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Recap: Listless Celtics drop their 4th straight

Chuck - Red's Army January 2, 2013 Avery Bradley, Celtics News, Gametime, Recaps 36 Comments

From my game preview:

This has to be a circle-the-wagons game. The C’s are coming off an embarrassment of a road trip. The Garden will be buzzing thanks to the long-awaited return of AB. The energy level will be high. I don’t know how they are going to do it, I just know they are going to do it. Celtic pride will be restored… at least for a day.

Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong.

Except for a 4 minute stretch late 1st/early 2nd quarter and a 4 minute stretch midway through the 4th quarter, the Celtics played like a bunch of guys more interested in napping than balling. The result was a 93-83 victory for the Grizzlies.

Avery Bradley had 4 points (2-6 FG) and 1 steal in 20 minutes in his season debut. He was a -12. The highlight of his game came early in the first quarter when Rajon Rondo (11 points, 10 assists) fed him on a backdoor cut to the basket. Bradley’s on the ball defense was solid. Too bad it had little impact on the game.

The Green:

Paul Pierce had 12 points on 4-6 shooting in the 1st quarter.

Doc Rivers might finally be fed up with the inconsistent play of Jeff Green (10 points, 4-5 FG) and Courtney Lee (8 points, 3-4 FG). Green logged just 15 minutes, while Lee played 12. Ironically, they played rather efficiently.

The Gross:

Pierce had 5 points on 2-8 shooting in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters.

Mike Conley and Tony Allen combined for 38 points on 14-23 shooting.

The Celtics cut an 18 point lead down to 6 with 4 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, but… the comeback was thwarted by awful shot selection (what was Rondo thinking with those three pointers?) and two missed FTs by Kevin Garnett.

Greenlights:

Rajon Rondo’s upfake gets Tony Allen to fly by

The Grid:

  • Darrell Arthur was 0-for-13 from 3 over the past 4 years. He was 2-3 tonight.
  • Jared Sullinger was 1-6 with 6 fouls, yet somehow he managed a team high +10.
  • Boston outscored Memphis 38-34 in the paint.

Box score

Go ahead, push it.

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  • CPUFC

    FIRE DOC

    • Kash

      You’re an idiot.

    • Hipposaurus

      Yeah, can someone please show CPUFC the door?

    • LAF

      well, let’s be honest here. doc’s rotation has been horrible and he still hasn’t figured out what to do with all his players. tommy said it best tonight. in the old days, when your guy beats you for an offensive rebound and scores just because you were too lazy to put a body on him, you’d find yourself on the bench! alas, brandon bass played on and on and on because i think doc wants to sleep with his sister or something. i really can’t think of any other reason why he’s given so much PT despite looking quite a lot like mark blount out there. maybe doc’s showcasing him? well, it ain’t helping his trade value…

    • Vince

      Ok, maybe a bit much but let´s just say that Doc is at the bottom for coach of the year so far…..

  • Double P

    This team needs size. Rim defense, rebounding, and easier buckets. We sit around a take jumpers, such a soft team now. We need size and toughness.. Gortat?

    • kobe

      Gortat? when did toughness becomes synonymous with Gortat?

  • KWAPT

    Doc said it best “when we cut the lead to 8 pts in the 4th, we rushed shots..looked like a young team, not a veteran team..” No poise…no patience.

    • Brick James

      And by ‘we’, he means Rondo.

  • Quest

    Tommy’s comment..when there is a break down in locker room… cliques form and work against another…. make u wonder doesn’t it at the depth of the problems.
    Doc frustration showing… in timeout yelling he’s tired telling them they need more energy & move the ball.

    There is some serious problems with this team…no excuses to cover up this mess.Raptors play with more passion and energy. Maybe we can beat them.
    Yikes 2 tough teams coming up. PP and KG playing too many min need rest to be effective.

  • Cliff

    This team needed this loss so they can finally stop lying to themselves. Now that Bradley is back, it’s time for them to stop waiting for an exterior solution to their problems and begin to look inward. It’s on them to play better and to win games.

    A lot of people made fun of Celtics fans for expecting Bradley to be the “Savior” but I think the players themselves were expecting everything to be made right by him coming back.

    Long past time for them to adopt a last stand mentality. This is who they have. No reinforcements are coming. Any trade that happens won’t be done with this year in mind but rather to help the rebuilding process. If they want to win, they have to do it for themselves.

  • RedsLoveChild

    This is now out of Ainge`s hands….ownership {Wyc} now has to make a very hard decision.

    1} Order Ainge to trade away young players for a “quick fix”…..This might get them into the playoffs for one round, plus it will keep the fans engaged and attendance/profits high.

    2} Order Ainge to rebuild now…..They`ll keep the youngsters, trade away expensive vets for draft picks/other young players. This will turn off many fans.

    Right now…it`s safe to expect them to be 10 games under .500 by the All-Star Game.

    • Vince

      The only problem is what we want to trade away has little value right now and if we want to rebuild, we need to get rid of veterans and their salaries and that isn´t going to happen, is it?

      • RedsLoveChild

        Suppose….Pierce to LAC, KG to CHI?

        No chance these title contending teams {when Rose returns} might feel PP or KG could put them over the top?

        Both have ties to those cities, two future hall of famers, neither one is 100% wash-up yet.

  • Sam

    Look at the schedule. They might not win until they play the Bobcats on the 14th.

    If they don’t turn things around really quickly they could make it really difficult for themselves to even make the playoffs.

  • http://www.greenheadzblog.blogspot.com ChiefGreenHeadz

    Listless is right. Napping is, too. There are some decisions that I believe Doc needs to make, more than anyone else, about who is going to make the rotation for this team. I think he’s starting to play the “desire” guys over the “talent” guys. This should take care of winnable games in the short run and hopefully be the catalyst for the long run with the underachievers finally understanding that no minutes are guaranteed. But, Cliff, I am thinking that the players in the locker room already knew that Bradley wasn’t going to be the savior. He’s one man and basketball is a team game. I am one of the folks you spoke about (see my post on http://www.greenheadzblog.blogspot.com about Bradley), but I’m not making fun of anyone. Even the great Michael Jordan couldn’t win it by himself. He needed committed players who bought into the system Chicago was running. The Celtics need the same kind of commitment. I think they’re going to get it with the starting 5 and Sully and maybe even Barbosa and one or two others.

  • Sean

    The big 3 & bradley should stay everyone else should be fair game, none of them have been consistent this year.

  • Danno

    Bass, green, lee, Terry, and Rondo, YES Rondo, need to be moved.

    Bass, lee and green cant be moved until January 15th because of the new CBA.

    Of them, I’d only want to keep Rondi because of his experience level, but he is quickly becoming the same attitude black hole he was last year.

    • Vince

      I agree, we should be able to get some kind of a big guy at center for Bass and Green and Lee or a combo of some of these and some picks. I don´t see us improving this season without adding some more rebounding and that person has to be able to score close to 10 points a game.

  • brian

    Rondo is hurt he is at 50% probably. A very only played 20 mins but the d was much better tonight. It was the offense not the defense that lost this games. How many jumpers did the cs miss that menphis tonight? When you lose to Memphis by 9 thats a step in the right direction. Remember this is a team that lost to the kings by what 18? When avery shakes off the rust we will be okay.

  • FatzfromSC

    Let’s be honest. All this trade talk. Forget about it. Who we trading? Who we got that somebody else would want that we wouldnt mind to let go? To be honest i think we keep everybody. Bring Melo in. Starting five should be RR,AB,PP,JS and KG. Off the bench we come with Barbosa,Terry,Lee,Bass,& Green. Melo be used to sub for KG mostly. I know Green at the five sound crazy but what centers are there in east.

  • Quest

    Tony Alllen’s post gme statement that the Celtics are missing a lot of pieces says it all.
    Can a mid season trade fix it for the remainder of the season for a playoff run??? Like what’s out there worth the gamble?

  • Reggie35RIP

    What the fuck was up with Sully on Gasol? I know we’re thin at the middle, but that’s stupid. We got off lucky because they weren’t able to exploit it and Gasol had a fairly quiet game. Collins was doing a decent job on him. I’m bummed Wilcox is still injured. We were playing better when he was coming off the bench.

    KG was just off tonight. Can’t remember the last time I saw him miss two freethrows in a row.

    Looks like Lee is the odd man out now in the rotation with Bradley back. Which isn’t too disappointing. Jet’s playing better at the moment and at least he can occasionally nail the open three. He has to get more consistent though.

    Bass is going backwards. What the hell was with that fast break play where he tried to dribble the ball through his legs from behind? Newsflash Bass, you can’t dribble to save your life. Every time you try you lose the ball. He’s turned into a spot up shooter that is getting out hustled on the boards by a rookie.

    Lone bright spot. Bradley looked good when he was on the court. They’re obviously monitoring his minutes at the moment. But it will be good once he’s at full strength again.

    They need to pick up the intensity and stop playing like a bunch of prima donnas.

  • Reggie35RIP

    Also yeh Rondo’s 3s in crunch time were disgusting. Seriously you’ve got PP and Jet on your team. Who do you think should be popping 3s with a chance to get back into the game? Fair enough the second one was with the shotclock running down, but I still think there were six seconds left. Drive at least…

    The “play-making”, or lack thereof, was abysmal in the 4th after that mini-run. Lots of dribbling and passing around the perimeter and jumpshooting. Don’t we drive to the bucket anymore? Mostly chucking up get-out-of-jail-free 3s and not much else.

    Also I think Lee is superstitious or something. No headband tonight. Turning over a new leaf? I hope so.

    On the plus side the defense looked better in stretches. Rotations were quicker and didn’t get messed up even on some helter skelter plays. But again, need to get more consistent.

    Pretty hard to watch at the moment.

  • CPUFC

    Doc needs to go

  • Caterpillar from Italy

    I don’t see Rondo in the gross. Weird.

  • Caterpillar from Italy

    KG is fading away before our eyes, that’s the truth.
    Since the beginning of the season, pretty much everybody scored on him, he can’t defend anymore like he used to and sometimes turns ice cold even on offense.
    And as he fades away, the Celtics fade away, simple as that.
    Pierce looks like he’s been left alone out there, and he’s shooting the last he can shoot, desperately trying to carry on the team.
    Rondo is NOT the leader somebody is trying to make him appear, yesterday it was another clear indication of that. And if you try to read game stats too much (11pts, 10 ast) you would forget the TO’s, the ugly shooting, the circus passes and all the weird sensation that he’s playing a game of his own.

    Time to rebuild, no question,trade whoever you have to trade and try to get real talent and fresh legs: go after Irving, or Rubio, or Cousins, or whoever can make a real impact on this team.

  • W2.

    KG’s defensive numbers remain elite. To suggest he is fading away is an over statement. I am convinced KG’s value to other teams is very high. However, both he and Paul should require a lighter scoring load, but none of Jet, Rondo, Lee, or Green have been able to contribute consistently to lighten that burden. Ainge envisioned a lightning quick scoring 2nd unit……sadly, the ball movement is limited and this has not materialized. We are what we are, until the team gels or there is some stroke of magic in the form of a trade. This is exactly where we were a year ago. Ainge will kick the tires on a variety of scenarios.

  • NateB

    We’ll know by the end of the month whether Danny’s going to make a major in-season trade. We’ve been here before in seasons past, but it feels different this time. If they play below .500 in their January games, you can count on a significant trade, as it will be clear that the current team’s ceiling is the 7th or 8th seed, and that they could very well miss the playoffs. It’s hard for me to envision them performing well enough to avoid the trade, but I still have a bit of hope.

  • Goku

    KG and PP are still efficient both on defence and scoring, but they should have more time take a break in order to keep being efficient. DOC therefore,should give Green,Bass and the others more time on the ground. I believe they can make a difference, DOC need to have a leap of faith,trust them and use them.

  • Elliot

    Never thought I’d see the day people are saying Doc should be fired! The team have said it, the issue is trust/chemistry. How is firing the coach and introducing a whole new gameplan a third of the way through the season going to help??

    Being realistic, we’re going to make the playoffs, and hopefully make a good run. That was always the plan, and hopefully by then the chemistry issues are going to be resolved, at least somewhat.

    Firing one of the best coaches in the league or trading away players at the detriment of the team’s future so we can win NOW isn’t a good plan. If Danny can pull off a trade that’s going to improve the team, I’m all for it, but ‘panic trading’ isn’t the way to go. I’m all for helping KG and PP have another shot at the title while the window is still open, but we have to just stick with it for now.

    As someone above said, going from losing to the Kings by 18 to losing to the Grizzlies by 9 isn’t that bad. I’m playing the patience card.

  • coachaj

    after watching bagley, anderson, brown, barros, and others bring the ball up the floor in green, no way would I surrender the new backcourt of RR/AB…..they are going to be a true joy, but patience is needed, and a different look at the current rotation/principles. That falls on the coaching staff, Doc will figure it out.

  • CPUFC

    Why not show Doc the door? He has fumbled opportunity after opportunity with this team right back to when Judas shot 0-13 in the 2010 NBA Finals and left a former All Star and NBA champion Michael Finley on the bench. He has a propensity to run the starting 5 into the ground and not rotate his players. What kind of a stupid move is it sending Fab Melo off to the D League when this team desperately needs size and start a bum like Jason Collins? Doc’s response? ”He isn’t ready yet”. Any player who can get a triple double in the D League is ready in my book. Not giving a run and gun player like Barbosa enough minutes. They paid 36 mil for an unproven Jeff Green and let a proven defender like Greg Steimsma go. A guy like Kendrick Perkins works his guts out to get back in shape and once he does they drop him. If that wasn’t the definition of Celtic Pride, I don’t know what is. KP at least deserved another shot at a title. This coach ain’t winning games, and any player on this roster after 4 losses is fair game. Meaning if the trend continues, any player who is able should be considered trade bait.

  • thetitleisours

    Very few guys left who play defense and get blood on their jersey. Most are gone for soft scorers.

    The team went away from their defensive philosophy and now it is hitting them. I am sure Perk would have taken JGreen money. Sad

  • Gil305

    I love Tommy. As soon as Terry came in for AB and Conley started going off he had a long pause and said “….what a different a day makes” LOL

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