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Courtney Lee says best is yet to come for this year’s squad

Looks like today is going to be Courtney Lee day here at Red’s Army. In this morning’s Dump, I talked about Lee’s recent sit-down with Doc Rivers and whether or not fans think Courtney is part of Boston’s long-term plan. Last night, Chris Forsberg wrote about Lee’s overall optimism for this year’s squad:

“We’re not worried about the record. We know that it’s a long season,” guard Courtney Lee said. “We’ve got a long way to go and we’re getting better as a team, and we know we’re going to turn that around. You’re going to start seeing us go on eight-game winning streaks. So we’re definitely not focused on the record. Our main focus is just getting better and just continuing to work on things that Doc puts in.”

I for one hope Courtney is right. It’s painful to watch a team as deep and talented as this one struggle to win games against lesser opponents. But anyone who’s followed the Celtics over the past few seasons knows that Boston generally gets it in gear post All-Star break, or later. But as a fan, and I think I speak for many others, it really sucks to watch:

Celtics fans are understandably frustrated with their team. Unlike the players and coaches, the casual observer has little to be optimistic about given what they’ve seen this season.

But the Celtics rarely have been the model of sustained regular-season efficiency. After Boston’s 2008 championship season, fast starts were met with disinterested get-us-to-the-playoff finishes. A slow start last season gave way to a feverish finish and a team that came mere minutes from a trip to the NBA Finals. Boston knows all too well that it can’t ride this roller coaster too long, but players and coaches seem to believe the deepest dips potentially are behind them.

Even after one of Boston’s most disenchanting losses of the season on Wednesday against the New Jersey Nets, coach Doc Rivers stressed that he wasn’t ready to start slamming any panic buttons, he simply wanted to see his team start playing a more inspired — and familiar — brand of defense-first basketball.

It will be interesting to see just what Celtics team we get over the next couple of months. Will it be the no-nonsense group that came out all business in wins against Portland & OKC? Or will they continue to fumble through December and January? Avery Bradley coming back seems to have everyone optimistic, but he will need time to adjust/get  to 100%. It’s also going to take more than just one key player coming back to fix what is “wrong” with the Boston Celtics. I’ve seen Doc and Danny work their respectable magic for the most part over these last few seasons, and have no doubts that the ship will be righted. And hopefully soon.

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  • Curt

    I hope so, regarding the title of the article…

    • KWAPT

      AMEN.

  • 17rings

    When Avery comes back, I hope Doc is smart enough to use Avery and Courtney to press guards full court almost constantly.. we’re so deep at the guard position (with rondo, barbosa, jet), we can afford to expend extra energy with a press.

    This would take precious seconds off the shot clock and prevent transition buckets off made baskets. I know when AB is hounding the oppositions PG they don’t initiate the offense until 12-14 seconds left on the shot clock.. our defense could be #1 again in no time!!

    • screaming jay

      I agree…when AB comes back, after some games to get him back in the rhythm, he will change the face of our defense in a huge way. Imagine, as a pressure tactic, AB, Barbs, and Rondo all defending the ball movement…this will strike fear in every team we play!

    • Efrain Ramos

      Courtney Lee and Avery Bradely on the floor together. Thats gonna make a lot of guards in the nba very very sad.

      • http://naterich21.wordpress.com naterich21

        True, Lee’s hands are better than Rondo’s. A Lee/Bradley combo during games would cause havoc

    • RedsLoveChild

      Easier said than done!

      You cannot have guys you rely on offensively…exhaust their energy by applying “constant full-court defensive pressure”, regardless of the situation.

      Guys like Rondo, Terry, Barbosa are NBA players because of what they bring you offensively.

      Occasional, strategic pressure is one thing…constant pressuring is counter-productive.

      • 17rings

        Dammit LoveChild.

        I said have AB and CLee press almost constantly (as in almost constantly for the minutes they’re in the game)… I did NOT mention Rondo or Jet or Barbosa pressing.

        We all know having all 5 of our guards play a full court press for 48 minutes isn’t smart.

        Please stop misreading my comments and putting words in my mouth.. and putting words in quotations that were never actually quoted by anyone.

        • RedsLoveChild

          A healthy AB will be in the starting line-up, playing significant minutes…and will be relied upon to produce offensively, as was the case a year ago.

          Picking up his counterpart at mid-court, and playing an agressive man-to-man, is sufficient.

          Full court press…when Boston is leading Atlanta 36-27…with 6:18 remaining in the 2nd quarter…in the middle of December?

          Really?!?!?

          • 17rings

            what the hell are you talking about? Lol.

            There you go again talking about the hawks or something for no reason even though no one has mentioned anything like that.

            Anyways, to everyone who’s watched the Avery Bradley play incredible full court defense before.. We should be able to utilize it more now that he has 3 ample backups on the bench.

          • 17rings

            Just go away lovechild.. You’re seriously incapable of holding a discussion. Your thoughts are so irrational..

            Ex)

            Me – we should use C Lee and AB to press point guards full court.

            You- but Rondo, Jet, and Barbose need to be saved for offense.

            Lol tell me I’m wrong.

          • RedsLoveChild

            Ok…you`re wrong.

            You want Rivers to have his starting 2-guard {AB}…apply full-court {94 feet} defensive pressure…almost constantly. Correct?

            What does “almost constantly” mean? 95%? 99%?

            So, while AB is pressuring the opposing “point guard” ball the full 94 feet….Rondo {AB`s starting back-court partner} is not applying pressure.

            What would prevent the opponent`s pressured point guard from simply passing the ball to his back-court partner? That would pretty much end AB`s ferocious one-man press.

          • Reggie35RIP

            *gets popcorn*

          • 17rings

            when I said tell me I’m wrong.. I meant that you bring up irrational shit.. which anyone can see if they read this post.

            That being said, that was probably your most well thought out response that actually poses a legitimate argument and addresses some of my thoughts.. so good job.

            Almost constantly means as much as they can until they don’t need him to anymore.. for example if we’ve built a double digit lead, no more need to press…obviously.

            Rondo is one of the best in the league at reading the passing lanes and has the speed to go with it.. and many ANALYSTS have even said this before.. with AB’s pressure he would be able to roam like a free safety to pick off errant passes. Passing to the other guard is not so simple when you have Rondo lurking (and AB hounding).

            The fact is LoveChild.. they have employed this tactic before and its worked beautifully.. so there’s really no arguing that it wouldn’t work (youtube some AB defense if you don’t believe me). My point is simply that they will should have the ability to do it more now that we’re so deep at his position.

          • 17rings

            also, say they DO pass out of it.. at that point we’re forcing an opposing SG to initiate the offense, so we’re forcing them out of their regular offense… and I’d say that’s a successful press.

          • RedsLoveChild

            Oh, I see.

            Only AFTER I point out how easily it would be for the opposition to break AB`s one-man-full-court-press….you now insert Rondo into the picture….where RR`s job is to pick off passes, presumably before the ball ever crosses mid-court!

            Previously, you made no mention of Rondo`s defensive role.

            Suddenly, you`ve now decided to give Rondo a far more active/aggressive defensive role than you previously did.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003407146768 Laura

      It won’t let me view it. :( I’ll try again later. (I tried twice.)What are my resolutions? Become heailhter start a business craft more cook more try again and again and again for a baby finally just adopt reduce the quantity of crap I own by 75% improve the quality of what I own by 75% ..I expect so much from me, huh? LOLActually, I hope to begin a new project in the next couple days that I am referring to my 52 Week Wardrobe. I haven’t decided if I will add it as part of Henthorne Handmade, or if I will make it it’s own blog. I want to replace my entire wardrobe by the end of the year with handmade and refashioned items.[]

  • 17rings

    for you, lovechild..

    http://redsarmy.com/2012/11/07/avery-bradley-made-jet-beg-for-room-on-the-court/

    so… you were trying to explain how this whole AB full court press thing wouldn’t work?

    • Pierce 4 Pres

      u 2 are hilarious lol. RedsLoveChild just got SHAT ON

      • Pierce 4 Pres

        haha not trying to be funny.. just trying to educate this ignoramus who plays devils advocate to every comment I make

      • 17rings

        haha not trying to be funny.. just trying to educate this ignoramus who plays devils advocate to every comment I make

        • RedsLoveChild

          NoseRings,

          Maybe you should give Hockey a try…because Basketball certainly isn`t your sport!!!

  • 17rings

    No man.. typically when a point guard is getting pressed full court by one player, they do not try to pass out of it.. instead they have a big running up the center of the court to pick off the lone defender. You’d know this if you watched the NBA enough.

    Rondo doesn’t come in until AFTER the ball passes half court.. where obviously, he will be playing defense/the passing lanes.

    As i said before, say they do pass out of it in the backcourt.. now the shooting guard is bringing the ball up the floor.. the press’s job is done at this point and they can break from it. Rondo can pick up the SG at half court, or try to switch back with avery.

    So NO, I’m not suddenly changing Rondo’s defensive role b/c you said that. He does not need to defend past half court while avery presses.

    Do I need to educate you any more? Do I really need to post MORE links of Avery applying 1on1 full court pressure and the problems it creates for opposing teams? Or are you telling me that Doc, RedsArmy, and myself are all wrong??