Post-game Reactions

Some terrific research over by Chris Forsberg at ESPNBoston.com as far as it pertains to what could be considered a part of the game that is hard to measure by the numbers. The value of a good pick. We’ll start with a quote from Doc from yesterday’s postgame.

“We’ve got to set better picks. I think our pick-setting is horrendous right now. We have one pick-setter on the team and that’s Kevin [Garnett].”

Allen finished with 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting Sunday. After attempting only two first-half shots, he came out cold after intermission and missed all three shots he put up in the third quarter. The Celtics are doing little to get him open and even less to get him going.

Consider this: Allen is averaging a mere 9.1 shots per game over his last 10 contests, never launching more than 11 shots in that span. This from a player who has averaged 15.7 shots per game during his career, including roughly 12.2 shots per game both this season and last.

What’s more, according to Synergy Sports, Allen ranks second in the NBA in field goals attempted off of screens (350 field goal attempts) and on those plays is tops among qualifiers (more than 200 plays) in both field goal percentage (45.4 percent) and points per play (1.04). Allen also ranks among the top four players in the league averaging 4.4 shots off screens per game.

It’s worth noting that Allen is averaging only 2.2 attempts off screens per game over his last five games. And since the Kendrick Perkins trade, he’s down from 4.7 attempts per game to 3.6. Perkins was one of the team’s top pick-setters.

So who are the culprits for this subpar screen setting? Nenad Krstic, Jeff Green, Glen Davis. Jermaine O’Neal. Take a number. Allen is the guy whose struggles are magnified the most by the lack of solid screens, since he relies on them so much for his game, but the lack of strong picks has had a trickle down effect for the rest of the offense, which has dropped to an all-time low in the Big Three era with a 106.4 offensive rating, good for a mere 19th overall in the NBA.

It’s just one thing on a laundry list of problems facing this team right now, but for an offense predicated on precision, it’s a disturbing trend with no easy fix. Green and Krstic lack the strength to set the kind of screens that Perk would. Davis and O’Neal should be able to, but are battling slump and health problems of their own right now that are affecting all facets of their game. In any case, going forward keep an eye on just how well this team is holding their ground on these screens, and how much of an effect it has on the offense.

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • Batman

    We need someone to restablish our toughness.
    With toughness comes that indentity that "Oh I'm set this pick right here to smash this guy and get Ray a 3"
    Jermaine tried to be tough, and what happened. Nobody backed him up except for Pierce shoving Wade
    We need to all buy into 1 identity.

  • asd

    dont agree because Ray was fine pre all star break with no perkins

    • dal

      I tend to agree. My question is, where did all the screens go? Semih must have been setting them well alongside his lack of rebounding. Nobody every commented on Semih Erden's LOWER body strength.

  • DRJ1

    Approx one-half of Perk's picks were illegal, and some were called, leading to TOs. The balance between his fouls and his successful picks is another story.

  • RaulM

    Sadly, i also feel in a sense that not only is the lack of Allens speed that is the problem but the motivation to win just isnt there, Rondo has not been showing up to play either. his ability to make plays is excepotional, but he just has not been himself, I do feel that a great deal of our struggles have been the absence of Perkins, he was such a key asset, even in last nights game of the Thunder vs lakers, you can see Perkins shine. I feel that Celtics dropped the ball on this trade so far.

  • kricky

    The general lack of toughness is killing us. We are getting pushed around by teams that we used to intimidate. We look like a bunch of punk bitches out there right now.

    Fuck winning yesterday. We needed to lay them out with hard (clean) fouls yesterday every time they went to the hoop. Just to send a message.

  • Diego

    Excuse my language, but did we trade our balls along with Perk? In both the Bulls and Heat games we did not only lose big on the scoreboard, we got manhandled too, pushed around, bullied and teh once proud franchise players did nothing to show me they are still the Eastern conf. champs.

  • dal

    People tend to forget we also lost our primary Center prior to the deadline, Semih Erden, who may have been able to set good picks for Ray. Not to mention Shaq when he was available. Now, the C's are left with capable bigs that can set screens but have not had the chemistry needed to do it correctly. It's not just about standing your ground, setting screens includes proper spacing, popping, rolling, understanding angles, match-ups, mismatches, wrinkles, timing, etc. Pre-deadline, when RA was still waxing hot, he had bigs who could free him up like KG, Baby, Shaq, and Semih. Perk played a few games and got him a few looks, but not enough to contribute to the 200+ shots off of those types of plays. Now, RA, a bit fatigued in his own right and possibly mentally out of it, just hoping the regular season will end, has to get screens off of Shaq, KG, Baby, and Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic. Green and Krstic are used to standing around waiting for the ball to drop into their hands after Durant or Westbrook drive. OKC's offense is not the same as the C's which involves a lot of movement off the ball and requires knowledge on all of the things mentioned earlier.

    Doc's strategy now of getting good practice days down rather than trying to win a couple more games will hopefully get them more acclimated to how we want to play offense. I'm sure these guys know how to set screens Even the so-called "hard screens". They're professionals. What they have a hard time with is the timing, spacing, and wrinkles of the Celtic offense.

    I would like some rebounding, help defense, and and inside scoring back not to mention Rondo's swagger and sheer brilliance. Shaq, JO, and Krstic may be able to provide the first part. At least I hope so. The picks can wait. There are other things we have to attend to.