ESPN Boston, Greg M. Cooper/US Presswire
Doc Rivers on the team after the first day’s practice session, seems pretty pleased with how things went.
About the benefits of working out this summer:
“I think it’s huge. You can see, you know obviously we have a lot to teach them but you can see they have played together, and I think that makes a big difference.”
Kudos again to the practices being held, and for the rookies and vets alike for attending them.
Doc also talked about wanting to use Jeff Green in his long-awaited scheme, whereby Green would be utilised at the 3 and 4 to create mismatches in size and speed.
“I don’t have a big body of work to go with on Jeff. When he’s at the 4, I want him to be the fastest player in the gym. I want him to outrun [his defender and] one of the things we have been working on the last three weeks, is throwing the ball ahead to him on the break at the 4, and tell him to attack the basket. There’s a 4 guarding you that probably doesn’t want to guard you. We want him to be uptempo 4, power 3.”
It remains to see how effective Green will be in the new season, but he seems to be reinvigorated this time round, having mentioned that he has to be more aggressive on the court. I have memories of his passivity in the playoffs back in 2010/2011, hopefully that was a one-time thing caused by the mid-season trade and lack of integration.
Should he prove to be the piece Doc thinks he is, we will be looking at a very, very good season indeed, barring the injury bug. I keep thinking about the injury thing because it has felt like a nagging curse for the past seasons – look at how the Shaq thing turned out.
There was also talk of wanting to push the ball up and limit turnovers.
“Nothing has changed at all, we’re still about defense,” said Rivers. “Having said that, you can still score. You know, when you’re on offense, you’re not playing defense. And really, we need to just increase our pace. But we turned the ball over too much last year. I thought, over anything, that hurt our offense — when you look at our efficiency, when we actually got a shot up at the basket, we were pretty good. I would like to increase the pace of play a little bit. I just think we’re a little different of a team, we can run more pick-and-rolls with multiple guys, so that’s what we want to do.”
This is no surprise, considering the roster changes we have had in the off-season. Having Wilcox, Green, Lee and Rondo on the court is quite simply, an open invitation for transition plays. I’m sure we will be seeing a lot of these Rondo-Wilcox transition plays, come season start:
“We haven’t had guys that really wanted to run. And I think we have more of those guys now. So that helps.”
If the defense stays where it is with a visible improvement to the fast break, there is no reason why team scoring (and Rondo’s assists per game) would not take a significant leap. I for one am looking forward to the end of the scoring droughts and those dreary crawling half-court possessions.
I would really recommend that you read both articles, Chris Forsberg does a great job of presenting the various topics in a clear and concise manner. More juicy material to come as the days go by, fun days are here again!