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Red's Army

Your Morning Dump… Where the Celtics are back to playing mediocre basketball

Chuck - Red's Army January 19, 2013 Celtics News, Paul Pierce, The Morning Dump 29 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.

Pierce? He was a different story. You want someone to wear the goat horns in this one? He’s your guy. He was horrible all night from the floor (5-for-17), he was victimized like a callow rookie on arguably the biggest play of the game. It was a mistake a veteran such as Paul Pierce is not supposed to make. But he made it, pure and simple.

The Celtics led 88-86 with 12.1 seconds left. They had the ball in the Chicago end. What could be better? Rondo (a season-high 30 points) inbounded the ball to Pierce, who was immediately swarmed by Noah and Jimmy Butler. The Celtics knew the Bulls were going to try to force a turnover before fouling. Pierce somehow allowed himself to get tied up for a jump ball with the taller Noah, who won the tip.

You can say Rondo shouldn’t have made the pass — and he shouldn’t have. Jason Terry, for instance, was open in the backcourt. You can say Rondo should have called time before the tie-up (which it appeared he may have done.)

Pierce said he thought the call could have gone either way and noted that he came out of the trap with a busted lip.

“Definitely a huge play of the game,” he said. You think? “All we had to do was get the ball in,” he went on, “maybe in a better position where we can get fouled. Then we wouldn’t be talking about the loss right now.”

ESPN Boston

Despite Paul Pierce’s claim of a busted lip on the final play (scroll to the 1:45 mark for the replays of the trap), I didn’t think there was an obvious foul. However, the officials made two critical errors:

  1. They panicked and blew the whistle too soon. Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler did not have dual possession of the ball.
  2. They selected the wrong Bulls player to jump. The 6-7 Butler was much closer to tying up Pierce than the 6-11 Noah.

You can blame the officials (Eli Roe was brutal), Pierce (for an all-around awful game), Rondo (for passing into a trap but brilliant otherwise), Garnett (for missing 3 free throws in the 4th), Jeff Green (for not showing up) but the reality is… the Celtics didn’t make enough plays to deserve a win.

After six wins, we’re back in a two game funk of inconsistent, mediocre play.

Here’s one stat to chew on: Pierce is shooting 42%. This team won’t make a serious playoff run if he remains woefully inconsistent on offense. Jeff Green was supposed to pick up the slack. Green’s line from last night: 19 minutes, 2 points, 1-4 FG, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 0 steals.

Related: ESPN Boston – C’s left tied up by Bulls | CSNNE – Big plays go Bulls way

Amid this sea of negativity, I want to call attention to Jared Sullinger. He had 15 rebounds playing against a very tough, physical Bulls front line. Bob Ryan is giddy. He says the Celtics hit the jackpot.

The rest of the links:

Herald – Celtics miss chance, burned by Belinelli | Sullinger stands alone on boards | Necessity calls, Rondo answers | ESPN Boston – Noah sounds off on KG… again | KG appreciative of 15th all-star | Globe – Sullinger earns respect of Noah, Boozer | Bulls edge Celtics | CSNNE – No more denying Rondo’s improved shooter | Barbosa’s private struggles

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  • Alex

    Is anyone else starting to get fed up with Pierce’s boneheaded play as of late?

    This guy has became so painful to watch this season. He’ll have his moments but man, he either turns the ball over, miss a wide open 3, or worse of all, NOT HOLD THE DAMN BALL CLOSE TO HIS BODY AND THRASH AROUND SO THE REFS HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO CALL THE FOUL.

    I don’t even want to get started with his shot selection, either.

    Argh…

    • Quinn

      @Alex

      Pierce is clearly slowing down. But he puts no arch into the release of his shots. Pierce just chucks his shots and it’s frustrating to watch. Mike Green and Hubbie Brown pointed it out last night. Pierce is another who tends to play with no fire or effort.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Last 3 games : Pierce is 16-for-49 {.326%}

    Whether he`s bricking jump shots or getting stripped of the ball on drives…watching PP play is now excruciating.

    Even though Jeff Green plays as if he`s comatose, his critics might as well shut-up. Celtics don`t lose a thing when Green comes in for Pierce…both are shooting 42% this year.

    As harsh as it may sound, Ainge has to do something this. Pierce is most likely in his final days as a Celtic. So, take a good look at him.

    • Alex

      Hate to say it but I have a good feeling Ainge is looking to deal Pierce as well.

      I love Paul Pierce, seriously I do. I want to watch him retire as a Celtic as much as anybody in here. But man, he is incredibly inconsistent as of late. I understand people go through droughts in basketball, but I feel as if his magic touch is slowly disappearing right in front of our eyes.

      I’m sure he’ll have a great game coming up that will probably shut me up… but the thing is… I just don’t see Pierce being able to help this team win anymore. He’s as clutch as Kobe at this point (Kobe has been absolutely LOUSY these past couple seasons in clutch moments).

      Rondo has his tard moments in games but you can VISIBLY tell when Rondo isn’t trying. When Rondo isn’t even trying, he at least tries to get his teammates going. At least Rondo effects the offense and makes things happen. And he can finally make that mid-range shot and he only takes it when he is open, rather than contested shots that Pierce has been trying to make way too many times.

      When Pierce is not trying, he kills this team. He shoots way too many shots when he’s incredibly cold and he bricks most of them. Instead of trying to hit the paint while he’s cold to try to get to the FT line, he just keeps chunking shots. Don’t get me started on that Charlotte and New Orleans games where he just kept shooting three pointers as if he thinks he’s Ray Allen.

      Pierce… penetrate… take advantage of your All-Star profile and try to get the refs to put you at the FT line. Once you hit your FT shots and make some layups, you will be warm enough to make those midrange shots. If not, go back to step one, rinse and repeat. You have RAJON RONDO to help you in the offense.

      Oh… PLEASE NO MORE PAUL PIERCE ISO’S!!! OH GOD THE HUMANITY!

      • RedsLoveChild

        Pierce is washed-up, 35 year old former super-star.

        Every 10 games or so…Father Time will make an exception, and allow PP to turn in a good performance.

        What`s important now is for Ainge to find a taker/sucker for PP.

  • Quinn

    I don’t understand this ’13 roster? A team filled with veterans and they play such a poor brand of basketball. Fans can complain about the officiating, but the Celtics should not of been a position to let the refs decided the outcome. My jaw dropped when Rondo passed to Pierce, who’s been struggling all night, then Pierce puts himself in a corner with 2 defenders trapping.

    That was poor judgement on Rondo and Pierce. Also, why would Doc, put a shorter Terry on Marco instead of subbing in Green to put on Marco. Again I don’t understand what this team is doing. I see more wrong than right with this team. This season’s Celtics are so incosistent it get’s to point where it’s difficult to watch.

    They don’t can’t or choose not to rebound. Guys don’t box-out. Bass and Green look lost at times on defense especailly on the switch. When jumpers aren’t falling oddly they keep shooting instead of driving to the hoop. The small line-up doesn’t work especially against big front courts like the Hornets and Bulls. As currently constructed this team is not a championship contender. This roster needs tweaking the bench is unreliable and the team is too small. Until then the C’s will continue to struggle. Simple.

  • Alex

    Let me just say this, Ainge has quite a lot of time to see if this team needs a small shakeup.

    I truly believe we will see an entirely different team post-AllStar. It seems the veterans reserve their energy until the second half of the season so they have a very good flow going when they reach the playoffs. This is what happened last season and the Celtics were ONE GAME away from the NBA Finals.

    I truly believe this current team can make it far… but I’d have to watch how they play in the second half to determine whether or not the veterans believe that as well.

  • KGino

    They just blew a game where their two biggest scorers shot dreadful most of the night.. They easily made enough plays to win this game, they just blew it at the end.

    I wouldn’t call last night mediocre basketball. Rondo put on a clinic and the bulls are no mediocre team.. If they had just sealed the win with free throws this article would not have been written. Also, that was some of the poorest officiating of the season.. We easily could have won if we had made more free throws or been on the other side of some bogus calls.

    We hung with them on the boards and even out scored them in the paint. Truth is, if we play more games like this one with Avery back in the lineup, we’ll be absolutely fine. Still no doubt in my mind this team will finish a top 4 seed in the east (at least).

  • Roy Boy

    There was questionable calls, but calls should not of decided last night’s game. I dislike this team’s body language when things don’t go their way. It’s disappointing as a C’s fan to watch this team play. This doesn’t play with a sense of urgency or care. It’s like they don’t get the seriousness of their current situation.

    Right now they’re sitting in 8th place, but they’ve played as if they can take some games off. To consider yourself a contender u need to beat teams like the Hornets and Bulls. This Celts team isn’t doing that. Instead they continue to play down to their opponents. This has to be the most mentally weak Celtics team in the Garnett era.

  • Quest

    KG and Paul Pierce need more rest even one or two games off occassionally to play at a high level..wasn’t that the plan…but no reliable backups to carry some of the load. Can’t wear out Rajon before the playoffs either if expecting him to play at that level for the next 40 games. Sully and AB the only other players that are consistently reliable.

  • Quest

    Just to add Doc needs to assume some responsibility here. He needs to think of some plays that utilizes Terry more effectively. Why do you keep throwing PP out on the floor when he’s so off his game? Time to realize that Green may have reached his potential, that this may be it after his 6 yrs in the league.

  • eddysamson

    I say we start JG a few games and see how that shakes things up.

  • Larry Legend

    Does anyone feel like Doc may not be the best offensive coach?…I love doc. I really do. But he can’t coach offense. No team in the NBA make offense look as difficult as the Celtics do. Jason Terry is a perfect example. Guy barely gets any open looks. The iso’s and high post lobs are awful. If celts don’t get stops and get out and run their offense gets so bogged down. Very difficult to watch. Very difficult.

    • Quest

      Ainge has gathered together a collection of players that individually have a skill set to contribute but for some reason they are still not playing mentally like a cohesive team unit. There seems to be no adjustment on the floor to cover for another players mistakes or off night just as Rondo has said. It’s like some of these guys don’t know how to think on their feet and adjust in the flow of the game.. JG spent most of the night standing in the corner…way to go Jeff just doing what I was told to do, is that it.
      As one poster already mentioned yea there is something missing in that locker room. It’s a collection of players but nothing else.

      • LAF

        it’s hard for JG to assert himself when he’s not getting any touches. even when he ran or cut, he just wasn’t seeing the ball last night. there needs to be a pecking order. JG should be the go-to guy when our subs are in the game. they also need to run A LOT of plays for sully in the post. and we need to send bass out of town ASAP. he’s so much like mark blount. dumb and bad hands. ugh!

    • Quest

      Ainge has gathered together a collection of players that individually have a skill set to contribute but for some reason they are still not playing mentally like a cohesive team unit. There seems to be no adjustment on the floor to cover for another players mistakes or off night just as Rondo has said. It’s like some of these guys don’t know to think on their feet and adjust in the flow of the gae.. JG spent most of the night standing in the corner…way to go Jeff just doing what I was told to do, is that it.
      As one poster already mentioned yea there is something missing in that locker room. It’s a collection of players but nothing else.

  • Sam

    Can’t imagine Danny is impressed looking at the body of work that this team has compiled so far.

    All season we basically have one 6 game stretch where they played solid basketball (against largely mediocre competition).

    I still think that DA will be hard pressed to find any good deals around the trade deadline, but if he does, this team is going to get broken up.

  • KGino

    Your Morning Dump.. Where It Is Now Abundantly Clear Avery Bradley Is The Savior Of This Team

    • eddysamson

      and yet half my RL friends would trade him away in a heart beat because hes “injury prone”

      • KGino

        As long as he’s healthy for the playoffs we have a chance. People put too much stock in the regular season.

        • eddysamson

          I bet next year if AB plays the whole season he misses as many games due to injury as Rondo misses due to being a headcase.

    • zippittyay

      “zippittyay: January 2, 2013 at 6:02 pm:
      Cs win by +10 points. Avery is the savior.”

      OK, it took one more game than I predicted…..

  • Shawn

    First the Raptors lose because of the Refs and Now we do as well. back to back bad calls by the refs in close ot games that lead to Bulls winning. And stern wonders why the Celtics Nation has a conspiracy theory.

  • Brick James

    Wow, I am pretty sure the ESPN Boston guy read my comment here last night on the recap thread and then posted an article on what I said. It’s like verbatim the same thing. I should get royalties (and the RA team, too)

  • PakkAttackk

    I’m not saying Pierce isn’t slowing down or that his shot selection hasn’t been bad lately but he did have MKG, Aminu & Deng/Butler guard him the past 3 games. All long armed, 6″8+, YOUNG defensive SF’s. Not making excuses for Pierce but before you go postin his FG% for the past 3 games & call for trading our Captain, look WHY he shot that poorly beyond saying “He shoots bad shots!”

    • Shawn

      His overall numbers this season are horrible and he gets way too three happy at times. his 3PTa per game are up 1 from last year and 2 from the year before. He may be slower but he still needs to drive (and even though it looks ugly he gets fouled more than he does stripped) and hit the pull ups or go hard. His set jumper just looks off this year in general

      • eddysamson

        I think hes been shooting the 3 like this because he started off the season pretty hot from 3…maybe he thinks itll come back to him?

  • Who lives in Boston???

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/blog/eye-on-basketball/21583245/joakim-noah-calls-out-kevin-garnett-for-cheap-shots

    Best quote:
    Noah was asked about Garnett’s trash talk, which has become a pretty hot topic of conversation because of the incident with Carmelo Anthony.
    “Nah,” Noah said of it. “When we lose, I feel like he crosses the line. But since we’ve been beating their asses, I’m cool with it.”

    Hahahahahaha, Joakim knows how to rub it in! Brilliant!

  • Who lives in Boston???

    Desperation all caps?