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Celtics-Bucks Grades

Boston Celtics 88 Final

Recap | Box Score

91 Milwaukee Bucks
Kevin Garnett, PF 31 MIN | 6-11 FG | 5-6 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 17 PTS | +4
Does more in 31 minutes than most people do all day.
Brandon Bass, PF 27 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +6
Ineffective on offense but put up good rebounding numbers.
Paul Pierce, SF 37 MIN | 6-16 FG | 6-8 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 19 PTS | +12
Another 6-16 night. Yikes. But he also got to the line 8 times amongst a few other good numbers in the line score. This is probably worth a post all on its own but last night showed us quite a bit about Pierce’s shifting game. I’m officially worried about his shooting (his FG% is at its lowest number since the 03-04 season) but he’s increasing his efficiency in other areas, particularly his defensive rebounding rate, which is up, and his turnovers, which are down.
Jason Terry, SG 40 MIN | 5-17 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 11 AST | 15 PTS | +7
Utterly mystifying performance for Terry who took Rondo’s absence as a sign that he should take 17 shots, many of the forced-and-missed variety. But he also had 11 dimes which may not happen again the rest of his career. I’ve also got a growing appreciation for his quick hands on defense, which render him something less than a liability. At least last night they did.
Courtney Lee, SG 39 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | -4
Who else is coming around on Lee, who did another long stretch on the floor, to his, and the team’s, benefit? Seems to be finding his shot.
Jeff Green, PF 23 MIN | 8-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 18 PTS | -19
Jeff, we’ll take this game from you every single night without complaint. Particularly heartwarming are the shooting percentages: 8-11 from the field and 2-3 on corner three balls.
Jared Sullinger, PF 14 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -3
Tall people remain a problem for Sullinger who looked more like a rookie when he tried to score the ball last night. But he did pull down 5 rebounds and block 3 shots. On a team that might be one guy star talent short of being capable of seriously challenging for a title, multifaceted production from the mid-level guys is essential.
Chris Wilcox, PF 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -6
Still recovering from illness.
Jason Collins, C 14 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -1
Remarkably bad at finishing at the rim given his size. He blew another couple last night. The rebounds were nice, though. Fun fact: Has a -1.99 PER.
Leandro Barbosa, SG 13 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | -11
He’s come way back to Earth in his last five games and turned in a mostly-empty 13 minutes last night. There’s a version of the 2012-13 season where he ends up anchored to the bench when Avery Bradley returns.
  • High Rollers

    Is that "one guy star talent short of being capable of seriously challenging for a title" with or without Avery?

  • Josh_5

    Somebody please tell me something positive and encouraging about this team and the direction its going. I'm sick of giving Bass praise for grabbing 8 boards or praising Green for scoring 18 points. Is this what its come to?

    • High Rollers

      How about Lee's D? Terry's bailouts? Jeff's aggression? Sully's IQ? Avery likely returning before Christmas? Not to mention our cold shooters are bound to heat up, because they sure ain't going to stop shooting.

      Cheer up.

      • Phil

        Is Avery really likely to return before Christmas? Last I heard he was still out indefinitely, and he hasn't yet been cleared to practice.

        I'm kind of with Josh here. Praising a back up big for his BBall IQ or Green for his aggression once a week is kind of the same as praising Bass for getting 8 boards in a game where he scored 4 points and got torched inside on D. Given our expectations, the team hasn't given us much to cheer for. You could argue that fans expectations are a little high, but you can't simultaneously sell a championship run and an 8th seed regular season.

        Rondo potentially upping his game is the main thing I'm looking for in addition to Bradley's return. I want him to score more on offense, and I really want him to actually try on defense; he's been flat out bad at times this year, not just his normal gambly self. Rondo is the kind of player who can make the team fun to watch. Him running the offense along with an improved overall defense would set things up well. I think the offensive improvement is easier than cobbling together a good defense with the bigs they have, but they have the history on that side of the ball that makes me believe a little.

  • Ge0gre

    Guys, guys, You can't be giving a C- as the lowest grade in a loss like this. I think you have to readjust the curve on this one. Terry 5-17 shooting is a B? On what planet?
    Well, let's just keep our heads up. Rondo will be back shortly.

    • janos

      is bad grades; am agree

  • french jujubean

    A- to Jeff Green after he scored 18 points, 8-11 shooting and 6 rebounds in…..23 minutes???
    What does he need to do for you guys to give him an A?? Is it because you still can't digest the 9 millions he's paid per year??

    • Phil

      That -19 is pretty ugly to look at. Single game +/- is obviously a flawed stat, but there's something going on if your team is outscored by 19 in the 23 minutes you're on the court. I've yet to be impressed by anything Green's done on the defensive end, and that's half of the game.

      • french jujubean

        the team got outscored by 19 also and mostly because KG is off the court when that kind of thing happens, not because Green is in….

        • Phil

          We're talking about the difference between an A and an A-. -19 in 23 minutes is a huge split, KG or not. You have to really be doing something wrong as an entire 5 man unit to be outscored by almost a point a minute. It's well known that the defense falls apart when KG leaves the court (19 points per 100 possessions worse last I checked,) and Green is a big part of that. He got an A- because he had his best offensive game of the year. He was par for the course on the other side of the ball, and his par on defense isn't very good.

          His rebounding is probably what saved the A-. That was definitely as high as he could've earned though. Even on his best day he didn't really help; that's telling.

          You could turn around and argue that he should be getting graded on the same scale as the Barbosa's (I argued for an A for Barbosa when he scored 16 after Rondo rolled his ankle,) but I don't think we're there yet.

  • skeeds

    grades are a bit too high for such a loss aren't they?
    I took away 2 things from last night's game, having not watched the last 2-3 before it. Firstly, Pierce is yet again slower and less effective, no matter how hard he tries. His always slow-but-tricky 1 on 1 game has unfortunately regressed to a point where we shouldn't expect of him to be THE Alpha dog. Don't get me wrong, he's still a great player. He needs to once again reinvent himself though. Less iso, more outside shooting PP.
    Secondly. I like what I'm seeing from Green. He did EXACTLY what I prayed he'd prove me wrong by doing. Constantly appeared out of nowhere under the basket for an easy layup or rebound, attacked the lane whenever the defense slacked, mixed in a couple of jumpers to keep them on their heels.

    We still haven't found the defensive switch unfortunately. It appears as a bad combination of minor things. PP's a bit slower on his rotations, the bigs haven't exactly figured out how to cooperate with KG, and the guards get mixed up on their switches too much. And then there's Terry. For the life of me I will never comprehend how one of the most technical p&roll scorers of the decade has no idea how to defend that same play that he knows better than anyone else in the league. (then again, Nash is about as bad at that too, go figure)…
    I'm not too worried though. It can only be one of two things. Either this team is the dumbest team Doc has ever coached, which is unlikely, or they'll have it completely figured out by Christmas. I bet on the latter.

  • check12check

    I am at a loss about what to do with pierce at this point. Despite being the youngest of the (former) big 3, it has always been pierce that looked like an old man on the court, and it is really showing now. He can't play his iso game anymore, pierce has never been a great 3-point shooter (serviceable when it is part of his game but not good enough for that to be his go-to shot), and he doesn't look up to the task on D anymore either.

    i think the past two games also show that our defense looks better without rondo doing his swinging door impression. I seem to remember Rondo being a decent defender. what happened here?

    • Anthony

      Don't mean to correct you but how can you say Pierce is only a serviceable 3point shooter? He's currently #9 all time on the 3 pointers made and shoots a very respectable 37% for his career. Did you already forget that he also won the 3 point contest just 2 years ago?

      I do however agree that he's not as quite as what we're accustomed to seeing. He seems OK in spurts but he's playing almost 34 minutes a game. Unfortunately, JGreen hasn't been able to give him much of a breather.

      • Phil

        I wouldn't really cite anything that happens all star weekend as defense of a player's actual skill 😛

        That said, Pierce is, and has always been, a good three point shooter. He's shooting a very good/borderline elite 40% right now this season. That's far from bad.

        Just as an 'I would've never guessed that' note, he shot 40% on 520 threes in 01-02 according to basketball reference. Those are insane Ray Allen type numbers.

        • Anthony

          How good would the Celts have been had Antoine shot the 3 as well as Paul?
          I was semi-surprised Kobe shoots under 34% for his career.

          Phil – On a separate note, I think I'm changing my stance on the optimism of this team. I think they will be contenders come playoff time. I'm attributing the following factors to the poor start. But they all should be easy fixes.

          – Plenty of new faces, need time to gel.
          – AB is still out, forced CLee and Jet to adjust to different role.
          – Big 3 is on cruise control. It seemed to me that Rondo played with more aggression even in preseason. Can someone please tell Rondo to stop playing his gambling defense? Doesn't he realize he doesn't have the young(er) KG and Perk playing behind him?
          – Bass' jumper.
          – JGreen is slowly but surely coming along.
          – The defense has at least been better the last 5 games.

  • HanoiIG

    What do you make of Green's -19? I'm not sure how plus-minus should be interpreted.

  • john

    We need to bring in The Gangster for some help on the boards and to block shots and some scoring
    were sinking to fast and can't seem to beat the teams we should be stepping on……..

  • sightline

    The whole league is full of guys picking up a paycheck while playing bad defense. It used to be that the Celtics was not one of those teams. Defense is about attitude and effort, even if you aren't a superstar athlete, you can still use your brain and anticipation to have some effect at the defensive end. When rotations are missed and bad, scratch that, terrible decisions are made while playing defense, its hard to defend. At the moment the Celtics have large lapses in concentration while playing. They have lost the killer instinct that made them one of the best teams in the NBA. Trade Rondo, Green and Bass for a package that has an All-Star and 2 good roll players. While Rondo is a fantastic player, I don't think we can win a title with him. The good news is the Lakers lost again.

  • NZNICK33

    Umm.. we already won a title with Rondo…

  • john

    Who's to blame for the loss KG for not taking shot or the other peanut head Dodo Bird Rondo the turnover machine.

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