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Red's Army

Your Morning Dump… Where Courtney Lee just played basketball

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) November 16, 2012 Celtics News, The Morning Dump 5 Comments

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

“Courtney just came out and played,” said C’s coach Doc Rivers. “He didn’t think about if he was starting, or not starting, how many minutes, who’s playing. He played basketball tonight. When he does that, he’s a great basketball player.”

Kevin Garnett was among the Celtics who recognized Lee having one of his stronger performances as a Celtic.

And it could not have come on a better night with Rajon Rondo (right ankle) unable to play.

“With Rondo out, everybody had to pitch in and do different things tonight,” said Kevin Garnett. “Courtney played great tonight. His energy, and the fact that the was going from Joe (Johnson) to Deron (Williams) to whoever else had it going, I thought his energy was good tonight.”

CSNNE: Garnett: Lee played great tonight

I said in the game preview the either Lee or Leandro Barbosa would find room to score, and both did.  While Barbosa finished with 17, Lee hit 4 of 8 for 13 points.  But more impressive is his career high 9 rebounds:

“The defensive scheme that we were in, we were having one of the bigs show on Joe Johnson when he was posting up so it was leaving two bigs down low,” Lee said. “We had to come back and help the bigs because they helped us when we needed help. I was just trying to get in and get my hands dirty a little bit.”

I know the Celtics lost the game, but IF they gained a more confident Lee in a breakout performance, having Rondo sit out was worth it.  In the long-term, the Celtics need Lee to be productive more than they need a November win against the Nets.

One thing is clear, though… Lee is better off the ball.  That could cost him time if Leandro Barbosa continues to play well. The Celtics are going to need someone to bring the ball up when Rondo sits, and I’d rather it not be Avery Bradley upon his return.  It’s looking like the job will fall to Barbosa, or Jason Terry.

That will mean Lee has to earn his minutes in other ways.  One way is to figure out his shot and become a dead-eye from the corners.  The other is to do other things, like defend like crazy and maybe grab more rebounds.  Games like last night will do just fine.

Related links:  ESPN Boston: Shots falling for Lee

The rest of the links:

CSNNE:  Without Rondo, C’s fall to Nets  |  ESPN Boston:  Foul game worked for Nets  |  Just wasn’t meant to be  | Rapid reaction  |  WEEI:  Celtics have to figure out what they have with Jeff Green  |  Herald:  Ankle shelves Rondo  |  Nets get physical  |  Globe: Rondo misses game at Brooklyn  |  Minus Rondo, C’s lose

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  • Cameron

    Im REALLLLY liking what I’m seeing from the team as a whole.

    • mrchumpy

      I agree, I was greatly encouraged by last night’s game despite the loss.

      Did you see Courtney out there rebounding? He came flying in to grab several offensive boards he had no business grabbing.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Memo to DA/Rivers : Rebounding solves many problems!

    If you`re able to get second shots {sometimes third shots}…while consistently holding the opposition to one…guess which team will score more points over the course of 48 minutes!!

    “No rebounds, No rings”–Pat Riley

    “The object of the game is to get guys who will get you the ball”—Red Auerbach

  • 17rings

    Pretty sure Barbosa has secured his role as backup PG for the rest of the season.

  • Wels Catfish

    It was rather amazing how well we rebounded in the 2nd half following the first. It really helped having Paul and Courtney come in to help with it, but our bigs were just boxing out so well, too. Considering how well the defensive rebounding was going the first couple of games for us, maybe they just needed a wake up call? Hopefully we see that kind of effort more consistently. It pretty much was all that kept them in the game.

    I really felt that other than the 1st half rebounding woes, the defense really was working nicely for the most part. Very promising to see. Hard to be upset that we couldn’t win this in a situation where we didn’t have Rondo, who would have been picking apart this defense. KG was rolling to the basket over and over in situations where Rondo could have fed him the ball, but no one else evidently could make these passes.

    I’m still surprised that Sully isn’t making more of an impact out there, and don’t think we’ve figured out how to use Terry. Give the guy the ball, let him dribble around picks and shoot. He isn’t Ray Allen playing off the ball–that seems to be more of Lee’s game.