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Something to Build On: Celtics 101, Bulls 95

 
Boston Celtics 101 Final

Recap | Box Score

95 Chicago Bulls
Kevin Garnett, PF 29 MIN | 6-15 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +10
It’s really hard to fault Kevin Garnett for anything this season. He’s pretty much the single reason why the Celtics haven’t been the worst defensive team in the league. That said, he didn’t assert himself on the glass the way he has had to start this season but I think his lack of rebounds and his shooting percentage were both results of some tired legs in the fourth quarter. KG played all but two minutes in the fourth and the final quarter was erratic, to put it lightly. Lots of running, lots up-and-down basketball, lots of missed jumpers. In the end, it was all worth it.
Brandon Bass, PF 34 MIN | 5-6 FG | 6-6 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS | +18
Bass could have asserted himself on the glass a little more but Luol Deng and Joakim Noah are both long, strong, and down to get the friction on. It’s hard to rebound over those guys. Defensively, Bass impressed tonight on the pick-and-roll especially around the arc. Plus, it doesn’t hurt when you make a decisive dunk with less than a minute to go. Sure, the points are nice. But the play is more indicative of being in the right place which is huge for Bass.
Paul Pierce, SF 33 MIN | 4-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 10 PTS | +13
Pierce had a MONSTER game the other night against the Bucks and wanted to ride that good feeling all throughout the Midwest. Unfortunately, he left his game in Milwaukee. Pierce was short on a lot of his shots and his efficiency took a hit when the C’s and Bulls were both jacking shots in the fourth. Still with only 13 FGAs, a bucket here or there could have swung his shooting percentage, and the game in a big way.
Rajon Rondo, PG 37 MIN | 10-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 10 AST | 20 PTS | +15
A+. I want to say that again. A+. Rondo dominated this game and he looked like he really enjoyed playing in it. There were a few slight complaints to his game. Rondo didn’t really give Marquis Teague any respect which means he didn’t defend him at all. He also had a really bad Hero Ball moment with just over a minute to play. If these are your gripes with a star player, it means that player is really FREAKING good. A+.
Jason Terry, SG 26 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +19
Jason Terry makes big shots. I’m not even sure which one I’m referring to. He just makes big shots. When the Celtics needed a bucket tonight in the worst way, Terry was happy to oblige. This characteristic is exactly what C’s fans expected when the news broke that Terry inked up. Let’s hope it signifies things to come.
Jeff Green, PF 15 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -7
I’m happy to see Jeff Green grab five rebounds in 15 minutes. I’m still dismayed that he is the fourth highest paid player on the team. Good thing it’s a long season…I think.
Jared Sullinger, PF 13 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 3 PTS | -10
Jared Sullinger has played much better in limited minutes in a reserve role. I think he’s going to get better as time goes on and I’m a big fan of the new approach to his development. Tonight, he came in and did what was asked of him. Plus that three was awesome.
Chris Wilcox, PF 19 MIN | 2-2 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -4
Wilcox found himself in pushing fights with two good Chicagoan rebounders in Noah and Carlos Boozer. He looked frustrated at times but it never became an issue where it affected his play. The more Wilcox has played this season, the better the C’s have been. More WC please!
Courtney Lee, SG 18 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -17
The C’s may be hoping for more out of Courtney Lee but he still played well tonight. He shot efficiently without trying to do too much. It’s hard to ask for much more from him, especially with Terry playing as well as he did tonight.
Leandro Barbosa, SG 15 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | -7
Barbosa probably played well enough to backup Rondo but he was also on the court when the C’s lead went from 12 to 3 in the beginning of the fourth. If the C’s had lost, I may have rewatched the fourth quarter and skewered him. Hell, I still might.
  • Kman

    I know this is something that might get me banned from any and all NBA sites but I’d like to see more Darko. I know he is limited offensively but he is big and can finish with dunks more easily than Sullinger. Sully isnt doing anything of his own on offense. They’re both good passers, average rebounders, average pick and roll defenders and slow in transition. However, Darko is a MUCH better shot blocker and post defender. I’m just tired of watching people score over Sully with ease. He’s like Glen Davis without the quick defensive rotations.

    • GowGow

      You right, you should be immediately banned.

      How dare you compare a proven bad NBA player to a plausible 2011 top 5 pick? Darko is good right where he is, keeping those benches warm.

  • Phil

    Hard to blame Barbosa for that run, I think most of it was with him/Lee/Green/Sully/Wilcox on the court. That's a pretty rough/experimental lineup. I don't recall any of the big guns being out there, though I could be wrong.

    Overall it was a great all around game though. Loved the PnR defense. Still isn't as good as it can be, but it was a far cry from the Dalembert dunk party. The offensive output shouldn't be overlooked though; the Bulls hadn't given up 100 points in fifteen games, I believe.

  • OKCeltic

    Kman – like you, I may get banned for saying this, but it's time to stop mentioning how much Green's getting paid. It's not going to change even if we want it to. Time to focus on what he's doing on the court, good or bad.

    • Phil

      As someone as against the Jeff Green contract as anyone, I have to agree. Giving an 8th man 9m a year is insane, but holding an 8th man to a 9m salary standard is equally pointless. If Green can contribute in his role this year, I'll be happy. Of course, he hasn't even lived up to the 8th man role yet, and that obviously needs to change.

      Next offseason when the Cs can only use the mini-midlevel is when we need to really light into the contract.

  • GowGow

    I believe Wilcox grade is too high. I think a bias is starting to emerge.

    You can't give Bass and Wilcox the same grade.

    • CelticsBIG3

      I think what Wilcox does when he is out on the floor isn't measured in points and rebounds. When he is out there during KG rest time we are our most effective defensively. Not to mention he runs his ass off down the floor.

  • janos

    you are goddman rights A+ Rondos; make a teaach your peers group here how grade superstar for beyond games

  • MSTRKRFT

    Good 3 quarter, an erratic 4th quarter where all of a sudden we forgot what we were doing for a strech. We almost gave that game up at a point and the Bulls had many chances to close us out. Terry hit a few big shots in the 4th, that carried over and then we closed out. Pretty good game, but shouldn't have been this close, but that has been the story of the Celtics team for a while.

  • tomrod

    If this is A+ Rondo whats playoffs Rondo? Seems like ha has a whole other gear to turn on. Which is great! Need to improve defense and rebounding but I think it will come.

  • celticsfan

    jeff green should have been given a charging foul against KG when he ran onto him forcing a shot. hahaha. that's why after that aweful sequence Doc immediately replaced him.

    • Phil

      The one where he rolled his ankle?

      A lot of Jeff Green's game involves driving into traffic to force fouls to be called. It's pretty much the worst type of basketball to watch (woohoo, four more years!) but it is effective; just ask DWade.

  • check12check

    I just keep hoping and wishing Green will figure out how to utilize his skill and athleticism. He really has the potential to be a star but essentially plays like a moron. He has me scratching my head all the dang time. did anyone else see his attempt to bank one from like 10-12 feet out on the run down the right side of the lane? It looked like the kind of garbage teenagers put up down at the park.

  • FrenchJujubean

    can we stop hearing about Jeff Green's contract? Are you guys freaking GM's? No, so stop talking about money already, and get into the basketball side of things. You guys would tell me that you've never bought anything that was overpriced? Yea, sure. And in the end, it doesn't matter. You do with the assets you have, and get the most out of them. If Doc would tell Green that he's overpaid for his production after every other game, this team wouldn't go far. So stop bitching about the cash already!

    • celticsfan

      if JG hasn't improved his play i hope the mgnt will trade him for a true performer. potential is just potential, we need someone that can really perform.

  • swissflix

    dear jeff green: Can you just explain to us, why you play so hesitantly? Why are you not more aggressive on offense? Play that one on one, go to the basket hard – you were given it tonight, after all. Why can you not even some firm picks for Rondo, but instead get pushed around by Bulls' players who WANT to play?
    i just want to know.

  • Kman

    Sorry, Sully was drafted in the late first round for a reason. College is full of guys like him with nifty post moves that can’t get their shot off in the NBA. He’s killing their defense. People just shoot overtop of him. He also has trouble finishing around the basket.

  • Brian

    Yeah they might as well just have a grade for Jeff Green's contract every day since it's talked about so much.

  • NZNICK33

    I think this game was the first time it felt like this team had any chemistry. Instead of bungling play after play and taking 23 seconds to put a shot up, plays were made, good shots were taken, and everyone was able to contribute. Though Green and Lee's numbers are unimpressive, I thought they looked a lot more comfortable and played within the flow of the offense. Sure, more aggression is needed, but it will come.

    As fans we need to exercise patience sometimes – especially following a fairly drastic roster overhaul.
    Let's get all the issues sorted out now and focus on playing our best basketball in April, May & June.

  • Josh

    I'd like to make 3 points:
    1) Sullinger > Darko
    2) Its nice to see GowGow finally change his picture
    3) If Terry can just be a liiiiiittle bit more aggressive and consistent this team gonna be naughty

  • CG12

    Jeff Green's contract.

  • Kman

    I just have not seen anything that great out of Sullinger so far. What I have seen is taller, more athletic players shooting over top of him and him being unable to finish around the basket. What I've seen from Darko is like 5 minutes of playing time. The reason Wilcox is playing so much is that he clearly out plays Sully. I feel like there has to be a spot for Darko to get some minutes and see what he can do. He must be really dogging it in practice.

    Caring is a necessity for a good NBA player, but so is size and athleticism.

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