|Posted by paul on February 15, 2012 at 10:00 PM|
A lot of 'ifs' were left on the floor tonight. If you are a Rondo fan, you can't be very unhappy with his performance. His free throw shooting really hurt us, and while I was happy to see him shooting Js with confidence in the third quarter, I think he stayed with them too long. We had our best success when we attacked the rim. Also, when he posts up, Celtics. com observed, he doesn't realize that he can pass out of the post up situation. Part of the reason we want Rondo scoring is because that will enhance his passing.
So I'm not going to put up a gilded statue to Rondo even though he played brilliantly in a loss. Losing takes quite a bit of shine off the win, and it's legitimate to look for reasons even in the best player's game. But you couldn't miss the fact that both times Rondo came off the floor for a breather, we struggled, and the game was really lost when Rondo took a breather in the fourth quarter. When Rondo came back, he did a heroic job trying to get us back into the game, but he and Wilcox just can't do it alone.
We were outrebounded 33-44, and most of that was in the second half, and it wasn't even that close. Johnson tried hard, but struggled to maintain position. We are really hurting for Bigs right now, but then again, games like this are learning opportunties for Stiemsma and Johnson especially. They can, and I think they WILL, improve.
More importantly, we only had 16 assists tonight. We need to be close to thirty. As a fan I'm very frustrated that we CONTINUE to see a situation where it seems that either Rondo is the dominant scorer, or Pierce is, . In my opinion, Rondo should be the dominant scorer on this team, but it should not be an either/or situation between Pierce and Rondo. It can't be. We simply cannot win that way. We need both guys scoring, and feeding off each other.
We have to take this season one game at a time, and we have to look at each one as a learning experience. What a frustrating loss. But, that said, it's pretty hard to play without your two best Bigs. It's a hard row to hoe, for sure. But we don't have a chance at all if Paul and Rondo can't achieve synergy. Put bluntly, if Rondo is going to score 35 points, he should have at least ten assists. We can beat anybody if we can get more scoring from the rest of the team, but Rondo and Wilcox alone won't get it.
And the D never really showed up. Having Garnett out hurt a lot.