Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
"It's very uncharacteristic," Kendrick Perkins said. "It starts not with team defense. It starts individually first.
"Every game out is a big game for us now. I don't think we're trying not to win. The energy level is there. It's just little mistakes. Guys are making tough shots (against us). Every other possession is a little breakdown that's costing us a bucket from a different guy every time."
Perk is right on the money. 4 guys can be playing great defense… and if one guy slacks, then the whole thing breaks down. One blown assignment and everyone's hard work goes down the crapper.
I know.. I know… we're all going to start speculating as to which one is the main culprit for the breakdowns. But the fact is everyone bears some responsibility at different points of the game.
The Celtics are built to function as a cohesive unit. Yeah, every so often on offense a 1-on-1 play is going to work. But everything the Celtics do is predicated on all five guys on the floor working together. That's when the team is playing its best.
Coming up, Page 2… Where the fellas talked things out
The team’s ability to defend the simple pick-and-roll was exposed as an apparent weakness on Friday as Aaron Brooks, Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola went to town late in the fourth quarter as the Rockets battled back to force overtime and then erased a five-point hole in OT to score the last 10 points of overtime in the 119-114 Rockets win.
“I think we’re breaking down in just one area,” Pierce said. “And it needs to get better. We have to be better on the pick and roll.”
In other words, when the opposing player passes the ball, a fundamental rule in basketball defense 101 is that the passer becomes the most dangerous potential scorer on the court.
“I think we trust each other,” Pierce said. “It’s just about going out there and doing it and trusting the coaching staff. The good thing about us after a game like [Friday] or the game before, we sit in the locker room and we talk about it. We were in the training room, talking about what we need to do better and what we need to do as a team. That’s a positive sign, how during a tough stretch like this, we stick together and talk things out.”
That's a lot of talking. And that's great. Talking is a good thing. I agree.
Now… how about turning some of that talking into doing, huh? Yeah… that would be great. Thanks.
The rest of the links:
Herald: Celtics focus on win, not Cavs | DJ receives overdue hall call | Pivot play an NBA fixture | scouting report: Cavs at Celtics | Globe: DJ to enter Hall | Learning from Mistakes | ESPN Boston: No time for double feature | DJ gets his due | WEEI: KG on his fine: "I could care less"