How can the Celtics eliminate some of their sloppy turnovers in half-court sets?
“Some of those easy opportunities have to come in transition,” said Pierce. “Kicking the ball ahead to myself, Jeff [Green] is something we want to emphasize. We feel like if we can get the ball up and advance passes before the defense, it says it gives us an opportunity to get easy baskets. The more we get stops the more opportunities there are for that.”
The Celtics have had a strained relationship with the fast break this season. On one hand, they played some of their best basketball by pushing the tempo during a seven-game win streak after Rajon Rondo went down. They averaged 105 points during the streak (two of the games went to multiple overtimes) compared with their season average of 96.5 points. The Celtics had 20 turnovers Saturday, but most of them came in the half-court, not in transition. The Celtics might do well to push the pace Tuesday night.
On the other hand, the Celtics are the sloppiest team in the league on the break. According to Synergy Sports, they had the NBA’s highest turnover percentage in transition, coughing the ball up on 15 percent of their fast break possessions this season. The Knicks are the league’s 11th-highest scoring team (3d in offensive rating). Do the Celtics really want to get into a track meet with New York?
The Celtics scored 13 fast break points in Game 1 – that’s right at their season average (13.3). They can try to run more often, but I’m not sure it’s likely.
I’d really like to see crisp passes. The stuff we witnessed Saturday reminded me of my 8 year old’s CYO games.
For anyone curious about Rajon Rondo, the Globe’s Gary Dzen has this update:
Rajon Rondo was on the floor in sweats, sporting big green headphones and rebounding for his teammates. At one point Rivers yelled over to Rondo.
“Rondo you practicing today?” he asked.
“Not today,” Rondo replied.
He’s gotta be closer than Derrick Rose.