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.
“I know you guys are going to write a blog about how terrible we are offensively, but we just haven’t practiced,” said center Jermaine O’Neal. “There’s just no way you can run the guys when you’re playing every other day, because it’s going to effect us on game days. Now, we get a day off to rest our bodies and we’re back out working.
“We get a couple days to really bang bodies, to really run our sets,” added O’Neal. “We’ve been coming in and doing dummy drills and stuff like that so guys can get contact, but there’s nothing like competing — competing in practice, getting used to screens, holding guys off to get rebounds, rotations and all of that. Basically, we’ve had to talk our way through it. Sometimes you can get away with it, and sometimes you can’t. Tonight, we didn’t.”
I won't get on a team for having a bad shooting night. That's going to happen. My problem is always with lack of effort. And rebounding is, as they say, an effort stat. No one in the NBA ever needs practice in boxing out and rebounding.
I just really hope the Celtics don't use this lack of practice thing as an excuse this season because it's going to end in disappointment. No one has any time to practice. It's no excuse for not putting a body on someone and preventing a team like the Pacers from getting tons of second chances.
And I'm not dismissing the importance of practice. The Celtics obviously need some time to get the offense in order and teach all these new guys the defensive principles. Cleaner rotations will lead to some improvement in the rebounding. But it does not change the fact that guys are left untouched as they crash the boards and crush the Celtics' spirit by scoring on tip-ins after some decent defense. That's all about putting forth the effort, practice or not.
Related links: ESPN Boston: Practice?? C's can't carry over momentum |
On Page 2: Pierce felt good out there
For his 13-year career, Pierce has had only one other game in which he's hoisted at least 17 shots and came out with a lower field goal percentage (April 1, 2001 vs. Charlotte, when he was 3 for 19 with 12 points in a loss). This is only the 10th game in the Big Three era in which he's shot 17.6 percent or worse from the field overall.
"I felt good, it just didn't fall," he shrugged.
Said coach Doc Rivers: "He was human. You know? I thought he tried to do too much off the bounce, especially early. And then I thought he got frustrated a little bit. That’s going to happen. But that’s where somebody else needed to pick us up, and nobody could. Without Ray [Allen's] shooting today, we would’ve shot 20 percent."
Sometimes you get good looks and they just don't fall.
Pierce was 1-6 from 3, and 2-4 at the rim. The rest of his 7 shots came from 3 to 23 feet and he missed them all. Credit Indiana's defense for some of that. Fault a cold hand for some. And when Pierce tried to take over and bail the C's out again, it just wasn't there.
Pierce had the highest usage rate in the game last night, which shows he forced it a little too much. On a night like Ray Allen had, he needed to shoot more than 11 times. With Rondo cold too, the Celtics needed to run some sets for Ray where he was getting double screens or running pick and rolls with KG or Brandon Bass. Something that would have given him more chances to shoot the ball, keep the C's close, and maybe create some easy, make-able shots for guys who were cold.
That falls on Doc a bit, but it also falls on the veterans out there to figure some stuff on their own. One guy was hot out there, and the C's didn't use him enough.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: O'Neal shrugs off injuries | Indiana out-paces Celtics | Talking Points | ESPN Boston: Outside the paint: Greg Stiemsma | Allen understand's West's decision | WEEI: Pacers win ugly | The choice David West didn't have to make | Allen: West comments "taken out of context" | Herald: Bricklayers convention | Celtics 4-4 record all you need to know | West disputes nixing Green | Globe: Celtics out in cold | Allen clears air over West comments