|Kevin Garnett, PF 39 MIN | 5-16 FG | 6-10 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | -5
Garnett had a rough start to this game. He only scored three points by half time and looked completely off his game. Since he possesses some type of internal fire, the heat of which I will never feel, he dusted himself off, hit himself in the head a few times and finished the game with 16 points and 7 rebounds. More surprisingly, he played 39 minutes, including the whole fourth quarter and overtime. 39 is a lot of minutes for KG, but he looked pretty fresh an played really well with Jared Sullinger; both of those are encouraging signs as we forward.
|Brandon Bass, PF 27 MIN | 4-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | 0
Bass was the perfect cog on the offensive end, but completely mindless on defense. He missed rotations, lost track of baseline cutters, and watched as opponents snuck in front him for offensive rebounds. It got so bad for Bass that he couldn’t even play until Jared Sullinger fouled out in overtime. His jumper was back, though? That’s good, right?….
I’ll see myself out.
|Paul Pierce, SF 34 MIN | 5-17 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | 0
5-17. That is just unacceptable. Or it would be if Pierce was chucking but he wasn’t. He was legitimately missing wide open threes and layups. The hero-ball stuff at the end was atrocious- especially the left baseline drive, turn-inside and then turn back to the baseline jumper- but that problem is more symptomatic of the Celtics’ offensive execution problem than Pierce’s decision-making. I mean, what’s a aging scorer to do when there are so few people on the roster that can create their own offense.
|Rajon Rondo, PG 42 MIN | 12-21 FG | 6-9 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 30 PTS | -3
Celtics’ fans got a glimpse of what life is going to be like when Rondo is the only superstar on the C’s roster. HE will ne the offense. HE will be amazing. The results, on the other hand, will probably be much like this game.
|Leandro Barbosa, SG 15 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +2
Barbosa had a rough go in the starting lineup. He plays much better as a dude who uses his quickness to take advantage of tired or less talented or experienced bench players. He must more ineffective as a moving piece in an offense. He needs the ball in his hands. He needs to take shots and drive to the basket hard. He needs to play more of the Jamal Crawford role, even of the outcome isn’t as good.He played hard, but got continually abused by Rip Hamilton in the post. When you can’t stop a guy who is listed at a generous 193 pounds from beasting on you, you can’t be on the court.
|Jeff Green, PF 19 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +5
Green had the chance to step up and really show what he can do. I, and those who think like me, believe he did just that. Despite not having defensive stopper Luol Deng on the court, Green still couldn’t take advantage of Jimmy Butler or Taj Gibson. In a game where the C’s needed some boost, Green provided no offense, no defense, and more importantly, no fire.
|Jared Sullinger, PF 38 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 15 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -1
This kid literally just keeps getting better and better. He’s the only player on the C’s roster who can rebound. He and KG played the whole fourth quarter (save for a few seconds during the last possession) and overtime until Sully fouled out. He and KG were a fantastic defensive duo which is shocking given Sully’s athletic limitations. To reiterate Doc Rivers’ previous comment, “he’s not going anywhere.”
|Courtney Lee, SG 22 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +2
Lee played hard and produced. Two things that are needed for success.
|Jason Terry, SG 27 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -3
Outside of an emotional three point shot in OT, Terry’s game was largely unremarkable.
I can’t figure out what Doc Rivers was thinking in multiple situations throughout the game. I can’t believe that a coach as good as Rivers couldn’t find an answer for Rip Hamilton in the post. I understand that you can’t put Jeff Green on him because he’ll run him off screens and torch him. I understand that you can’t put Jason Terry or Leandro Barbosa on him because he’ll completely beast him in the post. The only options seemed to have been using Courtney Lee or Rajon Rondo, and adjustment Rivers only made after Rip ripped the C’s for a ton of points. Had Rivers taken that away from Hamilton earlier, this game would not have gone to overtime.I also can’t wrap my head around why Barbosa was starting. I talked with Jimmy Toscano (@Jimmy_Toscano) of Metro Boston and CelticsBlog fame during the game and he surmised that Rivers didn’t want to mess with the bench’s mojo. I can’t help but think that the weird trade-request/denial from last week played into his insertion into the starting lineup. It’s a bit conspiracy-theory-esque but it’s hard to find any other explanation.