Saturday, February 23, 2013

C's Shine with Post-Deadline Roster

On a night that Kevin Garnett was out resting, Jeff Green stepped into the starting lineup an dominated. Yes it was against the Suns, but a 113-88 victory on the road without your best player speaks for itself. Green had his best game as a member of the Celtics, scoring a game high (by far) 31 points, to go along with a filled up stat sheet. Besides his 11-14 shooting, Green posted seven boards, four dimes, two steals and FIVE blocks, and it almost seemed like he was playing better than his stat line reveals.

Out of 10 Boston players in uniform NINE finished with six or more points: Green(31), Wilcox(14), Terry(13), Bradley (13), Crawford(10), Williams(9), Pierce(8; almost a non-factor... in a good way), Lee(8), Bass(6). And if you care Fab Melo, the odd man out, did score one point, but this was a complete team showing without their ultimate team player.

Show me one person that thought they would see the following sentence this season: The Celtics trio of Jeff Green, Jordan Crawford and Terrence Williams was terrific! We already went over Green, but Crawford posted 10 points in 17 minutes to go with three rebounds and two assists in his debut and gelled very well with the lineup. Williams was so versatile, playing positions 1-3, something Doc Rivers desperately needs of him. The main role he seemed to fill against the Suns was the backup point guard position when Avery Bradley was on the bench. Williams had nine points in 24 minutes but helped most with his four rebounds and four assists.

So here is what Boston needs to do from here to maximize their success:

1. Rest nights for Pierce and Garnett (particularly on the road against lesser opponents) are not a bad thing. The team can rally around that and get a win, not to mention a fresher KG or PP in the next game, and eventually in the playoffs.

2. Put Brandon Bass on the bench to maximize the size off the bench and more importantly to start Jeff Green. Sometimes seeing something once is enough to be convinced. Green should be a 35-40 minute per game starter the rest of the way. Every night won't be like Friday night, but expect a big bump in production from him.

3. Terrence Williams is the backup point guard. Yes he can still play other positions, but when Bradley is on the bench, leave Lee at the shooting guard. Williams is the answer here. He is a big strong ball handler with natural passing ability. He throws crisp passes and possesses impressive court vision. Boston may really be on to something here.

4. Run! Going small with a Pierce/Green/Garnett front court will help. But this team can really push the fast break, even on made baskets. Wilcox is surprisingly productive in transition as well, and clearly Bradley, Lee, Williams and Crawford are up to the task.

5. TRADE RONDO! I have been saying it for a while and it is too late now... But just one last time let me express that is you subtract an injured and selfish player from this team for a big deadline acquisition (Josh Smith) Boston would have a HUGE addition at NO cost for this season. Why not go for it all right now, open up a one year window and make a push against Miami? Ok, I'm done.

So not to put too much stress over a win against the Suns, but this was Boston's best win of the season. It was convincing, it was without Garnett, it opens up the door (hopefully) for Green to start and get serious minutes, it solves the backup point guard situation, it proves Crawford can fit and fit well. Now keep proving it.

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