The last thing I expected in Game 5—well, other than the ejection of Kendrick Perkins and the 8th round TKO of Glen Davis—was for the Celtics to show a brand new wrinkle in their offensive playbook. But they did: On the first three possessions of the game, the Celtics set up their offense with Rajon Rondo stationary at the left elbow, acting as some sort of high post distributor.
They ran their offense from this set at least six times in the first half alone. I don’t remember Boston every using this set with any regularity in any game this season. I am still trying to figure out why did it in Game 6.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
And one more, from later in the 1st quarter:
Again, I can only guess at why Boston ran plays from this set so many times. But I do have guesses:
1) It forces the other four players to move around instead of waiting for Rondo to penetrate and draw the defense;
2) A related guess: Rajon is hurting and/or tired, and this is a way to preserve his role as Boston’s distributor without having him dribble and drive into the paint so often. It also recognizes the reality that he is going to have move around a lot on defense. (Side note: I think Rondo is hurting. I have no proof, though there is obvious circumstantial evidence. He seemed to have problems changing direction on a dime last night).
3) It puts Nelson in a position where he has to stay right on Rondo’s back, so that he can’t play several feet off of Rajon.
That’s it. I’m out of guesses.
What do you guys think?