If you missed the game, you should be glad you did. Here’s your one-liner game summary.
The game was awful.
Doc said it in a nicer way: (via Gary Washburn on Sulia)
“I thought they just played harder, they executed, they really worked their sets, their second and third options,” Rivers said. “They played more like they’ve been practicing and working hard. Today we just kind of showed up. I thought we had poor intensity throughout. That’s obviously unacceptable.”
On to the gory details. Here’s the only good parts I saw in the game, so let’s talk about these first.
Back to Bass-ics
Bass was his usual self once again, hitting the mid-range and driving in whenever the opportunity presented itself. No forced shots, he made sure to pass it out whenever there wasn’t a good chance – good man. He finished with 5 of 9 for 11 points, second in the team.
It says a lot when your second highest scorer only had 11. And yes, there were only two Celtics who scored in double digits (the other being Pierce).
A few seconds of smooth offense
Check out the passing sequence that led to a Bass finish at 0:25 – now if only we saw that more often.
Lee’s transition defense
He’s like a crazed cheetah on getting back, managing to stay in front of Evan Turner (I keep typing Turner as Turnover) and forcing a missed layup. Good stuff.
All right, let’s get on to them bad stuff.
Catastrophically awful pick and roll coverage
Remember those easy baskets from the Fenerbahce Ulker game? Yep, something like that, only difference being the guard never actually got to the basket much, choosing to kick it to the cutting man (Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes) for easy points.
It’s beginning to seem like none of the other Celtics bigs can defend a pick and roll decently when KG is off the court. I sure hope Doc has some serious remedy up his sleeve, it’s beginning to look like a real problem.
Just like the good old days – turnovers, turnovers, turnovers
One word: cringeworthy.
I’m quite sure the game plan today was to rack up an absurdly high TO total today, just so that we wouldn’t be able to do any worse later in the season. You know what they say about the only direction being up when you are at rock bottom? This game was rock effing bottom.
The team had 20 turnovers, it sure felt like 50 when I was watching though. More practice needed, period.
It began with bad co-ordination in the first half, half of them being meant for the cutting big (Sully) who couldn’t get a proper handle on the passes and lost the ball. Rondo lost his handle on a handoff dribble once, resulting in a fast break.
They seemed to clean that up in the second half, but the Sixers began to press harder on perimeter defense, the most obvious being Evan Turner on Rondo. Damn but I really like that guy, can he come and play for the C’s? A bunch of passes got picked off, the Sixers went on easy layups and bam, that was the game in a nutshell. The game was over by Q3, and we enjoyed a whole quarter of garbage time with Nick Young scoring like an All-Star.
Sully gets killed in the paint
Sully’s lack of length becomes all too obvious here. We get first-hand exposure to the results when KG is not paired up with him. He got outmuscled and blocked despite obvious hustle, which was a real shame.
This game only shows reason for Sully to start with KG in future games.
Whenever things got patchy for the Sixers, it was Turner who stepped up and steadied the offense. 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 assists, an all-round game. He wasn’t the top scorer (Thaddeus Young had 15, Spencer Hawes 17) but he was the one taking charge of the game.
In future games, I would say Pierce is going to have continual problems guarding him. It’s got to be Green who gets the assignment on Turner.
Injury watch: Darko’s right hand
While Darko did play today, his right hand/wrist was bandaged. It seemed fine at first, but he landed awkwardly on it during defense, and was subsequently taken out. I saw him icing his hand on the bench after that, so let’s hope it’s nothing serious.
Posting Green up
Green got the ball in the post a lot today, but he didn’t manage to finish all the time thanks to help defense. More work needed?
Pick and roll defense needs to be tightened up, help defense has to be there if the hedging big is too slow to recover.
Also: I expect passing to improve as the season goes on, so hopefully that will reduce the number of dreaded turnovers. I mean the KG-era Celtics have always been turnover prone, but this is taking it to extremes.
The Sixers still look to be a dangerous matchup, simply because of their length and athleticism. Look at Evan Turner, Dorell Wright, Nick Young and Thaddeus Young. Not forgetting the guards Jrue Holiday and rookie Maalik Wayns, a couple of quick guards who can take it in and dish it off to the big men. Don’t even get me started on Andrew Bynum yet.
That’s all for today, some games are just too bad to warrant any further analysis.