Boston Celtics Find A Way to Win Ugly

By Michael LeDuc
Jared Sullinger
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

After two days’ rest, the Boston Celtics were back at the TD Garden and we all expected this team to be sharp and ready to pounce on the Milwaukee Bucks. Instead, the Celtics were passive and sloppy.  Boston got away with the 108-100 win but was extremely lucky to come away with the victory.

Clutch Shooting

Most of the night, the Celtics took unorthodox shots and were unable to adjust to the 1-3-1 zone the Bucks threw at them. It was hard to establish the inside game, so the strategy inevitably became desperate three-point shooting. Luckily, those questionable shots happened to go in at just the right time. Jeff Green and Jordan Crawford went 7-for-12 from three. The shots were dubious but somehow found their way in. Of course, no shot is a bad shot in Crawford’s mind. Whenever the Bucks were on the verge of a run, Green or Crawford were able to bail out the offense. Avery Bradley also hit key shots throughout the game. After being trapped in a double team, Jared Sullinger hit a step-back jumper as the shot clock expired. It was a huge shot late in the fourth quarter but an example of how unconventional the shot selection was and how lucky the team was to make those shots.

Bench Provides Spark

It’s hard to rely on this team’s bench, but they were able to come through last night. Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, and Courtney Lee all made significant contributions. Wallace scored six points with two assists and four rebounds, but more importantly he set the tone on offense. At a time when the Celtics were struggling to get in the paint, Wallace remained aggressive and attacked the basket with a monster slam. Humphries was solid in his 20 minutes. He grabbed eight rebounds and had three assists, a steal, and a block. He takes full advantage of his scarce playing time. Lee also slashed to the basket when the Celtics’ offense failed to establish the inside. He scored 11 points while also hitting a big three. The bench was able to accomplish the things that the starters failed to execute.

Jeff Green Watch

Jeff Green put together an efficient shooting performance in last night’s win. It wasn’t a dominant game and he could have been a lot more aggressive, but it was his fourth consecutive solid game. In the last four games, Jeff Green has put up 26 and 31 points respectively, as well as 18 points twice. He went 6-for-9 with five rebounds and three assists. The team still wants him to take more shots and score more  in the 20s range, but he is headed in the right direction.

The Celtics were lucky to be playing the worst team in the league. It was an extremely sloppy and poor offensive night. By no means was it a good win. It’s hard to build off of games like that, but a win is a win. The Celtics improve to 8-12 and are now 4th in the Eastern Conference.

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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