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Memphis Grizzlies 93 Final
Recap | Box Score
83 Boston Celtics
Kevin Garnett, PF 32 MIN | 5-14 FG | 2-5 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 12 PTS | -15

He was destined for a tough night against a team with Memphis’ size but he did some nice work limiting their bigs’ offensive output. Had a terrible first half shooting and a bad offensive night overall. I’d like to point out that the Celtics are asking too much of him. But there’s little choice this year. Yet again.

Paul Pierce, SF 34 MIN | 6-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 17 PTS | -5

A lot of three-balls which mostly worked. A bunch of other shots which mostly didn’t, especially after halftime. Tony Allen showed him up a couple of times with his defense. Boston’s asking too much of him. But there’s little choice this year. Yet again.

Jason Collins, C 18 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -4

It’s not just that he generates next to no points or rebounds while he’s on the floor. It’s that his presence means the Celtics are going 4 on 5 on offense and he muddies up the spacing. His bulk was useful on some possessions, but he’s hurting far more than he’s helping. It’s time for Sullinger in this spot. When Sully fouls out early in the second quarter, Collins can come in and relieve him.

Avery Bradley, PG 20 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -12

Admit it: you loved that first baseline cut for a layup. You’ve been dying for that all year. Overall, a strong return for Bradley on the defensive end. He forced Memphis (Mike Conley in particular) into some rough late-clock offense and sealed a huge gap in the perimeter. His shot looked January 2012 awful but that might be nerves and rust as much as any lingering effects from the shoulder injuries. Let’s keep an eye on it.

Rajon Rondo, PG 40 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 10 AST | 11 PTS | -5

Rondo is getting cooked on defense game after game. It’s not just the injury. He’s just not willing to put in the effort. Bradley’s return will help him do his mini-KG centerfielder routine but lately Rondo seems hamstrung by his team, his coach, his injury and himself.

Jeff Green, PF 15 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -6

Worse than the numbers, which look decent versus his playing time until you realize he had almost no impact on the game.

Jared Sullinger, PF 19 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +10

Far better than the numbers, despite another heap of fouls and a bad shooting night. Anyone else expecting a post-all-star breakout for him?

Brandon Bass, PF 23 MIN | 3-5 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -12

I loved his rebound.

Courtney Lee, SG 12 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +3

Took the ball to the basket a couple of times and finished at the rim, including a nice full court streak to grab a long lead pass in transition. You’ll notice he only played 12 minutes though. That’s a season low. Apparently, Avery Bradley’s return doesn’t just stop the opposing team from scoring.

Jason Terry, SG 27 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | -4

A couple of big baskets (at the time) but Jet doesn’t yet fit into this offense. That one I’ll put on Doc as much as Terry.

  • Phil

    Should've waited thirty seconds before posting this on the last topic I guess :P

    Collins' paragraph mentions that he's hurting more than he's helping? 'some kind of joke that I'd probably get in trouble for given my vitriolic mood'

    With Collins on the floor, the team is 9.4 points worse on offense 'and' 5.6 points worse on defense. 15 points worse per 100 possessions!

    Think about that for a second! For comparison, the team is 12.3 points better with KG on the court. The team actually improves more when Collins goes to the bench than when KG comes in!

    It's still not a huge sample size, but the numbers are getting worse the more he plays. With Bradley back and depending on spacing, I'm gonna start writing angry letters to Doc until Collins stops playing or I earn a restraining order.

  • elroz

    As I have said from the start – if Doc and this team end up making Terry a poor offensive contributor, then you HAVE to suspect something wrong with them, not Terry.

    In any case, I still say let's wait another 10 games or so, though Danny has probably began to make up his mind about a few of the guys.

    Rondo looks bulkier, more muscular, and slower..more tired…..Doc now has 4 guards – can he at least formulate a plan where Rondo plays no more than 35 minutes a game? And where KG averages about 28 minutes and that's it? And where Pierce plays about 33 and that's it?
    Let other players sink or swim.

    • CelticsBIG3

      There were lineups out there last night that made absolutely ZERO sense. My least favorite had to be Terry, Lee, Green, Bass, and Sullinger. Look at that lineup for a second. Who provides the offense? Who provides the defense? What exactly is that lineup designed to accomplish? Terry couldn't guard a brick wall, Green, Bass, and Sully are all less than stellar offensive and defensive players. I asked myself several times during the game last night why Barbosa wasn't getting any time; especially with that group! What is going on in Boston?

  • Anthony

    Maybe Collins is this years' JO. Unfortunately for Doc, he was forced not play JO because of injury and not because it was the right move. Does anyone else think Doc is overrated as a coach just because he's well-respected?

    I expect a post-all-star breakout from Sully too but unfortunately it might be for another team. He's the only viable trade option right now. Doubt anyone would take JGreen, JET, or Bass the way they're playing.

    Lastly, what happened to the MVP Rondo that we were all expecting? 13 and 11.6 are not MVP #s. Needs to be closer to 17 and 12. We all know DA won't hesitate to dangle his name out there.

    • Phil

      Jermaine O'Neal has been a better player than Jason Collins at every point of the last twenty years. That includes this year, where O'Neal somehow has a 17.5 PER in Phoenix (that training staff really needs investigated; is black magic illegal?) He would've helped the Celtics that year if he could've stayed healthy, but he won't stay healthy for any team aside from Phoenix.

      I think Doc has had a terrible year coaching so far; any team that underperforms this much, blame has to go to the coach somewhat. They've struggled to find roles that work and to integrate new guys, and my view on this Collins fiasco is well documented. That said, he didn't forget to coach over the offseason, and there's no one available that I would even think about replacing Doc with. That's the thing the 'Fire the coach!' crowd tends to forget. You have to actually replace him.

      Rondo's having the most disappointing year among anyone on the Celtics when factoring in expectations IMO. With the team crumbling around him, he's basically putting up his worst two way season in three or four years. Forget MVP, I'm starting to question where he falls in the PG ranking. Hard to outdo Lebron and Durant when you're not only getting shown up by CP3 and Westbrook, but by random guys like Conley and Isaiah Thomas. He's going backwards, and I'm throwing a lot of hope into the 'Bradley will make him better' basket.

      • Mark

        Least we forget prior to getting injured against the Clippers Rondo has been having a great season. We should throw all that away because of his performance the last 3 games he played?

        It's like you people have memory loss when it comes to Rondo.

        • Josh_5

          Mark, Phil lined his comment with EXPECTATIONS. Of course Rondo is having a good year for a pg (who wouldn't want 13-11-5). The problem is that Rondo has averaged that the last 2 years. Everyone has expected him to make the next jump to becoming a legit star and take this team over as his own. He hasn't done that and 13-11-5 isn't going to get it done. He needs to show us (on a consistent basis, and primarily through scoring) that he is a legit star.

          • Phil

            Yep. I admit that I was one of those that fell into the Rondo for MVP crowd. I expected either Lebron or Durant to put up a ridiculous season and win it, but I thought Rondo would be in the top 5 conversation.

            I've liked seeing the jumper go in somewhat this year, but he has to draw fouls to be a good scorer. There's just no way around it. He's still a contributing player right now, not someone who can carry the team. The Celtics need someone who can carry the team. It's probably a little unfair to put that onus all on Rondo, but he's never lacked in grandiose statements that put pressure on himself.

            His defense has been the bigger disappointment to me than his offensive numbers though. I don't have the kind of memory to think back to how he fought over screens in 08, but this is a guy who made All-NBA Defense, and I don't think it was all because of steals (though I don't want to give too much credit to the voters.) He was getting torched before the injury (though the injury has definitely hurt him the last two games.) I'm still having nightmares about Brandon Jennings in the first weeks of the season. That's where I'm positive AB will help.

          • CG12

            I can confirm that Rondo was a vastly better defender in '08, and even better before that. His last couple of All-Defense selections are an absolute joke. He constantly stands up like a statue and tries to poke the ball away. He is apparently disinterested in simply containing his man. I can't explain it or understand it.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jdotd @JdotD

    Collins is absolutely awful. I get that Doc is making a huge point to Bass in starting him above him (which Bass obviously hasn't picked up on as he's still playing like shit and is pretty certain to be traded now IMO), but the guy is just HORRIBLE. He's not even decent on defense now. Fair enough you can start a Perk-esque character who has zero offense if he'll be an enforcer and get some big time defensive plays for you, but Collins doesn't add shit there either! He's so slow on rotations and would get out rebounded by Mark Blount.
    I'd take Bass, Sullinger or Green over him. Sullinger is nice but the guy is just too short, it's big baby all over again but he doesn't have the kind of mass BBD did to actually move people so eventually he's just going to get blocked. People keep saying he gets no calls but in reality he's just an undersized guy, he does great for his size and athleticism and is a great great rebounder but I'm pretty sure his limitations will show soon. That doesn't mean he's awful, it just means he's probably BBD part II with better rebounding, which is great, but not a long-term starter.

    But yeah, bugger me we need to get a decent starting quality big (I say back to the basket 4/5 rather than a flatout 5 as KG is now too slow to play 4 consistently).

    And Rondo hasn't given a damn on defense for about three seasons now, this isn't anything now. He plays for steals (after letting a guy drive past him and poking it out from behind), that's about it. He could be a great defender but just isn't bothered about it at the moment.

  • check12check

    with the horrible season so far, the best thing to date has been the grades. they are cracking me up. "I loved his rebound" haha gold. so a few things:

    yes i think doc is over-rated. it seems like he figures things/ reacts slower than the fans do. like isn't it abundantly clear that Collins is not the answer? and yet here he is. still in the line-up thanks to one solid-ish game in his debut. on the flip side….Lee has been playing solid lately, but he is currently last on the rotation for guards. well, except for barbosa who is glued to the pine.

    for that matter, it seems the front office has become clueless too. why was collins ever signed? remember when we hard darko? and i have been pretty much downright rude about this, but COME ON….jeff green's contract is going to kill us. you made a bad trade….ok….but then you made it much worse by giving this hack a whole lot of money.

    Terry has never been a good defender, but he just looks terrible out there now. When we signed him, I didn't realize we were signing the version with hinges. I agree that KG is too slow to play the 4 anymore. He looks ok at the five, but there are plays he would have stopped 3 years ago that he just makes difficult now. Pierce needs to move to the bench. I've said before and I will again: A fresh pierce looks so much better than a tired one it almost doesn't even make sense. he can still play the game at an elite level, just not for nearly as long any more.

    there….all i want to vent about for now

  • Danny

    I dunno guys I don’t really see a viable fix for this team. On paper this team should be good unfortunetly on paper doesn’t mean shit. Just ask the 2011 Red Sox. Sad to say maybe the window closed and we already missed it. Ill always watch the celts but feels a lot like 06 again. Granted we aren’t gonna lose 22 in a row but its the same hopeless feeling for me anyway night in night out getting out worked by other teams making it look easy while we struggle to even get a shot off.

  • Kafel

    Celtisc starting five should be Rondo, Bradley, Green, Bass or Sully and KG. Give me a break with Collins! I was laughing at him when he was playing in Atlanta and now I'm crying when I see him playing in green…. Pierce could be a spark from bench. And how about putting Lee at PG for more minutes? He can defend and I think that with more minutes he could really became key contibutor, also Rondo would rest more – right now he is playing his worst basketball in long time..
    There is still time and hope for this team, but both are fading.

    • -JP

      PP is not coming off the bench, that is crazy. Green should become the spark off the bench! If he can't prove useful off the bench why would you make him a starter! You can only hide so many guys. Green has talent, no one can deny that, but he hasn't, and maybe isnt capable of putting it together.

      • Kafel

        Because Green could gain some consistent play by getting more minutes and Pierce would be more rested as his minutes would be lower – Doc was saying about it from start of season and I don't know why he isn't doing this. As someone higher said – PP still can be very effective but he is just too old to be effective whole game.. If not benching PP then give more of his minutes to other players like Green or Lee.

  • tbunny

    Unless Danny is comatose, I have to think a minimum of three of these guys will be traded.

  • IBleedGreen

    With Collins, Bradley and Rondo we are going 2 on 5 on offense…

  • janos

    There is not much be happy about today for us, ryan am to frustrate even argue you anymore, if youwant Rondos C, have Rondos C

    ok

  • Phoured

    This is a somewhat old rumor but I heard that possibly there is a chance to get tyreke Evans for lee and couple picks??? Is this true it sounds way too good to be true.
    I think, as much as I don’t think that he is all that good, we should get josh smith. He is young and talented and would play well with our aging vets hopefully taking the load off of them and becoming more efficient with rondo at the helm. I hesitate though to trade sully and certainly not bradly who I think is very very important, not only for his individual skills but also he does all the things rondo doesn’t and make rondo better. He provides easy assists and plays defense which make rondo much better.
    Any thoughts?

    • Josh_5

      Dirty little secret #12: Rondo and Smith were teammates at Oak Hill Academy.

  • High Rollers

    About 9… “not willing to put in the effort.” there are two parts to that, if it’s true. The obvious part translates to laziness, and I just don’t think that’s Rondo. The other part, the “willing” part, is more about stubbornness, which everybody knows IS Rondo. I think he gets an idea of how things should play out and will beat his head against the wall trying to make it happen. He believes in his ability to gamble, strip, deflect, but he admitted the backup just isn’t there right now the same way it has been in the past. If somebody doesn’t have your back, that failed strip is not only SMH-inducing but extremely detrimental to the cause of winning the game (or these days simply getting back into one). So call him stubborn if you’re frustrated with Rondo, but lazy is just plain inaccurate.

  • -JP

    Doc might be part of the problem. Seems like Rondo's attitude is part of it too, but they need more effective players, if they can get Gortat without giving up Bradley, they need to do it. He would be great for this team.

    • Josh_5

      I agree. I would love to see Gortat in green and I don't think we'd need to give up a fortune to get him.

  • What's up Doc?

    There are just too many issues for me to see straight. Rondo is playing lazy (yup, I said it) and just stands at the top of the key poking the ball and waiting for outlet passes on D. He made Tony Allen look like an offensive force and seems to have lost interest in the game ever since his assist streak ended (his numbers across the board are way down). The team hasn't gelled. Doc is making some terrible line up decisions, the offense is stagnent and at-times can't even get a shot off, and somehow in his system Jason Terry looks like he can't score, which says way more about the offensive scheme then Terry. Put him on just about any other team and he'd average 15 ppg.

    The biggest problem I see is Ainge. He's a terrible GM. He made a boneheaded trade that not only ruined the 2010 – 2011 season, but has come back to haunt us again this year. Then he tops that this off season by ignoring the obvious need for a defensive minded big and instead adds a bunch of undersized role players who aren't strong defenders or don't play D at all. This team doesn't have the roster to big a great deffensive team or the fire power to switch to being a dominent offensive team. So you end up exactly where we are…marginally good at both…aka…a sub-500 team.

    The only possitive I can see is that by signing Green to a huge contract under the Bird rights (everybody seems to forget that wasn't cap space – the C's were able to exceed the cap under the bird rights), we have a lot of money on paper to package and trade for a real contributor with a star salary.

    But even if that happens I don't see this year's team being anything more then a possible tough out in the first round for one of the top 3 seeds…unless another miraculous playoff run happens and Bass overperforms like last season, the D gells into a force, and Rondo starts playing up to his potential with some fire. I really hope that's the case. Watching losses pile up like this is painful.

    And yes, KG, you still deserve better.

  • ghoulbuns

    Docs lineups suck. Collins plays 12 minutes a game and barbosa none? Even when the whole team can't seem to buy a basket? I don't know wtf these guys are thinking

    • CelticsBIG3

      I don't understand this either. Like I posted above, he had a totally anemic roster out on the floor at times where I thought Barbosa could really have been providing some firepower, but alas he stays glued to the bench. Why didn't Bradley play any of the 4th quarter either? #Confusing

  • Danny

    You know looking back on it one move that really stung us was David west choosing to sign in Indiana over us. Granted Danny ainge can’t be blamed for a guy choosing to sign somewhere else (unless he low balled him I forget what he was offered) but I think having a solid low post scorer would make a huge difference for this team.

    • Phil

      Indy offered more than the Celtics could if I recall correctly. They've been against the cap for basically the entire KG era.

      I agree that he would really help this team though. He's basically Brandon Bass, except way better at everything. A starting lineup of Rondo/AB/Pierce/West/KG would be awesome.

  • KG is overrated

    Why is KG so high EVERY SINGLE DAMN TIME!!! >:(

    • Phil

      Opponent offensive rating in the 904 minutes KG has been on the court: 99.5 (four tenths out of 1st in the league.)

      Opponent offensive rating in the 614 minutes KG has sat: 113.5 (OKC leads the league at 113.)

      Basically, the team plays the best defense in the league when KG is on the court, and the worst in the league when he sits. Kind of hard to go under a B when the entire defense hinges on him. He rarely puts up terrible offensive games anyway, and he brings his defense every game.

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