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.
“We’re trying to get the three scorers – Paul, Ray (Allen) and Kevin – to be more aggressive offensively,” said the coach, who gave his team yesterday off following Friday night’s win against the Knicks. “Half of our turnovers in the first half (against New York), we were turning over when we had a layup but threw the ball to someone else so they could have a layup.”
Garnett was indeed the most egregious offender on that count. At one point he passed up an easy scoring opportunity off a 3-on-2 break to bounce a pass off the hands of an unsuspecting Shaquille O’Neal for one of the team’s 11 first-half turnovers.
“I was thinking I’d take the first one,” Rivers said. “So it’s funny how even though they’ve been together for so long, at times they don’t want to step on each other’s toes. It’s amazing how long it takes at times.
“And that’s Kevin, especially, passing up open shots. But they’re finding their way, and they will find their way. I’m not that concerned by it.”
The Celtics were overpassing a LOT in the Knicks game. That not only led to turnovers, it led to a lot of missed shots where a guy might not have been expecting to get the pass. If KG, for example, passes up a layup so someone else can score… that someone else might be getting ready for a rebound rather than the pass. And if we get to a point where they're always expecting a pass… then they're not getting into rebound position.
Got it? Overpassing has a ripple effect.
It's pretty simple: If you've got a layup… take it. Guys are ok with it if you're taking easy shots. If you're forcing bad shots, then they'll get on your ass. But if you're taking a good shot, even when someone else is open… then it's no big deal. Take your shot.
On Page 2: Cousy talks about his 28 assist night
It was Sunday afternoon Feb. 27, 1959, and theCeltics were hosting the Minneapolis Lakers in Providence. The game didn’t matter much in the standings, since the Knicks were miles behind the Celtics with five games left in the regular season. And besides, the Celtics knew they’d see the Lakers in the NBA Finals. The game just didn’t have any buzz.
But Cousy said, “It just got to be a wild game.’’
“It was a schoolyard-type of game where nobody was paying any attention to defense,’’ Cousy said.
By wild, he meant 312 combined points. The Celtics pounded the Lakers, 173-139, and the numbers were so eye-popping that commissioner Maurice Podoloff looked into the possibility of point tampering. Everything was clean, including the 28 assists Cousy doled out.
“It wasn’t a meaningful game so we just ran up the court and shot the ball a lot,’’ Cousy said. “Obviously, we had a hell of an offensive night.’’
Makes me wonder how he ONLY got 28 assists.
The rest of the links:
Herald: Pierce the Celtics' comeback kid | Souza/MWDN: Mind over age for the Celtics | CSNNE: Shaq expects to play | Celtics learning to be more selfish | CelticsBlog: Q&A with Jackie MacMullan | Telegram: Is it time to blow the whistle on technicals? | Pro Basketball Talk: Miami looking to trade for a PG? | Slam: Polladaday: Best bench?