After every game, we’ll take stock of how each individual performance affects the player’s overall value.
Rajon Rondo: Better effort in this one, which shows the Milwaukee was a cruise-control, front-end of a back-to-back game. I’m still not a big fan of Rondo’s half court defense, which I feel could be better if he just took better angles when he comes off picks. But he’s a master of playing passing lanes, and that paid off. Plus, he was 2-2 from 3.
Paul Pierce: Pierce carried the offense again, and hit a deep 3 that he never really should have launched. But that’s what makes guys like Pierce great… the willingness and confidence to know you can make whatever shot you need to make. Also tied with KG and Sullinger for a team-high 7 rebounds.
Kevin Garnett: Another solid night for Ticket. 15 point and 7 rebounds is about what we should expect out of him for the season. He doesn’t look entirely comfortable out there just yet, which is probably a by-product of trying to integrate a bunch of new players.
Jared Sullinger: The rookie’s first start went pretty well. I swore he was on his way to a double-digit rebounding game, but his 7 boards were great. He made two of the three shots he took. He got some tough calls, but that’s life in the NBA as a rookie. Still, very solid outing.
Courtney Lee: I’m confident he’ll turn it around, because there’s nothing wrong with him mechanically. Still, he had some wide open shots that he needs to make. Life would be much easier with him playing at least an average game.
Jeff Green: The box score looks decent… 11 points on 5-10 shooting in 16 minutes. He hit 1 of 2 from 3 (though his miss resulted in a hilarious “stuck in between the rim and the backboard” jump ball). His offense is coming along slowly, but there’s a definite correlation between Jeff Green being on the floor and the opposition getting easy buckets.
Gronkowski Bass: If you don’t get the joke, it’s from this play last night. Bass wasn’t bad, and I’m sure it’s tough on him to go from starter to bench (really hard, if you believe Donny Marshall), but he’s got to find a way to score more than 5 points… especially when the bench was outscored 62-27.
Jason Terry: Just like Lee, I’m confident he’ll find his shot… and just like Lee he has to find a way to hit the wide open shots he’s getting. It’s been a bad start for JET. He needs an explosion soon.
Doc Rivers: Doc’s got a lot of work to do with these guys defensively. I will say that I liked the idea of starting Sullinger on the road against a bad team. It eases him into it and gives him some more confidence. I’m still a little concerned about the multiple starting lineups. I’m still a little afraid that too many weapons means too few minutes for too many guys. Maybe Tommy Heinsohn is on to something with this roster… maybe the key is to go way uptempo, sub guys out sooner, and just have rotating waves of players so no one gets too winded, but no one sits too long either.
That’s a radical shift in philosophy… and it’s tough to do when you rely so much on KG and Pierce… so it’s not something to go trying just yet. But it’s an interesting idea.
Well, a win is a win, and the Celtics needed a win. After a fast start, they got outscored in the final 3 quarters and barely held on. They also gave up another 30 point quarter, which is their 5th in 12 quarters played this season (3 of them came against Miami), so they clearly need work.
I’m trying not to sound like a broken record, but the mantra here is time and effort.