Feb. 22, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Boston Celtics guard Courtney Lee (11), forward Paul Pierce (34) and guard Avery Bradley (0) celebrate on the bench after guard Jason Terry (not pictured) scores a three point basket against the Phoenix Suns in the second half at US Airways Center. The Celtics defeated the Suns 113-88. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
Tonight, almost nothing could go wrong. The Celtics got their new healthy bodies finally tonight and it looked like they had been rejuvenated. A team that wasn’t able to win on the road against the Western Conference this season came in and destroyed the Suns convincingly. This was an important victory after losing on the road to the Lakers just two days earlier. The Celtics needed a win to get back on track and they got just that. Without Kevin Garnett nonetheless.
Garnett missed his first game of the season this year because Doc Rivers wanted him to get some rest. If not, he’d have been on the floor tonight. Jeff Green stepped up beautifully as the starting power forward dropping a game high 31 points. This was easily his best game as a Celtic.
You would’ve thought that it would’ve taken some time for the two new additions in Jordan Crawford and Terrence Williams to get acclimated with the offense but apparently not. It certainly helps that the Suns gave the ball up 13 times. The Celtics got 20 points off of those 13 turnovers alone. They got 18 fastbreak points tonight and the offense was moving at a high pace the whole time. There was plenty of ball movement to go around for everyone. Getting into the grades:
Avery Bradley: B+
Avery had a really good game tonight with 13 points on 6-12 shooting, four rebounds, two assist, and four steals. Those steals were a result of him keeping the pressure on at all times whether that was on the ball handler or on the passing lane. He created a handful of turnovers for the Celtics tonight with his defense alone. He was hustling all night and brought a lot of energy that the Celtics have really lacked for most of the season.
Courtney Lee: B-
Lee did the same thing as Bradley tonight with his defending. His ball pressure was excellent and he did a great job of staying in front of his man. He only scored eight points on the same amount of shots, but he also grabbed five rebounds and did a lot of things that won’t show up on the box score.
Paul Pierce: C-
Pierce wasn’t really as impactful as you’d like him to be, but it didn’t really show because the rest of the team played well. He took a backseat to Jeff Green tonight and rightfully so, but he was slow on defense as well which you can’t have. A lot of his rotations were slow and his contests were pretty lazy. He scored eight points tonight in 26 minutes. He wasn’t really needed tonight.
Jeff Green: A+++++
Jeff Green had 31 points tonight in his best game as a Celtic. He missed three shots out of 14 tonight. He made 3-5 three point shots tonight, coupled that with four assists, seven rebounds, and five blocks. Five blocks. Let that simmer for a little bit. He was amazing tonight and we’re starting to see what the Celtics envisioned when they brought Green in on a huge contract this offseason.
Brandon Bass: C-
Bass was Bass tonight. He was average and only scored six points on eight shots. He contributed to the rebounding effort with six but outside of that he did relatively nothing.
Sixth Man & Bench
Jason Terry: A
Jason Terry was amazing tonight. He continues to perform well in this new, high paced Celtics’ offense. Terry scored 13 points on 3-5 shooting tonight while hitting 2-3 from deep. Terry got to the line five times as well.
Jordan Crawford: B-
Steez was as Steez does in his first game as a Celtic. He scored 10 points on nine shots tonight and fit perfectly into the role that the Celtics wanted him to take. He was good in his role of creating his own shot and getting some instant offense for Boston.
Terrence Williams: B+
Terrence Williams was everything that the Celtics thought he would be tonight. I was pretty surprised that they threw him into the role of playing point forward as soon as he got into the game but he took that in stride. He had four assists tonight with four rebounds and nine points. He played a pretty effective game off of the bench.
Chris Wilcox : B
Chris Wilcox was perfect tonight as the second big. He scored 14 points on 7-9 shots and also had eight rebounds to boot. He was the perfect change of pace with his crafty ability to role to the basket. Teams are used to playing the Celtics when they’re picking and popping. With Wilcox getting more minutes tonight in Garnett’s absence, the Suns weren’t ready for it.