Recap: Celtics leave defense in Boston for season opener | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Recap: Celtics leave defense in Boston for season opener

I know it’s October, but I expected so much more from the Celtics. After all the talk about the Heat and Ray Allen, I expected the defensive intensity to be there. It wasn’t. And the Heat rolled 120-107.

LeBron James had 26 points in 29 minutes. If he doesn’t sit out most of the 4th quarter with leg cramps, Miami wins this game by 25. Ray Allen played to his ceiling (19 points, 5-7 FG). You knew it was Ray’s night when he banked a three with the shot clock winding down. You want another indicator of Boston’s horrible defense? Mario Chalmers had 11 assists.

So who stunk it up for the Celtics? You have to start with Kevin Garnett – 9 points, 5 turnovers. He looked out of rhythm all night. Anyone who uses the O word is overreacting.

Jeff Green (3 points, 0-4 FG in 23 minutes) was awful. Despite all the aggressive play we saw in the preseason, Green was tentative tonight. He needs more than four shots.

Aside from Leandro Barbosa (more on him later), the vaunted second unit was a flop. Jared Sullinger (2 points, 8 minutes) didn’t see the court in the second half. He just doesn’t match-up well with the Heat. Jason Terry (8 points, 2-7 FG, 3 TOs) was a non-factor.

Barbosa exploded for 16 points in the 4th quarter. He sparked a furious fourth quarter rally that cut the Heat lead from 18 to 4 with a couple minutes remaining. But the Celtics just couldn’t get the stops down the stretch.

Brandon Bass (15 points, 11 rebounds) was the best player in green. Did he play in the 4th quarter?

Paul Pierce started strong (15 of his 23 points came in the first half), but he didn’t score after the 5:58 mark of the 3rd quarter.

Rajon Rondo filled out the stat sheet (44 minutes, 20 points, 13 assists, 7 rebounds, 4 TOs, 1 technical and 1 flagrant foul). The Heat threw a wrinkle his way by double-teaming and trapping him in some set. The pick-and-pop with Garnett was non-existent.

The feud with Rondo and Dwyane Wade continues. Rondo get a flagrant foul for grabbing Wade around the head with 16 seconds remaining in the game. I thought it was a fairly soft flagrant foul. Wade called it a punk move.

Here’s the video of KG ignoring Ray Allen. I don’t have a problem with the move. I thought Ray was a bit handshake and hug happy. For those pissed off at Garnett for snubbing Ray, Sean Grande said the two did shake hands shortly after the “incident.”

Box score

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  • Drew


    • Curt

      Don’t troll. No one sucked.

      • Drew

        Wooooooow, we were NOT watching the same game. Jeff Green was absolutely horrible tonight.

    • Mannie

      I feel like some of you just want him to play horrible so you can prove a point. It’s just one game.

      • Drew

        That makes no sense at all. Yeah, I want my team to fail to prove a point. Come on man.

        • LAF

          i put this loss on rondo. he had no game plan for this one and you could tell ray was messing with his head all game long.

          doc shares some blame, too. he didn’t exploit matchups all night and he had some odd combinations on the floor for long stretches. but it was mostly rondo who failed to run the team. his numbers look good but he had a horrible game.

          for those on the JET LEE > Ray Allen camp: this is why one player is a first ballot HOFer and the other two are not.

          avery can’t come back soon enough for me.

          • jrleftfoot

            You`re making way too much of one game.

          • Alex

            Dude… it was just ONE game… and the team has brand new pieces they need to work with and get the chemistry going.

            I swear LA Flake, you need to get your emotions checked out because you go berserk after one loss. Take a chill pill.

      • joseph

        Agreed. Every time JG plays poorly, everybody jumps on his and beats him with a stick because of his contract.

  • rjb

    No defense, but remember nearly half the team is either here for the first time or coming off of a heart surgery. No need to panic yet…..the celtics are contenders

  • Curt Hays

    No offensive plays seemed to work. Courtney Lee didn’t know the defense. Rondo never passed when Courtney was open. KG played amazing defense on Lebron and so did Paul. Jet seemed too small. Practice and fix the matchups and we have Banner 18. Just avoid injuries…and hurry back Avery Bradley!

  • Alot of work to do. Love Doc’s postgame comment that the offense tonight was “Fool’s Gold”. They can score all they want, but if they don’t get stops, it means nada. So many new (and still missing) pieces. Have to be excited about Barbosa though-what a performance. I’m not going to give-up on Jeff Green after 1 game, but he looked nervous & out of sorts. I’ll give him a pass for now-let’s see how he responds at home for the opener.

  • Chris h

    Plenty of good stuff. Let’s not O bout this? Miami did us a favor pointing out our problems. We have weapons we haven’t even used yet and that was their best punch. They are only going to get more hurt and we will still be working in new stuff all year.

    • LAF

      i agree. but the question is whether we will ever reach that peak and be consistent or go the way rondo’s mood swings?

  • Chulinho

    I missed the game because of class.

    The reactions I’m seeing on my Facebook and Twitter:
    -Jeff Green, JET, and Sully were bad
    -the C’s defense was nonexistent, but they rebounded and actually got to the free throw line
    -Rondo had a Mr. Hyde moment, played really well
    -Leandro Barbosa was a blessing, esp. in the 4th

    Did I miss anything else?

    • Jester00

      sully wasn’t bad just didn’t play in the second half Green did and is worse then bad

  • MRC

    WTF! What’s the point of having depth if they’re not going to use it? i.e. Sullinger (2nd half) Wilcox, Darko. I know the was a time in the first half when they went small with Sullinger & Bass, I’d have brought Wilcox in instead of one of them, he’s bigger than both & can run with Rondo. The C’s just looked like need some more serious practice time. 120 points! Smh

  • paul

    This team has a lot of work to do, but after the preseason, we expected that.

    It was frustrating that we didn’t use Garnett to attack the post more, and it was frustrating that we didn’t get more opportunities out of it when the Heat double teamed Rondo on the perimeter. For god’s sake, when do you ever see a pg being double teamed on the perimeter all night long? Cs should have taken advantage of this much more.

  • RedsLoveChild

    You do NOT beat Miami by trying to out-run or out-quick them, especially with Bradley still out.

    Try exploiting their relative lack of size…clog the paint…establish a defensive presence inside…dish out hard fouls.

    Allow Darko, Collins, Wilcox, Fab to at least remove their warm-up pants!

    • Rain


      Or at least stop TO so many times.

  • Celtics

    they need work on that D. JET looked outta place but hes shot will come, Green needed to calm down relax and just shit on everyone like he did. Pierce , bass , rondo , barbosa had good games. KG not sure what happened but i hope hell be back to his normal self. Lee i thought did a good job on wade when he was in but needs to learn more. Basically alot of stuff needs worked on.

  • Tyler

    What the hell happened. This team stinks! DA screwed up with all the money he gave Jeff Green! 3 points!? DA better start working on possible trades for cap space assets and draft picks for the rebuilding process. This team can’t play defense and has overpaid players that are not even stars. Sully looks like a bust out of the gate. Time to blow it up and rebuild!


      Wow tyler you need to relax…first game of the season….i hope your comment was a joke….this team will be great there are a lot of new guys the chemistry will click with experience…some “fans” need to wake up and realize its just 1 game

      • Garnett’s Grl

        I’m with you, its just one game. As bad as we played I saw things that I liked. 1 being the play of Barbosa, 2. Lee on Wade and of course Rondo. We have much work ahead of us and with 81 games to go I’m sure we’ll figure it all out. Go Celtic!!!!!!!!!!

      • Drew

        I guess, but how patient should Celtics fans be? We saw a team with way less chemistry click right out of the gates in 08. Why are chemistry issues so huge with this team lately?

        • midipl

          Those guys back then were monsters, Garnett, Allen, Pierce they didn’t need to rely on team chemistry, they could outscore other teams and Kg could fill the gaps in defense . Look at Maimi Ray had good game Lewis had a good and it was thanks to more atlethic partners. Celtics will be fine, rondo have to figure out spots of Lee and Terry and that will open up space in halfcourt offense, those two guys can run with RR. Last night we have lost to defending champions, after summer of refreshing roster. This is it.

    • jrleftfoot

      Tyler`s post is amazing.Do you everwatch sports?I`ve heard of spoiled fans ,but giving up on your team after one gameis a new low.

      • Larry Legend

        Tyler’s post was a joke people. A weak ass attempt to rile up the masses. Please dont give that douchebag the time of day… Celts will be fine. Lot of new parts trying to find their way. Will be a drastically different team come April

    • Larry Legend

      Tyler = 400 lbs. Tub of goo who hasn’t seen his tiny little di– in years. Enough said

  • Wels Catfish

    The defense was weird. Some of it was their hitting ridiculous shots (Ray Allen banked in two 3s with a hand in the face, lol) Not sure who to blame it on. A lot of good individual one on one defense, but the communication was not there. A lot of going under screens by everyone, which I really don’t understand. Another thing, which will improve — guys were helping too much off of the 3 point shooters.

    I thought Lee’s individual defense was really good, other than the foul calls that sent Wade to the line. They really weren’t letting us body up guys who were posting up tonight. Really don’t like those kinds of foul calls.

    Do not understand Doc’s rotations for tonight. I really would’ve liked to have seen what Darko could have done out there in a big lineup–I imagine Wilcox isn’t ready yet. But that is always an option that we need to keep available to force the Heat to adapt to us.

    Solid game from Bass, loved his commitment to hitting the glass. Also did a nice job on individual D.

    Rondo, Pierce, Barbosa looked great. I’m reserving judgement for the others.

  • Garnett’s Grl

    Trust me I’m sure they(meaning the team) are saying all the things we’ve said and more. On paper this is one of the better teams we’ve had as of recent yrs, now we just have to translate that to the court. I love this team and I’m sure it’s going to get better every game just watch and see

  • JimmyG

    It’s game one of an 82 game season. To put it in perspective, Wilt Chamberlain killed it during the regular season against the C’s. But if we consider championships it’s Russell 11, Wilt 2. I’m not too concerned. The team looked pretty out of synch but Doc pointed out that if the best game the team plays is the first one, we’ll be in a lot of trouble. What’s important is that the team gels as the season moves along. Let’s see where they’re at 60-70 games into the season. That’s when I’ll be interested in the direction this team is headed. They need to learn to balance their new speed with the potential to play smothering defense. Once we do that, we’ll be golden.

  • Sheets

    When do the Josh Smith trade talks startup again?

  • SF Celts fan

    Lets just remember that Jeff Green cost us two championships. His play tonight was appalling. Time to replace danny ainge.

    • Drew

      Where do you live in SF?i

  • Beantownfanatic2012

    I think the Celtics were too amped up. They really wanted to beat the Heat but basically just beat themselves. Too many turnovers and the last thing you wanna do is turn it over to the Heat!! They played with a lot of fire but I think too much! They came back to within 4 and that’s a positive. I like what I seen for the most part but its clear they still have to gel as a team. I’m not worried in the least but cause once this team starts clicking WATCH OUT!! 18 baby

  • Jester00

    Just woke up pissed and hung over as hell I still hate jeff green he plays no d and unless it Is a dunk he sucks yea he can go off on a bunch dude playing overseas right now but he just overrated trade him for Sasha or maybe a Pack of pez

  • Michael Guo

    It’s just one game! Though Celtics lost, I still hold strong confidence in it. Let’s go, Celtics! Take your revenge on the Heat next time.

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  • 17rings

    so many overreactions to the celts game.. if you seriously thought a team w/ mostly new players (only 4 celtics that played last night played for us last yr) was just gonna suddenly come out 1st game and beat the “nba champs” on their home floor.. you’re crazy (it COULD happen, but not likely). Give it time to cook people.. soon we’ll have something delicious

  • Michael Guo

    KG didn’t play well, but he will!

  • Âdil

    If this happens again and again with Green and others, I think its safe to say WE NEED TO GET JOSH SMITH

  • 413murph

    Why did Doc go away from Bass down the stretch? He was playing great. I know he wanted to go super small with the three guard lineup, but I think Bass could have helped. Seriously let down by Jeff Green, but it is only the first game and I’ll chalk it up to nerves. Lots of new guys that need to learn the Celts defense.

  • Gil305

    I had to come to realize that I fed too much into the preseason but I’m glad that we played MIA the first game. Now we know where we really are and can work on it.
    D sucked – new guys were either gambling, out of position, and/or sinking in too far on shooters. Didn’t like how easily they gave Lebron & Wade jumpers either.
    Offense needs more movement but Doc said after the game they didn’t get into their 2nd & 3Rd options.
    I think we have a lot of room to grow over these next 81 games whereas I think that MIA team will be the same one we saw last night come playoff time.

  • pushback

    Just trade jeff green for josh smith! Kg did the right thing. Man. I hate ray allen now that he is with the heat. Freakin traitor!!!

  • pushback

    Now do you still want ray allen is the rafters especially after the game his heart is still in new england. What a freakin hypocrite!

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  • Tyler

    Time for DA to scrap this team. The rebuilding should have started two years ago. Rondo is already going off the deep end with his emotions and attitude. Time to rebuild. Look at the Houston Rockets. They have Jeremy Lin at point and Harden already. We are in year six of the three year window. Come on DA just blow it up say we can get the top draft pick.

  • Mitch

    Did anyone else watch the game I was watching last night. Jeff Green looked like a Junior Varsity basketball player on the court. The C’s should have added another 8 million to the deal offered to Ray Allen cause he was killing us with his shooting. Barbosa needs to be starting instead of Green. Send Green to D-League to get confident or something. Maybe give him some anti depressant caus ehe always looks like a lost puppy with deer in the headlights look. I’m not saying break up the team but if by midseason it does not look like the C’s can beat the Heat it might be time to blow it up.