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Another Letdown In Canada Eh? Raptors 84, Celtics 79

 
Boston Celtics 79 FinalRecap | Box Score 84 Toronto Raptors
Paul Pierce, SF 34 MIN | 6-15 FG | 3-3 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | -9Came alive in the second half and still hit the glass hard so hard to fault his effort too much. Still needed to be more aggressive as only C’s player that can get to the line with any regularity. (Just three free throws)
Brandon Bass, PF 32 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -19No noticeable lingering effects from the knee scare in 32 minutes, just a meh game from Bass offensively. A night Boston needed him on the glass to stand up against the likes of Amir Johnson and Aaron Gray on the glass (I’m actually not kidding on this, they are good rebounders) Bass manages just three boards.
Kevin Garnett, PF 32 MIN | 5-16 FG | 3-3 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 13 PTS | -10Wouldn’t be surprised to see him take a rest Saturday night, even though I don’t know if C’s can handle Kris Humphries without him. The jumper has looked sensational for weeks, so he came back to earth tonight from the outside, showing little aggression elsewhere. This lack of aggression thing will be a pretty common theme in these evaluations.
Rajon Rondo, PG 37 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 12 AST | 8 PTS | -4The double-digit assist streak is up to 20, largely thanks to a pretty first quarter (7 assists) but just seven shot attempts on a night where this offense struggled around him is less than ideal. Rajon also took the night off from rebounding, so like rest of team was on cruise control for majority of his 37 minutes out there.
Avery Bradley, SG 37 MIN | 7-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | -115 points is the good news……13 free throws for DeMar DeRozan is the bad news here. DeRozan hit them all as well making the most of Bradley’s questionable defensive aggression. Fouling being on jumpers generally is not a good idea.
Keyon Dooling, PG 8 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | -2Had an opportunity to earn more minutes, didn’t quite make the most of it. Team is going to need something from him while Ray is out to win these games if it wants to rest guys.
Marquis Daniels, SG 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4He’s still on the team! You would barely know it though if you looked at his line tonight.
Ryan Hollins, C 5 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | +4C’s actually stayed pretty even with Toronto with him and Steimer playing together, so can’t blame the non-rebounding big man who snuck in a couple fouls in five minutes
Sasha Pavlovic, SF 10 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | 0The ineffective offensive Sasha was on display tonight, missing some open jumpers after shooting lights out for the first half of April.
Mickael Pietrus, SF 23 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +16The rust that failed to show Wednesday night made an appearance this evening.
Greg Stiemsma, C 16 MIN | 1-2 FG | 3-5 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +4Uneven effort from the big game who got to the line a couple times, but was muscled in the interior by the other Raptor bigs (just one board in 16 minutes). Cut the guy some slack though with the foot injuries he’s battling as Doc has to be careful with his minutes like everyone else.

Four Things We Saw

  1. Let’s not get too riled up after this one. While this reeked of a missed opportunity, let’s keep in mind this team is playing its 7th game in 10 nights. You want to beat inferior teams, but given the choice you’ll take the wins that count as double in the standings, (Atlanta, Indiana, Philly) earlier over this stretch. Now the margin of error though remains razor thin for home court advantage, with the three seed looking closer to being out of reach for Boston.
  2. Remember when the C’s went 9 of 14 from downtown against Miami? They went 1-of-10 in the fourth quarter tonight, and still had a chance to win the game after a 7-0 run in the final minute. Toronto’s a pretty decent team defensively, but at this rate Boston might be the favorite to enter postseason as worst offensive team in the NBA if we discount the Bobcats as an NBA team. (29th in points per possession before the game tonight).
  3. After dominating season series for years, C’s split it with Toronto 2-2 this year. Feels weird to write that.
  4. Most disappointing part of this game could be the minutes, which are starting to become a factor. All the starters played a bit more than Doc would like and they still wound up with the loss. Not how you want to start a back-to-back-to-back. With Nets playing well having beaten Philly on the road tonight, things won’t get easier Saturday night in Jersey.
  • I_Love_Green

    This was a terrible terrible game.

  • ElRoz

    The post game comments said that KG might take tomorrow night off? With Boston struggling to stay ahead of NY and Phily? I doubt it….however:

    If Atlanta ends up with a better record and a 5th seed, then Boston's 4th seed will not give Boston home-court in the first round. Why the heck get the 4th seed then? I don't understand.

    This kind of 4th seed is no better than 5 or 6 seed. If they are trying to catch Atlanta and get a tied record with them going into the playoffs, that makes sense…otherwise, #6 seed is as good as the 4th – you don't get any home court advantage.

  • someguyinsac

    Too much third string too early in the game, but that's just my opinion.

  • High Rollers

    Seems like the seeding situation is just another reminder, especially after tonight's performance, that the Celtics should concentrate on themselves… health, cohesion, focus, etc. They've done a good job doing as much since All Star weekend. Don't see any reason they'll stop now. Definitely the first priority is locking up a playoff spot, period. Not a single opponent scares this crew, though, that's for sure. But there is something to be said for showing up down the stretch and competing–kind of like they did tonight, but too late. Again, that's all about concentrating on themselves and reinforcing that grit&grind identity that's been coming together for a while now.

  • emg

    They should put the starters in an oxygen chamber with video games and a hot tub. Just have Hollins Daniels and Dooling play 60 straight minutes and actually serve the team. After a week of sleep Rondo, KG, Paul, Ray come out of the gate on crack – and just maim people. if they were fresh, they'd beat the Pacers, Heat and Bulls who are going to be spending this week trying to find their games.

  • SteveB

    I didn't really fault the effort, given the opponent. Problem was they couldn't buy a jumper and we know the team relies on those too much. First half looked like the team was just waiting to extend the lead later in the game and get the W. Then the shots never started falling and the Raptors started hitting jumpers and especially their 3's. I tried to keep all that in mind while watching this one and wondering now how the team would do in the playoffs. I'm still confident but they need to be on their A game every night.

  • High Rollers

    Anybody else think the C’s should shut Ray down until the playoffs? Sounds like if he plays, it swells. So might as well save it for the postseason, when it’s win or go home. Pretty sure everybody knows where Ray fits in the scheme now anyway. Time to let him heal up best he can for the run.

    • tbunny

      Hey, maybe he can take a trip to Germany?

  • tbunny

    Celtics decided to go into fifth gear around 6:20 in the fourth down I think 15.

  • IBleedGreen

    If this Raptors team can be this Celtics team, then Kentucky can beat the Bobcats

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