Boston Celtics: Layups
January, 18, 2012
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
Celtics coach Doc Rivers wondered out loud after Monday's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder just how many point-blank looks his team missed.
AP Photo/Charles KrupaPaul Pierce can't finish in traffic vs. the Thunder.
"It’s in the teens, for sure," declared Rivers. "I mean, layups and point-blank looks tonight. And we’ll show them that, because that’s actually a positive thing, not a negative thing. Obviously you want to make them, but the fact that you’re getting them -- they need to see that.”
Yes, it was a case of good news, bad news for Boston.
According to analytical site HoopData, the Celtics attempted a season-high 33 attempts at the rim Monday, but missed 15 of them. For the season, Boston is 154 of 255 at the rim, a 60.3 percent clip, ranking them in the bottom third of the league overall.
Dig deeper and the numbers are even more cringeworthy.
According to Synergy Sports, the Celtics rank 29th in the league averaging a mere 1 point per play around the basket (in non-post-up situations). In fact, the Celtics have connected on a mere 47.9 percent of those shots (104 of 217 overall). For comparison's sake, the Miami Heat average a league-best 1.286 points per play around the basket, converting a whopping 62.3 percent of their close-range shots (170 of 273 overall).
What's more, the Celtics are getting their shots blocked at an alarming rate. According to HoopData, the Celtics are getting blocked on 8.48 percent of their field goal tries. The next closest team is Detroit at 7.69 percent (the league average is 6.24 percent).
For a Celtics team looking for an offensive spark amidst a five-game losing streak, the advice is simple -- finish at the rim.
October, 1, 2010
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
NEWPORT, R.I. -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers admitted he's a little too focused on getting his own team ready for the 2010-11 season to pay too much mind to a change in the NBA Development League allocation rules that will allow Boston to stockpile as many as three camp cuts on the roster of the Maine Red Claws this season.
Rivers did admit that, for the invitees that are likely to end up as camp casualties, it's a good opportunity to stay in the organization. What's more, Rivers would like to see even more crossover between parent clubs and their affiliates, leading to a system more like Major League Baseball or the National Hockey League.
"I still think they should change a lot of the D-League rules," said Rivers. "I think we should be able to rehab guys in the NBDL, even if it's a veteran. If a veteran doesn't want to, that's fine. But let's say Paul Pierce is coming back and he says, 'Coach, I'd love to go play a couple games [in Maine],' then it'd be great to able to use it in that way."
It would be quite a draw for that D-League squad to bring in a player the caliber of Pierce, as well, but Rivers admitted it'll likely never to happen. Such a set up would be particularly beneficial for the Celtics this season when Kendrick Perkins recovers enough from offseason ACL surgery to return to game action.
For now, Red Claws fans should keep an eye on camp invitees like Jamar Smith, Chris Johnson, and Stephane Lasme, who might be tempted by the recent rule change and stick with Maine, provided they'll sign a D-League contracts. After the interest in the four-on-four video posted Wednesday, you can check out Thursday's four-on-four battle in the clip embedded at the top of this entry. The two sides swapped colors, with White --Tony Gaffney (27), Luke Harangody (55), Smith (40) and Johnson (45) -- vs. Green -- Von Wafer (12), Mario West (46), Lasme (47) and Semih Erden (86). The Green team won an early game, but White carried play for an extended stint after that.