|Posted by paul on November 21, 2012 at 9:45 PM|
The Celtics guys at Celtics.Com were claiming during the game, in chat, that rebounding is not a problem for the Celtics, and that Hollinger has shown this. This was said as the Spurs, like so many teams this year, clubbed the Cs to death on the boards. Are these people for real? Do they reflect the team's complacent mentality? I fear that they do. We got outrebounded 41-25 tonight, and 6-1 on the offensive glass, and I suspect it was actually more than that. How on earth can you win games that way?! Of course, it's also hard to win when they shoot nearly 60%, even if you do shoot 53%. It's hard to win when for most of the game, their two best players pretty much destroy your two best players (Duncan and Parker vs Garnett and Rondo). But my god, to claim that rebounding is not a problem?!! It may be our single biggest problem this year so far.
Of course the sages who claim this always tell us that the reason our rebounding numbers are low are that we don't fight for offensive rebounds. Well, that's only partially true. Part of the reason we have a hard time defensively is that even when we do manage to get a stop, the other team often grabs the offensive rebound and then we have to go right back into the trenches. It's almost like a form of torture.
Another point the sages always miss is that the whole idea of surrendering the offensive boards in order to get back on defense is becoming counterproductive. Because the other team knows they can easily grab the rebound, they lose no time getting into transition, and they do it in perfect form. Really, to simply give up offensive rebounding is sheer madness at this point. Unfortunately, Doc is very very stubborn. We even have young legs that would allow us to challenge for offensive boards more and still get back on D, but Doc just won't budge, it seems. It's a strategy that just isn't working anymore, but no matter. It's what we are going to do no matter what.
The good news is that the Cs never stopped fighting in this game, which is why I call it a close game, even though it looks like a bit of a blowout if you just go by the score. In fact, we seemed to outplay the Spurs for most of the first part of each quarter, only to get crushed in the last minutes of the quarter. We seemed to lead for most of the first quarter, but the Spurs took the lead in the last couple of minutes. Rondo helped that with a couple of big turnovers. We kept the game close for most of the second quarter, but the Spurs ripped off a big lead in the few minutes before the half. We regained the lead briefly in the third quarter, but the Spurs reasserted their lead towards the end of the quarter. Then Rondo led a big push in the middle of the fourth quarter and got the Spurs lead down to six, but in the last couple of minutes the Spurs pulled away again.
More good news is that we continue to be a much better scoring team than we have been in recent years. If we can put that together with some improved defense, we could start winning games. I continue to think that the guards need to pressure the ball more. The guards simply must carry more weight in this defense.
Perhaps the best news was the way Rondo stepped up in the fourth quarter to virtually will us back into the game. Parker pretty much crushed Rondo for much of the game, but to his credit, Rondo came back at him early in the third and then again in the fourth, and statistically pretty much won the matchup. Had Rondo not had a very rough first half, we might have won this game, but he came through like a real MVP candidate in the second half.
In not so good news, Green had another rough game. Green was going to be a key guy for us. His failure to be a dependable difference maker off the bench has hurt a lot.