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Recap: Celtics earn a frustrating win over Phoenix

Nick Sannicandro January 9, 2013 Recaps 61 Comments

The Celtics are an incredibly frustrating team to watch at times, and they did nothing to wash themselves of that image despite a eight point victory over the Phoenix Suns tonight. The Celtics held large double digit leads on the Suns on multiple occasions, only to blow both back down to single digits, or giving up the lead entirely. The Celtics held a 12 point lead at halftime, only to come out of the half and get outscored, out rebounded, and out hustled by the Suns in the third all by significant amounts. Thankfully, a slightly better fourth quarter was enough for the Celtics to take a home victory against a 12-25 team who are losers of four straight….

The Good:

Jeff Green-Green had one of his Dr. Jekyll games tonight. Unfortunately Mr. Hyde shows up more often than Jekyll thus far. He was aggressive on both ends of the floor. He was 5-9 for 14 points had a block and a steal  heck he even grabbed three rebounds! Oh thats right, a 6’9” long limbed forward  averaging 3 rebounds a game isn’t what we would call great  but heck if he can give them the defense and offense he did tonight I’ll take it.

Jared Sullinger- The best game of his young career. Sullinger had a double double 16 rebounds 12 points. He was very good in the paint on both ends of the floor, very nice to see especially given that interior defenders are the only thing that the Suns really have any of.

The Gross:

Celtics Killer Instinct –  Put bluntly, there is none . When the Celtics face an inferior opponent that we all expect to get blown out of the water, the Celtics play down to their competition and allow the game to stay tight, preventing their starters from getting much needed rest.  When the Celtics build double digit leads at the half, instead of putting the game out of reach for the start of the fourth, they lose their lead and have to play their key players until the two minute mark remaining in the fourth.  The Celtics just flat out don’t put their foot on the throat of inferior teams, its kind of like a lion that has ripped the legs off a Gazelle, but plays around with it as it slowly kicks the bucket…we all know the Gazelle is going to croak why not just get it over with, stop letting it suffer.  The Boston Celtics are a lion that plays with its food.

Greenlights:

Jeff Green Dunk on Jermaine O’Neal

Avery Bradley to Jeff Green alley oop

The Grid:

The Celtics shot 3-14 from three tonight but 45% from the field while holding the Suns to 39%

Jared Sullinger lead the team in minutes played with 34, Bradley played only 18

Celtics were out-rebounded 47-42 and gave up 19 offensive rebounds

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

    Sullinger’s coming out party.

    Congrats also to Jeff Green!

  • trevor

    I’m not sure I’d trade Sully straight up for Cousins now, seriously

    • Jester00

      You are nuts

    • RedsLoveChild

      Damn straight!

      Sully was the 21st pick…if they were to redo that draft today, he`d easily be a top 5 pick.

      He`s grabbing a board every 3.3 minutes {KG at 4.2}

      • Jester00

        As I called on draft night the steal of the draft

      • KGino

        Just to make sure you see this PlasticLoveChild.

        Everything you post is hearsay and opinion, not fact.. so don’t act like it is.

        To say the Celts won’t make the playoffs is far more radical than saying they will.. while its not agiven, it might as well be. I’d bet my life against yours that they make the playoffs this year.

        To say watching Pierce is “one of the saddest sights in sports history” is a DRASTIC OVERSTATEMENT. I don’t care if he has a bad game here and there, but he certainly hasn’t warranted that description. So you’re absolutely wrong for saying that.

        “They won’t win a championship this year” — Guess you can predict the future. But where I come from, if you’re a top 2 team in a conference, you have pretty damn good chance of winning a championship. The WIZARDS are DEAD, by your definition. But to say it’s impossible for the Celts to win a ring this year.. is stupid. You wanna bring up “what if” injuries? What if Lebron gets injured?

        Stop coming on here and proclaiming the Celtics have NO CHANCE of winning a banner this year, us ACTUAL fans don’t want to hear that, because we still have faith that it is possible!!

    • sev

      i prob would but I certainly wouldn’t add more quality players to the trade(I know they couldn’t straight up because of salary) because Sullinger’s stock is rising fast. The kings wish danny would trade sullinger, bradley, melo and a 1st round pick for Cousins and if the kings didn’t want to do that trade then they have no clue and need to hire a new GM. Of course I would think Danny would be crazy to do that regardless of Cousin’s potential. Danny and Doc love Bradley and Sullinger and I think they realize it would be way too risky to throw them both in, never mind including Fab and a 1st round pick. If we did that we would be throwing all our eggs in one basket. Bradley and Sullinger(possibly Fab as well) are our future even more so than Rondo because they are much younger(22&20) and are already proving to be very valuable. One of the biggest factors is also the fact that rivers and danny love the mental makeup of these players and it seems obvious to even us celtics fans that if they are producing at such young ages, that they will only continue to push themselves to be the best they can. They don’t seem like the type of players that will take their foot off the gas once they get a big pay day. It also helps that they have hall of famers with exceptional work ethics that they can emulate. If Sullinger was on the Kings he would put up just as good of numbers as Cousins by his 3rd year. Give sully 34-36 min a game on a bad team(look what he’s doing with 19mpg) and IMO he could def duplicate Cousins numbers. I’m sure Danny is tempted to give up one of those two, but there is no way he would give both away plus the speculation of Fab and a 1st round pick. Doc just said Sully isn’t going anywhere and I Know everybody thinks just as highly of Bradley, unless they have a feeling he will have future shoulder injuries and I guess the same could apply to Sully’s back. This team has the perfect blend of Vets, guys in their prime, talented young guys, and a very deep bench. I don’t think they will make any major trade at all because I also think they have faith that Wilcox can play once he gets going….between easy buckets with Rondo and the fact that he can rebound. That leaves 3 players that can rebound well(KG, Sully, Wilcox) and even brandon bass when he is inspired. This team will only succeed if they go balls to the wall the sec they’re on the court and as soon as they get tired, sub in another quality player….that’s the only way a 10 + player bench can be useful. They need to wear these other teams down and I’m not surprised that it is taking a little time for them to get chemistry on the court(by all accounts they are a very coachable group that gets along in the locker room ). I also hope Jeff can gain more confidence(you have heart surgery and you may feel reluctant to go as hard as you can) and play up to his potential….i know I had a lot of confidence in Green’s abilities and didn’t have that much of a problem with his contract. He seems to be one of those guys that needs a lot of minutes to feel comfortable playing his game.

  • Round mound of sullinger

    Relax.. Remember where this team was 10 days ago..

  • Willow Green

    Rajon Rondo needs to watch the game film. He killed the pace whenever he entered the game. We need more ball rotation rather than one pass assist.

    Sully played great! Jeff gets his dunk on but leaves his 3pt shooting. Hope to see those together. Jason Terry and C leewas great too. AB’s shota finally starting to fall!

    I love that bass is attacking the rim. It gives him more inside presence. But KG needs to teach him how to set picks.

    Lots of optimism for this group. When Wilcox gets back, i hope never to see jason collins again lol

    • KGino

      Yes, I noticed that with rondo too.. Avery is making him look bad out there

      • wil reyes

        Thats not the Rondo from last year that kept the C’s alive. Some really needs to bark on his ear. C’s need to challenge him to be better.

        He came half assed today.

        • Larry Legend

          You guys are absolutely right. Don’t know what his plus/minus was but the Celtics played much better with rondo on the bench. It wasn’t even close. Rondo bogging this team down right now. Guy just dribbled forever and is no threat to shoot. Oh and now he gets technicals from the bench. Seriously this dude has some issues.

          • LAF

            y’all are all bunch o haters.

            RONDO IS A BEAST! MVP! MVP! MVP!

          • KGino

            Laf, idk who thinks rondo is an MVP, or even a candidate.. Have people been saying that to you? If they are, they’re blind.

            I’ll tell you right now, if I was Danny I’d trade rondo before Bradley. You’d get more in return for rondo, yet Bradley has a bigger impact on team winning right now, that’s for sure.

          • wil reyes

            Doc’s 100% trust on rondo running the offense is to blame. Give it 1-2 more weeks before Rondo starts running the show again.

            They should fall into place when calling for plays. They just take so much time to set it up.

            Rondo is still my favorite player. But he should watch more film of himself, he should work on his mistakes and improve himself

  • stephanie

    This was a game for the bench. We know that there’s going to be nights when the starters don’t show up.

    You can see the trust building. Doc left the 2nd unit in for extended mins because they were playing better than the some of the starters.

  • Mines

    Trade Rondo and some draft pics for Cousins and Evans and whoever to make the salaries match. Start Bradley at the point and Evans at 2.

    • KY Celts fan

      Yuck. Evans is awful, and he and Cousins work terrible together.

    • The KG

      Go to hell!

  • Quest

    Rondo sets the pace as he has the ball the majority of the time. The game flowed better when he was absent. Rondo needs to adjust his play.

    • wil reyes

      yeah, Doc needs to put rondo’s play in the right track. Its not 100% Rondo’s fault.

      He should be coached to play the right way.

  • Eddie Allen Powe

    Jermaine looked fresh out there, after the 2 year paid vacation in Boston

    • http://Hotnewhiphop.com/abwon Abwon

      LMFAAAAOOOOO

  • UhOh!!

    Stfu about trades especially for Cousins.. he’s not going anywhere!! the Kings are being sold i highly doubt their best player will get traded. The Cs are trending up it’ll be stupid to add a volatile piece & risk messing up the growing chemistry & trust….

    • SF Celts Fan

      You stfu! Seattle might be excited about having a new franchise player that we can provide them.

  • The KG

    Pierce and KG only played 23 and 29 minutes respectively. So they rested well enough, Im OK with this.

  • Jester00

    D west is out there why not give him a shot

    • p funk

      Hell yeah, always loved delontes game. Kids a little crazy but thats not always a bad thing

      • Jester00

        Word

      • The KG

        Could not agree more. He’s a lot less headache than Cousins. LOL.

    • KGino

      Love d west, kids fearless. I wouldn’t mind him coming back some can rock his jersey again haha

      • KGino

        So I* can rock his jersey

  • The KG

    I’d like to see more of Barbosa, but i think Doc has a planned coming out party for him. Just like Tayshaun Prince when they won the Finals in Detroit last 2004. He’s going to get his playing time in due time. He’s nt complaining because doc has an assignment for him.

    • Ant

      There’s no reason why Barbosa should be getting constant DNPs… He is a legit ball player and appears to have a great attitude out there depite riding hard pine… I just don’t get it and think it’s ridiculous! I’m ecstatic that Avery is back and he makes such a huge difference that Barbosa’s minutes are even less of a concern now, however he needs to get minutes. He gets buckets and works hard on D. I believe he’ll be valuable come playoff time if he gets comfortable in the rotation… #lethimloose

      • KGino

        I was calling to put him in for jet all night. The blur would have killed it tonight, we were getting to the bucket easily and he’s very good at getting to the rim.

      • sev

        he can def ball, but with a crowded back court it makes things difficult. However, if Terry is struggling, I wouldn’t mind seeing them alternate big minutes depending on the game and match-ups. I also think that if Paul needs a rest or if Green isn’t playing tough, Lee could match up against SOME sf’s and even if he’s a little shorter, we will still have a mis match on the other end of the court….this would allow more of our guards to get playing time.

      • The KG

        I agree, but I still believe Barbosa is a secret weapon that will come out in the playoffs. We can’t have opposing teams dissect the whole team this early into the season. Remember what Doc said at the beginning of the season. He said something like “each of the players have roles and they should perform their roles because everything will pan out as planned, so they should not complain about playing time just yet.”

        The standings are pretty close right now in the EC, but look closely at the 8th and 9th seed, its a 4-game difference, so I think Boston is clawing slowly and extending it’s lead over the 9th seed. The Jet, Lee and Barbosa could be pretty much the big three of the second unit come playoff time.
        (Jet Lee — I think Boston’s kung fu is good)

        Boston beat ATL and NYK, and this could be the sign that they’re starting to tell us, GRIT and BALLS ain’t dead yet!!!

  • http://www.muvdigital.com Ben

    Nick, why are you being such a sour dumpling? None of the starters played over 31 minutes. I agree that they had no energy in the 3rd quarter, but a win is a win no need to hate

    • SamR

      Seriously. A week ago this team looked dead, now they’ve won 4 in a row against 3 quality opponents and the bench showed up big time in this one.

  • KWAPT

    So awesome tonight to see Jeff and Sully shine. Green’s dunks woke that building (and team) up tonight. Can’t beat watching Green having a fantastic game with 3 loud dunks on the 1 year anniversary of his heart surgery. Awesome. And Sully is just so smart. This kid is a natural who simply knows the game and gets the most out of every minute he’s on the floor. And he’s only going to get better. Celtics win, Laker lose. All is right in the world.

    • KGino

      Hallelujah!

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

    I actually loved this win. The C’s really could have fallen into the trap and they leapt right over it — even with the starters having less than productive offensive nights. I talk more about it on my blog post, which you can read by clicking my name, but this was a character builder for the bench. And I agree with Uh Oh! (also touched upon in my previous blog post)…let’s put this trade stuff to bed and start appreciating what the C’s are doing right now.

    • eddysamson

      dude just stop with the blog thing

      • LAF

        no shame. absolutely none. i feel for his neighbors…and friends if he’s got any.

    • Reggie35RIP

      ***NEWSFLASH***
      No one gives a shit about your shitty blog.

  • stephanie

    There are going to be nights when the starters are off and the bench will have to pull their weight.

    Tonight was that test and I’m glad they passed it. This gives the team confidence and trust in one another. I’m not mad at this win at all, it was perfect for the bench.

    • SF Celts Fan

      This game was not a test for the Celtics. The Suns are a joke. The only test was giving the suns a look at what they can have in exchange for gortat.

      • Stephanie

        It was a test for an underwhelming bench. They carried the team when the starters weren’t getting it done. So yeah, it was a test for them.

  • Classless

    I hope Sully supplants Bass. They need him to be good and i was pleased to see his performance tonight.

    • LAF

      +1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

    • KGino

      He probably will be our starting PF by the end of the all star break, unless Doc likes his presence off the bench and thinks that’s best for the team.

    • wil reyes

      Sully already has surpassed Bass. but i dont think starting him will be a good idea.

      Sully sets better picks for Jet than Bass does.

      Bass on the 2nd line up is very bad.

      Sully is the next best big man we got next to KG, but he is the energy that will keep the 2nd unit afloat

  • KGino

    They are exactly like a lion that plays with their food, but just 10 days ago they were the gazelle getting eaten.

    Idk about you guys, but I’m just happy to be the lion again lol.

    Even if its frustrating for you, always remember that they play up to their competition as much as they play down to it.

  • SF Celts Fan

    How did melo only get one game! Took the league forever to announce it. This winning streak feels like its been going on for ages — so weird. As much as I like it, I feel like we need to make moves. This team is not sustainable in its current form.

    • The KG

      So who do you have in mind? I think what the Celtics need is consistency night-in and night-out. Look where the Lakers are right now. They got rid of Mike B for Mike d. They’re still in the same mess they were when Mike B was around.

      Cousins won’t be a good fit for Boston because he’s got issues. Some may say he is, but he might destroy the team’s chemistry with his attitude.

      • NateB

        Agreed – Cousins gives every indication of never being able to “get it” and be a key cog for a winning team; his talent is tantalizing, but Cs need to pass on him. Good Jeff Green plus good Jason Terry equals Celtics victory.

    • eddysamson

      At this point I dont think we need to do any trades. Come post season time I bet Melo is ready to be our low-minutes big that we need every now and then.

  • Andy

    Why are we complaining about losses? Lets take a moment and think back to two weeks ago.

    • Andy

      sorry, meant to say wins

      • KGino

        That’s what I said, this game wasn’t frustrating for me at all!!!

        I’m just grateful to have my Cs back and winning, even if RedsArmy is disappointed/frustrated there was no Gino sighting against a crappy team.

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