Beating the Bobcats used to be easy.
Well, no, let’s try that again: Beating the Bobcats used to be easy for most teams. The Celtics, who always seemed physically incapable of beating bad teams by more than five or six points, never seemed to be able to rally enough energy after the first quarter beat the Bobcats easily. Maybe “consistently” is the better word.
So, naturally, the current Celtics (miles worse than the model of the last five years) beat the current Bobcats (noticeably better than the model of the last five years) by double figures. Are the Celtics awful? Are they simply mediocre victims of a very tough schedule to start the season? Is Jordan Crawford this team’s best player (no)? Is Brandon Bass (no)? Is Jared Sullinger (probably, yeah)? This year is so weird.
Anyway, the Bobcats hung tough for much of the game, mostly on the strength of Kemba Walker’s performance, who torched Steez’s mediocre defense for 28 points. But Boston used a fourth-quarter spurt to move to 6-10 on the season and win their second consecutive road game.
Grades after the jump:
|Brandon Bass, PF 38 MIN | 7-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | -9It would require some pretty serious nitpicking (just five rebounds, for example) to criticize Brandon Bass’ performance through 16 games, and tonight was no exception. Bass shot efficiently and defended well. You can’t ask for much more than that.|
|Jared Sullinger, PF 28 MIN | 2-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | +5Sullinger had very little going offensively, but he bothered Al Jefferson out of the paint and forced Charlotte’s big man into taking jumpers (Jefferson was 6-for-14 overall). Big Al has a mid-range game, but the Celtics were well served forcing him into taking jumpers as opposed to using his touch around the basket, and much of that started with Sully, who also grabbed eight rebounds in 28 minutes.|
|Avery Bradley, PG 9 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -6Foul trouble limited Bradley’s minutes, poor shooting his productivity. Fortunately, Jordan Crawford had him covered.|
|Jeff Green, SG 36 MIN | 5-16 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | 0Green had a couple of aggressive drives and seven rebounds, but he also finished with more shots than points…not for the first time in the last two weeks.|
|Jordan Crawford, SG 28 MIN | 5-11 FG | 7-7 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | -4Steez was hot enough to break an egg and cook it on his shooting hand. 5-for-11 from the field overall (nobody cares), Crawford was 4-for-6 from 3-point range including a couple of shots that originated in South Carolina. He also knocked down all of his free throws late to ice the game.|
|Kris Humphries, PF 16 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +17Humphries entered the game and did some things, but little of it was notable.|
|Gerald Wallace, SF 36 MIN | 6-10 FG | 4-7 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | +8Nice of Crash to join the party. Playing against his old squad, Wallace took a season-high 10 field goal attempts, nearly three times his season average.|
|Vitor Faverani, C 13 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +7Faverani was 2-for-5 from the field but 1-for-1 on 3-point baskets that annoy the ever-living hell out of the other team.|
|Phil Pressey, PG 20 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 8 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +14With eight assists and zero turnovers, Pressey looked a lot more like the little point guard we fell in love with at Summer League than the turnover-prone back-up of the past few weeks.|
|Courtney Lee, SG 15 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +18Still scoring, still patiently awaiting the phone call informing him of his departure to a contender for a late first-round pick.|
|MarShon Brooks, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | Still awaiting the departure of a certain someone to receive minutes.|