In games as lopsided as this, individual grades are misleading but the collective team defense gets an F. The Celtics turned the ball over too much (19 times) and allowed 52 points in the paint (an improvement over the 60 they surrendered to Golden State but terrible nonetheless). They never overcame the energy deficit against the Kings, who are athletic enough to get out and run and finish (32 fast break points).
Kevin Garnett was in foul trouble tonight because he was matched up with the man-child that is DeMarcus Cousins. He did a credible job and even baited Cousins into a few fouls. But the game should serve as a warning. The Celtics already struggle to protect the rim and rebound. If they lose KG to early fouls in a playoff game, it’s almost inconceivable they’ll win the game, especially because the perimeter defense continues to be a problem. You can only rotate so much when you have problems in the paint and on the perimeter.
Ray Allen had 26 points on 9-16 shooting. It was clear early that the Kings were not going to stick to him and because he got good looks, he knocked the shots down. But the Celtics didn’t take enough advantage of that. Allen’s offense suffers when he can’t get separation. Good teams stick to him now and bad teams don’t. That’s usually the determining factor in whether or not Allen does damage. Of course, Sacramento is not a good team but that didn’t matter tonight…
Rajon Rondo decided to sleepwalk through this one. That’s two soft games in a row for RR. Brandon Bass had 1 rebound in 32 minutes or the same number that JaJuan Johnson had in 5 minutes. Greg Stiemsma is not an NBA player.