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Small margin of error.

April 28, 2009

John Hollinger from ESPN has a great article about tonight’s game. Hollinger believes that game 5 and ultimately the series comes down to which team better handles their injuries:

With one game decided on a 3-point bomb, one in overtime and another in double overtime, the bar has been set pretty high for Game 5. The importance of the game is underscored by the fact that 83 percent of Game 5 winners go on to win the series. And how the two sides cope with their injuries is the game-within-the-game that’s likely to determine the winner.

This game comes down to coaching. I have been saying over and over again that silver lining throughout this series was the fact that Doc would out-coach V-D-Negro. We have seen Doc shine on multiple occasions so far: time-out management in games 1, 2, and 4, beautiful plays drawn out of time-outs (Ray Ray in game 1, Ray Ray in game 2, Ray Ray in game 4… see a pattern here??), and when to make defensive substitutions to defend against a smaller, quicker, more athletic Bulls back-court and front-court.

But a few things have happened that make me say hmmmmmmm.

  • 1 –  Could the team really not foul Ben Gordon in the first OT on Sunday? After watching years of professional sports, it’s easy to say that athletes either don’t understand strategy in certain game situations or they get so caught up in the moment they forget to think… or worst, because their coaches didn’t tell them what to do they didn’t do it. So was the inability to foul Gordon and prevent a 3 that would tie the game a player breakdown or a coaching breakdown?
  • 2 – At the end of the first OT with the score tied up at 110 a piece, the Celtics take a quick 20 second timeout to draw up a play. With 4 seconds left, there is plenty of time to get a quality look. The play ends up being Rondo dribbling… dribbling… dribbling… dribbling… pops a 22-footer. I am fairly willing to bet my first unborn child that this is not the play Doc drew up or discussed in the huddle. What the hell happened then? Did Rondo see something in the defense that wouldn’t allow for the play to come to fruition? Did Rondo just go rogue? Did Doc not give good enough directions? Was Doc not clear? Was this an inability to execute an out of bounds even though many would agree this Celtic team is one of the BEST teams in the league at executing out of bounds plays this year, or was this a situation where Doc didn’t make the right call?
  • 3 – Doc has had terrible production from his bench this series. Going over the numbers make it even more miserable: Game 1- 15 points (yeah 8 of those were from Leon), Game 2- 9 points, Game 3- not including this because it was a blowout where the bench didn’t really matter, Game 4- 11 points. So in a total of 3 important games in this series, the bench has scored 35 points out of a possible 339– that’s a whopping 10%. The Bulls bench has scored 67 points in those same 3 games out of a possible 341 points– that’s a solid 20%. Is our bench play terrible because Doc isn’t giving them playing time or is he not playing these guys because they are unproductive? Did the chicken or the egg comes first? My head hurts from thinking about it.
I feel how you look.

I feel how you look.

Mikki Moore is in the doghouse. Gabe Pruitt is probably drunk on the bench (kidding). Bill Walker isn’t ready. TA is a good defensive option but not offensive one. Steph is stuck behind the fact that Rondo is playing out of his mind and Rondo has the legs to play an entire game. This is a tough coaching situation– a team that is so run down that your bench is really 2 players deep. I am not discounting the job that Doc is doing, or really saying the series is in jeopardy because Doc hasn’t proved to me that he is indeed a world champion caliber coach. He proved that last year with #17 and proved it this year by winning 62 games with this brutally injured squad. So then it comes down to Scal and Eddie off the bench– a big and a small.

Foul trouble is not an option for Perk and Baby. Injury is not an option for Rondo. Fatigue is not an option for Ray or Pierce. There is a small margin of error for the Celts that will determine a win or a loss tonight and in this series. Doc’s latest test is this opening round series against the Bulls. Is he good enough to out-coach Vinny and the Bulls? He has to be. Small coaching mistakes is not an option for Doc. Doc needs to be on top of his game  just like the five guys he throws on the court tonight.

Tip-off is at 7:00pm… Go Celts.
{ faith is very much alive at Loscy and in Boston }

3 Comments leave one →
  1. DMP permalink
    April 28, 2009 7:13 pm

    Rondo definitely went rogue on Doc….you could tell because Doc was pretty pissed at him afterwards (mouthing “take it to the basket.”) Also definitely should have fouled Gordon and not even give him the chance for the 3…devastating.

  2. celts suck permalink
    May 3, 2009 2:14 am

    celts suck and game 7 iis on now in the background

    • May 3, 2009 4:05 am

      Well, I won’t stoop to your level but saying the Bulls suck because they certainly don’t. The Bulls are a talented team that gave the Celts a run for their money. But, the better prevailed.

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