Boston Celtics’ Bench Withers in Loss

Jared Sullinger

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics came up short after nearly stealing the win in the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies, 100-93. The Celtics rallied behind an energetic crowd in an attempt to come from behind in the waning minutes of the game. Boston falls to 6-11 after suffering a season-series sweep against the Grizzlies. The effort that the Celtics displayed was tremendous, but the bench was simply outplayed by the Grizzlies.

Four of the five Celtics’ starters had an outstanding game. For the first time in a while, Jordan Crawford was far less than impressive. Brandon Bass did a respectable job on the boards by pulling down 13 rebounds, and Jared Sullinger continued his terrific play with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Jeff Green finally showed what he was capable of with 26 points and seven rebounds. Avery Bradley did well scoring the ball with 16 points but failed to record an assist and had four turnovers. With Marc Gasol out, Boston was able to take advantage on the boards and ended up outrebounding the Grizzlies 46-40.  But too many turnovers and lack of bench production told the story in this game.

After such a promising performance in the win over the Bobcats, the bench was nearly nonexistent against the Grizzlies. Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Vitor Faverani, Phil Pressey, and Courtney Lee went a combined 8-for-29 from the field with 17 points, only two assists, and were 0-for-2 from the free-throw line. Humphries was the best player off the bench accounting for more than half the points (8) and grabbing six boards, but no one else seemed to contribute in any other way. At the same time, the Grizzlies’ bench did the exact opposite and were able to execute. They shot an extremely efficient 13-for-21 with nine assists and capitalized at the free-throw line by going 16-for-19. Again, the Celtics failed to slow down Jarryd Bayless, who scored 22 points.

The starters’ performance in this game was spoiled by the play of the bench. After the bench’s production against the Charlotte Bobcats the expectations are much higher, and they did not perform to meet even half of those expectations. It’s a shame that the Celtics failed to put together a complete game yet again.

Michael LeDuc writes about the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @mike_leduc, like his Facebook page and add him on Google.

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