Celtics Overtime: Wins are wins, but Boston still shaky in OT win against Wizards

Celtics Overtime is a postgame feature providing quotes and analysis. Boston defeated Washington, 100-94, in overtime Wednesday night at TD Garden.

Boy, they're not making it easy. Four games are in the books, an somehow, the "work in progress" Boston Celtics have managed to put together a 2-2 record. In some ways, that's an accomplishment in itself. Between apathetic defense and a widely inconsistent bench, two wins in four tries is admirable. Then again, the two wins came against the Washington Wizards -- barely.

Five Celtics reached double digit in scoring, Paul Pierce (15 points, 10 rebounds), Kevin Garnett (20 points, 13 rebounds) and Rajon Rondo (18 points, 14 rebounds) all posted double-doubles and the Celtics survived in another unnecessarily tight game, 100-94 in overtime.

Much like Saturday's affair with Washington, Boston grabbed an early lead only to have inconsistent bench play and general disarray squander it.

Jared Sullinger really said it best after the game. It's a work in progress.

Wins are wins, but Celtics have work to do

Did we mention that the Celtics are a work in progress? Through four games, we still don't know what this team is. Are they a traditional, Doc Rivers-style defensive stalwart (hint: probably not)? Are they a team capable of scoring 100 or more a night (yeah, probably not that either)? What are the Celtics, exactly?

Well, I've already said it 1,000 times, so I'll let Sully reiterate.

"We all want to be good, so a win like this is not really want we want," Sullinger said. "We want to be a little bit better on defense, better on offensive execution. Everyday is a work in progress so everyday we're getting better"

It's also important to note that no team is perfect. Heck, the eventual champion Miami Heat had flaws, as Celtics fans know (we came so close to knocking 'me out in six last year... and while we're on it.... WHY, RAY, WHY? ... Ok, back to the point). No team is going to win every game. Every team has flaws, and while the point of the regular season is to tweak them, they won't all go away.

Putting it simply, a win is a win, and they all count the same.

"We got stops when we needed to, overall it's all about the win and that's what we did," Rondo said.

"I think we are happy to get a victory but we know that we definitely got to get some work done, especially from a defensive standpoint," said Leandro Barbosa.

Brandon Bass better served coming off the bench?

It's still way to early to tell -- the Celtics have not plate enough games against tough competition -- but you have to wonder if Brandon Bas is best served coming off the bench for Boston.

Doc River didn't want to make a change after starting rookie Jared Sullinger in the first game of the home-and-home series with Washington on Saturday, and Bass showed that he can be effective regardless of when he enters the game. Bass finished with 11 points -- five coming in the overtime period to lead Boston -- and seven rebounds.

"He was aggressive," Rondo said about Bass. "He didn't force any of his shots. He drove to the basket, drove strong and hard, got fouled, got a couple layups and made some big plays for us."

Sullinger, however, wasn't quite as effective as his veteran counterpart, totaling four points and four boards in 24 minutes.

Bass and Sullinger will both get their chances to shine in the starting role until one blows Rivers away, but it's definitely an idea worth considering..

Oh, hey there JET.

You all remember Jason Eugene Terry, don't you? Remember, the guy who was brought here to essentially replace Ray "I Didn't Feel Loved" Allen and take the Celtics bench, a major weakness one season ago, and make it a strength?

Well, the Jet didn't show up (at least not in the way that we've seen him in the past) over the Celtics' first three games, but that all changed Wednesday night.

Terry concluded his second home game as a member of the Celtics with far better numbers -- a bench-high 16 points with two threes and three dishes -- and even did something that surprised Doc Rivers: play defense.

"I thought he was terrific," Rivers said about Terry. "And you know it's funny, we left Jason in because he was playing great defense. That may be the first in his career that's ever been said about Jason Terry. But he was terrific."

The Celtics will need far more of that on a nightly basis if they plan on getting that 18th banner that everyone desperately covets.

Bottom Line: Just like their first three games, there was some good and bad. Terry and Bass offered hope for the Celtics' bench, and hey, they did score 100 (even if it took an extra five minutes to get there). The bad? Apathetic defense was again a theme and a lack of consistency on both sides of the ball was problematic. But hey, they're a work in progress. Bet you didn't think I'd say that again, huh?

Next Up: The Celtics play their first Atlantic Division foe of the year, hosting the 2-2 Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night at TD Garden.


Final - 11.7.2012 1 2 3 4 OT 1 Total
Washington Wizards 16 26 16 30 6 94
Boston Celtics 21 16 29 22 12 100

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For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team blog, Celtics Blog.

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