“We switched everything, which we never do,” the coach said of his defense against picks. “I mean, we literally never do that. They were killing us in the first half. Scotty (Skiles, the Milwaukee coach) was running great stuff, and the way we looked at it, switching couldn’t be any worse.
“That was the big change. That’s unusual for us to give in that quick, but we thought we needed to do it, and I thought it made a big difference defensively for us.”
Big, indeed. After shooting 49 percent from the floor in the first half, the Bucks were held to 29.3 percent from the floor in the second. That stat was aided by the fact the teams combined evenly for an 0-for-14 shooting stretch after Pierce opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer.
First the zone defense, now the pick switching. What's the deal with Doc Rivers sudden defensive flexibility? The cliche – desperate times call for desperate measures – must apply.
Paul Pierce looked very smooth (10-15 FG) last night. He also had 9 rebounds – a key indicator of his energy level.
The Celtics 8 game road trip (4-3) concludes tonight in Philly against a Sixers team that pummeled them by 32 points three weeks ago.
I'm not sure if Doc has any more defensive tricks up his sleeve. I'm not sure he needs them. Tonight's game will hinge on energy level. Will the Celtics muster up enough energy and intensity in a revenge game with the division lead on the line?
On Page 2, what Doc expects from Ryan Hollins.
“He’ll dress; I don’t know if he’ll play or not,” said coach Doc Rivers before last night’s 100-91 victory over the Bucks. “He has to go through physicals, so we have our fingers crossed the way physicals have gone with us. We’re going to do physicals in the morning, and if it fits we’re going to fly him out and have him meet us in Philly.”
Waived by Cleveland, where he averaged 15.1 minutes a game, the 27-year-old is intriguing to the C’s.
“I don’t really know honestly,” said Rivers when asked what he expects. “I’ve watched tape, but tape doesn’t do much for you. He’s an athletic big. He can run the floor. He’s a shot-blocker from the weak side. I think he does defend well in the schemes that we run, and I think he can show and get back in coverage.
“He has not rebounded, and that’s something we need him to do. So we’ll really stress rebounding with him. But he’s just another body that we needed, so we’ll take it.”
How many minutes are available for Ryan Hollins?
While remaining committed to limiting KG's minutes (31 mpg), Doc Rivers is leaning on Greg Stiemsma, a lot. The Steamer's minutes-per-game jumped from 7.9 to 16.8 this month. He's playing well, despite the sprained foot.
Is Hollins here to provide insurance for Stiesma (foul trouble, injury)? Or will Doc give him some serious run?
The rest of the links:
Yahoo! – Celtics Big 4 could scatter after season | ESPN Boston – The day belonged to Stiemsma | WEEI – Things are looking up for the Celtics | Why Celtics fans should pay close attention to Yancy Gates | CSNNE – The Sean Williams bandwagon |
(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)