• Chris Forsberg’s report on Boston’s Saturday practice focuses on the team’s (lack of) defense in Game 3 and the collapse of Boston’s transition offense in this series:
According to those same wizards at ESPN Stats and Information, the Celtics are averaging only 8.7 fast-break points per game in this series, the worst among any remaining playoff team. This after Boston averaged more than twice that amount — 17.8 fast-break points per game to be exact — in a first-round, five-game triumph over the Miami Heat.
• In the Globe, Doc gripes about the officiating in Game 3:
“It’s what it is,’’ Rivers said. “I felt like we were playing on the road, to be honest.’’
“I’m going to do what they did,’’ Rivers said. “I’m going to start sending 40 clips. I was going to send just the whole game film in, but I thought that would take too long.’’
• The Herald focuses on the C’s defense in Game 3. Perk angry:
“Guys know what we have to do,” Perkins said. “We have a veteran team. Guys were disappointed. A lot of guys probably didn’t sleep (Friday) night, I was one of them. So there’s no pep talk at this point in time. Either you want it or not.”
Doc, meanwhile, criticized the back line help defense:
“Our help wasn’t very good,” Rivers said. “That’s one of the points that we made on film. Ray (Allen), Paul (Pierce), Tony (Allen) and whoever else guarded LeBron gave him way too much space, but then there was no help.”
• Steve Bulpett has given up trying to predict how the C’s will play in any particular game, and he calls out their effort:
Of all the bad things you can say about these Celtics, this might be the strongest indictment. They don’t always give you everything they have.
From a distance, I rarely feel comfortable arguing that a team didn’t try their hardest, so I’m leaving that alone.
Interestingly, though, Perk feels the same way Bulpett does in terms of the C’s unpredictability:
“Nope,” he said.
“What about you? What do you think?”
I have no idea.
“Me neither,” said Perkins.
That’s a little comforting. I hate being stupid alone.
“No,” Perk said, “I’m right with you.”
• The Herald pays tribute to Bobby Vines.
• A. Sherrod Blakely reports that Big Baby spent Saturday’s practice working on his jumper. Also of note: Perk says his hyper-extended right knee isn’t bothering him. I believe Perk—he’s a straight-shooter—but I’ll be more skeptical if the C’s double Shaq on several more possessions this afternoon.
That’s it for now. It’s Mother’s Day, so I’m headed to the burbs of Connecticut to see my parents. Luckily for me, Dad is a huge Celtics fan (how do you think a kid from Fairfield County came to like the C’s?), so Game 4 is part of the official Mother’s Day itinerary.
Consider this your Game 4 open thread. Tell us what you’re seeing. Have the C’s tweaked the way they’re defending LeBron? How are they trying to get Pierce’s game going? How is Rondo attacking Anthony Parker?
Enjoy the day, and, hopefully, the game.