The Celtics played a pretty good first half of basketball in Memphis tonight. They recovered from a crappy start to the third quarter to even extend a halftime lead. But they fell apart in the fourth, again, to lose it 95-88. Jerryd Bayless absolutely destroyed the Celtics in the 4th quarter, scoring 15 of the team’s 29 points.
When the Celtics pushed the ball, they did good things. Almost all of their success tonight came as a result of forcing the pace of the game. When they tried to execute in the half court, it went to shit.
I’ll repeat my Twitter joke for those of you who aren’t on there. The numbers on the shot clock don’t measure time for the Celtics, it measured the percentage of possible success as the possession drags on. The longer the possession lasts, the worse that offense gets.
Don’t look now, but Courtney Lee is starting to become a viable NBA player again. I don’t want to jinx anything, but he was a team-high +17 in 19 minutes of play with 9 points (4-5 fg), 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
Jared Sullinger matched a career high with 16 points and was 2-3 from deep.
Jordan Crawford had a team-high 4 assists. He’s still all those Jordan Crawford things, but he’s also, probably, the best passing guard currently active on the team.
Jeff Green’s first three quarters. 22 points on 6-9 shooting and 9-12 free throws. He only took one 3, he was aggressive, he was rewarded with free throws. It was spectacular.
Jeff Green’s 4th quarter: 0-3, all from 3. No free throws. Multiple possessions where he was just standing in the same spot the entire time. Totally the opposite of his first three quarters. When the team needed someone to handle things down the stretch, he wasn’t there.
The Celtics half-court offense. I’ll reiterate how god-awful it is. They post up for too long, they hold the ball on the wing too long, they do everything for too long. I felt like every non-fast break possession in the game ended up with them trying to beat the shot clock. It is, very often, an abomination that should offend the memory of James Naismith.
Kelly Olynyk couldn’t buy a shot. He was 1-8, but he had a lot of good looks. I’m not souring on him because this is all part of the adjustment, but this was a tough night. Remember, it’s also his first professional back-to-back, so I’m sure that has something to do with it.
Jerryd Bayless… Celtics killer? After dropping 30 on the C’s the last time they played back in March, he does this in the 4th:
The first half highlights, which include some Memphis baskets, but also Green & Sully hitting 3’s, and some nice work by the “good” Jeff Green.
Gerald Wallace attempted zero shots in 27:33 of play before leaving with a bruised knee.
Rebounds: Memphis 36 – Boston 32
Second-chance points: Memphis 14 – Boston 4
Fast Break points: Boston 14 – Memphis 10
Points in the Paint: Memphis 34 – Boston 30
Another tough loss, folks… which I know a fair percentage of you love. At one point near the end, after the Celtics had forced a :24 violation, you could see Stevens asking the ref where the ball gets taken out of bounds. He’s still learning, and so are the Celtics. Tough lessons are ahead, with three more games, and another back-to-back, still to go this week.