Post-game Reactions

ESPN Box Score  By The Horns  Blog-A-Bull

Offensive Efficiency: 95.2 points/100 possessions (bottom five in the league)
Defensive Efficiency:
106.0 points/100 possessions (bottom five in the league)
83 possessions (slow)


The Celtics slipped to 21st in the league in defensive rebounding percentage after giving up 11 offensive rebounds to the Bulls last night. The Boston offense has slipped out of the top-10. The defense continues to linger in the bottom half of the league. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce appear injured, out of shape or on a slippery slope into decline.

Meanwhile, Rajon Rondo is killing himself every night trying to keep this team afloat and Ray Allen is logging longer and longer minutes while putting up his most efficient numbers as a member of the Celtics.

Some of these things are more worrying than others.

Boston’s renewed commitment to rebounding, after last week’s home loss to the Pacers, has made little difference in results. The Mavericks and Bulls both put up solid-to-huge offensive rebounding numbers this week. It’s exhausting the defense, and then, by extension, the offense suffers as well.

You can definitely pin some of this on Pierce and Garnett’s underperformance — assuming you believe that’s what it is. With Pierce, that certainly seems the case. He’s still working his way into shape in what would normally be just his second week of training camp. All this on top of a heel injury that may still be lingering. He’s going to get better, and there’s not any reason to think he’ll fall off much from last year once he’s back in game shape.

Garnett groused about the shortened training camp but by now he should have no conditioning excuses as he’s been engaged in formal basketball activities for a month. However, last night he was spotted with an ice pack on his left ankle and declined any comment on whether it was an injury or just standard post-game icing.

Then there’s the offense, which staggered to a finish last night after a Rondo-led comeback devolved into Paul Pierce-led hero ball in the middle of the fourth quarter.

We’ll have a look at this in greater detail next week but it’s fair to say that now is not the time for Pierce to be shouldering the burden of the offense in the fourth. Not when it kills tempo and ball movement, which is the only way the Celtics can score these days. And definitely not when Doc Rivers has gone all in trying to win the game by running KG up to 34 minutes, Allen to 41, Rondo to 40 and Pierce himself to 36.

The starters might have been gassed by that point, but if that was the case, Rivers should have gone deeper into the bench for some energy guys. Chris Wilcox had a mini-breakout in a handful of first half minutes and Greg Stiemsma has been inexplicably buried despite a promising start.

With the heavy minutes in a late-starting national game last night, a midnight flight and a SEGABABA tonight against a tough Indiana team, we may be headed for a “schedule loss” unless Rivers trusts his own offensive system down the stretch. The Celtics need energetic bodies on the court. Not just the ones he’s used to.


Rondo is averaging 36.9 minutes a game through ten games, only a tick off his career high of 37.2 last season. These are generally hard minutes with him expending enormous energy on both sides of the court. Last year, this kind of burden finally caught up to him after the all-star break. With Rondo embracing the role of team leader this year, it’s incumbent on Doc to manage his minutes so he has something left in the tank when, presumably, the rest of the team rounds into form. Assuming they do.

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Ryan DeGama

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  • mark

    When we were down by 20 in the 3rd, I was almost hoping we'd go down by 30 so Doc would pull all the starters and let Steimsma, E'Twaun, JaJuan, Bradley and either Wilcox or Pietrus play the rest of the game to get some experience

  • CelticsBIG3

    Every time JO comes in the game I cringe. He is useless and I have no friggin idea why Stiemsma isn't pl aying when JO is so obviously finished

  • ElRoz

    Why Wilcox and Stiemsma are not getting more minutes I don't understand…I mean, we're not asking for each to play 30 minutes a game…but would it kill Doc to play 12 minutes each of them?

    If the regular season is used to get the team ready for the playoffs, then why play the starters more minutes and the bench less? That's counterproductive…you'll have tired starters and a bench w/o experience or confidence come playoff time…you want THE OPPOSITE. Sometimes I wonder about the long-term perspective of the coaching staff…there is no philosophical outlook or strategy.

    • CelticsBIG3

      it seems everything they talked about in the beginning of the year in terms of minutes and what not is thrown out the window. it is really frustrating that doc will not extend the rotation beyond 7 players who are playing more than 10 minutes. the rotation needs to be extended; how much can we gas rondo and ray allen only to have pierce try to become a basketball god when team ball got us within one point last night. i would have prefered to see pietrus stay in the game, but most likely he was pretty spent by then. consideration of pierce coming off the bench was something i heard about over the off season and may be a viable option at this time, as (and no different than the first unit) the second unit has trouble scoring.

      • CelticsBIG3

        an interesting qoute from NBA.com's game preview for tonight…
        "Hill could see time defending Rajon Rondo on Saturday, and he may want to force him to shoot. Rondo has taken exactly eight shots in all three Celtics wins, while attempting 10 or more in five of their six losses."

        • _Banania

          Not a relevant stat.
          Rondo shoots when there is no option on the court, no ball movement. He shoots less in the wins because the others take advantage of the space on the court and so Rondo can more dish than shoot. No ball movement no win. Rondo's shots are a consequence not a cause.

          • CelticsBIG3

            i understand that, just shows that people aren't moving in those games

          • _Banania

            So I perfectly agree with you.
            But you cannot force Rondo to shoot.
            If there is space, Rondo will dish.
            If there is not… Anyway, I have the feeling that it will depend more of Celtics attack than Pacers defense.

      • Morpheus

        Exactly, it's like Doc has completely ignored the condensed schedule or is completely unaware of it's existence.

  • I_Love_Green

    We're playing the Pacers right now and there's no game thread.

  • I_Love_Green


  • ElRoz

    Wilcox is hurt and will miss 3 games or more – sucks…Dooling is also hurt….meanwhile Delonte is healthy and playing well…..Danny made the wrong move it seems, should have gone after Delonte, not Dolling…Delonte can penetrate better and is not afraid to shoot.

    WHERE IS MARQUIS – is Doc playing Game 7 of the finals right now? Where is the bench?

  • Batman

    Lottery times boys

    • Morpheus

      Yep, better start thinking about who we want in the draft, this season is over.

  • Morpheus

    Damn no GT and we lose.

  • someguyinsac

    Sooooo the preseason games are over now, right??

  • Batman

    JJJ is really talented though
    Can't wait to see him get some burn