|Posted by GeeZeeCeltics on January 22, 2012 at 10:10 AM|
A week ago, I wrote about how Garnett is strongly important to our team, having as much an impact on defense as Rondo does on offense. If the two click, it's something special.
I watch Kevin and I notice that he still runs the court and beats bigs down to the spot, he still hedges screens quicker and better than any other big does in the NBA. If he plays short stints, Garnett is still effective (I'm talking about D here). Well, judging by what I said previously, if Garnett is doing good, why are the Celtics not?
It's the offense. It's pretty simple - you got to have more points than the other team when the final buzzer sounds. You can hold a team to two points, but if you manage to score only one, you still lose.
So I looked more carefully at our offense. I also went back to tapes of older games and compared that to what's happening now. I get if the bench still hasn't found continuity, but there is no argument about new blood and necessary chemistry for the starters, who have played like this for a while now, especially the core four.
There was one glaring difference, and it was Paul Pierce.
I don't even know what exactly is the cause in a situation like this. Last year, many marveled at how efficient Pierce was, letting the ball move if it had to and taking the shot if it presented itself. This year the ball sticks in his hands and rarely keeps moving. I haven't seen him move off the ball a lot, he's just playing off pick and roll sets where he would more times than not try and score instead of dishing. And it's not working!
All this goes back and has an effect on Rondo. I said this in my last piece and it is generally known. Rondo excels when the defense has broken down. Last time I emphasized fast/semifastbreaks and because that's what you get from stout defense. But there is another method how to confuse the defense and force them to make decisions the may not like - it's ball movement.
Why is Pierce not moving the ball around, not kicking it to the next man? He often tries to force a shot up. I've wanted to try eye bleach after the many posessions where Rondo dishes to Pierce, some big comes to set a screen and then Truth tries to do it himself. It may be what Doc called getting Pierce in shape using games. If that's it, it's hurting us.
I hope Paul can get it together and get back to the Ubuntu way. It's painful to read about him in trade rumors. I read some trade suggestion where Denver would send Andre Miller, Gallo and Kenneth Faried to Boston for Pierce, and I liked the idea. Then I understood, damn. I'm willing to trade Pierce. I hate that.
We honestly have the personnel to be a good team. The rest is just figuring it out. I hope they can do it before Ainge's trigger finger gets too itchy.