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.
“He’s got to be in attack,” Rivers said. “The second quarter he was attacking. I thought he was reading a lot instead of playing on his instincts. Sometimes his IQ hurts him. He’s trying to read the defense. You can’t read and play a speed at the same time. We have to give him more room and guys have to hit shots. They were helping off of [Mickael] Pietrus. They were helping off of Ray. If you don’t make them pay for it then it makes it easier to guard Rondo.”
Two interesting things are happening all within this relatively short quote.
1: Rondo's thinking too much instead of reacting. That's probably because LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are amazing at coming out of nowhere to block shots. If you're afraid they're going to come in and get you before you can lay it in, then forget it. Go sit on the bench and just wait for the game to end. Because that's going to happen no matter what. The moment you think instead of react on the floor, you're dead. Forget it.
2: They're helping off of Ray Allen. RAY ALLEN. That's how much he's struggling. They'd rather take their chances with Ray missing than with Rondo penetrating.
It's all tied together. This team has too many complimentary pieces to have too many of them go out of whack. The book on Ray is that he's lost his touch… and it's hard to argue. So you sag off of him, you sag off of Pietrus, and you get within striking distance of Rondo.. and you get a lot of the stuff you saw last night.
Rondo's got to make them pay. He has to attack and force the refs to blow the whistle. Even if he misses free throws, he has to draw fouls on guys to get them to soften up. He has to. He can't worry about anything else.
Related links: CSNNE: Rondo can't get it going
On Page 2: Ray Allen opens up about his struggles
Instead the veteran guard’s grip only seems to be slipping in the wake of his 1-for-7 performance from the field in last night’s 93-79 Game 1 loss to the Heat, which was exacerbated by a 3-for-7 free throw performance. It was the first time in Allen’s career that he missed four free throws in a playoff game.
That his ankle is a debilitating issue isn’t the point.
“You always ask, if it’s the playoffs would you play? Well, it’s the playoffs,” he said.
I've never seen Ray Allen miss a 4 free throws in any game. I did a quick search and the last 4-missed FT game I could find was December 26, 2006.
Look, we all know Ray Allen can shoot. He can do it as well as anyone can. And the one thing he could always do is shoot free throws. So you know something's going on in his head if he's missing this many. In fact, he's never missed this many.
His last miss last night was his 12th of the postseason, which is more than he's had in any postseason in his career. His previous high was 11 misses in 2009-10, where he shot 69-80 for the playoffs (86.3%). He's currently at 18-30 (60%).
I love Ray for playing when he shouldn't. It's part of why these guys reach mythical heights in our minds. But when you're on the floor, you have to play better. And he's not playing well enough for the Celtics to win.
The rest of the links
CSNNE: Battie comes up big | Rivers: Worst tech I've ever had | ESPN Boston: Tech "worst I ever had" | WEEI: Doc: We've had a lot of stuff this year | Rondo: "They have to hit the deck too" | Doc calls his tech "worst I ever had" | Herald: C's get real eye opener | KG can't beat Heat alone | Just not good | Right from start, LeBron in attack mode | Heat continue without Bosh | Globe: Chance went up in smoke | Doc has issues with technical | Don't blame the refs | Celtics keep faith | They never showed up | James on fire at the start