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Final Grades From Knicks-C’s

Boston Celtics 110 FinalRecap | Box Score 118 New York Knicks
Paul Pierce, SF 43 MIN | 11-19 FG | 17-18 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 43 PTS | +2Why no A+? Call me a harsh grader if you want, but the two rebounds stick out to me like a sore thumb in 43 minutes. I won’t let that ruin Pierce’s masterful offensive outing, scoring 40 points for Boston, the first time anyone has done that since 2006, when Pierce himself posted 50. It was a magical night for PP, it was just that much more so for the Knicks. Now it’s just time to worry about his health and about the 43 minutes.
Brandon Bass, PF 35 MIN | 6-8 FG | 3-6 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +6Tough night defensively, having to guard the likes of Novak, but that was a personnel problem for C’s more than anything else. Standard positive offensive outing for the big man.
Kevin Garnett, PF 35 MIN | 7-14 FG | 6-8 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS | 0 I know it wasn’t on him 90 percent of the time, but way too many open lanes to the hoop in the second half for New York, resulting in easy buckets. Then again, that’s what happens when your opponents is shooting 60+ percent from downtown.
Rajon Rondo, PG 39 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 13 AST | 13 PTS | +1 Starting to worry about all the bumps and bruises with Rajon. The wrist is starting to bother him again and the tailbone seems to be a recurring issue every year, given how aggressively he goes after rebounds, leaving himself vulnerable. Next time I complain about him taking it easy on the glass, I’ll remember nights like this where he gets beat up for it.
Avery Bradley, SG 38 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 17 PTS | -45-of-6 from downtown for Avery, making me wonder how soon we have to have a conversation about the second-year guard being worthy of crunch-time minutes this year.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Instead of grading the whole bench, who collectively played a whopping 50 minutes and scored two points, I’ll just give them a big fat D. Not a lot of opportunity given to them, but they made the worst of it when they were out there.
  2. Knicks 19 3-pointers were the most made by an opponent against the C’s in their history. Boston had been the top team defending the 3 in the league prior to this game. Pierce postgame: “We didn’t defend the 3 at all tonight. We dug ourselves a huge hole that we couldn’t climb out of.”
  3. The C’s still had a chance in this game despite the hot shooting by the Knicks, but were punished in the second half by the offensive rebounds, setting up plenty of second chance points. Allowing 10 offensive rebounds when you’re already giving up 56.8 percent shooting is always a recipe for disaster.
  4. Too many minutes for all the starters in my book. They kept it just close enough for Doc to keep pushing with them, which is frustrating since nearly everyone got dinged up and you can make the case the more important games are coming up in the next two contests.
  5. I’m happy the C’s don’t have to worry about playing the Knicks for the first couple rounds.
  • CG12

    I have very mixed feelings about last night's game. On the one hand, the rotations on D were horrible, with Rondo and Bass being particularly egregious. Novak is going to hit open 3s. On the other hand, Carmelo can't keep up shooting at this rate – it seemed like everything he chucked up went in – and J.R. Smith is more likely to go 0-7 from 3 than he is to go 7-7. And the Cs were very much in this game at the end. A few more random thoughts:

    Rondo needs to rest. He looks like a 70 year old man out there. He still has that basketball computer brain, but can't get out on the break and his defense is even worse than usual.

    Carmelo pushes off HARD with his off arm just about every play. Never called. He also regularly travels when he does his jab step / fake / go to the hoop routine (picks up his pivot foot before dribbling). That being said, the man is an insane shot-maker and there just isn't much you can do about it when he is going like that. I would have liked to see how Pietrus would have done with him.

    I said several weeks ago (before he started raining them down) that the corner 3 was going to be a future staple for Avery, but I didn't expect it to be quite like this. I'd also like to see him get more play-making opportunities / responsibility against the other team's second unit, early in Qs 2 and 4. The Cs need somebody other than Rondo to come in and be the trigger man for the offense, because right now we have a bunch of ball moving stations and no play-makers. I don't know what happened to Marquis Daniels (other than his neck injury), but he looks like a shadow of the player he used to be, and I loved the player he used to be.

  • GowGow

    Why so generous? In my book the bench got an F-.

    • red's army

      how does keyon dooling have a job? he has the most ridiculous looking jump shot. is it any surprise that he air balls or clangs the back of the rim 9 out of 10 shots? and anybody can hit wide open 3's. the C's defense and rebounding was pathetic last night. you could have driven a mack truck thru the paint.

    • IBleedGreen

      F as in Fired

    • Josh

      I agree. 2 points in 50 minutes = trash. They earned that F. Defensively they were even worse. I just want everyone to know that I hate Sasha's play and I hope he's not on this team next year.

  • janos

    Hi Bryan, is Janos
    Thank you grade Rondos B+, is nice see accurates grade on perform

  • Jason

    Avery Bradley deserves "Most Improved Player". We need to start a campaign.

  • michaelmarlow

    I'm giving PP an A+; his defense sucked especially in the first half and he didn't grab many boards as you pointed out, but he didn't look like he could move out there. He was scoring at about 1/3 speed in a game that was at 4/3 speed at times; he was going 30 mph in a 65, and just knocking the other, speeding cars off the highway. Even when he missed, it was kind of awesome; the move where he drove the lane saw Chandler waiting and knew his 6 inch vertical wasn't going to cut, slowed down, deeked, spun around for an open 8 foot shot, sticks in my mind.

    Anyway, that seemed like an unnecessary loss, but credit to the Knicks for spectacular shooting. I just hope these little injuries heal up fast. Doc, I hope will do what he must to make it happen. Do it, Doc! Please no more gimp Rondo or gimp Pierce! Not until necessary (playoffs!) anyway…

  • 5FOR5

    I’m happy the C’s don’t have to worry about playing the Knicks for the first couple rounds. Oh please Brian, no one is scared of the Knicks. Now way a team can have a consistent shooting night like that.

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