Wow was that awful. I mean it’s one thing to lose to the Heat but the Bucks? At home? In the home opener? The Bucks? And Monta Ellis didn’t even have a good night? Here’s the rundown of the good and the bad from tonight (WARNING: mostly bad):
- Sullinger looked really solid in the first half. He finished the game with six points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes. Sullinger also took two charges, both of which made my heart stop (’cause, you know, back problems) but at least he was trying which is more than we could say for the rest of the of the Celtics in the first half. In fact, the frontcourt as a whole tonight was resoundingly ok (which in this game, was pretty good). Garnett finished with 15 points on 6-14 shooting leading a rally in the 3rd. Bass was also really alright with 10 and six on six shots. Darko turned back into Darko and Wilcox wasn’t allowed into the game until garbage time (Why? I have no idea), but at least they weren’t completely horrendous.
- Jeff Green turned back into 2011 Jeff Green. Normally that would be bad, but in comparison to Tuesday’s season opener it was a huge improvement. Green had 11 points on 5-9 shooting and one rebound (I point out that one rebound because it is vintage Jeff Green). Green insisted on taking a bunch of horrible jump shots including five treys of which he made one (after missing the first four). When Green got in the paint he was wonderful, but he wasn’t aggressive and settled too much. Then again he was infinitely better than the Heat game so I’ll take it. But seriously, if Jeff Green takes one more terrible three I’m gonna scream.
- The defense was awful. In addition to featuring zero rim protection, the pick and roll defense was incredibly bad. Rondo and Lee did a terrible job fighting through screens and the Celtics paid the price. Rondo in particular got absolutely shredded by Brandon Jennings to the tune of 21 points on 17 shots (which for Jennings, is incredibly efficient). There was also a lot of gambling on defense, which paid off in the 3rd when the Celtics almost started a rally as they forced a few turnovers. Unfortunately the Celtics also gave up 52 (!) points in the paint, but that’s what happens when you gamble on defense. I think it’s safe to say handful of points they scored off turnovers weren’t worth it.
- The offense sucked too. The Celtics were shooting 30% at the half and only scored 12 points in the 2nd quarter. They got it together in the second half and finished 44.6% from the floor, but they didn’t play any defense so, yanno. They turned the ball over 18 time and the Celtics generally looked out of sync.
So here’s the good news: all these things are fixable. Defensively things will start to come along as guys learn the system and Doc makes adjustments. Garnett looked like he was starting to get it together, so if the Celtics crack down on pick-and-roll defense and play with a little more urgency things will come around. Offensively I’d like to see the team take better advantage of its depth by pushing the pace to make up for the mess that is the Celtics half-court offense right now. I’d also like to see Green and Terry develop some cohesion together since they’re supposed to be the backbone of this bench, maybe some drive-kick with Green taking it to the basket and Terry waiting in the wings. Oh and more pick and rolls for Terry please.
Here’s the bad news: the Celtics are headed to Washington for the second game of a back-to-back and aren’t going to have time to fix any of these problems.
For more laughing and less crying, follow Jordan on Twitter: @OffensiveG