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Red's Army

Taking Stock: Celtics – Heat

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) October 31, 2012 Taking Stock 14 Comments

After every game, we’ll take stock of how each individual performance affects the player’s overall value.

Starters

 Green arrowRajon Rondo:  The 20 points, 13 assists and 7 rebounds make for a spectacular line.  The aggressive moves to the rim to get easy (or relatively easy for him) were great.  He still had 4 turnovers and stretches where he was sloppy.  The bar is higher for Rondo this year than it has in the past.

Green arrowPaul Pierce:  He can still carry the scoring load, but he had a solid overall game.  23 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.  He faded a little bit at the end, but it’s clear we can still count on The Truth when we need buckets.

Sideways_double_arrowKevin Garnett:  Rough game for KG with a game-high 5 turnovers.  He was definitely off, which may help explain, at least a little, why the Celtics defense was also off.  He did have 12 rebounds, which is great.  He definitely needed more than 8 shots, but Miami was doing a great job fronting him then sending help from behind and making him uncomfortable.

Green arrowBrandon Bass:  Got the starting nod after a lot of debate, and he paid off nicely.  He was the first of the Celtics to record a double-double with a 15 point, 11 rebound performance.  He was aggressive, especially in the first half, which was reflected in his six offensive rebounds.  He also continued to prove to be effective in short bursts defensively against LeBron James.  I wouldn’t put him on LeBron for a whole game, but I’m not scared when Bass switches onto him.

Sideways_double_arrow

Courtney Lee: Lee’s 11 points on 5-6 shooting was great.  He got lost on pick-and-rolls a few times, leading to easy Miami baskets.  The confusion on defense is reflected in his five fouls.  It’s clear he’s still getting comfortable, but it also seems clear that he’ll be quite effective once he does.

Bench

 Jeff Green:  I’m not going to rehash too much with Green.  You can read more from the Dump, but it’s obvious to everyone, including him, that he was a no-show.  The biggest question out of Game 1 is was this a matchup issue, or was this just jitters/emotions, or if this was a continuation of the Jeff Green of years past.

Sideways_double_arrow Jason Terry:  He had an early stretch where he was carrying the offense with eight straight points.  But those were the only eight points he’d score on the night.  The question I have is whether handling the point when Rondo sat was part of the problem.  He had three turnovers and only one assist… but that’s not his job.

Sideways_double_arrow Jared Sullinger:  He got his first NBA points in style, and he also had a funny “welcome to the NBA” moment when he got switched onto LeBron.  I can only imagine how a rookie, minutes into his NBA career, felt like staring LeBron down.  He actually did a good job, though, despite LeBron scoring.  Still, he had trouble guarding the taller Chris Bosh and Doc ultimately sat him the entire second half.  I don’t think this is a reflection on his abilities, I think Doc will have a quick trigger with him because he’s a rookie, especially in matchups where he may struggle early on.

Green arrowLeandro Barbosa:  Who expected him to carry the Celtics offense at all at any point this season?  6-8 for 16 points and a fourth quarter explosion that made this game much closer than it probably should have been.  I’ll credit Tommy Heinsohn, who did say if you’re ever down big, get Barbosa the ball and let him go off.  That worked last night, and almost helped the C’s pull off a crazy comeback.

Coaching

Sideways_double_arrow Doc Rivers:  Great call to start Bass, but since we’re next-day second-guessing, you wonder if it might have helped to try some height against the Heat and defend the rim a little.  I’m definitely not saying playing Darko or Collins any would have helped turn things around, it’s just a question.  I’m not sure what he could have done to get the guys to slow down and not run the Miami transition game, but that approach didn’t help things either.

Overall

Sideways_double_arrow The Celtics didn’t really run much of a fluid offense, but they still managed to score 107 point.  That just goes to show how good the individuals are on this team.  It’s possible the Celtics, and Rondo, got caught up in the possibility of running a transition game where one hasn’t existed in past  years, but doing it against the Heat isn’t the time to try.  Instead of running selectively, the C’s forced the issue, playing right into Miami’s hands.

Defensively, the Celtics are still not close to where they’ll eventually be in the spring.  Some of these problems will be fixed with more time together.  Some others need more work than that.  Things will get better, but it’s clear there’s still much more of the process to be worked through before they reach full potential.

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  • screaming jay

    Disappointed to lose the the Heat, but I’m not worried at all that the Celtic team we saw last night is what we will see a bit down the road.

    This team has a bunch of new guys, they need time to gel. Rondo won’t be nearly as effective as he can be until his new team mates learn the system. KG might be, due to age, starting a bit slower than we are used to seeing. Not to mention we played one of the best teams in the NBA last night.

    If we are dealing with the same team issues after 20 games into the season, then I will start to join in on the questioning of the players. But not until then.

  • eddysamson

    The D will get a big boost when Avery Bradley is back…last year Doc was quoted as saying AB was one of the main parts of their entire defense.

    Its true…his full court press puts a ton of pressure on the other team and even if they handle it well they are still faced with less shot clock to work with.

    When AB comes back should be right around the same time the new guys get comfortable…I forsee the 2013 part of this season being pretty damn exciting for us.

  • GreenCro

    Will the real KG please stand (finally show) up?!
    Both in his own body as well as in the mindset of all of our (big) guys?
    Cmon boys… War face on and go get that 18!

  • Drew

    Any nick names brewing yet for Barbosa? He’s definitely going to be a fan favorite.

    • eddysamson

      I thought he already was the Brazilian Blur

  • Chris H

    Hard to say how much foul trouble made the defense timid especially towards the end of the first half where Lee and KG both had three (and Bron Bron none…)

  • vivek NJ

    ok boston defense was off. what about miamis we score 107 ? we are not used to scoring that much unless it is a double OT.

  • charlie

    I was pretty unhappy with last night’s game. I had hoped for something from Jeff Green and Terry – where were they? And KG was not much help either – - -disappointing. Its like hearing that the Red Sox players are so good we probably can’t improve the team because available players are not as good. I am no longer going to be impressed by stories about Terry’s great shooting in practice. It doesn’t count.

    • Rdawg

      it’s only one game, chill out

  • Jester00

    not a match up issue Green couldn’t carry Ryan Gomes Jock FACT

    Call in show so I can really let loose?

  • Nick Sannicandro

    Im actually a little bit more down on Terry and Sullinger than you were…I feel like Terry was missing alot of shots that he is expected to make and Sullinger just seemed overmatched way too often. hope this turns around

  • Jester00

    sully did well FACT

  • CPUFC

    Like these taking stock pieces. Barbosa showed a lotta heart in the loss. Celtics will be better come playoff time for sure.

  • aaron

    jester is a clown. FACT.