Friday, February 22, 2013

Celtics Future Shines Bright Against Suns As KG-Free Boston Blasts Phoenix: 113-88

Call Springfield and tell 'em to add another spot next to the markers for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett...Jeff Green's comin', Baby!!

Okay, I really am just kidding, so stop typing and calm down.

Still, Green -- stepping up and starting in the absence of a resting KG -- had the breakout game we've all been waiting for, scoring a season high 31 points and swatting a career-high 5 shots to go along with 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.

This game against the Phoenix Suns -- who still happen to be an NBA team despite what their record (18 wins, 38 losses) and casual fans would have you believe -- was a blowout for the Celtics thanks to continued emphasis on running the ball in the passing game.

As a byproduct of the pace of this game, a newly aggressive and hard-running Chris Wilcox -- perhaps still feeling the heat from his brush with the trade deadline and his near-exile to Washington in the Jordan Crawford trade (more on him later!) -- scored a season-high 14 points (including this SWEET reverse jam to go with an even SWEETER put-back layup), grabbed 8 boards and registered 1 block.

And, speaking of the trade that sent the ACL-challenged Leandro Barbosa and his expiring contract along with Jason Collins to Washington for guard Jordan Crawford, J-Crawf and the equally green man-in-green Terrence Williams served each and every negative know-it-all a tall, bubbly glass of STFU -- at least for one game, anyway. T-Will looked steady as he showcased his versatility, dropping 9 points on 4-8 shooting with 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 23 minutes while J-Crawf scored 10 on 4-9 shooting in addition to his 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 15 minutes.

I won't get into it too deeply in this post, but the nattering nabobs of negativism who have criticized Danny Ainge for "only" trading for Crawford at the much overhyped trade dudline deadline instead of running Pierce and KG out of town and are speaking ill of the two new additions are most likely either fly-by-night fans or very casual observers of the sport. Any issue with Williams and Crawford was NEVER connected to a lack of talent. Each has had maturity issues in the past, but both are extremely gifted athletes who possess the kind of skill that the Celtics have been yearning for. And the fact that they're both on the young side of their 20's speaks to the tremendous upside each has if Doc Rivers and the Celtics' veterans can help to guide them. Many of the "fans" who are doubting T-Will and J-Crawf were cheering for the equally immature and impetuous Nate Robinson by the time he left town.

Time will tell with these two, but lets give them the time to be able to tell, 'kay guys?

In fact, the newbies were so effective in their abbreviated court time that Captain Pierce was treated to a relatively short night of 23 minutes, and was able to keep his shoulders light scoring 8 points on 3-5 shooting snaring 5 rebounds, passing out 3 assists and grabbing 1 steal. Instead, other Celtics like Jason Terry (13 points), Avery Bradley (13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals), Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee carried the burden for the team.

The future is indeed bright for the immediate stretch-run and, potentially, years to come. Time will tell, but it's great to know that the clock is still running.

Speaking of running clock, it's only a matter of time before the Celtics fill in the rest of the open slots on the team with a couple of large bodies, and the most recent report floating around from League sources has the C's signing D.J. White to a 10-day contract. White is a 26-year-old 6' 9" forward who was drafted in 2009 by the Detroit Pistons. With career averages of 6.3 points per game and 3.4 rebounds per game, White has spread his ultra-limited 124 NBA games over 3 seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder and 2 with the Charlotte Bobcats, but most recently, he played with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball League where he averaged 21.6 points and 9.7 rebounds. At this point, he may just be a placeholder for one of the bigs expected to be available in the coming weeks as teams look to perfect their rosters heading into the playoffs. There have also been rumors of the Celtics' interest in hair band member 6' 9" forward Louis Amundson, among others.

Box Score

Tale Of The Tape

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