After outscoring Miami 27-17 in the first quarter, the daring duo of Jordan Crawford and Jeff Green wasn’t enough and the Celtics lost to the Heat 109-101. Surprisingly Miami’s Big Three all played, but with Pierce and Garnett taking the night off this game was predictably meaningless. Lets run through the bullet points:
- Jeff Green was the Celtics best player tonight, finishing with 25 points (10-17 shooting) and eight rebounds. Green was having a very solid bounce-back game (after a no good, very bad Wednesday) until his night was derailed by a left elbow injury he suffered while dunking in the fourth quarter. After the game Green said the elbow was fine and he expected to play tomorrow, scare averted.
- Brandon Bass continued his super efficient play with 17 points on just nine shots along with nine boards. Bass has been great lately, I have nothing to complain about.
- Jordan Crawford was one of two replacement starters tonight and did exactly what you’d expect, he shot the crap out of the basketball. Crawford scored 20 points on 15 shots and trailed only Jeff Green in shot attempts. I could do without the four turnovers (and he only had two assists) but Crawford was pretty much what I expected, irrational-confidence-guy extraordinaire. Crawford should get more opportunities to prove himself over the next few games with an opportunity to break into the playoff rotation.
- Courtney Lee was the other replacement starter and may have busted his slump, at least somewhat. After a shaky start, Lee finished with 18 points on 50% shooting (2-6 from downtown) as the other replacement starter. Lee has struggled, shooting 35% over the past 10 games, and while he didn’t set the world on fire this was definitely a step in the right direction.
- Terry had six points on nine shots and got horribly lost on defense multiple times (the latter wasn’t anything out of the ordinary). While he’s actually been around his career averages for most of the season (sorry Celtics fans who expected 2011 playoffs Terry all the time), Terry has definitely struggled of late. Doc said he plans to rest JET before the playoffs, and hopefully that’ll get him back on track. Crawford is making a push for minutes and the two are redundant players, but unlike Crawford, Terry has the sense not to shoot the Celtics out of games. I think Terry is a lock for the playoff rotation but the expectations will definitely be higher in the postseason.
- Terrence Williams didn’t really get much run until Doc was forced to play him after Jeff Green left with an elbow injury. Williams finished with six points on 3-8 shooting in 17 minutes. I wish Williams had gotten some more run because the Celtics weren’t moving the ball well (just 15 assists for the team). Williams is one of the more capable passers on the team and he doesn’t seem to get the fumbles as frequently as the Celtics other ball handlers. As regular season games become increasingly meaningless Williams should see a bump in minutes.
- Randolph played 10 minutes and had zero points and one rebound. Wilcox played 11 and finished with two points and five rebounds. You win this round Wilcox.
There is not much to take away from tonight’s game so I won’t even try. With the regular season winding down, the Celtics are working to wrap up the 7th seed (though the Bucks aren’t making them work very hard) and resting for the postseason.
Pierce and Garnett will be back in action tomorrow night in Orlando for a tuneup and a chance to lock up the 7th seed.
Follow Jordan on Twitter: @HiggsOnHoops