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Celtics Report Card: A Week to Forget

Kevin Garnett closes his eyes to wish away the loss to the swarming LA Lakers and the resulting poor marks in this week's report card. (AP/Yahoo Sports)

The NFL season is over. As if that wasn’t miserable enough, the Boston Celtics were unable to vanquish their most hated and bitter rivals (the Los Angeles Lakers), losing when Pau Gasol’s ugly mug and disgusting neckbeard scared the ball away from the basket at the end of overtime. Then they couldn’t even bounce back with a win over a team winning barely a third of its games (the Toronto Raptors) and missing its best player (Andrea Bargnani).

Boston’s two wins to hover at .500 for the week were split between the worst team in the NBA (the Charlotte Bobcats) and the best team in the East (the Chicago Bulls). Of course, Chicago was missing its only marquee player (Derrick Rose, out with a back injury – it’s mind-boggling how they win without him), and still the Celtics won by just four points.

So what does that mean for this week’s report card? Some somber parent-teacher conferences.

Starting Backcourt: C

Other than his ridiculous triple double against Rose’s backup (32-15-10?! Are you serious?!), leading the C’s to 33 fast break points against the Bulls, Rajon Rondo did not play very well this week. He led the team in turnovers in three games, and was a pathetic 2-for-10 against the Raptors. While being defended by statues such as Jose Calderon and Derek Fisher, Rondo has to do better than five points and seven assists. He also has to make more than one trip to the free throw line (his total for those two losses). Simply inexcusable, especially when Jeremy ‘Freakin’ Lin torches Fisher for 38 points, almost all in the paint. (Soooo, does that make it “Linexcusable”?)

Other than his performance against the Bobcats (his only game shooting over 50 percent from the field), Ray Allen was relatively quiet this week. He may have dropped 22 points on the Lakers, but it took him 20 attempts to get there. It’s nice to see Doc Rivers running some plays for Allen and getting him a few more clean looks at the basket, though. With Ray-Ray, you know they’ll fall sooner or later.

Starting Frontcourt: C+

Despite passing Larry Bird for second place on the Celtics’ all-time scoring list and being named an All-Star reserve, Paul Pierce did not have a great week. Not once did he make more than 40 percent of his shots, only averaging about one point per field goal. Pierce has to be more efficient, especially if I’m going to continue not shaving in honor of his trademark scraggly patchwork facial hair.

Kevin Garnett dominated the Bobcats (22 and seven) and was ruthlessly efficient against the Raptors and Bulls (a combined 30 points on 11-for-17 shooting). Not bad, right? Right, except that he jacked up 23 jumpers against the Lake Show, making a paltry six field goals on his way to 12 points. Remember the days when Pau-KG was a good matchup (and the Patriots were a dynasty)? Those were the days.

The remaining “center” spot was a revolving door of Jermaine O’Neal, Brandon Bass, and Chris Wilcox. Only Wilcox made any noteworthy impact on the stat sheet, putting up 11 points and pulling down nine rebounds on Sunday. O’Neal has been a linchpin on defense, but his questionable health continues to, well, raise questions.

Bench Backcourt: D

Honestly, it’s a struggle to find things to say about the bench’s backcourt. How many different ways can I talk about Avery Bradley’s defense, E’Twaun Moore’s inability to replicate his one noteworthy shooting performance in Orlando, Sasha Pavlovic’s helplessness, and Marquis Daniels’s giant braids? From now on, I think I’ll just refer to them as Ave’Twaun Moorely and Marsha Danielvic to save us all the trouble of having to examine their pathetic individual stat lines.

In other exciting backcourt bench news, though, Keyon Dooling is back! In nine minutes against Chicago, he went 0-for-2 and grabbed two rebounds for a +/- of -6. Good to have you back, Keyon.

You’re right, I probably should have just had the testicular fortitude to give them an “F.”

Bench Frontcourt: C-

Does anyone speak French? If so, please tell Mickael Pietrus to make shots in close games against the Lakers, rather than in blowout losses to the Raptors. S’il vous plait?

Bass was moderately effective, at least until he hurt his knee and now will have to sit out for two weeks. That’s a great sign for an aging team with no depth to begin with. Why don’t you just take a hammer to KG’s knees now and get it over with, Brandon?

While maybe I don’t want the rookie routinely hoisting up 13 shots and playing 33 minutes per game, JaJuan Johnson has me all aboard the J-train to the Garden. Just give me this one delusion, and please let the good people of Boston come up with a nickname that is anything other than “J.J.”

But wait, there’s more! In a surprising new addition to our weekly report card, I present to you….

Coaching: C-

That’s right, Doc is no longer immune to my grading pen and snide remarks! Rivers takes home a C- this week for not having his team mentally prepared for the back-to-back in Toronto (an inexcusable loss) and for overplaying his starters (Rondo: 159 minutes, Pierce: 157, Allen: 139). If the Celtics are going to have a prayer in the playoffs, they’re going to have to be healthy and fresh.

Or they’ll just have to sign Tim Tebow.

About Nick Bohlen - @ndbohlen

Nick is an editor and regular contributor for the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox sections of SoB. (Despite growing up in Vermont, just a short drive from Canada, hockey never really caught on with him.) Follow him on twitter: @ndbohlen

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