Celtics Hot or Not - March 28
BOSTON – Things haven’t been so hot for the Boston Celtics over their past five games. They have gone 1-4 over that stretch and it took a buzzer-beating layup from Jeff Green in Cleveland to grab that lone victory.
That being said, not everything has been dreary in the Bean. Two of those four losses were by a combined five points and several Celtics have been playing well. Let's take a look at two of those players, as well as a pair of C’s who have been struggling, in this edition of Celtics Hot or Not. Each player’s averages and shot chart below are for the last five games he has participated in.
HOT - Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce clearly isn’t feeling any spring blues because this is the second time he’s found himself in the HOT category during March. His shooting numbers this month are incredible, as he’s hitting 52.2 percent of his shots from the field and 48.1 percent of his shots from 3-point range. Those numbers haven’t changed much over the past five games. Pierce has stayed right on track by hitting 52.2 percent of his field goals and 47.6 percent of his 3-pointers.
The main areas of attack for the captain during this recent stretch have been the 3-point line and in the paint. Pierce drilled nine of the 15 3-pointers that he attempted from the top of the key or the left wing. He also made his way into the paint for more than half of his shot attempts during this stretch. Pierce made 65.7 percent of those shots in the paint. Not too shabby.
HOT – Brandon Bass
Have you been following Brandon Bass lately? If you haven’t been, you should be.
Bass is quietly catching fire as his shot attempts ramp up with Kevin Garnett out of the lineup. Bass shot a scorching 58.1 percent from the field over the past five games, which is a full 11.1 percent bump from his season average.
Great shooting typically leads to a bump in scoring as well, and that is certainly the case with Bass. He averaged 13.2 points per game over the past five contests that included a season-high 22 points during Wednesday night’s triumph in Cleveland.
The best part about Bass’ recent surge is that he isn’t relying solely on his perimeter jump shot. Instead, he’s relentlessly attacking the basket. He has taken 62.8 percent of his shot attempts in the restricted area and he has gone 16-for-27 on those attempts during this stretch.
As icing on the cake to all of these great numbers, Bass also shot a phenomenal 94.1 percent from the free-throw line and grabbed 7.0 RPG during the last handful of games.
NOT – Avery Bradley
Avery Bradley is struggling. Plain and simple. Doc Rivers touched on this subject following Tuesday night’s loss to the Knicks. Rivers said he needs to find a way to get Bradley going, and the numbers agree.
Bradley has shot a woeful 27.1 percent from the field over the past five games. Things have been even worse from 3-point range, where he has made only two of his 13 attempts (15.4 percent).
Those percentages are drastic drop offs from how Bradley shot the ball last season. He made 49.8 percent of his field goal attempts last season and 40.7 percent of his 3s. We already know he can shoot. All he has to do is relocate his rhythm.
NOT – Jeff Green
Jeff Green has scored 40 points over his past two games but his overall numbers have not been great. The athletic forward, who has been thrust into the starting lineup with Garnett on the mend, has shot only 42.6 percent from the field overall during his last five contests.
Truth be told, that’s just about the only underwhelming number Green has put up of late. He has averaged 15.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG and 3.8 APG over those five games. Additionally, Green has made nearly 39 percent of his 13 3-pointers.
Green is more lukewarm right now than he is ice cold. He’s playing strong basketball. All he needs to do now is heat up that overall shooting percentage and he’ll be on his way to dominating opponents.