Thursday, May 20, 2010
Doc on defending the Celtics
One interesting aspect of this playoff run by the Celtics is that you never really know which player is going to play a starring role from game to game.
In fact, Boston hasn’t had the same player lead the team in scoring in two straight games during this year’s playoffs. Ray Allen was the scoring leader in five games, Pierce and Rondo in three games apiece and Kevin Garnett did it twice, and none of them have done it in back-to-back games.
Only two other teams in NBA history went at least 13 consecutive playoff games within one season without having the same player lead the team in scoring in consecutive games: the SuperSonics in 1978 (first 15 games) and the Pistons in 1989 (13 games).
Not knowing which Celtics player is going to have a big game offensively has to be one of the biggest challenges for opposing coaches. In an interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI on Thursday morning, Doc Rivers had an interesting answer to the following question: If you were devising a defensive game plan to stop the Celtics, where would you start?
“I think the two areas are Rondo and KG,” Rivers said. "Rondo because he has the ball, KG because he’s a post player. And then Paul would be the next guy because Paul is the one guy on our team that is capable for going off for a big number, so that would scare you every time you played us.”
What about at the end of games? Which Celtics player would you consider the most clutch in big situations?
“That’s a tough question, I would say Paul and Ray because they’re the ones that get the ball in their hands at the end of most games,” Rivers said. “But really off of them have turned out that way. Rondo, where a year ago you didn’t want him even handling the ball down the stretch of a game because you were worried about him going to the foul line and things like that, now he can facilitate our offense to get the ball to the right guys, and that’s given us a huge bonus, something we haven’t had over the last two years.”