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 [...]
Al Jefferson talks about KG and coming back to Boston after tonight’s C’s win.
Paul Pierce, SF36 MIN | 6-16 FG | 7-7 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 20 PTS | +1
Classic modern-era Pierce game: cracks 20 points, hits just under 40% of his shots, gets to the line more than anyone else in the game, makes all of them, and rebounds reasonably well for his position. Second game in a row where he’s shot 1-6 from three, but it doesn’t feel weird or anything when he puts one up yet.
Brandon Bass, PF35 MIN | 7-17 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | +1
Quietly stunning to see that Bass missed ten shots in this get. Seemed like all his jumpers fell, especially down the stretch. Near the end he went up for a shot and I promised him if he made it I would give him a B+. It went in, so I was committed.
Kevin Garnett, PF34 MIN | 10-16 FG | 3-3 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 23 PTS | +23
KG was the difference! He was +23 in 34 minutes and destroyed Jefferson on both ends of the court and in the emotional centers of his brain. We know what we’re getting on defense, but he was the core of the offense tonight; Stiems subbing in for him at the end of the third set off a five-minute FG drought. Also the only above-average rebounder on the team.
Rajon Rondo, PG36 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 14 AST | 6 PTS | +1
I like when Rondo high-steps and basically makes fun of the other team for trying to guard him. It shows he’s engaged and it’s consistent with the team-wide arrogance that I also enjoy, whether or not they deserve it. The Jazz announcers on League Pass were basically threatening physical retaliation against Rondo and Garnett for bad sportsmanship, and I encourage them to follow through on that.
Avery Bradley, SG43 MIN | 3-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | +13
Bradley missed three gutsy drives at the rim, so that 3-10 figure is a little deceptive. If he hits 3 out of every 7 jumpers he takes for the rest of his career, I will personally lead the charge for his Hall of Fame candidacy. Nice to see him playing with confidence.
Keyon Dooling, PG17 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 7 PTS | +10
These numbers aren’t terrible, but I’d still prefer to see him conform to a
Ryan Hollins, C7 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +4
Seven very exciting minutes! If you think those alley-oops aren’t going into a highlight gallery, you’re weird.
Sasha Pavlovic, SF12 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +11
He runs around and makes but meaningful small contributions. That’s much more than I expected to get from him at this point in his Boston career.
Greg Stiemsma, C19 MIN | 0-0 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 PTS | -4
Amazing that he could be on the court for 19 minutes and not attempt a shot, but STILL give the overall impression that he had a pretty decent game. He just inserts himself in the mix more aggressively these days. Straight B’s for the bench! Hosannahs!
Three Things We Saw
A statement win! This is the first truly above-average team the Celtics have beaten in quite a while. Too bad they may not have the advantage for the entire playoffs, because I feel like this team has a chance against pretty much anyone at home.
Yet another reminder of the change in the NBA landscape that took place on August 1st, 2007. KG toyed with Al Jefferson tonight, exposing both as a miserable defensive center with exploitable holes in his scoring game. And only five years ago, the Celtics were considering building around that very Al Jefferson. Sliding doors, y’all.
The ever-building confidence of Avery Bradley and Greg Stiemsma. Neither exactly went off tonight, but there’s a swagger to their games that wasn’t there a couple months ago. They both don’t look like they’re worried about whether or not they should be there anymore.
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