After every game, we’ll take stock of how each individual performance affects the player’s overall value.
Rajon Rondo: One play in particular sticks out in my mind. At 5:00 in the first quarter, after a Jeff Green miss from the corner, the Bucks rebounded and got it to Monta Ellis. He whipped a pass up to Brandon Jennings at half court. At that point, he was at the free throw line and Rondo was at the 3 point line. By half court, they were even. When Ellis caught the ball again, Rondo was at the other 3 point line, and Ellis was beyond the other free throw line, and he finished with the dunk. It was a lazy play out of Rondo on a night full of them.
If you want to be the leader everyone said you were in the pre-season, you can’t let stuff like that happen. I know there’s a game the next night. But leaders have to set the tone.
Paul Pierce: A very off night for Pierce… which fit in with everyone else. He couldn’t get his shot going, missing everything until the very end of the third quarter. He also had a team high four turnovers.
Kevin Garnett: One of the game’s few bright spots. 15 points, including a couple of fancy reverse layups, and two big blocks were really the highlights of this game. Plus, the hyena comments are a total plus.
Brandon Bass: 10 points on 3-6 shooting, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. THREE ASSISTS! Good for second on the team. If you think I’m going to give Bass anything less than a green arrow for 3 assists in a game, you’re crazy.
Courtney Lee: I’m finding him to be one of the pick-and-roll culprits. I saw him sticking to a few picks last night… which means once the guy sets a pick on him, he sticks to him as if they were glued together. He needs get through those, or else it’s going to lead to nothing but open shots. Offensively, he has his moments, and right now I’m going to chalk this up to him needing time. But he’s definitely part of the problem defensively.
Jeff Green: Better, but still not very good. He had 11 points on 5-9 shooting. He had a great steal, which he took the whole way between two defenders for a very athletic finish. And he had that huge chase-down block, which again showed how talented he is. But he’s another guy who is suspect in the half court defense.
Jared Sullinger: He was, for a while, the best Celtic on the floor. He was actually trying out there, and in 18 minutes, he led the team with 7 rebounds. He added a steal, a block, 6 points, and a lot of effort on a night where the was little of it to be found. I’m going to excuse the baseline airball as the rookie showing his nerves in his first home game. I remember KG’s first shot in Boston damn near shattered the backboard… and that was a long jumper. Also, Sullinger needs some work on the defensive end too, but that will come too.
Jason Terry: He found his shot at the end of the game, and helped the C’s sort of re-write history a little bit. When people go back in April and see the 11 point loss, they may not remember that this was a blowout for so much of the game. I’m hoping the late burst allows Terry to remember that he’s a shooter who can make shots. Let’s not talk about his defense. I think we knew what we were getting with him defensively. He also needs to be better, but I don’t know how much better he can really be.
Of course, I’m kidding about that. I think.
Kris Joseph/Leandro Barbosa: They barely played. I know… after Tuesday, why not play Barbosa more? I think Doc was turned off by him waving everyone off and trying to one-on-one… which resulted in a missed shot.
Doc Rivers: I’m going to give him time to sort out these lineups. I get the feeling that he went deep into his bench early in an effort to conserve guys who were obviously going to try to conserve their own energy out there anyway. I’m not sure that worked out very well, as this second unit still needs a starter on it for the sake of cohesion and execution. The first quarter wasn’t great, but it ended horribly, and it carried over for the rest of the half. It’s going to take time, for sure. And the good thing is, the Celtics have that.
This game sucked to watch. It was a comedy of errors that gave us little to be happy about. And to do this in front of your home crowd, just a day after saying how important it is to win all your home games? And on top of THAT… to do it after acknowledging that it was the first game since the stirring Game 6 sendoff last year??
I’d be embarrassed if I were them. Because that’s what this was… an embarrassing effort.