After every game, we'll take stock of how each individual performance affects the player's overall value.
Rajon Rondo: He shot 4-14. All four of those shots were lay ups, making him 0-7 from 3 feet and out. He did have 13 assists and 6 steals. And that alley oop fake to KG/pass to Ray for 3 was sold perfectly.
Paul Pierce: Did Paul Pierce say something about David Stern recently that I missed? He almost fouled out of two straight games now. It's hard to blame the guy for a bad shooting night (4-14) when he can't get into any rhythm.
Kevin Garnett: I'll take 16/8 out of him, especially when you look at the defensive job he did on Josh Smith. Of course, Josh helped by not being aggressive at all, but the few times he did attack, KG did a good job of making it difficult.
Greg Stiemsma: Love the four blocked shots. He's another that seems to be playing with a little bit of an edge. I think Stiemsma is benefiting from the added time and the veteran tutelage.
Doc Rivers: I got one big problem with this Celtics offense. When the C's have a lead late in the game, the C's offense completely changes to Paul Pierce at the top of the key and Rondo off in the middle of nowhere. I know, I know… don't give all that crap about Rondo's jumper and free throws. Give Rondo the ball, set picks for one another, and let Rondo find Pierce on the wing somewhere. If Pierce has to create or run a pick and roll with KG from there, then fine. But RUN THE DAMN OFFENSE FIRST. I'm sick of the Celtics changing things in the fourth quarter and watching leads slip away because they're trying to run 15 seconds off the clock and then do something. It's just not working. Pierce and KG aren't what they used to be, even though they can still be quite effective. When teams snuff out that first option after winding the clock down, it leads to desperate passes and turnovers. Enough with this already.
It was horrible to watch. The first three quarter were abysmal. But this is the lockout-shortened debacle of a season and this was time zone #3 in a long road trip. The Celtics overcame their malaise and won a game against a team ahead of them in the standings. That's the important thing to focus on.