Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Lee's spark, Wallace's dunk, Hump's impact
By Chris Forsberg
BOSTON -- Even Boston Celtics guard Courtney Lee had wondered how his sore left knee would respond when he returned from a two-game absence on Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. The answer? Lee might have owned the freshest legs on the floor and his extra bounce helped Boston pull out a win.
Coming off the bench, Lee provided 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting over 15 minutes, 39 seconds of floor time as the Celtics posted a 108-100 triumph over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks. Lee scored seven fourth-quarter points and connected on all three of his attempts in the frame.
“[Lee] was huge because you talk again about the third/early-fourth quarter," said first-year coach Brad Stevens, who didn't hesitate to toss Lee back on the floor. "He helped settle us down and he made tough [shots]. He looked like he had an extra bounce in his step.
"He didn’t make the trip with us [to Milwaukee on Saturday] so he could stay back and get better and do rehab and, when you’re only going to be gone for 18 hours or whatever we were gone, it didn’t make much sense to take those guys with us. And he had a little more bounce in his step than maybe our guys did at that time, and we needed it.”
Lee is now averaging 7.8 points on 52.3 percent shooting over 16.8 minutes per game. He's providing a much-needed offensive spark for the second unit, something the team missed during his two-game absence.
A couple other notes from Tuesday's game:
- WALLACE'S DUNK: Gerald Wallace hopped in his time machine and went back a decade. Early in the second quarter, Wallace caught his defender sleeping and launched toward the paint from above the arc. Luke Ridnour could only watch as Wallace corralled a pass from Humphries, took one dribble, then exploded to the rim for a one-handed jam that had both Zaza Pachulia and Ersan Ilyasova trying to get out of the way. Said Wallace, "I don’t know what happened on that one. Don’t get used to that. That was a spur of the moment type thing. I just happened to dunk it. I didn’t realize I was that high."
- HUMPHRIES' IMPACT: Good things continue to happen when Kris Humphries is on the floor. The veteran big man was a team-best plus-12 in plus/minus against Milwaukee and Humphries also grabbed eight rebounds and handed out three assists (including the feed that led to Wallace's dunk). In limited playing time (202 minutes), Humphries actually ranks No. 1 on the Celtics with an offensive rating of 104.4 (only negated by having one of the worst defensive ratings -- 104.3).