On June 23rd, 2011, Brian Robb and I stood around a high top bar table in Tommy Doyle’s in Kendall Square. Before us lay one of the biggest mounds of buffalo chicken wings I had ever endeavor to make disappear. These 25 cent flappers- one of the few indulgences afforded to the participants of our [...]
There are a number of contextually-appropriate ways to craft this post. One would be to forgo words entirely, and represent Chris Wilcox’s entire season with a series of videos. That would involve one part of this: For every eight parts of this: Note the headline on that second clip. Someone was so amused/enraged by Wilcox’s [...]
Here’s a sweeping general statement involving super specific statistics that may or may not mean anything: In the 1423 minutes Rajon Rondo played this season, the Boston Celtics were outscored by 1.3 points per 100 possessions. When he sat (including all contests after he tore his ACL), Boston was better than their opponents by 1.8 [...]
Avery Bradley has been a standout defender for the past couple seasons…in the regular season anyway. Now he has a trophy to prove it. The NBA announced this afternoon that the third-year guard has been elected by coaches around the league to the second-team all-NBA defensive team for the first time in his career. Bradley [...]
The first domino to fall this offseason is Paul Pierce’s contract. Until Danny Ainge figures out what he’s doing there, little else matters. As we wait for this decision, we also must face the rest of the offseason, which means it is also rumor season. With that time of year, comes plenty of information floating [...]
In his third year in the league, in which promising players often make brash leaps from benchwarmer to starter, from starter to star, Avery Bradley took a big step back. But his regression might be deceptive. When he returned to the Celtics’ lineup on January the 2nd after two in-season months recovering from offseason shoulder [...]
Paul Pierce, SF31 MIN | 4-18 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -20
We’ll all feel better about this in the morning, but for now, this is going to be mean.
Having a terrible shooting night is one thing. Pierce has been inefficient all series, but that’s not fully under his control: he’s trying to hit hit shots. But totally commandeering the offense in an effort to shoot yourself out of a hole is inexcusable. Pierce chucked up 18 shots, four more than Rondo or KG, in only 30 minutes when everyone else in the building was silently begging him to stop. That’s not leadership. It’s egomania.
Brandon Bass, PF34 MIN | 5-8 FG | 2-3 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -11
Earlier in these playoffs, Bass was routinely getting 10-12 shots per game. Not sure why they couldn’t find him more often tonight, considering he played more minutes than Pierce or Garnett and he’s been guarded by SFs throughout the series. Claps for Doc for making the bold switch to put him on LeBron (35 points in, but still).
Kevin Garnett, PF31 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -16
He wasn’t guarding LeBron, so the abortional defense isn’t fully on him, but he still let LeBron defatig his supposedly indefatigable spirit. His five rebounds were about as harmful as his refusal to put Pierce on the deck after his 12th shot.
Ray Allen, SG36 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -6
Don’t think for a second that he’s playing passive because he only took seven shots. Ray has effectively been cut out of the offense because A) he’s too slow to get space and B) the drive-and-kick game has been struck from the playbook. When Pierce or Rondo attacks the basket, they’re going up with it, forgetting that if there are three guys around them that means someone’s probably open. When Rondo does this he usually converts anyway, so no harm done. Pierce just hasn’t been driving often enough to get a good sample size.
Rajon Rondo, PG41 MIN | 8-14 FG | 5-7 FT | 4 REB | 10 AST | 21 PTS | -25
Easily the worst 21-10 on 57% shooting game you’ll ever see. He got to the rim with the greatest of ease and successfully took his jumper off of blocks, but some of his passes looked like Muggsy Bogues clumsily trying to act like the Monstars stole his skills. He should have taken over at halftime, but hard to do that with Pierce consuming all matter and light. Lots of ill-conceived gambling on defense.
Keyon Dooling, PG15 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -14
Dooling stands as the representative for the entire bench here: irrelevant.
Mickael Pietrus, SF21 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -10
Shot 1-4, still managed a higher efficiency than Pierce. Yes, all of these are about Pierce. Based on tonight’s game, that’s how he likes it.
Three Things We Saw
A letdown game. We knew it was coming on some level. Better tonight than Tuesday.
Pierce continuing to tarnish his superstar legacy by hurting his team with every shot he takes. If he decides to start working within Rondo’s offense and stop forcing shots, he’ll be more efficient and the shots he doesn’t take will be put to better use.
Low minutes for all the starters going into Game 7. The best way to lose.