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Still Kicking: Celtics 102 Bucks 96

 
Milwaukee Bucks 96 Final
Recap | Box Score
102 Boston Celtics
Paul Pierce, SF 35 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 10 PTS | +5

It’s clear by now that Pierce is either pacing himself or nursing nagging injuries. At times he plays aggressively and effectively. At other times, he seems only half-there. Mostly good tonight (no free throws, mind you) but isn’t it interesting how it’s taken KG, and not Pierce, to rally the troops?

Brandon Bass, PF 37 MIN | 6-13 FG | 4-7 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | -3

Recapping Bass is so simple because he’s so consistent on the offensive end, which is where he generates almost all his value.

Kevin Garnett, PF 31 MIN | 9-18 FG | 7-9 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 25 PTS | +8

KG has been everything he demanded of his teammates in that closed door meeting before the all-star break. Anytime KG goes 25-10 with 9 FT and triggers the defense? That’s about as good as he can be at this point in his career.

Ray Allen, SG 32 MIN | 5-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +9

More active tonight than in most recent games but I see more and more limitations in his offensive game lately.

Rajon Rondo, PG 35 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB | 10 AST | 15 PTS | +8

“Don’t you dare trade me, Danny! Wait. A triple-double only *increases* my market value? Fine. Just wait until Friday. You’ll barely even know I’m out there.”

Keyon Dooling, PG 14 MIN | 2-6 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +3

Slightly above replacement level. Sometimes.

Chris Wilcox, PF 26 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +6

13 rebounds in 26 minutes. Tasty. Wilcox may finally be both in shape and cognizant that he has to play hard all the time. The effective demotion of JO should get him more minutes and he looks ready to capitalize.

Mickael Pietrus, SF 16 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +2

Good energy, little production.

Avery Bradley, SG 14 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 2 PTS | -2

Unimpressive line from Bradley but he looks increasingly competent as a point guard. Not completely competent mind you, but on the way to it. On the downside, it’s harder to make fun of him than it was in January.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Rajon Rondo’s final triple-double as a member of the Celtics?
  2. Kevin Garnett walking the mother#*@*ing talk.
  3. A third quarter explosion nearly undone by a fourth quarter collapse.
  • Mark

    Sorry but Bradley didn't look competent out there to me at PG. Bradley is a square peg that the Celtics are trying to shove into a round hole. He's a SG and should be used as such. Granted he isn't any better than Rondo shooting the jumper but I cringe the few times he tries to run the offense.

  • High Rollers

    Danny Ainge and Rajon Rondo must have the most complicated relationship ever, if the media is right about anything. (Of course it's possible they're not.) The facts are these (more or less): Danny drafted Rondo. Danny refused to give up Rondo in the trade for KG. (Or was it Ray? Either way.) Danny explored trading Rondo at just about every offseason and trade deadline mark since raising Banner 17. Danny publicly questioned Rondo's maturity, successfully maneuvering one of the best priced contract extensions in the league in 2009. (Shrewd, Danny. But if Rondo had been a straight and narrow type with a cut-throat agent? What then? I know, I know, he would have been traded long ago. Or wouldn't have…. er…)

    All this is to say that it's complicated, and Danny Ainge, it turns out you're lucky that Rondo's such a pill. If you're still wondering whether he's the red pill or the blue pill… well, I think there's little doubt now that he's the red pill. The question is, do you have the stomach to see how deep the rabbit hole goes. If the media has anything to say about it, you don't.

    To me, anybody who drafts Rondo, refuses to give him up for KG (or was it Ray?), let's Delonte West fly in order to outfit the kid with a vet mentor (ahem, Dooling) who'll set up shop next to him in the locker room–anybody who does all these things and more is trying very hard to beat the Matrix. And I don't mean Shawn Marion.

    Seriously, what GM is out there saying, "Take this headache All-Star point guard off my hands… Please!!! And by the way, could I get something of equal or greater value in return?" Chris Broussard, do you realize this does have a bit of the absurd about it? A little bit of maneuvering behind it, perhaps? Now if behind the scenes Mr. Triple-Double is causing absolute migraines, which is still rather hard for this fan to believe, then I guess any and all absurdity probably will reign.

    Whatever happens, Danny has made way more pro-Rondo moves than anything else. Heck, they both like to mess with people. They have a lot in common. Even Danny threw a towel in the air from the stands to distract a free-thrower in recent memory. This is all over the map, but I just still can't understand what this whole relationship is really all about. I want to assume it's about winning and growing, but the media just won't have it. The rabbit hole is deep.

    • dslack

      Yup. It was in both the Ray and the KG trades that Danny insisted on holding onto Rondo.

  • High Rollers

    Good win tonight, Celtics.

  • http://lucidsportsfan.com lucidsportsfan

    Ugh, the tone of inevitability towards a Rondo trade is depressing. Remember this guy?! http://www.lucidsportsfan.com/2011_10_09_archive…. (second clip) How can they trade him?

  • T.J.

    VIntage KG perfomance. Loved it!! Dude is still a beast!!

  • guest

    Call me superstitious but the more I think about it, I think the problems with Rondo have happened because of not only Perk being gone but the bs thing about him not being able to wear his headband up and down. Every player has their own little superstition and they that away from Rondo, maybe that helped break him down a bit as well. All I know is I hope if Rondo is not traded we see the 2010 Rondo show up some time soon.

  • Ferx

    DONT TRADE RONDO.

  • james patrick

    TRADE AINGE!

  • ripsonics

    Yeah i dont buy the "allens game is limited" – it has been this way for a while. He can shoot off screens and slash to the basket when the lane is open. I am not sure what you saw that was else limited.

  • jpbl1976

    've read rumors of a Stephen Curry for Rondo swap but Curry is injured half the time and other than shooting, in what aspect of basketball does he excel that Rondo doesn't do just as well or even better? Also, can you picture Curry having triple doubles during the playoffs the way Rondo has had for the C's?

    Meanwhile, anyone who is pointing out that the Celtics should trade Rondo for Gasol — without getting a good point guard in return — just doesn't know basketball. Sure, it looks good on paper but didn't they see how terrible the Knicks were before Lin emerged? That, my friends, is what happens when you don't have a competent point guard. Rondo is the only player this season to register 3 triple-doubles; that suggests to me — unless you really believe Rondo is the second coming of Gary Grant — that Rondo is a special talent.

    To be sure, both Paul and Ray can handle the ball for spells of time but to put that much pressure on the two of them at their age, with the compressed schedule and still expect them to be the team's perimeter scorers is ridiculous.

    Also, any move to trade Rondo, unless it's straight-up for Deron Williams, jeopardizes the already small chance that the Celtics will be able to sign a marquee free agent. The fact is, the way that players think today is different from the Jordan/Magic/Bird era — they really would rather have help and/or hang out with their buddies and Rondo is the only young talent we have whom others would probably like to play with.

    If Ainge is determined to blow it up, he should trade the Big 3 first — then, if Doc and Rondo still can't get along the rest of the way, he should pursue trades for Rondo in the offseason. I love the C's but it looks unlikely we'll win the title this year but you still want to build around talent. The way Danny has been making deals lately, we might just get garbage in return and it might already be too late to tank the second half to get a crack at Anthony Davis.

  • Sean

    Wow, the sense of inevitability of Rondo leaving in this piece is really depressing. It's as if almost everyone has already come to terms with him going. I may be in the minority here but i want him to stay.

    I've always been of the opinion that unless you get a ridiculous offer (CP3, D12, Rose etc) then it's not worth the risk. Maybe if we get two high level players in return through dealing him and cap space this year (Al Jefferson and Eric Gordon or such like) but not like this, not hanging him out to dry publicly. At the very least we owe him that much.

    Trust me we will miss him when he's gone. We undervalued Perk, we undervalued Tony Allen and even Jeff Green and Semih Erden. If we're are going to be ruthless then lets admit that Pierce is playing like trash right now and Ray can't stay in front of anyone anymore. Scapegoating Rondo is short sighted and ultimately just plain stupid.

  • VK28

    I think Rondo ten times better and fun to watch then Deron Williams.. and does anyone else think Bass settling to much for the outside shot?! In my opinion, on this team we have many shooter but we low on slashers.. and i think bass should attack the basket a bit more, more over Bradly slowly emerging as a potential point guard.. anyone noticed how he always looks to pass to KG??

  • KY-Celts89

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqC3gSJlKnU&fe
    Rondo is a beast who plays the role of true pg better than almost any1, build around the kid… he has a low salary and is in his prime. Get him a young shooter and a solid 5 that can handle his passes and the rebuilding period will be brief

    TRADE AINGE… bill simmons article about the anniversary of ainges last good signing was hysterical

  • James Patrick

    How people continue to defend Ainge baffles me. We won ONE title people. We didn't repeat, three peat, any peat. we won ONE and it was so long ago, I'm more focused on today. Why is Rondo suddenly a problem? Is there anyone out there REALLY better that we can get in return? Think about it.

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