Well someone must have forgotten to tell the Celtics roster to move their clocks ahead as they have not shown up for first half for their matinee against Orlando. Many may use the absence of Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo as an excuse for their lackluster performance in the 1st half but the effort just has not been there in the first 24 minutes on both sides of the floor. Let’s take a look at the lowlights so far.
Turnovers have once again reared their ugly head as the team has 11 turnovers at halftime including 9 in the first quarter alone. This has to be disappointing coming off of one of their best performances taking care of the ball Friday night against the Cavs.
The ball movement on offense has been almost non existent. The Green have only 4 assists at the half as they have relegated themselves to going one on one with a surprisingly effective Orlando defense. The Magic have held up strong in their defensive assignments, defending while the C’s dribbled the air out of the ball in their half court sets.
The absence of Rajon Rondo clearly is having a dramatic effect on the C’s offense as seen with the lack of assists by the offense and the team’s inability to get out in transition. Stephon Marbury has done an average job filling in at the point, going 1/3 with 2 points, no assists and 2 turnovers. The Celtics deficit at halftime goes beyond his inability to distribute as the entire team has showed no inclination to pass all half long.
The Celtics are down by 18 but it probably could be worse given that Dwight Howard has been limited to 13 minutes due to foul trouble.
Orlando’s bench, one of the worst in the league productivity wise has gone 8/12 from the field with 18 points in the first half, scoring at will against a Celtics defense that has lacked intensity.
Only real highlight for the good guys has to be Leon Powe drawing 4 charges in the first half. Amazing effort and defensive positioning by the 3rd year pro.
All in all the Celtics probably deserve to be down by 30 points in this game so the fact they are only down by 18 is a hidden blessing. If Doc Rivers can light a fire under this team they can get back into this game if they keep Howard in foul trouble, start passing the ball, get out in transition and step up the defensive intensity against Orlando on the perimeter.