The Celtics overcame a lot of sloppy play, fouls, and turnovers to beat the short-handed Grizzlies. The two teams battled in a game that came down to overtime last week, but that wasn’t necessary in this one. The Celtics were in control throughout the second half. While the Grizzlies rallied at times, they never were able to completely swing the momentum in their favor. Avery Bradley was huge in this one, more on that in a bit, and Isaiah Thomas had his usual 20 plus.
Avery Bradley! Beast on both Ends!
Avery Bradley stuffs the stat sheet with 23 pts, 7 rebs, 4 asts, 2 stls and a blk, as the Celtics defeat the Grizzlies, 113-103 #NBAVote! Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 28, 2016
The above tweet says it all. Bradley absolutely stuffed the stat sheet indeed. Avery Bradley carried the Celtics tonight. 23 points, 7 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block! Absolutely incredible performance by AB. He was also an efficient 10 for 17 from the field and brought his usual stellar defense as well. Bradley is clearly performing above and beyond what many expected of him before the season began.
Fouls and Turnovers
The Celtics were actually somewhat lucky to win this game. The Celtics committed more fouls and more turnovers than the Grizzlies, and both by a fair amount. The Celtics fouled 24 times to 18 for the Grizzlies, and turned it over 17 times compared to 11 times for the Grizzlies.
Some of those fouls were of the silly or stupid variety. Fouling a ball handler immediately after he steals the ball from you is not smart. It’s not going to get the ball back, it’s only making the situation worse. Crowder committed one of those types of fouls in the first half.
The Celtics were largely able to overcome these errors because of their prolific offense. They shot 48% from the field, 90% from the free throw line, and 38% from three.
Isaiah Thomas Great in the Clutch
Isaiah’s stat line didn’t jump off the page, as it’s merely what he’s been doing all season long. 21 points and 7 assists for Thomas at this point is not unusual. Not at all.
However Thomas’ consistency is impressive in and of itself. While Bradley was more efficient and carried a bigger scoring load tonight, Thomas was excellent as an initiator of offense. His constant probing and attacking on offense puts other guys in position to score easily.
Not only that, but Thomas was great from the 8 minute mark of the fourth quarter on. His production in fourth quarters this year, which trails only Westbrook, has been special.
Green had his second impressive outing in a row, and it’s clear his shots are now starting to fall for him. Green is making an impact offensively.
We needed every one of his 19 points. – @celtics Brad Stevens on Gerald Green’s game.- A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) December 28, 2016
Green had 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 assist in only 18 minutes and off of only 10 FGA.
Cavs up Next
The Celtics will play the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night at 8:00 PM on National television. The Celtics go into one of their toughest tests of the regular season playing some of their best basketball of the season. It will be an interesting game.