Post-game Reactions

Philadelphia 76ers 79 Final

Recap | Box Score

92 Boston Celtics
Kevin Garnett, PF 23 MIN | 9-11 FG | 1-1 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 19 PTS | +150 rebounds get him docked a half grade, but with Boston holding their own for most of the night on the defensive glass, the 9-for-11 from the field in just 23 minutes stands out far more brightly to me. Whenever KG gets into an offensive groove from the perimeter, it still boggles my mind with how much ease he gets those shots up. In 3 games against Philly this year, he is shooting 68 percent against the Sixers this year, so as long as Bynum stays sidelined, this is a playoff matchup down the line that could bode well for KG.
Brandon Bass, PF 32 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +12When he’s hitting his open jumpers, Boston’s offense will be hard to beat. Let Thaddeus Young out of the box for a bit in the second half, but made the most of his opportunities on the offensive end.
Paul Pierce, SF 33 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 9 AST | 13 PTS | +14Ties a season-high with 9 assists, which was a welcome change of pace from what I feel like has been overreaching by Pierce on the offensive end lately. Part of that hasn’t been his fault, as the supporting cast has not stepped up as much as you would like, but Pierce came into last night as an willing and active passer, against Philly’s double teams, which produced an efficient offense night for his teammates and himself (just 1 turnover).
Rajon Rondo, PG 36 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-3 FT | 9 REB | 11 AST | 7 PTS | +22The offensive aggressiveness he had Friday night inn the first half was still missing, but his crashing of the defensive glass remained a welcomed surprise. No point guard in the league can board better than Rondo when he puts his mind to it. The sloppy turnovers are still a bit too numerous for my liking, but Rondo made up for it on the defensive end, besting Jrue Holiday for the second straight night. Additionally, I vastly enjoy Rondo’s late-game triple-double attempts, fighting Jared Sullinger and Brandon Bass mightily late for boards, while sitting himself up for a 3-ball minutes late. High comedy.
Jason Terry, SG 28 MIN | 3-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | +3A bit of a shooting slump against Philly the past couple nights continued. Clearly was less of a defensive liability given the Sixers 23 percent shooting in the first half, and still managed to hit a couple of 3-pointers despite his struggles.
Jeff Green, PF 23 MIN | 7-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | +3Time to give some credit where credit is due. The rebounding wasn’t there last night, but the offensive explosiveness was, as the team went to him early and often in isolation and he made the most of those opportunities. This wasn’t just a flash in the pan either lately, as he’s now scored in double-digits in four of his past five games and has begun to earn some crunch time minutes because of it.
Jared Sullinger, PF 22 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +4It’s hard to thing the C’s would get away with a night where KG and Jeff Green combined for 0 rebounds, but the work Sullinger did on both sides of the floor on the glass was a joy to watch. Philly is no slouch when it comes to rebounding as we know too well. I’ve also been impressed with the strides Sully has made on the defensive end on a night in and out basis. One of the more reliable members of the rotation just 20 games into his career is nothing to sneeze at.
Chris Wilcox, PF 18 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -5Alley-oop, rinse, repeat.
Courtney Lee, SG 21 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | +1Same old story for now, solid defense, minimal offense. On nights like this, defense is the older thing the C’s need out of him, so not sense knocking a guy for taking jsut 3 shots.
Leandro Barbosa, SG 4 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4Out of the rotation for the time being. In what may be a related story, C’s pick and roll D has improved a lot in the past few games.
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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • Musk

    Its about time Jeff Green got some love from you guys! He definitely has to keep improving his game, but diggity dawg does he create the instant off-the-dribble offense we have been lacking the last few seasons. Think about how many times last year the Celtics finished first halves with 30-some points. He creates mismatches all the time and takes pressure off of PP so he doesn't have to force it as much!

    All I am saying is look at the intangibles and the upside this guy brings to the table. Who else has attacked the rim like he does for us in the past 5 years?

  • I bleed green

    Rebounds or not…KG deserves an A+ for that game. I mean how can you grade his performance the same as Sullinger (solid game for sure but nothing special) and Jeff Green (who did what he is expected to do, no more, and was a disaster when made the focal point of the offense in the 3rd quarter, leading to Philly's 11-0 run).

    KG dominated on both ends and instantly changed the complexion of the game when he came back in to stop Philly's run. WIth him in the game the offense looks sharp, and the D imposing. I don't know why everybody in Green brings their A game only when he's on the floor. But the difference is palpable…and hopefully something we address before the post season. We need that same effort and confidence when he's on the bench.

    • Mike Spoon

      It isn't that everyone brings their A game when KG is on the floor, it is that KG is probably the best big man in the NBA in terms of covering up his teammates mistakes on the offensive end. Also his 20 foot jumper opens up the floor so well for Rondo and Pierce so the offense naturally looks better with him out there.

      • Mike Spoon

        defensive end, not offensive end.

    • Phil

      You can't look at it as KG and Sully getting the same grade, they're graded on different scales. Sully's max contributions (12/12 or so?) would get an A+, just like KG's would (20/10/shut down the other team.) If Sully had to get 20/10 and anchor the defense to get an A, he'd get a C even when he played well.

      • I bleed green

        I get your point, Phil. It's definitely relative. But a few rebounds wouldn't change the fact KG dominated the game and did it in only 23 minutes and some seconds. Fine give him an A.

        I agree that was Sullinger's A- game. But personally, I didn't see Jeff Green's A- game. Or maybe I did and the expectation on him is really low. He gave decent point production (around what you would expect for a 6th/7th man) but didn't have a single rebound, only 1 assist, and he turned the ball over twice and had a block against. His shots were mostly off wide open jumpers playing with at least 2 starters, and (again) when they needed offense from him with the starters on the bench he put up a big donut.

        That said, I am happy to see his scoring become more consistent, and hope he continues to progress. More then anything I hope Terry finds his rhythm in the offense (or Doc figures out how to use him better). He's a much better weapon then we've seen so far.

        • Phil

          I would never argue against a higher grade for KG. Some players get to the point where if something bad happens, you just assume it's their fault, well I'm the opposite with KG. I just assume everything good is his doing.

          As far as Green, maybe I just lowered my expectations quicker than most (and they started low,) but I've loved his contributions the last few games. For the regular season at least, this is exactly what they need. Rebounds are a little weird in that they're sometimes a team stat. Green and KG didn't get the numbers, but the Celtics as a whole did fine on the glass. That's enough for me to say they both did their jobs there.

  • -JP

    I am so happy with the way that Jeff Green has been playing. His defense has been a bit better, but he is really making himself useful on offense. I think that his comfort on offense will in turn make him better defensively and I also think he will get stronger as the season goes on. This is some of the best defense I have seen from this team. Hope they can build on this.

  • -JP

    One other comment, Green is much better at playing the 3 than he is at playing the 4. I like the idea of a line up that features PP at the 2 and Green at the 3 so long as KG is on the floor. Gives you a lot of mismatches on offense and doesn't really hurt your offense against most teams (exceptions being teams with great 2 guards, LA, Miami)

    • Phil

      Totally agree. I really liked what I saw from the big lineup the Cs put out there last night with Green at the 3 and Pierce at the 2. I've been looking forward to seeing it for a while, and this is the first time I can remember it getting extended run. I thought they scored pretty much at will while that group was out there.

      They also let up a good amount of points, but I thought a lot of them were tough shots that they just hit. It's pointless to make conclusions off such a small sample, but I'd like to see that lineup some more.

  • check12check

    Was Robb drunk when he wrote this? i say that not because i disagree with his comments, but the misspellings and incorrectly used words leap off the (web)page here.

    I know everyone wrote this team off after the first couple games, but that's not how the NBA works. it takes time and continuity for a team to become great. we keep looking better all the time.

    sidenote – I love the way PP's game looks when he is racking up assists too. his passing is an over-looked aspect of his game (mostly by him though). keep moving the rock and this team is going to get scary good

  • geo

    What impressed me the most is that even late when KG was "huffing and puffing" he still was hitting his jumpshot which has not been the case this season, that gives me much hope, that his fitness is getting better!! like the previous games have been preseason still and he is reaching peak form, if so then lots to be hopeful for.
    it amazes me that when he is one he seems to be about 3 feet taller, and 4 feet longer than anyone on the court (ignoring rebounding that is)
    bottom line, KG wants to play as a high block small forward, and he will thrive at this position for at least 2 more years if we sully and bass start getting really nasty in the restricted zone or if we get a random giant to just sit down low, to beat a dead horse, Darko could have really done so well in this system once we finally defined things, i blame it on him for being impatient for sitting on a bench collecting millions off of amnesty and complaining, this couldve been an easy walk to a banner, and a revitalization in the nba