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Run Ragged: Rockets obliterate Celtics 109-85

It took until halftime of arguably Boston’s worst game since the 2007 season for Brad Stevens to express any negative emotion. He finally did so in an interview with CSNNE’s Abby Chin, after she asked him if he was surprised by the slow start.

“I was surprised because I thought we were going to play better than that…I’ve had bad halves, and this ranks up there with most of them.”

The only thing that better sums up Boston’s 109-85 loss to Houston than that quote is the fact that we should clarify: He was referring to the first half. The second half was little better, at least while Houston’s good players were in. Dwight Howard blocked two shots early in the game, and the Celtics were tentative taking the ball to the hoop all night. Offensively, James Harden and Howard both played well but it was Terrence Jones who destroyed Boston with 10-for-12 shooting and 24 points — a fact which, again, sort of sums up tonight’s game.

Also a good summation: This picture of Rondo reacting to being handed a stat sheet after the first quarter.

Screencap courtesy of @MrTrpleDouble10

We feel you, Rondo. Good lord, we feel you.

Some grades:


Boston Celtics 85 FinalRecap | Box Score 109 Houston Rockets
Brandon Bass, PF 20 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -20Brandon Bass did some things before he was pulled for Jared Sullinger to do some things very slightly better.
Vitor Faverani, C 14 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -19Even when he’s playing badly, Faverani seems to be playing hard. Not playing well, naturally, but playing hard.
Avery Bradley, PG 27 MIN | 5-22 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | -36Bradley doesn’t get a failing grade because 1) He was taking shots that SOMEBODY had to take and 2) He did get a couple of nice strips, including one of James Harden. That shooting line though…
Jeff Green, SG 22 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -31A stat which will get too much attention: Jeff Green went seven consecutive quarters without scoring. Actually, no, I take that back…that stat deserves all of the attention it will get. Other people did more damage tonight, but the degree to which Boston needs Green as opposed to the production he is bringing is enough for the failing grade.
Jordan Crawford, SG 23 MIN | 1-8 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 6 PTS | -32RIP to Jordan Crawford’s (TOTALLY SUSTAINABLE) 27 PER season.
Jared Sullinger, PF 22 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -6Sullinger gets the best grade of the night for doing a decent job against Howard defensively (or at very least for working hard in the post) as well as for coming away with nine rebounds. Sully also connected on a 3-pointer, which raises him to 3-for-8 in the last three games. That’s not incredible, but it’s better than his 2-for-10 start to the season.
Kris Humphries, PF 14 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +3Six points and six rebounds in 14 minutes is actually pretty impressive. Unfortunately, it was against Houston’s B team. Still, good for Hump for being better than the B team.
Gerald Wallace, SF 11 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -13Like all of you, I’m cringing as I write this recap waiting for Wallace’s tirade after this one.
Kelly Olynyk, C 22 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -1Olynyk hit a 3-pointer (good!), but it was late in the fourth quarter with Boston down by a ton (oh) and at one point he also got blocked on a lay-up by the bottom of the rim (ugh).
Courtney Lee, SG 23 MIN | 7-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +4Lee finished with 17 points on 16 shots and was the closest semblance to efficiency on the team.
Keith Bogans, SG 12 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +12Thank you for your contributions, Keith, and thank you for the team option on your contract.

Three Things We Saw

  1. The biggest disparities were in fast break points (Houston 23, Boston 7) and points in the paint (Houston 60 (!!!), Boston 23). Those stats are usually tied up together, and tonight was no exception.
  2. There’s a rather massive difference between losing a lot of games because you are a young team taking some lumps and…well…tonight. This game wasn’t tanking. It was being utterly demolished by a good team. There were elements of a young team, of course — the Celtics had no response to an early run, which is something veteran teams learn how to do. But it seemed like all of the positives we saw at the beginning of the year regressed a little bit at the same time, and that was particularly hard to watch.
  3. Single game plus/minus means very little, but three Celtics starters finished below -30 — Avery Bradley (-36), Jordan Crawford (-32) and Jeff Green (-31). Blechhh. Let’s just call it a recap.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

  • hax

    in KO's defense, he did drop a 9-8 near double-double in 22 minutes.

    • hydrofluoric

      One of the "losing makes everything worse" grades.

  • All Jefferson 1 Fan

    Rondo is not gonna help
    Lottery 1- st pick maybe

  • CG12

    Houston did run the Cs out of the building. In the first half, the Celts were continually beat in transition. I had hoped that this team would play fast this year, but they only infrequently push the ball and don't do a good job getting back. I don't need to see a lot more like this.

    • hydrofluoric

      The Celtics did run many times. Phil Pressey botched about 3 consecutive fast breaks in the 2nd quarter.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Last night was one of those nights where I found myself much more deeply focused on the Bruins. That game was brutal. Terrence Jones can make a case for the all star team coming off that performance (not serious).

  • Johnnyeff

    Guys, let's remember … We are not going to beat many good teams and Houston, Minnesota, and Portland are pretty darn good teams. Lord knows what will happen against S.A. And Indy. We need to focus on our progress and not the final score. Jeff can't take SEVEN shots and Avery TWENTY TWO . The stat lines pretty much tell the story … Except they don't account for the FEAR on our faces after those first few shots got blocked and the way every shot's trajectory was altered if Howard was on the floor.

  • Jim

    Why we do not play Humphries more is beyond me. At least the guy can play. We have no one who can score . Bradley is not an NBA starter . He can play some defense but you do not want him taking 22 shots in 27 min. I do not see why so many people rave about the guy. Can anyone blame Doc Rivers for jumping ship? He knew this was coming. I knew this was coming but I still watch! Ugh!

    • hydrofluoric

      Doc knew this was coming when he signed a 5 year contract extension in 2011 too. Weirdly, he still chose to do it.

      Wait, no, it wasn't weird. That contract was worth $35 million.

  • swissflix

    Jeff Green has arrived.

    • hax

      22 minutes. That is Brad's fault partly. Our best player should be putting up 40 mins a game and haivng more plays set for him. These late few games seem to be '20 mins for everyone, yayyy'