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First Quarter Failures: Memphis 100, Boston 93

The Celtics won three of the four quarters Wednesday night but so thoroughly were they outplayed in the first, that a late comeback — sparked by 17 huge points from Jared Sullinger in the fourth quarter alone — fell short. In that awful first quarter, the Celtics turned the ball over, meandered back in transition and let Memphis do whatever they wanted from the perimeter, be it in man-coverage or in their half-hearted attempts to defend Grizzly pick and roll actions.

But it wasn’t all bad. Aside from Sullinger, the Celtics got strong play from Kris Humphries who is making a real effort to make himself valuable to a contender and Brandon Bass, who had 13 rebounds, a figure that is quite possibly a Boston career high.

We’ll check on that and get back to you in the grades, coming later tonight.

  • hax

    Sully & Green went off on the Grizzlies.

    Am I the only one that wants Avery Bradley traded?

    • YouSerious?

      I'm actually encouraged by Bradley's offense at times. He's looking much more confident lately, and he's had a few nice games shooting the ball. What's strange about him is that a few point guards just seem to be able to completely screw around with him. Felton during the playoffs, Conley tonight, and if memory serves I think Walker usually plays pretty well against us too.

      But looking at this game, it wasn't just on Bradley. The Celtics looked like they hardly knew their rotations multiple times tonight. I lost count of how many wide open layups the Griz got where 2 or 3 Celtics were half-standing by the paint, half-running back to their guys, then they all looked at eachother like they had no clue who was supposed to step in for help.

      The players that are worth holding on to on this roster, if the price is reasonable, are Sully, Green, Bradley, Olynyk, Bass, and Crawford (I exclude Rondo because I'm of the opinion that we need to keep him if we want the quickest path back to being an actual threat again). I understand that players like Crawford and Bass are probably not going to stick around, but they provide useful skills for their positions, and I've really come to like them.

      One player who I wonder about is Vitor. I know he's an undrafted rookie and all, but he makes some really peculiar decisions sometimes. Hope he improves as the season goes on.

    • Jimmy

      I really wanna trade him, i dont like undersized shooting guards who cant shoot well or dribble too well or pass. Id be willing to trade him for eric gordon or just someone who can score alot at the 2

      • YouSerious?

        Does anybody like Avery Bradley anymore?

        • The Cardinal

          Nope…at least no one who wants to see this team as a contender within the next few years. Bradley is not a NBA-caliber starting guard (yet? ever?). A good sub to bring in off the bench on a loaded team – yeah. A starter? We can do way better in the draft or with an immediate trade that brings in a PG and moves Crawford to the 2, or brings in someone like Shumpert and keeps Crawford at the 1. Either way, when Rondo returns, Crawford becomes the sixth man that brings the offense through good passing a instant scoring.

          Maybe one day he can become somewhat effective like trick-or-treat Tony Allen has for Memphis, but only if he's like the fourth or fifth scoring option on the floor as opposed to the first, second or third like he is this season.

    • The Cardinal

      If we could get someone like Shumpert or a decent backup point guard like Ramon Sessions, then heck yeah. Like Humphries, Bradley would be a great addition to a true contender. But on a rebuilding squad? Nah, his best attributes are squandered, and his ongoing lack of play making and ball handling skills outweigh the occasional good game.

      I know there are those that will say "but wait until Rondo returns," but that's a pretty damning statement in and of itself. A starting 2 guard in the NBA – especially a small one – needs to be able to handle the ball, make simple passes, and have some play making judgment independent of the PG and after 3 seasons, Bradley looks as bad in these areas as he did during the first part of his debut season. Where's the growth or dedication to improving?

  • strips

    He may be undersized, but I think that Bradley is the perfect backcourt partner for Rondo. The only player I'd agree trading him for would be Gordon Hayward.

    • hax

      I'm sure the Jazz would love to trade their all-star for Avery. 😀