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Instant Reax & Grades: Celtics down Hornets 116-104

The Draft Lottery is May 19th, you might want to add that to your diary folks.

The Hornets 31-42 Charlotte Hornets fell to their 8th seed playoff rivals the Boston Celtics in a physical, high scoring affair. This disappointing result is just another page in the chapter that is the disappointing 2014-15 season.

Boston Celtics 110 FinalRecap | Box Score 104 Charlotte Hornets
Marvin Williams, PF 30 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | 0 +/-Williams has done a good job filling in for the injured Cody Zeller over the last two weeks, but struggled mightily tonight. At half time of the game Williams had 0 rebounds in 14 minutes, this poor effort on the glass gave the Celtics nine offensive rebounds in the first half. Jason Maxiell, who had a fantastic first half started the second half in Marvin Williams’s place Inconsistency has been a problem for Williams not just throughout this year, but his entire career and that trend continued tonight.

Jeff Taylor, SF 26 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -8 +/-Taylor didn’t have a s strong a defensive showing as he did in his last game, he really struggled to contain tricky point forward Evan Turner. Taylor also looked anaemic on the offensive end, he missed on a few easy drives and open shots.

Al Jefferson, C 25 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -15 +/-Jefferson was moving well on both ends, it seems having that fluid drained from his knee really helped his mobility. Jefferson made some good quick post moves early on in the game, the Celtics struggled to contain these. It was when Al was holding the ball and re-posting when the Celtics were able to bump him off his spot and bother him with digs from opposing guards: https://vine.co/v/OLXUtHKHz3KAl was left on the bench for crunch time during the 4th quarter, it seemed Clifford wanted to protect him, we’ve seen Al play through injuries before only to make them worse and put him out for an extended period of time.

Kemba Walker, PG 39 MIN | 9-19 FG | 8-9 FT | 3 REB | 12 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 28 PTS | +3 +/-The Kemba Walker we knew before the injury certainly isn’t back just yet, his jumper looked short all night limiting his game to inside drives and passing. He did a good job finding his teamates tonight, finishing with his 4th double double of the year. If it wasn’t for Kemba’s strong play down the stretch this game would likely have been a twenty point lossThe Boston bigs and guards often both shadowed his drives, because lets face it, an open Al/Maxiell/Biz at the top of the key isn’t going to scare anyone. You might ask, why is Marvin next setting a screen then popping? That is a great question if you ask me.

Gerald Henderson, SG 32 MIN | 7-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | -15 +/-Henderson has really improved his play since the all star break, averaging 14ppg 4.6rpg 3.1apg while shooting 46% from the field and 35% on two three point attempts per game. Henderson continued his strong play, making lots of tough pull up jumpers, but his defensive focus seemed off as he let Avery Bradley getting a number of open shots. Henderson’s frustration with his inability to stop Bradley and the team losing got him into major foul trouble in the second half, including getting a technical against a certain Gerald Wallace.

Jason Maxiell, PF 18 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -6 +/-For all the Vonleh lovers and the Maxiell haters, it was hard to deny Maxiell was vital in keeping the Hornets close in the first half. Maxiell played well on both ends, the fact Maxiell looks this good compared to the rest of our team is a little worrying though…

Bismack Biyombo, C 22 MIN | 2-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +9 +/-Biz did normal Biz things without doing anything too special off the bench. Biz got some extended run in the second half thanks to Al’s injury, he protected the rim well and set some great screens for Kemba to get going.

Mo Williams, PG 25 MIN | 6-16 FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 19 PTS | +5 +/-Mo is obviously playing hurt, he tried to turn it on in the second half and was integral to a run which cut it down to 9 points but it was ultimately not enough. Mo said to Steph that he has had to coast to some extent at times recently due to fatigur and injuries, Mo played heavy minuted in the 17 games in 30 nights stretch, I think you’re seeing some of the side effects now.

Brian Roberts, PG 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +1 +/-Brian Roberts came in off the bench ahead of Lance Stephenson, this was very surprising after Lance had a mini revival during early March. Roberts played terribly, he was so scared to shoot an open layup he lost the ball on the way up and he blew defensive assignments like this: https://vine.co/v/OLXpmWL70U5

P.J. Hairston, SG 18 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -4 +/-3J wasn’t in the building tonight, but we did see 2J for a brief moment in the first half. PJ wasn’t all that affective, but the Hornets did have their best stretch offensively when Roberts/Hairston/Walker were in the game together, providing good spacing for Al and Maxiell. Watch PJ look for the transition three, then quickly relocate to the corner once the opportunity had gone: https://vine.co/v/OLXrp6Tqxlj

Noah Vonleh, PF Has not entered game MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-#FreeVonleh

Lance Stephenson, SG Has not entered game MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-DNP – Nothing more to say, doesn’t look like Clifford is a huge fan of Lance

Steve Clifford
Clifford didn’t particularly cover himself in glory in this matchup. He was completely out coached by Brad Stevens, who by the way is one of the best young coaches in the league. The team were down 10-2 early, you do sense the team is so exhausted they have struggled to raise themselves for big games. Clifford must take some responsibility in that. However, he has also had to juggle constant injuries which have muddled his rotations throughout the entire season, but the last few games especially.

Three Things We Saw

  1. The best thing I saw during the Hornets game tonight was a guy on the front row who got covered in beer and mustard when Kemba fell into him.
  2. Clifford’s post offense seems pretty easy to guard, opposing teams are doing a good job bothering the entry pass and forcing Charlotte to eat the shot clock or turn the ball over.
  3. The Celtics were on fire shooting the midrange jump shots that Clifford likes to give the other teams on offense. The Celtics shot over 50% on midrange shots, Avery Bradley being the major culprit of punishing the sorry Hornets.