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Your Morning Dump… Where Lee & Green need to step up

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) December 17, 2012 The Morning Dump 14 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.

The past two games are perfect examples. Pierce was a combined 12-for-31 shooting, including a loss at Houston, and Garnett was not active offensively because of fatigue. He attempted just 25 shots in the two games, scoring 14 and 13 points.

This was a perfect opportunity for Jeff Green and Courtney Lee to respond with good offensive games, but neither did. Lee started both and scored 19 total points in 57 minutes. Green scored 19 total points in 56 minutes.

Team president of basketball operations Danny Ainge signed the duo to four-year contracts for the purpose of them eventually taking over for Pierce and Garnett, and providing relief when the duo is unable to carry the scoring load.

The Celtics got considerably younger in the offseason, but they have yet to determine whether it’s better. Lee and Green are simply blending into their complementary roles, but they need to seize the opportunity for more offensive chances.

Globe: Celtics need everyone to contribute or the season could be lost 

I am going to challenge the line about  them being signed to replace Garnett and Pierce eventually.  That’s too over-simplified because they both have contracts that stretch beyond KG and Pierce.  That might be the idea for Green, but I’m not sure Lee was ever going to be a featured scorer like that.

There are certain aspects of this piece, which is a scathing assessment of Lee and Green… Lee especially.  And both deserve their share of the blame for the slow start.  Lee is supposed to be shooting better than 28.6% from 3.  His true shooting percentage is at a career low .513.  His turnover rate is almost twice what it was last year.  His offensive rating… which always covered between 106-108 stands at 92 right now.

Green has been inconsistent and too passive, too often.  He did, however, have a nice stretch recently where he showed signs of a turnaround… only to take steps back in Texas.

I don’t want to overstate the importance of Avery Bradley’s return or drive the idea into the ground, but it does, at the very least, change Courtney Lee’s role.  And if Bradley’s return has a positive impact on that, then it will be doubly great to have him back.  And if the Celtics determine Lee is broken, then he becomes a solid trade chip.

I’d like to think Lee is good enough to work through whatever he’s going through.  He’s still a good defensive player, and he still hustles.  I love his attitude when it comes to basketball.  Hell, I’ll just sum it up by saying I love everything ab0ut the guy except when he’s on the floor and the Celtics have possession.

That’s pretty important.

Green… that’s a more difficult story.  When you hear him say he “lost everything” after his heart surgery and he’s built himself back into at least this level of NBA player… that’s impressive.  He’s been more aggressive lately than he has in the past, so you’d think that he might be getting it.  With Green, it’s just a matter of time, and whether he can mentally find it every night.

And finally, a word for Doc, who MIGHT be doing this rest thing the wrong way.  Guys are getting days off  from practice and they’re expected to turn it on for games.  The rest in between games is meant to get the guys the best of both worlds.  But Doc said after San Antonio that the guys are fatigued.

Part of that was the double OT game and the travel.  But I have to wonder if there’s some cosmic connection between Doc’s comments about his team being out of shape, and the fact that they came in San Antonio… where the team was fined $250,000 for not playing too many stars in a nationally televised game against the Heat.

Should Doc be running these guys in practice, and then give KG and Pierce alternating games off from time to time?  Should Doc be getting these guys into prime cardiovascular condition in practices, then giving some guys a day off from the actual games to preserve their joints?

I know how daunting the idea of a game without KG might seem, but it might help to throw these guys into the deep end without the Pierce/KG lifeline every once in a while.  Maybe guys like Green and Lee will realize how important they are to the team’s success and they can channel that back into the games where the C’s are at full strength.

I’m not asking for a major overhaul of what the C’s are doing yet.  Despite the assertion that the season isn’t young, I refuse to panic about anything that’s happening in December.  You’ll notice… I’m staying quiet about the Lakers right now too.  I understand that the struggles now impact seeding later… but I’m not going to crow or freak out about anything at the moment.  It’s too soon.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston:  Back up engine for this JET 

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  • PakkAttackk

    Funny how people are blaming Green when he’s been playing his ass off as of late, ueah he’s had two mehhh games in a row but so did pretty much everyone else.
    How come no one writes about how much Bass has struggled? I hate when people write that Green needs to step up when Bass/Lee have struggled way more than a guy coming off heart surgery who’s just now starting to get his legs under him.

    • eddysamson

      Because Bass is part of the reason we took Miami to game 7. Also because he was killing it for the first 2-3 weeks of the season. Like you said, EVERYONE is playing bad.

      • PakkAttackk

        Yeah Bass helped get us to Game 7 vs Miami, what’s your point? That we should keep him forever no matter how much he underperforms? It’s stupid to keep a guy just because of his past credentials when he hasn’t done anything this season but underperform.
        Bass hasn’t killed anything this season. He’s had 3 good games all year, at Miami, at Chicago & at Orlando. Other than those games, he hasn’t done much.

  • Matt in Maine

    The defense has been pretty bad..everyone seems to notice this. What frustrates me is the offense, how bad it is most of the time and no one seems to be saying much of anything about it. Rondo, as much as I love the guy sometimes his play really gets on my nerves. I realize the guy is playing alot of minutes but the offense is so predictable. All they do is sit at the top of the 3 point line and pass the ball around, very little dribble penetration. Thats not hard for a team to guard. Then theres the shots he choses to take sometimes versus the WIDE open layups he will pass out of or turn over..this totally baffles me. Then there is the problem where he seemingly cannot stay in front of anyone on defense..my god I think I could burn him to the rim sometimes. This team is at their best when they are playing up tempo basketball and making the opposing team work on defense. I love this team and have for a lifetime but they are so hard to watch sometimes the way they have been playing. Lets hope DOC figures this out becasue I put it on him the way they are playing….he has all the talent in the world ont hsi team. He just has to figure out how to use it.

    • Celtic Geezer

      This is the most right on assessment of Rondo that I’ve seen from anyone commenting on this site other than me. Lol. He gets credit for making “all-defense” yet he can’t do the simple fundamental of staying in front of his man. He’s too upright and moves like an old lady when he moves side- to-side because of it. I’m sixty and I KNOW he wouldn’t stay in front of me. lol. He can’t ever seem to get in front of any pick. Plus, the type of point guard game he plays lends to a certain sameness from the offense because the pass always has to come from him at the three point area or the top of the key. It’s frustrating to watch this team. The whole team struggles with defense now. They all just need to stay with their man, fight through picks…in other words play like Avery on the outside and like KG and, believe it or not, like Brandon have been playing on the inside. It’s not rocket science, it’s hard work.

  • mojojojo

    What about Bass and Wilcox? You have a power forward who doesn’t like to post and you have a center who doesn’t like to grab rebounds

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

      There’s more than afew guys that need to play better. They’re a jump-shooting team that doesn’t play defense.

      • Matt in Maine

        You got it. It all comes down to effort. They will get it together I am sure of that. Its just painful to watch a team that is capable of being so good play so bad.

      • mojojojo

        I agree! Everyone sucks right now including Pierce. It kills me to say that because he’s my favorite!

    • eddysamson

      Dude Wilcox plays like 18 minutes a game and grabs like 3-4 rebounds in that time on average. (I think his rpg is actually 3 right now).

      His issue isnt his rebounding, its his defense. He doesnt defend like a true center.

      • Matt in Maine

        Well really he isnt a true center. He is a PF. Actually the only true center we have on the roster is Jason Collins..wow thats sad. I wish there was a way to get Gortat and move KG back to PF, that would be awesome.

        • eddysamson

          Well regardless, thats how they’re playing Wilcox so his unfamiliarity with the defense of that position seems to be his problem.

      • mojojojo

        Everyone’s problem is defense, including Doc. I hate that this article singles out Green and Lee, when everyone else has been less than stellar

  • Chris

    Only player that has been consistent is KG and as of late JET, and he’s hot for 3 games before sh**ting the bed for a week. Sad when the guy with the most mileage is the only one playing like the clock is ticking….and here’s a hint, THE CLOCK IS TICKING!!!

    This team doesn’t have the ability to flip the switch lime previous years. Lee and Green should be stepping up with the senior guys are having off nights and that’s not the case. If I was KG I’d be bull*hit that in the twilight of my career, these guys are skating through the season like its no big deal and we will give a damn when the playoffs start. Pierce is obviously hurt or lost 50% of his ability from pre-season to now. What’s gonna happen when we clinch a 7 or 8 seed and get CHI or MIA in the first round. Gonna be a slaughter. We need AB back pronto and get Sully in the starting lineup. At least he’s out there giving an effort when his number is called.