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Your Morning Dump… Where Philly kept KG out of the paint

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) May 24, 2012 The Morning Dump 11 Comments

Kevin garnett vs philly playoffsEvery 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.

All 20 of Garnett's field-goal attempts in Game 6 were from 10 feet or beyond, with an average distance of 17 feet, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Garnett finished 9-of-20 shooting for 20 points with 11 rebounds over 41:05.

But considering how important Garnett's offense around the basket has been in this series — and how thoroughly the 76ers dominated points in the paint in this game (42-16) — the amount of jumpers Garnett and his teammates settled for is simply staggering.

In fact, before Wednesday's game, Garnett had 126 contests with the Celtics with 15 or more field-goal attempts. In all of those games, Garnett had at least one shot inside of 10 feet, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

"We missed shots that normally we make," Garnett said. Which is true, but Boston's lack of offense through the post and in the paint is alarming in a game the Celtics shot a mere 33.3 percent (26-of-78 overall).

Said Celtics coach Doc Rivers: "We've got to do a better job, offensively. I thought we had a lot of empty possessions, offensively. We played in random a lot tonight. [We] really never established Kevin [Garnett]; even though Kevin had points, it wasn't the type of points that we needed. So, we have to do a better job there."

ESPN Boston:  Wet Paint: KG stays away from basket

Points in the paint: 42-16.  The Celtics had 44 points in the paint in Game 5. They had 50 in their Game 3 win and 38 in Game 1.  In losses?  16, 32 and 26.  So 24.7 points in the paint in losses, 44 in wins.

Aggressive (at least when they have to be) in wins.  Passive in losses. 

We're all going to want to point fingers at someone for this loss and stats like this.  

"It's KG's fault, he needs to post more."  
"It's Rondo's fault, he needs to drive more"
"It's Pierce's fault…. no wait, it's Ray's fault"

Yes, yes, and yes.  And Philly, to their credit, did a good job of adjusting to what the Celtics are doing, and are capable of doing.  But the Celtics still didn't force the issue much at all last night.  47 of their 78 shots came from 16 feet or more (via HoopData).  

Old? Exhausted? Unwilling to close out on the road?  All of the above? 

If the Celtics are going to win Game 7, they're going to have to attack.  They have no choice.  They can't settle and hope to win. 

On Page 2:  Rondo's worst game ever

But long after the game was decided, Rondo sat in a corner of the visitors’ locker room swathed in towels. His head was bowed and he stared silently at the floor for some time, ear phones blocking out the din in the room.

Perhaps he was looking for answers as to how a team that played with such enthusiasm in the second half of Monday night’s 101-85 battering of the Sixers could look so listless and lost offensively barely 48 hours later. Perhaps he was shocked at how things had gone. Maybe, frankly, he was just tired.

For all the problems their ailments have caused the Celtics, up until last night the one constant had been the smallest man on the floor. With Pierce’s left knee aching, Allen’s swollen ankle robbing him of his lift and Avery Bradley’s shoulders feeling the way Matt Light’s usually do around Nov. 15, Rondo had been often dominating and almost always comforting.

Last night he was neither, going 4-of-14 from the field, taking only two foul shots because he didn’t attack the basket and, most damning of both his own play and his team’s, had only six assists, which is less than half his playoff average.

Herald: Rondo's play goes bad

Great, now I have to guess what's going on in Rondo's head.

I don't know if Rondo reads the rest of the team and coasts because he knows they're coasting…. or the team coasts because Rondo's got some kind of problem.  All I know is no one had anything last night and Rondo, because he's got the ball all the time, was glaringly bad.  

Sure, Bass could have made two more shots and KG could have made two more shots and that would have been a 10 assist game.  We get mesmerized when you add a "1" in front of other numbers in the box score.  Even if that had happened and the C's won, we would have thanked our lucky stars that the C's escaped that game playing that poorly.

Rondo could be throwing some kind of fit, or he could be playing heroically with a secretly broken back.  Either seems just as likely at this point.  Rondo could have carried the C's last night and he didn't. The team could have won that game with a 4th quarter Rondo takeover, but that didn't happen.  And I know I'm saying this a lot.. I wish I knew why.  

The rest of the links:

CSNNE:  Bradley could be done for the season  |  Best & worst of the game  |  Celtics flop in Philly  |  ESPN Boston:  Video:  What happened last night  |  Shouldering the load without Bradley  |  Collins:  "We want more"  |  WEEI:  Is it starting to feel like 2009 for the Celtics?  |  Stiemsma: foot "as bad as its been"  |  KG: We've been here before  |    Herald:  Celtics forced to go 7  |  Game 6 muddies outlook  |  Bradley may be done  |  76'ers live to tell lie  |  Globe:  Sixers push it to 7  |  Bradley likely done  |  Collins: "We want more"  |  No backup provided  

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  • paul

    It’s a Hater’s paradise right now. I swear, I’m even tempted to become a Hater. Rondo didn’t just have an off game. He had a truly dreadful game. It comes down to this: you cannot continue to demand control over the ball when you then do nothing with it. If you are that off your game, you need to hand control over the ball to Pierce and concentrate on defense. It’s understandable that sometimes you just don’t have it – though the way Rondo seems to give into that feeling is truly pathetic – but then do the right thing and let someone else run the team. Hand the ball over to Dooling. Anything.
    This was the Bad Rondo in full force. He did grab some rebounds, so one can’t say he did nothing. Nothing in basketball is uglier than Bad Rondo. Even Rondo fans have to admit that. And the timing for Rondo’s implosion was exquisitely bad.

  • Quest

    Question is can Rondo redeem himself in game 7.

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

    Don’t isolate anyone on this one. Rondo lovers/haters doesn’t matter. Bass missed half a dozen shots within 5 feet of the rim. It hurts to see Ray offer so little, I don’t even trust him to dribble more than a few times, he missed wide open mid-range J’s. KG couldn’t get near the post and whiffed each time Williams drove the lane. PP had a classic night where he couldn’t shoot and needed to get to the rim and cause some fouls and didn’t. What was it, 17 turn overs by the 3rd quarter? MP isn’t even close with his shot.
    I’m not defending Rondo, I just want to see ALL of them take equal heat for that embarrassment.
    My gut tells me they are the underdog for each game left this season, especially without having a functioning 2 guard putting a ton of extra pressure on both sides of the floor. They are still the Ceez, have a few tricks up their sleeves and can pull this out. Leave the stink of that game in Philly and come out swinging, feed the post all game on Friday… ‘no layup’ type of defense.

  • Cam

    Ball should have 100% been in Pierces hands for the last half of the 4th

  • Alex

    I am not sure what is up with the Celtics. KG always has this thing he says about the “heart” of his team. That they have heart and they work hard every single day. Same goes with Pierce, who says that they will fight to the bitter end in every game. Rondo is known as the “Swag” to the team.
    It seems their chemistry is fine… but what they did in Game 6 is completely unacceptable.
    The Sixers are a vastly inferior team to the Boston Celtics. They are mentally weak, they do ISO basketball constantly, their jumpshots suck, they can’t even hit more than 60% of their jumpshots in most nights, and the Celtics are now going to play Game 7 against this lucky mess of a Sixers team that managed to pass the Bulls barely without their three main stars (one being Deng because let’s face it.. he was playing with a broken hand).
    The Celtics have Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Rajon Rondo. This should have been enough to beat down a Sixers team but unfortunately, they believe they don’t have to put the effort to beat them. It’s quite pathetic. How a team can be THIS cocky. Someone needs to tell them that they aren’t champions anymore. That 2008 happened a WHILE back now and they’ve lost every postseason. To me, they aren’t playing with heart like they say they are. They are all playing like old men with high egos that don’t bother playing against teams that they know they can beat. The Celtics have been going up 20 points against the Sixers in the past 3 games and to see the Celtics just go lazy in Game 6 and have Bad Rondo punch in on this game… I just don’t understand.
    I also want to say to Doc Rivers to STOP PUTTING RAY ALLEN BACK ON THE DAMN COURT. He’s done for the damn year. His ankle is clearly fucked up so why possibly ruin his ankle even further. He is doing NOTHING out there. His shooting is completely off so he won’t do much offensively. His defense is kaput, even I could penetrate the paint if Ray Allen was covering me. Doc Rivers is clearly being OUT COACHED in this series because the Sixers were the ones who’ve been making adjustments for every game while the Celtics just haven’t been doing anything.
    After this insulting of a performance in Game 6, I’m not sure if I want to watch Game 7 but if the Celtics show the same effort in Game 6 during Game 7, I hope they get boo’ed off the floor. I really damn hope Rondo is injured in some way because I just can’t believe he would perform that badly on a close out game. That kid’s mentality is all messed up. Even with 3 Hall of Famers in his team, you would think the kid would put effort in every game but clearly nothing gets into this kid’s head to make him keep the ‘effort switch’ on.
    Wherever Rajon Rondo goes, the Celtics goes. We all better damn pray that Rondo plays well in Game 7 because this could be a travesty of an end for the Big 3 of the Boston Celtics.

  • Cam

    This would definitely be probably the worst and most embarrassing series loss and Celtics history right? In 20 years we wont be able to name 1 player on this Philly team

  • Alex

    So he can make turnovers left to right. I don’t think so.
    Hate to say it but watching Pierce handle the ball frustrates me to no end. He seems to always find a way to make the ugliest turnovers ever.

  • Alex

    I believe he will. After all, that was the worst game I’ve ever seen come out of Rondo. It’s always up from here.

  • Rondo Express

    You could tell Rondo wasnt in it when he’s walking the ball up the court on every possesion. The reason he was so good in Game 5 was that he was pushing the ball and setting the pace. Last night, he walked it up the court, dribbled for 15 second and then hit KG on the high post 20 feet from the basket and 6 seconds left on the shot clock. They must have ran this same play 3-4 times in a row in the 3rd and got bad shots on each possesion! Also, as much as I love Paul Pierce, they double him every time he brings the ball up the floor, which they should because he’s making terrible decisions and weak passes which lead to turnovers and easy buckets. Trying to remain optimistic but this team is down right maddening to watch at times!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6f0b73970c Celticsfanatic

    I’m shocked Pierce isn’t getting more recognition for last night… the only dude on the floor who was trying last night.

  • James Eisenman

    This was not Rondo’s worst game ever. Hardly. He was mediocre on offense and average horrible on defense. I have said all season long that his defense is getting worse and worse and have been vilified as a hater here. He was actually better last night on defense than some of his regular season performances. At least he wasn’t leaving his man wide open all night long like he did so many times during the season. Now, he’s just getting flat out beat on the open floor, which he started doing mid-way through the season. He is coming up to his man. He’s just unbalanced and standing too high, so everyone just goes around him as he pitifully flails after his man to embarassingly reach for a steal. And the IDIOT coaches voted him on the second team all-defense team. Incredible. The same doophuses who voted Tyson Chandler (the defensive player of the year) to the second team all-defense team. My God, how embarrassing. His offense was lackluster and uninspired. What else is new? This happened a number of times during the season. Yes, he has upped his game for many of the playoffs but why should a player of his caliber have to constantly be looking for some source of inspiration to simply play his best? And just wait, if he gets inspired and helps us to win Game 7, what the hell are we going to do when HE has to guard Dwayne Wade, Russell Westbrook or Tony Parker? With no Avery and Ray cemented to the floor by his ankles, how is that ever going to happen? Uggh. I knew this was coming. I predicted it at the trade deadline. I just hope he can up his energy on Saturday and pull this one out.