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Thursday, May 31, 2012
Some assistance was needed

By Chris Forsberg

Issac Baldizon/Getty ImagesRajon Rondo and the Celtics settled at times Wednesday.
MIAMI -- Maybe the lone downside to Rajon Rondo's historic 44-point, 10-assist, 8-rebound stat line was the fact that Boston often settled for one-on-one, isolation looks, especially in the second half of Wednesday's heart-wrenching Game 2 loss to the Miami Heat.

The Celtics finished with only 15 assists on 40 made baskets (37.5 percent), which, according to ESPN Stats and Information, is the lowest assist percentage for Boston in a single game this season and the fourth-lowest for Boston in the Big Three era.

What's more, the Celtics’ previous low this season was 46.2 percent on April 20 against the Hawks.

Take away Rondo's 10 helpers and the 11 other Boston players combined for a mere five assists (three of which were credited to Paul Pierce; Brandon Bass and Keyon Dooling had the others).

Boston seemed to settle for going one-on-one with Miami defenders at times after the intermission. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Boston's first-half play types featured 6.4 percent isolation and 10.6 percent spot-up shooting. In the second half, those play type combined for a whopping 48.2 percent of Boston's offense.

Rondo's individual heroics masked some of the negatives about Boston's offense and Celtics coach Doc Rivers admitted the team will fix the lingering issues.

"I thought we played with great heart tonight, but I didn't think we played smart all the time," said Rivers. "And there's things that we can absolutely fix, and we'll do that. We'll be ready for Friday."

Statistical support for this story from