Monday, February 01, 2010

Time To Short The Celtics

They've lost 6 of the last 8 games - counting yesterday's loss illustrated above.

When they win, it seems to take great effort; they never, EVER blow teams out.

And lately, when they're ahead, they can't seem to hold onto the lead. Opponents regularly erase deficits with ease.

The problem as I see it might be mis-identified as *age*.

Yeah, they're old, but teams need veterans.

But even more so, they need easy baskets. The Celtics, in particular their starting five, have to be one of the worse offensive rebounding teams I've ever seen (currently ranked 30th in the NBA). Kendrick Perkins is a very, very good player. His post game has really been polished and his interior defense might be the best in the league at his position. BUT, his weakness on the offensive glass happens to coincide with the ineptitude on this front from 'old coots' Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce. Rajon Rondo, a 6 foot point guard, is their only hope at an offensive rebound, an easy putback or another possession from the entire starting five. They are *one and done* almost every trip up the floor.

I submit that offensive rebounds are VERY important in the game of basketball. Because no Celtics even makes a move toward the glass, not only does that limit their total possessions, the opposing team DOES NOT have to expend any energy rebounding, and they can really get their offense going quickly; heck they can expect to fast break after every shot!

For all their flaws, I say start Tony Allen and Glen Davis. Have KG and Ray Allen come off the bench. Athletic young guys may commit annoying turnovers, but they also keep constant pressure on the other team by banging the boards and running the floor. And both of those 'young coots' have proven they can play when they get consistent minutes.

No coach in their right mind would ever start five guys that *couldn't shoot*, now would he?

So a coach putting five guys out there who are demonstrably incapable of grabbing an offensive rebound....that betrays a genuine ignorance of the game.

(Again, Rondo is excellent in this area, but it's a defensive liability for a team to have their PG fighting for o-boards.)

For my early season Celtics prediction, see - Works Harder Than Larry Bird?.

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