On June 23rd, 2011, Brian Robb and I stood around a high top bar table in Tommy Doyle’s in Kendall Square. Before us lay one of the biggest mounds of buffalo chicken wings I had ever endeavor to make disappear. These 25 cent flappers- one of the few indulgences afforded to the participants of our [...]
There are a number of contextually-appropriate ways to craft this post. One would be to forgo words entirely, and represent Chris Wilcox’s entire season with a series of videos. That would involve one part of this: For every eight parts of this: Note the headline on that second clip. Someone was so amused/enraged by Wilcox’s [...]
Here’s a sweeping general statement involving super specific statistics that may or may not mean anything: In the 1423 minutes Rajon Rondo played this season, the Boston Celtics were outscored by 1.3 points per 100 possessions. When he sat (including all contests after he tore his ACL), Boston was better than their opponents by 1.8 [...]
Avery Bradley has been a standout defender for the past couple seasons…in the regular season anyway. Now he has a trophy to prove it. The NBA announced this afternoon that the third-year guard has been elected by coaches around the league to the second-team all-NBA defensive team for the first time in his career. Bradley [...]
The first domino to fall this offseason is Paul Pierce’s contract. Until Danny Ainge figures out what he’s doing there, little else matters. As we wait for this decision, we also must face the rest of the offseason, which means it is also rumor season. With that time of year, comes plenty of information floating [...]
In his third year in the league, in which promising players often make brash leaps from benchwarmer to starter, from starter to star, Avery Bradley took a big step back. But his regression might be deceptive. When he returned to the Celtics’ lineup on January the 2nd after two in-season months recovering from offseason shoulder [...]
Finally! Finally finally finally, the Celtics don’t play a game where it’s close up until the very end. If you watched this game, then you know it had its fair share of unforeseen issues. Still, despite certain setbacks (some of which we will discuss momentarily) just take a second to appreciate the fact that this game was a laugher for a good long while.
Okay, now back to reality. Let’s talk set backs. First and foremost, Glen “Big Baby” Davis hurt his patella tendon in garbage time. Apparently Davis has been nursing this injury all season so a little inflammation was bound to happen sooner or later. This allows the fact that it occurred when the game was well in hand to be forgivable. Also, count the Cs lucky that they have a new power forward on their hands (Troy Murphy) that is going to have to get acclimated to his new digs if he’s going to make any difference on this team. Couple Murphy’s need for playing time with the potential return of the other ailing big men (Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal) and you’re left feeling a little “meh” about this latest Davis news. This, of course, could change the moment Davis’ MRI results come back and if the news is less than favorable (something that could very well happen before I am even done writing this up).
Aside from the Davis injury, the Celtics gave us a great example of the giant monkey that’s been riding them this season. I am, of course, talking about the play of their bench. Last night’s example came predominantly in the third quarter after the Celtics’ starters took their time building a sound lead all while removing the Suns’ hearts, seasoning them, and then devouring them. Then the Celtics’ bench came in, fashioned new hearts for the Suns (miracles of science, really) and let the Suns make a game of it. Before we really get into that, let’s take a look at how the Celtics built their lead. In order to do that, we’ll look at this roughly two minute section of the third quarter:
Ball movement, stifling defense, passion, effort. All of these things culminated into beautiful Celtic basketball and allowed the Greenies to build a very comfortable lead. A lead so insurmountable, not even Avery Bradley bricking jump shots could allow the Suns to crawl back into this…whoa, wait, what the hell is this?:
That is a lot of time spent stuck at 91 points. Something really magical happens to the Celtics late in games. Their efficient offense just disappears. No one on the Celtics bench has the ability to create for others and now that Nate Robinson is gone, there isn’t a player that can create for himself. This might change once Jeff Green gets acclimated to his role off the bench but as it stands right now the Celtics are going to continue to see see the same late game offensive futility.
Most of the bench offense comes from Davis doing jab step pull ups or dribble spin moves in the post. I like these moves but until Davis becomes an efficient passer out of the post they cannot be “go to” sets.
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In other news, Jeff Green spent nearly a whole possession clutching what I can only imagine is like a Mario Power Up for him. Seriously, check this out:
Okay, so Channing Frye may have been caught off guard in their first meeting but it looks like Jeff Green got the worst of the two blows. Did karma take care of this? Is KG off the hook? Are the Cs and Celtics now friends?
One last thing I want to discuss: so if you turned the game off early, you missed Jared Dudley fouling Rajon Rondo on the last shot of the game. This situation involved two people and neither of them were at fault. I can hear Suns and Celtics fans complaining about this at this same time:
Celtics’ Fan Argument: The game’s over, what was he trying to prove?
Suns’ Fan Rebuttal: The game’s over, what was he trying to prove?
It’s pretty obvious that both of these players are competitors and if Rondo wants to go hard and try to score another bucket at the end of the game to pour salt in the wounds of an opponent, that opponent has every right to make him earn those points at the line. Dudley is a solid dude and so is Rondo. Play on!