|2012-13 Team Rating|
|21st Overall||8th Overall|
Stats through Jan. 22
Kevin Garnett is still great defender for 30 minutes a game. Offensively, he's moving further away from basket. Brandon Bass is a jump shooter and Paul Pierce's efficiency has declined for second straight year.
Avery Bradley's return has helped stabilize the defense, but Rondo's injury throws a huge wrench in the offense. The Celtics don't have another point guard on the roster, so Courtney Lee is the new starter by default.
The Celtics rank eighth overall defensively. They've been even better (95.7 points allowed per 100 possessions -- second in the league) since Bradley's return.
Jared Sullinger is only guy who has given the Celtics a real lift off the bench. Others, led by Terry and Jeff Green, have been disappointing, but the hope is that Bradley's return will stabilize bench.
Doc Rivers has expressed frustration with his team on multiple occasions. He's a great communicator, but hasn't been able motivate this group for more than a few games at a time. Keeping them on track sans Rondo will be a big challenge.
You are what your record says you are. When the Celtics reached the midpoint of the season, they were a very mediocre 20-21. And then they lost Rondo for the season.
The Celtics' defense wasn't up to their standards early on, but it has been solid since Bradley's return at the start of January. The problem is that they still can't score. They shoot poorly from distance, they don't get to the free-throw line enough, and they don't grab many offensive rebounds.
Part of the problem is that their two starting bigs are both jump-shooters. Both Garnett and Bass take about 60 percent of their shots from outside the paint. As a result, the Celtics have no paint presence offensively.
The Celtics basically had the same problems last season, when they were one game away from knocking off the Miami Heat in the conference finals. But the Eastern Conference is deeper this season, Garnett and Paul Pierce are a year older, and the guy who averaged 20.9 points and 11.3 assists in that series just tore his ACL.
There are no easy fixes with this group, and now with Rondo out, a trade deadline shake-up obviously becomes more likely.
-- John Schuhmann
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||A-|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||D|
|New Orleans Pelicans||C-|
|New York Knicks||D|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||A|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|