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."
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.
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