Found January 02, 2013 on
Celtics Green ...a boston celtics blog.:
After their big win over the Nets on Christmas day, the Celtics have now lost 4 straight games. What's worse, they have lost all 4 games by double digits. With this loss, they have also fallen out of the playoff picture and are in 9th place in the East, half a game behind the Philadelphia 76ers. This statement from a Grizzlies fan tells the tale of the game: "Poor defensive execution int he first half and poor offensive execution int he second half cost Boston the game."
Avery Bradley made his long awaited season debut tonight and he started and played 19 minutes. For his first game back, he showed that he can still make a difference with his defense once he gets back up to game speed. He made just 2-6 shots but one was a back door cut to the basket where Rondo found him for a layup. That became a staple of the offense last season and hopefully will again. Rondo added 11 points on 4-11 shooting to go with 10 assists and 2 rebounds.
Boston Celtics point guard Avery Bradley (0) defends against Memphis
Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley (11) during the first quarter of an
NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise
Kevin Garnett struggled once again early, going just 1-7 in the first half. He finished with 12 points (5-14) with 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Paul Pierce started out hot, scoring 15 points in the first half on 5-8 shooting. He also grabbed 5 of the Celtics first half rebounds. The second half was another story. As the game went on, his legs weren't under him and he scored just 2 points in the second half on 1-6 shooting. Jason Collins put in his 18 minutes and finished with just 2 points and 1 rebound.
The Celtics got some production from their bench in this game (37 points) but still not enough. Bass finished with 9 points (3-5) but just 1 rebound. Jason Terry also shot 3-5 for 8 points to go with 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. Sully struggled with his shot going just 1-6 but pulled down 5 rebounds before fouling out. Jeff Green shot well for 10 points (4-5) but had only 2 rebounds. Lee finished with 8 points on 3-4 shooting. The Celtics bigs must be more aggressive on the boards.
Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) makes contact with Memphis
Grizzlies small forward Rudy Gay (22) while driving during the first
quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013.
(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
The Celtics shot just 45% for the game and allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 48%. The defense that the Celtics once prided them on is still inconsistent at best and porous at worst. The Celtics continue to be the worst rebounding team in the league, outrebounded in this game 39-27. So much of rebounding is desire and effort. For the most part, the Celtics just aren't putting out the effort needed on the boards.
They also once again settled for jumpers instead of trying to get inside. As has been the case in each of the 4 losses, when those jumpers stop falling, the Celtics don't adjust and continue to shoot from the outside. The Celtics were in the bonus early in the 4th quarter but never took advantage of it, choosing to continue to pull up and shoot instead of driving inside.
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 2: Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics fights
for possession of the ball against members of the Memphis Grizzlies
during the game on January 2, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston,
Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
The ball movement was also inconsistent. Too many times Rondo dribbled the ball up and allowed the Grizzlies to get into their defense instead of trying to bring it up quickly and set up a shot before the defense was set. Instead of making the extra pass, several times they would settle for a jumper or hold the ball too long and then have to take a tough shot to avoid a 24 second violation.
I'm not sure what the answers are to all of the Celtics' problems. Avery Bradley's return will help some of them, but not all. The rebounding problem will still be there. Bass with 1 rebound, Green with 2 rebounds and Collins with 1 rebound is unacceptable. Each of those players has to be more aggressive on the boards and up their effort.
The second unit was shooting well when the starters were struggling. Perhaps more shots should be going to the reserves when Pierce and Garnett are struggling. Players like Jason Terry, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee have got to pick up their scoring. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett can't do it all every night. Both of those players should be getting limited minutes so they are fresh at the end of games. To do that, the second unit must improve.
The Celtics will host the Indiana Pacers on Friday and hopefully between now and then they can somehow address some of the problems that have been plaguing them. If they don't, a season that started out looking so promising might just slip away from them.
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BEST OF MAXIM
Avery Bradley made his return to the court Wednesday in the 93-83 loss to Memphis, and he brought a little reality with him.
The team did show some flashes of confidence with number zero back and had more fight in them than the previous few games, but one thing became clear as the game progressed: Avery Bradley is not the savior of the Celtics.
Granted, he only played 20 minutes...
Avery Bradley was back in uniform for the Celtics on Wednesday, re-assuming his title as the league’s best perimeter defender. His return did not keep Mike Conley from going off for 23 points or prevent the Grizzlies from shooting better than 60 percent in the first half, but the Celtics were encouraged by Bradley’s play in his season debut nonetheless. Conley admitted he felt...
Another home game and we are treated with Tommy Heinsohn's tweets. He was very excited for Avery Bradley's return and had some high praise for him before the game.
Ready for the return? "Avery Bradley is probably the best on-ball defender in the entire league...THAT is how good he is!"
— Tommy Heinsohn (@CSNTommy) January 3, 2013
I agree with Tommy that...
According to ESPN, Boston Celtics’ guard Avery Bradley is expecting to make his debut on Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies. “Just like any other day,” Bradley said before the team’s practice. “I’m going to prepare today, we’re going to go through practice, go over the plays, make sure I know what’s going on. And tomorrow [...]
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Molly previews the return of Avery Bradley tonight and the Celtics match-up with the Grizzlies.
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These aren’t the Celtics. They can’t be.
That’s likely the agonizing response of many C’s fans throughout this losing streak, which was extended to four games Wednesday night when the Grizzlies showed up to TD Garden and controlled play for four quarters en route to a 93-83 victory. And the fact of the matter is that the Celtics have some serious flaws.
The C’s now sit...
During practice Tuesday, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the team will be graced with the return of Avery Bradley, who hasn’t played in seven months and is coming off surgery on both his shoulders, for Wednesday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Bradley said he hasn’t felt any pressure, he’s just happy to be back.
“Just like any other day, I’m going to prepare today...
WALTHAM, Mass. — Avery Bradley must have left his green-tinted halo at home, because the Celtics’ supposed savior was missing his angelic glow on Tuesday. Bradley has not played competitively since May 18, yet many fans and observers seem to be counting on him to rescue the Celtics from their current slide.
Bradley has heard those folks’ cries for help, but as he prepares to...
Avery Bradley returns on Wednesday for the Celtics and could be the spark they need
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Offense: Defense: Overall:
Whether by injury, by choice, or by a lack of ability, Rondo’s defense has regressed badly. Avery Bradley started out on Mike Conley, putting Rondo on Allen, and Allen promptly exploded for a 6-8 shooting...
Rajon Rondo might not be ready to return to action for the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, but fellow guard Avery Bradley expects to play for the first time this season. Bradley underwent offseason surgery on both shoulders. Rondo bruised his right hip Thursday, didn't play Saturday, then struggled through 36 minutes Sunday, scoring two points. "I'm excited, the team...
7:59: The Pacers will get lucky tonight as they will face the weak Boston Celtics. Avery Bradley, coming off his bad debut Wednesday, will play again tonight with high expectations. The only lineup change to report is that Brandon Bass will start instead of Jason Collins, who will play off the bench. The Celtics' fans' tolerance bevel is decreasing so they really need a win...
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“I think Doc is probably going to try and tweak the lineup again and do some things different. We’ll just try to be patient with this team as long as we can,” said the president of basketball operations.
Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics fell to the Memphis Grizzlies 93-83
Still looking affected by his hip injury, Rondo was unable to penetrate as well as he normally would. Played great help defense, but with Bradley off the floor he was unable to keep up with Conley's speed due to his hip. Jumper was completely off today, and made...
Coming off a strong performance against the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas day, it was easy to think some of that good fortune may translate into momentum going into a west coast road trip to California. That did not happen.
The Celtics got demolished by the Clippers, Warriors and Kings on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday respectively. Celtics beat writer Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe...