Blakely's midseason Celtics report card
Blakely's midseason Celtics report card
BOSTON – While the All-Star game is seen by many as the halfway point of the season, the official midway point is right about now.
The Celtics (26-15) are officially halfway through the season after Monday's victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
And you know what that means...REPORT CARDS!
Here we take a look at each Celtic, how they have fared statistically and of course, a final grade.
STARTERS: Isaiah Thomas
Stats: 28.4 PPG; 6.1 APG; 2.7 RPG. Leads NBA in 4th quarter points (10.1) per game.
Summary: Few would have imagined that as well as Thomas played a year ago, he would be even better now. Proving last season was not a fluke, Thomas has developed into one of the NBA’s best players who thrives in late-game situations. This is evident by him averaging a league-best 10.1 points in the fourth quarter that has catapulted him into being a shoo-in for next month’s all-star game. GRADE: A
Stats: 17.7 PPG; 6.9 RPG; 2.4 APG. Third among players 6-foot-6 and under in rebounds per game.
Summary: After earning a spot on the NBA’s All-Defensive First team last season, Bradley is showing he can be a big-time scorer as well. His well-established play as an on-the-ball defender has been meshed with an offensive game that has continued to grow with each passing season. Today, Bradley ranks among the NBA’s best two-way players. GRADE: A-
Stats: 15.4 PPG; 6.8 RPG; 4.9 APG. Leads all centers in assists per game.
Summary: One of the most significant free agent signings ever by Boston, Horford came in with tremendous expectations from Celtics Nation. There’s no mistaking the impact his presence has on winning. But missing nine games with a concussion, plus another to be with his wife for the birth of their second child, has kept him off the floor more than anyone – including Horford – would like. But again, when he plays the Celtics are one of the best teams in the East. GRADE: B
Stats: 13.0 PPG; 5.1 RPG; 2.2 APG. Shooting a team-leading 42.6 percent from 3-point range this season.
Summary: The versatility that Crowder provides Boston cannot be overstated. He allows Boston to play small at times and still maintain a certain defensive disposition that’s good for the Green Team. Throw in the fact that he’s having a career season shooting the 3-ball and it adds up to a player who has tremendous value in Boston’s quest at being among the best in the East. GRADE: B+
Stats: 6.3 PPG; 4.5 RPG; 1.9 APG. Shoots team-high 52.9 percent from the field.
Summary: The most unsung member of Boston’s starting five, Johnson has made a career out of doing the little things that contribute to winning games. His help-side defense, ability to seal off bigs for guards who can then swoop in for rebounds, and maybe most important, his success at contesting shots, has paid dividends for Boston. GRADE: B
RESERVES: Marcus Smart
Stats: 9.9 PPG; 4.4 APG; 3.8 RPG. Celtics are 7-2 when he has six or more assists.
Summary: Coach Brad Stevens refers to him as a sixth starter and Smart has shown himself to be just that most of this season. Smart has come off the bench primarily, but has shown the ability to start at times for injured teams at the one (point guard), two (shooting guard) and three (small forward) this season because he may lack in size or quickness he makes up for with great instincts and toughness. GRADE: B
Stats: 8.6 PPG; 4.3 RPG; 2.1 APG. Celtics are 11-2 when he scores in double figures.
Summary: There may not be a wilder wild card on this roster than Olynyk, a 7-footer who can dominate one night and completely disappear the next. The hope was that he would be a bit more consistent in this, a contract year. But that has not been the case. Still, his skills make him an important cog off the bench. GRADE: B-
Stats: 4.5 PPG; 3.3 RPG; 0.9 APG. Boston is 12-4 when he has four or more rebounds.
Summary: When Boston goes small, Jerebko allows them to do so without having to give up too much size. He remains one of Boston’s best 3-point shooters and does a decent job of fighting around the glass even if far too often he doesn’t come up with the rebound. Look for him to continue playing minutes in the low-to-mid teens the second half of this season. GRADE: B
Stats: 4.8 PPG, 1.9 RPG; 0.3 SPG. Has shot 47.7 percent since Dec. 1, only 37.9 percent in November.
Summary: This entire season has been a learning experience for Brown, selected with the third overall pick. His athleticism has wowed many Celtics fans, but his overall understanding of the game at both ends of the floor is what’s going to keep him on the floor going forward for Boston. The Celtics haven’t overloaded him with too many minutes early on, but they are doing enough to get him on the floor. And to his credit, he’s not resting on the laurels of being a good athlete. He’s working towards become a more all-around, strides that are becoming more noticeable as the season progresses. GRADE: B
Stats: 5.4 PPG; 2.0 RPG. Second on the Celtics in field goal attempts (16.6) per 36 minutes.
Summary: The first 20 or so games were a fog for Green, who had a series of bumps and bruises that limited him in training camp and slowed down his acclimation to the Celtics’ system. But man, has he made up for lost time. Boston’s five-point win over New York on Christmas was the beginning of Green’s run of solid play. Against the Knicks, he had eight points in just under 12 minutes. He followed that up two nights later with a season-high 19 points in a victory over Memphis. The Celtics are still picking and choosing when to play him heavy minutes or when his role should be limited, but the thing Boston knows is that he’s a guy that can carry them for stretches here and there. GRADE: B
Stats: 5.6 PPG; 3.2 RPG; 1.7 APG. Has had one or zero turnovers in 31 of 36 games played this season.
Summary: His role began to diminish near the end of December, but got a second life in January courtesy of injuries. Rozier has exceptional quickness and isn’t afraid to stick his nose in there and get after guys defensively. And his shot-making is certainly better than it was a year ago. But the facilitating role that Boston wanted from him, has been filled by Marcus Smart. And Gerald Green has moved past him and is in the regular rotation because of his shot-making. It makes minutes hard to come by for Rozier, but it certainly isn’t because of a lack of talent. GRADE: B-
Stats: 4.1 PPG; 2.9 RPG; 0.9 APG. Celtics are 4-1 when he scores 10 or more points.
Summary: A nasty sinus infection has kept Zeller out for the past seven games. Even before that, his role was limited and sporadic to say the least. But to Zeller’s credit, when he has played he has done most if not all of what the Celtics needed him to do. While he’s on the mend and could be available to play soon, you can expect his role will remain similar to what it was prior his absence. GRADE: C+
Stats: 2.6 PPG; 1.9 RPG; 8.2 MPG. Made first NBA start vs Washington on Jan. 11
Summary: Like Young, he has not seen much action this season. But to Mickey’s credit, when he has played it’s clear that he’s a guy that at some point will be a contributor at this level. He runs the floor well, is a decent rebounder and has great shot-blocking potential. But right now, Mickey’s game is based more on potential than production. GRADE: C+
Stats: 2.5 PPG; 1.0 RPG. Has appeared in four games this season.
Summary: The lone second-round pick from last June’s draft on the roster, the franchise still feels as though they got a guy with first-round talent in the second round by selecting Jackson. He has appeared in just four games this season, but has already shown an ability to score at this level. But his playmaking has to get better as well as his defense which isn’t bad, but definitely has room to grow. GRADE: B-