Afternoon, Hardwood Houdini fans!
As I was watching last night’s game between the Boston Celtics and the Memphis Grizzlies, I enjoyed a friendly chat with some people on Twitter about this current iteration of the Celts.
I was arguing that this team was not as terrible a mess as some people will have you believe, and the fact that the Celtics hung tough and actually led the Grizz in the fourth quarter gives my argument a bit of credibility. Yes, the Boston Celtics are sitting at 0-4 right now, and aside from last night this team has not played a full four quarters in its first three losses – yet they have been within striking distance every game, have had a fourth quarter lead in their last three games, and have pressured their opponents into playing sloppy basketball, which is to Boston’s advantage. This team is a solid ballhandler away from being 2-2, and another 2-3 players away from being an actual playoff team.
And at least they have fight in them. Hey – speaking of the size of the fight in the dog, let’s so who impressed me the most last night.
Third Star: Jordan Crawford
Second game in a row that Crawford has earned a star from me. He may not be the solution to this team’s ball-handling dilemma, but as I posted on Twitter during the game,
Jordan crawford may not be > Rajon Rondo, but he sure as hell is > at PG than Bradley.
— Hardwood Houdini (@HoudiniCeltics) November 5, 2013
Crawford went for 12 points, 4 assists, 3 steals, and only 1 turnover. If Stevens isn’t going to play Phil Pressey at the point ever, then Crawford should be handling the rock at the end of these close games.
Second Star: Jared Sullinger
Sully went deep last night, nailing two big 3-pointers to keep the Celtics in this thing. Apparently, he wants to be a stretch-4. I’d prefer to see him give the Celtics more of a physical presence on the inside, especially late in the game when the Cs are rolling without Vitor Faverani. Still, Sullinger dropped in 16 last night, and like I said, hit some clutch shots. No complaining in how he was used here!
First Star: Jeff Green
Will the real Jeff Green please stand up? Green was definitely looking for his shot last night, a stark contrast to the Jeff Green who showed up in Detroit on Sunday. Green led all scorers with 22, and got to the line 12 times. This is the guy we need to see every night, all season long. I’m curious as to why the Celts are not feeding him the ball more in the fourth, though – I know tems want to deny him the ball, but Boston has to find a way to get the rock to him during crunch time. There were a few too many “Why does THAT guy have the ball?” moments late in the game last night for my liking. Green only took three shots in the fourth, and two were from downtown. Coach Stevens needs to get in Green’s ears: Take Over The Fourth Quarter.
And there’s my three stars for last night! Let me know if you agree or disagree, either below or @theamazingMrS.