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A Defensive Clinic: C’s 93, Sixers 65 (Preseason)

 

Before I gush too much about Boston’s defensive performance, let’s just go over a few things first:

1) Elton Brand, Andres Nocioni, and Andre Iguodala were out
2) Philly was on the second night of a back to back
3) This is their second game under Doug Collins, so this young team probably haven’t even remotely learned his offense yet.
4) The Sixers may be very well one of the least talented teams in the league this year

With that said though, you can’t help but be enamored with the effort from both units in this laugher, as the C’s cruised to a 28 point win that wasn’t even remotely as close as the score indicated. You could go throw a laundry list of impressive numbers to show the defensive domination….forcing 9 first quarter turnovers, limiting Philly to 17% shooting, 9 first quarter points and just 22 first half points.

The starters set the tone from the opening tip and the second team picked up right where they left off. Philadelphia probably would have made any defense look good tonight, but you couldn’t help but be encouraged by the all-around effort this evening.

Doc commented that the D was far ahead of the offense at this point before this one started and he certainly wasn’t selling his guys short as garbage time began halfway through the first frame.

Enough about the D though, let’s take a look at a few storylines that may actually matter from this one:

Hitting The Glass

Biggest thing  that stuck out to me about the starter’s play was just how much Ray Allen and Paul Pierce was hitting the glass. Allen led the team with 8 boards in his limited minutes, while Pierce chipped in with 4, and it seems like both man made a concerted effort to get in there and get their hands dirty, especially for the preseason game.

Rebounding opportunities should come more readily for both guys with Shaq occupying multiple bodies in the paint while he’s in there, but this will be something to keep an eye on as we progress to the opener and watch this unit mesh without Perk’s presence.

Big Baby Showing Offensive Balance

He started as a banger, shifted to a more perimeter focused game, than back to a banger last year with Sheed in the fold. He complained about this shift last week, but tonight we saw on full display a perfect balance of these two offensive components within Baby’s game as he was the clear go to guy for the second unit. 19 points overall, with a team high 10 trips to the line, Baby did it by slashing off of pick and rolls, while also mixing in a couple jumpers to keep the defense honest.

I’m excited to have this guy healthy for a full season during a contract year, as long as he doesn’t pull down his pants anymore while on the court.

The Erden/Lasme Show

Let’s start with the Turk, who has a special opportunity to showcase himself with the second team this week, as Jermaine O’Neal rests his hamstring. Semih really made the most of his opportunity, showing composure while finishing around the basket and also getting to the charity stripe regularly (7/8) on his way to 13 points.

Besides the offensive output, I particularly liked how Erden crashed the offensive glass hard, something this team could clearly use some help in this year. Also 2 impressive blocks for his trouble. I guess  all the Erden Watches during the FIBA Championship actually may have been useful after all.

Meanwhile, if you want to see how to make an impact in just seven minutes of preseason play, just watch Stephanie Lasme’s effort from tonight. 12 points in 7 minutes. The guy was everywhere on offense, cutting to the hoop, hitting the glass, pure energy out there. Again, this was garbage time in preseason, but the man made the most of his opportunity out there.

I’m not going to waste time discussing his chances of making this squad, there is too big of a logjam in the frontcourt for him to sneak in, but I’m be thrilled if Danny could sneak him to Portland without some other team grabbing him after final cuts. The guy is still raw offensively, but with some more seasoning could be a useful energy guy down the line a couple years.

Other Observations

*Bubble watch continues with Von Wafer and Mario West. Neither did much to distinguish himself tonight. Wafer seemed to be trying a bit too hard to distribute the ball and make the extra pass offensively, then just had trouble getting the ball altogether once the entire third unit came in. I’d love to see him get some run with the second unit soon, to see what he could do with some open looks.

* The outlet passing was exceptional, especially by the starters tonight. It’s nice too the second unit has a couple ballhandling options now to pass to.

* Speaking of the second unit, was surprised to see Marquis Daniels running a little point out there with West and Nate manning the wings on offense for multiple possessions. I guess I see where Doc may be going with this, since it’s nice to have your shooters off the ball to help spread the floor, but definitely didn’t expect Quisy to be an option at the one at all after last year. Something to keep an eye on.

* Was it just me or did it look like Rondo was taking batting practice for most of the 1st half with all those home runs balls he was throwing? He’s getting ridiculously good at them too. Nice to be able to do that with guys you’ve played with for four years now.

* Pierce looks more refreshed than ever.

* Evan Turner is an early favorite to be the biggest bust of this draft.

* Shaq’s offensive really isn’t pretty but it still gets the job done.

* Loved how much the bench was into it at the end of the fourth quarter, especially for Lasme. Reminds me of the first year they were all together. Love the camaraderie and sense of urgency it help creates for everyone to play their butt off until the end.

That’s all for now, the guys are back at it in New Jersey tomorrow night. We’ll have you covered here. Meanwhile, what stuck out to you guys about this one?

  • Batman

    Yeah i agree about the Von Wager Observation
    I watched and he kept passing when he had a good opportunity to shoot

  • rob

    I Love that we have a big man who you can literally just throw it up to and he’ll finish in one way or another. Just one example is when allen was running the break and ran out of space then tossed it up for shaq to finish. Way too excited for this season to really get started.

  • wayne7779311

    I really can’t see why Lasme has to be an unthinkable consideration to keep around as part of the 15 man roster. 6’8″ 220 lbs. D-League Defensive Player of the Year, who Doc himself says can play both 3 and 4-spots on the floor.
    Who else do we have with this kind of length to cover the more athletic,lengthier Big 3′s (like Melo, Artest-remember game 7, or Lebron James)?
    Watching this guy tonight, his athleticism is glaring. He plays much bigger than his 6’8″ height, has tremendously long arms, and he has mad, explosive hops…quick as a cheetah.
    Against the elite teams with lots of physicality, speed and size…I wouldn’t be so quick to glibly dismiss him. If PP tweaks his foot again this year as he did last year, or Daniels comes up lame again (as he does every year) who’s gonna bring the thunder at the 3-spot? Defensively Lasme may be a gem that we have at our disposal to slow up some of these elite, juggernaut offensive units like Miami and the Lakers.
    If he keeps leaping out the bldg as he did tonite, and getting to every loose ball the quickest as he did tonite..he’s gonna give Doc and the coaching staff a hard decision to have to make as preseason concludes. Both Wafer and M. West were glaringly underwhelming on the floor tonite…so, I don’t see where they’ve made it so clear that we should automatically sacrifice his (Lasme’s) talents just to keep either one of these two rather predestrian looking guys around. He made much more of a splash and a statement tonite than the other 2 candidates.
    Granted it is only one measly preseason game…notwithstandingly, it should force all parties to keep an open mind (at least) going forward in the next two weeks as to who stays, and who goes.

  • NHBluesMan

    after watching the highlights from tonights game i can say that i’m THRILLED about this season!

    Granted, we were playing the Sixers on the back half of a double header without 2 of their key guys, but i loved the energy the team had tonight and the camaraderie that was already evident. This team is the perfect balance of work and fun (almost like a mullet… ok, forget i said that) and everyone looked on top of things.

    Pierce looked really fit tonight too… and it was weird seeing Rondo without the headband.

    Lasme was impressive as well, at the very least i hope he signs on with the Red Claws so we can keep him in the system

  • http://celticshub.com/?gcid=C12289x022&gtkw=Celtics+Hub The Ego

    To wayne7779311 says
    Your 99.9% right and I hope Lasme keeps playing hard (if he earned the D-League Defensive Player of the Year, he should) and perhaps he could stay shooting with Ray and by the time the playoffs come we will have that guy we’ve been in need for since posey left.

  • KC

    Re Lasme the article says “Stephanie Lasme’s effort from tonight. 12 points in 7 minutes. The guy was everywhere on offense, cutting to the hoop, hitting the glass, pure energy out there. Again, this was garbage time in preseason, but the man made the most of his opportunity out there”.

    True enough, garbage time in the preseason. However if he hadnt done any of these things, we’d be picking him apart for not showing us anything even though its preseson.

    So noted its preseason, but for Lasme it is life and death re making the squad. Dont discount it because its “preseason” because we’d all be the first to bust him if he hadnt performed.

    The stats are nice, but with guys this far down the bench i think its attitude, effort and ability to “try” something positive thats worth listing. The stats are a by-product of that.

  • J

    With Shaq being such an easy option for Rondo to just toss up for a slam dunk, does this make it harder for Perkins to come back and be a starter? I mean we’ve yet to see Jermaine but if both O’Neals do exceptionally well, Perkins might actually have a tough time battling back to the top of the depth chart because unlike Perkins, Shaq is easy offense and if the other 4 can cover for him defensively, he can be very valuable especially in our slowed down pace of play.

  • pam

    hey if lasme can play the 3 effectively im not going to complain. who doesnt love an oversized athletic quick defense minded 3? wasnt that what gaffney was bringing to the table anyway? plus if lasme has a little offense, he automatically becomes a better option than gaffney (prob why he was cut).
    my issue with wafer is there is no place on this team for people with low confidence. i think finley went through it somewhat and he just disappeared. same thing happened to murbury. with such a packed squad you just dont get the playing time to build up any confidence

  • Rangatiratanga

    One thing that i really liked watching was the chemistry and enthusiasm that was set by the starters,which in turn affected our whole bench.

    -Forget Lasme
    -PP and Ray look re-invigorated
    -I can sense that chemistry,atmosphere we had back in 08.Everyone’s on the same page and we all got each others back.
    -Ray hit a couple tough shots with the D all up in his grill,still the best pure shooter in the world
    -Tomorrow we’ll do the same thing again
    -Boston Celtics, the team to beat this season not Miami.

  • JP

    Perk will get back into the starting unit with his defense, definitely now his offense. Both O’Neals are better on offense but neither is as good on defense as a healthy Perk. I did love seeing how well Shaq can catch the ball in the post rather than Perk fumbling it away any time the ball hit him in the hands.

  • Knickerblogger

    “Tomorrow we’ll do the same thing again”

    Or half your roster could retire. Who knows with players that old?

  • http://noblesville-dentist.com Jeff Benson

    Well never until they’re on the hard court. For the win!

  • http://noblesville-dentist.com Jeff Benson

    Well never until they’re on the hard court. For the win!

  • Perry

    Erden looked so much more comfortable with the flow of the game than he did in the summer league … still a raw talent, but the guys in front of him will make him a serviceable pro. Didn’t think he knew how to pass. Another second round coup by Danny.

    It’d be a shame to jettison Lasme, so I’m hoping if he doesn’t make the roster he’ll sign with the Red Claws under the new rules.

    Even in garbage time Delonte displayed the skills of a seasoned point guard. His total game makes Wafer expendable. Not throwing him overboard yet, but M. West appears to be a more physical guard who may be able to spot minutes at the 3 — just in case of injuries or foul trouble.

    The guards are going to have to cover for Shaq’s pick/roll deficiencies, and M. West has the upper body advantage over Wafer. Might be moot since Doc may flip flop and start Shaq in the regular season.

  • Kevin

    Personally I do believe that we will see some real shakeups here. I believe we will see for now at the beginning of the regular season this lineup.

    C – Shaq/JO/Erden
    PF – KG/Baby/Gody
    SF – PP/Quis/Lasme (hoping he continues)
    SG – Ray/D. West
    PG – Rondo/Nate/Avery

    Last spot to either Mario West or Von Wafer until KP gets back. Then all the shuffling begins and I BELIEVE you will see this happen.

    IF Quis is underperfoming he will be dropped to 3rd string SG.

    Baby will be inserted as 2nd string in the #3 unless Lasme is doing really well.

    JO will be put in the PF for the 2nd string.

    Our 2nd string team could look like one of 2 lineups depending on play and whom we are playing.

    2nd string guarantees are

    Nate and D West in backcourt.

    However in front court you will be looking at one of these 2 lineups IMO.

    Shaq or KP C for 2nd team
    PF JO
    SF Baby

    That is a HUGE front court but WHO could match it. Baby has the ENERGY with Nate and D West WOW I LOVE IT.

    NO ONE SHOULD UNDERESTIMATE WHAT ROLE BABY CAN PLAY. This guy has done EVERYTHING he has been asked to do. Good Gosh I hope we dont lose him as a FA next year. He is by far my favorite C off the bench for sure and how can anybody thats a C fan not love him especially after 2 seasons ago against Orlando when he made that game winning shot and then ran down the court and pushed that boy that was standing on the court out of his way cause he was so happy.

    I laughed my but off and replayed that several times on you tube after seeing it.

  • Jay P

    I’d dare to say as of this moment, Lasme might be the front runner for the bubble spot.

    Wafer showed us nothing last night, Lasme was all over the place. It’s one game so it’s far too early to jump to any conclusions, but if we see performances like that through the pre-season from Lasme, I just don’t see how Doc cuts him.

    The guys exactly what the team needs (the forgotten man when Gaffney was here, while everyone was making this argument for him over Wafer) a 6’8, long, athletic, defensive minded player who can guard 3 positions depending on match ups. The guy also proved he can score last night. What else is there?

  • Kevin

    See I do believe Baby could play Defense on most of the small forwards in the league except for the elite ones like James, Melo and very few outside of that. But then again I dont think James nor Melo can guard Baby either cause Baby will outpower both of them and move them around with how powerful he is.

    The only problem I see is with David Sterns rule for the Refs NEVER to foul out the Stars of the league. The refs will let the superstars foul the living daylights out of him and get away with it.

    As all we need him in the #3 for about 15 minutes a game which is not much IMO.

  • http://yahoo shut_it_up.

    Lasme reminded me of Leon Powe. Power dunks and getting to the line. Great stuff, I’d hate to see him go.

  • ego roots

    The Philadelphia 65ers!!!

  • Jamie

    Biggest bust of the 2010 NBA draft: Evan Turner. Bad in summer league, can’t crack the starting lineup on a bad team.

  • Jeff

    @ Brian

    Hey man, just FYI, Baby only got 13 points, not 19.

    Good piece though man!

  • Rangatiratanga

    I thought Turner would pick it up after his poor summer league performance.I saw him play in summer league and i gotta say i wasn’t impressed one bit,i thought to myself “this guy can’t be the 2nd pick in the draft”.He could very well be a BUST.

  • Jamie

    I actually thought Washington would be smarter to take Turner #1 because I thought he would have a better pro career then Wall. I think I will end up eating those words.

    Right now his problem is he shows a lack of athletic ability and he’s always played with the ball in his hands in college so he’s having to adjust to playing off the ball and so far he can’t. His only hope of starting this year is if they trade Iguodola which would be stupid.

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