Good, Bad, Ugly: Short-handed Celtics impress

Good, Bad, Ugly: Short-handed Celtics impress
April 12, 2014, 11:00 pm
(USA Today Sports Images)

The Boston Celtics were about as undermanned as we have seen them on Saturday.

But that didn't stop them from overwhelming Cleveland 111-99.

The final score did not do justice to how Boston (25-55) dominated the game as their lead peaked at 33 points.

"They really played well together," Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the team's second straight win. "Sixty points in the first half was largely because we were moving the basketball. We made some tough shots."

Boston only had eight players healthy enough to play, with all eight scoring in Boston's second straight win.

Leading the balanced scoring attack was Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley, who each had 25 points.

It was the kind of offensive performance that has been few and far between this season.

"Our offense has gotten better through the course of the year," Stevens said. "It hasn't always shown itself in made field goals. But guys are starting to ... you have to have balance, at least the best teams I've been around had a balance, of action and motion. Our guys are finding guys."

Lately, that has helped the Celtics find a few wins at the end of the season.

And with that, here's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Saturday's victory.

The Good

Avery Bradley

The 25 points he scored was impressive. But just as important was the job he did defensively on All-Star guard Kyrie Irving who was limited to 15 points on 3-for-15 shooting.

Kelly Olynyk

His 25 points and 12 rebounds helped set the tone both in terms of scoring and controlling the interior in terms of rebounds. And while his defense is still a work in progress, there's no mistaking the fact that he is making strides which bodes well for both him and the Celtics going forward.

The Bad

Fourth quarter

It's hard to complain when a team dominates a game the way the Celtics did, but for the final margin of victory to be just 12 points speaks to how Boston still has room to grow when it comes to closing out teams. Now maybe the fact that Boston was so short-handed was a contributing factor to the team's late-game lull. Regardless, they have to use this as yet another lesson learned and hopefully build off of it next season.

The Ugly

Cleveland Cavaliers

Like the Celtics, the Cavaliers were also playing on back-to-back nights. But the inept showing at both ends of the floor by Cleveland was just inexcusable. Aside from a little flurry when they fell behind by more than 30 points, at no point did Cleveland show any signs of resistance against a Boston team that only had eight players healthy enough to play. If the Cleveland fan base is looking to make a case for head coach Mike Brown to be fired again, you can bet this is one of the games that'll be used against him.