The following article is a post from guest CelticsHub contributor Romy Nehme. Romy’s work can also be found at 2 girls 1 ball
|Brandon Bass, PF 20 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -18
If Bass’ first quarter was an audition, it was a bad one that definitely did not earn him a callback. As is typical with Bass, his decision making seems to suffer from some serious lapses in judgment. He shot when he should have passed, hesitated to take the wide open shot from the elbow and forced drives that resulted in embarrassing blocked shots and turnovers. On a night when the Celtics desperately needed him to play bigger than he is, Bass disappointed. To the tune of a -18 in 19 minutes of play.
|Paul Pierce, SF 34 MIN | 4-15 FG | 3-3 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | +5
The first half was not kind to The Truth. Mr. Walking Dead looked like last night’s game had done him in. But as we’ve come to expect with Pierce and as was exemplified by the Jekyll & Hyde end to the first half (pair of incomprehensible turnovers topped off with a zig zagging drive to close the half), Pierce clawed his way back to a decent all around game. The offensive rebound collected off a Bradley missed layup, eventually resulting in a Pierce 3 was big. Just don’t mention the botched iso in the final minute of the game…
|Kevin Garnett, C 30 MIN | 7-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 18 PTS | +11
KG started the game the same way he did yesterday: with a flurry of jump shots, scoring the first 7 points in the game. I don’t know about you, but I especially enjoyed the 3pt shot he casually stepped into with 18 seconds left on the clock as though it’s part of his arsenal. While Hibbert looked like he was going to Bigfoot the Celtics out of the gym in the first half, he was conspicuously absent the rest of the way. Credit KG and his loud “shoving players off the baseline” ways. A monster double double in one of the C’s most impressive wins yet.
|Avery Bradley, PG 34 MIN | 6-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -3
Bradley was up and down this game. He started off the game by making a nice pull up jumper, but was erratic the rest of the way. What was funny about tonight is that an ill-advised turnover was often immediately followed by one of those trademark Bradley plays (e.g. forcing Hill to bounce the ball off his foot and out of bounds, in the backcourt no less). He might not be 100%, and his play is still developing, but you can’t fault him for being aggressive, whether it’s off the dribble or on the break. Especially when he gets loose on the baseline like that for a key play down the stretch.
|Courtney Lee, SG 32 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -6
Courtney Lee played an okay game tonight, and that’s why Rivers opted to go with Terry and Bradley down the stretch. He applied his customary Lee pressure, had a few nice defensive plays and pull up Js but was relatively absent.
|D.J. White, PF 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +2
If DJ White showed us anything in his debut, it’s that he can occasionally play the anti-Bass when needed. DJ made the most of his minutes — which is all we can ask for — with 2 rebounds and 2 blocks after what must have been a nerve-wracking first play in a Celtics uniform (channeling the ghost of Tony Allen with that bobble that was not really his fault anyways).
|Jeff Green, PF 34 MIN | 5-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +10
Jeff Green. Let those two words sink in. His repertoire has grown so much in the second half of the season that it’s hard to make sense of Jeff Green 1.0. It seems as though good things happen now the moment Green sets foot on the floor. My favorite play is when Green completely telegraphs a drive by taking a few steps back and gets a running start at what is now more likely to result in an elegant gliding finger roll. He embarrassed Hibbert on one such occasion on the switch. The aspect of his game that I think is still the most underexploited? His underrated playmaking ability.
|Chris Wilcox, PF 17 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -6
Wilcox continued his high energy play by decorating the box score with a put back layup, a put back dunk, a steal and a dunk off a broken play. His defensive rotations aren’t always the sharpest, but the key with Wilcox from here on out is going to be his activity level, and active he was.
|Jordan Crawford, SG 13 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | +8
Crawford continued to terrify the masses by playing his helter skelter brand of basketball. While he wasn’t terribly effective today, I think he’s filling Barbosa’s shoes as Terry’s running mate quite well given that he’s still learning the ropes. The Celtics want Crawford to be aggressive despite the occasional blunder while keeping his head up and he did an ok job of that tonight.
|Jason Terry, SG 22 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +7
Jason Terry once made a comment about the difference in the Celtics’ style of play vs. the Mavericks’, alluding to the fact that Dallas uses the PnR more often to free up to shooter rather than to get the ball-handler a good look at the basket. That pedigree is really shining through; that alley-oop to KG was a beauty and so were the pair of passes he delivered to Bradley on the break in the 4th. He’s starting to shed that rust too, offering fans a glimpse of what we can expect from Jet in the playoffs. Kudos on the active hands as well tonight against a team that’s most known to disrupt opponents’ offense.
I was going to give Doc credit for that gorgeous last play where Pierce was the decoy (thank god we didn’t have a reprise of the play before), but it turns out that Armond Hill is the one that suggested it after it worked in the first half. Doc kept the team in the game through a number of slumps and the Celtics were able to deliver when it mattered most after a couple of lacklustre mis-executed plays coming out of timeouts earlier in the 4th.
Two Things We Saw
- Great rebounding by committee. A severely undermanned squad sticking in there on the boards against the league’s #1 rebounding team featuring a pair of mammoths (playing arguably their best bball of the season) in the frontcourt and a power 3 in George.
- A gritty, gritty win on the tail end of a back-to-back playoff-type game that saw the Celtics coming back from numerous deficits throughout the game. The playoffs are going to be ugly, and if the Celtics do end up playing Indiana in the first round (which I doubt), they’ve definitely given the Pacers a reason to be concerned.
Romy Nehme is a Canadian hoops junkie who grew up worshipping the Boston Celtics and is a regular guest contributor for CelticsHub. Romy can also be found at 2 girls 1 ball, which is not nearly as salacious a site as the name might imply. — Ed.]
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