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Mid-Day Notebook: Howard’s Game, Celtic History, Obama Picks the Lakers

 

• Do yourselves a favor and go read this post at Orlando Pinstriped Post about how efficiently Dwight Howard has scored in various roles in Orlando’s offense during this series—i.e. on post-ups, as the roll man on screen/rolls, in transition, etc. The numbers are stark—Howard can’t score in the post, and he has been devastating in the screen/roll and on the offensive glass.

One tidbit of the many you will find in friendly chart format: Howard is 14-of-36 (39 percent) on post-ups. In other words: There is no reason for Boston to double Howard in the post unless a switch has produced a mismatch.

The other question this data raises: What took Orlando so long to move from its four-in/one-out offense to one centered on screen/rolls? Again: The Magic ran 33 screen/rolls combined in the first three games and 43 in Game 4 alone, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Stan Van Gundy is a great coach, and he made the proper adjustments. But he should have made them sooner.

• At Pro Basketball Talk, Matt Moore (who is not fond on your Boston Celtics but is still a nice person and smart, smart NBA writer) suggests that Van Gundy must be open to make further adjustments, even dramatic ones, to keep his team alive. Among Moore’s suggestions: More J.J. Redick (he’s +21 in this series) and less Vince Carter (-23).

• Barack Obama is picking the Los Angeles Lakers to defeat the Boston Celtics in the Finals, thus giving an immediate boost to the legitimacy of the Tea Party movement. (Kidding). Bloomberg reports on Obama’s interview with Marv Albert:

“I’ve got to go with the Lakers again,” Obama said in the interview that will begin airing on NBA TV today. “Boston’s a veteran club, but the Lakers are looking pretty good.”

Obama called Bryant the “the fiercest competitor in the league” and Jackson “the best coach in the NBA right now.” Of Gasol, Obama said “he may be the best big man in the league.”

• A win by Orlando tonight would be a rare, rare thing in NBA history. Of the prior 93 NBA teams who have fallen behind 3-0 in series, only 9 have even forced a Game 6. (None have come back to win, of course).

Also: The Celtics have led a best-of-seven series 11 times in their history, and none have gone beyond Game 5, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

That’s it for now. We’ll have more later.

  • CELT PRIDE

    All the negative press is really getting on my nerves…wouldnt seem the celtics are up 3-1…jesus…

  • NHBluesMan

    just goes to show Obama doesn’t watch basketball… Gasol one of the best big men in the league? I’m sorry, the guys good, but one of the best? Nope

    Also, i agree with CELT PRIDE on this one… i think things are getting blown way out of proportion here. I expected the Magic to win 1 or 2 games in this series, but the way everyones talking, you’d think the C’s were down 3-0 instead of being UP 3-1! It’ll be a tough game tonight, on little rest, but i think the C’s can pull it out.

    I hope they do just to prove all the ridiculous ESPN commentators (there’s no way the Magic win game 4… woops… no way the Magic will lose game 5…) can eat their words.

    GET GREEN!! GO C’s!!!!

  • celtic love

    espn want to make interesting series over tonight, if not a a blow out watch and see celts win BIG

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    @NHBlues: I’m sorry, but if you don’t think Gasol is one of the league’s best big–and maybe the best–you’re anti-laker bias is showing.

    I’m not sure there’s a big in the league right now I’d take ahead of him if I were building a team. Dirk? Duncan? Bosh?

  • Zain

    @Zach

    Gasol’s good, hell he’s great at times. But I still think he’s too soft. If we have a rematch with him, I fully expect KG to bully him into submission.

    Anyways, all this Bruins talk is annoying me, but I think it fuels the Celtics. I expect the squeaker tonight, with Orlando’s best shot. The only thing that worries me is LEGS LEGS LEGS. We don’t have much rest at all.

  • Devon

    This team knows what to do. I fully expect them to execute plays and get Rondo out in transition. Paul needs to slash to the hole and get fouls and take around 10 shots. It fundamentally changes their offense when they run it through him. It’s as though their running (in place) through tar. No matter how good the defense is and we bail them out with second chances it removes our ability to attack. Though RR, in the 4th qt and OT, seemed like he was differing from running into this sort of time wasting “strategy”. Like Doc said ” If you want it your gonna have to go out there and take it.” With that said, Go C’s!
    Note to Sheed: I seriously thought you had turned a corner. Alas it must have been the Cheeto dust secretly rubbed on the ball.

  • Jay P

    Sheed is a prime candidate for a lapse game. He’s proven all season when he doesn’t care and the games don’t really matter he’ll disappear. So up 3-0 with a game at home and not really all that much on the line, other than a few extra days rest going into the final… why are people are surprised he didn’t show up?

    I fully expect a different showing tonight, of course I do have to remember this is Sheed we’re talking about… so who knows.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    Not really that much on the line!!???? A berth in the Finals plus huge rest for an aging team???

  • FYATroll

    NHBlues, how can you say Gasol isn’t one of the best big men in the league?

    On the offensive end, he is the best.

    While he isn’t a defensive stopper, he is still more than adequate. Taking the whole package into account, he is a top 3 big in the league. I still can’t put him ahead of Howard, because of how great Howard is on defense and the boards, but I’d say he’s number 2 imo.

  • FYATroll

    Zach, by that standard then every game in the playoffs has a lot on the line. Which is probably true. However, to think Sheed is showing up for every playoff game is crazy talk. You know it isn’t happening.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    I’m only holding sheed to the standard he publicly set for himself–that he’d be ready to play when the playoffs started.

  • FYATroll

    That’s the problem, you’re holding Sheed to a standard. Holding him to no standards is still to high of a standard for Sheed.

  • stephen

    The C’s will make adjustments on the Magic’s pick and roll tonight and if Rondo imposes his will—It’s over!!! As far as Obama picking the Lakers, he said Phil Jackson is the NBA’s greatest coach which shows you what he knows. Lets see—He had Jordan & Pippen all those years, then coached Shaq in his prime along with Kobe–Jackson is one of the most overrated coaches of all time regardless of what Laker fans say. Overall the C’s played a shit game on Monday and still had a chance to end it on the final possession until they overloaded the floor on one side and then Pierce dribbled out the clock.The Magic avoid a sweep on a night that the C’s weren’t even there yet according to the so called experts the Magic have new life? Give me a break–Why did the Magic have to go to overtime to do it !!!

  • Jay P

    @Zach Lowe

    In the minds of the sane person, yes there was plenty on the line. Even the chance to embarrass the team that most “experts” said were the favorites to win it all this year by sweeping them out of the playoffs is enough for most competitive players.

    But this is Sheed we’re talking about. He’s not a sane person.

  • http://www.hotmail.com Josh

    Hahaha Gasol the best big?! Ohhh boy. I’d gladly take
    -Howard
    -Duncan
    -Dirk
    -Bosh
    -Lee
    over the Pillsbury dough boy.

  • http://cameraconcierge.com?celticshub=1 zackdaddy

    Gasol IS the best – no question. And this is coming from a Magic fan who sees Dwight Howard most games and a lot in practice.

    Gasol=Maturity, Soft hands around the rim, Outside shot, Maturity, Maturity (yes, ’cause I see Dwight almost daily and he is not growing up, even after these years in the league -Ewing is a JOKE, these so called ‘offensive’ moves Ewing is teaching are BULLSHIT. Howard DOES NOT have the LOWER BODY STRENGTH to operate effectively in the post, and his reliance on upper body strength triggers the majority of his offensive fouls.
    Remember, just after draft, Dwight could NOT bench press 175lbs! He devoted himself to upper body at the expense of legs, torso and rotational core strength.

    But back to the 5 you mentioned.
    Duncan=Shadow of former self and very little lateral movement capability. (see Suns sweep)

    -Lee : No basketball IQ no defensive inclination (see career with Knicks)

    -Bosh Defensive and offensive Juggernaut (with emphasis on naught) – Makes excellent “vote for me! You Tube All Star videos)

    -Dirk a center who is found not in the center but at the three point line? A marquee player who can will you to a championship (if by championship you mean a 4 game sweep in the finals-after being up 2 games and 3.75 of the third game) and losing to 8 seed and 7 seed….yeah..

    Yao Ming? who dat?
    The list is…

    Currently:
    Gasol
    Duncan (multiple rings, however needs very limited minutes -will have to ‘pick his spots’ vs 48 minutes of domination)
    Howard
    Dirk
    Bosh
    Lee

  • Rich

    Did someone just seriously post that David Lee is better than Gasol? It’s almost impossible to even argue the point because it’s so insane.

  • Rich

    And just to round this out, last summer David Lee was a restricted FA. If I’m not mistaken, not a single team outside of the Knicks offered him a new contract. No one.

    However, Paul Millsap, Marcin Gortat, and Brandon Bass were all pursued outside of the places they were currently playing and all signed to larger offer sheets. Gortat and Millsap were matched by their current teams, and Bass was not therefore going to Orlando.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    Yeah, if you seriously think David Lee is a better player than Gasol, you’ve got your anti-Laker blinders on.

  • joe

    I’m a Laker fan, and I don’t even think that Gasol is the best big man in the league. He can be very good if the game is not physical, and with a great deal of effort, he can play well in a physical game from time to time. That being said, Garnett sets illegal picks almost every time and gets away with it, and Perkins sure gets away with a lot of two handed shoves on offensive rebounds. The Celtics will win the championship only if the refs keep allowing them to play this way. Right now, this seems likely because they’ve been getting away with it for the last three years. Rondo is a nice player though, he’s like a mini Magic.

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