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, PF37 MIN | 4-11 FG | 8-8 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS | +15
KG may have had the double-double tonight but he missed a wide open 13 footer and a point blank layup with under two minutes to play. He also looked completely over-matched by Dirk Nowitzki at times. Lots of players do but not everyone has the defensive reputation that KG does.
Paul Pierce, SF30 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 7 PTS | -7
Mickael Pietrus ended up eating up a lot of Pierce’s minutes in the third and fourth quarters. Was Pierce’s heel acting up? Did Doc just want to give Pietrus some extra run because he was playing well? We’ll find out soon enough. Weirdly enough, Pierce only attempted five shots all game.
Jermaine O’Neal, C22 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -5
The effort was there as JO looked pretty good on two blocks but he could only stay on the court for 22 minutes. Not what you want or need from your starting center.
Ray Allen, SG33 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | -7
Ray Allen was there when the Celtics needed a three but wasn’t really heard from when they didn’t.
Rajon Rondo, PG38 MIN | 8-16 FG | 8-12 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 24 PTS | -6
The Celtics needed Rondo to step up in the worst way tonight. Even though he definitely did that but because the rest of the starters didn’t have it offensively, Rondo still had to force the action more than anyone should be comfortable with.
Mickael Pietrus, SF18 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +2
A three, a steal, and a transition dunk. Not to mention really tough perimeter D and holding his own on Lamar Odom in the post. This is the Mickael Pietrus the Celtics were banking on.
Brandon Bass, PF31 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | -6
Played 33 big minutes tonight and made his customary open shots.
Five Things We Saw
Lineups. The Celtics had some interesting lineups tonight. At one point they trotted out Rajon Rondo, Keyon Dooling, Mickael Pietrus, Brandon Bass, Chris Wilcox. At another time they had JO, Pierce, Dooling, Rondo, and Bass sharing the court. It’s still early but it’s going to reach a point where Doc Rivers should really be settling in on a rotation and only utilizing some guys in injury situations.
Fans. The 16th man was in full force tonight. Whenever the Celtics tied it up the TDGarden crowd got incredibly loud. There was even a point in the fourth quarter where the Celtics may have induced a shot clock violation but the crowd was so loud you couldn’t hear the buzzer. Luckily the C’s got the rebound, so no harm no foul.
Foul! I tweeted during the first half that no one on either team was in foul trouble thus a player fouling out would be highly unlikely. The officiating in the second half was so wildly inconsistent that Ian Mahinmi fouled out and Mickael Pietrus had four.
The Shot Clock is Real. The Celtics pressured the wings tonight so well that it forced the Mavs to violate the shot clock a handful of times. Seriously, I lost count at five. It may have been a byproduct of a lack of ball movement from the Mavericks but it was impressive nonetheless.
Dirk is Dirk. I was just thinking right after the Pierce three to tie the game that the Celtics have kept Dirk Nowitzki really quiet tonight (4-10, 13 points till that point). Then the last play happened and well, you know, you don’t really get to be the Finals MVP by being lucky or just okay.