Jeff Green salvaged this game for the Celtics against an inferior opponent, as this game was tough to watch for long periods of time. Boston was able to bounce back down the stretch, and while at times it lacked delicacy and finesse, Boston was able to squeeze out the win. The Celtics started their 9th different starting line-up tonight, with Wilcox taking Jordan Crawford’s spot from last night. The Celtics rounded out the starting line-up with Bradley, Pierce, Green and Bass– and for a while it worked, and then simply put, it didn’t. While that kind of analysis has no place starting off a recap, Boston just did not want this one for most of the game. As a Celtics fan, this mid-to-late season apathy has become all too normal. I tend to cope through irrationally rooting for the reckless (Crawford) and the over-achieving (Shavlik Randolph), and on this night, both performed well enough and the boys in green rescued the win on the road. On to the b-points:
- The Celtics starting unit yielded size at every position until the forward positions, and Boston used their overall length by switching almost everything on the defensive end. This was kind of fun, as there was a lot of athleticism on the floor to start the game, and Boston responded by playing solid defense in the first frame only allowing 18 first quarter points.
- Brandon Bass led Boston in scoring tonight with 22 (wait, what?) with Green adding 21 and Pierce chipping in 19. The Celtics moved the ball well, accumulating 27 assists on 34 made baskets, and the main contributor was Pierce, who tallied 8 assists in the game.
- This Cavaliers team is pretty bizarre. Some young talent, some players who are solid in the middle of their career, then throw in Shaun Livingston and Luke Walton. In their defense, they are missing Kyrie Iving who makes me giddy about the future of NBA point guards. I forget that some teams in the NBA are normally assembled like the Celtics when they are ravished with injuries– out of place pieces and no cohesive direction. Give them a couple of years though, there is certainly enough skills on Cleveland to progress into a playoff team somewhere down the road.
- Jordan Crawford is perfect for this Celtics team right now. Entering this game the Celtics had lost five straight games, so at his point– what do they have to lose (except the obvious answer of their sixth straight)? For long stretches during games since the Monday showdown against the Heat, the Celtics have looked entirely flat and apathetic, might as well throw a gunner into the mix in Crawford to keep things interesting. Doc agrees:
- We are still calling Daniel Gibson “Boobie” huh? Wish that nickname faded out, as my out-of-town-ness dictated I watch on league pass and was forced to listen to the Cleveland Cavaliers announcers praise the former University of Texas guard with his unfortunate nickname.
In the end the Celtics looked uninspired against a bad team missing their best player (Irving) and offensive second option (Waiters), not to even mention their best big man (Varejao), but hey– they pulled it together enough in the fourth quarter to squeeze out of the Quicken Loans Arena with a win. That has to count for something.
In other news, Keyon Dooling, who was on the Boston Celtics staff as a player development coach has signed with the Memphis Grizzlies:
The Celtics toyed with signing him earlier in the season, and again when Rondo went down. Another bizarre story as the Celtics could really use another ball handler. Keyon always did well by this Boston team, and the Celtics will miss him.
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