Avery Bradley usually isn’t compared to Larry Bird. During one shot tonight, that changed. The fourth-year guard was in the right spot in the first quarter on Tuesday night, rebounding a Jared Sullinger airball under the basket. Knowing he needed to get off a shot before the shot clock expired, Bradley hoisted up a prayer [...]
We’ve talked about Jared Sullinger quite a bit this week, but he has been playing intriguingly well, so forgive us for continuing the trend. The “Should Sullinger be taking 3-pointers?” argument continues to rage, but last night presented compelling arguments for proponents of the strategy. I wrote about these shots specifically during the preseason, and [...]
Only five NBA teams are humiliated by a less effective offense than the one currently deployed by the Boston Celtics. But being that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, here are a couple parts of that offense we should all be grateful for. (Most notably the fact that it’s run by Brad Stevens, a mastermind [...]
Last season, Jared Sullinger was whistled for 6.2 fouls per 36 minutes. In other words, statistically, even if the Celtics wanted to give him a starter’s minutes, he would foul out before the 36 minute mark. Some of that was on Sullinger — it takes a certain amount of time to adjust to the way [...]
In a playoff-less season, the Celtics really have only one thing to look forward to before lottery night: The return of Rajon Rondo. There are always a few indicators that a player is nearing his return, and one of the first ones is that he is returning to drills during practice. From Gary Washburn’s Twitter [...]
Trade talk hasn’t died down just yet in Boston. Days after Danny Ainge confirmed to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald that the team was engaged in discussions with other teams pertaining to their veteran pieces of the roster, we have another report surfacing today from Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report on potential talks between the Celtics [...]
Kevin Garnett, PF34 MIN | 4-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -15 Not a great night for KG. He snapped up a few early boards but managed only 12 points and 6 rebounds when the C’s needed more from him in both categories.
Paul Pierce, SF37 MIN | 3-17 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | -8 Pierce just couldn’t get it going tonight. He missed from a distance and he missed close to the hoop. He kept shooting, though, on his way to 14 misses in 17 tries. He didn’t seem to lack energy or be favoring his foot as much as he just kept bricking shots.
Jermaine O’Neal, C26 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +4 He stood in on the defensive end and tied his season high in rebounds, but his offense continues its spiral into oblivion. I’m ready to see Stiemsma with the starters.
Ray Allen, SG38 MIN | 7-11 FG | 5-6 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 23 PTS | -9 I’m beginning to suspect Ray Allen is bionic. After missing the last game with the flu, he came back to play heavy minutes and shoot 80% from the arc. Ray’s conditioning has him ahead of everyone else on this team not named Rondo.
Rajon Rondo, PG39 MIN | 5-12 FG | 1-4 FT | 5 REB | 9 AST | 11 PTS | -2 He had some pep in his game tonight but his efforts were hampered by the brutal shooting and ball movement around him. Of course, it didn’t help that he walked the ball up the court too often (after the C’s made an early attempt to push tempo) but by the second quarter, it seemed pretty clear this was not a Celtics team up for a track meet.
Keyon Dooling, PG13 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -9 Dooling hasn’t hit his stride yet but he had a couple of takes to the basket, something he’ll do willingly if there’s an open lane. Still, I’d be more encouraged if he was getting 3 shots a game from the arc. But that wasn’t in the cards tonight and it wasn’t entirely his fault. The whole team was inefficient in shot creation.
Marquis Daniels, SG8 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -3 Daniels looks bad out there, when he’s not completely inconsequential, which was the case tonight.
Brandon Bass, PF25 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | -10 He got precious few shots and made the least of them in his least effective game of the season.
Greg Stiemsma, C7 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -1 Minimal court time, but good energy again from Stiemsma. One nice, clean block that was called a foul. No good reason he isn’t playing longer minutes.
Avery Bradley, SG9 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -10 Bradley hit a couple of crisp 20-foot jumpers after the game was decided. Not going to lie though: was happy to see them find twine.
Five Things We Saw
Atrocious Offense. The Celtics tied their franchise-worst with just 25 points before halftime. Things improved in the second half but it was too late for the C’s who finished the night shooting 39% from the field. The Pacers were little better in the first half but they managed to outlast the C’s and overcame a 3-14 night from Danny Granger with the help of 33 bench points and 12 rebounds from Roy Hibbert.
Rebounding woes. The Pacers crashed the offensive glass for 14 offensive rebounds on their way to humbling Boston 47-36 on the boards. Boston failed to block out, which is not uncommon, but also failed to hustle enough to make up for that, which, unfortunately, is increasingly common (the C’s rank only 20th in the league in defensive rebound rate so far this season).
The Celtics got only 14 points from their bench tonight, including a season-low from Brandon Bass and another ineffective night from Marquis Daniels (8 minutes, 0 points).
Doc Rivers leaning on his starters. Doc ran up the minutes for KG, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and a post-flu Ray Allen in an attempt to pull this one out. That’s partly because they’ve played short minutes recently, partly because the C’s got so little from the bench tonight and partly because the C’s don’t play again until Wednesday.
A really, really crappy basketball game. Thanks are again due to the hardheaded tenor of the CBA negotiations, the needless lockout and the resulting condensed schedule.