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 was a matter of us because we had to go trap. We were less one guy on the glass,” Doc Rivers explained following the 96-93 win. “So we’ve got to figure out a better way. They were flying to the glass. Listen, they knew they didn’t have their guys. I mean, they were going for it. But, like I said, it’s not that we didn’t play hard. We played hard, but we’ve got to play better and smarter. Hard is great. Hard and smart is much better. And we can do better, we can be better.
“And again, I am happy we won the game, but I just know my team is better than that and I know we can be better and it’s my job to get it out of them.”
Kevin Garnett (team-high 10 rebounds) noted that the Knicks offense requires the Celtics to play help defense, often leaving players out of position.
“We do a lot of helping,” he said. “You’ve got [Carmelo Anthony], you’ve got Stoudemire, you’ve got Chauncey [Billups], you’ve got guys who can really put the ball in the basket. You’ve got cutters like [Landry] Fields and [Jared] Jeffries. When you’re trying to help, everybody’s in different spots when the ball hits the rim. Sometimes they send three or four, if not five guys, to the basket to get the rebound. You’re in different positions to rebound and it makes it kind of difficult. But this is who we are, this is what we’ve been doing all year, so it’s nothing new.”
Ok, that's fine, but that doesn't excuse 53 rebounds. That certainly doesn't excuse the 20 offensive rebounds. But that's OK, we'll take a look at them later today and see how many are simply due to a lack of effort and how many are because of the help D.
Even if the Celtics had given up a horrible 15 offensive rebounds… that would have been enough to make things more comfortable.
Bottom line: 24 second chance points is terrible. And after playing 20 seconds of Celtics defense, the worst thing in the world is to give up the offensive rebound and then have to play another 20. Then you break down. I understand why the C's don't crash the offensive boards… but what happend last night was inexcusable.
As for where Jermaine O'Neal was as the Knicks were grabbing rebound after rebound?
"It was a tough call," Rivers said. "And we won the game. I don’t know if I made the right call or not, honestly. But they were small and we kind of liked Baby stretching the floor a little bit for us. But it was a difficult call. I’ve got to tell you, as a coach, you’re going back and forth. The debate on the bench would’ve been terrific for you guys to hear, but we turned the mics off so you couldn’t.”
I would have had him in there. Baby was not very good last night… to put it nicely. Official word on JO is a mild wrist strain.
Related links: WEEI: Pierce: we shouldn't be satisfied
On Page 2: The clutchness of KG… and stats that flat out lie
Less than a week ago, Jackie MacMullan wrote a piece that detailed Garnett’s lack of aggressiveness down the stretch of tight contests. Somewhere in the middle of it was this note: “In his time with the Celtics, KG has not attempted a single shot in the final 10 seconds of regulation or overtime in a playoff game.”
Well, scratch that off Garnett’s to-do list.
In Game 2 of their first-round series, the Celtics trailed the Knicks by one with 19 seconds remaining whenRajon Rondo inbounded to Garnett out of the timeout. The Celtics forward proceeded to back Jared Jefferiesdown on the dribble, turn to his left and toss in a hook shot in the paint. The basket gave the Celtics a 94-93 advantage with 13 seconds left.
“It was interesting,” said Ray Allen, who hit the game-winning bucket in Game 1. “The play wasn’t even for Kevin the way we ran it. Rondo threw it to him, and I’m glad he did, because that proves big for us going into the next game. Most of our plays have several different options on it, but it involved me, Paul [Pierce] and Kevin at some point. And he saw the matchup.”
Ok. Two HUGE problems with that. And it hurts me to call out Jackie MacMullan… but this is a case where the stats can say anything you want them to.
KG is very often setting the picks that spring the guys that get open. Four times Paul Pierce took the final shot in the playoff game. Twice, Ray did. And four other times some else jacked up a shot.
And, despite the "KG can scratch that off his to-do list".
No. He can't. Because statistically, KG STILL hasn't taken a shot within the last 10 seconds… because as you can see in the video he shot the ball with 13 seconds left on the clock.
So does that mean that he's not clutch anymore? The stat says within the last 10 seconds. And its not like we haven't seen KG game winners before. He's done it in New York. And we've seen him win games on defense… like he did last night.
This whole KG isn't aggressive or isn't clutch thing is insanity. He does what the team needs him to do. And after last night night, the stats will still say he hasn't taken a shot in the last 10 seconds of a playoff game… and people will read that and say he's not clutch enough. It's a total lie.
Here's what KG had to say last night:
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Finally, Rondo's back | Anthony dominates for injury plagued Knicks | Stoudemire injured after warm up dunk | Game Story: Celtics take down Knicks in game 2 | Celtics survive another thriller | WEEI: Rondo isn't happy with win but C's will take it | Amare's back picks a bad time to act up | Celtics survive again, but is that enough? | ESPN Boston: Pierce "I've got to be a defensive guy" | Rapid reaction | Herald: Celtics take 2-0 lead | Rondo drives this team | Celtics still come out on up side | Wafer saved himself with Celtics experience | Carmelo Anthony amazing in loss | Avery Bradley makes point | Amare Stoudemire hurting | Globe: Garnett, C's shine in the end | Hard fought win | Anthony delivers in spotlight | Knicks dropped the ball | Rondo drives boost C's | Pierce doing little things | Jermaine O'Neal a force | MWDN: Paul Pierce put to the test and makes grade