Jeff Green-Less Celtics Fall Short Vs. Pacers As Trade Rumors Swirl


Jan 9, 2015

After learning Friday that Brandan Wright had become a Phoenix Sun and that Jeff Green more than likely soon would join the Memphis Grizzlies, the Boston Celtics still had a basketball game to play.

The Celtics stayed within striking distance of the Indiana Pacers for the duration, and Avery Bradley buried a 3-pointer with less than four seconds remaining to force overtime. A Kelly Olynyk three in the closing seconds of the extra session missed its mark, however, and the Pacers were able to hold on for a 107-103 win.

A whole new world

Green still had not been dealt by the time the final horn sounded, but he might as well have been. Though he did warm up with the team, he did not dress and was not present on the bench. Instead, Jae Crowder got his first start in a Celtics uniform, and his presence showed what these C’s might look like as this season progresses.

The switch from Green to Crowder obviously brings with it a drop in scoring, but the latter brings with him his trademark energy and defensive prowess. Though the Celtics weren’t particularly crisp in their execution against the Pacers, their uptick in effort was noticeable. Crowder finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block in 27 minutes.

Bass the next to go?

The Celtics player with the heaviest trade speculation outside of Green and Rajon Rondo this season has been Brandon Bass. But despite that, Bass has been solid on a nightly basis. He come through again vs. Indiana, posting 17 assists, four rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal in 26 minutes off the bench. Olynyk also shined in a reserve role, chipping in with 13 points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal.

Caught off guard

This game featured a particularly brutal shooting performance from Boston’s backcourt players. Turner, Bradley, Marcus Smart and Marcus Thornton combined to go a 17-for-52 from the floor. Thornton’s night was especially rough, as he went just 1-for-7 in his 14 minutes of action.

It wasn’t all bad from Boston’s guards, though. Evan Turner finished with a career-high 14 rebounds, and Marcus Smart drilled three of his first four 3-pointers and made hustle play after hustle play in the second half. Bradley woke up, as well, after half time, finishing with a game-high 23 points on 10-of-20 shooting.

Up next: The Celtics travel to Toronto on Saturday night to take on the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors.

Thumbnail photo via Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports Images

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