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Day After Notebook: Ray on the Play, Daniels Healing, the Hudson Spot

 

Some quickies to get you started after a fun, fun game:

• Ray describes the Rondo lob in the Globe:

“We [practice that play] pretty much all the time, but you’ve got to have somebody as athletic as Rondo is. From their perspective you don’t want [a 3-pointer] to go in and you don’t want something lucky to go down, but at the same time the only thing we could do was get a lob to the basket at that point.’’

You may not want a three-pointer to go in, but with 0.6 seconds left, the lob is a much bigger threat. A shooter standing 24 feet away does not have time to set his feet and take his normal wind-up with 0.6 seconds left. You’re looking a desperation shot that looks sort of like a touch pass.

So if you’re Udonis Haslem there, you have to leave Scalabrine and deal with Rondo. In Haslem’s defense, the play unfolded so perfectly—and Rondo is so fast—that I’m not sure he could have done anything to stop the play even had he reacted properly.

Update: Red’s breaks it down here. Great stuff. Go read it.

• Don’t expect the C’s to fill the Lester Hudson roster spot anytime soon, though it’s clear the intent is to leave it open for a lop-sided (2-for-1 or 3-for-2 trade) if the chance comes up. Here’s Ainge in the Herald:

“This just gives us a roster spot that we don’t feel we need to use right now,” Ainge said. “We do save some money with this, but that wasn’t why we did it.”

And:

“But we’re trying to win now, and we think it’s better to have a spot free. You never know what players might become available down the line, and sometimes there are trades where you bring back more players than you send out. And you don’t want to have to be in a position where you’re waiving somebody (with a guaranteed contract) if you don’t have to.”

One more bullet, after the jump.

Also in the Herald: Marquis Daniels says he’s healing quickly from thumb surgery and  hopes to return before the All-Star break:

Past reports said he was shooting to come back after the All-Star break, but when asked yesterday if there’s a new timetable, he said, “Maybe before then. It all depends. When I go back and get this removed again, I hope everything will be good. . . . It’s healing really good.”

Daniels has been running, and he will go back and have this new cast removed in about three weeks.

As for his mood, he said, “It’s good. I mean, guys keep my spirits up. It’s great to be on a good team. If you’re on a bad team, it usually goes down the other way. But we’ve got a bunch of comedians around here, so it keeps your spirits up.”

Good news. The absence of Daniels and the team’s lack of faith (probably justified) in House as a back-up point guard has resulted in a jump in minutes for Rondo, Pierce and Ray Allen. The sooner that stops, the better.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Forgive me, but I really don’t understand Danny. It seems like you’d give Lester a REAL chance with some solid minutes before you let him go. I thought he looked really good, & you could hear Tommy saying good things about him too. When Tommy gets that excitement in his voice over a player it’s a really good sign…ex. Perk in his early days. Does anyone here think that Lester was the worst player on the team? Isn’t it smarter to get rid of your worst player rather than a promising YOUNG talent ???? If he was the worst player then who is doing the scouting for our first round picks????

    This thing of Doc not trusting or trying out players from the bench & running the starters into the ground is going to come back & bite him. You also send a message to the bench when you continuously refuse to trust them & instead, relentlessly keep your starters out there. I think we’ve all seen in the playoffs how the bench has to come through in order to advance. This bench gets a zero vote of confidence from Doc. They are just there to play absolute minimal minutes to give Paul or Rondo or Ray a couple of sips of gatorade. If KG did not have the knee injury, he would only be getting a few sips of gatorade too. The bench really came through vs the Raps, but you feel that Doc looks at that as some sort of fluke.

    Put me down as officially worried. Why? Look who Danny got last year to help in the playoffs. Look at how Danny has used recent draft picks. Look at the trade talk Danny had about Rondo this past summer. I think Danny just wants to do something for the sake of doing something. I really liked Danny as a player. There is no doubt that putting it all on the line for KG & Ray was his crowning achievement, but now I feel a great sense of foreboding about what Danny might be doing……

    How does it feel Danny to see all your draft picks just sitting there on the bench or cutting them?

  • philip

    cptn bubbles: lester hudson was a 2nd round pick. cutting him wasn’t a move to get rid of the “worst player”, it was to free up a roster spot and give them some trade flexibility, if needed.

    if the Cs could cut scal without taking the payroll hit of his contract, i’d wager that they’d cut him loose … but his contract is guaranteed. hudson’s was not.

    as for your reasons to worry:
    1. danny’s moves leading up to the post-season last year: he gambled on moore and marbury. it didn’t work out. however, the Cs weren’t going too far with KG sidelined.
    2. recent draft picks: big baby is a ‘recent’ draft pick from the 2nd round. ainge also picked perkins and rondo. there are always hits and misses in the draft. i think danny and the Cs would get an above average grade on drafting. your skewering is selective.
    3. rondo trade talk in off-season: rondo went on to sign a 5 year, $55M contract. not a bad deal. maybe danny’s trade talk saved the Cs $5-10M. who knows? regardless, rondo is a celtic for the mid-term.

    i think it’s difficult to defend your sense of foreboding when the Cs sit atop the eastern conference and are only 1 game behind the lakers in the loss column. all this with a handful of games missed by KG and pierce, and significant time missed by daniels and davis. i’d suggest that you avoid the panic button for a couple of months, at least.

  • SteveA

    I have to agree with Capt Bubbles about Doc’s lack of confidence in the bench. Remember all that hype at the beginning of the season about how the C’s had assembled a bench as good as many teams’ starting lineups?? Where are we now? Yup, burning through tons of minutes with the starters while our superior bench players rack up in the neighborhood of 5-10 minutes per game. Doc has never put these guys in and let them gel as a group…at the first sign of trouble, they’re all back on the pine. As for the younger guys (Giddens, Walker, Hudson), it reminds me of Red’s philosophy of never playing rookies…seems like a waste.

  • philip

    SteveA: the minutes per game statistics don’t support your argument. amongst the top teams in the league – LA, boston, cleveland, orlando, dallas, atlanta, phoenix, and san antonio – the Cs starters are averaging about the same mpg as other teams. that means our bench has to be getting as much burn as most other elite teams.

    in terms of depth, only the magic and dallas have more players averaging 10+ mpg. i recognize that the Cs numbers are slightly skewed due to injuries, but the other teams have all had minor or significant injury time lost (e.g., nelson (ORL), gasol (LA), etc.), so it should balance out, more or less.

    regardless, doc’s rotations are largely unchanged. it’s difficult to argue that “our superior bench players” are averaging 5-10 mpg. who are these mysterious players? the only guys averaging less than 10 mins per game are scal, giddens, and walker (and prior to being cut, hudson). note, scal is averaging 9.7 mpg. and as was discussed earlier this week on celticshub, scal has not performed well when given the opportunity.

  • Rob Ace

    I don’t understand Danny Ainge . It seems like you should give Lester Hudson a ” Real ” chance with solid minutes, before you let him go . Lester was a very promising young talent ( shooting , defense,
    atletic , etc .). I thought he looked Really Very Good .
    why we don’t cut ” dear Scal ” ? well thanks to Danny
    Ainge , he sign him for 3 Millions per Year , with a
    “guarantee contract ” , My God ! Where he saw that
    terrible player to play Basketball ? He can’t play , he
    run like a ” Chicken without a Head ” with the arms
    open , no defense , he can’t Jump at all , etc. But his
    contract is guarantee , Hudson was not . ” Thanks
    Danny ” ( Good Job ). How Does it feel Danny to see
    all your Drafts Picks , Just Sitting there ” On the Bench or Cutting Them ” ?????
    Another Thing : ” DOC Lack of Confidence in the Bench ” . Doc is not trusting or trying out , Our Good
    Players from the Bench ? and Running the Starters
    into the Ground with very Long Minutes and getting
    the Risk to get them Hurt ?????
    Our Bench gets a ” Zero Vote of Confidence from Doc”

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Philip, you made some good points.

    Danny said they saved some money, but that money was not the issue here. If money was not important then why not keep Lester? Why not just say the truth? This was about money, not flexibility. You could still get rid of Lester “IF” they later decided to make a trade. You would lose money, but if it is not about money then what difference does it make? If they can afford Bill (who played less than Lester) & JR then Lester should have just stayed.

    Like everyone else, Danny needs to be accountable. He gets & deserves praise for the KG & Ray deal. It was brilliant. He should get praise for going after Posey & PJ, but to only give him praise is wrong. Some of these other decisions deserve criticism. Playing money mind games with Rondo is not right. Rajon has worked hard & gotten better. Look at Rondo’s effort & game. He deserves that money. If Danny has a problem with a Celtic he should be man enough to go to that Celtic & talk about it face to face, not throw somebody under the bus on some radio or tv show.

    Should we expect more out of 1st picks? Do other teams make better use of their 1st picks? Danny has gotten some of the players you mentioned through trades, not picks. The other teams picked well, & Danny was smart to trade for them. Give Danny credit for that, but don’t give Danny a free pass….to say— it doesn’t matter, go ahead Danny, close your eyes, listen to your gut, cross your fingers, rub your rabbit’s foot & do what you feel is best….we won’t hold you accountable will not motivate Danny to put more effort, research, & thought into these important decisions.

    I think it is possible for the Cs to make it to the finals without KG. Less likely? Sure, but not impossible. Sure it would be easier with KG, but the Cs have not lost every game KG has missed.

    My sense of foreboding is not about the current Cs. It is about Danny tinkering with something which is successful (like Steve did with the Suns). I’m also just mad because I liked Lester. I thought he looked good, but he was never trusted with enough playing time to see what he really was.

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