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Your Morning Dump… Where the Celtics did the Texas two-step backwards over the weekend

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.

“Looking at [the box score], I thought it was a miracle going over the game tonight,” Rivers told reporters in San Antonio. “Listen, they go into the fourth quarter with six fouls total? That means they are one heck of a defensive basketball team, they were terrific.”When a reporter quipped that Rivers appeared to be dripping with sarcasm, Rivers admitted his frustration.”It was being sarcastic, but, listen, what can you do? It is what it is,” said Rivers. “They shot more free throws. Two of our free throws were [the result of] technicals, so we really didn’t even get that [many]. It’s hard to win games on the road when teams go to the line like that and we don’t go to the line.”Rivers was quick to point out that free throw disparity was far from Boston’s lone transgression on this night.

“Our turnovers were a big factor in the game tonight, and then the 3-point line,” said Rivers, whose team allowed San Antonio to shoot 12-of-25 (48 percent) beyond the arc. “To me those were the three areas that hurt us: They got a bunch of 3s down the stretch when the game was decided, but I thought the turnovers and the free throws, if you had to put your finger on two things. We were playing hard, too, but we just couldn’t get it. Couldn’t get to the line. The thing that free throws do is they allow you to set your defense. And it allowed them to do it a lot tonight.”

ESPN Boston: Doc’s take: “Where are the Whistles?” 

What is that saying that Doc always like to use with his players during scenarios like these?  ”Get past mad.”  Doc is right to a certain extent but it’s never a good look to turn to the officials as your first reason for losing.   The problem is that the Celtics were gassed as a team and since it’s mid-December, this is a bad sign.  This team was promoted as a team that would have great depth, that would give the veterans (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and to a certain extent, Rajon Rondo) a lot more rest throughout the season to save their legs for the playoffs.

Well when it’s only December 16th, and they are already talking about fatigue, well the plan isn’t going how they wanted it to.  Sure, the OT and double OT games can happen and you’re going to ride your best players to grab a win in those cases.  But the Celtics need to figure something out because they’re close to .500 again, trending backwards rapidly again and are already claiming exhaustion before Christmas.  Doc is a great coach and I have complete faith that he can figure something out.  Until then, we can all expect this to be a roller coaster running on an incessant loop.

Related links: Globe – Celtics in Foul Mood after Loss | Herald – Celtics left in foul mood | CSNNE – Lack of free throws hurts Celtics

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – C’s struggling to defend 3-point line | Globe – Determined Duncan still coming up big for Spurs | Celtics’ inconsistency doesn’t concern Chris Webber (Sunday Notes) | Herald – Doc Rivers points to Gregg Popovich | Paul Pierce won’t look ahead, back (Sunday Notes) | CSNNE – Weak in the heart of Texas | Heinsohn: Celtics need to get on the same page | Marshall: Jason Terry fully understands his role | Tanguay: 3-point shooting sinks C’s | Danny Green helps Spurs down Celtics | Garnett: You could see the fatigue | Parker wins PG battle vs Rondo

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  • Jester00

    Think I am done watching Celtics till they get rid Green heart can take it I will check in on the sight though ( without posting) by the way sully rocks 4 o boards in 9 mins and a put back and doesn’t see the floor the second half great work Doc. Out all u great people on redsarmy till green is gone Jester00

    • kg215

      Definitely not a fan of Jeff Green myself (can’t stand players who are talented but don’t “get it” or go all out all the time). But he isn’t the reason we are a .500 team right now, unless you were expecting him to average 18+ points a game and be a star in this league. I certainly was NOT expecting Green to be much improved and he isn’t so far, hopefully the post surgery has something to do with it but you are who you are. Danny has a mancrush on Green, but even if he was willing to trade Jeff no team would take him right now for 9 million/year. So there is that issue too.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Put the blame where it belongs {Danny Ainge}.

    It was Ainge who decided the following :

    1} KG {age 36} was all we needed to compete in the paint

    2} Jeff Green {10 PPG/3 RPG} was worth $36M

    3} Brandon Bass {8 PPG/5 RPG} was worth $20M

    4} Paul Pierce was worth $16M this year, $15M next

    • Chuck – Red’s Army

      The plan was “small ball.” But, unfortunately, a lot of our wing players are underachieving.

      It was Jeff Green or nothing. Remember the Celtics didn’t have the option of using that money on another player.

      Bass is struggling.. but his contract is reasonable.

      Pierce looks bad.

      • RedsLoveChild

        When has “small ball” ever led to “victory parades”?

        Early part of this millennium, Shaq {7`1″} and Duncan {6`11″} were winning all the rings.

        Dallas won with two 7-footers {Chandler & Dirk}

        LA won with two 7-footers {Bynum & Gasol}

        Is the Miami team of last Spring the example? The team who had by far the best player on the planet, in his prime at age 27? Not to mention Bosh & Wade.

        • JG

          you could also throw the 2008 Celtics in there. PJ Brown, KG, Perkins. You do really have a point. I don’t really know where this small ball thing came from or why that was ever the “plan”?

          • RedsLoveChild

            You win rings be playing “big ball”.

            Wanna get your ass kicked?
            Fine, just play “small ball”.
            That will definitely get your ass kicked!

        • Chuck – Red’s Army

          It’s definitely a reaction to Miami playing James at power forward and Bosh at center. And… the Celtics had success with KG moving to center.

          You can say they need to play big… but good big men are hard to find.

      • thetitleisours

        Anyone else like to see Kris Joseph get a chance at this point?

        • eddysamson

          Yeah I think that would be interesting. How is his D?

  • Tim

    You do realise Doc isn’t really talking about the refs when he’s talking about the lack of FTs. He’s talking about the team.

    On depth, sure the depth has looked pretty average lately but at least we’re starting to see some solid efforts from Terry, Green and Lee (defensively). They just need to try and provide the same effort every night. At the end of the day it’s always going to be tough to win with your main guys gassed because they are your MAIN guys.

    The knee jerk reactions also need to stop. The Spurs are arguably the best team in basketball right now. The Celtics stuck with them most of the way despite the fact that the Celtics are nowhere near best team in basketball status right now. That’s a positive.

  • KY Celts fan

    Both teams actually had the exact same fg%. Each taking 81 shots and making 38 of them. I’m not sure what the points off turnovers was, but the Celtics actually had more fast break points.

    Doc is right to talk about FTs, because that is exactly where the game was won. We have no one on our team willing to slash the paint, so all we do is take mostly uncontested jump shots. Our interior defense is so bad that we just hack at whomever is at the rim, often resulting in an And 1.

    This small ball lineup is terrible. I hate it. And the second KG goes to the bench, we give up 10 point runs. Pierce has become a neutral player, where the game isn’t affected by him one way or the other. He’s not making the team any worse, but he’s not making them any better either.

    There’s no simple solutions here. Bradley will help the defense. And we need another big. But neither one of those things may make a huge difference.

  • Larry Legend

    Is anyone else outraged that these guys are talking about fatigue on Dec. 16?!!! Gimme an f—ing break!! KG and Pierce mpg averages are not out of control. Shit KG avg 28 mpg! Yours paying big money to these guys to play! I can’t handle that talk in freaking December…
    Reporter:”Larry you avg 40 minutes a night, how do you continue to produce?”
    Bird:”I get paid to play 48.”

    These guys so soft these days….

    • bill

      Bird retired at 35. :(

      • Larry Legend

        Yes he did. But My point is no way in hell he’d be talking about being tired if he were playing 28-29 mins a game.

      • Curt

        Because he hurt his back building a driveway…because he overworked himself. It wasn’t because he was soft. It was because he was broken.

        Larry Bird still averaged over 36 mpg when he was 35. And his back was destroyed by this point…and he was still averaging 20, 10, and 7.

        KG is worth how much money per year versus what Bird was paid? THAT’S why they rest…because the team can’t afford to replace them.

  • greentide

    in the bigger picture pops owns docs number

  • KGino

    Reserving judgement until we actually learn how to guard the pick and roll without giving up a layup…aka when Bradley returns.

    • JG

      This Avery Bradley thing is spiraling a tad bit out of control. One player does not correct a team defense.

  • ALiveH

    Watched the whole game. The #1 thing I saw is it all starts with Tony Parker dribble penetration (+17 in 36 minutes with him, -2 in 12 minutes without him, 22 points, 8 assists) – that’s what leads to his floaters in the lane, big men getting it at the basket and wide-open 3s for knock-down shooters. Rondo was the only guy who did a decent (not great) job staying in front of him especially in the first half. No one else was able to stay in front of him – he was pretty much able to penetrate every trip down the court. Avery Bradley would have helped a ton.

    Also, the Spurs are championship caliber right now and this was 2nd night of back-to-back on the road after double OT. In the big picture this just confirms what we already know: the Cs aren’t championship-caliber yet.

  • ALiveH

    The other big defensive issue I saw: in his 2nd year in the system, Wilcox looks more lost than I’ve ever seen him on D. On several occasions, he way over-committed on the double-team hedge to the ball handler. Then, even though he hustled he was late getting back to his man in the paint, which caused the other rotations to be a step late and led to some easy baskets or wide-open 3s.

  • mojojojo

    Are we going to be the next Toronto Raptors? Last night’s game went from good to terrible! The Spurs pretty much had a 3 point spree towards the end. How is Jeff Green supposed to replace Paul Pierce again? Doc might as well bring on the rookies, Wilcox is not a good back-up for KG and I don’t see the point of starting Bass. Pierce is the highest paid Celtic, he needs to play like one. I can’t believe Rondo got outplayed by Parker

  • http://mrcuret.wordpress.com mrcuret

    As soon as January 15th comes, the C’s should pick up the phone & try to send Bass, Lee & Melo to Phoenix for Gortat, bc this team as currently constructed it’s not getting it done. I’d say they should try to trade with Utah but I doubt the Jazz would want another PF & center. But they need to make a trade ASAP, mainly for a big who can rebound & play in the paint.

  • BamaCeltic

    Danny , make a deal for Anderson Varejao….get it done. Dude is a beast, hustles his ass off. Forget Gortat ….GET Varejao!