Found April 06, 2013 on
New York Knicks
In recent weeks much has been made about Jeff Green’s development and newfound level of success. Given the Celtics’ age and injury status, strong play from Green was clearly needed to keep the Celtics out of the dreaded eighth playoff seed and to give them a shot at knocking off either the Knicks, the Pacers, or both in the early rounds of the playoffs. However, in order to pull off one or two upsets in late April and May, the Celtics will need more than just the new Jeff Green, a healthy KG, and a healthy and active Paul Pierce.
Injuries have clearly depleted the Celtics bench this year. Rajon Rondo’s injury thrust Courtney Lee into a starting role while the loss of Jared Sullinger dealt a major blow to the C’s who were already short on skilled, effective bigs. But there is good news for Boston fans; the team has made a few important in-season additions that they believe can help them come playoff time. Despite falling short Friday night in a 97-91 loss to the Cavaliers, three key players off Boston’s bench showed that they have the potential to be important pieces down the stretch and in the playoffs.
Since coming over in a trade from Washington, Crawford has provided some excitement off the Celtics bench. Always known as a capable, if very inefficient scorer, perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Crawford’s game in his time as a Celtic has been his highlight-reel passing ability (Danny Ainge has even said that Crawford may be the best passer on the team). In Friday night’s game against the Cavs, Crawford immediately injected the C’s with a burst of energy by coming in and dishing out three assists in five possessions near the end of the first quarter. Although Crawford struggled from the field, going 3-14, his passing and playmaking had a tremendous impact. While Crawford certainly has his deficiencies – namely his defense and shot selection – he will be extremely valuable in the playoffs if he is able to provide some sort of scoring and playmaking punch off the bench.
If the Celtics hope to beat small ball teams like the Knicks and Heat, having versatility in their lineups – especially on the defense end – is going to be critical. Williams is built like a wing (standing 6-foot-6, 220 pounds) but has the ability to play the point. In order to get minutes on a roster filled with capable wings but lacking strong ball-handlers, Williams was asked to play as a pure point guard upon joining the Celtics. Like Crawford, Williams has good court vision and can make plays for others, something few healthy Celtics are capable of. In addition, as he displayed Friday night during his time defending Kyrie Irving, Williams is able to defend point guards as well as wings, a skill that will be needed against teams like Miami or New York who will certainly use lineups featuring multiple guards and versatile wings like LeBron James, Shane Battier, and Carmelo Anthony.
While Crawford and Williams will be able to help with Celtics backcourt depth, their frontcourt remains relatively thin. If they end up drawing a team like Indiana, the C’s will need to get solid frontcourt minutes from someone other than KG and Brandon Bass. While Chris Wilcox has been solid thus far this year, if Friday night was any indication, Shavlik Randolph may very well end up as the third big in Doc Rivers’ playoff rotation.
Although Randolph is not a very skilled offensive player and is extremely foul prone (against the Cavs he fouled out in only 13 minutes), his work on the boards is just what the Celtics are looking for from their third big. For several years the only ***** in the Celtics’ defensive armor has been their inability to rebound effectively. In addition, their lack of offensive rebounding has been one of the many contributing factors in their sub-par offense. While it cannot be expected that Randolph will get 16 and 7 every night, his work against the Cavs certainly proved that he can provide them with a rebounding spark and some easy baskets in limited minutes.
BEST OF MAXIM
Tonight's loss was very tough to take. Especially since it came on a night when the Hawks lost. They put up no effort tonight. They deserves to lose. If you don't try, you can't win.
Tonight's USOTN easily goes to the performance of Shavlik Randolph. Randolph scored a season-high 16 points on 6/9 shooting. It was great to finally see him make some baskets, but it...
Jeff Green has been all smiles since March hitDoc Rivers spoke in practice about Green’s starting gig once KG gets back, saying that he has wanted to start the Georgetown product for quite some time, but his play has only recently justified that decision (via ESPN Boston):“I was hoping (to start Green consistently at some point),” Rivers said. “That was my intention. We weren’t...
Without Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, Jeff Green and Shavlik Randolph tried to shoulder the load and lead the Celtics to victory. To no avail, as they fell to the Cavaliers 97-91. Randolph had a career-high 16 points to…
Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images
The Boston Celtics’ forthcoming future ultimately weighs on the remaining games on their schedule, and specifically how the newcomers and veterans on the team can collaborate to flash off the true Celtic green.
Whether Kevin Garnett returns to the line up remains to be at question, but what is known is the camaraderie and chemistry...
BOSTON — Shavlik Randolph, Terrence Williams and the Celtics’ bench just plain played harder than the starters on Friday, and for a while it looked like that might be enough. The Cavaliers had a tough time keeping up with Boston’s scrappy second unit, until foul trouble and a shortage of interior size eventually caught up with the shorthanded Celtics.
Afterward, everybody from...
8 a.m. ET: The last time the Celtics and Cavaliers met up, Jeff Green provided a thrilling ending. The Celtics would probably prefer if things were not so exciting this time.
Having snapped their two-game losing streak with a victory over the Pistons on Wednesday, the Celtics (39-36) are back in action. Their opponent is the Cavs (22-52), who are having a forgettable season despite...
After a couple weeks of shame, the Celtics got hot tonight and cruised by the Wizards for a 107-96 victory. This kinda game was inevitable. Recently, the C's have been playing down to their competition. But in this one, things were different. Let's hope they keep this kind of play up.
Tonight's USOTN goes to the surprisingly bad performance of Jeff Green. Now I'm...
Jeff Green and Paul Pierce have been working well together on offense.Doc Rivers recently told the media that during the playoffs, he is considering using a lineup that includes Paul Pierce and Jeff Green both starting at shooting guard and small forward. This was obviously a revelation, since what would presumably be the playoff starting lineup (Bradley-Pierce-Green-Bass-Garnett...
Good win for the Celtics. It was great to see the long awaited starting line up with KG and Green in it. Poor Tommy gets at lot of flack just for loving the Celtics. And he should love them. They are his team. Kudos to Wall and the Wizards for actually trying to win games and not tanking. Enjoy today's comments.
Wasn't expecting Crawford to act that way Oh...
The Celtics try to hold on to the 7th seed with the return of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the lineup… joined by Jeff Green in what could be a preview of the team’s playoff starters. We’ll be talking about it at halftime with you…
There are 3 ways to join:
Tweet us with the #RedsArmy tag. You don’t even have to mention anyone, we’ll see it with the tag.
With a game like this, following a losing skid that has seen the Celtics drop 7 of their past 10 game, it would be easy to blame the injuries to Garnett or any other member of this decimated team but these recent losses are starting to become a cause for concern. The team is limping towards the playoffs and is in danger of losing its position in the seeding. To make matters worse...
Despite a solid defensive effort against Kyrie Irving, the Celtics fell to Cleveland.You’ve heard the term “garbage time?” Tonight’s matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers was 48 solid minutes of garbage time for the Celtics, and it was a solid indicator as to how seriously Boston is taking the rest of the regular season. With a playoff berth clinched and a looming matchup...
What you're waiting for; Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce return tonight. Avery Bradley will play. Bass and Green join them in the starting 5.— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) April 7, 2013
So we finally get a look at the Celtics lineup that we have all been waiting for. Avery Bradley and Paul Pierce in the back cour. Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and KG in the front court. Woo...