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Celtics-Timberwolves Grades

Minnesota Timberwolves 94 Final

Recap | Box Score

104 Boston Celtics
Kevin Garnett, PF 27 MIN | 8-13 FG | 2-4 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | +14
An aggressive first quarter saw KG getting deep position, making quick moves, and filling it up. He missed a number of shots later on from the same excellent spots on the floor, but you’ll take those looks anytime. Still the one.
Brandon Bass, PF 30 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +4
The only starter not to turn the ball over, Bass picked up his game in the third quarter when the Celtics surged into the lead. His usage is down from last year but his defense is an improved scramble.
Paul Pierce, SF 25 MIN | 6-15 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | +8
Another volume scoring night for Pierce (6-15, including 1-6 from the arc) to go with 4 sloppy turnovers. I still worry more about the shooting percentages than the turnovers because Pierce was attacking tonight and looking to create off the dribble. It just didn’t always work.
Rajon Rondo, PG 38 MIN | 6-11 FG | 5-6 FT | 1 REB | 11 AST | 17 PTS | -4
Five ugly turnovers for Rondo and only one rebound. Still, happy to have him back and more than happy for the 17 points on only 11 shots.
Jason Terry, SG 38 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 17 PTS | +24
‘Twas a feast for Terry, who shot 70% from the field and only turned the ball over twice, which counts as a success on this night.
Jeff Green, PF 23 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +2
If it was pass-fail for Green, he’d slip by tonight.
Jared Sullinger, PF 18 MIN | 1-3 FG | 5-6 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +6
Eighteen games into his career, he’s a clear-cut rotation player. Nights like these make you wonder if he could start next to the right center. To me, he’s still weak on his pick and roll defense: guards turn the corner on him and he doesn’t recover quickly enough into the paint. Despite his size, he’s better helping on the interior where he doesn’t have to rotate so far.
Chris Wilcox, PF 20 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | 0
We all love the hard rolls to the rim and transition dunks but I’m unconvinced of his value in extended minutes. Twenty might be too many.
Kris Joseph, SF 1 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4
Hi Kris. Nice to see you.
Courtney Lee, SG 20 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | 0
Always alert out there, but tonight was a hard come down on the offensive end.

One Thing We Saw

  1. Tonight’s best lineup (+14): Garnett, Green, Lee, Sullinger, Terry. Tonight’s worst lineup (-6): Green, Lee, Rondo, Sullinger, Wilcox.
  • elroz

    Pierce continues to take more shots than other players in spite of his low shooting percentage. Might not these 3-4 shots a game be better distributed to Terry, KG, and Green?

    • Josh_5

      Good luck getting Pierce to agree to that.

    • anp

      thats his role…i have no problem with that…maybe to KG in the post if you can get him there consistently but, not really to other dudes….people overate ball distribution among a a lot of players, not saying 1-2 is the best but 7 dudes dont all need even shots, because when playoffs arrive your only as potent as ur best 2-3 scorers so if those guys arent in ryhtm buy then who care jeff green has a little more confidence then earlier in the season….hes not proven and will conistently fail you

  • JR99

    I'm still hoping Wilcox is still working his way back to full game-ready condition. That his best is yet to come.

  • Jook

    a little harsh i'd say. bass and sulli both played A-level games

    • Josh_5

      12 & 8 out of Bass is not an A, sorry.

  • Phil

    Overall, I thought it was nice, if mostly unremarkable game. Minnesota was on the second end of a road back to back with the Cs having multiple days off, so the schedule taketh away, but it also gives you a few.

    I thought Bass had his best game in a while tonight, and KG was awesome like always. With Sully having a solid game as well, it was probably the best the bigs played in a few weeks. Terry's stat line looks good, but I recall going 'NO!' to three or four different shots that he took, and they were just falling. That's part of his game though, and you can't argue with his production. I thought Green looked alright too. As long as you accept that he's a backup and nothing more, nights like these are fine. The problems arise when you figure that you're gonna need more from him to get to where you want to be.

    I actually thought Rondo looked bad tonight. He was throwing the ball away, and even though he scored more than normal, I thought he still passed up more layups than normal. One I recall he dished it from the charge circle to Bass for a contested 18 footer. He hit the shot, but that's a bad trade right there. His numbers still look good, and even on off nights he still controls the offense, but I'm still looking for more. I thought he was weak defensively again too. Ridnour and Barea are better than you think, but the 24/12 or whatever they ended up with is too much.

    Another bad game for Pierce too, and it's starting to worry me. Everything he's doing right now just looks off. I don't think we're to the point where we need to consider a serious role change yet, but the thought's starting to pop into my head.

    • CG12

      It looked like Barea was going by Rondo whenever he felt like it. Ugh.

      Bass had an okay game, but I really don't like his pick-and-roll D. If you watch KG, the acknowledged master, he shows over the pick just enough to make the ballhandler go way up over him. The guy defending the ballhandler can usually then go below KG to get back to his man. KG then immediately heads back to the paint, usually rotating off to the other big guy's man, as that guy has rotated to pick up KG's man. Bass, on the other hand, tends to really stick with the ballhandler, almost like he is trying to switch. He ends up 25 feet from the basket, running back to the paint with little clue where he is going. He needs to tighten that up.

  • geo

    I know we are in need of a big right now, but in the meantime, doesnt it almost seem like Collins could benefit from the D-league as much as or more than Melo? that is not saying much considering how long he has been in the league. Collins is absolutely useless, consider the following for his spot, plus the following for the empty slot on the roster:

    Free agents we could get for nothing:

    Earl Boykins is 36, but even as of last year the 5'5" PG was a handful for Rondo and made him look like he was standing still on many occasions

    Kyrylo Fesenko is 26, yes maybe Darko 2.0, but he can actually rebound, and is Gigantic (9'4" standing reach) and again for minimum.

    Kenyon Martin is 34, i would hate to pass on him considering the last two bigs we passed on: reggie evans, who we could have had if we really tried, because everyone thought we did preseason last year, and Andray Blatche, both who are making the Nets almost impossible to beat for rebounds.

    • Phil

      Fesenko's interesting to me, since I believe he's one of those guys that the advanced stats really like (though I could be misremembering.) You have to be wary of anyone on the street right now though, especially big guys.

      I remember hearing from someone recently (Bill Simmons?) that the reason the Celtics didn't pursue Blatche is because KG absolutely hates him. When considering an end of the roster flyer (and he's played better than anyone expected in Brooklyn,) the fact that your best player might end up criminally assaulting him has to factor in.

  • Josh_5

    Hahaha!! Ya KG definitely hates him. Its obvious every time they played against each other. Not to mention, KG's work ethic is top notch where Blatche is publicly known for being a lazy ass.

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