Welcome back, Avery. Not welcome back, same Celtics team we’ve seen for the past several weeks. Please go away forever.
Doc claimed that Bradley would be without a minutes-limit before the game, but it’s difficult to believe that Bradley will only get 20 minutes per game as the season progresses. In those 20 minutes, he had a typically unremarkable box score (four points, 2-6 shooting, one steal), but his defense was typically strong, and though it showed some (plenty of) cracks, the Celtics’ defense in general looked a little better.
The offense, however, did not look better, and now, with a four game losing streak looking more and more unbreakable, the Celtics have dropped to three games below .500. I don’t have a witty comment to throw this to bullet points.
- The Celtics are bad at rebounding, but they were especially terrible tonight. The Grizzlies won the rebounding battle 39-27, 8-3 on offensive rebounds. Jared Sullinger grabbed five rebounds in 19 minutes and KG/Pierce both got seven. But Jeff Green finished with two, and Bass/Collins both grabbed one. Great effort on the boards from the Boston bigs.
- Speaking of Garnett, it was not his best night. He was 5-14 from the field and missed several attempts he really should have made.
- This all feels so redundant. Player X played like crap. Player Y played a little bit better, but clearly it wasn’t good enough. Wash, rinse, cry, Prozac, repeat.
- For five minutes or so, we saw aggressive Rajon Rondo, and we also saw a bit of why aggressive Rondo only shows up every once in a while. When Rondo drove to the basket, he ended up on the floor more often than not, and with a hip that was obviously still bothering him, hitting the deck clearly didn’t feel very good. Aggressive Rondo takes a lot of abuse which can’t really encourage him to continue being aggressive. I’m neither criticizing nor defending, just pointing out that it can’t be easy to be continually aggressive when it means a lot of bumps and bruises.
- Jordan really likes Mike Conley. I do not wish to discuss Mike Conley.
- Tony Allen shot 6-8 from the field. I do not wish to discuss this either.
- I do not wish to discuss Rondo’s multiple 3-point shots that missed badly late in the fourth.
- I do not wish to discuss Jason Collins’ two points on one field goal.
- I do not wish to discuss Memphis’ 1.38 ppp in transition.
- I do not wish to discuss Boston’s 0.33 ppp in the post.
- I do not wish to discuss this game any longer.
In all seriousness, the defense looked a little bit better, but, once again, that doesn’t make this loss any easier to stomach. The worst part is that the Celtics were close in the first quarter. They CAN play well enough to win some of these games. They just don’t.
On Friday, the Celtics face Indiana, quietly one of the NBA’s best defensive teams. And no. I do not wish to discuss it.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.