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Looking for the Celts’ help defense and offensive fluidity

November 22, 2009
The headline from Yahoo: so right.

The headline from Yahoo: so right.

Most people would say that wins are wins. At the end of the day, as long as the number in the win column increases by one then that is all that matters.

Well. We know that really isn’t true. Objectively speaking, yes. A win is a win. But emotionally, physically, mentally, wins can carry significantly different meanings. This win is a bit too fresh in my mind for me to really know what this win means, but I know it means something. Or at least, I hope it means something… The start of a streak, mainly.

I was at the game on Friday when the Celtics crawled their way back to not getting outclassed by Vince Carter and the Magical Magicians. The game slipped out of their hands in the final 2 minutes, and it was a bit gut wrenching to watch the loss unfold in person. This afternoon, I was fearful of a repeat performance.

After building a solid 14 point lead in the 3rd quarter, the Knicks found life while we found complacency. I was imagining blog post titles after a 3rd quarter collapse by the Celts that would lead to a loss:

“Celtics blow.”
“Celtics defense takes a graceful exit.”
“Celtics make Nate Robinson and Al Harrington look like shoo-in Hall of Famers.”
“Celtics add Sunday to their list of days to take off (along with Fridays).”
“Celtics get Knicked in the butt on Sunday.”

I’m glad the Celts didn’t lose. But let’s be honest: those 5 titles could still show up in the next few hours on the interwebs. The only difference is that the Celts didn’t lose.

Two things that really need to be addressed:

OUR HELP DEFENSE. As I tweeted today during the game, our help defense looks like welfare defense all cracked out and pending for renewal. As KG noted the other day, we play help defense with proper rotations/switches. But when a team forces us to play man-to-man and they hit their outside shots, we are in trouble. If help isn’t coming to our helpers then we are screwed. Phoenix hit their shots. Indiana hit their shots. Orlando hit their shots. (Atlanta just flat out out-played us). New York almost stole one from the Cs… but not with anything special, just from us being a bit lazy on defense. We made too many gambles, and we paid the price. How many times were there pick-n-rolls AND cuts to the hoop where one of the Knicks bigs had an easy layup to finish off the play? Too many to count. Our rotations look sloppy and we look to be asleep on so many defensive possessions. The Celts bit on everything the Knicks threw out there. Yikes. Coach T: go to work.

OFFENSIVE FLUIDITY. We just look terrible on some possessions. Our ball movement seems robotic on too many possessions. There are times when we move so well without the ball and our passes are so crisp that the points go down easily. Then at other times, everything looks terribly out of sync. What’s the deal? It’s not fatigue. It’s not a lack of familiarity in the system. Are we second guessing ourselves? We might be. The Celts seem to be hanging their heads and sulking at times instead of carrying themselves with unwavering swagger on both ends of the court. Let’s get that back. An emotional win today against the Knicks could be what we need to get some confidence and attitude back.

Other noteworthy observations: Quisy is still the most efficient player on the floor. Sheed needs to do something… anything. Glad to see 3ddi3 Hous3’s stroke return.

Yeah. Those are two pretty big things. Paul Pierce better put some ice on his back tonight: carrying the team for the 4th quarter and OT must have made it sore.

Article of the day: New York Times touching on the Pick-and-Roll.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2009 12:33 am

    Nice read Loscy. The C’s do seem to be second guessing themselves. I do believe they are. It was evident against Orlando and down right obvious today in NY.

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  1. Today’s Celtics Links 11/23 « Flceltsfan’s Weblog

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