Stop IsoPierce-ing, start running!

Welcome to the playoffs Celtics, where only 24 minutes of good ball happens in the first half, and everything dies after.

To every Celtic fan out there who caught the vicious carnage we have been watching in the second halves of Game 1 and 2 so far, I salute you. The offense was in a word, effing-frozen-solid. 8 points in the fourth quarter for Game 1, and topped by consecutive low-scoring quarters (11 in Q3, 12 in Q4) today in Game 2.

I don’t know what we’re watching anymore, it feels like Doc is experimenting with lineups in a season game by playing an almost-exclusive guard rotation (Lee, Terry in game 1, then Crawford, Terry in game 2). I get the point about small ball against New York, but are we overdoing it?

Credit Elsa, Getty Images via SI

Pierce should not be the guy who takes over in the second half via isolation plays. It’s a suicidal strategy for a half, much less a seven-game series. We end up having two guys camp in the corners for the kick out shot, another at the wing, and finally Pierce on isolation with a screener. Not exactly a winning formula, because we know two things will happen:

  1. He gets hit with a trap and be forced to kick the ball out.
  2. He goes to his pullup or a muscling drive. But let’s get real here – Truth isn’t going to shoot 100%, and we don’t get much in the way of offensive rebounds.

What really works against the Knicks though, is pushing the ball up. They don’t get back on transition quick enough at times, and a good long pass catches them off balance. If we keep looking to run and finish inside (I’m looking at your Uncle Jeff) for the entire game, it could make a difference. 17 fast break points in Game 2, it’s got to count for something.

Stop slowing it down into half-court, and let’s keep running. Game 3 awaits.

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2 thoughts on “Stop IsoPierce-ing, start running!”

  1. And 13 fast break points in Game 1 to the Knicks 7. Their team of 3 point shooters cannot run the floor like our small ball team can.

    The point being, if Doc insists on playing a small team, we need to insist he always has a rebounder in the paint and insists the runners run. And run. And run.

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