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Celtics-Jazz Grades

Utah Jazz 93 Final
Recap | Box Score
98 Boston Celtics
Kevin Garnett, PF 30 MIN | 4-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 11 PTS | +9
The young Jazz bigs really went at KG, particularly off the dribble. Defending young perimeter players one-on-one is one of KG’s few defensive weaknesses and he struggled with that tonight. His shot was off again although he managed a few impressive rim runs and again put down a lob from Rajon Rondo. Overall, he seems tired right now and the Brooklyn game won’t do much to help. Expect sub-30 minutes from KG tomorrow night. He’ll be better for it over the long term.
Brandon Bass, PF 32 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -2
His steadiness is part of his appeal but his limitations are consistent too. Bass got just killed on the boards and in a game where the Celtics gave up a massive batch of offensive rebounds, they needed more from him.
Paul Pierce, SF 29 MIN | 7-17 FG | 6-7 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 23 PTS | -3
The shooting percentage was — again — nothing to blog home about but Pierce generated enough offense to lead the team in scoring.
Rajon Rondo, PG 25 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 10 AST | 6 PTS | -8
A soft focus first half gave way to a sharp third quarter before he turned his ankle and sat the rest of this one out. He is drawing consistent double-team attention on penetration which is opening up the lane for guys like KG and Wilcox to throw down alley-oops.
Jason Terry, SG 22 MIN | 0-1 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | -10
A passenger on this particular jet.
Jeff Green, PF 27 MIN | 5-9 FG | 6-7 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | +12
Here’s what I like, besides the steady upward creep in his minutes: after Paul Millsap stymied a number of his first half drives, Green continued attacking, which led to that thunderous throwdown in the fourth quarter and 7 FTAs. Here’s what I love: the technical foul and subsequent imploring of the crowd to bring the noise. Could the snarl and attitude of #5 be rubbing off on him? Let’s hope so.
Jared Sullinger, PF 16 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +7
Nobody’s talking about his basketball IQ lately.
Chris Wilcox, PF 18 MIN | 3-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -4
Love the production in short minutes because it’s based almost exclusively on hustle and positioning. Particularly excited that he’s still a ways from optimal shape, which means his performance should be on an upswing for awhile yet.
Courtney Lee, SG 18 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +11
Finding his place, however slowly. Given the way he started, I’ll take 50% from the field with no further fuss.
Leandro Barbosa, SG 23 MIN | 6-8 FG | 3-6 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS | +13
A lightning quick score-first backup point who is not tiny (Nate Robinson), erratic (Stephon Marbury), injury prone (Delonte West) or a half-season rental (Sam Cassell), Barbosa has been more feast than famine so far. Where does he fit when Avery Bradley comes back? With any luck, it’ll be a difficult conversation.
  • Phil

    I'm usually critical of these grades skewing too high, especially after a win… that said, a B+ for Barbosa?!! What did you want him to do, solve the defensive rebounding issue?

    I'm of the assumption that these grades are handed out on a curve based off of expectation, and you can't expect more from Barbosa than what he gave you. Not only was he a consistent scoring threat throughout the game, abusing Favors and Kanter, he played the point for (almost?) the entire time after Rondo went down with an injury, and production didn't suffer because of it. This is the 11th guy on the roster, and I'd argue he was the main person responsible for this win. The fact that no one else besides Wilcox got an A shows that the team needed someone like Barbosa to step up big.

    • Phil

      His blurb was even negative!

      Whew, I feel better. Now I'll go back to sniping at people too pumped up about small sample sizes and Darko.

      • The Cardinal

        I agree with you on this one – without Barbosa's impact, no way we win. And for those that didn't notice, his defense on the opposing point guards was better than Rondo's. Simply because he's never been called upon to play much defense doesn't mean he can't – he's so quick and moves his feet so well, he could probably give Bradley a run as a one-on-one defender if that became his focus.

        When they signed him, I stated that the move ranked right there with the signing of Courtney Lee. A healthy Bradley and the trading deadline will make for some interesting decisions in Beantown, but because of his versatility, age (only 29), quickness, and assassin-like ability to get to the rim, Barbosa is third on my depth chart behind Rondo and Bradley.

    • Tos

      Agree 100%. The grade for Barbosa is insulting.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Barbosa was the CSNNE Player of the Game last night…. Hook the man up with the A+; how much better do you think Barbosa is gonna play?

  • elroz

    By the way, the older, tired KG led the team in rebounding over his 30 minutes. Maybe Wilcox could have gotten more if he played longer…but KG led the team in rebounding tonight.

    • KayK

      That isn't really saying much though, the rebounding was really terrible this game, it's really the only thing that kept the Jazz close in the 4th.

  • jp-

    Barbosa has been great, how is he not ahead of Lee in the pecking order when Avery comes back?

  • IBleedGreen

    DeGama tends to give low grades; Jackson tends to give high grades. If you average them out you get the correct grade: (DeGama + Jackson) / 2

  • -JP

    Also, Sullinger is a rookie playing like one, I will give you that, but you have to admit that was a big shot by him that he wasn't afraid of taking in the 4th. If thats what your rookie big guy is giving you, I think you can live with that.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Ya that big shot seems to have been over looked

  • smalltownID

    I agree the grade for Barbosa was a little low, I did get a kick out of the comparison to Robinson-Marbury-Delonte though even if casting Barbosa as "consistent" or anything for that matter is a little premature.

  • Josh_5

    On a positive note, Al Jefferson is expected to make a full recovery.

  • jman

    Your grades are way off. You give wilcox an a- but KG gets in the C's. I know he looked tired and his shooting was off in the 1st half, but his presence was felt in the 4th quarter. Without him in the 4th, the c's would of lost. Also, Barbosa carried this team and deserved a higher grade. The only non-factor player last night was Terry. He was lost. Playing the Ray position and using the same plays are not working for Terry as shown last night. Doc needs to rethink his strategy with terry. And the best part was Pierce only shot 3 hero balls I counted…lol

    • I Bleed Green

      Totally agree. KG's numbers are never going to reflect what he brings to the game. Sure he struggles a bit with perimeter defense, but he hounded Jefferson into a pretty average night and kept Mo Williams out of the paint. When you consider he's pretty much the only big on the team (everybody else plays small and can't defend the paint), and how much energy he expends on every play its no surprise his shot is off and he looks tired. He's the only one playing interior D.

      (No offense to Wilcox. He's really excels at running the floor, and hustle plays, but he's not a position defender and doesn't effect the opposing teams halfcourt sets.)

      Can we please unload Darko and Collins and bring in somebody like a Reggie Evans who will at least battle on the glass and wear the other team out. Watching favors dominate was painful.

      And couldn't agree more on Terry. Running him off screens is a complete waste of his talent. I would've like to see him play some point last night with Barbosa at the 2-spot. As much as I like Barbosa's aggression and ability to score he is way too much of a ball hog to consistently run point. His first five minutes he blew off KG and other open guys to attack the basket. He made a couple, but when Garnett runs the floor and has Foye guarding him – you give up the damn ball.

  • tbunny

    Chris Wilcox is a dunking machine and Rondo is the operator.

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