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Do the Celtics Have a Foul Line Problem?

I’ll have more on this today, but the C’s right now rank 19th in free throw attempts (despite playing a league-high eight games) and 19th in free throw percentage (73.6).

The latter doesn’t worry me; the former does. Doc addressed both problems yesterday after a practice which apparently ended in a split squad free throw contest (Lester Hudson sunk the clincher—attaway, rook!). 

Here’s Doc in the Herald:

“There are two problems here – the obvious one of accuracy, but also an issue of not getting to the line enough.”

Beyond that, the Celtics are relying more on the 3-point shot and simply are not attacking enough.

“We’re causing other teams incredible problems,” Rivers, who continues to endorse the added 3-pointers, said of the Celtics’ increased shooting range. “But I do agree that we need to get to the line more. Whoever is struggling, they just don’t have a rhythm at the line.

“We just have to get better at it. A lot of that is fatigue, too, but some of it has to do with no practice. You just have to work on it. Your free throw average is what it is, but it also depends on who is getting fouled.”

Like I said, I’ll have more on this later today. 

In the meantime, here’s Rajon Rondo discussing what it’s like to be a point guard in a screen/roll league. (Via the Globe):

Rondo has been balancing his instincts of self-preservation with what is considered textbook defending of staying between his man and the basket.

“It’s a little bit of discipline,’’ he said. “When you have so many pick and rolls it’s going to be so many different looks. It’s tough to get through a lot of pick and rolls. You may go through 50 pick and rolls in a particular game and you’ve got to think about the contact it has on your body, the wear and tear. When you’ve got a guy coming at you full speed on a fast break, it’s a difficult thing.”

“I just try to be solid. I’ve been getting steals but I’ve just got to keep working on being solid.’’

I re-watch a ton of C’s defensive possessions, and there’s no doubt: Rajon is definitely fighting over and through more screens this season. And our interior defense has been solid enough with rotations and help to shut down most screen/rolls when a screen does hold Rajon up. So far, so good.

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