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Celtics-Mavericks Grades

Dallas Mavericks 115 FinalRecap | Box Score 117 Boston Celtics
Kevin Garnett, PF 40 MIN | 7-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | +6
Garnett’s rebounds are down. Like, really freaking down. Before the C’s took on the Mavericks tonight, Garnett was averaging 9.1 per 36 minutes. He had 5 in 40 tonight. Couple that with the goose egg he had against Philly on Saturday and it’s starting to become concerning. Only a nice double digit posting will calm my nerves about KG’s potential decline. Let’s hope we see that on this up-coming road trip.On the bright side, Garnett hit some big shots tonight that helped keep an active Mavs team at bay.
Brandon Bass, PF 33 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-6 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | +2
Bass scored 9 points and snagged 7 boards. That’s not a lot for a team’s starting power forward in a double overtime game. However, things start to look better for Bass when you consider he only played the customary regulation minutes (33) and didn’t exactly get his number called beyond the 3rd quarter. I’d take a guaranteed 9 and 7 from Bass if I could.Bass really earns his B+ when you consider his lowly foul total. In a game with calls to go around, Bass only getting two is one of life’s great mysteries.
Paul Pierce, SF 44 MIN | 11-25 FG | 9-11 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 34 PTS | +2
34 points is great. For Pierce, it’s also nice to see he’s still capable of filling it up. I, however, take issue with the 25 FGAs and those damned isolation plays. Perhaps it was play-calling, perhaps it was the extended minutes. Whatever the cause, the effect was awful to watch. How many times can Pierce fail to get a good shot off in an isolation play before the Celtics go to something else? On a positive note, Pierce had some finishes tonight that made you think, “big boy” if you thought about how you’d describe them. It’s nice to see those once in awhile. It’s nicer to see them more often than that.
Rajon Rondo, PG 53 MIN | 8-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 15 AST | 16 PTS | -4
Sure, you could deduct more points for getting stuck on pick-and-rolls, employing perhaps the worst on-ball defensive strategy (eye shield), and that awful shot attempt to end regulation. Those are all truisms when it comes to Rondo’s performance tonight, but his positive contributions far outweighed any of those shortcomings. Rondo almost had a triple-double in 58 minutes, but keep in mind he also almost had one in regulation. There were times where he seemed like the only person good enough, fast enough, and fresh enough to make a play. And he backed up that perception with that big time drive and lay up to put the C’s up for good.He gets the A- because you know, I know, and he knows he can be even better.
Jason Terry, SG 48 MIN | 3-10 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | +2
Terry was pumped to face his former team and was probably pissed when it was over. The JET was a miserable 3-for-10 from the field and gave the C’s little outside of one late game deflection. You almost have to disregard that deflection when you consider how reckless the Mavs were with the ball. The Mavs committed 27 turnovers and many of them weren’t exactly due to the Celtics swarming defense.
Jeff Green, PF 27 MIN | 5-16 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | +6
Had the Celtics won by 10 in regulation, Green’s game would have been lumped in with his other recent productive performances. His tentativeness late in tonight’s game combined with his 31% shooting really outweigh the 15 points and that HUGE two-handed alley-oop slam in transition. Keep in mind that for Green, 5 rebounds is like 12 for anyone else.
Jared Sullinger, PF 11 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +3
Sullinger had a rough game. He missed all three of his shot attempts and could only be trusted to play 11 minutes in a 58 minute game.
Chris Wilcox, PF 16 MIN | 4-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -6
Where would the Celtics be without Chris Wilcox? 10 points and 6 boards in 16 minutes. Why didn’t he get more minutes tonight?
Courtney Lee, SG 19 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -1
Why didn’t Doc Rivers put Lee in when the Mavericks went uber small late in the game? Hmmm…something to ponder.
  • elroz

    Yes KG's rebounding is down the last two games, but the C's are rebounding rather ok during those games. Maybe there's a connection -more help rebounding?

    I hope in Houston Doc uses Wilcox, Green, Sullinger, and Lee as many minutes as he uses KG, Pierce, and Terry. The bench MUST step up so that starters can get some worthy rest. It back to back maaaaan!

    • CelticsBIG3

      Whats the big deal with KG only getting 5 when RR9 had 9, Pierce had 6, Bass had 7, Wilcox grabbed 6, and Green had 5?

      • Banner18

        Not worried about rebounding in a game where we force 27 turnovers. Especially when we out rebound them on the offensive end, leading to +8 in shots. Putting it in perspective, Kaman on the other end also only grabbed 5 boards.

  • sightline

    Is it too late to trade for Tim Duncan? His numbers are up. He's like Benjamin Button. I want Tim Duncan and OJ Mayo!!!! God….damn……it. Make it happen Danny. Or i will find your email address and Rick roll you. Do it now!!!!

    • janos


  • geo

    From what I saw, KG's lack of rebounds is a result of him stepping up to the high post and doubling off the pick and roll which led to a lot better defense overall at the risk of leaving space under the rim, This strategy led to many of those turnovers from Collison, when he turned the corner and hit a wall of pierce or kg. Also, a lot of this has been a result of Rondo playing really inconsistent on ball defense and the bigs covering. ironically, this leads to more Rondo rebounds, because he gives up on his man and runs to the hoop and either tries a last minute strip/foul and/or grabs the board.
    Bottom line the defense is getting tighter because KG is playing a PF role, now if we just had a true center to sit down there and grab boards

    • Bill

      The thing that actually ate us up on D a bit last night (outside of jumping past pump fakes) is the helper from the edge not knowing what to do, Terry in particular. Numerous times KG would step out to switch on the pick and roll, and as you point out, causing turnovers. However, sometimes the Mavs would get good motion, and instead of playing actual defense on the driver/cutter to force the extra pass, Terry would sort of shade the lane for a second and then run to the edge, giving up the layup and effectively doing … nothing.

      Also, Terry needs to decide if he wants to play actual defense or take the charge. Shuffling your feet while you back up from the free throw line all the way to the basket doesn't do anything, you have to set your feet or turn the offensive player with your body. Pick one.

      • JR99

        +1. Terry on defense last night was a near-total disaster. Doc at one point almost blew up at him (when he failed to even TRY to defend Carter's last 3, even though JT was the only Celtic in range). Terry's going to have to shape up defensively, or… he will find himself the last 2-guard off the bench (or rather, glued to it).

    • janos

      hi geo is Janos
      this is fair and reason asses

  • tbunny

    Not a Jeff Green hater but is it me or does he seem to miss a lot of rotations on defense? Seems like I see a lot of plays where Green's man is getting the ball under the basket. He seems a little lost on defense.

  • Bill

    As a Celts fan I have to laugh at the last post on this site … the refs tried to take this one away from the C's? You mean by calling the ghost foul on D-fish in OT that more or less cost the Mavs the game?

    The Celts really NEED to clean up their late game offense. I actually thought late game D was alright (though jumping at pump fakes seems to be in vogue around the league this year for some reason), but the O was just horrible. So many possessions where there was one pass, people stand around for a bit, and then long distance jumper. Not even a drive and kick. Against the Mavs? Rondo making his jumper is not our bread and butter. Do we even have a bread and butter right now? I get the guys are tired at the end of a double OT game, but that's why you run sets. Celts had at least 10 chances last night to blow the game open and avoid the 1st OT, then the 2nd, and they didn't take advantage of it. Not a good sign.

    I just hate Pierce iso'd at the top of the three point line (instead of at the elbow), and I hate Rondo shooting stepback jumpers as time expires. DRIVE.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Sure thats all true, but the out of bounds call where Marion clearly tipped it out was ridiculous. Joey Crawford has to be blind or retarded not to see that. My mom saw the play clearly as it happened live and she's in her 60s.

      • JR99

        If you are talking about the play where it looked like PP tapped the ball out through Marion's hands…. it took JVG & company about 5 minutes of constant replays from multiple angles to FINALLY sort-of see that MAYBE Marion's pinky touched the ball last. I really thought that was pretty "inconclusive" and the refs are supposed to let the on-court call stand in the absence of conclusive evidence otherwise.

        • Phil

          To be fair, he may have been watching the local broadcast, and you can imagine that Tommy was a little more convinced, and quickly reached his confident opinion.

          Seeing the replay (and I thought it was out on the Mavs, though it wasn't obvious,) I just assumed it wouldn't be overturned because it was Crawford who made the call on the floor. I'm not sure if this has been actually studied, or is anecdotal, but a lot of referees are very slow to overturn their own call.

  • IBleedGreen

    KG's lack of rebouding has everything to do with the team's poor perimeter defesne (yes, Rondo I am looking at you). Our guards are consistently getting beat off the dribble and KG has to either step out to help or try to block shots at the rim, so he's always out of position for the rebound.
    Another cause could be that nowadays teams run tons of pick-and-rolls, and KG being the best P&R defender in the history of the game is always away from the basket defending the P&R.

  • Phil

    Overall, I'm lukewarm with the win. The Celtics haven't played well enough for anyone to be unhappy with a win, but three days off going into a game where the Mavs without Dirk have to go cross country? Terry's recent shooting slump is starting to bother me because he's really not useful if his shot isn't going down. You assume he's gonna pull out of it, but that doesn't make it any better now.

    I do like that I see signs of the defense improving (the 1st half,) but it's still not there yet (everything else.) It goes down as a win though, so on to the Rockets.

  • janos

    i am curous what michaelspna think of this win am alway look forwards him talk

  • Banner18

    A little to generous on Pierce's grade. He's still an enigma to me this season, possibly the most confusing player on this team. He looked vintage Paul Pierce backing his man on the baseline turning around for easy scores, along with his signature 10 foot turn arounds. Why he throws up brick after brick from the perimeter? I do not know. It's not his game. He evolved into the elite player he is today by using his swift up fakes and strength to draw defenders into his shot, usually resulting an free throws. With the depth on this team, he cannot be missing 14 shots a night when Jet, Green, and more importantly KG all need these shots early. Still not fond of last possession line ups, particularly with under 7 seconds left. Barbosa should be inbounding to Rondo with Green and Jet on the Perimeter and KG in the box. Ideally Rondo can penetrate for an easy bucket/dish to KG or find Barbosa (who I think needs atleast 6 minutes a game) trailing for a deep ball.

    • fabbzz

      Genius…substitute barbosa for pierce. C'mon man

      • Banner 18

        I should have mentioned that this would only be applicable for 1-3 quarters. Clearly keep PP in there for the last possession of the 4th (although it hasn't been so "clear" lately).

  • srb

    I'll just point out that Pierce went over 23,000 career points last night. He needs 140 more to pass Elgin Baylor for 24th all time.

  • hydrofluoric

    Seems to me that Pierce's scoring effectiveness declines extremely dramatically after he's played 35 minutes. Against Philly, he'd eked out 27 points with like 5 minutes left in regulation… and from then on it was bricked jumper after bricked jumper sandwiched around a blown layup or too. Still played some nice D but nothing went down for him then.

    I didn't catch the end of this game (stopped early in Q4) but from what I can tell, his closing ability was something of a problem again? I would think the solution lies in more rest. Guy was 7/11 or something early on.

    • Phil

      Pierce had 4 points in the first OT and 8 in the second, so last night wouldn't support your theory. It does make sense though, so it's worth watching going forward. He hit a couple of threes in that overtime too, but I'd be curious if his minutes have anything to do with his 5 for 28 stretch on threes over the last five games.

      I don't think it would hurt the Cs to get him an extra few minutes of rest either way, especially if Green continues his current streak of not being terrible.

  • JR99

    It's a mistake to give KG a B just because his rebound numbers were relatively low. That happened BY DESIGN…. KG was on the perimeter on many plays, trapping and wreaking general havoc and turnovers. The Cs decided Bass/Sully/Wilcox and Rondo, et al, would handle the rebounds KG would otherwise get…. and that's what happened. KG was otherwise spectacular…. his only serious error being the pass near the end of regulation which eliminated the Cs' ability to advance the ball on the next play, which arguably cost them the win-in-regulation.

    • Morpheus

      Sorry bro i accidentally clicked on the thumbs down, but it was supposed to be a thumbs up. My bad.

  • ghoulbuns

    Umm why did you leave off the steals? By my count every starter had at least 2