San Antonio Spurs vs. Boston Celtics: Postgame Grades and Analysis
The San Antonio Spurs traveled to Boston Wednesday night and outclassed the Celtics, 112-100.
The Spurs' offensive flow proved to be too much for the Celtics defensively. San Antonio shot 58.4 percent from the field en route to the 12-point victory.
The matchup to watch, however, between point guards Rajon Rondo and Tony Parker was just as fantastic as advertised. Both players went off and had impressive nights.
However, it was Spurs reserve Tiago Splitter who proved to be the difference. Splitter posted 23 points off the bench, and played an immense role in the fourth quarter.
The Spurs improve to 9-3 on the season, while the Celtics slide back to even, at 6-6.
Let's take a look at how both teams graded out in the Wednesday-night matchup.
Tony Parker, PG SAS: A
Tony Parker was every bit Rajon Rondo's equal in the night.
Parker's play was in control and efficient all night, and he proved to be an offensive force the Celtics were not capable of dealing with. He exploited the Celtics interior with hard drives and floaters in the lane.
He posted a game-high 26 points on 12-of-17 shooting with six assists. Rondo may have had the better all-around game, but it was Parker who helped his team win the game.
Rajon Rondo, PG BOS: A
In the premier matchup of the night, Rajon Rondo really came to play.
He provided good control in all aspects of the Celtics game. He tallied 15 assists to extend his double-digit assist streak to 35 straight games. Rondo also tallied 22 points, shooting 8-of-16 from the field.
With his team falling behind by 10 points in the final quarter, Rondo connected on a couple big jumpers to keep Boston close. Ultimately, his team faded, but there was little more its point guard could do to affect the outcome.
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Gary Neal, SG SAS: B-
Gary Neal played a virtually identical game to Jason Terry. He shot 5-of-8 from the field and hit two three-pointers. He finished with 12 points, as well.
The difference in their games was that, despite the San Antonio victory, Neal posted a minus-four on the night. Terry, on the other hand, finished plus-four.
Jason Terry, SG BOS: B
Jason Terry started off the game scorching hot, netting 10 quick points in the opening minutes.
Unfortunately, after that he was held to just two points for the rest of the night. Terry finished with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, normally a very solid night for a shooting guard.
However, knowing how much of a non-factor he was through the final three quarters puts a damper on that production. The Celtics will need more consistent production from him in the future.
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Danny Green, SF SAS: C+
Danny Green had little impact on the game as well, needing eight shots to get to 10 points. He hit on just three of those eight shots and was never really involved in the offensive flow.
Because the Spurs got so much offense elsewhere, it is difficult to fault him, but in 39 minutes, his production could have been a bit more impressive.
Paul Pierce, SF BOS: B-
It was another solid outing for Paul Pierce, but nothing to write home about.
The Celtics star had a good night from the field, shooting 6-of-11 for 19 points. However, his impact was rarely felt, and his points came outside the flow of good offense. And, some of Pierce's misses were unnecessary shots.
He also was not a factor in any other aspect of the game. As a team, the Celtics were not good on the boards, and Pierce registering no rebounds is unacceptable.
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Tim Duncan, PF SAS: A
Tim Duncan saw mismatches all night, with the likes of Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger attempting to guard him. The veteran big took full advantage and was dominant from end-to-end.
Duncan finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds against a shorter Boston lineup. He hit 7-of-12 shots and got to the line for nine free throws.
Brandon Bass, PF BOS: B+
Brandon Bass drew the short straw defensively, trying to face up with Duncan on most possessions. He was relatively unsuccessful, but did as well as expected. Where Bass needed to make an impact was on the offensive end.
His ability to hit jumpers from the elbow brought Duncan out of the paint, opening things for Rajon Rondo's penetration.
Bass shot very well from the field, connecting on 7-of-10 shots for 16 points. He also hauled in six rebounds, including the Celtics' lone offensive board.
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DeJuan Blair, C SAS: C
Blair played well for spurts and posted a very efficient night. The starting center connected on 5-of-7 from the field for 10 points and five rebounds.
However, Blair played just 20 minutes and didn't see the court in crunch time, as Tiago Splitter made Blair expendable in the fourth quarter.
Still, Blair held up reasonably well against Kevin Garnett. Thanks in part to Blair's work defensively, the Celtics big man had a difficult time getting into any sort of rhythm on offense.
Kevin Garnett, C BOS: C-
The final numbers are OK, as Kevin Garnett posted 14 points on 7-of-14 shooting. However, he was never able to get into a flow offensively. Most of his baskets were spread out in time, and a few were deep jumpers that really didn't help build momentum.
Garnett was also toasted on the boards, grabbing just three rebounds, while his team was out-rebounded by 16.
Garnett has to be better in all aspects of the game if the Celtics are going to hang with a team as good as the Spurs.
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Manu Ginobili, SF SAS: C
Manu Ginobili wasn't the story of the San Antonio Spurs bench Wednesday night, and he didn't have to be. The usual sixth man had a quiet night with just five points, four assists and three rebounds in 24 minutes.
Still, Ginobili's presence was felt in a 12-point win, as the Spurs reserve posted a plus-24 in the game. That number was tops for San Antonio. Despite not being used much and having an off night (2-of-8) shooting, Ginobili was able to impact the Spurs in a positive way.
Jeff Green, SF BOS: D
If Manu Ginobili had the good kind of quiet night, Jeff Green had the opposite.
The Celtics small forward was non-existent throughout the game and played the way he has for most of the 2012-13 season. He finished with just five points in 16 minutes. Quite honestly, he didn't deserve more court time than that.
On top of shooting 2-of-7 from the field, Green posted a minus-nine on the night. Green needs to be more assertive on the offensive end in order to garner more playing time and become the legitimate sixth man Boston needs.
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San Antonio Spurs Bench: A
Tiago Splitter had an enormous fourth quarter and torched the Celtics bench all game long. The reserve forward used his size advantage over the smaller Boston backups to post 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting.
Splitter manned the low post with Tim Duncan for the majority of the final period. The two played splendidly together, contributing to each other's baskets constantly.
The Spurs only went nine-deep Wednesday night. Boris Diaw supplied a solid all-around performance with six points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Boston Celtics Bench: D
The Celtics bench provided very little in the way of big performances. Even though all players seeing the court managed to score, none broke five points.
Jared Sullinger stood out in the first half with some solid rebounding and defense. He finished with a team-high seven boards and managed to block one shot.
Boston is a team that was supposed to pride themselves on depth and a talented second unit. Against San Antonio, they were relatively silent.