Finding the light: Pacers @ Celtics preview

pacers vs c's

pacers vs c’s (Photo credit: burningairlinesgiveyousomuchmore)

Coming off a four game losing streak, it’s tough to find positivity amidst the bad we have seen so far. Nevertheless, it’s our job to remain deluded optimistic and look for the silver lining, rather than continually screaming TRADE (INSERT-NAME-OF-UNDERPERFORMING-PLAYER) DAMMIT!

Fact: nothing is going to happen in the meantime, we are just going to have to rough things out until the 10th at least.


Game time: 5 Jan 2013, 1200hrs AEST

Watch on: Good old NBA League Pass

Roster changes:

1. Wilcox is still out with his thumb injury (sprained ulnar collateral).

2. Rondo is not fully recovered from the hip bruise, but he hasn’t indicated any reason for sitting out.

Offense

I’ll talk about offense this time round, rather than harping on the same old tired defensive points of rebounding-help-rotation. The C’s need to make things simpler for themselves.

Less IsoPierce
IsoPierce is good in limited doses, but he is beginning to show the lack of lift in recent games. Reduce the amount of IsoPierce, allow him to take his 3 shots off the catch. He’s shown that he can still hit them shots. Forcing the captain to take the offense into his own hands and making him charge into a packed interior is not going to have pretty results. We’ve seen the jump balls, the blocks, the turnovers. No sir, less of those please.

How do we reduce Pierce’s role then?

Boston Celtics v/s Washington Wizards April 11...

Boston Celtics v/s Washington Wizards April 11, 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bench men – Green/Lee/Barbosa
I hate to even hope for miracles like these, but we need these guys. Jeff Green, Courtney Lee and Leandro Barbosa are the young legs on the team, the ones who can and should be aggressively taking it in without hesitation.

Space it out, set a pick for them. Get them inside, force the contact and get some free throws! Less hesitation, and less outside shots please. We are not going to win a game shooting jumpers all night long.

Of course, there is that tiny problem of us having horribly ineffective pick setters. Times like these make me miss Perk a lot.

KG versus Hibbert
Having KG match up against Hibbert allows Sully to sneak into the paint. KG will be taking his usual long 2s, and that will definitely draw Hibbert out.

Note: I’m not saying Sully will be hitting putback bunnies under the rim all night long against the rebounding likes of West/Hansborough/Mahinmi/Granger, but with Sully’s positioning smarts, there’s a fighting chance our hardest working rookie can make something happen.

No? Nevermind, I know we’re getting killed on the boards.

Bradley’s cuts
All of Celtic Nation had a glorious moment of deja vu last game, when they witnessed a beautiful backdoor cut from Avery Bradley. HE’S BACK! And so it came to be that every fan wept, and gave thanks to something so sorely missed.

Sadly, that was all we got – one brilliant flash.

Not holding high hopes for his shooting at this point, but I’m really looking forward to Bradley making an obvious impact with his precise cuts and Rondo’s passing vision. Potent scoring formula, yes? I’m hoping Rondo will be in better shape to drive and pass tomorrow.


Against yet another team with a tough interior presence, I’m not hoping for the C’s to take a blowout win. I’m glad Collison left though, that’s one less guy to carve us up for layups.

All I’m saying is, any kind of win is good at this point, and the odds are not fantastic.

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Comments

  1. Justin H. says:

    The fact that the majority of the Celtics set, as you stated “horribly ineffective” picks is perplexing to say the least. Setting strong, physical picks is all about discipline, effort and court smarts.

    On far too many occasions I see our players set picks that a Mac Truck could drive around, disposessing the ball handler of almost any advantage as far as an open jump shot, or a pass to a rolling front court player is concerned.

    With Rondo, Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jeff Green, good hard picks are an essential tool that the Celtics should heavily rely on.

    Hopefully one day soon we will see Avery and Courtney widely freed for open jumpers, and Jeff Green rolling to the basket for that Two-handed dunk.

    One day..

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