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Celtics-Blazers Grades

Boston Celtics 86 Final
Recap | Box Score
92 Portland Trail Blazers
Kevin Garnett, PF 33 MIN | 9-19 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | +1

Garnett returned after his night off in Phoenix and looked more explosive for the extra rest. He had a couple of strong takes off the dribble, finished an alley-oop, made a number of key defensive plays and missed a 20-10 game by only one rebound. Aldridge beat him on a couple of turnarounds and interior moves but KG outplayed him tonight.

Brandon Bass, PF 30 MIN | 5-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | -2

A Bass special. Made some jumpers that kept the floor spread for his teammates, didn’t embarrass himself driving to the basket (he had one impressive drive and finish in the first quarter), did marginal work on the boards, got blocked, logged heavy minutes anyway.

Paul Pierce, SF 32 MIN | 9-16 FG | 4-5 FT | 7 REB | 8 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 23 PTS | +4

Came alive in the third quarter in the point forward role, making shots and creating them for others. Overall, a very efficient night for Pierce with the only tarnish being his fourth quarter fade: he missed four of his five shots, including a big three when the C’s needed one to claw back into the game.

Avery Bradley, PG 35 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +4

Overall, Bradley did solid work on Lillard but he allowed the game-breaking layup on a high pick and roll when Lillard turned the corner, shot the lane and picked up an and-1 (to be fair, Bradley had little help from a rotating big to plug up the lane). Had a couple of nice early takes to the basket but the C’s aren’t getting enough offense out of him.

Courtney Lee, SG 26 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | 0

The struggle fielding Lee with Bradley for long stretches is neither is a starting-quality offensive player and neither has the murderous reputation from the arc or deadly off-the-dribble game you’d like in your starting guards. Lee moved the ball on offense and did good work on defense but in a very Brandon Bass kind of way, you really wish you’d get more out of him. Then you realize he’s out of his element as a starter.

Jeff Green, PF 31 MIN | 4-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | -17

Came crashing down to Earth tonight after his big game in Phoenix. That said, I think he played better than his stat line would suggest. He missed eight of his 12 FGAs but he got some good looks and had to force a couple of shots up to beat the shot clock. He went left off the dribble again tonight for the second game in a row, which is a nice sign he’ll be able to adapt as defenses overplay his right hand.

Chris Wilcox, PF 16 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -7

After a big game against Phoenix, Wilcox was again responsible for a number of defensive breakdowns which undercut a couple of steals, his work on offense and cost him second-half minutes. If the Celtics could sub him in and out all game for offensive and defense, we’d really have something. As it is, Rivers still struggles to trust Wilcox, who really should be able to slip past Brandon Bass in the rotation, but isn’t anywhere close to doing so.

Jordan Crawford, SG 12 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -1

He’s got a similar rep to Wilcox. Can do offensive damage but messes things up on the defensive end. Crawford showed the C’s his ugly side on offense tonight by playing a bit out of control and missing all four of his shots. He’s not Fab Melo but he is a project and one that will take time to acclimate to Boston’s way of doing things.

Terrence Williams, SG 7 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +1

Williams forced things tonight from both the perimeter (ill-advised jumpshot) and the baseline (a bad take to the basket). My sense is he, like Crawford, is trying to fit in and make his mark and, with unemployment looming should he not make good on this opportunity with the Celtics, we probably haven’t seen our last game where Williams tries too hard. Still, there are worse problems to have and the talent is undeniable. I like him more than Crawford so far, but it’s early.

Jason Terry, SG 19 MIN | 1-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -13

Terry was a non-entity tonight, a reminder that, like earlier in the year, there are a lot of other guards getting minutes and looks at his expense. If Crawford/Williams don’t get the job done, Terry will get more burn again soon.

  • fabzzz

    The kind of game you know we should've won but can't exactly articulate why. Sure, there was that ridiculous Matthews 3-pointer and that Lillard drive. Oh and a couple things like Batum getting the airball and putting it back right away.

    But still, these are lame excuses. I think KG had good numbers but should've passed on a few of those 4th quarter jumpers. Also, I would've liked to see less Bass and more Green in the fourth. Although his shot wasn't falling, I had the feeling he could've willed his way to the line. Yet saying that brings up one glaring Celtic flaw in this game: no shots at the rim.

    However, when Crawford and Williams settle in and get some practice (and maybe a relaxant) I think the offense will be easier to find. It becomes increasingly obvious to me that Bass should be the seventh or eighth man and not the fourth, and maybe Green should get those extra minutes. Maybe LA would've had a harder time against Green than Bass?? And you got to think that the offense will be here for Green.

    Also, where's Bradley's offense? He may be one person who is very hurt by rondo's absence.

    All in all it a meh loss. And here's to hoping the Green-Terry-Crawford-Williams lineup will one day be a real thing (very far from it now). Afterall – it is the first super young, all potential group the C's have had in a while. And although its not ideal, it could be a fun maturation process to watch. So as a fan, I enjoy that aspect.

    • fabzzz

      well not Terry. Meant Bradley

  • Jonathan

    Went down to Portland, and was kind of dissapointed with the loss in a game which there were very make able shots that they just missed. Terry and the new fellas seemed lost, Green got outplayed by Batum and Hickson, and Bass, well, sucked. Great performances from KG and Pierce, too bad it happened in a loss. Anyways, go C's!

  • elroz

    1 win in the West so far…. probably will not win in Utah … mediocrity is the rule now

    too bad Green and Wilcox cannot play Phoenix every time

    • janos

      hi elroy is janos
      i am hope win tonight are you hope too make a positive not a sad.

  • Phil725

    24 hours ago I would've called this a bad loss (Portland is a lottery team who had lost 7 in a row, a playoff team should beat them, home or not,) but I'm starting to think that we just need to treat Home Celtics and Road Celtics as different entities. I don't know how much people have looked at the splits lately, but it's massive, and a problem for a team with a lot of road games still upcoming. Road Celtics are a lottery team right now.

    I'm not really sure what to say on an individual level, it just seemed like a game where everyone did just 'not' enough to win. It seemed like all of the offensive dice roll guys struggled on the same day, and that probably sealed the team's fate. Those guys really need to spread out their off days.

  • CG12

    We need the bench to step up. Phoenix is blatantly horrible, so you don't want to take too much away from that game. Similarly, Portland is perhaps better than they have been playing recently and their starting lineup is pretty strong. But you need to dominate that bench. Portland is widely regarded as having one of the worst benches in the league, and their bench overwhelmed the C's at time with their energy.

    The guy who struck me the most was Victor Claver. There was a stretch where he was around the ball virtually every play, contesting shots, getting rebounds, tipping misses, etc etc. I hadn't seen him play before and was trying to figure out who the hell he was, and Mike and Scal didn't say his name for like 15 minutes. He had 10 boards in 20 minutes. Not to pick on Jeff, but Jeff Green won't get 10 boards in any game all year. It is that type of player that is the one thing the C's seem to be missing, a guy who is going to come in and fly around and make things happen. The bench is heavy with on-the-ball guys, and that works when they are playing fast and moving the ball, but they weren't able to get that going last night.

    • hydrofluoric

      Small-time big men always seem to find their careers rejuvenated against the C's on the road. Whether it's Kris Humphries getting a double-double, Greg Monroe having one of the finest nights of his season, Byron Mullens with a 25/18, JaVale McGee just dominating the paint, and now Victor Claver – it happens and it's ugly.

  • Anthony

    I wasn't too disappointed with the game despite the loss. It was a culmination of a few bad calls and Wesley Matthews seeming to hit every shot. The calls that jumped to mind were the turnover from Hickson's save attempt, the JGreen offensive foul pass to Pierce for the 3pt, and Pierce 1st foul in the very first play of the game (really refs?).

    CH seem to grade Bass on a curve. B- for missing rotations, open jumpshots, and getting outrebounded by Victor Claver (who?)??

    I didn't mind how Jet played but for a veteran player he makes alot of rookie mistakes. I was speechless when he threw a 40ft crosscourt pass. It was a turnover of course.

    • hydrofluoric

      A fast-break layup turned into a fastbreak layup by Portland on the other end. Could have been the margin of victory. Ugh.

      I think we got the benefit of quite a few offensive foul calls in the first half to help keep the game close. Refs are definitely not to blame here IMO.

      • Anthony

        I hate using the bad officiating as an excuse but I did think it affected the game. Doc got T'd up early because of it if you recall.

        Like I said, for the most part, I thought the Celts played good enough to win. They just didn't make that final push to get over the hump. They made some good adjustments also by passing more in the second half and JGreen starting driving and posting up instead of settling for the 20 footer.

        • janos

          i am check scchedules tonighut is utah team we to win this and make you happy them dont worry.

    • Phil725

      Bass has been graded very favorably here all year. I'm still reeling from the B- he got on midseason grades (the ones that happened at the low point of the year, where Bass was at his F worthy worst.) I just keep wondering if I'm missing something. I know his defense is terrible, and his offense is both bad from a strict number sense (it's the worst year since the very start of his career,) and from a team sense (he had value to the lineups he was in last year as a floor spacer, there's very little numerical evidence of that this year.) If that's not even C worthy, why even have the rest of the alphabet?

      I've just settled on curving his grade here down two full letters from what he gets, and that usually gets me to what I think he deserves 😛

      Edit: I hadn't looked at the numbers in a while, so I figured I'd check to see if they'd improved… and it's actually way uglier. When Bass plays, the Celtics have the 15th best defense and the 29th best offense. They're 5th in D and 20th in O without him. That amazes me. He's basically the key to everything bad about the team. They would be better off playing Doc at the 4 for thirty minutes a game. I for one am psyched about paying him 6.9m in 2015.

      • Anthony

        I guess to be fair to CH, they probably just stopped watching him play and just look at the box score. And whenever he puts up 10-12 pts or 5-6 rebs, CH will say we'll take that from Bass any day. I know that's how I feel. I'm just as perplexed as you and wondering what happened over the summer to deplete Bass' game and impact so much.

        I hope he's not the second coming of Mark Blount because he has absolutely no trade value right now.

  • IBleedGreen

    I think Jason Terry is the difference between a first round playoffs exit and a conference final

  • Banner18

    Seriously looked like the worse team out there even with playing a very sub-par team. Actually kind of scary. Thankfully, playing 9 o'clock games on the road will not happen during the 'offs.

  • janos

    i am not that impres JET guy this year is not on consist; there should be a more trial before player can get nba celtics tattoos

  • The Cardinal

    Last night demonstrated to me that B. Robb's source regarding the standing of Wilcox in Doc's hierarchy was correct. Toward the end of the first quarter, Wilcox was making a bunch of hustle plays (keeping balls alive, battling Portland's front line on the boards, etc…) that didn't show up in the box score (you definitely had to be watching the game), but that were re-energizing the team. Then he received a dubious call for fouling someone I can't remember beyond the 3-point line, and Doc pulled him and reinserted KG despite the fact that KG's first 8 or so minutes on the floor were pretty unimpressive. Maybe it was just Doc's predetermined time for reinserting KG, but KG had looked off/out of phase/just not comfortable at the beginning of the game, and Wilcox was playing much better.

    The funny thing was PP and someone else I can't remember were whistled for the same thing later on, but they remained on the floor.

    In the end, Doc is human so whatever is going on between he and Wilcox seems to have as much to do with human/personality/attitude issues as the ones on the floor. Like someone else observed, if it were strictly about playing ability, Wilcox should be getting a lot more of Bass' minutes considering Bass is the single most under performing player on the team. A confident Wilcox's upside is much greater than Bass' because of his ability to rebound and finish at the rim, and even an under performing Wilcox is seldom any worse than Bass has been this year.

    • Josh_5

      Agree completely with this post. NBA coaches are just as human as us, and this scenario exemplifies it. Most of us here would agree that Wilcox is no worse for the wear than Bass, yet only gets half the minutes.

      • Phil725

        I'd love it if Wilcox always got more than half the minutes Bass did. The breakdown in this game is a rarity >_>