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Your Morning Dump… Where I’m thankful there’s room for improvement defensively

Chuck - Red's Army November 22, 2012 Celtics News, Kevin Garnett, The Morning Dump 13 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.

Based on Synergy Sports numbers, which are tracked on a standardized per-play basis, the Celtics rank 26th in overall defense (0.947 points per play), 30th in transition defense (1.459 ppp), and 16th in half-court sets (0.87 ppp) through 12 games this season.

By comparison, the Celtics ranked second in overall defense (0.856 ppp) last season, including 19th in transition (1.155 ppp) and first in half-court sets (0.813 ppp).

As their core aged, the Celtics made a concerted effort to move away from the offensive glass — leading them to post the league’s worst offensive rebound percentage of all time (19.7) last season. Even with an influx of young bodies, Boston has maintained its philosophy this season, but confusion reigns.

The Celtics are having difficulty matching up once they get back on the defensive end, forcing mismatches that opponents have exploited. When Boston has matched up correctly, guards are getting abused by dribble penetration, forcing the big men to help and breaking down Boston’s entire defensive system.

Worse yet, the Celtics are trying to force a half-court game and yet they’re still slow at times to get back, allowing teams to feast on them when they do have transition opportunities.

ESPN Boston

The numbers are nasty enough to ruin your appetite.

I’m befuddled by the inability to execute. There were several plays in the 4th quarter where the Celtics defense flat out broke down. They looked like a college team that had switched from zone to man-to-man for the first time. They were getting beat with simple passing.

I don’t give a crap about the lack of offensive rebounding and neither does Doc Rivers. It’s the defensive rebounding that concerns me. It’s been a problem that the Celtics have been able to overcome since 2008, but we may be reaching rock-bottom.

KG gives some insight into the rebounding woes:

I know you sit back and watch the games and notice we are getting beat, but what you don’t know is we do a lot of helping. Our bigs do a lot to help our guards out.

We strategically have different schemes we throw at teams and what we get hit at is offensive rebounding. It’s one of our flaws.

We’re a help team, that’s what we are and I don’t think Doc’s going to change that.

We can’t take everything away… we will get better.

There you have it. If the Celtics bigs didn’t have to help so much, the rebounding numbers would be better.

The rest of the links:

CSNNE – Pierce takes loss to Spurs personally | Rondo: We’re making the same mistakes in our defense | Doc: We need to do our coverages better | ESPN Boston – Rapid Reaction: Spurs 112 Celtics 100 | Globe – Spurs, poor defense sink C’s | After taking a shot, Parker made his points | Herald – Rondo adds to streak, but Celtics fall | Uninspired Celtics get trampled | WEEI – Celtics undergoing defensive identity crisisSpurs outwork, overpower C’s |

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  • bill

    I’m thankful for Rondos streak because this season us a disappointment thus far.

    • LA Flake

      Funny how our MVP Candidate who plays the PG position can’t make anyone better. Oh well..,so long as he keeps his streak alive, who cares about getting better or winning? This is the Boston Rondos, right?

      • bill

        I’m trying to be positive. But I’m just as post as you.

  • c@r@mb@7

    obviously there’s room for improvement. they suck! I hate what doc rivers is doing. no true center. always playing small. dumb coach.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Other than the fact that they lack :

    1} Young, explosive legs needed to play an effective up-tempo, finesse style {KG, PP, Jet}

    2} Size and brawn needed to bang with the big boys in the paint {Green, Bass, Sully}

    Things couldn`t be better!

  • mojojojo

    There’s room to improve in every area possible and especially stress the pick and rolls. If the C’s lost to the likes of the Pistons, what’s going to happen when they go against Miami? Hide behind Pierce and Rondo while the rest of the team (including Doc) disappear?

  • http://GreenHeadzBlog.blogspot.com ChiefGreenHeadz

    I know it’s frustrating to watch the team blow coverages and turn the ball over at critical moments, but there is no way it continues for the year. They will, indeed, get better. These are professionals who know how to play the game and it’s clear that they’re still finding each other on the floor and figuring out where they’re supposed to be on D. Broken record again, but we’re gonna be fine. And when Bradley gets back, it will be even better.

  • Drew

    I’m thankful that I’m just as much a football fan as I am a basketball fan. Today is a great football day. GO COWBOYS!

  • JG

    I noticed last night that I think part of the problem is that some guys are over helping when they don’t need to, which causes 1. Them to be out of position when they really do need to be helping and 2. The rotations get messed up because the next guy doesn’t help the helper because he didn’t really need to help.

    I think that this team is flawed in the sense that they are too small. Even their guards are undersized at the 2 position. However, I think they can get at least a little bit better than how they are playing if they stop over committing help and only go to help when absolutely necessary. I’d even rather them just pack it in and force teams to shoot 3s even if they are good shooters than do what they are doing now which allows teams to have their pick of any shot possible on the floor.

    • Celtic Geezer

      Exactly right! I’m always screaming at Pierce and Lee and whoever else is doubling and leaving people wide open under the basket and for threes to stay home.

  • TommyPoints

    Excellent usage of “befuddled.” That’s exactly what our season has been thus far…BEFUDDLING. We will get better and there is no doubt in my mind that we will bring it all together eventually, but it is frustrating to see such a talented team continue to lay an EGG out there.

  • paul

    Offensive rebounding matters. It’s beyond idiotic to pretend it doesn’t. And whatever tradeoff once worked, doesn’t work anymore. I’m not saying we need to become an offensive rebounding crazy team, but we have to change the balance of our priorities some.

    As for what KG says, he’s only saying what we all see. The guards, especially Rondo, need to control their counterparts more.

  • Nathan

    We need to bring dooling out of retirement, trade for stiesma, pick up Michael pietrus, and make trades for quis and Sasha