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 [...]
Paul Pierce, SF37 MIN | 6-17 FG | 11-14 FT | 12 REB | 4 AST | 24 PTS | +13
Pierce proved that you can miss 11 of 17 shots and still have a great game. He set up base camp around the rim tonight: only five of his shots came from anywhere else. Instead of points, Pierce asked to be compensated in 1) rebounds and 2) free throws, and the Sixers agreed to the terms of that deal. Not certain why he had to be in the game airballing threes with a 27-point lead and six minutes to go, but Doc decided it was important.
Brandon Bass, PF27 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +21
Big game for Bass, who proved he can still achieve the minimum expected of him: five boards, ten points, and a shooting efficiency that reflects his almost constant openness. He got to that minimum in only 27 minutes. If he gets there or beyond for the rest of the playoffs, this team is deadlywinks.
Kevin Garnett, PF30 MIN | 12-17 FG | 3-5 FT | 13 REB | 4 AST | 27 PTS | +27
He was the only Celtic who had his shot going in the early minutes. He forced Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes to basically give up on basketball. HE OUTREBOUNDED BRAND, HAWES, AND ANDRE IGUODALA COMBINED. This all happened in 30 minutes. I’m terrified of my love for KG at this point. I’m 90% of the way to becoming Swimfan.
Rajon Rondo, PG 41 MIN | 9-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 14 AST | 23 PTS | +15
Rondo went Cold Stone over and over tonight with that scoop off the glass. I’d trade this game for any of his triple-doubles: efficient scoring on a high volume of shots has escaped Rondo this series, but tonight he had that going along with full offensive orchestration. He DID say they’d be fine, you guys.
Avery Bradley, SG20 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +10
Doc went easy on Avery’s shoulder tonight, at least until he pats him on the back at Friday’s shootaround and knocks it clean off his body. Avery had zero points, but he folded up Evan Turner and put him in his wallet.
Ray Allen, SG 25 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +11
Barely noticed him out there, which was a luxury Boston could afford. He had as big a role in the offense as E’Twaun Moore, but in 22 more minutes. Guess he’s a defensive specialist now. The free throw situation is becoming a puzzling concern.
Ryan Hollins, C16 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -15
Shaq called him “Donnell” Hollins in the postgame show. Keep your head up, pal.
Mickael Pietrus, SF 24 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +8
Imagine Pietrus instead of Zooey Deschanel in that iPhone commercial, reacting to his own shooting:
Pietrus: “Is that rain?”
Siri: “Yes, Mickael. It appears to be raining threes.”
Pietrus: “Let’s get bouillabaisse delivered.”
Five Things We Saw
The Sixers bit the proverbial curb in this one. Basically it’s that “hit in the mouth” analogy KG is always using, but much grosser and more violent. And just when Evan Turner probably felt like he’d blossomed into a star, the Celtics probably set his development back to Ohio State.
KG won’t bow. Doesn’t know how.
A newborn transition game. It starts with the defense: missed shots lead to fast breaks, and the Celtics forced a lot of missed shots. But on every one, Rondo started hurtling up the floor, and his frontcourt found him on the entry pass. Ryan’s been saying all year that the Celtics should run more often. Cool that Rondo’s finally listening to him.
Home court advantage regained. A lot of pundits expected this series to be tight, but after dropping one in the Garden, Boston needed to pick up a win at Wells Fargo to avoid a comeback scenario. They somehow got even more.