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Taking Stock: Celtics – Wizards

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) November 8, 2012 Celtics News, Taking Stock 23 Comments

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

Starters

Rajon Rondo:  Rack up another double-double for Rondo.  Among the really positives:  Rondo shot 3-4 from the line with the game hanging in the balance.  That’s a monumental step.  Also, his clutch baskets came in the form of jumpers.  I can appreciate the competitive juices that made him want to win the game with that iso at the end of regulation, but he’s not quite there yet.  Still, I don’t want to overlook the type of scoring he did in a close game, even if it did come against the Wizards.

Paul Pierce:   Part of what I love about Pierce is he can turn a tough, 2-12 shooting night into 15 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals.

Kevin Garnett:  Beast mode:  activated.  20 points, 13 rebounds, and once again carrying the team… especially early on.

Jared Sullinger:  Some struggles for Sully in this one.  That’s to be expected.  He only had 4 rebounds… but it’s actually good that we already think of 4 boards as “only”.  He’s setting some high expectations.  He didn’t see the floor at all in the 4th or OT, which shows Doc is still going to go with the vets he trusts in key situations.

Courtney Lee:  19 minutes for Lee as his struggles continue.  It’s not pretty for him right now.  I will continue to say that he’s a damn good player who will figure it out because that level of talent has to rise at some point.  Right now, though, it’s a struggle.

Bench

Jeff Green:  Still looking lost out there for way too long, but then he has a brief flash of brilliance.  Green right now is just like my golf game… I’m horrible for 8 holes, but then I’ll birdie and par back-to-back holes and think “oh man, I’m getting it.”  Then the last 8 are crap.

Brandon Bass:  Who gives a damn who starts if Bass is finishing like this?  The thing about this performance is he did some very un-Bass like things… like driving to the basket for clutch shots rather than rely on his jumper… or grab a pair of offensive rebounds to give the C’s 11 points and 7 boards off the bench.  You know what that?  Mental toughness.

Jason Terry: Every Boston fan’s reaction last night: http://youtu.be/xos2MnVxe-c … JET’S ALIVE!! HE’S ALIVE!!!

Chris Wilcox:  Four minutes that saved the game.  And that’s not hyperbole, either.  6 points, 2 rebounds and a block in the virtual blink of an eye.  It just goes to show that so many of the C’s problems can be fixed by someone just playing hard.

Leandro Barbosa:  He might be the only guy around secretly hoping Courtney Lee doesn’t figure it out.

Coaching

Doc Rivers:  He’s like a waiter trying to carry too many plates back to the kitchen.  This is a delicate balancing act.  We can focus all we want on whether the Celtics should or shouldn’t be struggling, but the fact is they are.  And during a game, Doc can only react to what’s actually happening, not what should be happening.

So while Courtney Lee should be making shots, he’s not.  So Doc went elsewhere.  While Jared Sullinger will probably become a much better defender, he’s not yet.  So Doc went elsewhere.   It’s almost like there are two “Doc Rivers” coaching this Celtics team:  one of them is the guy who’s trying to teach them where to be and how to play in practice, and the other that’s trying to win games with an entirely new team.  He made moves that won an NBA game last night, and that’s pretty important right now.

Overall

It’s time to be real about this team.  These struggles are real and they’re significant.  So instead of bemoaning the fact that they’re not living up to OUR expectations, it’s time for us to put those expectations aside and accept the reality before us:  This is a team that is in transition and there are guys who are struggling with their new roles.  This isn’t 2008, when we were spoiled by instant success.  This is 2012-13, and these are different players.

So as frustrating as last night’s struggles were, I’m choosing to accentuate the positive developments:  Rajon Rondo’s clutch jumpers and free throws are infinitely important to this team’s future success.  Kevin Garnett’s ability to carry this team defies logic.  Brandon Bass stepping up the way that he did is quite impressive.  And Chris Wilcox’s contribution in limited minutes was inspiring.

All those things make this ugly, frustrating win a positive one.

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  • http://twitter.com/dustdaughter Didi Jenning

    Thanks for staying positive.

  • Cameron

    Hey it could be worse, we could be the Lakers

  • screaming jay

    stir the stew…taste it….add some salt, add some pepper…stir and let ‘er cook some more. In time, its gonna be a real tasty meal.

    • screaming jay

      and…a watched pot never seems to boil.

      • Drew

        So stop watching?

    • KY Celts fan

      that’s the right attitude.

  • http://driveittothemoon.com/ Lee in Oregon

    I agree, the problems seem more serious than just the “new guys” thing. The fact is, the majority of the minutes are being played by Rondo, Pierce, & KG. Defensivly, the other team are shooting open jumpers and doing whatever they want. That dunk by Singleton near the end last night made me sick. Maybe because they’re trying to push the ball so much it’s throwing the guys off, or wearing them out, but the energy thing is bad. Doc has his work cut out for him this year. Courtney Lee needs to be benched if he has another outing like last night, maybe there’s a reason he’s been on so many teams already, but there’s no good reason he can’t run a guy off the 3-point line. I’m not sure we could beat the Laker’s right now.

    I should end on a positive note- Glen Davis came back to Earth last night and put up 4 points….

  • Willowgreen

    this game was alot better than the last one. Though it was almost the same.

    Better effort from Rondo. He had a very nice game, his shooting has really improved. BUT there were still times that we would pass up a lay up to give another guy a shot. And the other guy would miss or get blocked, might not even catch the ball.

    Chris Wilcox was a sight for sore eyes. He reminded me of last years team. I kinda miss that defense that locks the enemy up for shot clock violation.

    C’s got a better flow offensively, but still as inconsistent as their defense.PP didnt touch the ball as much, but defensively he initiated the Celtic lead.

    i knda feel sorry for the wiz, there were some plays the c’s shouldve been called for the foul lol

  • RedsLoveChild

    Celtics are being hurt by :

    –Pierce is finally in decline at age 35. He`s shooting 35% so far. The fact that he`s hitting his FT`s and has nailed a few 3-pointers has helped disguise the fact that he has slipped. Not saying he won`t turn in nice performances in the future, but they won`t be nearly as frequent.

    –Bradley`s defense, energy, and outside shooting are sorely missed…especially with PP shooting 35%.

    –Anyone still holding out hope that Jeff Green will ever be more than what he`s shown us…is in deep denial.

    –Someone has to remind Rivers that the “bigs” sitting on the bench just might help to….preserve KG`s body, make the Celtics less of a horrible rebounding team, and somewhat discourage the opposition from feeling free to do whatever they want in the paint.

    • Chulinho

      I agree with you about Pierce. His offense is slipping. But, he’s at least playing with good energy on the defensive end.

      I’m going to hold out on giving an opinion on Green for at least another couple of weeks. I will admit that am slightly concerned about him though.

      I’d like to see more Wilcox. His energy off the bench and KG’s defensive intensity after his technical saved the Celtics last night. However, I don’t want him to overexert himself just yet. I feel like Darko should be used in short spans, as you said, to “discourage” other teams from coming into the paint without enduring physical consequences.

      • RedsLoveChild

        If Ainge had shown Perkins the same “love” he has shown to Green…the Celtics would be in much better shape today.

        • Chulinho

          I understand what you mean.

          But 36 million to either Green or Perk is too much…

          Perkins hasn’t exactly performed as well in OKC these last couple of seasons as he did in Boston. Other than slimming down and improving his free throw shooting, he hasn’t done much.

          • RedsLoveChild

            I agree Perk is overpaid and generally overrated.

            But, if you had to give $36M to Perk or Green…giving it to Perk make more sense.

            Perk gave Boston it`s “defensive anchor” in the paint, along with KG. Now, KG is pretty much on his own back there, at age 36.

            Green? I`m not sure even DA knows what Green gives us!

        • Chulinho

          I don’t think anyone knows what Green gives us just yet. I think we all have ideas.

          Like I said, I’m going to wait at least a few more weeks before giving critical judgement on his play.

          I really hope that Bass, Wilcox, and JET’s energy off the bench will rub off on him and inspire his offense.

    • Drew

      You know, you might be right about Pierce. But I believe he’s just going through a slight shooting slump. He’ll be back.

      • RedsLoveChild

        Hope so.

      • NorthernGreen

        Remember last years start for PP. He had a slow start but finished the season strong. We thought he was out of shape but it may have been more mental.

        I see some suttle changes in the C’s game. They will come around and be O.K.!

  • Joseph

    I love taking stock, always look forward to it. Thanks for staying positive, we are definitely getting better with each and every game, and we will hopefully go far this year. We don’t lack talent…

  • Drew

    Wilcooooooooooooxxxxxxxx!!!!

  • Chulinho

    The first unit’s defense is fine. It’s when KG is on the bench and when the majority of the group of on the court are reserves that the defense really suffers.

    I hate the shots the C’s are taking. They’re mostly jump shots.

    I think the way they played in the second half was better. They got some easier shots and got to the free throw line.

  • JimmyG

    They WILL get it together. Basketball is premised on chemistry. We took Miami to 7 games last year because the team worked as a succinct unit in that series. This is almost an entirely new team so I’m not surprised we are seeing growing pains. L.A. is learning this lesson as well except they have a significantly worse coach and a cast of prima donnas. Once the offense gels in terms of everyone figuring out who shoots well from where, the team will look good. Our defense will be established once they all trust one another.

  • DJ Kahn

    Give it time. We are on our way. Banner 18. SOON.

  • jwill

    Gents,

    They have only played 4 games (ok two if them against the wizards) but still just 4 games not even 5% of the entire season. Nope, i don’t buy disaster, age, rotten Green’s or the defeat of Lee.
    its early -and let’s see what it looks like once they get 10-15-20 games into the season. Hell no team will will all 82.

    Chill and watch what we all want the C’s winning great basketball games.