Al Jefferson talks about KG and coming back to Boston after tonight’s C’s win.
|Paul Pierce, SF 36 MIN | 6-16 FG | 7-7 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 20 PTS | +1
Classic modern-era Pierce game: cracks 20 points, hits just under 40% of his shots, gets to the line more than anyone else in the game, makes all of them, and rebounds reasonably well for his position. Second game in a row where he’s shot 1-6 from three, but it doesn’t feel weird or anything when he puts one up yet.
|Brandon Bass, PF 35 MIN | 7-17 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | +1
Quietly stunning to see that Bass missed ten shots in this get. Seemed like all his jumpers fell, especially down the stretch. Near the end he went up for a shot and I promised him if he made it I would give him a B+. It went in, so I was committed.
|Kevin Garnett, PF 34 MIN | 10-16 FG | 3-3 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 23 PTS | +23
KG was the difference! He was +23 in 34 minutes and destroyed Jefferson on both ends of the court and in the emotional centers of his brain. We know what we’re getting on defense, but he was the core of the offense tonight; Stiems subbing in for him at the end of the third set off a five-minute FG drought. Also the only above-average rebounder on the team.
|Rajon Rondo, PG 36 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 14 AST | 6 PTS | +1
I like when Rondo high-steps and basically makes fun of the other team for trying to guard him. It shows he’s engaged and it’s consistent with the team-wide arrogance that I also enjoy, whether or not they deserve it. The Jazz announcers on League Pass were basically threatening physical retaliation against Rondo and Garnett for bad sportsmanship, and I encourage them to follow through on that.
|Avery Bradley, SG 43 MIN | 3-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | +13
Bradley missed three gutsy drives at the rim, so that 3-10 figure is a little deceptive. If he hits 3 out of every 7 jumpers he takes for the rest of his career, I will personally lead the charge for his Hall of Fame candidacy. Nice to see him playing with confidence.
|Keyon Dooling, PG 17 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 7 PTS | +10
These numbers aren’t terrible, but I’d still prefer to see him conform to a
|Ryan Hollins, C 7 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +4
Seven very exciting minutes! If you think those alley-oops aren’t going into a highlight gallery, you’re weird.
|Sasha Pavlovic, SF 12 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +11
He runs around and makes but meaningful small contributions. That’s much more than I expected to get from him at this point in his Boston career.
|Greg Stiemsma, C 19 MIN | 0-0 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 PTS | -4
Amazing that he could be on the court for 19 minutes and not attempt a shot, but STILL give the overall impression that he had a pretty decent game. He just inserts himself in the mix more aggressively these days. Straight B’s for the bench! Hosannahs!
Three Things We Saw
- A statement win! This is the first truly above-average team the Celtics have beaten in quite a while. Too bad they may not have the advantage for the entire playoffs, because I feel like this team has a chance against pretty much anyone at home.
- Yet another reminder of the change in the NBA landscape that took place on August 1st, 2007. KG toyed with Al Jefferson tonight, exposing both as a miserable defensive center with exploitable holes in his scoring game. And only five years ago, the Celtics were considering building around that very Al Jefferson. Sliding doors, y’all.
- The ever-building confidence of Avery Bradley and Greg Stiemsma. Neither exactly went off tonight, but there’s a swagger to their games that wasn’t there a couple months ago. They both don’t look like they’re worried about whether or not they should be there anymore.
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