If Oprah invited me on her show right now for all of my accomplishments and contributions to society (like inventing a new drink at Taco Bell and watching the first two seasons of Community in two days), I would probably have a Tom Cruise-style meltdown and start jumping on the couch, laughing manically and screaming “IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DIFFERENT! JASON TERRY WAS SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD! COURTNEY LEE WAS SUPPOSED TO MAKE SHOTS! THE DEFENSE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE SOLID! KEVIN GARNETT WAS SUPPOSED TO GO OUT IN A BLAZE OF GLORY! WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG?! WHAT DO I DO NOW?!”
Fortunately, I don’t need to go on Oprah; I can just meltdown for you guys with my caps lock key on.
Seriously, I want so badly to believe in this team, and on paper, it should work. This isn’t Danny Ainge’s fault. He put together a group of players who seemed like they would fit together perfectly. But they haven’t, obviously.
So. Some bullet points, I guess, even though you don’t really need to be told that the past three games have been hellish.
- Let’s begin with a positive: Jared Sullinger was quite efficient, finishing with 10 points and 1.43 points per possession in 23 minutes. He also grabbed six rebounds, which is about 10 rebounds per 36 minutes — a very acceptable number.
- Jordan’s Jeff Green corollary (you can either have points or rebounds, but never both on the same night) remains in effect. Green scored 16 points (on 18 shots, so he did so inefficiently), and he grabbed a whopping four rebounds in 31 minutes. Not a great night from Green.
- For the second consecutive night, the Celtics allowed ABSURDLY good spot-up shooting numbers. More on this later, just know that Sacramento averaged 1.64 PPP on spot-up opportunities, which is a TON of PPP.
- Oh, and Boston gave up 1.64 PPP in transition as well. The defense is really solid right now.
- After starting the game 1-5 from the field, Paul Pierce got himself on track in the second quarter and finished with a pretty efficient game, shooting 4-8 from the 3-point line and 8-15 overall for 20 points. After a few rough games in a row, it was nice to see him shoot a bit better.
- Rondo dished out 10 assists (yay!). He also produced 0.22 PPP (ugh!), so his production was…um…questionable.
- Jason Collins’ line for tonight: 18 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 1 block and two FGAs. Related: Collins started. Please make this little experiment stop.
- Non-Celtic fans seem to forget that Kevin Garnett is still extremely good. Garnett scored 16 points on 7-13 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds in 28 minutes (18.24 rebounds per 36, if you were wondering). He was also the only Celtics starter who wasn’t a negative in +/- (he finished with 0). The other starters? Pierce: -23, Collins: -16, Rondo: -25 (!!!), and Terry: -20. Good work, all around.
And with that, the Celtics close 2012 in incredibly disappointing fashion. It doesn’t get easier as we kick off 2013: Boston faces Memphis on Wednesday. God save us all.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.