Don't Make Me Use The Bat
I really don't care about people hating on this team anymore. You know what? You all suck.
This team isn't that good, it's beat up, but damn if it doesn't fight. After 10 straight years of teams quitting, and a few years before that when we were led by a pack of talented softies like Peja and Kevin and Brad, this team fights harder than any crew we've had since maybe the Ron Ron and Bonzi show. Much respect.
Link to Boxscore
Afflalo ( C+ ) -- this is another one of those games where it was not there statistically. Hit a few shots early, not much else. But he was somehow a stabilizing force, never let his man get off, and was brought back in late as a guard just to be a steadying hand
Tolliver ( B- ) -- this was trying very hard to be a strong game for Tolliver. he did almost everything right EXCEPT the one thing he is supposed to be out there doing. So he made a ton of saavy plays, and snuck inside for scores, and did a good job defending Al Horford, who likes to have a quickness advantage and did not...but everytime the grade surged, Anthony would badly brick another open three, and down it went again. Part of this though.
Koufos ( B- ) -- its hard to go any higher with this grade. Statistically the game looks very solid, and he hit the glass. But he looked uncomfortable all night on offense, and in the end ceded the late minutes to Willie instead.
Lawson ( B+ ) -- wanted to give him a real grade here, and actually truth is he might have deserved a FIFTH A of some sort. He was right up and competing with IT from the opening tip, and going right at him and challenging that defensive questionmark. Looked to be the key to us neutralizing IT...then suddenly came up lame with yet another hammy injury for us. luckily DC picked right up in the amazing effort department.
Collison ( A+ ) -- huge game. Enormous game on BOTH ends. That was the excitement here. We were down half our offense before we even tipped off. Early it was Ty Lawson giving Isaiah all he wanted. Then we lose Lawson too. And DC stepped up in huge fashion, both as a scorer, and working his ass off to deny IT the ball. Many props here.
Barnes ( A ) -- our upset bid faced a major challenge in the late 3rd, as Lawson's loss left us with no backup to DC at all. So instead we turned the ball over to Matt to run the show for a few minutes and get DC a rest, and he was amazing for about 6 minutes. Bombed in three after three, rebounded, defended, and kept us fighting. May have lost a "+" with a Matt special near flagrant as we tried to wrap things up in the final minutes.
Cauley Stein ( A- ) -- there were some warts here, his second stint was better than the first, he let guys slip inside for rebounding position a few times, and he made one incredibly stupid 1 on 1 force at a critical time in the early 4th, causing Joerger to call a timeout. But, BUT, not only was he again aggressive and confident, coming up with blocks and bothers, and attacking offensive moves, he also did this:
McLemore ( A- ) -- came in off the bench and played this game with uncommon confidence. No hesitation, even a little arrogance as he began bombing in the 2nd quarter. It was refreshing. A breakaway dunk in the third, after a nice defensive effort on the other end, was an early exclamation point for us. Joerger wisely pulled him as he began to return to Bendom, but great for a while buoying us through all the holes in the roster.
Richardson ( INC ) -- short first half stint where he he hit a three, drew a good charge on the hard charging Jaylen Brown, but also was attacked and beaten repeatedly by Brown. The fight got serious, Ben blew up, and Malachi was not back until garbagetime.
Labissiere ( INC ) -- just the last minute after we got done stomping the last fight out of them scrubs
Papagiannis ( INC ) -- see Skal above