-Brian gathered up the video evidence and went over Doc Rivers’ history of drawing up big end of game plays:
Now it’s helped that Rivers has had one of the most talented teams in the league to help execute these plays. It’s obviously a two-way street in that department. Still the variety of quality looks Doc has been able to get nearly every player on the roster in end-of-game situation is quite astounding. He has been able to keep opposing defenses on their toes, always using decoys to get the ball to the player he wants in a good situation to succeed.
-Hayes took a close look at a five-minute stretch featuring one of the stranger C’s lineups of the season:
The most obvious weirdness surrounding the lineup is that Shaq, you may have noticed, does not spend a lot of time with bench guys, let alone four bench guys. Of the 319 minutes Shaq had played before this game, about 215 of them came with the other four starters, and only about 30 came with three or more bench players. But with those five minutes, that four-scrub lineup became Shaq’s tenth most-used lineup of the year.
-Mike made the argument for living with Nate Robinson’s questionable decision making:
…how much freedom should Nate Robinson have in the Celtics’ offense? Does Doc simply allow him to be a scorer when he’s on the floor, meaning you’re going to have to take the good with the bad? Or does he tell Nate to be a distributor and to execute the half-court offense, perhaps limiting Nate’s frequent scoring outbursts.
No sooner had Ray Allen‘s feet left the ground than I was saying, “How do you leave Ray Allen wide open?“ And he was. It even took Glen Davis a couple of seconds to collect himself and realize that no one was guarding Allen. After the play, there was a timeout on the floor and as the game went to commercial, Reggie Miller repeated what I had said aloud in my office. Whenever I am anywhere and get caught saying something completely obvious, I know somewhere five seconds later Reggie Miller is going to repeat it.
-I dug into Kevin Garnett’s talk of retirement:
Garnett’s reflections make me wonder if he believes he can keep performing at that level beyond this year. Or if he even wants to continue playing if he can’t. If Garnett is wearing green beyond the end of his contract (which expires after the 2011-12 season, when he’ll be 36), Garnett will almost certainly have to refashion himself as the kind of player he rarely had around him during his Minnesota years: a superior complimentary player, the kind that supports the chase for championships, rather than spearheads them.
-We also got word that Delonte West might be back sooner than originally anticipated, wished happy birthday to Larry Legend, debuted a new feature, and you guys had your say on Celtics’ victories over the Nets, the Nuggets and the Sixers.