Good, Bad, Ugly: Where's the 'D'?

Good, Bad, Ugly: Where's the 'D'?
March 21, 2014, 11:15 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. —  There have been plenty of ups and downs for the Boston Celtics this season.

But in Friday's 114-98 loss at Brooklyn, the Boston Celtics were about as bad defensively as we've seen them all season.

Give the Nets credit.

They have a roster full of talented players and on Friday night, most of them played well. But the ease in which everyone on their team got to the basket, from Joe Johnson to Jorge Gutierrez, was surprising when you consider how the Celtics defense has been most of this season.

"We didn't provide much resistance all night," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "They're playing at a high level. This team is starting to really play. That's a different team than we played the first three times."

While that may be true, the Celtics were clearly disappointed with what was easily one of their more disappointing defensive performances this season.

"They were spreading us out defensively," said Boston's Rajon Rondo. "Our rotations were off; we weren't able to bump."

Those defensive miscues allowed role players like Mason Plumlee to score easy baskets on dunks, or established All-Star talent such as Joe Johnson to drop 27 points and barely break a sweat.

"We can't win a game like that," Rondo said. "We just have to do a better job of finding a way of pulling together and communicating better on the defensive end of the floor."

And with that we have the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from yet another Boston loss.

The Good

Avery Bradley

Getting his ankle re-taped in the first quarter seemed to do the trick, as Bradley scored 18 of his season-high 28 points in the second quarter. The 28 points tied his career-high scoring which was set at Atlanta on April 20, 2012.

The Bad

Jared Sullinger

There was never a point in Friday's game where Sullinger's impact was felt; at least not in a positive manner. He scored eight points on 2-for-6 shooting, although all of his scoring came in the game's closing minutes when the outcome was all but decided.

The Ugly

Points in the paint defense

The Brooklyn Nets had their way around the basket all night, finishing with a season-high 62 points in the paint while the Celtics could only muster 30. "They had it going on all cylinders," Boston's Brandon Bass told CSNNE.com. "They had it going in the paint. We close up the paint, they had it going on the perimeter. They had it going tonight."