The Celtics are admitting to their mistakes and are saying all the right things down 0-2 in their first round series with Atlanta. They need to “make shots” and it’s painfully obvious that they need to get out to a better start in Game 3 on Friday (8 p.m., CSNNE, ESPN2) if they’re entertaining any ideas of actually winning this series.
Here’s some constructive criticism for this entire team, as we grade them for the first two games and look at what they can do better in Game 3.
Amir Johnson B –
Johnson was clearly a bright spot for the Celtics in Game 2, pumping in 14 points and grabbing eight boards. But if you’re a plus/minus guy, know that Johnson registered a minus-9 Tuesday night. Oh, and he only scored four points as a starter in Game 1.
Jae Crowder C –
Crowder was so bad in Game 2 (2 points on 1-of-9 shooting in 35 minutes) that there were more than a few injury conspiracy theories floated by writers and fans during the game on Twitter. It’s clear by now though that Brad Stevens would trot him out there even if he were on his death bed, or worse, if he had Tuukka Rask-like tummy issues.
Jared Sullinger D+
Did Sullinger play Tuesday night? Seriously, those were the most forgettable 14 minutes of basketball in league history. He allegedly scored four points and had four rebounds in Game 2.
Isaiah Thomas C
Bless his heart. He keeps trying. He doesn’t quit. But those nifty strolls to the lane get congested in a hurry against the Hawks. Atlanta’s game plan in Game 2 seemed centered on the defense collapsing whenever Thomas made a move toward the paint. Smart. If he can’t get to the rim, he at least needs to start making 3s. He’s 5-of-16 from beyond the deep stripe so far in the series.
Marcus Smart C –
As good as he was in Game 1, he did commit a dumb intentional foul on Kent Bazemore with 36 seconds left that burned the Celtics. Then in Game 2 he, like a lot of Celtics’ players, completely disappeared. He got the start and scored just three points in 30 minutes. He had a minus-20 for the game.
Jonas Jerebko B+
He won’t lose you a game, but he certainly won’t win it for you either. He had a plus-5 plus/minus in Game 1 and a plus-8 in Game 2. By his teammates’ standards, he’s doing quite well.
Evan Turner C +
Turner logged 34 minutes in Game 1 and 33 minutes in Game 2. He scored 10 points in the first game and 12 in the second. The Celtics need him to get toward that 20-point plateau in this series, though. For the record, he scored 21 points in the win over the Warriors in the regular season.
Tyler Zeller C
The Celtics planted the seeds for one legit run in Game 2. Then Zeller tried a hook shot that had zero chance, killing whatever momentum Boston had gained.
Terry Rozier B
The Hawks looked confused when Rozier initially stepped on the floor in Game 2. I wouldn’t even call it a spark, but Rozier game the Celtics something. Grading on a curve here.
R.J. Hunter D +
Eighteen minutes played so far in this series – which is a telltale of where the Celtics find themselves in this series. In those 18 minutes, Hunter has produced a goose-egg in the points department.
Kelly Olynyk C –
Olynyk missed Game 2 due to a shoulder injury after playing 12 minutes and scoring two points in Game 1. The C’s desperately need his floor-stretching ability to create some room in the paint for their slashers.