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Celtics-Hawks Grades

 
Boston Celtics 89 Final

Recap | Box Score

81 Atlanta Hawks
Kevin Garnett, PF 33 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 14 PTS | -2Made his usual 2-3 contested jumpers from deep, brought the stingy interior defense against Smith and Horford, and perhaps the best news was that the C’s continued their third quarter surge with him OFF the floor. Doc will have to pray that is a trend that can continue.
Brandon Bass, PF 36 MIN | 5-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | +14We’ve been very hard on Mr. Bass here at the Hub, as he set a pretty high standard for himself on the offensive end last year. The C’s will take this line from him every day of the week. The open jumpers were finally falling, he didn’t overdo it with too many shots, and he did a super job against Josh Smith for the majority of the evening on the defensive end. Doc rewarded him with 36 minutes because of it, but this was easily the best the guy has looked in weeks. Great to see him break out of the slump.
Paul Pierce, SF 36 MIN | 8-20 FG | 7-9 FT | 9 REB | 5 AST | 26 PTS | +11After not having to do too much within the offense against Indy Friday night, Pierce took command against the Hawks with a superb third quarter, featuring a variety of midrange pullups, 3-balls, and strong takes which got him to the line. He abused Kyle Korver and perhaps critically fouled him out midway through the fourth quarter, taking away one of the best weapons Atlanta had to get back in the game. Combine the offense with the stellar rebounding and a reported halftime pep talk that inspired the troops and you have yourself an A effort.
Rajon Rondo, PG 39 MIN | 7-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 10 AST | 14 PTS | +2Only the subpar first half defense and 5 turnovers dock him half a grade, but for the second straight night, he appeared to be inspired by Bradley’s tenacity on the defensive end to kick things up a notch when it counted after Lou Williams beat up on him in the first half. It’s also refreshing to see the 16 shot attempts on a night where he is doing a little bit of everything. The hip looks healthy and the All-Star is responding with aggressiveness.
Avery Bradley, PG 20 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +8The offense is, and will continue to be a work in progress but Avery continues to make up for it on the other end of the floor. Just wait a couple more weeks until the kinks are worked out of his jumper and this starting lineup will start to become dangerous on the offensive end once again.
Jared Sullinger, PF 24 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-1 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | +73 fouls in 24 minutes! Baby steps people. The rebounding rate continues to be superb, as are the open jumpers Sully continues to hit. With Bass playing better and Sully staying out of foul trouble, we see less of Jason Collins on the floor and that’s good for everyone involved on a team hurting for offense most nights.
Jeff Green, PF 15 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -1I feel like that alley-oop in the fourth quarter called off for basketball interference was Green’s season in a nutshell. Even when it looks like something is going right, it still isn’t working. Kudos to Doc for not feeding him minutes in a game the C’s needed to win.
Jason Collins, C 4 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -3He made a jumper. Anytime he does that, he gets an above-average grade.
Courtney Lee, SG 9 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +4Had a tough second quarter on the defensive end at times, but with Rondo/Avery in beast mode in the second half, minutes weren’t going to be easy to come by. Lines like this make it more likely he will be used as trade bait a month from now for another big, since he will likely be the most expendable trade chip the C’s have at that point. I wouldn’t mind keep him either though as he continues to get more comfortable
Jason Terry, SG 26 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | 0Continues to slump shooting the rock, but he was actually helpful on the defensive end for a change, feeding off the energy from his teammates in the second half. After shooting 35 percent from the field for the past month or so, would be nice to see some improvement there.
Doc RiversRode the right horses to the win.
  • Phil

    KG, Sully and Bass! Woo! This might have been the best all around game by the Celtics big men all year. All three played well, and with Sullinger looking better by the game, the team could have a very respectable rotation going forward.

    There was a ton to like in this game (well, the second half. Good thing I didn't flip over to football at halftime like I was about to.) 16!! offensive rebounds was the one that stuck out to me. The most exciting thing is that it looks schematic; before you'd have Bass or Collins tip an offensive rebound, it would bounce twice to the three point line… and the other team would still get it because everyone had already run away. Now they're actually trying for them, and it added a dimension to their offense. Not sure if it was just a matchup thing, but with lineups featuring Sully specifically, I love it.

    And you non-believers may have doubted my savior, but just how much fun has the team been since he came back? Bradley's offense is still rehabbing, but the whole team has turned it on defensively, and it's great to watch. I'm just salivating at how the two year with/without numbers are gonna look for Bradley soon. MVP here we come! (kidding… a little)

    And it's easy (and trivial) to pick at the actual grades, but there's no way Rondo's game last night (A-) was better than his Indy game (B+). I thought Rondo struggled big time in the first half, and only turned it on after a lot of other people led the way in the second.

  • check12check

    i think i am most excited about the game Bass had. This whole season i have been thinking about his usual play last year and thinking "where is that guy?" looks like he finally came.

  • Kafel

    Yes, it's starting to working. What is most important C's defence is back ( small sample but still). What worries me is that trade rumor with Cousins – won't be good for chemistry and I don't think that giving away Bradley or Sully is a good idea even for skilled center..

    • Josh_5

      I agree. Bradley is a proven (and defensively rare) commodity and Sully has nice potential to be a starting double double. Cousins has huge potential but is waaaay to risky for me.

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