Red's Army

Your Morning Dump… The Celtics can’t afford any more emotional hijacks

Chuck - Red's Army May 6, 2011 Uncategorized 18 Comments

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.

“Emotional highjacks,” the Celtics coach said after yesterday’s practice. “And they always happen when you’re down or in the heat of battle. It always happens, but once you let it get to a point where it highjacks your team, then it’s never good. But it’s part of the game, in every sport and on every team.”

The Celtics, though, looked as if they had been boarded and highjacked by Captain Jack Sparrow’s entire crew during several timeouts on Tuesday night.

In perhaps the most blatant instance, Rajon Rondo stormed away from Paul Pierce as the Celtics captain attempted to make a point at the end of a timeout. Not long after, Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen appeared to be holding their own conference outside the greater team huddle.

That they lost Game 2, and fell into an 0-2 hole to Miami, highlighted the disharmony.

Herald – For Celtics, outbursts no shock

I'm about to have an emotional hijack and direct it at Rajon Rondo. Is anyone else fed up with his bull-sh*t? Yes, he's only 25 but this is his 5th season. He also has 70 playoff games under his belt.

He may have a fantastic poker face, but he's more emotional than a woman 8 months pregnant. There's the rampant rumors of his anger over the Perkins trade. His stubborness is well-documented. On the Association, we learned of his locker room fight with KG back in 2008.

I'm not blaming him for the Celtics troubles with the Heat. But there's a fine line between winning and losing in the playoffs, and the Cs need him to have a laser focus for the rest of this series.

Related link: Globe – Celtics have their heated moments

On Page 2, a closer look at the Cs late game possessions in Game 2.

The Celtics went to sixth man Glen Davis on each of the first two plays, but he missed a pair of bunnies before Ray Allen misfired on a 3-pointer, and Jermaine O'Neal botched a dunk. Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo each missed on long jumpers soon after as well.

"I liked some of the stuff," said Rivers. "I didn’t like the first play. The call was to go somewhere else. Listen, you trust your players, they saw something, they thought Baby was deep. The other one, Paul [Pierce] had an [isolation], but Baby cut, and he threw the ball, he did the right thing. I actually thought that one, there was a lot of contact, and he went across his arms, and there was a no-call, so other than that, I didn’t mind what we did."

Here's the key stat, according to ESPN researchers: Boston is shooting a mere 48.1 percent inside of 5 feet this postseason as opposed to 57.1 percent in the regular season. That's a huge dip, particularly in this series with the Celtics trying to exploit their opponent's frontcourt.

ESPN Boston – Playbook: Late Game Offense

Excellent job by Chris Forsberg. While everyone is screaming about Glen Davis taking two shots during the crucial stretch, this breakdown shows the shots were decent looks. Notice the shot clock on his first possession – 11 seconds. If he passes, who's to say the Cs get a better look?

I expected the Celtics shooting percentage within 5 feet to be much worse. Check out that last screen grab in Forsberg's story. Jermaine O'Neal is wide open at the lower semi-circle. How the hell do you miss that shot?

The rest of the links:

CSNNE – Celtics focused on fundamentals | How will Big 4 step up? | Havlicek visits before Gm 3 | Shaq expected to play | Herald – Will Jeff Green mean to stop LBJ? | Ray Allen stays confident | The Celtics game, to win | ESPN Boston – Forde's mock draft | Globe – Anthony a quiet force | Shaq probable for Game 3 | WEEI – Havlicek to BBD: Remember 1969 |

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/alexcosta Alex Costa

    See, told ya. Rondo has been acting like a bitch as of late and not putting his whole effort into these games. It’s frustrating to watch because you know he can blow by fuckin Bibby any time he wishes but he doesnt do it. He just stands there, calls out a play vaguely with his fingers, and softly passes the ball. Argh.
    I hope to see Rondo get that finger out of his ass because if he costs us these games due to his shit play, Ainge should ship his dramatic ass out of here.
    I want to see the Rondo of old. :( I hope he comes to play on Saturday.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/celtsfan33 Celtsfan33

    Rondo is definitely a hard guy to figure out. I thought he snapped out of his funk in the Knicks series but this latest crap is really annoying. If he’s hurt, that’s one thing – but to mope around on the court and look disconnected from the team is a major issue. I hope all of that’s behind us now and he plays like we’re accustomed to the rest of the way.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/the_bantam the_bantam

    Good points about BBD.
    I sometimes wonder if Rondo is simply tired of being the lowest on the totem pole AND the all-star QB at the same time. The Perk trade exacerbated the situation, not created it.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0115707360a6970b Coach Bo

    This is a pretty simple deal. Rondo can either execute his position or it’s time to ship his ass out of town. The man gets paid well to do what the staff tells him to do.
    I’m sick of the pouting, I’m sick of him stopping the damn ball and pounding it into the ground for 12 seconds before dumping it on someone else to try to make chicken salad out of chickenshit with the shot clock running down. And I’m sick of him repudiating veterans with a whole hell of a lot of more professionalism than he has. When Pierce, Garnett or Allen speak, he damn well better be standing there listening.
    And more than anything else, I’m sick of the fanbase concocting one bullshit excuse after another to rationalize away Rondo’s periods.
    This petulant bullshit stops now, or I don’t want to see his ass in a Celtic uniform next season.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0115707360a6970b Coach Bo

    No look is a good look when Glen Davis is shooting the basketball.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/the_bantam the_bantam

    Baby has had his ups and downs, I agree with that. Yet I also agree with Doc that a couple were decent looks. And Doc has said that he wants Baby to be a scorer with the 2nd unit, so he trying to do what he’s told. I think he’s being told to do things that he is not equipped to do. And to your point, if Rondo pounds the ball for 12 seconds, he leaves Baby 11 seconds to make chickensalad out of chickenshit.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    I think the reaction to Rondo is overblown. First of all… after that “incident”… he was playing well. And he still, in his “disinterested” state, he had 20 points, 12 assists and 6 rebounds… WHILE… playing with a sore back.
    I’ve criticized Rondo before… but shit… this whole “ship his ass out of town” mentality is way too much

  • http://profile.typepad.com/arthurm arthur great

    Yes, everyone, let’s pick on and ship out one of the only guys who brought it in game 2.
    Maybe Rondo’s tired of deferring to guys who can’t keep up. You see them just standing stone-footed on offense. What’s Rondo supposed to do with that?
    I think there’s a fine line between being influenced by veterans and being smothered by them, and we’re on the wrong side of that line right now.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/travislong Travis Long

    Rondo was into last game. He was playing hard, IDK what game you guys were watching. The reason he probably walked away from the huddle is because he WAS giving it his all. He WAS attacking the basket, trying to draw charges, getting after loose balls. The rest of the big three were not. I’m sure he was frustrated. The BIG THREE need to step up. Not RONDO.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/the_bantam the_bantam

    Exactly. He is busting his back, (literally), and I wonder if he gets tired of hearing it constantly when he sees the other guys struggling. He is expected to be completely subordinate to them and be their leader at the same time. He’s not perfect, but he’s by NO means expendable.
    I suggest everyone needs to step up at once, Big 5 (4+Doc), all the way through to D-West, they all need to bring it on the same night for 48 minutes to beat this team.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/paulmkane2001 Paulmkane2001

    Well said about Rondo.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/paulmkane2001 Paulmkane2001

    Exactly. Everyone wants to rip the guys who actually brought it against the Heat in game two.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/paulmkane2001 Paulmkane2001

    You say …
    “I’m about to have an emotional hijack and direct it at Rajon Rondo. Is anyone else fed up with his bull-sh*t? Yes, he’s only 25 but this is his 5th season. He also has 70 playoff games under his belt.
    He may have a fantastic poker face, but he’s more emotional than a woman 8 months pregnant. There’s the rampant rumors of his anger over the Perkins trade. His stubborness is well-documented. On the Association, we learned of his locker room fight with KG back in 2008.
    I’m not blaming him for the Celtics troubles with the Heat. But there’s a fine line between winning and losing in the playoffs, and the Cs need him to have a laser focus for the rest of this series.”
    … well, that’s one of the most vicious and despicable things I’ve read about the Celtics. For one thing, it’s homophobic. So an emotional man is like a woman, eh? Maybe it’s male chauvinism rather than homophobia. Or maybe both. Hard to tell. It’s despicable, whatever it is.
    Rondo is an emotional player. THAT’S A BIG PART OF WHAT MAKES HIM GREAT. He blends emotion and intelligence in a unique and creative way. And it’s interesting that you continue to deny the fact that Rondo came out of the timeout where he had confrontations with Doc and Paul, AND RAISED HIS LEVEL OF PLAY. He played his heart out from then on, and gave us a chance to win. That’s what you want in a player.
    If you want to rip someone for their emotional issues, then rip the Big Three, who have acted whipped and beaten in this series.
    Rondo is the ONLY Celtic who has had a clue so far in this series. If the Cs want to win, they need to follow his lead.
    But you keep ripping the only player who has actually risen to the occasion at all.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/paulmkane2001 Paulmkane2001

    I agree with you about Baby, though. Listen, on those plays in the fourth quarter, Baby went to the hole like he meant it. We need more of that.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/karibisha Karibisha

    Agree Rajon has been the better player on the floor and its the Big 3 that have been off their game this series. Understand his frustration at his team mates not playing their “A” game when it counts the most. “The Celtics go where Rondo goes” comments must make him angry b/c the responsibility is not only his, its a 5 man game. All that said I do not like his attitude and reactions on the floor during the timeout as already outlined. I find his walking away emotionally immature, shows his lack of leadership and just adding to the breakdown of the team at a critical time. You lose when you quit and walking away is mentally quitting on your team.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f2d28d7970c BigMck

    Vicious and despicable? A bit overboard considering all I’m asking him to do is play with poise.
    And yes, you might find a chauvinistic tone on this blog. Sue me.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/jmeedu James Eisenman

    Here we go again – a bunch of know nothings disputing the valid points in the article. First, the Big 3 have not played badly in all the games. Ray was fantastic in Game 1. He just disappeared in Game 2. Paul sucked in the first
    half of Game 1 but had 17 points in the second half when the bad calls got to him and he got unfairly tossed. KG has been fairly lackluster in these 2 games. Unfortunately, all of them have been making bad passes into Miami’s trapping defense. Also unfortunately, this team has become Rondo-centric. When he plays sluggishly, they play sluggishly because they give him the ball every time. I don’t like this but it’s too late to change now. He did NOT bring it on Tuesday, most of the game. He missed every outside shot which allowed Bibby to back 3 feet off of him on defense. When yelled at, only, he still drove past him and finished but, by the end of the game, he went back to penetrating and then desparately looking to pass with a few seconds left. He’s a terrible defensive player who is always leaving his man – the Mike Bibby 3! He let Bibby drive by him on play and tried to hook from behind. Arrgghh! That said, if he just played like he played against the Knicks, attacking without pounding incessantly, finishing the drives at the hole and starting the plays with more than 10 seconds left on the clock, we can still beat
    these guys.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/viva2811 viva

    I actually think that is his way of keeping himself out of any conflict, just walk away and take a deep breath. If that was any regular situation he would probably argue, and that was not a moment for any argument. So if you ask me, which you probably don’t but I’m going there anyway, I think that’s the most mature action that they could get out of a person like Rondo.
    I maybe wrong, but I doubt it:)