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Celtics-Thunder Grades

Boston Celtics 79 Final
Recap | Box Score
91 Oklahoma City Thunder
Brandon Bass, PF 32 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 13 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -6

A rare standout performance by Bass on the boards today. It wasn’t just that he went for a season-high 13 rebounds, it’s that on a day the Celtics struggled to score, and the bench brought nothing, Bass hauled in 5 offensive rebounds against OKC’s big, athletic frontcourt. If Bass brought this kind of effort every game, there’d be a lot fewer Celtics fans wishing he was wearing another uniform (despite his other issues).

Paul Pierce, SF 35 MIN | 6-12 FG | 6-7 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 20 PTS | -1

He was hobbled a bit with that fourth foul but still played 35 good minutes against a defense keyed to stop him. If anything, I wish the C’s had run more of the offense through him. Docked a grade for the three turnovers.

Kevin Garnett, C 31 MIN | 5-19 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -8

Garnett just couldn’t buy a make today, despite all sorts of good looks near the basket. It happens. Nothing to do but move on.

Avery Bradley, PG 35 MIN | 5-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -3

Bradley did a superb job containing Westbrook and keeping OKC’s offense stuck in neutral most of the afternoon. He also made a pretty pocket pass to Wilcox for a basket and stepped into his jumper with confidence (50% from the field). The extra burn he’s getting in Rondo’s absence will pay dividends next season. You can see him growing as a lead guard from week-to-week.

Courtney Lee, SG 28 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -12

Another energetic performance from Lee, who continues to split the difference between role player and starter with some facility.

Jeff Green, PF 28 MIN | 2-11 FG | 4-5 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | -11

He was visibly hyped in the first half and his play may have suffered from jitters in his return to OKC. He had a couple of nice takes to the basket but against a defense that threw a few doubles at him and as a result of his own hesitation, faltered on offense.

Chris Wilcox, PF 10 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 2 PTS | +1

Wilcox had a couple of costly turnovers in the first quarter and then, as is typical, barely saw the court the second half of the game. DJ White may take his spot in the rotation before the season ends. That would probably be a good thing for the Celtics.

Jordan Crawford, SG 15 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -12

Missed 80% of his shots. The C’s could have used the scorer he’s reputed to be but instead we saw him force a few more plays and throw what was either a perfect or terrible cross court pass (depending on whether he intended it to go where it did) for the hockey assist on an Avery Bradley three.

Terrence Williams, SG 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -3

We all want to see more T-Will, right?

Jason Terry, SG 23 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 9 PTS | -5

A terrible game for Jason Terry who looked overmatched athletically, turned the ball over three times, and couldn’t find a groove on offense.

  • KillerGymRat

    Would have liked to see Bass given an A. He could have scored more, but his effort was about the best you can expect and reminded me why I loved him in last years playoffs and thought he was an upgrade from Big Baby with his ability to finish strong around the rim.

    I think AB should be downgraded as well. I disagree on his improvement as a point guard. He's definitely improving as a shooter and more comfortable in the offense, but it's becomming more and more obvious he lacks the abilty to see the floor and to see plays developing the way solid PGs do. And his ball handling skills and inability to take it at the defense is a liability I saw exposed several times in this game. He was blocked on a drive to the hoop (happens at least once a game) and then was blocked on a pull-up jumper in the lane (way outside his current skill set and a poor decision to begin with).

    I'm not bashing AB (though I'd give him a B ) as he's playing hard and brings so much to the team. I just don't see him ever being a real PG and that's the problem we saw today is the question of who runs the offense with PP on the bench? Terry is okay, but really only strong when he's involved in P n R or some kind of motion screen. T-Will has the talent but he's still deferring to everyone and not playing to his ability so we don't know yet what he can really do. JC is a hot mess. Lee is solid but better off the ball.

    With a quick and big team like OKC you wind up in a half court set most of the time and they are quick enough to take away the passing lanes and keep the ball from zipping around so the spread isn't really getting us the typical open looks.

    A pure PG like Rondo is a huge asset in situations like that. This was definitely a game we missed him.

    • Eric

      I was happy to see Bass's aggressiveness on the boards, but I can't give him an A because of his continuing inability to hold on to the ball. I cringe each time he's in the low post and a teammate bounces a pass to him because he'll either drop the pass or improperly seal his man, who then comes around for a deflection or steal.

  • elroz

    KG still put up a double-double. He should not have the same grade as Jeff Green, but a C+ or so.

    The Celtics played a back-to-back…then had an OT game and then shortened rest before playing OKC. They did not get the usual 2 day rest between games, but only 1.5 days. This was their 4th game in 6 days.

    • Phil725

      A lot more is expected out of KG though. He's held to a higher standard than a bad double-double (10 points is detrimental if it takes 19 shots to get there anyway.) It's a completely different game if he's even average on that end. Green still has to prove that he's going to be a contributor when the big games start happening, so a bad game from him isn't shocking.

      That's also something to watch with Green; he's gotten a lot of people off his case with his play lately, but they'll be right back on him with a couple more performances like today in big games. Hopefully today was just an aberration due to the OKC thing.

  • Phil725

    Hard to single out one person for failing on the offensive side of the ball, it was pretty much a team wide effort. I was more disappointed with the bench no-show, because those guys are counted on to bring offense, even sometimes at the expense of defense. They're all in the streaky category though, and that can lead to games like this.

    Wilcox has had a down couple of games now, and I'm not really sure why. It seems like guys are missing him with passes more, but it may just be as teams got tape on him, they started taking away his go to plays. I do know he should never be in position to have three turnovers, so that needs fixed. I don't see DJ White taking his minutes (I'll continue treating those guys like they're not on the team until given some reason to think otherwise,) but Wilcox provides little value if his positive offensive numbers from early in the season start to reverse.

    Good point about Bradley next year too. I cringe a little at some of the plays that result from him being the lead ball handler, but he does look like he's getting better. I still think his future is at the 2 (even independent of Rondo,) but increasing his point skills would make him a more dynamic player, and it takes experience to get there.

    Gotta mark the calendar for the Miami game now, because the team missed its chance to make a real statement today. Maybe they don't care about that, but I'd be surprised.

    • High Rollers

      Doc had Miami on a continuous video loop for all his players to see and foam at the mouth over before the season even began. Those games were going to be marked regardless of anything else.

      This game we just took a step back in terms of our offensive execution. Live and learn.

      Excellent little stretch here for a KG rest day. I vote for it to happen during the SEGABABA-TORONTO.

  • Anthony

    I wasn't overly upset with the game but the unforced turnovers still says a lot about the team. Again, JET has made strides in making his presences felt in games but he still makes way too many rookie mistakes. 2 or 3 of his 4 turnovers were made by jumping into the air and trying to make a pass. It's fundamental basketball to not leave your feet when trying to make a pass, Wilcox was terrible in the game, horrible defensively and butter-fingers offensively. KG just didn't have it today. All those were typical make-able KG shots that just didn't fall. JGreen was aggressive but the shots just didn't fall. I wasn't sure why Doc didn't take advantage of some our favorable match-ups….JGreen against KMart, Brewer, Thabo, and basically anyone who switched on him. There were several possessions when DFish switched on him and we got nothing out of it. Also, why didn't they try to post T-Will against DFish or RJackson? That's a typical play that they run for Rondo and T-Will is 6'6 220.

    Finally a Bass game that resembled the Bass of last year. Another AB monster block on Westbrook despite the ref calling it a goaltend.

    Despite the poor shooting and turnovers they were still in it for majority of the 48 mins. It took the 9point stretch from RJackson/ KMart to give OKC some separation. Whodathunkit?

    With only 1 tough game in the next 5, the Celts can still make up some ground in the standings. So no worries.

    • KillerGymRat

      Good point. It definitely helps that Chicago lost today.

      • Anthony

        I was very torn on that game. On one hand, I despise the Lakers and don't want them to make the playoffs. On another, beating the Bulls would help the Celts' in the standings. I decided to stop watching and just let it fall where it may. Turns out the basketball Gods want the Lakers to make the playoffs, unfortunately.

        • KillerGymRat

          For what it's worth I hate the Lakers. And as much as I love the shame that organization would feel in not making the playoffs the year they attempted to buy a superteam…I'd rather see them make it in then Utah.

          At best they're going to have to face SA or OKC and what fun it will be to watch them get demolished in the first round. At the very least it will be more entertaining then watching Utah be dismantled.

          • Anthony

            I prefer if they not make it at all. They seem to always have the luck unlike my beloved Celts. Not making the playoffs would also add to the confusion of the organization's future and DHoward.

            Although, having seen the Celts gone through the numerous adversities, did help mold me into the fan that I am.

  • James Patrick

    Sometimes I'm concerned that KG gets so hyped for a game he ends up shooting poorly. I've seen this before. You don't want him to calm down because that's why we love him. Still, they need to figure out how to reel him in a bit. Especially down the stretch.

    • janos

      hi James Patrick

      • james patrick

        hi janos!

  • check12check

    I'm going to believe this one was the result of a rare bad game from KG, forget about it, and move on.

    Fantastic to see Bass doing work though. All of us remember how great he was last year; i hope that guy is going to be showing up for us again

  • janos

    wil lbe diffrent story on June see these bum next

  • CG12

    I saw many of the same things others saw. Jeff Green had a disappointing game. He came out really aggressively, but couldn't get his first couple of hard takes to drop. He then pulled way back and was clearly not looking to make a play when handling the ball. He has a tendency to do that – he is either fully in "on" mode or fully in "off" mode, and you can see it on his face.

    The Terry/Wilcox debacle in the 2nd was truly awful. JET made some excruciating plays, but I put a lot of it on Wilcox, who has major trouble coming up with any type of challenging pass. I love Wilcox running the floor and throwing down jams, but it would be nice to have a guy who can secure a pass on the role and be any kind of a threat from more than 5 feet. I'm ready to see more of DJ White.

    But ultimately I agree that not a whole lot should be taken from this game. Tough game against a tough team, and we just had too many guys with off days. My biggest complaint, and only enduring one, was the over-emphasis on static, post-entry type plays, rather than the fast pace and ball movement that has fueled the team's recent run.