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Celtics-Nets Grades

 

The following grades were written by guest CelticsHub contributor, Romy Nehme

Brooklyn Nets 101 FinalRecap | Box Score 93 Boston Celtics
Jeff Green, PF 35 MIN | 4-17 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -21
Green was an unwieldy mess of tangled limbs that didn’t look like they belonged to the same body. His drives were for the most part clumsy, and he had an especially puzzling turnover where he seemed to just gift the ball to a Nets defender. His length also did nothing to bother Johnson, who was able to get deep position in the post and Green too often left him open in the corner while half helping on Williams. In the last and only two games since the inception of the “Go Big” experiment, Green has shot a sparkling 7/25.
Brandon Bass, PF 26 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | -24
Boss Brandon Bass looked like he was intent on replicating his stellar performance against the Wizards by opening the game with four straight buckets. The most notable was a MONSTER jam where he breezed pas Evans and shook the rim with a nasty two-handed jam over the meek Lopez. Unfortunately, Bass suffered a relapse soon after as doubt seemed to creep back into his psyche; he was ice cold the rest of the way and couldn’t knock down even the most embarrassingly open looks.
Paul Pierce, SF 33 MIN | 7-11 FG | 6-7 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 23 PTS | -8
Pierce was fresh in this one. With the exception of one off-target entry pass that sailed over KG’s head — leading to another Johnson three — he was ultra efficient and made the Nets pay for assigning Wallace to Green. He punished Johnson and the Nets in the paint with effortless post play and exquisite cross-court passing out of double teams. Pierce was also the one to do the Celtics the honor of attempting, not making, but simply attempting, the first free throw of the game for the C’s at the eight minute mark of the 3rd quarter (perhaps a record of the infamous variety?).
Why then did Pierce only get 11 shots tonight? Anyone??
Kevin Garnett, C 28 MIN | 5-11 FG | 1-1 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | -2
KG had two main tasks tonight: the first was to stymie Lopez, who’d scored 25+ in three of his last 5 games and the second was to find his rhythm heading into the playoffs. After a puzzlingly gauche start to the game, KG finally began to thaw in the second quarter, taking the baton from Bass and stringing together two nice quarters of work. Suddenly he had his shooting stroke back, his aggressiveness quotient started to soar, and if anything can redeem the Celtics’ lousy effort tonight, it was Garnett’s Rikishi quasi Stink Face on the poor unsuspecting Humphries: https://vimeo.com/60164667 (credit goes to John from Reds’ Army for the dead-on reference).
Avery Bradley, PG 12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -2
Bradley did not pass Go and did not collect $200 tonight, playing a total of twelve and scattered foul-plagued minutes. He made his first jumper, and then was promptly abducted right under our noses. When he was on the court, there was a lot of talk in the booth about Bradley’s potential candidacy for defensive player of the year. AB showed his defensive chops in the few seconds he was allowed to play, on one occasion denying Williams access to the paint — who simply bounced off Bradley’s chest like it was a brick wall.
A couple of those foul calls seemed suspect, especially because Bradley’s reputation precedes him, but that’s a matter for Rivers to lobby the refs about…
Shavlik Randolph, PF 16 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | +6
Any human with a beating heart and a love of basketball most likely fell in love with Michigan’s Mitch McGary over the last couple of weeks. Shav is of that same ilk. Mike Hollis (who’s worked with Randolph during his high school years) had this to say about him: “The ball seemed to have a way of finding him; He could go into the shower, clean up, and the ball would be waiting for him in the hallway. He was that good, all the time.” Watch the play where he gets that second chance opportunity for the momentum-changing Green corner 3 and he’s still wrestling for position while the ball is in mid-air. On the ensuing possession, he takes a huge charge from the red-hot Lopez. Two numbers I like to see: the 9rebs, but even more than that, the 16min to Wilcox’ 6. Here’s to hoping it’s the beginning of a trend.
(Alas, we did not get SavvyShavy trending, but it’s an ongoing effort.)
D.J. White, PF 3 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +11
Why hello there, D.J. Stay warm on that frigid bench, we might need some functioning bodies when Rivers decides to rest his starters.
Chris Wilcox, PF 6 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -2
So far, seeing Randolph being summoned off the bench before him seems to have had a pleasant “monkey-see-monkey-do” effect on Wilcox. He had a nice finish off a wild-ish Crawford dish, a beautiful give-and-go with KG topped off with a high decibel dunk, and then a second one that benefited from a friendly roll. That said, he continues to be a negligible factor on defense, providing zero reinforcements on that already flickering back line.
Jordan Crawford, SG 20 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +7
Crawford’s ratio of good to cringe-worthy plays has been on the decline since KG has stepped out of the lineup. He’s like that new boyfriend who’s on his best behavior for the first family dinner of two, but who by the end of the month is slouching at the table, chewing with his mouth open, and occasionally belching loudly. The scale was titled towards the “good” tonight (a few nice dishes and finishes on the break), and Crawford’s night culminated with an outrageous putback dunk over one Reggie Evans. He might or might not have used Evans’s head as a trampoline.
Courtney Lee, SG 27 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -2
Desperately wishing for Lee to find his pre ankle “injury” form is a sad sad thing, but such it is. Rivers hinted at his discontent with Lee’s play by stating that Lee hasn’t yet solidified his place in the Celtics’ playoff rotation prior to the tip, and he didn’t do enough to create separation between himself and Williams/Crawford. Then again, everyone was victimized by Deron Williams tonight.
Terrence Williams, SG 10 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-4 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +2
I’m glad that the Celtics brass seems to have done an about face on their prior fabulation that had Williams transforming into a PG. Williams displayed flashes of his locomotive style of bullyish play in the few minutes of non-garbage playing time he earned tonight.
Jason Terry, SG 25 MIN | 1-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -5
It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Terry was secretly playing on a prosthetic right leg once the season is over. His putrescent shooting on the road is starting to permeate home games, and while I still believe that the real Terry will show up for the playoffs (don’t ask me twice), I’m not so sure anymore. That said, for all his shooting woes, Terry had a sneaky steal, a sweet floater and an uncanny block, after which he fell straight on his face, handing the possession right back to the Nets.
Doc Rivers
The success of Doc’s “Go Big” experiment hinges on three things: 1) that Green be able to perform in the presence of KG, 2) everyone rebounding bigger than their size and 3) that the Celtics weak frontcourt can sustain more attacks given the defensive pressure the Celtics are surrendering by fracturing the Bradley-Lee backcourt. So far, none of those things are a given. I’m also not quite sure why Pierce sat on the bench for as long as he did in the 4th, and Doc seemed to forget Bradley altogether.
There are far too many uncertainties still lingering with the playoffs just around the corner, and time is running out for Doc and his coaching staff to figure things out.

One Thing We Saw

  1. A nightmarish matchup for the Celtics, made even more nightmarish by Williams’ blistering play since the All-Star game.
    I don’t know about you, but this loss was especially dispiriting (I’m typing this with a scoliotic posture not unlike that of a gunshot victim).
    The game and the season series against the Nets overall, made me think of this unfortunate event (at the 4:07 mark): . Enjoy. Ugh.
  • elroz

    Everything about Terry says "weak link" …all season long. Green has began to regress again. Lee has disappeared. If one of these guys get back to form, it could be crucial – but look who we're counting on! I don't feel confident about these guys stepping up.

  • check12check

    I don't know what do do about the whole Terry thing. I have watched him for years and always though "Man, I wish we had that guy on our team!" , but then we get this. It's hard to play with the warmed up corpse of Jason Terry. You can't go 1-7 when you are brought here to be a shooter.

    I thought the team just looked horrible tonight. It was about as rough as it could have been. I think the game was very winnable, but Just didn't have it.

  • IBleedGreen

    What's up with all the man crush on Bradley? He deserves an F, not INC. If you don't make yourself available you fail.

    • High Rollers

      But c'mon, is it really on him? I mean, that fourth foul call was pretty ridiculous.

    • http://CelticsHub.com Brendan Jackson

      Romy, for the record, is female so a man-crush isn't what's happening here.

      I think it's fair to stay the officials won't be calling ticky tack fouls with regularity once the postseason gets here.

  • High Rollers

    The first three minutes of the game showed us the high level the C's can play at. The refs showed us they still don't give Avery Bradley the benefit of the doubt. Shav showed us he's working as hard as possible to keep the honeymoon on indefinitely. Jeff showed us he's still intimidated by his one of his biggest fan, Big Ticket. The last forty-five minutes showed us a soupcon of fight mixed into a hearty dish of I don't know about you but I'm going into the playoffs upright even if it means playing playing it safe will lead to stinking up the home joint tonight. Despite his in-game fury, Doc kind of gave these fellas a free pass for that cringeworthy but somewhat understandable approach with his words. See the video titled "Doc Not Putting Much Stock In Final Week": http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketb….

    • High Rollers

      Sorry for the typos. Guess I got ahead of myself. Kind of like the C's.

  • High Rollers

    Count on KG to set the iron to the wrinkled work shirt:

    “I think we’re focusing too much on the playoffs that aren’t here yet,” said Garnett, whose 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes didn’t reflect his performance. “I think we need to focus and lock in on these games that we have left, and put the energy and the effort behind that. I think we’re stressing too much on the future, and the future’s not here yet. We need to take this one game at a time and then prepare for whatever’s after this.”
    http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketb

  • swissflix

    I have been pretty harsh on Jeff Green all season long, but his decline in the last games clearly has a lot to do with the way Pierce and Garnett totally focus on each other on offense. Especially Pierce on the high pick and roll. I think the celtics just don't play very creative basketball and this is to blame on the coaching staff. How come towards the end of the season they still cannot come up with plays that free up Terry on the three and Jeff for a cut? It is still the silly high pick and roll between Pierce and Garnett and everyone just standing around. Needless to say Pierce had some awful turnovers with that play.

    • High Rollers

      Maybe Ray put a curse on us on his way out of town so that we'd never free a three-point shooter off a pick again.

      Just kidding. Sort of.

  • Anthony

    It seems pretty clear that JGreen is never going to get judged accordingly by Celts fan. There doesn't seem to be a happy medium of the fan expectations. Had he shot less last nite, he would've been deemed unaggressive. The fact that he missed and had an off nite also bodes poorly for him. The defense on Joe Johnson was also factored in his D grade. Pierce had to guard him as well and had a couple of bad TOs and a few would've-been TOs off lazy passes, yet he gets an A-? Bass started hot, had 1 monster dunk, basically sat the rest of the way and that warrants a B-? Hasn't JGreen had a ton of monster dunks through the season?

    I guess my point is JGreen is always graded of a downward curve. If the D is justifiable, then everyone's grades should reflect that. Even KG looked pretty bad out there most of the nite. The Nets should not have won the game as easily as they did. The entire team has to share the blame, not just JGreen and JET.

    • CG12

      Agreed. Green didn't have a great night, for sure, but it wasn't that terrible. He took shots that he is making these days and they just happened not to go in. Joe Johnson can score on anyone in the league when he has it going. I do agree with some comments that Pierce doesn't seem to want to help Green on offense. You'd think those guys could work off one another like crazy, but that doesn't happen, for some reason.

      • Anthony

        It's kind of odd the JGreen hasn't been able to adjust well to Pierce and KG, in particular, and vice versa. For Pierce, it could possibly be the alpha dog mentality. He has been the top dog ever since he put on the uniform. Guys like Antoine, Ray, KG, etc adjusted more to complement Pierce rather than the other way around. As for KG, maybe his intensity is just too much for JGreen's nonchalant persona.

  • CG12

    I have been pretty disappointed with Avery Bradley's failure to adjust to a big reality of the NBA. Stars get calls. That means Kyrie Irving, Deron Williams, John Wall, etc. Avery can't stop himself from reaching in constantly, which is going to get you called for a foul most of the team, even where there is no contact. It looks like a foul. He needs to understand that sometimes you just need to stay in front of your man. Avery gets completely blown by wayyyy too often. Guys with good handles are learning that you can attack him on the dribble. He might guess right and get you once a game, but most of the time you can get a step on him and get an easy hoop.

    • Anthony

      I agree that AB haven't made the defensive adjustments on a game to game basis. He has to see how the refs call the game, the quality of his opponent and adjust the way he defends them. Like you said, a guy like Kyrie (and others) will get the calls and have the ability to get to the rim at their choosing.

      But I think Doc also has to leave him in there and play through whatever the adversity may be, foul trouble or otherwise. Deron went off as soon as AB went out, shooting the ball well and driving to the rim at will.

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