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Celtics-Jazz Grades

 
Boston Celtics 110 FinalRecap | Box Score 107 Utah Jazz
Kevin Garnett, PF 36 MIN | 5-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -6
Man, oh man. Garnett looked like a 36 year old, 17 year veteran, just four years removed from a freaky season-ending knee injury on the SEcond GAme of a BAck to BAck last night. There were two instances in the second half where I thought KG may have retired midway through jogging back on defense. The first one was the Paul Pierce pass that sailed over his head and bounced lifelessly out of bounds. The KG of yesteryear would be sporting some diesel floor burns right about now while the KG of today couldn’t come close to saving it. Then there was the moment in the fourth where Al Jefferson had him pinned in the corner and then picked his pocket. I put a heaping serving of blame on his teammates for not giving him an outlet but I can’t ignore that the KG of yesteryear would have thrown the ball out of bounds off Big Al’s face and then said something terrible about this poor lady.Luckily, there are no back to backs in the playoffs. There are, however, seven game series. The old Celtic standby has to be a thing of the past if they want to get out of the first round.
Brandon Bass, PF 42 MIN | 4-10 FG | 7-7 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +3
Bass continues to take on more responsibility. He’s not just a pick and pop player or a weak side jump shooter. He’s mixing in drives to the basket and exhibiting dribbling moves no one knew he had. I still can’t decide whether or not these are moves he actually has or Bass just sees the shot clock going down with nobody open, and blacks out only to regain consciousness after the ball has gone through the rim. I must conduct further research.
Paul Pierce, SF 39 MIN | 10-20 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 8 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 26 PTS | +10
Before taking over the game late in the fourth and overtime, Pierce was excelling at playing the point forward. When he wasn’t dishing the ball or crashing the glass, he was missing a bevy of wide open shots, particularly in the third and fourth quarters. As Brian Scalabrine pointed out in the broadcast, these weren’t bad shots they were just misses. I want Pierce bombing threes if he’s wide open. More often than not, these shots will drop. Last night, they just weren’t falling. That is, until he went vintage and started owning DeMarre Carroll. Pierce made clutch shot after clutch shot, it’s no wonder why he thought that awful turn-around long two game winner attempt was going in. As you know, it did not. In overtime, Pierce went on to hit three huge buckets to effectively put the game away. This game is just another in a long list of reminders that the Celtics will likely be without a Paul Pierce type player for a long time once he retires.
Avery Bradley, PG 39 MIN | 8-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +9
Bradley played his best all around game in a long time. He was a complete menace to Earl Watson in the first half and was instrumental in the Celtics comeback in the third quarter. Just take a look at this sequence:8:48 Avery Bradley makes three point jumper 56-60
8:23 Avery Bradley personal foul (Earl Watson draws the foul) 56-60
8:14 Avery Bradley defensive rebound 56-60
8:10 Earl Watson blocks Avery Bradley ‘s 1-foot layup 56-60
8:08 Avery Bradley offensive rebound 56-60
8:04 Avery Bradley makes three point jumper 59-60
7:28 Courtney Lee makes 18-foot jumper 61-60
7:03 Avery Bradley defensive rebound 61-60It was only a 5-0 run, but up to that point the C’s had only made one second half bucket and weren’t playing with the right energy. After this sequence, the Jazz only led the C’s for a brief moment in the fourth.
Courtney Lee, SG 33 MIN | 4-8 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +8
Lee, like Bradley, had a great all around game. Given the scheduling circumstances, it was nice to see Lee fight through fatigue and play with energy. I would have liked him to make one or two more buckets for efficiency purposes, but that’s some severe nitpicking.
Jeff Green, PF 28 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -5
Ever since his monster game in Phoenix, the rim has looked like the ocean to Green. Unfortunately since shooting 11-14 against the Suns, he’s gone just 7-22 since. He’s not taking bad shots, he’s just not converting. Since I’m giving the rest of the C’s somewhat of a pass given the roadtrip/SEGABABA issue, I’ll extend one to Green as well. There are, however, a few things that irked me about his game. Let me warm up this phonograph and load up this cracked 45: 1 rebound in a game that went to overtime? Are you kidding me? The C’s were going to get smashed on the boards against Utah. That was a certainty. But that certainly doesn’t mean that Green should only finish with one measly board. Another moment that made the irk list was the shot clock violation with 13 seconds left. How do you not know how much time is on the shot clock? Especially when there’s less than a minute to go in the game. Chalk it up to mental fatigue, I guess, but at this point in the season I’ve still got more questions than answers when it comes to Green’s game.
Chris Wilcox, PF 21 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +5
Slightly more than unremarkable, which is more than I’ve said about previous games started by Jason Collins. B. Robb really put it best when he described Wilcox as being the offensive oriented version of Collins. Effective given limited time but also gives you next to nothing on the opposite side of the ball. On this team, I’d rather have Wilcox than Collins.
Jordan Crawford, SG 5 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +2
I did not realize how herky-jerky Jordan Crawford’s game was. For such a gifted offensive player, it appears as though there is nothing smooth about the way he operates. There’s no doubt that the unpredictability of his movements aids his offensive game, but the same movement only hinders his attempts to rotate and show defensively. Watching him show on a double team is like watching a petulant middle schooler do defensive slides as punishment. Didn’t play youth basketball? Okay, then it’s like Andy picking up his place setting.
Jason Terry, SG 23 MIN | 5-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -11
13 field goal attempts? Wowza. I only remember about half of them. 5-13 is far from efficient, but is totally welcome on a team as devoid of offense as this Celtics team. Also, hitting four three pointers is big on a Big Three era team sans Ray Allen. I find myself having to remind people that a midrange pull up in transition is a good shot for Jason Terry. Well, it may not be a “good” shot but it’s definitely better than him trying to finish at the rim. He’s been doing these pull ups his whole career and you just have to live with ‘em.
Doc Rivers
Rivers did a great job of balancing the need to win this game versus limiting his older guy’s minutes. This is not an easy task to do but I thought Rivers excelled. I was really happy he played Jordan Crawford limited minutes and did not play Terrence Williams at all. In a must win game, I just don’t want to see them until they’ve become fully acclimated.
  • KillerGymRat

    Glad I held off on singing Jeff Green's praises after the Suns game. I was really hoping it was going to give him the confidence to put up numbers at least in the area of 17 ppg 5 rpg 1 bpg going forward…but sadly the backslide is no surprise. It's clearly a mental toughness thing for him. Too bad we can't infuse him with Crawford's overwhelming confidence.

    I love that AB is making it a routine play to rip the opposing PG and take it the length of the court for a dunk. Sadly, he's also making it a routine play to get blocked by undersized players on soft layup attempts. You'd think by now he'd start adding a head fake or try coming up on the other side of the rim. I'd love to see him dunk it…but going up soft and exposing the ball in close is not going to get it done. Hopefully he gets that because it's really the only glaring weakness of his ever-improving game.

    And the no-call on the shorts grab for a clutch bucket is awesome! Go PP!

  • elroz

    KG had 10 rebounds – Green and Bass had 4 boards total in 70 minutes!

    KG was 5-9 from the field and 3-3 from the FT line … B+ is the lowest grade he could get.

  • Rav

    Hmm regarding JET, 5-13 w/ 4 3pts is like hitting 7-13 2pt FGs (i.e. eF% of .540) so I'd call that moderately efficient (league average is about .500)

  • CelticsBIG3

    How does Bass continue to score B's on this site? The guy plays as good as eating a turd sandwich sounds.

    • Anthony

      Wow, I thought I was harsh on Bass. I was about to say that a B+ was a bit generous given that his defense is still very bad, he's still missing wide open shots, and 3 reb is a bit underwhelming. Milsap accounted for the first 10 of 11 Jazz points (8 scoring and 2 on nice assist). Only reason that didn't continue is because Milsap went to the locker room to re-tape his ankles. In his defense, Bass did at least take it to the basket a couple of times and "we'll take 15 points from Bass any day".

      So JGreen gets a C primarily because he only had 1 reb in 28 mins but Bass gets a B+ for 3 reb in 42 mins? As far as the shot clock violation play goes, JGreen was on the baseline and yes he should have shot it but he was only a split second late from KG knocking that shot down.

      Doc definitely did not deserve a A+. The team was 1-3 on the road trip with 4 days before the next game. How hard is it to figure out that it's a must win no matter how many minutes your stars play?

      Now to the positives. I think (hope) this will become a typical AB game. He always plays hard and always have those open looks. Do the Celts play the Cavs again this season? I would love to see how AB defends Kyrie and see if can shut him down.

      Vintage Pierce.

      • brobb7

        We have been as hard as anyone on Bass this year here at the Hub, (Ryan DeGama especially) but I have to come to his (and Brendan's defense) for his grade.

        In this game. Millsap scored 4 points in the second half in 20 minutes of action on 1-for-6 shooting. Someone deserves some credit for that (even if Millsap did hurt his ankles) and Bass was the man guarding him most of the night. He also got to the free throw line more than anyone else and hit them all.

        He missed jumpers but they were good shots and didn't rebound particularly well, but that's tough when everyone on the Jazz front line is 3 inches taller than you and you are not a good rebounder to begin with. It wasn't a perfect night from Bass, but if Doc Rivers could get this kind of effort from him on a consistent basis, I'd guarantee you he'd be a happy camper. That's a B+ in my book.

        • Anthony

          Fair enough. I guess I need to adjust my expectations of Bass since he will be a Celtic for the foreseeable future and he's coming off a great season.

          Enough Bass bashing and more AB praising is the way to go.

        • Phil725

          I'm fine with the grade for this game, but I'd argue big time against CelticsHub being as hard on him as anyone. He rarely scores below a B (including a B- for the midseason grades,) yet he's 5 points below his per game average from last year (and 4 points below his career average when you rate it out to per 36 minutes,) and the Celtics play well worse on offense 'and' defense whenever he's in the game.

          Wilcox has been killed for his defense, and the numbers show why; opponents have a 106.3 offensive rating when he's on the court. Brandon Bass? 105.9! And that's with starting and playing most of his minutes beside KG (who the Cs have a 99.8 Drating with.)

          It often seems like if he hits more than 50% of his shots, that gets him a B, when his impact on defense and rebounding has been tangibly bad from game to game.

          It's not that my expectations were too high coming into the year, because he's having the worst season of his career. That should be called out in some way, right?

          • brobb7

            Phil,

            You're right on the midseason grade. Bass had a good November actually, but fell off a cliff in December and January. Upon reflection, a C- (or worse) was probably necessary. However, in the past 10-15 games, Bass has started to turn a corner. His flaws are still glaring and won't change and he's still not hitting his jumper as consistently as last year (during a career year) but his scoring and rebounding are way up this month. He's received a B's on this entire trip, because well he's earned it.

            December and January he was god awful and he deserves to be called out for it as you said, which I feel like we did here (look back at those grades). WIth some solid performances lately (Bulls, Nuggets, Jazz), there's still some hope. He couldn't play awful forever and probably won't be as good as last year at any point this year. There lies a middle ground though and he's getting there.

          • Phil725

            That's fair I guess. I've lowered my expectations of Bass from the start of the season (and I was factoring in the career year thing,) to the point where I just want him to not be the weakest link of the team. Maybe it's still too much to ask him to be an almost league average starting 4, but that's what the team needs.

            Part of me thinks the team would be better off just starting Green at that spot and actively compensating for a lot of the deficiencies that they've already been dealing with so far. It's better to know that you're playing small than to expect someone big to be there who isn't. I do see the offense coming around, but I also haven't seen as much to be happy about on the defensive side as you have.

          • Anthony

            To add to Brian's point, what type of #s would Bass need to put up to warrant a B-? I for one, expected at the minimum, for him to have similar #s like last year. And without looking, I think the per 36 are very similar.

            Again without looking, the line-up of KG, Bass, JGreen, Pierce, Bradley doesn't look too bad to me. Not sure how the actual #s are though.

          • Phil725

            Per 36 numbers actually hate him this year. http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bas… He's been extremely consistent since getting his first real shot, but his his FG% and scoring numbers are way down. It's probably mostly equatable to a shooting slump, since nothing else looks like much of an outlier. Still, we're talking about Bass, the further away you get from his scoring, the more holes you find.

            It's hard for me to give specific numerical benchmarks for Bass, because a lot of his negative impact this year has been defense and team rebounding. 8 and 5 just isn't enough if he's gonna be playing over 30 minutes a game though. If Bass can get to the point where multiple people aren't openly challenging me for the Anti-Bass crown, I'll be happy :P

            And that lineup has played less than 30 minutes together, so any numbers are gonna be pretty much useless because of sample size. Anecdotally, I do like that group as well though. My focus is mainly the Green at the 3/Pierce at the 2 combo. The surrounding pieces don't make that much difference to me.

          • Anthony

            Exactly! I like the idea of JGreen at the 3 and Pierce at the 2 as well. The 4 spot is interchangeable to whoever is playing better D. Unfortunately it's either Bass or Wilcox. Sully would've fit in nicely. Sigh.

            I'm pretty low on Bass but I don't think I can get to top 5 for the Anti-Bass crown.

  • Phil725

    I'd pretty much consider myself the leader of the Anti-Bass group around here, but I thought he played pretty well for him last night. He's offering the team more on offense lately, but I continue to think that 'help' is tenuous at best. If he can't stay around 12-15 points a game (and he was nowhere close earlier in the year,) his lack of defense and rebounding is gonna destroy this front court. Even last night he probably cost more points in rebounding than he earned over replacement on offense.

    I mentioned it in the other thread, but I haven't been able to commend Bradley nearly enough this year. Hitting his shots is one (huge,) thing, but this team probably doesn't even have the energy to play 48 minutes, let alone 53 without him. That stretch in the third quarter where he was everywhere was all you need to look at.

    For Green, disappointing is all I'll say. I wasn't swayed by his game against Phoenix (I've said all along that if you need someone to dominate Charlotte in December, he's your guy,) but I was swayed somewhat by his entire February. He's fallen back to early season Jeff Green since the Phoenix game, and he hurts rebounding and other stuff too much to play extended minutes if he's not scoring at a high rate.

    Just a side note, from Zach Lowe's column today; did you know that Bass and Green are -15 per 100 possessions in 500 minutes? That's a huge sample size for two players in one season, and no combination with more than 200 minutes is worse than -6.1. For comparison, Charlotte is -9.2 for the year. When Green and Bass play together, the Celtics are 50% worse than the worst team in the league!!!! That stat kind of explains the season, right?

    • Danny

      I was firmly in the camp that we hustled the magic in the bass baby deal last year. Now im not so sure. Is still think we got the better end, but Bass has really dissapointed this year. The new Mark Blount?

      • Phil725

        Like so many moves around the NBA lately, it's not the trade that kills you, it's the next contract you hand out to the player you traded for…

    • CG12

      Advanced stats just confirm the eye-ball test – Bass and Green are a bad combination. They are both guys who rely on above-average athleticism to compensate for an occasional lack of engagement. That may work when you have KG anchoring the middle and buying you that moment of time to use your speed to recover, but where the other guy is also slightly out of position and a half a step late, you just get blown coverages and easy baskets.

      Green was not locked in last night. He continues to wrestle with bridging the gap from detached to focused. Bass has to be one of the weakest thinkers of the game in the entire league. He is only able to deal with what is right in front of him at any given moment. He does not have moves. He just sees openings and goes after them like a rabid wolverine. When that option is cut off, he has no Plan B, unless you count "panic and desperately, transparently, try to give the ball to anyone else."

      • Danny

        Thats as good of an analysis of Bass as Ive heard from anyone.

    • Morpheus

      I think i said it in another thread and i stick to my guns. I will hold my judgement on Jeff till after the playoffs.I'm not a Green hater, i really hope he can replace PP as our next elite wing, although that's probably further from the truth(no pun intended) as to say his rebounding will improve, but he doesn't have the heart, mentality that PP has and probably never will.

      I'm still not sold on Green…yet.

      • Anthony

        To be fair to JGreen, you're expecting him to replace a first ballot Hall of Famer.

        Having said that, I just wish some of Pierce clutchness rubs off on JGreen. He seems to fade into the background when the spotlight in on, the exact opposite of National TV Rondo.

    • Phil725

      Speaking of 2 man lineups for the Cs, the NBA.com stats setup is a really fun way to spend a few hours/days: http://stats.nba.com/teamLineups.html?TeamID=1610

      Warning, don't click on that link if you don't wanna miss Sully :(

      • fabzzz

        That's great, thanks for the link. How far down do we have to go before we see Bass? Pretty far – too damn far. Surprised Green and Bradley fare so well considering both have a tendency to disappear offensively. But at the same time those two might be our most athletic players, and if Green is locked in defensively (I'm think of how well he did against Lebron), watch out.

        As an aside on Green – I don't think its any coincidence he plays worse with Pierce and Rondo. He needs the ball in his hands, and mentally, I think, he needs to know he is the scorer on the floor. He should know this already – he should be able to score at will – but something just happens to him.

        Luckily for us, we have another four years (hopefully less) to watch him get it together. I'll try to have fun rooting for him.

        • Phil725

          Just to be clear, none of those numbers are really big enough sample sizes to prove anything. I was just posting it because it shows a lot of interesting trends that have played out so far this year, like the Green/Bradley pairing you mention. I filtered out all of the really small pairings, but even 260 minutes is just as susceptible to stuff like the other three guys on the court as anything else. Green/Bradley is something I'll watch over the next few games though. It does make some sense.

  • fabzzz

    Jeff Green – you are the Celtics albatross. Just score points and we'll be happy enough!
    ARGGGGH.

    But good game everyone else. What does this put us on the road trip 2-3? Not bad. Time to secure that sixth spot so we don't have to play Indiana in the first.

    • Banner18

      I could be completely out of line by saying this, but is Indiana THAT good of a team? Seriously, haven't watched them much this year, but other than PGeorge and Hib, who else do they really have that is a major concern? Biased statement as Granger just came back, but I would rather play Indy over the Knicks and maybe even the Nets.

      • Phil725

        Indy's selling point is its defense. They've been better than the Cs on that side of the ball all year, and that's saying something, because the Cs have been playing very well there too. I don't want to face them strictly because I don't wanna watch a 7 game series of 75-74 games…

        I do think the Celtics match up relatively well with Indy, but I'd much rather face Brooklyn (who hasn't been good at all since the first month,) and I'd have to think about it with Chicago and NYK. I have a sneaking suspicion that Chicago could be roadkill come playoff time if Rose doesn't come back. Thibs is running them into the ground, and I think they've been playing all year with the assumption that Rose would be back. If he doesn't, how are they supposed to get up for a run they know won't happen?

      • Anthony

        I like to agree with you about IND but their last 4 games has been pretty impressive. Not against great competition (CHA, NY, DET twice) but I think they led by 40+ at some point during each of those games. That's pretty scary considering they are a defensive minded team.

        NY is just too unpredictable and Melo can swing a couple of games just by himself.

        So ideally it would be to face CHI sans DRose and Brooklyn.

  • swissflix

    i was just waiting for the jeff green haters…..
    seems like it does not matter how much he has improved since October, people still complain about him. Yes, one rebound is bad but how about him being a lot more active? that was obvious especially in the portland game.

  • Josh_5

    For Jeff Green, I'm not gonna overreact to this poor game just like I didn't for his game against Phoenix. I still like the direction Jeff is headed but Bass……that dude is an IDIOT! No basketball IQ and I believe I may pass Phil for leading the Anti-Bass campaign.

  • Morpheus

    NO. I am the leader of the anti Bass campaign.

    And i agree with Phil. As poorly as Bass has played this season, it seems he still gets the better end of the stick when it comes to grades, overall.

  • Youkilledkenny9

    Thank you guys for keeping this site going. Kind of random, but it’s become a daily must of mine!

    -Reppin’ the C’s from Dallas!

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