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Recap: Kyrie Irving’s 40 Points Drives the C’s Straight into the Ground

Jay January 22, 2013 Recaps 40 Comments

The Celtics ended this game the same way they started it by watching Kyrie Irving drive to the basket essentially unchallenged as he led the Cavs to only their 11th win of the season with a 95-90 win over the plummeting Celtics.  The C’s matched their season high 4 game losing streak with this loss and even a Doc Rivers post-game threat in Detroit didn’t help solve the defensive issues with his team.

The Celtics continually get off to poor starts and tonight was no different as they gave up 31 first quarter points (career high 19 points in a single quarter for Irving), allowed Cleveland to shoot 59% (13/22) from the field and scored 14 points in the paint.  In the end, the Celtics abysmal combination of bad pick-and-roll and interior defense surrendered 46 points in the paint, including Irving scoring several easy lay-ups.

Avery Bradley must still be hurt, as Doc elected to go with Rajon Rondo guarding Irving straight up for most of the game.  Rondo clearly couldn’t keep Irving in front of him and when he wasn’t scoring, the Cavs were cutting and moving without the ball to create so many easy shots.  Until the Celtics can sustain the trademark defense that made them a contender the past few years, they will continue to struggle.

The Green:

Ohio native Jared Sullinger registered another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 26 foul plagued minutes off the bench.  Rondo nearly registered a triple-double with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists.  The Celtics also out-rebounded the Cavs 48-39.

The Gross:

Other than the entire game?  Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett combined to shoot 8/28 from the field for 33 points, as Kyrie Irving out-scored them himself by 7 points.  As a team the Celtics shot 27% in the second half, good for a robust 37 points.  The Cavs of all 11 wins, toyed with the Celtics defense getting pretty much whatever shot they wanted.  And even when their defense played well for a stretch the start the third quarter, they couldn’t capitalize on offense.  On their first possessions in the third quarter, the Cavs had 4 missed shots, a turnover and a charge.  The Celtics followed that up with 4 missed shots and 2 turnovers.  Alonzo Gee posterized KG. Rondo ran from one end off the court to save the ball, only to fire a strike into the hands of Irving who scored an easy bucket.  C’s have a lot of work to do.

The Greenlights:

In the second quarter with about 7:04 remaining, Omri Casspi drove to the basket looking for a dunk, but KG completely owned him with a block.  In the third quarter, Avery Bradley topped that with an incredible chase-down block on Dion Waiters.

The Grid:

See all of the referenced stats above.  Those were the most relevant in addition to Tristan Thompson going for 21 and 9, with 7 offensive rebounds.

The Celtics next meet up with the New York Knicks at home for a re-match from BusGate with Carmelo Anthony.  The C’s are far from the highs they were riding at that point a few weeks ago, but what better place to start a new streak than against the Knicks.  You have to start somewhere, right?

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  • celtics33

    Doc has nothing left to motivate this team – his rants cannot even get them to play hard for ONE game anymore and beat an awful team missing their 2nd best player.

    Irving torched the C’s defense and outscored Rondo, Terry, Lee and Bradley by himself.

    Paul Pierce continue to look like he has nothing left in the tank after a dreadful 3-15 performance.

    Where is the fight in this proud group of veterans?
    The Celtics of old would have come out and blown out Cleveland but this group comes out with no energy and wilts late.

    No excuses left, it’s time to make some major moves as it’s clear this roster cannot get it done…

    • KG_THE_GREAT

      Cry baby ass wastemon. I dont think you’ve ever played basketball at any competitive level. Cleveland and detroit just like all other 30 nba teams play to win the game. We’ve lost four in a row but won 6 in a row the week before. Shit like this happens in basketball. calm down and wait, besides Irving used his left hand to hold rondo arms twice on crucial drives to the basketball. A little bit of poor execution and no calls killed us tonight. I’LL BE THE FIRST TO PREDICT THE CELTICS WIN THEIR NEXT THREE GAMES( KNICKS, ATL, MIAMI) AND WIN BY ATLEST 7 POINTS. PEACE YOU WASTEMONS

      • celtics33

        I will take that bet for your meager life savings and give you 3 to 1 odds on that. Big talk so back it up genius

        • Who lives in Boston???

          Awesome. Celtic “fans” betting their team loses. The death is all but assured.

      • NateB

        Use your eyes – this team sucks.

  • Double P

    Still think Paul pierce and Brandon bass for pau gasol and devin Ebanks. Which team says no to that?

  • Brad

    Trade time. As far as I’m concerned, everyone except KG, Bradley & Sully should be on the table.

    • Jaedre

      Agree 100%!!!! And Pierce even if he rides the bench he is the heart of the team

    • Braddd

      Yeah, if only we could get a point guard who gets a near triple-double in almost every game. Oh wait…

  • Alex

    Pierce and Terry have been absolute trash. I would be happy if Pierce played like Terry and was non-existent most of the time, but unfortunately Pierce turns the ball over, plays shit defense, takes so many poor shots, and overall killing this team on offense.

    Hate to say it, but Pierce is absolute trash this season.

    • iPEEgreen

      if this was baseball, he would sit out a game. but doc’s lack of creativity prohibits PP to even shorten his minutes.
      not looking for him to sit out but someone whisper in to that drunk to DRIVE to the basket -get your groove back
      meanwhile back on the bench sits barbosa humming bossa nova tunes -he didnt even get a minute
      thanks DOC -great coaching -heres to your tenure until we get the next franchise player to mask your inefficiencies

      sacrafice DOC now

    • LAF

      Here’s what I saw from Pierce. He had it going early, knocking down a couple of jumpers. But then the ball stopped finding him as Rondo got aggressive. Not saying it was Rondo’s fault that Pierce struggled but he never found his rhythm after that. It happens. After 15 years of dominance, I’m willing to cut him some slack. But I’m also really beginning to wonder if Pierce is completely done. I refuse to believe it.

  • Caterpillar from Italy

    Paul Pierce is super done.

    • Bop

      don’t let stats fool you, PP is fine and he will lead us to banner 18…just ask doc ;-)

  • Jaedre

    Dont forget the Perk move… Smdh

    • Celticsfanatic

      Really? Perkins would turn this thing around? That’s garbage, try again.

    • Danno

      Perk was Awful. and has only gotten more awful since he was traded even though he’s on a much better, younger team. Most overpaid 4pts. 6Rbs a night starter int he whole NBA.

  • JAKE

    Im not sure i want to buuuuut if you wanna “BLOW IT UP” then check it out

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=byav3ro

    LOWRY/FREDETTE/BARBOSA/THOMAS
    BRADLEY/ EVANS/TERRY/JENKINS
    JOSH SMITH/ GREEN
    KG/ SULLY/WILCOX
    COUSINS/COLLINS

    • Pete

      I don’t think your going to net Evans/Cousins/Fredette with just Rondo.. but what do I know. It’s good to dream big though!

      • JAKE

        WELL I DONT WANT JIMMER BUT IT WORKED SO I THREW HIM IN

        • allen

          keep dreaming my kid jake

      • Celtics4ever

        Kings will NOT give up Cousins let alone Tyreke Evans for Rondo. EVER.

  • Art

    3/14 from Pierce isn’t gonna do it. Hd seems to be part of the problem, not the solution. The all-stars on this team have to lead the way, and it’s not happening. Do these all-stars deserve to be all-stars? Not.

  • bojan

    Thats enough for me. The only consistent player is sully. The Celtics will get destroyed in the first round…. If they get to the playoffs. All the jokes about the Lakers, we don’t play much better!

    • Who lives in Boston???

      Bingo!

    • Blow it up

      The lakers would dominate the celtics that’s how bad they are.

  • Jaybahs

    We could really use a guy like Acie Earl right about now …

  • paul

    Well said, cf. We don’t need a tough and smart defensive big right now.

  • Quest

    This team is officially in rebuild mode. Doc no longer has the minds of these players. They played not much better tonight. May win a couple big gmes in next few days but not enough. Barkley predicted the demise of the old guards and the rise of new youth. The cycle goes on.

  • KY Celts fan

    I’m a big Doc fan, but losing a game to as terrible team after Doc’s very public threats, perhaps this team really has tuned him out.

    Even if they haven’t, this team isn’t going anywhere. Terry has to be the biggest disappointment, much more so than Green. Pierce’s game has fallen off a cliff since last season. He needs to either retire after this season or be moved to the bench. Garnett has to exude so much energy on defense that he no energy for offense.

    We’ll see how the rest of this season goes. A 41-41 season finish has become the most likely situation.

  • eddysamson

    Bench Pierce. I dont care about his ego, Doc said it himself recently- whose starting doesnt matter at all, its whose finishing the game that really matters.

    We all know JG will love being a starter again.

  • stephanie

    I wonder if PP is playing through an injury? His play is very reminiscent of the playoffs last yr. Front rimming all his shots and no lift..i dont know.

  • Me

    trade brandon bass

    • anrew

      Trade Brandon Bass For Timofey Mozgov + Anthony Randolph

      Add Collins Or Picks Or Cash

      Let Kevin Garnett Rest For A Couple Of Days

      ————————————————————

      Sign A Small Forward Any Of These Names

      Shawne Williams, 6’9’, (soon to be) 27 yrs old
      Shelden Williams, 6’9’, 29 yrs old

      Josh Childress, 6’8″, (soon to be) 30 yrs old

      DJ White, 6’9’, 26 yrs old

      James Mays, 6’9’, (soon to be) 27 yrs old

      Rick Jackson, 6’9’, (soon to be) 24 yrs old

      Tyler Wilkerson, 6’8’, 25 yrs old

      Luke Harangody (former Celtic), 6’8’, 25 yrs old

      Chris Wright (Maine), 6’8’, 24 yrs old
      DaJuan Summers (Maine), 6’8’, 25 yrs old

      Arinze Onuaku, 6’9’, 25 yrs old

      Tracy McGrady, 6’8″, (soon to be) 34 yrs old

      Kris Joseph

      Jamario Moon

      ————————————–

      (Let Pierce Rest)

      Starters:

      Point Guard – Rondo

      Shooting Guard – Bradley

      Small Forward – Green

      Power Forward – Sully (Let KG Rest)

      Center – Mozgov (7’1 Height)

      Reserves/Back-Ups:

      Point Guard – Terry

      Shooting Guards – Barbosa/Lee

      Small Forward – Any Sign Free Agents (Small Forward) / Let Paul Pierce (Rest)

      Power Forward – Wilcox (6’10 Height)

      Center – Randolph (6’11 height)

      Center Back-Up – Collins (Bench Or Give Him 2 or 3 Minutes)

      Center – Fab Melo For Rotation (Let’s Try Him)

      Good? Or Bad?

  • Bop

    I love doc…lets never question his logic in riding his vets, specifically PP and Jet, doc knows better that Barbosa will not contribute thats why he sit in his doghouse, he will continue to ride PP until he cannot stand anymore, after all, he is the captain and the truth, no reason why he is not allowed to shoot 15-20 times every night despite shooting less than35%….cmon guys, doc is not the problem, he knows what he is doing….I love doc.. ;-P

  • KGino

    I’m confused… why would Doc let Rondo guard Irving at all? If he had just kept avery on him all game, we would have been fine. WTF is doc thinking?? You use your best defender on their best scorer, all game. Not 33% of the game.

  • Chris H

    Why can’t “Rajon Rondo” happen?

    Pierce needs to come off the bench until he rights his own ship.

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  • bceltsuperfan

    bass, green, terry for j smith, pachulia

    NOW

    btw, is anyone else having trouble logging into sb nation?