NBA Boston Celtics

New York Knicks Dismantle Boston Celtics: Post-Game Grades For Boston

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Knicks Dismantle Celtics: Post-Game Grades For Boston

Brad Stevens
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Well, make it 0-6 for the Boston Celtics with Rajon Rondo in their lineup.

Tuesday night, the Celtics traveled to MSG for their third matchup with the New York Knicks this season, and were defeated by a score of 114-88.

This trip to the big apple wasn’t anything like the last was for the Celtics. The first time these two teams squared off in New York, Boston dealt Carmelo Anthony’s crew a 41-point loss, the third-worst defeat in Knicks history.

Tonight, the Knicks came out with a chip on their shoulder looking to ensure different results, and they got their revenge. NYK controlled this game right out of the gates. They jumped out to a quick 24-7 lead thanks to hot shooting from deep and some major defensive lapses by the Celtics, and never looked back.

That seemed to be the story for the entire evening. Even in the short and infrequent stretches when the Celtics could get their offense going, their god-awful defense prevented them from cutting into the Knicks gargantuan lead.

Everything was coming easy for New York; Boston’s big men weren’t recovering on pick and rolls, their guards were getting burned on backdoor cuts and their closeouts were subpar. Worst of all, the C’s looked generally disinterested on the defensive end for the majority of the game.

Boston’s offensive nightmare traveled with them to Manhattan; they shot just 39.0 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from behind the arc. They turned the ball over 17 times, too.

The Celts have now lost 18 of their last 21 games.

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Point Guard: Rajon Rondo

PG Rondo
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Although Rajon Rondo is still slowly shaking off the rust, it has to be noted that his jump shot just looks terrible. Last season, Rondo seemed to be developing a consistent mid-range game that opponents would have to include in their scouting reports. This year, that is far from the case; his bricks have been both frequent and ugly. Tonight, he shot a meager 3-of-13 from the field for seven points. When he did get into the paint, the defense collapsed, setting up looks for his teammates, but he decided toss up off-balance jumpers much too frequently. He finished with five assists and four turnovers.

Grade: D

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Shooting Guard: Jeff Green

Jeff Green
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Green wasn’t good on either end of the floor tonight. He wasn’t focused on defense, allowed back door cuts, and didn’t close out well. His offense wasn’t much better. Over his past few games, Green has been nothing more than a spot up shooter, and tonight was no different. He set the tone for his evening in the first quarter with a deep two that didn’t even hit the rim. He ended with 14 points on 4-of-13 shooting. Green’s shooting clips have dropped drastically over his last 10 games, and if he wants to get his efficiency back up, he is going to have to start attacking the rim again.

Grade: D+

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Small Forward: Gerald Wallace

G Wallace
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Gerald Wallace was pretty underwhelming on the offensive end of the floor in his seventh start as a Celtic. Although he only scored five points, he cut effectively and didn’t hesitate to take open threes. Wallace knows his role, and realizes that his impact is going to have to come on defense. As expected, he played tough D for all 23 of his minutes, and had a monster block on Iman Shumpert in the first quarter. Offensively, he needs to convert wide-open looks, especially if he is going to keep starting alongside Rondo, who is hardly a floor spacer.

Grade: C+

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Power Forward: Brandon Bass

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Brandon Bass was active in the first quarter, especially on the glass. He had two offensive rebounds in the first 12 minutes of the game, and looked to score on isolation plays in the paint. He was given the difficult task of guarding a red-hot Carmelo Anthony, and although Bass did a good job of staying with Anthony on the perimeter, Melo’s hot hand propelled him to 24 points.

Grade: C-

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Center: Jared Sullinger

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The C’s needed a big game from Jared Sullinger tonight, but he couldn’t deliver. He was invisible until late in the second quarter, and ended with only five field goal attempts. He did have three offensive rebounds in just 19 minutes, but Sullinger needs to be more involved in the offense if the C’s want to start winning games again. He ended the night with eight points.

Grade: C

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

If there was one positive to take away from this one, it was the impressive play of the Celtics’ bench. Chris Johnson, who was just signed to a second 10-day contract, continued to impress; he ended with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from downtown. Kris Humphries, Jerryd Bayless and Kelly Olynyk combined for 30 points and 14 rebounds. Olynyk and Phil Pressey were the only Boston players to finish with a positive rating in +/-. Tonight, the bench outplayed the starters by a large margin.

Grade: B+