Boston Celtics guard Terrence Williams showed Carmelo Anthony flashes of his skills.
When Terrence Williams signed a 10-day contract with the Boston Celtics on February 18th, he was seen as just a warm body off the bench for the injury-ravaged Celtics. The Celtics were depleted by injuries without their All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, rookie forward Jared Sullinger, and reserve guard Leandro Barbosa. With no clear backup for Rondo, the Celtics believed Williams could fit the bill.
Williams displayed an array of skills while he was at the University of Louisville. The 6-foot-6-inch, 220-pound swingman could set up shots for his teammates as well as himself. He showed strength inside with his size and speed. Head coach Rick Pitino called him “a freakish athlete.” This led to the then-New Jersey Nets using their 11th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft on Williams.
Since Williams has entered the league, he has been unable to showcase the skills that led him to the NBA because of his immaturity. He had bouts with former Nets head coach Avery Johnson that led to him being sent down to the NBA Development League in 2010. He was eventually released by the Nets. The four-year veteran bounced around the league with the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings before he was cut by the Detroit Pistons last summer.
In the 2012-’13 season, Williams played overseas in China. He averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.2 steals while playing for the Guangdong Southern Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association. Williams was on the court for 29 games for the Tigers before he was replaced by Donald Sloan in the final two games of the regular season.
His performance in the CBA and the Celtics’ need for a reserve guard led him back to the NBA. Despite the limited time he spent on the court, the Celtics liked his potential to sign him to a multi-year contract in March. Williams played in 24 games in the regular season with the Celtics and he shot 49.5% from the floor. In the Celtics’ first round loss to the New York Knicks, Doc Rivers gave Williams a few critical minutes in the fourth quarter of Game 5 when Williams replaced Kevin Garnett. He was able to allow the Celtics to regain a double-digit advantage at 80-67. Williams scored four points, collected four rebounds, and dished out two assists in less than 17 minutes of action.
After the Celtics season ended, the future of the team is up in the air whether the Celtics will keep Paul Pierce and Garnett or if they will rebuild. Williams has shown he is capable of producing on the biggest stage and the Celtics hope to see more of Williams’ instincts when training camp arrives in the fall.
Avery Bradley’s broke out of his shooting slump on April 1st against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The calendar has mercifully turned to April as it appears that March was purely a dreadful time for Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley.
On Monday night, Bradley was 8-of-14 from the field and he led the Celtics with 19 points in the 110-100 loss to the host Minnesota Timberwolves. The only negative aspect of Bradley’s performance was that he shot 1-of-5 from beyond the arc. In the thirteen previous games, Bradley shot just 31% from the floor and he averaged 7.2 points. Bradley fouled out with just two points in the final minutes of the 108-89 blowout loss at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks on Sunday night, which happened to be the final night of March. Doc Rivers tried to restore Bradley’s confidence by putting him on the court in the final minutes. Bradley finished just 1-of-5 from the field.
During the slump, Bradley missed layups in the half-court offense and he failed to hit open three-pointers in the corner. This could have just been a slump or perhaps the absence of Courtney Lee affected Bradley on the offensive end. With Lee out with a sprained ankle, Bradley’s on-ball defense was even more important. The Celtics were forced to use weaker defenders like Jason Terry and Jordan Crawford alongside Bradley. This allowed opposing teams (like the Memphis Grizzlies did with Jerryd Bayless) to utilize younger and quicker scoring guards to blow by Terry and Crawford.
Granted, Bradley’s struggles began before Lee went down, but Lee’s absence may have extended the shooting woes for Bradley. Also, the Celtics have asked Bradley to share more of a point guard role since Rajon Rondo suffered a season-ending torn right ACL on January 25th against the Atlanta Hawks. All of the increased responsibility and lack of depth may have piled up on Bradley throughout March.
Since Lee came back in a win over the Hawks last Friday, Bradley has appeared to be rising out of the doldrums. Lee’s minutes have increased and this has helped lift the load off Bradley’s back. In the 98-93 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, Bradley had another efficient performance as he shot 5-of-8 for 11 points. He nailed his lone three-point attempt.
Now, Bradley needs to stay out of foul trouble even though there have been some questionable calls from the officials. On Wednesday late in the game, Bradley appeared to get all ball on a strip, but the officials whistled for a foul and the Pistons were able to go to the line to cut into the Celtics’ lead. Bradley’s aggressive defense can make officials believe there is more contact. There hasn’t been a defender in recent times as relentless as Bradley.
The Celtics will need Bradley to perform on both ends of the court in the postseason. There is no better time for Bradley to regain confidence with his shot than with less than two weeks left in the regular season.
Doc Rivers has been unable to find the right ingredients for the 2012-’13 Boston Celtics.
Should Danny Ainge dismantle the Boston Celtics roster?
The Celtics are still searching for their identity halfway through the season. They are the losers of four straight games with three (New Orleans Hornets, Detroit Pistons, and Cleveland Cavaliers) of those defeats against teams who are below .500. Now the Celtics are in the eighth spot of the Eastern Conference at 20-21.
In the 103-88 loss to the Pistons on Sunday, Doc Rivers criticized the team in his postgame press conference and said the team will have to make changes if the Celtics continue to play inconsistent basketball. Everybody thought the Celtics would be better and take off when Avery Bradley returned. Bradley did provide a jolt in the backcourt on defense, but he suffered a rib injury against the Hornets. He missed the overtime defeat to the Chicago Bulls on January 18th. Then he came back to start the game in Detroit, but he is clearly playing in pain and he is not the same player he was when he initially returned.
There are more glaring problems such as the lack of stable production from role players such as Jason Terry, Jeff Green, and Courtney Lee. Brandon Bass was scoreless against the Pistons and appeared to lose confidence in his mid-range jumper. The role players are relying too much on Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo to the point that Rivers may need to perform his best Rick Pitino impression. Garnett and Pierce are not the Hall-of-Fame caliber players they were earlier in their careers. Rivers and the coaching staff have been attempting to get more from their younger veterans to preserve Pierce’s and Garnett’s legs for the length of the season.
The only player who has been performing above their expectations is Jared Sullinger. Sullinger spends limited minutes on the court because he is constantly in foul trouble. He has given the Celtics energy with his ability to rebound and score in the paint.
Avery Bradley’s defense is an energizing force for the Boston Celtics.
The Boston Celtics have won four straight games and they are a game over .500. Last week after the Celtics fourth straight defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies, people were talking about the fact that the Celtics need to blow up their roster and their only way to compete is by acquiring troubled forward DeMarcus Cousins.
One of the many reasons that the Celtics are playing better, especially on the defensive end is Avery Bradley. Since Bradley played his first game against the Grizzlies on January 2nd , the Celtics have not allowed a team to score over 100 points. In the three previous games on the West Coast, the Celtics gave up an average of 108.3 points per game. The Celtics are 4-1 since Bradley returned to the court.
The Celtics rarely consistently showed a pulse early in the season on both sides of the court. When the Celtics played well defensively, they would struggle on offense. Then when the offense was executing well, the defense would falter. Read the rest of this entry →
What do all of these dates have in common? Well, all of them have taken place in the past year and all of them take place during basketball season. More importantly, all of these dates are ones where Rajon Rondo has been suspended for some type of on court issue. Lets revisit them, shall we?
The first incident took place in February last season during a game at Detroit. After not receiving a foul call following a hard drive to the basket, Rondo tossed the ball and hit the official in the chest. Rondo received a double technical, was ejected from the game and resulted in a two game suspension. The Celtics lost both games while Rondo was suspended.
The second incident also involved a referee, this time taking place during the 2012 playoffs. During a quarterfinal match up against the Atlanta Hawks, Rondo was once again arguing an official’s call and bumped a referee in the final minute of the game one loss. Rondo once again received a double technical, was ejected from the game and would later be suspended for game two of the series. The Celtics won that game behind a 36 point effort from Paul Pierce.
Courtney Lee’s aggressiveness has picked up on the offensive end over the past three games.
The Boston Celtics are nearly a quarter into their 2012-’13 regular season with a 10-8 record. Through seventeen games, the Celtics have battled inconsistency on both ends of the court.
This year the Celtics’ roster appeared to be deeper than in the past five years since they acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to form the Big Three with Paul Pierce. With Allen leaving the Celtics for the Miami Heat in July, they replaced him with Jason Terry. Terry has performed fairly well other than allowing Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings to get by him for the go-ahead basket in the Celtics’ 91-88 loss to the Bucks on Saturday. Terry missed a couple of treys in the final minute.
The Celtics’ bench was supposed to be strong this year with players such as Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, Leandro Barbosa, and either Jared Sullinger or Brandon Bass. They lost Darko Milicic, who had an ailing mother overseas, for the season. Milicic was supposed to be an upgrade over Greg Stiemsma last year. Milicic’s height (7 feet) and interior defense were supposed to help the Celtics, but that never materialized. Instead, the Celtics have used undersized forwards such as Chris Wilcox and Sullinger in the frontcourt with rare cameos from Jason Collins.