The Celtics stormed into the All-Star Break winning eight of their last nine games and looking like a team that can roll with the best of the best. But it’s important to remember the hard-to-watch crew prior to the run. Here’s the report card for the Boston Celtics at the All-Star Break.
Head of the Class
Paul Pierce: A- Pierce has seen his shooting percentage drop since the beginning of January, but he’s still been the team’s most important player, and since Rajon Rondo went down, the best. He’s averaging 8.9 rebounds and 7.3 assists in February – well above his career averages. The question remains if Pierce can keep doing it all at the rate he has been.
Kevin Garnett: A- Along with Pierce, Garnett is leading the C’s since Rondo’s injury. His averages of 15 points and 7.7 rebounds this season are actually pretty much on par with his last four seasons with Boston, and so is his effectiveness. Garnett remains the C’s most important big man and defender.
Jason Terry: B+ Can you guess the Celtics’ plus/minus leader at the All-Star Break? It’s Terry, at plus-84. That’s pretty hard to believe when you think about just how awful he was to start the year. Terry’s completely turned his season around and is now the sixth man Boston had been looking for.
Jeff Green: B It’s hard to talk about Jeff Green’s productivity without mentioning his four-year, $36 million dollar contract. Has he lived up to it yet? Nope. But like Terry, Green has been much more effective – on both ends of the court – as of late. He’s the definition of a player who is far better when he’s playing “mindless” basketball.
Avery Bradley: C+ Bradley was hailed as the savior prior to his return to the Celtics, and while he’s certainly been a plus on the defensive side of things, he’s yet to find his shot this season. Bradley is shooting under 40 percent from the field and under 30 percent from the 3-point line. Those numbers have to rise.
Courtney Lee: C+ Lee was a starter to begin the year, then he went to the bench, and now he’s back starting again. That about sums up his up-and-down season, but like most of the team, he’s playing better now than before. Lee’s defense has been commendable, but he needs to be more aggressive on offense.
See Me After Class
Chris Wilcox: C- Chris Wilcox has once again had a hard time finding the basketball court due to injuries and inconsistencies. He had a knack for catching alley-oops from Rondo and Leandro Barbosa – but that ain’t happening anymore. Still, the run-and-gun offense may suit him.
Brandon Bass: C- Bass had lost his starting job just before Jared Sullinger went down for the year, forcing Boston to put him back into the lineup. He is by far the team’s worst plus/minus guy at minus-142. But there’s hope: He’s shooting 49 percent in February, easily his best month of the season.
Jason Collins: C- Let’s remember that all grades are relative here. The C’s didn’t expect to get a whole lot out of Collins as an end-of-rotation player. He bodies up to fellow 7-footers, and sets good picks. Other than that, he’s good for six fouls.
Fab Melo – not NBA ready
Rajon Rondo – torn ACL
Jared Sullinger – back surgery
Leandro Barbosa – torn ACL