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Texas Toast: Spurs 103, Celtics 88

 
Boston Celtics 88 Final
Recap | Box Score
103 San Antonio Spurs
Kevin Garnett, PF 30 MIN | 6-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 13 PTS | 0
Doc managed his minutes effectively enough to get good contributions from KG throughout the entire game. I thought Garnett distinguished himself on defense, both on pick and rolls and defending the interior. But his efforts often got submarined by his teammates. He needs a long, shot-swatting defender to help him on the front line and fewer wings bursting through the perimeter defense at him.
Brandon Bass, PF 18 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -21
Had two decent minutes and sixteen empty ones. Doesn’t give you enough on defense or scoring to give you so little on the glass. The (increasingly less) secret weak link in the 2012-13 Celtics rotation.
Paul Pierce, SF 30 MIN | 7-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | -12
Did most of his damage in the first half, which was predictable given the back-to-back. But how about that nasty transition dunk?
Rajon Rondo, PG 34 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 9 AST | 6 PTS | -17
Weak game for Rondo who was facing San Antonio length, a sharp Tony Parker and his own limits, after tough nights against Dallas and Houston. Defense and turnovers (7) again a problem.
Courtney Lee, SG 30 MIN | 5-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -12
His shot has come round and he enters the second quarter of the season with more purposeful energy on the offensive end. Had one nice strong take for an and-one layup.
Jared Sullinger, PF 11 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +1
Did serious pine time in the second half after an effective first half on the boards. Seems destined for short minutes for the reasons you’d expect: his defense and trouble against length, both of which were issues tonight.
Jeff Green, PF 32 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -1
That fourth quarter productivity spurt didn’t fool me. Green was a non-entity tonight.
Chris Wilcox, PF 13 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -9
Wilcox must have gotten a tongue-lashing after last night’s soft performance. He set a couple of chilling screens (including one that knocked Ginobili out of the game). However, he always seems emotionally distant from the game and his defense is usually problematic. Between Wilcox, Bass and Sully, Doc Rivers has three wildly imperfect options at the big spots. Add Green and make it quartet.
Jason Terry, SG 31 MIN | 6-13 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 18 PTS | +1
First half delight. Second half blight.
Leandro Barbosa, SG 9 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -5
Which comes first — the production or the playing time?
  • Phil

    I feel about 3% responsible for Bass' D given my complaint yesterday (his play is to blame for the other 97.) He's really struggling now, and it's gotten worse from when he was just inconsistent early on. He's been consistently terrible lately. I wish there was an easy solution to just plug in his place, but I don't see it. I think Sullinger would be better than him if given his shot with 2nd big minutes, but I also don't think it would cure a lot of the problems.

    Rondo's playing well overall this season, so I'm wondering; is it fair to be really disappointed in him this year? Because I am. I know he's not the one who touted him as a potential MVP candidate, but he hasn't came near that level. His defense is starting to get worringly bad, like career worst, his scoring hasn't gone up despite the other options being inconsistent, and even his passing is starting to fall back to earth. It's clear how much this team needs him, and I've found myself waiting for playoff Rondo for a while now. It's the biggest improvement that this team could get among players currently playing.

    • elroz

      Getting Bradley back will help Rondo be reducing his minutes and taking some pressure off the defensive demands on Rondo. I think Doc should cut Rondo's minutes by about 4-5 a game – Terry-Lee-Barbosa backcourt can handle the ball ok for extra 4-5 minutes ! Why spasm out?

      With Bradley, Lee, Terry, Rondo, I hope the other three guys will get some 2-guard backcourt minutes – they all can handle the ball.

  • http://twitter.com/michaeljavid @michaeljavid

    Dear Celtics, please figure it out soon. Sincerely, Fan.

  • geo

    How do you not keep the only player who is grabbing boards, Sullinger, in the game? If Doc is worried about giving everyone rest, the last player who needs to sit is the 22 year old. Are you telling me that Collins could not have been more effective than Bass tonight? At least he is the only big who fully embraces his role to stay close to the basket.

  • elroz

    If we compare Bass with Big Baby now – who would you take?
    Would Perkins help this team more than Jeff Green?

    The answers to both questions would not make Danny Ainge look very good. It's time to seriously consider Bass + Barbosa as a trade asset and get a big man – perhaps ship a 2013 pick (the Celtics might not win 50 games this season) or/and Fab Melo if the big man is Gortat or Gasol (I doubt all 4 will be enough for Gasol – but who knows).

    What worries me about this, however, is that they would be bringing in yet another new face. Believe it or not, but Bass is the 4th most experienced Celtic – that is, after PP, KG, and RR, he has been the longest with the team! I think he can have a better career outside of Doc's system… Imagine what Greg Popovich could do with him? This is why Perk was so good for Doc – he pushed, banged, rebounded, set picks, played tough even when he didn't score.

    Minor note: Wilcox is not a small man, but the guy doesn't seem to rebound that well.

    But, I should shut up – I said before the season started they would need 1/2 a season to jell and play well. But it is just difficult to wait, that's all.

    Bass, Wilcox, Barbossa, 2013 draft pick, Fab Melo (heck, give them Collins too) – any combination of 3-5 of these could be offered for a big man, but it better be a good player.

    • Phil

      The Green for Perkins thing is a little misleading. If the Celtics didn't make that trade, a team would've offered him a similar contract to what he got from OKC, and he would've left in the offseason. They had a limit of how much money they could offer him that another team would've gone over. Of course, I'd rather have 9m extra dollars of cap space over the next four years than either of them (ironically so would OKC,) but that's not really an option now.

      I am surprised with how much better Davis seems than Bass now. I recall the word among the blogosphere last year being that they were similar players where you could argue for each, but Bass was preferable since he was on a small contract… well uh oh. I'd have to think Davis would've bolted in free agency though. He was never happy coming off the bench and being a bit player here.

      Trade value wise, I just don't know what someone would give up for Bass. Surely they've seen the same stuff on tape that Celtics fans have that make us want to trade him. Given his price tag, I think people would rather take their chances with something like Lee and a 1st for a backup C.

  • Jonathan

    Jason Thompson, Jason Smith, Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos, Drew Gooden, Joel Pryzbilla, Jonas Jerebko all could seem like realistic players that Danny might be able to get with a combo of Bass/Lee+Barbosa+1st round pick. Danny make it happen!

  • WTF

    All you who are talking trades, think what Pop would have gotten out of the current Cs players. It's the system and the coaching. Doc is running the key players into ground and coming playoff time, they will be totally burned out. The Cs bench is better now, use it.

  • High Rollers

    The C's have a great chance of going 4-0 over the upcoming East Coast swing. There for the taking.

    In basketball as in flying… small corrections.

  • Banner18

    Almost seems like the Celtics literally have the softest front court in the league. I know D12 will want Pau out of LA when Steve Nash returns from his injury. He's also slightly injury prone which makes him less of an asset for the lakers so I think a trade would be favorable for both teams involved. Lee, Barbosa, Bass, Fab, Sully, and pick combination for Pau and Jodie Meeks. This does not should at all suffice for the rights to an allstar in Gasol's caliber, but it is obvious that the Lakers are not meshing and they need to make a quick move before they are out of the playoff hunt.

    • Phil

      Pau makes 19m, you need to get within 10% (pretty sure, though it could be a slightly different number) of that in salary going out. Lee/Bass/those tiny contracts is a few mil off. It's really hard to work out the numbers for a Pau deal, because the Celtics don't have anyone good on a big salary outside of Pierce and the untouchables. There's also no way LA would accept that trade, but that's the secondary problem here.

      I'm more curious why a Mike D'Antoni team would randomly throw their best three point shooter into the deal. Were you just hoping to slip Meeks in there and that the Lakers wouldn't notice?

      • Banner18

        You could argue Steve Blake is a more efficient three point shooter. Meeks is only getting 16 minutes a game now (I say "only" because a good portion of his minutes are in garbage time during the 4th when they pull Kobe). So who is to say he won't be bounced from the rotation when Nash is back and Steve Blake is at full strength. I acknowledged this deal would be an enormous long shot, but again, Meeks finds himself as being the 8th/9th most valuable player on LA.

        • Phil

          It's arguable sure, but Blake's also out for most of the year (4 months, right?) so I wouldn't count him either way. Nash is actually their best shooter now that I think about it, I kind of forgot possibly the best shooter of all time, oops. Either way, Meeks has a possible role for them going forward, and they would be sending out the best player in the deal you posed. Adding someone like that in addition would only come up when a team is trying to get under the tax.

          The real problem is getting over 16m in salary going out. That's Green and one of Lee/Bass, and I don't see why LA would be interested in any of them. They've expressed interest in the free agency class of 13-14, and any of those contracts would get rid of that. The way I see it, it's a Pierce for Pau swap or nothing, and I can't even imagine that happening.

          • Renato Afonso

            First of all, I simply don't see the Lakers and the Celtics FO calling each other, so I really don't see any trade happening between them. Second of all, word is that Nash only accepted to go to LA with the guarantee that Gasol would be part of the team. Furthermore, the Lakers FO has said publicly that until Nash and Gasol are at full strength they're not trading anyone because they can't figure out their teams' weakness yet.

            Regarding Jodie Meeks, he is actually gaining a spot in the Lakers rotation, so the Lakers aren't trading him as well. As for Steve Blake, the Lakers fans are hoping for his departure for a long time, so I really can't see the Lakers keeping Blake and trading Meeks.

            People should consider possible trades and not the ones they hope their team would do, because no one in their perfect sense would trade Gasol+Meeks for those players. And the Lakers usually don't "lose" unbalanced trades in which they're involved… Better focus on a player that could really help the Cetltics who is not a star and is attainable.

            Phil, I believe you're dead on the free agency class of 13-14. The only contract the Lakers will have is Dwight's (if he stays) and Nash (if he doesn't retire), so I don't see them taking on long contracts now. My guess is that they will resign Dwight and Kobe (for way less than he makes now), Nash will retire and they'll rebuild from scratch like the Heat did a couple of seasons ago. Not sure if they'll land who they want but at least it seems that's their plan.

  • skeeds

    Was I the only one that thought Splitter was the key problem that gave them the match? I doubt it. With KG parked on Timmy it was no surprise that a strong 7 footer like Tiago would have a fun time against us. It's not Bass' fault that he can't guard a center.
    My only relief is that things are so obviously not working, that Ainge will eventually pull the trigger on a significant trade. He isn't paying old veterans like PP KG and Terry to go into a transition period. If we're gonna aim at winning now, we need a change.
    Just go get Pau already. The Lakers don't appreciate him, D'Antoni sure as hell ain't gonna adjust his stupid offense to his strengths. It's a tough trade to pull off, but are we really so keen on any of our guys (except the obvious 3) to hesitate?

  • Josh_5

    I hate Pau Gasol. Hes soft and whiny. I'd rather have somebody else.

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