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, PF36 MIN | 6-23 FG | 0-0 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | +6 Like Pierce, KG also had an off-shooting night. A really off-shooting night as he went 6-for-23 including some big misses down the stretch. Also like Pierce, he somewhat made up for it by rebounding the basketball and playing tough defense on Andrew Bynum when necessary.
Paul Pierce, SF48 MIN | 7-18 FG | 3-3 FT | 9 REB | 7 AST | 18 PTS | +2 All Star selection curse? Pierce couldn’t hit a shot in the first half and it really didn’t seem to have anything to do with Metta World Peace. He missed wide open jumpers and nailed ones over the artist formerly known as Artest. Still, Pierce made up for his poor shooting performance by filling up the rest of the box score and his ability to avoid getting discouraged when his shot isn’t falling is very underrated.
Jermaine O’Neal, C33 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +1 Almost none of JO’s contributions showed up in the box score but he played tough D on two really good bigs when he was in there. Aside from the tough defense, JO continues to show how badly the Celtics can rebound when they face a formidable front court.
Ray Allen, SG40 MIN | 9-20 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 22 PTS | 0 Ray drew the tough assignment of having to guard Kobe and provide the offense on an uncharacteristic off night for Pierce and Garnett. He capably defended Kobe in the first half and passably in the second. His offense was still keeping the Celtics in the game late and for that he breaks the BA barrier.
Rajon Rondo, PG45 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 14 PTS | +6 Assists (7) and rebounds (2) were way below average but Rondo had an efficient 14 points including a sprinkling of jump shots. The Kobe Free Safety strategy wasn’t as effective in the first half but Rondo bricked a few jumpers late to really put the crap stamp on this loss.
Chris Wilcox, PF13 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -3 Wilcox provided some energy off the bench but otherwise pretty unspectacular.
Marquis Daniels, SG1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | 0 He played? (C means “Incomplete”)
Mickael Pietrus, SF18 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -4 Pietrus put forth a valiant effort on the defensive end guarding Kobe better than both Ray and Rondo. He also hit a very timely three in the fourth quarter to get the C’s back into the game.
Brandon Bass, PF24 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -6 Bass had a great game for an average bench player but an average game for the great bench player he is.
E’Twaun Moore, G9 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -7 8+ minutes and no points. The Celtics needed him in the game for his offense and he had almost none tonight.
Three Things We Saw
The Celtics fought Kobe’s Hero Ball act with running plays and lost– to the Lakers’ size advantage. After seeing Kobe front-rim jumper after jumper only to fail to secure the rebound must have been hard on the Green Team.
Rebounding. Yeah I went there. Tonight, it wasn’t even close. We all expected that but Bynum’s offensive rebounds and Gasol’s defensive rebounds down the stretch really hurt the Celtics. They were expected to lose the battle but 55 to 45 should be a guaranteed loss.
The last in regulation was very poorly executed by the Celtics. Ray Allen set a ball screen for Paul Pierce only to leak out behind a KG screen. How many times have we seen this before? I’ll guarantee you the Lakers have seen it more on film. The thing is, it shouldn’t matter if the C’s execute which they did not. Pierce shouldn’t have picked up his dribble after Ray made his move in case he couldn’t get open. The result, a Pietrus prayer 27 footer moving away from the basket. That should have been a sign of things to come.