Recap Generator’s on the fritz! We’re going manual!
Kevin Garnett: What a hero. What an actual hero. While his teammates were hoisting bricks and hucking turnovers everywhere, he quietly sucked it up and won the game on his own. There was only one set of footprints on the floor tonight…for that was when KG was carrying them. A+, y’all.
Brandon Bass: At long last, Bass quietly turned in a pretty solid game on defense and on the boards: there were some moments when he got up in Josh Smith’s unfriendly mug and really threw him off. He was rewarded by being subbed out for Ryan Hollins in crunch time. Hang in there, kiddo. Maybe Elton Brand will let you take a couple of shots at the rim. A solid B.
Paul Pierce: His decent line belies a mostly disappointing game from Pierce, up until the last minute or so. I’m going to blame the knee, because I don’t want to think it’s a crisis of motivation. He was deathly slow on rotations for the second game in a row, he settled for some horrific jumpers, and he slogged back on defense like the mighty Aquitania crossing the Atlantic. But that bucket inside and that massive block (after pretty much everyone thought Johnson was by him) fully redeems him for the evening. B+ feels right.
Rajon Rondo: Frustrating but mostly inoffensive game for Rondo. Lots of weird turnovers. Much too comfortable with his jumper (I know he’s been hitting them, that’s the problem). And he completely abdicated his playmaking responsibilities to Pierce and Garnett for much of the fourth. But he shot 50 percent and his defense was mostly good. Goodbye, assists streak! You were never actually important. B is for Belowexpectations.
Avery Bradley: Questionable minutes allocation for Doc tonight. He probably thinks having Ray in the game instead of Bradley gives him a superior offensive lineup, but that’s usually an illusion. Neither really did much scoring, but Bradley was predictably better on defense. He was +12 tonight, Ray was -9. Would be nice if they had a jumper between them, though. B it is.
Ray Allen: Didn’t have it tonight. As far as three-pointers and free throws are concerned, he hasn’t had it all series. Might have been smart to take some of the 15-footers he’s been able to make more reliably. A generous C+.
Ryan Hollins: I understand he’s shown flashes of competence in this series, but Doc: take it easy. 18 minutes? Almost the entire fourth quarter? I don’t mind a glimpse of him when KG’s sitting, but in all other circumstances I’d still rather have Bass in the game, just so they’re not totally running 4-on-5 on offense. B- for playing too long.
Marquis Daniels: I like that Marquis officially has 0 minutes even though he committed two of the most crucial fouls in the game. Should Atlanta have gotten shots after Marquis fouled on that OOB play? My theory is yes, they should’ve, but Bill Kennedy didn’t realize it would lead to shots when he called it, freaked out, and made up some rule on the fly to give Atlanta a side out. Anyway, great move by Quisy to force Horford to the line. Potential game-saver. B+ in five seconds.