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Celtics-Rockets Grades

 
Boston Celtics 89 Final
Recap
| Box Score
101 Houston Rockets
Kevin Garnett, PF 27 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 14 PTS | -9
I remember KG’s post-game hug of Kevin McHale more than anything he did on the court. That’s unusual but after the long night against Dallas on Wednesday, he had less to give tonight. Still, if more guys on this roster were able to maximize their output like KG, this team would be in far better shape.
Brandon Bass, PF 23 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -23
Effort doesn’t correlate with effectiveness often enough for Bass. That’s not the first time I’ve written that this season. It won’t be the last. I’m ready to move on if there’s a taker for him.
Paul Pierce, SF 41 MIN | 5-18 FG | 6-8 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | -16
Between this season and last, we’re now a full 82 regular season games into the new Paul Pierce shooting reality. He’s now at 41.7% from the field and 35% from the arc, his lowest numbers since 03-04. What’s most remarkable, then, is his overall efficiency, which remains high on the back of his rebounding, lowered turnovers and defensive acumen (he was one of the better guys on Harden, age be damned).
Rajon Rondo, PG 36 MIN | 6-13 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 13 AST | 15 PTS | -12
Lots of nice finds neutered by seven turnovers. Still, the team would have been lost without him tonight on offense. That’s always true but especially so with the elder statesman running low on gas.
Courtney Lee, SG 27 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -19
The Brandon Bass of shooting guards.
Jared Sullinger, PF 14 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +4
Sullinger put up 7 points and 6 rebounds in 14 minutes, which makes him, at least on this night, the opposite of Brandon Bass. Unusual effectiveness in short minutes begs for a chance at longer minutes. The defense will remain a problem, when he has to move around to help or up to the perimeter but I’m willing to live with it, particularly once Bradley’s back. Speaking of which, we’re pinning a lot on the kid’s return, aren’t we?
Jeff Green, PF 25 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | +2
Balky shooting but a decent overall effort from Green who pulled down a whole lotta rebounds (per min) given his typical inability to pull down a whole lotta rebounds (in any way). Seems reluctant to take the three from anywhere but the corners. Also, gave us another one of those highlight reel throwdowns. Cannot defend the post.
Chris Wilcox, PF 15 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +6
Got lost on defense a few times. Of course, he wasn’t the only big contributing to the collapses in the team defense tonight.
Jason Terry, SG 26 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | +4
Good hands, good threes.
Leandro Barbosa, SG 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | +3
Trade fodder or acceptably periodic sparkplug? You decide. At least he’s cheap.
  • Phil

    Bs and high Cs across the board? Where's the real Ryan DeGama? This is a B+ away from being a blowout win grade sheet.

    I thought Bass and Wilcox both deserved much lower grades (seriously, is it possible to get lower than a C? Bass was terrible on defense and invisible on offense.) Wilcox had one of his worse games defending the basket since he's started getting regular minutes as well, and that was the real problem.

    This was just not a good game for the Cs. It's hard to assign blame since the breakdowns are probably on everyone except KG, but this was a 12 point loss to a team out of the playoffs with a tough road ahead. This is the kind of game you lose when you want to be playing late in the year to avoid the 7 seed and a tough round 1 matchup.

    I remember saying during the preseason during one of Sully's awesome games that he could step in and replicate Bass' production from day 1, then I backed off figuring that I was getting caught up in rookie hype… well, I'm back to that conclusion. Either I'm misremembering Bass, or he's taken a massive step backwards. I want to see more of Sully and KG together, and I want to see if Sully can hold up for extended minutes. And please no more Green at the 4. I know Doc has been great with avoiding it, but he tried it again tonight and starting with Boston's possession it was miss/layup/miss/layup/steal/layup timeout.

    Above all, get well soon Avery.

    • Ryan DeGama

      Hey Phil,

      Always appreciate your thoughts. It's a good point about breakdowns occurring across the board. If there were spots for help defense and transition defense in the recap, they'd both get failing grades.

      R

      • Phil

        Totally agree, this game was lost in transition early and on breakdowns late.

        And if it wasn't clear, I wasn't being critical in a mean spirited way, just grading the grades :) Really enjoy reading the blog. You guys are my go to place for the NBA now that Hollinger's on his way to the Grizzlies front office.

        • tee

          Boston need to trade the front everyone but KG. Doc need to play Fab Melo he can't much worser than Wilcox or Bass….
          Starting five
          Rondo,Terry,Pierce,KG and MELO

  • The Cardinal

    Unfortunately, Barbosa is probably trade fodder, but if I were making the choice, it would be Lee. Bradley will bring the defense plus more that Lee gives when he returns, and the C's need a pure, unrepentant scorer off the bench whether they recognize it or not. Barbosa (when allowed) gives them their first legitimate bench player in ages who is capable of short circuiting those 5 – 6 minute second half scoreless streaks that we've seen much too often. He attacks the basket, which is a premium given our tendency toward isolation plays and jump shots, and despite folks raggin' on his defense, the metrics show that he has been pretty awesome.

    As I see it, Bass and/or Lee are gonna have to be part of any trade the C's make. Lee has more value/affordability/upside than Bass or any of the other bench players not named Terry to a non-contender or a shooting guard deficient contender..

  • High Rollers

    We are pinning a lot on AB's return, because his effect on the chemistry and defensive identity of this team is undeniable. He makes everybody's job easier. He'll shore up the perimeter, show Jeff how to be productive off cuts, rev KG's engine, remind 9 that he's still young, make the lead feet of some dudes less visible (ahem… P, BB, Sully), and draw whines, pleading and frustration from opposing ball handlers (and by extension, opposing offenses). That last one I can't wait to see again. He's such an integral piece to the puzzle that you just shouldn't shake things up until after you've seen AB's return and given him a chance to add that missing dimension to this squad. He ain't a quality big but he may just be the next best thing.

    The only assumption is that his body works the same (or better) after having both shoulders repaired. But the kid is so dang young (and determined), I think that's a pretty good bet.

    But I would also like to see the C's play up to their potential until that package is delivered. Last night it really looked to me like guys were trying to be crafty (esp. Rondo) to make up for fatigue from the double OT game two nights prior, and it just wasn't successful (predictably) except in short bursts. They'll be alright. I just hope they don't get too tired too often. Hopefully over-time won't become the norm over the next sixty contests.

  • High Rollers

    And I still think Paul just has the shanks. It looks like his leap is diminishing (duh) and he just hasn't adjusted the form of his shot to that fact yet. It's really, really flat, and he's pushing it rather than shooting it more often than not. An adjustment is going to be as necessary as the team using more pin-down plays to get him open.

    Add to that he is obviously making drives to the hoop expecting calls that he just isn't getting anymore. The Captain has another evolution to make to steer this crew to success.

  • tbunny

    People who know more: is there any chance at all the Celtics could get Gasol? I'm not giving up on Bass but what if we could move him and say Terry (also not giving up on Jet) for Gaol?

    Isn't a Gasol/Garnett tandem possibly incredible?

    • Phil

      You would need to give up Pierce for the salaries to work. Gasol makes ~20 mil a year, and the Lakers sure as hell don't want to take on both Bass (or Terry) and Green to match up.

  • ed judson

    Re: Jeff Green ….. " cannot defend the post." Incorrect. Jeff Green cannot defend. Period.

    • jman

      Exactly no defense at all…These guys are not comfortable at all playing defense together. I've yet really seen a rotation yet that Doc's created work well defense wise. At least last year KG/Steimer/bradley/pietrus/rondo rotation in 2nd and 3rd quarters was the best I've seen in decades.
      We need that again. That was the best and most fun watching. I thought Green was going to be good defense wise? I like Lee's defense. It will be great having Lee with Bradley together for defense.

      • Phil

        Green has never been a good defender in the NBA. I suppose you can't write him off playing better in this system along with KG, but it's not something you should expect to happen.

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