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7/82: Celtics-Heat Grades

Boston Celtics 111 Final
Recap | Box Score
110 Miami Heat
Brandon Bass, PF 15 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -7

Troubled by fouls, Bass went for short minutes and made little imprint in this one.

Kelly Olynyk, C 23 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -4

Newly-minted starting center Olynyk made more sense to Stevens than Fav against the small frontline of the Heat. His shooting (37% on the season) was blippy again tonight (3-9 including one ugly late play where he turned down a wide open mid-range shot for an off-balance heave with Dwayne Wade sailing by) but he had 8 rebounds in 23 minutes and finished the game in Stevens’ crunch-time lineup. His high-low versatility will make him an interesting weapon as the game slows down for him. And I’m encouraged by his defense.

Avery Bradley, PG 30 MIN | 8-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | -3

Fourth quarter savior. This is new context for Bradley. He made four huge shots as the Celtics clawed their way to the finish line, three of them under duress, pinned to the perimeter by an intensifying Heat defense.

Jeff Green, SG 36 MIN | 8-16 FG | 3-5 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 24 PTS | +11

Let’s see. Vicious first half assault on the rim? Check. Deadly outside shooting? Check. Nigh-impossible fadeaway game winning three with no time left on the clock. Check Check Check! Tonight, Green earned the right to not deal with any snarky comments about “why can’t he look this engaged every game?” So we won’t make any.

Jordan Crawford, SG 28 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | 0

Came out gunning and held his own against Miami overloading the ball handler.

Jared Sullinger, PF 24 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | -3

I love when Sullinger triggers the offense from the high post. I love when he lumbers across the lane for a hook shot. I love how he’s in the mix for every available rebound. I basically love everything about this kid.

Kris Humphries, PF 19 MIN | 3-5 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +7

Thanks for the minutes Krissy! Now grab a seat back on the bench, would ya?

Gerald Wallace, SF 31 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 6 PTS | -1

He’s officially a complete non-entity on offense, a problem for a guy logging 30+ minutes and being held up as an exemplar of professionalism by his coach while simultaneously griping about his situation. But that final pass at 0.6… over Chris Andersen’s outstretched arms, across the width of the court, with just enough altitude to sail over Chris Bosh’s outstretched arm, to the corner, where it led Jeff Green to the last conceivable bit of real estate where he could get off a shot… that’s as good a pass as anyone in the NBA is going to make this season.

Vitor Faverani, C 3 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +8

Vitor angry.

Phil Pressey, PG 21 MIN | 3-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +4

Lots of confidence in his game, including the over-the-shoulder, lob-style passes to the wing and the way he jacked up a batch of shots that, admittedly, mostly missed. Pressey doesn’t have Crawford’s offensive vitality, Bradley’s defensive chops or Courtney Lee’s size, but the offense seems calm and controlled with him leading it. Which is not exactly an analytically defensible observation, I realize. But let’s see if it translates to tangible results as he gets more burn.

Courtney Lee, SG 12 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -7

Short minutes, a few buckets.

  • hax

    @bigthree: Jeff Green has arrived.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Just do it every night Jeff.

  • Jeff Green?

  • hdavenport

    You love EVERYTHING about Jared Sullinger, Ryan???

  • skeeds

    That's the kind of game that'll make those young kids grow some hair on their chests. And a pretty clear message from Stevens, who's obviously past the "proving he belongs" phase of his NBA career. (watch his post game interview. The guy speaks pure ball language, doesn't even care).

    Nice little detail, Olynick probably messed up the play. He was supposed to edge out and get in Lebron's way, but he didn't. Lebron was just late to go after Green cause he was watching Crawford's run to the top key.

  • The Cardinal

    Even with his rookie mistakes, Olynyk's length causes real problems for the other team's offense, and his defensive opponent when he stops thinking and lets his instincts take over . You can already see that he's gonna be a good one – probably the true steal of this draft. When the shots start falling beyond the 3 line and he becomes comfortable with the defensive rotations, we might be watching the budding of a future all star.

    Sully is far exceeding my expectations and with hindsight, he may very well have been the steal of last season's draft (I know some have said this all along, but sometimes I'm a little slow seeing it). He reminds me of a Reggie Evans, but with the very real ability to average 15 points per game.

    As most of us knew (except the coaches initially), AB as a pure 2-guard is a much better player, and the team is much better for it. As long as he doesn't have to think about being a play maker, it seems he lets his instincts and athleticism take over and we get the type of player that we saw flashes of a couple of seasons ago.

    It may be premature, but I believe Jordan Crawford is a keeper. Besides his scoring and play making talents, he brings a kind of grit and swagger that every team needs. Although he'll never be a future HOF'er like KG, the attitude is there and I suspect he's the type of player you love to have on your team, but absolutely hate if he's your opponent.

    When – not if – Phil Pressey starts knocking down the 3's, we will have found a legitimate 2nd unit point guard for the first time since the championship season, and we got him really cheap.

    Finally, the C's are doing to veteran teams what other teams did to the veteran C's in recent seasons – they're simply outlasting and outplaying their opponents with the energy of youth, a few skilled up-and-comers, and a few really athletic players that give the older teams fits over the course of a game. Turnabout IS fair play! Dang, it's scary to realize every game we've lost was winnable and with a bit of luck, we could be undefeated – no joke!

  • swissflix

    note to Kelly: Get a haircut. Now that you started hitting your outside shots.

    • Eric

      No, no! I *love* the hair. Makes me feel like I'm back in the '70s, without having to re-endure the agony of high school.

    • Morpheus

      Fuck that – cut the hair. He looks like a girl out there.

  • hax

    Stevens is known for winning with less talent, maximizing their chemistry and playing strong defense to keep the game close. We've been close all 7 games!

    Just saying, if this team makes it into the play-offs, nobody will want to play them if we still have everyone healthy and playing defense like we have.

  • Jim

    Wow Humphries 9 points ,5 rebounds,2 blocks plus 7 in 19 minutes and the hack writing this says now take a seat back on the bench would ya. Ryan maybe you need to take a seat on the bench. The guy helped us win a great game.

  • Eric

    Brad Stevens, the bad:

    He's not one third the entertaining interview that Doc Rivers is, and probably never will be.

    "You do know that 'Brad' is just a nickname" kind of lies there, killing one of my favorite running jokes.

    His "Wallace just made a spectacular pass to Green for a fadeaway three over Lebron to win the game but it's just another day at the office" demeanor verges on the creepy.

    On the other hand:

    He's clearly shredded the tanking memo.

    He's not superstitious. He wins two games with Vitor starting, then switches to his rookie center against the Heat. I don't know another NBA coach (most certainly including Doc) who would dare that.

    Speaking of which: he plays the rookies. A lot. There's no "You've got to prove it in practice for two years, Kendrick Perkins" nonsense.

    He sees what's happening and fixes it, stat. We watched the Avery-as-point-guard experiment fail for much of last year. It took Brad four games to move Bradley back to the 2 and go with Jordan Crawford as his starting point (Jordan Crawford???), with a midget rookie at backup. The result? Avery puts in 17 points with ZERO turnovers, and spends the fourth quarter calmly draining crucial jumpers.

    After years of us fans hearing about "the running game," he's actually got the team playing with pace through the *whole* 48. When's the last time the C's scored 31 fourth-quarter points in a close game?

    I think I'm going to enjoy the Brad Stevens Era.

    • The Cardinal

      I fully expect Coach Brad and the young core players to grow together into a real contender over the next couple of seasons.

      It's certainly refreshing to see a young coach get everything and more than we could have hoped for out of a rebuilding squad and not be held hostage to the philosophy that a veteran essentially has to lose his spot in the rotation before a rookie earns substantial playing time. That's an old school philosophy that is shared by many who were players in the 80's and 90's and earlier, but the fact is that philosophy will get you slaughtered in a hurry with the strength, speed, athleticism and basketball IQ – yes, I said basketball IQ – of these young'uns. As a whole, they are simply able to step in, contribute, and elevate also-rans to contenders a lot sooner than the majority of their predecessors (former superstars excepted, of course) and no amount of adjusted-for-era, voodoo calculations and machinations can change what we're witnessing with our own eyes.

  • -jp

    I think Stevens is a phenomenal coach already. The problem could be that the team could be good enough to not get talent down the line, which is what it truly needs. I love this win, even if it lessens our chance of a great player in the draft. Beating LeBron is worth just about any "sacrifice". Jeff Green is a very good player, and it seems like they are getting the best out of him more times than not this season. Great win!

  • Morpheus

    I'm liking Pressey so far. Kid looks like a serviceable back up at PG. What i'm really loving about this team is the D. We can't afford to lose our identity on the defensive end. Offense will get better when Rondo returns. Brad is looking the goods.