Good, Bad, & The Ugly: Augustin's career night vs. C's

Good, Bad, & The Ugly: Augustin's career night vs. C's
March 31, 2014, 12:30 am
Share This Post

BOSTON — He went from out of the Raptors rotation to out of a job completely, but D.J. Augustin doesn't have either of those problems now with the Chicago Bulls.

And on Sunday night, he had the best night of his career.

Augustin tore up the Celtics for 33 points on 10-for-14 shooting from the field. He went 3-for-4 from downtown and was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line.

In the fourth quarter, Augustin was unstoppable. He scored 15 points, including nine straight from 1:19 to 0:21.8 seconds. He was, for lack of a better description, the man.

And the Celtics had no answer for him.

“Hats off to him," Brad Stevens said. D.J. Augustin’s not the same person that I saw in a Raptors uniform at the start of the season. Here’s a guy that had been basically not in the rotation in Indiana, moved to Toronto, not much better there, and he looks like the quickest guy on the floor when he comes here . . . I honestly didn’t think he had that kind of foot speed the first time we played him in the Raptors’ uniform; I thought differently when we played him in Chicago.  Now I’ve watched him on film so I knew what was coming."

Augustin is averaging 30.4 minutes per game on the Bulls, and having his best season since 2010-11 when he was on the Bobcats. It's been a gradual decline since then. His numbers tailed off a bit in 2011-12, his final season in Charlotte. The next season, his minutes were slashed in half with the Pacers. A year after, they were slashed in half again with the Raptors to 8.2 minutes per game (10 games) -- and that doesn't include the nine games he didn't play in.

Hard to believe that was the case after watching his performance against the Celtics.

"He’s playing great," said Stevens. "He’s found his niche, he’s found a team that needs him to play freely to score, and hats off to him . . . I think we’re learning about what D.J. Augustin’s made of, because it hasn’t been easy.  And now he’s persevering, he’s playing just fantastic. Happy for him. Happy for stories like that.”

Nobody saw his play closer than Celtics guard Rajon Rondo.

“He got in a rhythm," Rondo said. "He did it so many different ways, he shot the ball, he made free throws, he made layups. He shot like 10/14 or something like that so he’s very efficient and we couldn’t slow him down tonight.”

The Good
They may not have won the game (and after all, that isn't such a bad thing . . . ) but give the Celtics credit for rolling with a Bulls team that has been playing like one of the best teams in the NBA as of late. Boston never let up in this one, matching the Bulls from start to finish. This was a one- or two-possession game in either direction from virtually start to finish. The C's will have their work cut out for them Monday night without Rajon Rondo, but if anybody on the C's can pick up the scoring load it's Jerryd Bayless, who will start in his place.

The Bad
Jeff Green had it going in the first quarter, and it looked like we were in store for one of those big games. Green dropped 10 points in the first quarter on 4-for-9 shooting, playing the entire quarter in the process. Then came the second quarter. Green only played 3:12, taking (and missing) one shot. The third quarter wasn't any better. Again, Green was held scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting. He hit a couple of big 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter to keep the Celtics in the game, but that would be it. The game unfortunately sums up the player Green has been for Boston - very hit or miss.

Avery Bradley couldn't get anything going offensively for Boston Sunday night either. He shot just 3-for-12 from the field (8 points), missing some open shots along the way.

The Ugly
The Celtics took 17 more field-goal attempts than the Bulls in this one, and actually hit more shots, too -- 40 to 37. But put a big asterisk next to those last two numbers, because the Bulls crushed the Celtics in the free-throw department. The Bulls got to the line 31 times, hitting 25 of their shots. The Celtics? Yeah, you can cut their attempts in half. Boston went just 12-for-16 at the line.