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Your Morning Dump… Where Doc sees a glaring weakness in the roster

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) October 8, 2012 Celtics News, Jason Terry, The Morning Dump 24 Comments

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.

“I like his skill set, but honestly I’m concerned about our backup point; I thought so far, the way we’ve played, Jason Terry is handling the ball a lot,” Rivers said before the Celtics’ 105-75 win over Emporio Armani Milano Sunday. “I don’t want that. I want him to be a scorer and I think him handling the ball takes away his best ability. And as a staff, we have to figure out something better for him. Courtney Lee the same way, I don’t want him overhandling it either, and right now with Avery [Bradley] out, we’re kinda stuck.

“We have to figure that one out as a staff and put them in better spots, and I think that is on us more than them. But when Avery comes back, when those four guys come together, that’s a pretty good crew. I would say the best guard crew I’ve had since I’ve been in Boston.”

Globe: Lack of backup point concerns Doc

Two things:

1:  Avery Bradley should not be your back up point guard.  Unless those shoulder surgeries magically give him a better handle, I’m not comfortable with that.  Besides, Bradley is your starting two-guard… unless Doc suddenly has other plans.

I would caution Doc and the rest of the staff to reconsider any use of Avery Bradley to back up Rondo.  Remember your own words from April, Doc: 

“It just takes time for guys to figure out who they are, and it takes us time as a staff to figure out who he is,” said Rivers… “It does go both ways. The one thing, if we did make one mistake, it was forcing him at the point guard. That just robbed him of his confidence.”

Just because you’re in a situation now without Dooling to be your primary back up at the 1… and just because you now have a couple of two-guards in Lee and Terry that are pretty good… let’s be careful what we do here with Avery.

His effectiveness comes from (a) defending the toughest of the two perimeter matchups which involves not just being an on-ball wrecking crew, but mucking things up enough for Rajon Rondo to do what he does best… roam like a free safety and pick off passes… and (b) playing off the ball and cutting to the basket or finding his way into the corner for 3.  That’s where Avery was at his best.  That’s where he should be playing.

That leaves things up to Jamar Smith and Dionte Christmas, neither of whom has done a ton to say “yes, I deserve a spot on this team.”  Neither has also done enough to warrant a cut yet, either.  So it’s all still very fluid.

So the Celtics either need to play Rondo 40 minutes a game… which will wear on him because that’s a lot of minutes to be playing for anyone.  Or they need to play Terry and Lee together a lot and let them take turns initiating the offense.  OR, they work a rotation where Paul Pierce is in with Lee and/or Terry and they just let Pierce play the role he normally plays when Rondo is out with an injury.

They’ve got to do something, anything, other than put Avery Bradley at the point.  That’s been proven not to work.

2:  I don’t know if this is intentional or not, but Doc and Rondo have both said in recent days something about this being the best team they’ve had.  In that quote, Doc calls this “the best guard crew”  in his Boston tenure.  This weekend Rondo said this is “the most talent” he’s had since he’s been a Celtic.

Both quite bold statements, especially when you consider who’s NOT part of this guard crew anymore.

Now… I’m not trying to make too much of this.  But I do find it interesting that these superlatives are being used now while Mr. Walter Ray is in South Beach.

Maybe they do honestly think that.  This is a talented bunch, and even with Ray on the 2008 title team, they didn’t have the depth of Terry, Lee, and Bradley.  Plus, this Rondo is so much better than 2008 Rondo.  So I can buy that argument.

I just love how it’s coming out.  It’s almost as if to say “sorry Ray… but, we’re doing quite alright without you.”

Related:  Terry shows worth for Celtics just by being on the court

The rest of the links:

Globe: Sullinger is comfortable  |  Rivers tackles mind games  |  Wilcox (back) could have MRI in Boston  |  Fashion a big part of Rondo’s game off the court  |  ESPN Boston:  Rookie Sullinger starts strong  |  Rapid reaction:  Celtics 105 Armani 75  |  All boats rising in the Atlantic  |  WEEI:  What we learned from the second preseason game  |  Herald: Style points for Rondo  |  Italian fans get their Irish up for visitors  |  Pierce faces his world audience

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  • ItCelticsFan

    yes, we need a back up point guard. jamar smith is plain awful, or at least not NBA ready. I do agree with doc about playing the jet mainly as a scorer (besides, his shooting is so smooth) and if we want to get the best out of this second unit, we need to address this issue. I really don’t know who we could sing for a minimum contract. ideas?

  • joseph

    Sign and Trade or FA a possibility? I have been concerned about this also, and I didn’t know it was so bad that CLee had to handle the ball.

  • http://www.celticsdownunder.com Kein

    Agreed, no Bradley at the point please. I would like to see JET and PP take turns sharing the load. Lee does his work best attacking as an off-guard, I’d prefer that he not handle the ball too much.

    *Love the sarcasm on this line: “Unless those shoulder surgeries magically give him a better handle, I’m not comfortable with that.”

  • terlo

    i too have noticed Ray thing (humbly). couldn’t have put with that so many words tho

  • GreenCro

    After these two games I honestly don’t see Jamar S. working for us as a back-up point-guard.
    We need to give more opportunities to Dionte and see if he is the one who would be of use to us. Having him on the bench or playing with 3rd (well, more 4th) squad is going to ruin his self-esteem. And for what I have been able to see and read his plays through SL should have given him more chances with Doc so far. Smh
    (and I would not waste Bi-annual on this spot and not
    so early either)

  • UhOh!!

    hahaa I love all this arm chair analysis as if Doc doesnt know what he’s doing or doesnt have a bunch of advanced stats (that would make our heads explode) to aid his decision making. If Doc wants Avery to handle the ball who are we to question that?? I guess nobody remembers the strides he made last year with his ball handling & passing….

    • http://redsarmy.com John

      We don’t remember them because they didn’t happen. He’s not a point guard.

      • JR99

        Agree. Bradley is not a PG, doesn’t wanna be a PG, never going to be a full-time PG. And I don’t know why we gotta even go there when we have Jet, Lee, Dionte, and even PP who can all SHARE the PG load WITH Bradley, when Rondo sits. Oh well… guess it’ll all come around soon enough.

  • Cameron

    What about Jose Calderon, Raptors are trying to shop him

  • http://Msn Belinda

    I say doc needs to pick up Derrick Fisher, because with the guards being so good Boston wouldn’t need for Derrick to do anything but handle the ball, call plays and eat up minutes for Rondo, I think he would be perfect for that, I’m sure he would take the vet min.

    • http://Gotgamexperts.blogspot.com JeanGR

      I don’t know if that such a good idea… Haven’t u heard about the new floppin rules? He would be out every other game! Old dogs can’t learn new (honest) tricks…

  • ColinCB

    There is no one on this team that has PG skills but Rondo and Bradley has no PG skills whatsoever (poor handle, tunnel vision, and doesn’t finish well). He’s a SG. Doc didn’t say it’s the most talented team he’s had, but the most talented guard tandem and that’s because he has 4 guys that can play which is more than any other year since the new Big 3. Nothing to do with Ray at all.

    • JR99

      You think Bradley doesn’t finish well?

  • RedsLoveChild

    News Flash :

    NBA banners are NOT won or lost based upon “back-up point guards”.

    They are determined by a team`s strength in the paint.

  • Kelly

    too bad we couldn’t have held on to e’twaun moore in the courtney lee trade. he had a pretty good game yesterday vs. noh

  • wayne

    Christmas.
    Give the guy a chance before falling all over yourself trying to go outside. He may surprise a few people and play the position better than most, with a little time & work. Don’t want to see him get away then come back to haunt us because we doubted him. Guy is incredibly gifted.

    • JR99

      Agree. I still have high hopes for Xmas. Love his game.

  • Hudson

    I also think picking up Fisher would be a decent move.

  • Mvp781

    Trade bass 6 for Calderon

  • Brian

    Smith is getting playing time. Because they want to see what he can do. They know what chrismas can do. Crhistmas is similar to Rodney stuckey. He is a beast of a player and he is hungerier then. A fat man at old country buffet. With lee and terry coming in for rondo and Bradley we will be fine. Like scal said yesterday if Paul plays the point it allows the quicker guards to run up the floor and exploit mismatches in transition.

  • Chuck C

    Once again this site is stirring stuff up and dissing one of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history. IF the only change had been replacing Ray Allen with Courtney Lee, THEN you would have a point. Doc’s words referred to the whole crew- 4 men.In past years, who were we talking about as the back-up guards? Carlos Arroya? Gabe Pruitt? Probably. But when he says something that probably means, “I am so glad not to be putting in Gabe Pruitt as my backup guard,” you immediately jump to the conclusion he’s ripping on Ray Allen. You guys are losing all credibility regarding your knowledge of basketball.

  • geo

    we only need someone else to carry the ball the 10 minutes Rondo sits on the bench per game. We can never expect to run the same offense with a backup, Rondo’s play making is too fluid and dynamically random especially now with the athleticism of the new additions/Bradley . If anything having a different look from the second line increases our opportunities to score. In the end it will be a combo of Jet/PP carrying the ball.
    I’m just happy that one of the backup options isn’t named Marquis Daniels anymore…

  • Cal

    This team is doomed if KG or Rondo gets hurt

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