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.
Coach Doc Rivers talked about the Celtics becoming frustrated by the Pacers’ penetration. Inside players were forced to provide help on guards, allowing a Pacer room to follow up.
“It was not the bigs,’’ Rivers said of the rebounding problems. “It was the guards.’’
Both Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo struggled to contain dribble drives. The Pacers finished with a 47-36 rebounding edge, 14-7 on the offensive end.“It’s not only on the bigs, all five of us are out there,’’ Rondo said. “The bigs were stepping up, and when [the Pacers] shot the ball, the bigs lost their body.
This is the second time this season that Doc Rivers has criticized his guards' play. I'm willing to cut Ray Allen some slack. Heck, he's 35-years-old. But Rondo? There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for Rondo getting beat (consistently) off the dribble. He is arguably the quickest point guard in the league. He could stay in front of any guard in the league if he truly wanted to.
I'm tired of beating this drum…
On Page 2, Chris Wilcox has been a major disappointment.
Wilcox played a season-high 14 minutes on Christmas Day in New York, chipping in four points, three rebounds, and a block, but suffered the shoulder injury two nights later during the first half of a loss in Miami.
In three games since returning, he's registered three points (taking only three shots) and six rebounds over 22 minutes. He admits he's looking for some sort of spark.
"I don't know what it is, man, but I'm trying to find it," he said. "If you can find it for me, let me know, so I can get on it. Right now, I'm just trying to find myself, trying to find out what's going on.
"Like I said, I have to give more than I'm giving right now."
Wilcox is also a solid rebounder, especially on the offensive glass, and will naturally generate points off putbacks.
But none of that has happened thus far. He has no putbacks, no buckets in transition; and five cutting possessions — plays that end in a field goal attempt, turnover, or free throws generated — have produced only three points, according to Synergy data.
It's way too early to label anyone a disappointment, but there's plenty of room for improvement for Chris Wilcox. I don't think I've seen him make one impact play. Isn't he supposed to be the ENERGY guy?
He has plenty of legitimate excuses. New team. Short training camp. Minor shoulder injury. Most of the second unit (except Brandon Bass) is struggling.
Danny Ainge's biggest salary chip this season was the MLE – $3 million. He dumped all of that on Wilcox. If Wilcox flops, it's on Danny.
I hope my season preview regarding the team's most dissapointing player is wrong.
The rest of the links: