Post-game Reactions

It didn’t take long for our first small match-up surprise. The Orlando Sentinel’s Tania Ganguli reports that Matt Barnes said today he will start the series on Ray Allen, leaving Orlando’s nominal shooting guard, Vince Carter, to defend Paul Pierce. Big thanks to Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post for the heads up.

I haven’t had much time to process this, but you can probably guess part of the reasoning. Having Barnes chase Ray Allen around saves Carter’s stamina, which he needs to effectively play his role as one of Orlando’s two primary ball-handlers on offense. Both Carter and Barnes are listed at 6’7”, so  height isn’t an issue. Neither is as fast or quick as Ray, but perhaps Stan Van Gundy believes Barnes’ long arms can help him contest Ray’s shots even if he can’t quite keep up around every single Boston screen.

Carter’s a little bulkier, and perhaps a more natural match-up for Pierce defensively.

Have at it in the comments.

The following two tabs change content below.

Zach Lowe

Latest posts by Zach Lowe (see all)

Share →
  • Jay P

    It’s a good move over all I think.

    But I think it’s mostly a wash. I don’t at either as really a dominant wind defender, and SVG is kidding himself if he thinks defending Pierce is going to save Carter’s energy much, that’s still a hell of a task. Pierce isn’t what he was 3 years ago, but he’s still pretty freaking good.

  • NC

    Seems like a pretty logical move from SVG.

    Did they not match up like this during the regular season?

  • Arvin

    Sometimes your best defense is a good offense. Carter will wear out Pierce and draw fouls. Barnes ‘may’ be able to neutralize Ray. I think the game lies in what Nelson and Lewis will bring to the table. If the Celtics can stop R. Lewis and contain Jameer, then maybe we can keep moving on.

    In the words of a great Celtic coach, “We have to keep playing together . . .”

    Let’s keep it going Green!

  • Jason

    Not surprised at all, actually I thought this was a given. Oh well.

  • Stan is just blowing smoke up both your asses!
    Barnes’ primary defensive assignment is Rajon Rondo, and his practice sessions havent been geared towards stopping Rando, rather; DIRECTING HIM, funneling him toward less favorable offensive options, i.e. A long contested two, vs a dump in the paint or a corner three.

    ALL shots from Rando will be contested, with the ‘give’ being the long twos mentioned above.
    At 0:22 in the shot clock, a moderate close out, and at 0:23, a HARD close out (since passing is not an option at that time)

    Look also to see the Magic a lot more active with their feet as a defensive option in certain situations,
    i.e. At 15 seconds or above, instead of a foul, a step in and foot nudge will dislodge the ball, forcing the ball to be taken out on the side.
    “NBA: Kick by a Defensive Player While the Ball Is in Play

    If a defensive player intentionally kicks the basketball while it is in play, the offensive team retains possession of the ball and receives it out of bounds for a throw-in. The location of the throw-in is the spot on the sideline nearest to the spot of the violation unless the violation occurs between the free throw line and the baseline. In that case, the location of the throw-in is at the nearest sideline at the point which the free throw line would intersect the sideline if it extended the width of the court. If the violation occurs in the backcourt, the shot clock is reset. If the violation occurs in the front court, the shot clock remains the same as at the time of the violation or resets to 14 seconds, whichever is greater.”

  • slam

    I think this move helps us a lot. Most of Ray’s points come when picks are set for him, and a good pick is going to slow down Carter or Barnes or anyone. So on that front, I’m saying Ray is still going to get his. Where I think it helps us most is that I feel Barnes is a far superior defender to Carter, so I think Pierce will get easier opportunities with Barnes on him than if Carter were on him. Am I right on this?

  • Jayson

    Hey guys, Magic fan here. Love the thoughts.

    As far as this particular move goes, It’s definitely about saving Carter’s legs. Pierce is still a great scorer, don’t get me wrong; but he isn’t nearly as active as Ray is. Barnes will chase him around a decent portion of the game, but make no mistake about it, Ray is going to see Pietrus for at least 30 mins a game. That’s the key matchup in my mind.

  • Chris O

    I told you this would happen yesterday…and Pierce will own Carter like LeGone just owned him…

  • Berkcelt

    Ray’s 3s are big for us. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Barnes get physical with him and try and take him out of his game.

  • chris BOS

    Yeah, I’m a little indecisive about it.. I really wish Barnes was on Pierce because of their previous beef, if you will. But after LeBron, Carter should be a slightly easier opponent for pierce (offensively). As for Ray, Barnes won’t be able to keep up with the screens. Ray just has to knock the down.

  • MP
  • KC

    I like it as a Celtics fan, because while it makes sense by the numbers, I would rather have Matt Barnes’ and his nasty streak racing around screens (where it won’t help him much) and Headcase Vince forced to try to match up with Pierce inside, outside, and everywhere in-between.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Stan is one of the top coaches in the nba. This time we will have to battle both the players on the court & a smart, adaptive coach. My favorite coaching clip from this year was when the Magic opened their season at home. Everyone was jumping & celebrating & energized. Then, they announce Stan’s name as coach. He just sat there with his arms draped over the chairs like a blob, did not even stand or wave, nothing! It was completely anticlimactic & totally opposite the joy of all the hyped up players & fans. It was hilarious. Better than a Stan in game interview when his team is trailing…

    Stan will tinker with line ups to find what works & then retinker if necessary. He is much more observant & dangerous than Brown. If our defense plays like it has been playing & forces turnovers, bad shots, & most of all allows no 2nd shots / rebounds the ball defensively then we will get in their heads & have the majority of ez transition points. We will win if we out D them.

    We have to pressure the ball HARD. We can’t just let them swing it from side to side & allow ez passes to Dwight or worse, open 3s. We gotta make Nelson dribble a lot…..really make everyone dribble & dribble & dribble some more. They are most dangerous when they are passing it too easily. Then, we need to try & bait selfish, deep deuce Vinny out to take tons of contested shots. Orlando kills with the 3 ball. Dwight getting some dunks is no big deal. I say get out of the way & give him the dunks early on if he gets the step. Late in the game foul Dwight, a lot. We can give up a lot of jump shots but not behind the 3pt line.

    The last major defeat the magicians had came at the hands of the Spurs. The Spurs contested shots, & Manu slashed them to death. I remember on Christmas day that we got some ez baskets by slashing with TA. I imagine Rajon could do the same. Dwight cannot help himself. He has to try & block every shot so our guys should try to move into his body & then concentrate on drawing the foul (ala the Durantula using Dwight’s extended arm to rake across your arms) more than shooting. I would practice with KG playing the role of hyper block Dwight. Have all the Cs drive & practice the art of getting into KG’s (Dwight’s) body & drawing the foul with his extended arms. Glen really needs to practice getting his body into Dwight’s. If Glen can’t get the knack then Doc should force Glen to pass the ball back out or sit on the bench.

  • DeVelaine

    Wait, wait, wait… VC can guard something more mobile than a wet sack? When did this happen?

    If it were possible, I think Pierce would be salivating at this matchup, as it favors him on the offensive end. Not having to have Barnes in his grill for the vast majority of 6 games is going to make his life easier. Then again… Not having LeBron in his grill for the rest of the playoffs helps more.

  • DRJ1

    Who the hell announces in advance (to say nothing of 2 days in advance) who’s gonna guard whom. WTF is this about? Baloney (smoke up rectum)? Anxiety? Whatever, Stan, whatever.

  • umm…no “announcement” Dr J! how about you come watch a practice or spend some time in the video room?

  • carlos rizik

    …”Carter will wear out Pierce and draw fouls”…Suddenly, Vince Carter is LBJ!!

  • DRJ1

    @Zackd– Never heard that from the Cs’, regardless of source. Smells weird…….. (but meaningless)

  • Matt

    Magic fan here. You guys are talking as though Magic would be less of an opponent than ONE-MAN-SHOW CLE. These details do not matter much. The game would be decided at PG, PF and C positions. Rondo is playing excellent ball, but Celtics’ Big Three are old and Magic has plenty of firepower, as well as one of the best defenses in the NBA.

  • GranTur

    This is a bad decision. If Carter covers Ray he’s MUCH less likely to be in foul trouble. That matters more than anything else.

    This also means that Barnes will be even more invisible on offense.

  • DeVelaine

    @Matt: That’s a good assessment of where this series is going to played. I think we can win the PG matchup, mostly because I’m not sold on the idea that Nelson can keep Rondo in front of him. Dwight Howard is still the Defensive Player of the Year, and he’s going to put any shot he can get his hands on into the seats, so the best we can hope for is Perk’s D on him to slow down that side. KG/Lewis is the only matchup I’m worried about, because I don’t know if KG can wear down Lewis enough by taking him to the post all game to keep him from hitting from 3.

  • GranTur

    Ignore what I just said it made no sense. I was trying to make a different point but I don’t even know what I just typed.


  • Craig C

    Barnes is a serviceable defender and I think he’ll play the Rick Fox role, when Fox was a Laker, and get under the nerves of alot of Celtic fans before it’s all said and done.

    Should be a great series with lots of interesting matchups. A big key is Perkins staying out of foul trouble against Howard.

  • Jason


    “You guys are talking as though Magic would be less of an opponent than ONE-MAN-SHOW CLE.” Um, no we’re not. And only as of today Cle is apparently a one-man team. For the last six months they were the championship cast LeBron’s always needed. Gee I wonder what happened to said team in the last two weeks. The Cs couldn’t possibly deserve any credit for that.

    “These details do not matter much.” Um, yes, details matter. I hope you’re not a doctor or anything important in life. Eh, who am I kidding? I’m sure we’re all safe.

    “The game would be decided at PG, PF and C positions.” And SG and SF. And the bench. And the coaches. Want to make any more obvious assertions?

    “I think Rondo is playing excellent ball” Oh, I guess you do. Even one upped yourself. Nicely done.

    “but Celtics’ Big Three are old” Where have I heard this party line before?

    “and Magic has plenty of firepower” Yeah, Cleveland didn’t have any firepower. And Cs are not playing elite defense right now at all.

    “as well as one of the best defenses in the NBA” Well, I’ll give you that one, but again not exactly profound.

    Thanks for playing along at home. Come again sometime.

  • Phil

    I can’t really see this being any kind of permanent switch or anything. They may start off with this match up, but SVG isn’t Mike Brown. He won’t wait until Game 6 to start changing things around. If Pierce is getting going because Carter can’t defend him, I would think that tiring Carter out by putting him on Ray and having Barnes check Pierce is a worthwhile switch.

    I would expect the Celtics to attack with Pierce early and often with this set up as it is now. It has to feel great for Pierce to get away from Lebron on both sides of the ball, and instead get a primary defender who’s coach is saying the main goal is to save his legs for the offensive end.

  • Paolo

    VC is a good offensive player but an i-don’t-really-know defensive player. He is nowhere near the threat LBJ poses on defense, but he has his own array of offensive skills such as driving to the basket and he has a better jump shot than LBJ. I bet that if PP gives him enough room, he’ll take the jump shot all day.

  • no matter who guards Ray, he’ll just eat dusts..Ray’s one hell of a scoring machine especially when he’s feeling it..in the zone baby..

  • Matt

    Back to Jason:

    No I am not anybody important in life; just a poor professor. Your comments are not worth responding to. I will come back when the series is over. Have fun while you can.

  • matthew

    i can’t wait till the celts win this series and shut everybody up! i’m so glad we’re underdogs again… takes a lot of the pressure off. Banner 18 in the works! BELIEVE IT!!

  • keith

    I believe that this is great for the celtics…i think Paul will play very well against Vince. Paul will be able to get past Vince and hit his patented step back jumper over Howard…Look to see paul draw some fouls against Vince as Pierce has become a wildy veteran and drawing the personals…Should be a great series…I’ve got the Celtics in 6

  • What More Can I Say?


    Not sure if I agree with you about Ray being quicker that Matt Barnes. But then again, just because he is starting on Ray doesn’t mean to expect this throughout the series.

    I’d be shocked if Matt Barnes doesn’t get a shot on Rondo. I guess it all depends on how bad Jameer does on Rajon. And when Barnes does guard Rondo, that leaves Jameer on Ray. That’s what I expect…at least in the 4th quarter.

  • John

    This might be the best series of the playoffs. Both teams have areas where they have the advantage, which means execution is going to be the determining factor. There will be no quit from either team or coaching staff. Being a Magic fan I still love Doc Rivers. He was on his way to winning championships with Orlando before they outted him their. But that was not the current front office who made that decision.

    What I do know is that whoever wins this series will win the NBA championship this year. As for the individual matchups in this series, none is more important than the benches. Boston’s bench has been revived and is playing like they were expected to play all year. Big Baby can hurt the Magic as well as the Celtics. If he will take the 15-18ft jumpers when they are there he will be a huge offensive lift. Defensively he will have to throw his body around and get in position to rebound. He will not out jump anyone in the paint. T. Allen has been the odd man out for a couple of years. He is now carrying the role that Posey played. Hard nosed defense and efficient scoring at multiple positions. Wallace is the newest addition off the bench but has proven that he has big game ability. He will have to keep his cool in this series. As for the rest of the Celtics bench I will give an incomplete. There is opportunity there but wether Doc goes that deep remains the to be seen.

    Orlando runs a legit 5 deep off the bench. Their bench can kill you with the 3’s just as well as the starters can. J.J. everyone’s whiping boy is deadly from behind the arc and will knock down freethrows with the best of them. Don’t fall asleep on him he will take it to the hoop. Gortat is a 30 million dollar insurance policy that has paid off in the playoffs. He also can be used at the 4 spot alongside Howard to give the Magic a wall that is hard to move. Threetrus is deadly shooting the 3 and will D-up Ray, Pierce, and Rondo over the course of this series. J-Will is a seasoned vet who has learned to play tough nosed D over the course of his career. Anderson is offensive clone of Lewis and will mix it up in the post with Garnett. Lastly the guy who could have the biggest impact of the Magic bench in this series is Brandon Bass. He is a big body with great hands and has a way of grabbing big offensive rebounds he also shoots in the mid 80’s from the line.

    I can’t wait for tip of tomorrow and will be holding my breath throughout this series. Which could literally come down to the last shot of game 7. Boston be ready for a battle because this is not the finesse Magic of the past. ( I will give Doc the credit for changing that culture in Orlando.) Orlando don’t expect the “OLD” guys to lay down this is a good Boston team that is cleary capable of winning another champonship.

    One last note: I haven’t seen the Kobe/Lebron puppets out this year. I love it when two good teams make the media look like fools. To Boston and Orlando sleep well were going to need it this series is going 7 games.

  • Great post you contained here! Would like to return and read more of your articles. Keep on composing great stuff. Hehe.. Seriously love this site of yours !. Woot ^^