Celtics grades at third-quarter mark

Celtics grades at third-quarter mark
October 17, 2013, 10:30 am
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TORONTO — The preseason is (thankfully) almost over for the Boston Celtics (1-5) who said from the very beginning that winning would be nice but not a necessity.

The focus all along has been to figure out which units and combinations work well enough together to give the Celtics a chance to compete with teams that for the most part will have better chemistry, talent or in some instances, both.

Now that three-fourths of the preseason is in the books, rookie head coach Brad Stevens has a pretty good feel for which groupings to trot out on opening night.

But before getting too caught up in what's on the horizon, let's take a look at how the players have fared in the preseason after three-fourths of the slate has been completed.


HIGH HONOR ROLL

Gerald Wallace - About as close to a teacher's pet as you will find on this team, his work ethic continues to outshine his peers. Grade: A


HONOR ROLL

Jared Sullinger — Avoiding foul trouble always a concern, the Celtics will lean on him heavily to carry the low-post scoring load. Grade: A-
 

Kelly Olynyk — Has steadily improved through camp, but must become better at playing with aggression and not fouling so much. Grade: A-


MERIT ROLL

Brandon Bass - A strong pick-and-pop scorer, is making the transition to being a leader defensively. Grade: B+
 

Avery Bradley — No matter what his struggles are as a point guard, his defensive impact will keep him on the floor a lot. Grade: B+


Rajon Rondo - The assists that he's delivering to his teammates on the sidelines continue to be significant for this team's growth: Grade: B+


Phil Pressey — Like most pass-first point guards, timing and rhythm with his teammates continues to be a work in progress: Grade: B


Jordan Crawford — Looks more comfortable at the point than Bradley when playing with first unit. Grade: B
 

Vitor Faverani — No one on this team is improving at faster rate than Faverani. Not even close. Grade: B
 

Kris Humphries — Hard player to figure out what to do with.  He's too good to sit, but not quite in position to play major minutes. Grade: B


Keith Bogans — Has been a good locker room guy for the Celtics as he nurses a right thumb injury: Grade: B


HONORABLE MENTION


Courtney Lee — He's still struggling with his shot, but has managed to contribute in a big way, in other areas. Grade: B-


Jeff Green — Being "the man" doesn't look like a comfortable fit for Green, but his game is definitely improving with time. Grade: B-


Chris Babb — Of the training camp invitees, Babb appears to be the only one getting serious consideration to sticking. Grade: B-


NEEDS IMPROVEMENT


MarShon Brooks — Had nice game scoring against Toronto (17 points), but also had team-high four turnovers in less than 20 minutes. Grade: C+
 

PASS/FAIL


DeShawn Sims:  Leg injury has made his chances of sticking with the Celtics highly unlikely: Grade: Pass


Kammron Taylor: A healthy scratch most of the preseason, will have options overseas or in the D-League this year. Grade: Pass


Damen Bell-Holter: Tough to grade considering he has had fewer chances to play than any other healthy player in camp. Grade: Pass