pulled Rondo down and turned his elbow inside out?

    • SteveB

      Or ran over Paul Pierce setting a screen. Looked like a football move. He doesn't have the reputation for it but if you watch him closely he makes dirty plays when there is contact.

    • tbunny

      let's not forget that Kobe got in Lebron's face after Lebron passed at the buzzer. AFTER Kobe got a mild concussion. I hate the lakers but I would love to see the lakers play the heat in the finals.

  • Jim

    You guys are getting lazy on this site. Full grades are coming? When? Sometimes you do not even write after the games . What is up? Like the Celtics you guys are getting unreliable!.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Rajon Rondo – F
    Rondo tanked bigtime in a chance to match up with the best young guard in the NBA right now.

    Ray Allen – A
    Ray Allen helped KG carry the burden tonight with some hot shooting

    Paul Pierce – D+
    While Pierce really put up a stinker during most of the game, some clutch shooting down the stretch was key for this team

    Kevin Garnett – A+
    KG was phenomenal again tonight. Seeing him play like this makes me think he's thinking about hanging up the sneakers at the end of this year

    Brandon Bass – B+
    Hot shooting to start the game… Then not so much. His rebounding and scrappiness were greatly missed though.

    Chris Wilcox – B+
    Great night on the glass. If we could get consistent rebounding out of KG, Bass, and Wilcox a lot of our rebouding woes will disapate.

    Mikael Pietrus – B+
    Typical game from Pietrus, but with one really loud dunk\

    Avery Bradley – B+
    Avery has been consistently hitting that mid range jumper of late, and is quickly gaining more and more confidence. Last night I relished in seeing him replacing Rondo at substitution points.

    Keyon Dooling – D+
    Nice alley oop pass to Wilcox. Thats about it there.

  • sonofauerbach

    avery's a baller yo! let's give rondo a one way ticket outta town. i want to see what he thinks he'll be able to do outside of the celtics. he doesnt have it in him to truly be great or a leader. we've been hearing since his rookie season that he's hard to coach, a loner, so lets give this baby what he wants.

  • ripsonics

    BRIAN! No Shout out to RAY! What is this!?

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