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Your Morning Dump… Where Danny Ainge is sick of the excuses

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) April 26, 2013 Rajon Rondo, The Morning Dump 9 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.

On whether not having a true point guard is hurting the Celtics right now: “I think those are just excuses. We’ve known this. We’ve been preparing for the playoffs for a few months. I think that we have what we have and we’ve got to do the best with it. I guess that right now I just don’t think that we’ve played like we were capable of playing. I mean, it’s one thing to lose to a team that deserves to beat you and is a better team. But I feel like we’ve come out ready to play, and for whatever reason, I have no idea, but the beginning of the third quarter in the last two games has not been good.”

ESPN Boston:  Quick hits from Ainge: Missing Rondo is no excuse 

“…  it’s not just the Rondo issue. Missing Rondo, he has the ability to take over games as we’ve seen him do against the elite players in the world, and we don’t have a player like that. That hurts us. But not knowing what to do and what plays to run — we shouldn’t do that under any circumstance. Every team goes through that a little bit, but we should not be having that problem.”

WEEI:  Ainge not thrilled with Knicks matchup

Earlier in the year, when the Celtics whipped off a winning streak and the masses came out to proclaim the Celtics better without Rondo, those of us who argued against that notion relied on the main argument “yeah, but watch what happens come playoff time.”

And while the lack of Rondo now seems to causing its biggest problems, now’s not the time to gloat.  It’s time for the Celtics to make adjustments and go back to a style of play that worked without him.

The Celtics have spent the first halves of their two playoff games spreading the ball around and getting more than just Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett touches…. especially in Game 2.  They went into the half Tuesday night with all but two of the guys who got the floor scoring at least 4 points.  In the second half, six guys who played went scoreless.

What’s happening in second halves?

The Celtics morph into a “let’s feed a certain guy” mode.  And while it makes some sense to say “let’s get KG going” in the second half of Game 2, it doesn’t make sense to do it at the expense of everyone’s offense.  It’s almost as if the team says “Well, we’ve done our jobs… we got you guys a lead… now it’s up to you, Pierce and Garnett, to finish the job.”

It won’t work like that.  It can’t work like that.  Not anymore.  I’ve said it before, Doc said it again yesterday

“We can be more creative, I have to be,” Rivers said before practice on Thursday. “Because that’s just asking Paul to do too much. We’re asking him to guard Carmelo at times, asking him to bring the ball up the floor at times, we’re asking him to be our post-passer, it’s — listen, he’s Paul Pierce. He’s not Christopher Reeves.”

Even Danny (in the WEEI link above) addressed it…

 “I think Paul has taken four charges in two games. I’m not sure anyone else on the team has taken any. Paul is our leading scorer. He carries an offensive burden. Paul is right now our best player and our best scorer, and he needs help. He needs other guys stepping up. He can’t do it the whole game. It’s a grind for him. Paul still shows signs of being a great player. He’s not consistently as great as he was five years ago, but he is still a fantastic player in this league, and he’s showing that in this series.”

I love Paul Pierce.  I love KG.  But they are on the verge of retirement.  They can’t do what they used to.  It happens to everyone.  And sometimes we, and, I think, the team, get caught up in seeing those same #5 and #34 jerseys out there.

They need help.  They need everyone to play consistently well for 48 minutes or the Celtics will barely be a speed bump for the Knicks.

It starts tonight…. at home…. in front of what will be a VERY emotional crowd.

A complete team effort.  It has to be this way.  Because, to re-phrase a former coach whose name escapes me…. Rondo’s not walking through that door, folks.  And if he does, he’s going to be hurt, and in street clothes.

If this team can’t do it tonight… they never will.

Related links:  ESPN Boston:  Numbers tell the story of 2nd half woes  |  Herald: Pierce’s plate too full   |  Celtics still miss point  |  Globe: Rondo’s absence looms large for Celtics

TiqIQ’s job is to find you the best deals and seller on the market, and for Celtics tickets, you may want to check out Charged.fm.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston:  Tardy Bradley practices for C’s  |  Herald: Lee takes demotion in stride |  Martin big difference for NY  |  Celtics hoping home crowd can help turn series |  Globe:  Knicks stay focused as they head to Boston  |  Celtics hope return home leads to inspire win  |  CSNNE:  Celtics vs Knicks Game 3 X factors  |  Celtics Talk TV: Any hope for C’s?  |  Desperate C’s return with season at stake  |  WEEI:  Bradley not with C’s to start practice  |  Doc:  Game 3 will be emotional for the players

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  • eddysamson

    Why is Doc’s game plan to feed Garnett so much? It made sense last year when he was killing it, but the last 2 months he’s been injured and off on his shot. The way we were winning games before was with 4-6 people with 10-15 points and using Shav + Twill. We need more ball movement and we NEED Shav for put-backs when our offense stalls, it gets us going again!

    • LA Flake

      Yup. Free Shav! He gets us easy buckets.

  • http://twitter.com/djKahnNYC Kahnstantine

    Yes, Doc, please be more creative.

  • Reggie35RIP

    I want to see Lee back in the starting lineup. And as much as possible a lineup of AB, Lee, PP, Green and KG. Terry first off the bench and if he hasn’t got it going put Crawford in, if he’s hot give him minutes, if not try TWill. If Doc decides to play Shav I reckon he needs to get him in early to get his confidence up. No use putting him in in the 3rd or 4th. I actually like Shav better than Wilcox at the moment. Wilcox can be a bit of a liability on D at times and Shav has a more well rounded offensive game.

    And for the love of god no Terry AND Crawford lineups. Gotta have either AB or Lee on at all times in the backcourt. The defense is too chaotic when both Terry and Crawford are on at the same time.

    Green and Lee have to have good games if we’re going to win and AB has to watch his fouls. Hopefully KG’s shaken off all the rust from not playing late in the season and can manage his injuries. If he can make his bread and butter shots with any kind of consistency and can stay out of foul trouble we stand a chance.

  • Stephanie McGovern

    Doc needs to stop making everyone try to get kg and pierce going it hurts us bad and he needs to play a normal bench with twill runnin the point he’s the type of player that could get to the rim all day against the Knicks. I’m also sick of doc sayin off rebounds don’t matter and it more important to get back that’s the reason we’ve been te worse rebounding team in the league for years. The Knicks are not a run and gun team u need to crash the offensive glass. U SUK DOC

    • eddysamson

      thats the reason we’ve had abysmal second halves. Whenever you start shooting poorly you NEED someone to grab them back and keep it alive…not only does it keep you in the game when you’re missing shots, but it uses a TON of clock that the other team wont get back.

  • GOREY

    Sick of excuses? Well next time Ainge and Rivers need to surround KG, PP and RR with better role players.

    • MarkO

      At the beginning of the season most experts said we really improved our bench from previous years. They certainly have not performed as expected. That’s not Danny’s fault but Doc may have to shoulder some of the blame for not getting them in the position to succeed.

  • Mike C

    Great post. I agree with everyone’s comments. Here’s my two cents worth… If the Celtics aren’t good enough to beat the knicks, then so be it, but if we’re going down at least go down fighting. Like it was pointed out above, we still have not played a full 48 minutes in the first two games. I cant stand to watch this team roll over for the knicks. Show some “FIRE”, If you need some motivation show the Bulls last two games. Now thats leaving it all on the court. Something the Celtics franchise has always been known for.