Your Morning Dump… the toughness issue is back | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Your Morning Dump… the toughness issue is back

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 don’t have a big body like (Kendrick) Perkins or a guy like Big Baby (Glen Davis),” Paul Pierce [stats] said. “But it doesn’t have to come in a size package. It has to be, ‘How bad do you want it?’ I mean, the most physical guys in boxing aren’t the biggest guys.”

“We’re just not there yet as a team,” Rivers said after yesterday’s practice. “I think we’ve got a tough group of guys; we just haven’t all bought in yet. It’ll come. I’m not that concerned by it. I just know we need it.

“We’ve got to be a hit-first team, and we’ll get there.”

“You don’t (teach toughness),” he said. “Either you are or you’re not. Your team can play soft and be a tough team though. I think we’re a pretty tough, physical team, but we’ve had days where we were and days where we were not. But I don’t think you can teach it.

“You can get a guy to play with tougher guys to act tough, but I don’t think you can teach toughness.”

Herald – Rivers says Cs need to improve toughness

I contemplated the inclusion of this topic in the Morning Dump because all questions about toughness inevitably go down the Kendrick Perkins road. There were never any questions about toughness when he was around. It was the one infectious element (aside from illegal screens) that he brought to the court every night.

The Celtics have enough tough players. They just need to start playing tough. And that’s Doc’s message.

On Page 2, stats prove the Celtics should be running more.

Boston is second-last in the league in pace, averaging only 90.7 possessions per game. But according to Synergy Sports Technology, they’re second in the league with 1.32 points scored per transition possession.

Read that again. The Celtics have the second-most potent transition attack in the league and are playing at exactly the wrong pace to maximize that competitive advantage.

That’s especially concerning given the sludgy offense they’ve trotted out the last few years. The Celtics finished 17th in offensive efficiency last season, 13th in 2009-10, and 5th in 2008-09. It’s a trend moving in the wrong direction.

Celtics Hub – Why the Celtics need to play faster

Boston has four players in the top-100 of points-per-possession in transition; Ray Allen (7th), Paul Pierce (30th), Brandon Bass (38th) and Rajon Rondo (78th).

Of course, the lack of transition attempts is connected to the Celtics mediocre rebounding rate. You could also link that to toughness and desire to box-out and rebound.

As Tommy would say, run, baby, run.

The rest of the links:

Globe – Pierce rounding into form | Jeff Green interested in Celtics return | CSNNE – Former teammates have high praise for Bass | Herald – Mavs keep absorbing opponents best shots | WEEI – Celtics search for an identity |

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  • Great post.
    I like Doc’s impression better than Paul’s. ‘We’ aren’t playing tough enough rather than PP talking about what they don’t have.
    From yesterday’s posts, I agree it’s very early to make judgement though they are what their record says. They are a.500 team that desperately needs to play like a team in order to compete with the best. Their approach to beating the super stars HAS to be the whole and out-teaming the other guys, because we simply can’t match up 1 to 1. Help defense, rebounds, ball movement, that is how these C’s will have to beat good teams. Whether it’s lack of pre-season or whatever the cause is irrelevant. That’s where they are and they have to develop a rhythm together.

  • hollinger ranks the celtics #22 and a loss tonight and the team slips below .500
    i definitely miss perkins presence. he did all the dirty things that wont show-up on the stat sheets. c’s were a better team w/him.

  • Remind me again why we traded Perk!!!

  • D

    Because Danny knew he wouldn’t be able to re-sign Perk after the 2011 season. And that he put all his faith into Shaq and Green.

  • D

    Here we go again with the toughness question! They have toughness on this current roster, it would be nice to start playing harder. Start playing up and beyond your competition instead below. Start boxing out for rebounds, stop holding the ball for 10 sec and etc.

  • Why would Ainge be able to sign Green at 9 mil a year but not Perk at 10 mil a year?

  • Should they lose tonight, it will probably lead to a 5 game losing streak.
    At some point during the season, Ainge will have a huge decision to make. If the Celts are still floundering in late February, just before they start playing 18 of the next 25 games on the road, do not be surprised if he blows up the team!

  • Um… to keep $$ open for this Summer Ainge over spent for Green for a one year deal. Your question should have been phrased, ” why can Ainge give Green a $9 million and not give Perkins one for 40?” Because it’s too damn much!
    Oh yeah and Perk’s as good a the group surrounding him. Effort and scowl aside you really think his 6/6 would help us beat the elite in this league? I don’t.
    David West was the big we needed here for his scoring punch. Another source giving us 10-15 points a night would help stabilize the roster significantly IMHO. Hopefully Petrius can provide a lift…