Found March 28, 2013 on The Nosebleeds:
Celtics 93, Cavaliers 92 Last Monday night, the Celtics lost a game against a great team that they led throughout, and Jeff Green played outstanding. On Wednesday night, they trailed throughout to an awful Cavs (22-48) team, and Jeff Green played well enough to complete a comeback victory. The C’s (37-34) avoided matching their longest losing streak of the season when Green knifed through the Cavs defense for a layup at the buzzer. While the end result is positive, the difficulty that the injury-plagued Celtics had with one of the worst teams in the NBA does little to alleviate concerns about Boston’s postseason chances. Paul Pierce broke a streak of ten consecutive games in which he shot 50 percent or more from the field, as he went 7 for 16 in this contest. He did contributed ten rebounds, eight assists, and a couple blocks to help negate his team-high seven turnovers, but it was clear the The Truth would not save the Celts at the end of this game. As he tried to get to his sweet spot on the right elbow, the ball was poked out of Pierce’s hands with 2.1 seconds remaining and the Cavs leading 92-91. An official timeout allowed Coach Doc Rivers to draw something up, and this time Green caught the ball at the top of the key before weaving his way through several Cavs defenders for what is pretty much the best shot in basketball: a layup. The past month has been a roller coaster ride for Celtics fans. When the galvanizing effect of Rondo’s injury wore off, and more key players went down with ankle injuries, there appeared to be too many holes for the C’s to plug out on the court. On the one hand, the five-game losing streak that coincided with these injuries seemed to destroy the momentum that Boston built over the course of February and early March. Yet, while the defense has struggled mightily in the absence of Kevin Garnett, some players are finding their confidence in an increased role. Brandon Bass was an instrumental part of the Celts offense all night. He finished with 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting in 36 minutes, and always seemed to be in the right place to finish a possession with a mid-range jumper. Without his consistent stroke, they would never have been in position to finish the game on a 21-6 run and effectively steal a win from the hapless Cavs. However, the real story of this win is the emergence of Jeff Green. With his heart surgeon, (Dr. Lars Svensson) in attendance, Green showed that he is ready to become a star in crunch-time. Over the past two months, Paul Pierce has begun to focus on facilitating the offense and rebounding like an elite forward, but he is no longer the young All-star who can gain separation on isolation plays at the end of the game. Jeff Green can be that All-star. And while he has yet to incorporate a consistent step-back jumper to offset his lethal right-handed drives to the basket, Green has shown an ability to help the C’s close games. The Celtics can compete with anyone, as we saw against the Heat last Monday, and they’re capable of losing to anyone, yet as long as Green continues to gain confidence on both ends of the floor, they remain a dangerous and athletic team that nobody wants to face come playoff time.
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