Coming into the season, no one expected the Boston Celtics to be very good, so it is safe to say they are living up to the expectations. A blown fourth-quarter lead cost the winless Celtics their first win of the season and Brad Stevens‘ first win as an NBA coach.
With Rajon Rondo out, no one on the Celtics has the talent and experience to finish out games in the fourth quarter. In the first three quarters, the Celtics looked like the better team on the court and showed that they have hidden talent on their roster.
Jeff Green has been playing great all season and has shown that he is willing to be the team’s scorer. Avery Bradley is no Rondo, but he is playing well in the starting role. Brandon Bass had a bit of an off night, only scoring six points, but the Celtics showed their young depth at forward with Jared Sullinger coming in and posting 16 points in just 21 minutes of action.
You can tell from watching the Celtics play that they have the pieces to be a decent team, especially when Rondo comes back. They just have to be patient in letting their young talent develop.
On the other hand, the Memphis Grizzlies avoided what would’ve been a very bad loss on their home court. The Grizzlies had a balanced scoring attack with four players scoring in double figures and 11 players in total recording at least one point. Depth is valuable in any level of basketball, especially when you have a guy like Jerryd Bayless who came off the bench and scored 15 points.
Bayless was the x-factor against the Celtics as he seemed to have all of his points late in the third quarter and early in the fourth as he sparked the Grizzlies’ comeback. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are two consistent big men who are going to put up double figures and grab seven or eight rebounds every night, and that is key for the Grizzlies’ success.
Overall, this game was more about the Celtics not hanging on to win than the Grizzlies coming back.