The Boston Celtics dropped their fifth straight game with a loss at home to the New York Knicks. J.R. Smith scored 32 and Carmelo added 29 as the Celtics got thrashed. The Knicks outscored the Celtics 30-20 in the second quarter and that was pretty much it. Another awful loss for the C’s and this one game at home to a Knicks team without Tyson Chandler (or anything remotely resembling a front-court really). Let’s get through the bullet points so I can rant a bit:
- Jeff Green was the Celtics best player tonight. After struggling early Green recovered in the second half, finishing with a team-high 19 points, 10 rebounds (also team-high), six assists (tied with Pierce and Crawford for the team-high), and only 2 turnovers. Credit to Jeff Green for showing up on a night when the Celtics were a mess overall.
- I also have nice things to say about Brandon Bass, who shouldered the majority of the front-court minutes (especially at center which was absurd) and finished with 11 points on an efficient 5-6 shooting, seven rebounds, and three blocks.
- Terrence “Point-God” Williams was another bright spot for me. He struggled a bit from the field (7 points on 7 shots), but found other ways to contribute, adding five rebounds and an assist with no turnovers. It wasn’t the most impressive night, but Williams is probably the best ball-handler on the Celtics and he’s a guard not named Jason Terry so I continue to think he should get more minutes. (Williams actually played one more minute than Terry tonight but that was because Terry didn’t have to play in garbage time, because he’s a veteran and stuff. Terry was a team-low -18 for those that care about that sort of thing).
- In his first start as a Celtic, Jordan Crawford started off 4-5 from the field (and he was actually carrying the Celtics early on) but cooled off, finishing 5-11 with 14 points, four rebounds, six assists, and six turnovers. Crawford showcased some excellent passing skills, but he and Pierce combined for 12 of the Celtics 19 turnovers which played a huge part in the loss. New York only turned the ball over eight times.
- Avery Bradley continued to struggle (3-11 from the field, no assists), but at least he only turned the ball over once.
- Chris Wilcox played nine minutes and contributed no points, no rebounds, a block, and a foul. Thats probably why he only played nine minutes (He also finished a team-high +1, so much for +/- as a stat). This also highlights a huge problem for the Celtics:
Doc Rivers did not play Shavlik Randolph or D.J. White until garbage time which meant that Brandon Bass and Jeff Green shouldered the majority of minutes at center. That is ridiculous. New York grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and scored 29 second chance points and their only healthy big is Kenyon Martin, imagine the damage a team with a decent front-court could do. With KG sidelined for two weeks (maybe more) playing this small just isn’t viable. In his five minutes of garbage time Randolph grabbed four rebounds. White doesn’t crash the boards, but he has a better chance of altering a shot than 6’6″ Brandon Bass. I know Doc loves veterans (I mean seriously, Jason Terry is 5th on the Celtics in minutes per game despite the lackluster season he’s been having) but if he’s not willing to give White and Randolph some run it is going to be a long two weeks.
The Celtics will face the Cavaliers in Cleveland tomorrow, where hopefully they’ll expand their big-man rotation.
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