Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics: Final Score, Grades and Analysis
The Boston Celtics didn't waste much time in dispatching the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night, 103-86.
After one quarter, Boston held an 18-point lead on the strength of hot shooting by Avery Bradley and Jeff Green.
Those two would combine for 52 points by game's end. Jordan Crawford added a triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as Boston coasted to their seventh win of the season.
Cleveland struggled to get anything going at all on either end. Kyrie Irving got himself to the rim a lot early on but grew tired as no one else could hit a shot. The Cavaliers shot 37.2 percent as a team, going 4-of-18 from beyond the arc and giving away 17 turnovers.
The Celtics move to 7-11 on the year, while Cleveland falls to 4-12.
Let's hit the Bleacher Report classroom to see how these lopsided grades panned out.
Kyrie Irving: B-
Difficult to defend as usual, Kyrie Irving was a menace in penetration against the Celtics.
Unfortunately, none of Irving's teammates were hitting their shots, and thus his scoring meant little. He also appeared to ease off the gas a bit when things appeared out of reach for Cleveland. He had a very quiet fourth quarter, going scoreless after the third frame.
Still, Irving is quite a ball of energy on the offensive end. He was relentless at the rim and pulled off multiple creative shots. He finished with 17 points and three assists.
Jordan Crawford: B+
Jordan Crawford ran the transition game well early on, which helped Boston establish the tempo.
As he usually does, Crawford took some ill-advised shots and missed them. That is counterproductive to what he aided in the early going and really stalls momentum.
Crawford was incredibly active throughout the contest. The assists came largely as a result of Boston making shots, but those rebounds can't be discounted.
He fished for the triple-double at the end, and he earned it, finishing with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Avery Bradley: A
If Avery Bradley shot like this more often, there would be far fewer accusations of him being a defensive DH and far fewer questions about him being a long-term starting shooting guard.
Bradley was 9-of-11 for 21 points, and he was hitting shots from all over. He connected on a few corner threes, going 3-of-4 from downtown.
Defensively, Bradley struggled at times to stay in front of Kyrie Irving, which he can't be totally blamed for.
Sergey Karasev: F
Sergey Karasev wasn't allowed to do much in this game. He picked up some quick fouls on consecutive plays, which landed him on Cleveland's bench.
Karasev finished with one point and one assist in 15 minutes.
Jeff Green: A
Jeff Green got it going early, which is always a good sign for him.
After he got a few easy buckets in transition, Green was able to be aggressive on offense. He worked his way to the line very well, hitting nine of 13 freebies. He also hit his open jumpers, including the corner three that is so important to his game.
Green tallied 20 points in the first half, setting the tone for the eventual blowout. The 31 points topped his season high of 26, scored in Boston's last game. It was by far his most effective game, from end to end, of the season.
Alonzo Gee: C+
The minutes weren't there, but the production certainly was for Alonzo Gee.
Cleveland's starting wing only got 12 minutes in the game but finished with six points on 3-of-5 shooting. He added three rebounds, but the position is so diluted on the Cavaliers he didn't get a lot of playing time.
Brandon Bass: B+
As his numbers usually are, Brandon Bass' performance was overshadowed by the bigger names on the court Friday night.
Still, Bass' game was solid and necessary to Boston's win. He finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, shooting 5-of-8 from the field.
Bass was also stout defensively, bodying up to a variety of Cleveland bigs. The plodding of Anderson Varejao and Andrew Bynum didn't get around him, nor did the athleticism of Tristan Thompson.
Tristan Thompson: C-
Tristan Thompson had a dud of a game against the Boston Celtics.
Cleveland's starting power forward went 1-of-6 for just two points and registered a minus-21 on the night.
Thompson did pick up seven rebounds to lead the starting unit but didn't get his named called a whole lot throughout his 25 minutes.
Andrew Bynum: D
It is getting almost sad to watch Andrew Bynum try to get up and down the court these days.
Bynum couldn't find the range on his once-deadly hook shot. He finished 2-of-7 after only 15 minutes of playing time. He clearly isn't in basketball shape yet and couldn't handle Boston's much smaller frontcourt.
Bynum had four points and two rebounds, registering a minus-25 mark.
Jared Sullinger: B
Garbage time was good to Jared Sullinger Friday night.
He hit a few threes in the fourth quarter while Boston was already way ahead in the game, forcing his point total to 12. All of those points came on 4-of-5 shooting beyond the arc. That is definitely a part of his game now, but it shouldn't be the entirety.
Of note, Sullinger helped the offense along early with his passing, another aspect of his game that is much improved. He finished the game with three assists.
Also impressively, he was able to use his body to move Bynum and Anderson Varejao, both bigger players, with ease.
Gerald Wallace: D
Gerald Wallace didn't get a chance to do much in this contest. He was limited to 15 minutes, as the game was out of reach early on.
Wallace was able to dole out three assists, but he picked up three turnovers to cancel that out.
Dion Waiters: B-
In terms of offensive options for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dion Waiters is almost as good as you are going to get right now, barring Kyrie Irving.
That doesn't mean his game was very good, though. Waiters did finish with a team-high 21 points on 7-of-18 shooting, but early on, he wasn't hitting shots. He clanged a few open jumpers and was 3-of-11 at one point. With the game out of reach and the likes of Phil Pressey and Keith Bogans on him, Waiters was able to get some garbage points and assists.
The final numbers of 21 points and six assists look pretty good, but the score and six turnovers nullify most of that.
Boston Celtics Bench: B
Boston went deep into their bench to finish this one out. By the time they saw any minutes, the Celtics were up big.
Brad Stevens has had to shift some things around with both Kelly Olynyk and Courtney Lee out. Kris Humphries got 17 minutes and was 4-of-6 for nine points.
Vitor Faverani grabbed nine rebounds and scored six points, while Phil Pressey was a steady presence in guiding the offense, though it may not show on the stat sheet.
Cleveland Cavaliers Bench: B-
Jarrett Jack and Anderson Varejao put together solid performances, but they weren't always noticeable on the floor.
Varejao had 10 points and 12 rebounds, and made some of the effort plays that kept this from being an embarrassment. Jack looked effective early and finished with nine points, but he sort of didn't make much of a difference during the meat of the game.
Elsewhere, Anthony Bennett continued to disappoint with a rough game overall. Matthew Dellavedova was solid in his 12 minutes but had little bearing on the overall game.