Post-game Reactions

Boston Celtics 77 Final

Recap | Box Score

106 Los Angeles Clippers
Kevin Garnett, PF 26 MIN | 6-11 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS | -13After a slow start shooting, KG got it going against Ronny Turiaf in the latter part of the second half. Unfortunately at that point, it was too late. At least he got some additional rest tonight.
Paul Pierce, SF 27 MIN | 5-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -27Too much hero ball for The Truth early on in this one. Like KG, he got into a semi-groove in the second half, but the Clippers offense had done far too much damage by that point for it to matter.
Jason Collins, C 17 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -11If a center falls in the woods and almost doesn’t record any stats over 17 minutes of action, does he make a sound? In the game of Jason Collins last night, no, no he doesn’t. When the C’s dig themselves a hole on the offensive end, Collins’ lack of offensive impact is a luxury Boston can’t afford to hang with a team like LAC
Rajon Rondo, PG 34 MIN | 4-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 10 PTS | -24Some ultra sloppy turnovers on entry passes. 12 shots in 34 minutes isn’t going to cut it either for a team that needs him to be ultra-aggressive to keep pace with one of the most dangerous teams in the league right now. Did a reasonable job on Chris Paul on the defensive end, but RR needs to show more fight in games like this for C’s to have a chance.
Jason Terry, SG 31 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | -25An average offensive shooting night, combined with underwhelming defense sounds about right for the JET. Allowed Willie Green to come out hot out of the box and it was all downhill from there.
Jeff Green, PF 29 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -13This one wasn’t on him at all, but it’s always somewhat concerning when a player can’t even find his offense during garbage time. I guess that’s more of a reflection of how deep the Clippers bench is and how well they are playing.
Jarvis Varnado, PF 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 PTS | -4The first real minutes of his NBA career! Jarvis was nicely greeted with a block from Ronny Turiaf of all people on his first shot attempt in the first quarter. Drawing quick conclusions here from 7 minutes of garbage time action, but not too much to get excited about here folks.
Jared Sullinger, PF 18 MIN | 1-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | -7Gets bumped up a couple grades for doing well to avoid a Blake Griffin throwdown in the second half. Still is running into foul trouble early, and some of the calls are brutal but he also needs to be smarter with his physicality against opponents. When the team needs him on the floor, he has to find a way to stay out there.
Brandon Bass, PF 17 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1-1 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | -8The jumpers are still way off, but he did an admirable job on the defensive glass over 17 minutes. I’d show some more disappointment on the defensive end, but given how much size he has to give up against the likes of Blake Griffin and company, that’s a tough matchup for him.
Kris Joseph, SF 8 MIN | 0-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 PTS | -6I’d be surprised if he’s still on the roster at the end of the season. Just not a lot of potential I see from him, especially on the offensive end.
Courtney Lee, SG 26 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -7Not a bad line on the offensive end, but had a tough night shutting down the Clippers’ guards defensively.
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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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  • Jen

    This is pretty much a lesson to anyone who thought that a blowout win against the Nets meant the C's were turning around. The Nets are fumbling just as much as the Celitics. Not much of a victory in term of it meaning that the Celtics could be contenders.

  • OKCeltic

    Pretty unfair statement about Joseph when he hasn't had an opportunity to do anything yet. You're talking about a player who had a good college career and is now playing on a veteran-laden team with a coach that rarely plays rookies. Give him a chance before you cast him off on the junk pile.

  • High Rollers

    Grade explanations are right on the money, Brian Robb.

    Last night was a little deceptive. Single tilts always are against teams playing like contenders. We could have lost by forty. We could have won by two. Even after that putrid first quarter. The hero ball was the most damning. Just when you think our guys are learning to trust each other, each one ends up on an island coughing up the rock in a fashion painful to the eyes. We are not big enough right now to win the way OKC and the Clips do, with individual pyrotechnics. We have to play together.

    • Bill

      Note that OKC almost lost last night due to hero ball.

      II thought about it last night, and I don't really expect the Cs to play like the Spurs in terms of ball movement, but more than three passes per possession (on average) might be nice.

      Although I have to say, it's a killer when the "sharpshooters" you bring in (I'm looking at you, Terry, Lee) can't find their … well, you know, with both hands.

      • High Rollers

        Hero ball is fool's gold. The only guy who used it and got away with it consistently was Michael Jordan. But then, as Bird declared, that was "God disguised as Michael Jordan."

        The team of guys that actually has each others' backs come May and June will be left standing and passing around the LOB. That's why this year in the NBA is so interesting.

  • skeeds

    pretty understandable blowout loss against the most athletic/deep/fun/hot team in the league right now. The Clippers are about as close you can get to the exact opposite of the C's right now. Size, youth, speed, bench contribution, feel good attitude… I'm so freaking jealous of this team. I miss having fun watching the C's play. It bothers me more than our record…

  • I Bleed Green

    I think a trade is imminent. For whatever reason, this squad just isn't gelling and Doc seems to be guessing with lineups. The biggest problem I see is there isn't a clear leader. Everybody says it is (or at least should be) Rondo. But I don't see him acting like he belives it…or playing like it. Last night was a perfect example. When a game is getting out of hand it's up to the team's star to make something happen…even if they fail miserably trying. Westbrook and Durant would have each put up 30 shots in a game like this before surrendering.

    Rondo only took 12 and didn't get to the line at all. That's unacceptable. He should have turned into a friggin pinball and done whatever he could to get in the lane and score. Yes, he's a terrible free throw shooter, but fouls accumulate, and the best way to slow down a team who is running you out of the building is to get to the line and stop the clock. It would also open up passing lanes and get other players going.

    I love that Pierce played hero ball actually. At least he recognized something needed to happen and somebody needed to step up. Sadly, he just doesn't have the athleticism anymore to draw fouls the way he used to and to torch teams at will. He's still got big games in him, but it's really all through jump shots these days. Which is why it has to be Rondo. This was a game where he should have had 40 points and 10 rebounds and who cares about assists. We would likely still lose, but at least it would show fight and heart and it might have gotten other players motivated to play with some nasty. Last night I saw a bunch of kids getting bullied all looking around for somebody to stop it and Rondo looked disinterested.

    I will exempt Sullinger. It's sad that the officiating is so biased and so bad when it comes to stars and rookies. Apparently Blake Griffin can litterally try and jump through you and climb over your head (with the offensive-foul of a left forearm he always pushes off with) and in return if you do anything to protect yourself…it's a flagrant foul. Worst call of the game. Was he supposed to pull a Pau Gasol and just cringe and be posterized?

    Sully had fight, but it should be Rondo with that Miami fire that's leading the way and leaving it all on the court to make a statement.

    This team has no leader right now.

  • I Bleed Green

    I should clarify…by leader…yes KG is the heart and soul of the team. But I'm talking take-over-the-game leadership like LeBron, Carmello, Kobe, and Durant. No team has ever won a title without one (or more). You can't expect a player who plays limited minutes and is at the end of their career to be that every night… It's got to be Rondo.

  • The Cardinal

    I feel you, but I think Rondo is in a terrible position. On one hand, if he has to take over with his scoring, then you and I both know the game is probably lost already. When Rondo asserts himself offensively, the other players have a tendency to stand around with their thumbs up their hind ends (even more than they ordinarily do) while he gets pounded going to the hoop without the refs consistently calling the fouls like they should. On the other hand, when he's feeding our shooters the ball in great position (as he should) and they are missing wide open or in the paint shots, he gets blamed for not being aggressive enough.

    I've said it before – with one third of the season gone, the pieces simply don't fit. I think the C's are one highly skilled big man away from being a legitimate contender. In order to do this though, I believe Danny would have to be willing to include everyone except RR, PP, and KG in a potential deal (and yes, that includes Bradley).

    If we could get a Cousins or Jefferson for a deal that included Bradley, I'd do it in a heart beat. That said, I would prefer keeping Bradley and dealing anyone else other than the core 3 if it were at all possible.

  • ghoulbuns

    Where was Barbosa? Sure could have used someone who knows how to get to the rim

    • Josh_5

      Great point. In a game where we score 77 points, I'd love to hear Doc's excuse as to why Barbosa didn't play.

      • Phil

        This was a tweet from last night, so looks like a personal/family matter.

        Leandro Barbosa ‏@TheBlur_Barbosa

        Guys tomorrow I will return to Boston, thank God everything is good now with my family!!
        Retweeted by Chris Forsberg

  • Phil

    I agree with a lot of what I Bleed Green said about Rondo. It's similar to what Bill Simmons tweeted out last night; Rondo has no-showed too many big games this year, and he can't be relied upon to step up on nights when the team is off/needs him.

    There are a few reasons for it; he physically can't affect the game defensively like a big man can, and he can't score like Lebron or Durant can without putting an enormous physical toll on his body because he's not a good enough shooter. He has that MVP level, but if he used it for 82 games + postseason, his career would be over in a couple of years. That limits his ability to be a true leader in the sense that people want him.

    That said, there's a middle ground that can be reached between pinballing yourself to death and 10 shots and 2 FT attempts per 36 minutes. Rondo has to do more than he's been doing for this team to reliably succeed, but the idea that he can be a true Lebron-esque leader seems a little unrealistic to me. This group has always thrived on the idea of being a team, and that's despite the media's need to anoint a leader. I remember all the talk in 08 about how this was Pierce's team, but it was really KG's team, etc. Rondo has to do more, but so does everyone else. Rondo's improvement is just the easiest to point to.

    • Rav

      The middle ground is learning how to shoot free throws cause jeez you're being paid $11 million a year and it's your frikkin' job you have all the hours in the day to practice ohmigod how can you not improve after 6 years in the league and…

      A lot of his lack of offensive aggressiveness is because he can't make the FTs. Plenty of guys his size average a lot more FTs than he does (Kevin Johnson, Allen Iverson, Isiah Thomas are all small guys with multiple seasons of 7+ FTA a game). He doesn't need to bother improving with his jump shot – he started from such a low base that it'll be impossible to improve his range to beyond the 3pt-line (and that's when he's open; being a PG with the ball in his hands often means he is unlikely to find wide open 3pt-ers with frequency). For FTs though, there's no excuse.

      • Phil

        I agree with a lot of that. I've said all along that Rondo's problems were at the free throw line, not as a jump shooter. Adding a midrange game is nice, but step back a few feet or use that midrange game to draw fouls. You're not adding much by just adding an average 18 footer.

        I disagree that it's impossible for him to improve his 3pt shot; I think more guys have developed 3pt shots than have gotten a lot better at the free throw line. Jason Kidd is who I've always looked at as a comparison for Rondo. Kidd went from being a terrible shooter to on the all time 3 list. Rondo doesn't need to improve that dramatically of course.

        If free throws were all a matter of effort, at least some of these big guys with giant struggles from the line would improve, right? It's a very small number. Rondo's problems right now are in drawing fouls more than making them. I'm confident that he can make more than 71% or whatever, but he needs to draw more than 2 a game for it to ever matter. Someone with his athleticism and finishing ability averaging as many free throws as Brandon Bass is embarrassing.

  • james patrick

    Dare I say this about the Clippers… lol If we're going to be the best, we have to compete with the best. That game should not have been a blow out.

  • san diego sam

    I Bleed Greem, I feel you. I was at the game on the Cs side and thought the same thing. What exactly was Sully supposed to do? He fouled him hard the only way he could in the position he was in. Much of the force of the foul came from Griffin trying to dunk on him. Eventually someone is going to hurt Griffin for trying to posterize them rather than dunking it for the purpose of scoring the basket. DeMarcus Cousins comes to mind.

  • JR99

    Blaming Sully for all those bogus fouls the refs have been calling on him is EXACTLY akin to blaming a rape victim for wearing provocative clothing. The fault is 100% on the idiot refs giving him the "rookie treatment," not on Sully. Now, you can still advise Sully not to wear provocative clothes (i.e., be extra careful with his fouls) but let's not pretend that ANY of this is his fault. It is not, at all.