Monday, May 2, 2011
Practice: The post, man
By Chris Forsberg
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The Celtics' offensive game plan at the start of Sunday's Game 1 seemed pretty obvious. On each of their first two possessions, Boston lobbed the ball to its big men for post-up situations. No surprise, the Celtics believe they have an exploitable matchup up front against the Heat.
But, according to Synergy Sports, Boston generated shots on only eight more post-up plays the rest of the night, settling instead for mostly perimeter shots that, beyond those taken by Ray Allen, didn't fall with much consistency. Kevin Garnett finished with six points on 3-of-9 shooting and Celtics coach Doc Rivers made it a point at Monday's off-day practice to stress the need to get Garnett more touches, particularly around the basket.
"I've got to do a better job of getting Kevin involved," Rivers said. "Kevin is one of our featured scorers and I didn’t think we did a good job with him at all."
Rivers scolded his team for getting away from post situations at halftime Sunday, feeling the team let Chris Bosh off the hook after picking up an early foul. And he kept scolding them at film review on Monday.
"I made that very clear at halftime. We got Bosh an early foul, and then we go seven straight plays before we decided to look back to that same spot," Rivers said. "That’s not like us to do that. That was a mistake."
Garnett, brilliant in the first round against New York while averaging a double-double, is likely to get the ball early and often in Game 2, and the Celtics need him to be aggressive, even when his shots aren't falling.
"I think we've just got to try to tell him to be aggressive when he gets the ball in the post," point guard Rajon Rondo said. "He's an unselfish guy, but we want him to be aggressive and try to take advantage of his matchup."
And how can the Celtics get him to do that? "It's on him," Rondo said.
A few more notes from media availability before the team's practice session Monday on the campus of the University of Miami:
A MOMENT TO REMEMBER: Rivers was already engrossed in film from his team's Game 1 loss when word filtered his way late Sunday night that Osama bin Laden had been killed by American forces. It helped put a frustrating loss in perspective.
"It was phenomenal, it was awesome," Rivers said. "It actually put things in their proper place when you’re watching film and you’re cussing to yourself, you’re writing bad words down on pieces of paper. Then this comes on. It was awesome. Just like we remember where we were for 9/11, I think we’ll remember this moment as well. But it was just really neat. Great to see, just awesome."
NO 3-POINTERS, PERIOD: Rivers made sure to stress to his team that Miami sniper James Jones can't get seven open looks at the basket from behind the arc again, like he did in Game 1.
"We don’t give up 3s, period," Rivers said. "He made five, right? He had seven open ones. That’s seven too many as far as we’re concerned. The fact that he took seven 3s without taking one dribble, when you think about it, that’s poor defense. You've still got to make them and that’s where you give James all the credit, he’s an excellent shooter and he made them. But to give a shooter seven 3s and he never had to put the ball on the floor one time, that’s tough for any of us to handle."
According to ESPN Stats and Info, 32 of Jones' 36 field goal attempts have been catch-and-shoot plays, including transition. Only one of his seven shots on Sunday was deemed contested (and it was one of his two misses). Jones shot a mere 44 percent (42.1 beyond the arc) and averaged 6 points per game on catch-and-shoot situations in the first round against the 76ers. Against Boston? Those numbers spiked to 71.4 percent (both overall and beyond the arc) while scoring 15 points off catch-and-shoots in Game 1.
TOO MUCH RANDOM: Rivers also lamented the lack of set plays by his team, something he hammered home in film review.
"I thought, as a team, we were very eager offensively and I thought that hurt our offense as a team," Rivers said. "I thought we were pretty easy to guard [Sunday] night. We were pretty much a one-option team and very rarely worked the sets. We had the most randoms of the year in any game -- and we record every game -- where we didn’t get into sets, just stayed in random offense. You want that to be about 25 to 33 percent. You don’t want it to be at 70 percent. That’s not us."