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Enemy Chatter: The Celtics have tried a succession of underwhelming ‘unpoints’ at the helm

Chuck - Red's Army April 24, 2013 Enemy Chatter, Gametime 24 Comments

We often wonder what opposing teams, their beat reporters and bloggers are saying about the Celtics. Here’s a look at some enemy chatter from New York.

If you had told me in November that the Knicks would play the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs and that the deciding factor of the series would be one team’s utter domination of the other at the point guard position, I’ve gotta be honest with you, I might’ve stopped watching right there and taken up knitting or basket-weaving or origami or…ugh…maybe even hockey. And, yet, as the desperately Rondoless Celtics try a succession of underwhelming unpoints at the helm of a heretofore listless offense, Raymond Felton has flourished. His assist total (2) was a bit misleading this evening, collateral damage to Chandler’s physical limitations and the resultingly spare pick-and-roll game. Felton forced the issue in transition and the halfcourt alike, played his part in the Thing 1/Thing 2 offense alongside Prigioni and Kidd alike, and – more than anyone else – controlled the game during the Knicks utterly bonkers third quarter. Defensively, his value is amplified by the Celtics unusual personnel; his typical shortcomings as an on-ball defender against quick point guards are moot, his bulldogging has bothered Celtics from Avery Bradley to Paul Pierce, and his freedom to stray has allowed him to create turnovers and points in transition.

Knickerblogger.net

Felton is killing the Celtics. I don’t understand how the C’s defense can allow a portly fellow to penetrate repeatedly. It’s as if the Celtics are underrating his ability.

On defense, Felton is playing extremely physical. In a series that has been officiated tightly, he has been whistled for 5 fouls.

We all know the Celtics offense has been a rudderless ship since Rajon Rondo’s injury. Paul Pierce has filled-in admirably, but the playoffs are a different animal. Even J.R. Smith can figure it out:

Without Rondo, J.R. Smith said, the Celtics are “a little fuzzy up top on who they want to get it to and why.”

“When Rondo is out there, they are in a certain flow,” Smith said. “When he is not out there, they sort of don’t know who to go to or (what) plays to run. That’s a credit to a great player like Rondo. When he is in the game, he seems to know two or three plays ahead of what they want to do.”

Quick question: Where are all the people who boldly and proudly claimed the Celtics were a better team without Rondo? You remember, the folks who thought Rondo’s bullish demeanor was inhibiting the offense.

Stand up (so I can smack you in the back of the head) and be accounted for.

Now head to the chalkboard and write – “The Celtics are not better without Rondo” – 1,000 times.

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  • Guest

    Amen….

  • LA Flake

    Smack me in the head. I am still not convinced that Rondo makes us better. I do think Sully would make us a lot better if he was healthy and playing. And I think we’ll be better off without Doc and his anti-rebounding attitude. And Doc going with JCraw instead of Lee…that was a new low.

    • Step

      If Sully was playing he’d be fouled out the 1st qtr…Rebounding hasn’t been the big issue these last 2 games. Last night NYK had 42 to C’s 37. It’s our back court that’s not getting it done.

      They’re not generating easy baskets AND they’re not moving the ball like the use to. They can’t operate in the half-court..so they have to do something else. Most of their shots are WAY late into the clock (4 secs, 6 secs) and they’re only getting 1 attempt and they desperately need someone to control the tempo.

      • LA Flake

        I’m too lazy to look it up but I’d be very surprised if we had more than 10 second chance points. That’s just no way to win. If we’re going to go down, I wanna see us go down fighting. Play Shav and let bodies fly.

        • Step

          I doubt if they did..besides with the way they’re playing into the clock they hardly have any chances to offensively rebound.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jake.gruber.7 Jake Gruber

            That doesn’t even make sense. The shot clock restarts after you hit the rim. Playing deep into the shot clock has little to do with 2nd chance points…

          • Step

            May have been wrong choice of words, but the fact remains that rebounding isn’t their main issue..Scoring is their issue. They shoot late into the clock (4 secs or less) where most of the time it’s resulting in 24 sec violations (you watch the games)..They can’t rebound off of that can they? No…Or if it does touch the rim, the Knicks defense is already in position most of the time to rebound because they’re not really having to work on defense because the ball isn’t really moving and the C’s are throwing desperation shots…Does that make sense to you now?

          • http://www.facebook.com/jake.gruber.7 Jake Gruber

            Makes much more sense. Just clarifying.

    • http://twitter.com/Wilanthropist Wil Reyes

      Its simple with Rondo, if youre open youll get the shot.

      The only reason why the offense hasnt clicked with Rondo is Barbosa, Lee, Bass, and Green all need the ball in their hands to get rhythm. Terry who could get easy open shots cant knock em down.

      The whole season, ive watched 70+ games, I can only remember seeing Jeff Green cut to the basket 2-3 times, Id say Lee with 7-10.

      The thing that we miss most about this is KG in the middle of the paint with Rondo’s excellent entry pass. There no way that KG can avery 15-18 points with out rondo. Pierce will be able to play more freely too.

      And one more thing, Playoff Rondo is a very very difficult player to guard. im pretty sure 20-10-6 is more than enough to get C’s to another level.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jake.gruber.7 Jake Gruber

        This is an excellent, excellent, excellent post my friend. You know why? Because it clarifies why so many people have been arguing over this Rondo thing this year. The truth is, this team as it is currently made up, WAS better without Rondo this season. The reason for that is that, depending on what player you’re talking about, Rondo and be a difficult player to play with. The reason is EXACTLY what you said. The way it works with Rondo is that if you’re open, you’ll get the ball. You won’t touch it otherwise. You won’t get a feel for the ball. Now, this works with certain guys (like very good shooters aka Ray Allen, Kyle Korver, Jason Kapono) but not with guys like they have on this roster, which is why many have been saying that the celtics team this year is better without rondo. But, as you said, it was not only Rondo’s fault, it was also Ainge’s fault for not realizing this. Rondo NEEDS to have guys on his team who play without the ball. Guys who cut, guys who can shoot the ball very well without having to play on the ball and get touches. You said it exactly right. It was the perfect storm of the way that Rondo plays and the guys that Ainge brought in that resulted in this madness.

        • http://twitter.com/Wilanthropist Wil Reyes

          Thats why im feeling better about next season. And im leaning towards keeping Crawford than Lee. Crawford can shoot anywhere in the floor, so we dont have to stack guys up in the corner.

          Rondo makes a good team great. Remember when they had Shaq, he was washed up but because of his basketball IQ he gets the ball in perfect position to finish in the rim. Thats the kind of Big Man we need.

        • http://twitter.com/Wilanthropist Wil Reyes

          I think Rondo will like playing with Crawford, Terrence Williams, and Shavlik. Specially shav who knows how to position himself underneath the basket.

        • kaiserny

          Excellent, excellent reply to the post dear friend. Rondo is the product of the offense. It is not like Rondo was doing an Allen Iverson looking to score. The Celtics run a complex offense that uses alot of the shot clock by using misdirections and feigns to get a better shot. If Rondo is so much the problem the Celtics would be scoring like Golden State right now. Jeff Green, Bradley, and Lee are showing us what they are when the defense ratchets itself up a little in the playoffs. It is not like the Knicks are defensive studs. THE BALL DONT LIE!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001514941117 Belinda K. Mays

    Rondo is a playoff superstar and whoever said Boston was a better team without him is just crazy. I was so glad that the media, the fans of Boston, Boston’s organization can truely see what his worth really is. I remember when they said he was only good because of the big three, now the world can see he is a true talent in his own right. I think he needs to be commended for coming to New York to try and help them out with plays as well, when he could be in Boston rehabbing, he gets such negative press sometime. Doc said that even though he wasn’t playing, Rondo still had the Knick’s plays memorized, maybe one day he will get the credit he deserves.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jake.gruber.7 Jake Gruber

      I was one of the people saying that, and here’s what I will say at this point. Rondo would help in this series because the offense is so bad that most likely ANYTHING would help. However, if you’re going to claim to me that the celtics were a good offensive team with Rondo, Id tell you that you are seriously mistaken. This is not the first time the celtics offense has been horrendous in the KG era. It was awful in previous postseasons, but pierce and Garnett were so much better that they were able to hit big shots to keep the celtics afloat. I think that it is more the aging of Paul pierce and Kevin Garnett (and lack of depth) that hurt this team offensively. Thus, clearly rondo would help at this point, but almost by default. Guys who are considered worse than Rondo would probably help even more (ie Jamal Crawford, mike Conley, Damien lillard), so no, this doesn’t prove to me that rondo is so important. It just proves to me that his trade value is not as low as it looked when they were playing well without him

      • http://twitter.com/Wilanthropist Wil Reyes

        Rondo was not the problem with the offense before. Just so you know.

        Players like Lee, Barbosa and Green are bad in offense with out the ball in their hands. Jason Terry cant make a shot. Even Paul Pierce struggled at the start of the season. Most of the team doesnt know the team plays. Thats why Rondo keeps struggling on putting the them in place.

        So when you say those players would help better than Rondo. I beg to differ. Rondo can control the pace, and breakdown defense of the enemy. The players youre talking about are good offensive players but they will struggle in the Celtics offense. We are not struggling to make shots, we are struggling to get open shots.

  • eddysamson

    There was a replay last night of Felton driving to the basket and ducking under about 3 Celtics and some how popping out of the middle of them and putting it up.

    In the replay you can clearly see Felton literally taking 1 hand off the ball, pushing Crawford out of the way with it, then put it back on the ball to take his shot. The whole thing was in slow-mo so it was painfully obvious.

  • LA Flake

    Let’s have this “Celtics are better with or without Rondo” debate AFTER the season. Please?

  • Kann

    When u get out-played by Ray Felton that’s a problem! Doc has to take some blame for Felton and Smith going off. Why would u put Crawford and Terry on Felton and Smith? A wise man would put Bradley and Lee on those two. I don’t know wut Doc is thinking at times. LOL

  • danielthatisall

    I called this back in they day when people were commenting on this site that we were better off without rondo. I said come playoffs everyone will be begging for rondo. crying themselves to sleep because we cant have him.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jake.gruber.7 Jake Gruber

      This doesn’t make me beg for rondo. As I said above, it makes me beg for capable scorers and younger Paul pierce and Kevin Garnetts. You may not realize this, but ever since 2008, the celtics offense has gotten worse with every year despite rondo being a part of the team. What’s the reason for this? The aging of their 2 offensive stars. THAT’S why the celtics can’t score. They tried to fill ray Allen’s void with Terry, and that didn’t work. They just don’t have enough scorers. This has become a bigger factor with each season that these 2 guys have aged, and we’ve witnessed it the entire way. With or without rondo, this team cannot score in the 4th quarters of playoff games. Don’t make this about rondo, because its just inaccurate. He was never a help during scoring droughts late in the game, which is where the celtics have their problems.

      • kg215

        Yes depth would help, and a younger KG/Pierce would help anybody. But you are just trying to take all credit away from Rondo because of your bias against him. Rondo would help a ton in this series and you know it. This is true on both ends but especially on offense. Rondo is a smarter scorer than in the past (scoring a little more while generally picking his spots better) and his passing obviously helps out everyone on the team, that goes double for guys like Bradley and Bass who aren’t good at creating their own. Even Green who started playing better after Rondo went down would eventually learn to play with Rondo and receive a bunch of passes. I don’t think Rondo is the best point guard in the league (Cp3) but Rondo is right behind him, maybe behind Deron Williams too if Deron can consistenly play well again.

        • http://www.facebook.com/jake.gruber.7 Jake Gruber

          I agree, rondo is a top 15-20 pg

  • http://twitter.com/Wilanthropist Wil Reyes

    Our offense on the floor before goes like this: Rondo sets up a play, takes so long coz not one knows the play except for Rondo. When every one is in place, Rondo runs a pick and roll. The other 3 players dont even move, which in turn Rondo has only one guy to pass to, which is usually bass who cant make a shot too.

    This team absolutely have no team chemistry, we need to get rid of CLee (who plays alot like AB, cant have two in one team), and hopefully Bass. I dont care if he’s playing great because his play style is bringing the celtics down.

    Rondo’s team mates were as much to blame as he is. And ofcourse Doc Rivers too, it was his job to keep rondo in check.