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Game 31: Grizzlies (19-9) @ Celtics (14-16) Open Thread

 

Memphis at Boston
TD Garden
7:30 PM
CSN

Offensive Efficiency

Memphis: 100.3 points/100 possessions (20th)
Boston: 100.3 points/100 possessions (20th)

Defensive Efficiency

Memphis: 96.6 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
Boston: 102.1 points allowed/100 possessions (14th)

Probable Memphis startersMike Conley (PG), Tony Allen (SG), Rudy Gay (SF), Zach Randolph (PF), and Marc Gasol (C)

View from opposing bench: 3 Shades of Blue

**The following post is written by Adam Lowenstein**

THUMBNAIL
All Celtics fans can now rejoice because their supposed savior, Avery Bradley, will be returning Wednesday night to face the Grizzlies at TD Garden. The Celtics have been nearly unbeatable at home when Bradley has been on the floor. Since the beginning of the 2011-12 season, they have a 20-4 (.833) home regular season record when he has played at least 10 minutes. In addition, the Celtics’ overall regular season record when Bradley plays at least 10 minutes is 34-15 (.694). However, when he either plays fewer than 10 minutes or does not play at all, the Celtics have been 19-28 (.404) in the last two regular seasons.On the surface, the men in green have succeeded when Bradley has played a lot while they have not when he has been on the bench. The 2012-13 version of the Celtics have been inconsistent and have shown weaknesses in many areas. Coming home after a brutal road trip and getting back Bradley will not cure all of the Celtics’ ills thus far this season, but the team could show some signs of improvement on Wednesday against a Memphis team that has struggled recently.

After the Grizzlies came out of the gate running, they have lost five of their last seven road games, including New Year’s Eve when the Indiana Pacers outscored them 28-16 in the fourth quarter to get the five-point victory. The Grizzlies are among the best in the league defensively because they have one of the best starting frontcourts in Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, who are both in the top 40 of Player Efficiency Rating. Yet, Memphis recently gave up 121 points in a loss to the Rockets in Houston and has yet to win a game decided by five or fewer points in 2012-13. The Grizzlies have also had a worse shooting percentage than their opponent in each of their last five games. With the Celtics being 10-1 when holding opponents to fewer than 95 points this season, they should have a chance against the Grizzlies who have scored at least 95 points in only 13 of their 28 contests.

Unfortunately, Rajon Rondo is questionable with a hip bone injury that he suffered against the Los Angeles Clippers. While the Celtics are 23-16 in regular season games without Rondo since 2007-08, they are 1-3 this season and have seemed lost at times without their floor general.

PREDICTION

If Rondo does not play, the Celtics have very little to no chance of winning. If Rondo does play, Bradley’s return gives the Celtics a boost, but it is not enough to beat the well-balanced Grizzlies. The Celtics move to 0-5 when playing on two days rest this season.

Grizzlies 97, Celtics 94

  • someguyinsac

    Well if the defense keeps playing like they're ushers to the basket, we're doomed. Hope that's not the case tonight and I'm looking forward to seeing AB on the court for us again anyways.

    • janos

      hi sac are you able update us any news on cusins come boston way?

      • someguyinsac

        Hi janos,
        Nothing new locally, but if something pops up, I'll let you know.

  • Phil

    This must be how the 12 apostles felt right before the Resurrection. Although I highly doubt JC is as good of an on ball defender as AB.

    3 hours until Rapture!

    …although I reserve the right to postpone rapture in the event that Rondo sits/plays as limited as against the Kings.

  • janos

    hi Bryan is Janos
    like offers you differnt perspect this game. bos 99 mmp 91

    ther are many ways we are win this even if rondos is not play – can you announces here if he is play or not? i am plan to watch this game on tv

    • High Rollers

      Rondo's in.

      • janos

        very good thank you a lot i appreciate it

  • new year 2013

    4 blowout in a Row !!!
    ouch

  • I_Love_Green

    Our savior is here, AVERY BRADLEY!!!

  • I_Love_Green

    If the playoffs started today both the Celtics and Lakers would be out :O

  • Phil

    You know, I'm not usually a big fan of the CSN pregame show, but I'm really enjoying this one. Bradley has a great montage game :)

  • Phil

    Ugh, this is the worst game KG's played in a long time. I don't know if it's a result of having to guard Randolph/Gasol on the other end, but they're might be something to playing him at the 4 a little.

    That said, I'm already on record saying lineups involving Bradley and Collins won't work, and what I've seen in the first half tonight hasn't changed that thought. Too much attention gets paid to Bradley if the other team only has to worry about three others.

    I do like the defense overall though; the Grizz are hitting a lot of tough shots. Kind of figured we were in for one of those days when TA hit the 19 footer on the second possession.

    • Phil

      Just a note on those tough shots the Grizz are hitting; Darrell Arthur hit the first two 3s of his four year career in the first half!

      • High Rollers

        Yeah, but then we let that have a domino effect. We've got to stop scrambling so easily. That's a lack of focus, cohesion.

        • Phil

          Agreed, but the Grizz are also a completely different team when they're knocking down 3s. Early in the year when they were hitting from 3, they had a lot more room to work on the interior. When they have that room, they're a good offense. It also lets them play TA more, which has caused the Cs a ton of problems.

          The offense has been the bigger problem this game.

          ugh… and TA just knocked down a 3.

        • The Cardinal

          Groundhog Day. Honestly, we work and struggle so hard just to score with our inefficient offense that the tanks on empty when it comes to playing defense. If for no other reason, this is why we need a legitimate low post presence.

  • Phil

    Jason Collins 16 footer! Take that, TA jumpers that are going in!

  • Phil

    I feel like Doc is trolling me by taking Bradley and Collins out of the game at the same time. What's with the aversion to the magical lineup from last year?! We already know Terry and Bass stink when played together!

  • jman

    Shutting game off with six left in the third. Rondo,s defense has allowed 21 points. Rondo has 6 assists and 7 points. Really
    I know you,re all Rondo fans. But this is horrible play. Magic was right. If rondo could score more than his shit defense is fine. But he doesn't,t score enough. And his bullshit walk up the court is annoying as hell. I'd like to see lee and Bradley together instead of rondo. Transisition offense is killing us. We need to run. Doc said he wanted to run this season and he has the players, he,s just not running the plays. And rondo is frigging walking.
    We need a big folks and we could get one hell of a star with a certain trade.
    For those that want to get rid of pierce, kg, terry or Bradley, I'd think of the other possibple trade piece. I can't wait to see the thumbs down on this one…lol
    Rondo or doc should go if Danny wants to over haul. Not kg or pierce. You trade one of those two, you lose a major fan base. Not worth the loss of fans for that. Losing rondo though will not hurt the base especially if we receive a star big.
    PS. Doc, listen to Tommy one of these days will yas…lol. bring him back as coach…lol

    • Phil

      Funny, I was actually going to ask if you were just listening to Tommy before I got to the end of the post :P

      Contrary to what Tommy may say, running isn't a magical elixir to offensive woes. You can't run on made baskets, you can't run if no one else on the court runs with the PG, and you can't run if the other team gets back. The Grizz are a good defensive team, and that includes transition. You can't just score in transition at will. Attacking the rim is actually the more relevant Tommyism right now.

      As far as Rondo, he was questionable again today with that hip injury. I think his body of work over the last four or five years allows him the benefit of the doubt that his recent play is injury related.

      And I'm not sure which fan base you've been monitoring lately, but Rondo is the most popular on the team right now. Though I'm not sure why that would have a bearing on potential trades either way.

      • jman

        Wrong Phil, running keeps defense on it's toes. C's always broke their opponents for they would not allow ttansistion offense. This team is not running trsnsistion offense. Rondo has been playing the same as he always does with the exception of the injury. He has always been a lazy defender but due to his exceptional passing and rebounding, it was looked over. But if you want to make him into something he'll never be, then he needs to defend much better or score more to counter his faults. To me he never will so to gain an all star big in return for a point when we have someone like Bradley or Lee, is well worth the trade. Popularity means a lot to a fan base. And you maybe correct, but kg and pierce are highly important to this team than rondo will ever be. Even at their age, they still play a better overall game than rondo.

        • jman

          However one thing though is kg needs to play more minutes or needs to be sat and have another starter. Doc needs to re-think the kg strategy for it's not working.

          • Phil

            KG physically can't play more minutes though, especially if we want him the least bit fresh for the playoffs. This is what, his eighteenth season? I don't like it when Doc plays him the whole fourth quarter, but that's about my only complaint.

            They need to figure out what to do when KG sits, because he has to sit… but I don't think there's an answer to that problem that doesn't suck.

        • Phil

          I'm more critical than Rondo than most Celtic fans, so you won't get a ton of argument from me. I think the running thing is as much on the rest of the roster as Rondo though. The only person aside from Bradley who's good in transition is Green, and I don't want him playing either way. It's certainly not as easy as Tommy makes it seem.

          Rondo's biggest fault to me (aside from on ball defense, which we should all be thankful is going away thanks to Bradley's return. It was atrocious this year.) Is his scoring. This team doesn't have the scoring that it used to for Rondo to not be able to get to 10 consistently. He needs to develop a 3 point shot (not that realistic,) or he needs to stop being allergic to the FT line (more likely.)

          You could definitely get an all star big for Rondo though. At worst, he's a top 5 PG with a very favorable contract (4 or 5 mil under the max for 3 years? Yes please.) I don't see how that helps the Cs though; there are years of on/off court data that suggests this team is better at everything with Rondo. Neither Bradley or Lee is a point guard. I'm a member of the Church of Avery and I still shudder at the thought of AB, starting PG.

  • WTF

    The recent games have "Fire Doc Rivers!" written all over them. If Angie does not see it that way, fire him! If you fans do not see it that way, you are only Doc fans. The team under Doc cannot defend, cannot have decent offense, Doc is not holding anyone, himself included, accountable!

  • Phil

    The KG/Sullinger front court is like +40 right now! I feel like a proud parent.

  • Phil

    Sigh, looks like the run comes up short in the end. Liked the defense (especially in the second half,) but I continue to wonder where this team can look for consistent offense. It's a major concern going forward if any of your top 3 scorers and all bench players are capable of going 0for for a game.

  • Nate Teh Great

    How sad for all of you. You're watching this team, but can't see them for what they really are (in other words, you can't see the forest for the trees). Let me offer some clarity (in two parts).

    Kevin Garnett was a great player, and surely is a first ballot Hall of Famer. But he is no longer a young man. He should have retired after last season, but like many athletes could not find it within himself to walk away. Now while he is still somewhat proficient on the offensive end, his best role for this team is as a help defender and defensive quarterback. He can't guard any of the younger players at his size and position around the league one on one, and he simply cannot react fast enough to be a decent rebounder any longer. Besides which, his old knees can't take the pounding he would get down in the post.

    Paul Pierce is also showing signs of aging fast. He can still have nights when he goes off (the offensive skills are always the last to go), but defensively he is lost. Take a few minutes during the next game to watch him exclusively. He now plays defense with his hands as he is unable to move his feet fast enough to keep up with younger, stronger players. He's one of the main reasons that opposing wing players are living in the lane against the C's.

    Which brings us to Rondo. As clever a ball player as I have ever seen at the PG position with the ball in his hands, his erratic jump shot is doing the team no favors in their offensive sets. Sometimes I watch and it seems as though the C's are playing 4 against 5 on offense because as improved as his shot is this season, teams are still packing the paint and daring him to shoot (never a good sign by the way). Even worse, for one of the quickest guards in the league he gets beat off the dribble consistently, not to mention the way he dies on screens living the interior players to pick him up (or more accurately, pick up fouls).
    He is still playing "D" as if this is 2008 and he can afford to freelance because KG and Perk will clean up his mistakes.

    End of part one.

    • janos

      you can put the part two in same spot as part one

      • Phil

        I prefer to break up my longer posts too. People tend to zone out on long posts, even if you use generous paragraph breaks. It's a problem I fight with on message boards constantly…

  • High Rollers

    Welcome to the Matrix, Neo. It’s pretty scary, huh?

    • Phil

      Just curious, how many thumbs downs would I get if I admit that I've never seen the Matrix?

      • High Rollers

        Then you need a film session as badly as the C's. But the C's shouldn't be watching The Matrix. They should be watching tape of failing to get to the stripe after getting their opponent into the penalty early (SMH!), defensive fly-bys (double SMH!), and the constant lagging behind or committing cheap fouls after messed up offensive possessions (triple…. well, you get the picture). This is head-stuff. Just like the Matrix.

  • Josh_5

    The D looked better tonite and only gave up 90 pts to a very good Memphis team. See Phil's comment on the O.

  • janos

    am not happy result but is tough team this guys stay fous and go game on game

    where is haynes i want see his talkings this games is he quit us?

  • Anthony

    Does anyone else think Terry needs to play less mins? He's horrible defensively and his shots has been off so far this year. Instead of replacing Ray, I don't even think he's even replacing Keyon. Celts were up 4 when Terry came in and Mike Conley instantly scored 4pts and drove and kicked out for another 3pts. That pretty much started the Grizzlies run. He just stand and watches instead of rotating and is a worse culprit of the turnstile defense than Rondo.

    I was a big believer in JGreen but it's just getting sad now. I didn't even notice when he was in the game. Also, what happened to Bass? Why does he feel the need to pump fake open looks, put the ball on the floor just to turn it over? Just shoot the open jumper! Why is Bass setting the pick at the 3point line and beyond? When he gets the ball back on the pick-and-pop, he's 20ft out, which is out of his range. SMH

    Can anyone give me the silver lining for this season? In the bad start last season, there was 4-5 games that they really should've won. That would've made their record a respectable 19-13 instead of 15-17. They played with so much more heart and passion. Also Pierce wasn't in game shape yet, AB hasn't made his giant stride, and JO was still in the starting line-up.

    31 regular season and 8 preseason games isn't enough to time to gel?

  • Josh_5

    If this season were a jug of milk Anthony, The drink by date would be March 1st. Let me explain. By that date you will have given Avery Bradley ample time to gel with the team, and the trade deadline will have passed. Then you can make the decision whether you want to throw this season in the garbage.

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