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Celtics-Raptors Grades

Boston Celtics 99 Final
Recap | Box Score
95 Toronto Raptors
Kevin Garnett, PF 32 MIN | 11-18 FG | 5-5 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 27 PTS | +14
Garnett’s outside shot found the bottom of the net early as he hit three midrange jumpers in the first quarter. Then, he exploded in the second when he realized that Aaron Gray was guarding him. It’s mind-boggling that Garnett only attempted one field goal in third quarter (a miss from long two range) on his way to 27 points. Then again, no one played well in he third quarter. KG came back strong in the fourth by hitting a huge turnaround that stretched the Celtics lead to five.
Brandon Bass, PF 24 MIN | 4-6 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | -10
You would always like to see the rebounding numbers up for Bass but that is just not the kind of production we’re going to see night in and night out. Bass also found himself catching Rudy Gay on a perimeter switch. This could partially account for the lack of boards, and Gay’s scoring. Despite having no business guarding Gay, Bass was able to move his feet well for the most part.As for his offense, his midrange game was back tonight as he hit 4-6 from outside the paint. These are the types of shots he was getting with Rondo running the offense last season, which proved very effective.
Paul Pierce, SF 37 MIN | 2-11 FG | 6-7 FT | 11 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | +13
Pierce’s shot was no where to be found tonight, yet the Celtics kept going to him late in the fourth. The Pierce iso has got to go. For every three point dagger like the one against the Clippers, there are four airballs like the one last night. Pierce is a great passer (6 assists tonight) and he should really display his passing ability on those isolation plays. On the play in question, it did look like he was trying to get a little two-man game going with Jason Terry, but when the Raptors swallowed that up, Pierce’s only option was a bad shot. It’s still hard to fault a guy who’s 6’7″ and crashes the glass as hard as Pierce does.
Avery Bradley, PG 26 MIN | 4-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | -11
Bradley began the game by making a strong move to the rim, only to have it blocked by Amir Johnson. Similar to the play in the Clipper game where he was blocked by Eric Bledsoe. Later on against the Raps, he made a similar strong drive to the basket and adjusted his body just slightly to avoid the block. It was a fantastic adjustment as Bradley got this one to go. This was a microcosm of what we’ve been witnessing since he took over the starting job last season. Bradley’s offensive game is evolving and we’re going to see a lot more diversity given how aggressive he’s being.
Courtney Lee, SG 29 MIN | 6-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | -4
Great defense, timely scoring. This is exactly why Doc Rivers wanted Courtney Lee so badly.Lee’s also showing how well the Celtics overall offense is gelling. For example, there was that play in the second half where Lee cut baseline, received a pass from a driving Pierce, and then kicked it out to Bradley for a wide-open three (which he made).
Jeff Green, PF 27 MIN | 2-6 FG | 4-6 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +5
Green didn’t shoot well (bear in mind one of his six misses was at the end of a quarter heave), but he more than made up for it on the defensive end. He was only credited with one steal, but I counted far more deflections. Plus, that one steal was a doozy. It was a smaller version of the Rondo midair snatch on LeBron James, but impressive nonetheless.
Chris Wilcox, PF 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +3
Still not playing many minutes, and it all harkens back to Rivers’ talk regarding to consistency. He failed to box out Amir Johnson, let him get an offensive rebound, and then had to goal-tend to prevent the shot from going in. Despite all his ability, this is not going to get you minutes on the Celtics.
Jason Collins, C 8 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -9
Collins fouls hard.
Jason Terry, SG 26 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | +6
Terry was a complete liability on defense last night and not very helpful on the offensive side of the ball. His one bucket came in transition when he pulled up an elbow jumper. It was really funny to see as most players would try to draw a foul, finish the layup, pass to a streaking teammate, or bring the ball out ans setup a play. Terry say he had no angle to the basket, so he pulled up and calmly hit an elbow jumper. If I hadn’t seen Terry make shots like this for most of his career, I’d be pulling my hair out.
Leandro Barbosa, SG 27 MIN | 5-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | +13
Barbosa’s game was a bit of a “Good News, Bad News” situation. The good news is that he was electrifying on offense. He scored in a variety of ways- scoop shots, and-1s, threes- and was generally all over the floor. The bad news is that he committed a foul nearly every time he saw a ball screen and he gave up his fair share of And-1s. You take the former even if you have to deal with the latter.
Doc Rivers
This game was a bit of a chess match. Casey left his starters in for much of the third quarter where the Raptors were able to extend their biggest lead. Rivers held off to give his guys more rest. The gamble paid off as the C’s starters came in, regained the lead, and never looked back.
  • Danny

    Watching the game with my girlffriend yesterday, with Andrea Bargnini on the line she turns to me and says he looks like he belongs on Jersey Shore more than in the NBA, got a good laugh out of it. Keeps the wins coming.

  • High Rollers

    Celtics/Lakers… TONIGHT!!!

  • Phil725

    Am I just missing something with Brandon Bass? I thought he was terrible again last night. He got absolutely destroyed by Amir Johnson (12-3 on rebounds,) and was a non-factor on both ends of the floor for much of the night. He had a great two minute stretch where he dribbled in to hit a floater, then an 'and 1', but he followed that up by being on the floor for the worst stretch of the game for the team. He can't defend or box out any better than Wilcox, yet he keeps getting high marks for 4-6 for 10 point games despite Jason Collins numbers across the board. How high above replacement level are we really talking with box scores like that?

    I'd argue that Pierce should get at least one grade above Bass, regardless of what Bass got, but a B is fair. He struggled with his shot, but two 3pters and six FTs is nice. That iso play at the end was terrible (worse when you consider how many successful plays with KG they had just run,) but the worst part about it was that they started it behind the three point line with 6 seconds on the shot clock. At that point, Pierce has no chance. It's a flaw on his or Doc's part, but it's no secret that late game execution is a problem. That rebounding and facilitating though… I love the captain more and more every game when I see numbers like those. Even in games like this one where he struggled, the team was noticeably better with him out there.

    Also, KG is awesome. No explanation needed.