|Posted by Morena on January 14, 2014 at 3:45 PM|
This looks like a pretty complicated game; one of those nights where you try to fight, but you just keep slipping and falling hard. Yet you stand up and keep fighting, but in the end the adversity are just too much and you end up losing. We dominated the first quarter, we basically didn’t play in the second quarter, we started to slowly wake up in the third, and tried a late comeback in the fourth.
To be honest, the only one among the starters that shot the ball well was Bradley, and he’s also the reason why we dominated in the first quarter: while everyone came out of the gates pretty cold, Bradley literally came out on fire: 14 points (more than half of the team total) on 6for8 shooting, 2for2 from the three point line, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and three steals. No turnover and no fouls at all. Overall, he’s had an up and down night, but he’s also been the one to wake up in the third quarter, adding 10 points on 5for10 shooting. Too bad that the five shot he missed were all three pointers; maybe he should have tried something else at that point.
Green ended his streak of good game with a pretty bad performance: he had six rebounds, but he had as turnover that points, shooting 20% from the field. He said he sprained his shoulder at the beginning of the first quarter, but I wander why he played so many minutes in the first three quarter before being benched in the fourth if he was hurt. If no one noticed and he didn’t say anything, he hurt the team, and while I understand that everyone wants to play as much as possible, you should understand when you’re hurting your team and take a step back. On the contrary, if he was good enough to play, he really played a pretty awful game.
Sully and Humphries both struggled shooting the ball, but they at least helped off the board, with Hump that confirmed to be a blocking machine. Houston big men created really some big problems in the paint, scoring 58 points against our 36.
On the positive note, many guys off the bench helped us last night, and one of them has been a big reason why we’ve been able to even try a comeback in the fourth quarter.
Stevens tried to shake things up once again starting Sully that was coming off some good performance, instead of Bass that was struggling a little bit. And this time, it was Bass who posted some good numbers, with 14 points and 7 rebounds. Eight of those points came in the fourth quarter, during which he’s been our second best scorer, shooting 50% and grabbing 4 rebounds. With four fouls, he’s probably been pretty active also on defense with the hack-a-Howard thing that works pretty well: Howard killed us with 32 points, but his shooting percentage is really horrible.
I read that Kelly really struggled on defense against the athletic frontcourt of Houston, but he still put in some effort, grabbing 7 rebounds to go with 4 points; and he’s been more active in the second quarter, when everybody struggled badly. Brooks is another guy that didn’t really helped with the points, but grabbed 5 rebounds in 12 minutes, and all of them were on the offensive end. As I said, I like rebounds because I think they help understand the effort that someone put in the game. I know that someone has a special knack on rebounds, but if you never give up and fight for the ball, you rebounding number will be pretty good in the end.
The guy that really deserve a special mention is Bayless: I said just a couple of days ago that he was getting better and that he needed just a little more time to get comfortable with our team, and I really didn’t expect him to come up with a performance like that: 17 points and 4 assists off the bench in a little more than 20 minutes. Moreover, Bayless is the one who tried to win the game in the fourth quarter, with 15 points, 2 assists and also a couple of steals. Now, I know he won’t play like this in every game, but I like what I’m seeing so far by him.
Next game will be tomorrow night against Toronto, which is playing pretty good as of lately. I think we still has the chance to get a win, and after the news about Rondo’s return that should be on Friday, I expect the Garden to be pretty electric.