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Celtics-Knicks Game One Grades

 
Boston Celtics 78 FinalRecap | Box Score 85 New York Knicks
Jeff Green, PF 46 MIN | 8-15 FG | 7-7 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 6 TO | 26 PTS | -7
Green nearly pitched a perfect game. He was aggressive with his individual offense- a must if the C’s hope to take this series- and he was a big part of the three-headed monster used to defend Carmelo Anthony. Aside from on lackluster moment in the fourth quarter (Jason Kidd steal), Green was great.
Brandon Bass, PF 33 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +2
Bass was probably the main head of the defensive Cerberus that attacked Anthony all day. He crashed the offensive glass, but he really cleaned up on weakside defensive boards. The Knicks had really solid defensive rotations and limited the C’s open shots (save for maybe the corner three). The C’s would be wise to make a minor adjustment to get Bass some looks from his mid-range sweetspot,
Paul Pierce, SF 39 MIN | 6-15 FG | 8-8 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 21 PTS | +4
Pierce was the losing quarterback despite playing well enough to win. He could have shot better (especially from deep) and he could have been stronger with the ball in the fourth quarter. Despite all this, he was the architect of a third quarter run that almost gave the C’s a double-digit lead. Oh, if he had only hit that three (okay, threes).
Kevin Garnett, C 37 MIN | 4-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | -8
Garnett looked old and tired today. When he opened the game by swishing an outside shot, BRobb and I looked at each other, salivating at the prospect of Garnett’s shot being “on.” Unfortunately, it was not to be. He missed shots at the rim and couldn’t get his turnaround going against Chris Copeland, let along Tyson Chandler or Kenyon Martin. He also nearly fouled out which limited his minutes in the fourth quarter. Garnett, and the rest of team, are going to have to be better at not fouling and not putting a teammate in the position of having to foul.
Avery Bradley, PG 35 MIN | 7-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 15 PTS | -8
Bradley came close to getting one of his patented poke-steals but he couldn’t quite seal the deal; kind of a microcosm for the entire game. My biggest fear is that the C’s wasted Bradley’s one offensively potent outburst. My biggest hope is that he’s come around to find his offense. Now, if I could only find my glass to measure its meniscus then we’d be in business.
Jordan Crawford, SG 11 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -6
Even though Crawford played 11 minutes- a lot for this playoff rotation- I’m still giving him an incomplete. As far as I’m concerned, he should be getting all of Terry’s minutes until he makes me say otherwise. In a game where the C’s only scored 8 points in the fourth quarter, Crawford had zero minutes in the final frame and didn’t attempt a field goal for the time he was out there.
Courtney Lee, SG 20 MIN | 0-2 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -9
If there was ever a moment to step up and make the most of your time in the playoff rotation, Lee caught his toe and took a tumble. I love the aggressive dunk attempt but I hated the wide-open missed jumpers.
Jason Terry, SG 20 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -3
Apparently, this thing can’t go to F-. For all of you who were hoping that Terry was saving something for the playoffs, how you feeling now? I know he’s a proven veteran and has shown the ability to get the job done time and time again. But at some point, the tires don’t grip the road anymore. PROVE ME WRONG.
Doc Rivers
I am meeting Doc Rivers’ playoff rotation with complete and utter ambivalence. It’s clear that the C’s ran out of gas in the fourth quarter, but they still had a chance to win despite fumes fueling the car. I believe that Shavlik Randolph can play five minutes without completely dooming the C’s. I believe Jordan Crawford and Terrence Williams can be the beneficiaries of some bench minute reallocation. It’s clear Doc thinks Jason Terry will round into form.
  • Pauper

    I love Doc but when the evidence is overwhelming you have to think there's at least a possibility he's a good coach but too stubborn to be a great coach. The man can coach, motivate, and draw up plays but his rotations are perplexing. Pierce and KG are no longer what they used to be and we're still trying to win it all by riding on their backs while the Spurs have figured out a way to keep Duncan fresh and win consistently without Manu or even Parker at times. Doc, we need to accept we have zero chance of winning it all riding Pierce and KG exclusively so let's get creative. Get other guys some minutes, run some plays for other guys to get them going! Any chance is greater than zero with this dated playoff strategy.

  • GymRat

    Hard to agree with Bradleys grade and the comments when he made 3 or 4 rec leauge passes into the post and seemed to be repeatedly throwing the ball to NYC;s defense, not to mention he choked on a point blank layup. He was solid defensively and had those 3 great cut and finshes but he really hurt the team with those turnovers and misses.

    And personally I lower Green down to a B for failing to show up offensively the entire second half.

    • fabzzz

      In defense of Green's second half, no one showed up offensively. He actually scored like a fifth of our second half points. I blame Doc for that. He's young, but still – kid needed rest.

      • GymRat

        That's a fair defense. I didn't realize how many minutes he played until I just looked. Doc definitely needs to do a better job of getting him rest and using guys like T-Will (would have liked to see what his size would have done against Kidd and Felton) and Shavlik (a rebounding boost and the extra fouls certainly couldn't have hurt – especially when NYC had up to 3 non-scorers on the floor at a time).

      • Jim

        I agree . Green did ok. It was the rest of the team especially the guards. Bradley looks lost out there sometimes. He makes the dumbest mistakes with his passes. We have no room for error. I want to see Jordan Crawford handle the ball more.

  • janos

    i was also hope more garnet but is you know the busy week of problem and overals eomtion strong with a winning through first half game, also think through first 3 quarters and is not all star player on target so is a postives few for us. we are just need put little doubt them and talk trash him a bit i was hope garnet and pierce was make better play and get knick off game but did not happens

  • High Rollers

    Jeff did get raked across the arm on that late play where KG fed him nicely (a la Indy). But you just can’t count on calls. You gotta corral and do your best to finish the play.

    C-Lee was WIDE open on that ill-advised P three attempt. P has to trust him there. Not sayin’ it would be easy. I mean, at some point we gotta start making the open shots.

    KG shakes a lot of age with rhythm. How many reps will it take?

    And finally, why was everyone trying to set things up late on the floor, all thinking something different? Looked like chaos. A simple plan might be all we got, but without Rondo SOME kind of plan is absolutely necessary. Maybe it’s as simple as voices in the timeouts. Like, come out of them with one voice. And whatever happens don’t waver on that. Just come together. Again, not saying that’s easy.

  • High Rollers

    One more version of a nutshell: starters gave the rock away, bench missed open shots.

    Clean up those two things and a W could be waiting in the wings.

  • -Jp

    Why was Terry given this high of a grade? He was an abomination out there today, and in my opinion cost the team the game. Dreadful offense, horrid defense, there are not nearly enough negative adjectives to use to describe him today. Jason Terry cannot see meaningful minutes again. Just awful.

    • Jim

      I could not agree more. The guy is horrible. Huge mistake playing him period. He stinks.

  • Lantrell Walker

    C's were right there all game, sloppy basketball bit them on the rear in the end. Clean it up, make the proper adjustments and give Shavlic at least 10-12 minutes next game and we can get ourselves a split.

  • someguyinsac

    All I hope for is that Doc that doesn't do a repeat of his DNP decisions for Wilcox and Randolph the rest of the series. Putting them in might have produced nail biting moments, but then again maybe they would have made a difference in the outcome of the game after all.

  • Swissflix

    Why does Green not get a better grade? He did more than anyone expected on both ends and kept us in the game. And he still does not get an A? Anyway, let's get the next one!
    Oh, and Avery: please please stop overdoing it with those reach-ins, these fouls just hurt the team!

  • CG12

    Everyone is freaking out, but the C’s had a real shot at this game on NY’s home floor. Take away the brutally slow pace and boneheaded turnovers in the 4th and the Celts win. They need to do something other than the painfully predictable feed to Pierce at the elbow on offense. I’m not saying they shouldn’t do that, they just need to do other things, too. I agree with the masses – Terry killed us and I’d love to see Randolph for a bit. The Knicks are small and soft in the middle. Randolph would pound the hell out of their backup “big” guys.

    • swissflix

      totally agree with you on the offense in the 4th.
      At one point, Pierce was at the elbow and EVERYONE else (avery,green,bass and terry) were stuck motionless in one corner (!). talk about basics.

      • wayne

        this sounds like a "coaching" problem.

        • swissflix

          absolutely..and scary at this point of the season, which is why i tried not to put it this way…

  • The Cardinal

    Turnovers are killing us. When the C's try to run iso-Pierce, Bradley, JT and Green each stare right at him and the defense waits to steal the pass. But for the excessive turnovers, we probably would have eeked out a win.
    Yeah, JT was terrible and no one was making shots in the fourth, but it was the sorry ass passes by Bradley and one by Green that swung the momentum and cheated out offense.

  • hydrofluoric

    Credit the Knicks' D. Those Pierce TOs weren't happening earlier on in the game. When they turned it up Doc and the players just had no answers.

    We're gonna have to see what Doc is made of now. He absolutely needs to find the offensive answers.

  • Anthony

    Anyone else hate the Knicks slapping defense? We were getting those calls in the first half and didn't get the same calls the second half. Not sure why I need to keep repeating this but why is everyone so harsh on JGreen? I mean if going into the game, I tell you he's going to give 26-7 and play solid defense on Melo, how can you be disappointed with that? Two of his turnovers were because of the slapping defense I mentioned which should've warranted foul calls but you live with it since it's the playoffs. It also seems like the ball ends up in JGreen hands too late into the shot clock where he has to shoot a long jumper. Doc has got to do a little better in managing the his Bigs' minutes. JGreen, Bass, and Pierce can all play Melo for short stretches.

    Everyone is a little harsh on AB as well. The entry passes were horrible but you can tell he was pressing a bit and was very upset with himself. The effort was there and I can't be disappointed with that.

    A- for Bass? He played well but I don't really think it was an A- effort. But I live with that also since we all know CH has an affinity towards Bass.

    Pierce played well for the most part but I wasn't too crazy about a few possessions, the pull up 3pt in particular. Celts were up 7, with momentum, and less than 2 mins left in the quarter. His missed 3 was the turning point of the game.

    No comment on the bench. SMH

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