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This Is How They Do It (Unfortunately)


The Celtics had only three shots in the paint the last ten minutes against the Lakers (that includes the last five minutes in the 4th quarter and the five in overtime). The rest were jumpshots.

Of those three shots in the paint, Pau Gasol blocked two of them, including Ray Allen’s would-be game-winner.

This is a problem, and unfortunately, it’s not a new one. Boston’s finesse offense is far too reliant on jumpshots. The Celtics have almost no post offense and rarely get to the rim in the halfcourt.

To wit: they’re last in the league in shots per game between 3-9 feet, and 20th in the league in shots at the rim (at a conversion rate that’s itself only 20th best).

Sure, the C’s get to the line at a good rate, but they can’t finish at the rim against contesting defenses. Boston has the second worst rate of And-1′s in the NBA.

Ultimately, unless they’re running, Boston can be forced into taking long, contested jumpers. And because they get precious few second chance opportunities on the offensive glass, it’s usually make or miss.

Against the Lakers, it was mostly miss.

Pretty grim, huh?

Here’s the play-by-play of what happened down the stretch, to put an even finer point on it:

4th Quarter

Paul Pierce misses 26-foot three point jumper
Mickael Pietrus makes 23-foot three point jumper
Rajon Rondo misses 15-foot jumper
Pau Gasol blocks Kevin Garnett’s two point shot
Rajon Rondo makes 9-foot running jumper
Metta World Peace blocks Rajon Rondo’s 19-foot jumper
Kevin Garnett misses 18-foot jumper
Ray Allen makes 24-foot three point jumper
Kevin Garnett misses 20-foot jumper
Mickael Pietrus misses 32-foot three point jumper


Ray Allen misses 25-foot three point jumper
Rajon Rondo misses 18-foot jumper
Ray Allen misses 14-foot two point shot
Paul Pierce makes 17-foot jumper
Paul Pierce makes 24-foot three point jumper
Kevin Garnett misses jumper
Kevin Garnett misses 20-foot jumper
Paul Pierce misses 18-foot jumper
Pau Gasol blocks Ray Allen’s layup

Here’s the problem: there’s little Boston can do but hope that their barrage of jumpshots fall. They have only one halfcourt player who can create and finish with any reliability (Paul Pierce) and another (Rajon Rondo) who’s deadly in transition but very defensible when he’s roving around the top of the key or the opposition walls off the paint (as the Lakers did last night with Kobe falling back towards the free throw line).

It’s quite the dilemma for Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge. How do you get easier baskets, closer to the hoop, on a regular basis? The current personnel are only built to do that in an uptempo style that isn’t a great fit for playoff basketball.

It’s worth mentioning that Ainge was on WEEI Thursday and noted Boston’s play the next few weeks would play heavily into what he did at the trade deadline. The schedule is just now getting difficult and in assessing Boston’s mettle, this will be one of the things Ainge is watching closely.

  • ripsonics

    this fucki* sucks

  • tbunny

    The Laker's size really highlights the celtics' problems. But what sort of move could the celtics make? The Rondo-Gasol talk is ridiculous and not happening. What's out there? It would be awesome if the celtics could trade some loose change and draft picks for someone like Varejao, but how likely is that? What are people thinking of?


    the celtics should put all of their focus on rebounding the defense boards, block out and use all 5 guys to rebound and take our chances to fast break the ball or play half court basketball. their 14-11 record would be 20-5 today if they could rebound and quit giving up 2nd chance points. the lakers have no guard play at all, but they rebound the ball and go from there. if the celtics would have kept LA off the offensive boards, they would have won last nights game by 10 points, easy. when you get out rebounded by 10 every game, your in trouble — CONCENTRATE ON REBOUNBING THE DEFENSE BOARDS!!!

  • Josh

    I love the C's, but I think we all need to face reality. There 9 of 10 win streak was cute, but this game completely exposed the C's for what they are. Lakers have no bench, no point guard play, and are terrible on the road yet they came into our house and beat us. The C's have shown to have too many fatal flaws:

    - Rondo's inability to knock down open jumpers
    - No bigs inside to get easy buckets and/or rebound
    - Nobody other than Pierce can create their own shot
    - An old, jumpshot heavy team that doesn't get offensive boards

    If Ainge doesn't get some tough/aggressive bigs in here we're 6th seed bounced in the 1st round.

  • skeeds

    I am always furious at Ainge's choices at the frontline postitions. Not individually, I mean, Sheed, JO, Bass are good players to have playing for you, but I never understood the neglect for strong offensive presence in the post. Especially when the lack of it cost the team a title in 2010. He might've signed the best 6th man we've had in ages, it was still a step in the wrong direction, I think.
    Out of our 8 best players, 7 make their living from mid range and out. When shots aren't falling, we go down.

    Now, let's get this straight. Against a team without the Lakers huge and exceptionally talented frontline, this is not fatal. Miami for example, has no chance of clogging the paint this effectively, so Rondo, even with floor bound bigs like KG and JO will find more ways to make plays.
    All we can do for now, is pray that Ainge pulls of a legendary hail Mary, bringing a starting center who can score his ass of. If not, then let's pray New York's bigs don't get it together by playoff time, and that someone else takes out Chicago…

    • sonofauerbach

      let's pray ainge doesnt do anything and retires instead. he scares me with the guys he thinks are good ala sebastian telfair, wally sczerbiak….scary to think what center in the league he'll trade for

  • CG12

    How about making an actual, planned effort to get Bass the ball in the post or at the elbow? He is being guarded by second-team stiff PFs like Troy Murphy. Bass could work Murphy like a speed bag, but the team appears to make no effort to feed him the ball. You would think a guy who is probably the team's second best one-on-one player (after Pierce) could get more touches in the flow of the offense, instead of living strictly off of kick-outs for 18-foot Js.

  • tbunny

    The lakers also have two of the best big men in the game and one of the best players ever. And they really wanted this game. This was not a horrible loss.

  • smalltownID

    I'm tired of the self-proclaimed best pg in the league that almost never makes big plays on the offensive end in the last 2 minutes of the game. Another reason why I miss Baby – his clutch play in the last 2 minutes. Deal Rondo, keep the big 3 because you can't get anything out of them and they will take lesser roles in the years to come.

  • sonofauerbach

    celtics arent winning crap. they let a sorry ass lakers team come in here and beat them. rondo's carelessness with ball is getting more and more prevelant and frustrating. for every good pass he makes, there's easily multiple momentum killing turnovers along with the bricks he craps every night. no way this team should have even been closing, DOC still is not using his rotations properly. It's not 2008 jesus h. christ!

    • janos

      Hi Son, is Janos
      You know Rondos my favortes player but he can do better job ? I like see more better plays Rondos but is not a crap

      • sonofauerbach

        he's been needing to do a better a job the last 3 years…..he's brings the same game every year, and i was reffering to his jump shot that was crap, my grandma can shoot better….where are the shooting coaches, why let NBA players consistently shoot terribly when there are way to improve such as the basic form and art of jump shooting take a few pointers from ray allen they made text books after his jumpshot

        • janos

          RONDOS group best player ALL league, one more champions lebron ok dont know playerWNBA because is stupid but dont think any player their better Rondos , if grandma play ther is nice but not today rondos beat ;how old you even have one play there ok??? if so, not by much .

  • smalltownID

    I am so sick of the end of quarters and end of games where these guys take horrible shots. We seriously can't get a better shot than Pietrus' fade away 34 footer? How man times have we seen that kind of pathetic close to quarters? Pierce should never start with the ball in the last few seconds. I'd love to see a statistic on C's and Pierce in the last 10 seconds of a quarter. Ridiculous. I would take Rondo creating over Pierce's decisions with the ball as time expires.

  • sonofauerbach

    love pierce but after 15 years or however long ive been watching him i think he's 2 for 4,000 on last second shots

    • sonofauerbach

      and 3,998 for 4,000 for dribbles off the leg and missed contested fade away jumpers

  • janos

    I like thinktime move on, regroup, next game.

    , when next game is? I like see schedul on site not sure Haynes ask you do it yet?

    • IBleedGreen

      Hi janos, bookmark this page so you can check the Celtics' schedule http://espn.go.com/nba/team/schedule/_/name/bos/b

      • janos

        thank you plus one Green
        Save me some time look game
        Rapters tonight will not watch, going to job tonight and beforetime my son come over help me do a bank. thank you.

        • IBleedGreen

          dude you're too funny

          • janos

            thank you but I try behave ; had do anger post today because that guy make me so mad, talking RONDOS no good. He the one no good.
            I hopes somebody posterizes him.

            go celtics!

  • Anthony

    look at how many times the lakers when to the line they don't put us on the line and we are the home team they went to the line 20 times we went 5 look how many points that is with out that its a blow out and we when

    • dunny dun dun

      i dont understand how people can complain about the refs you have to have contact to draw fouls….how many shots down low do the celtics take? very few…..nobody fouls to much 18 ft and beyond from the basket. in order to draw fouls you have to score down low plain and simple….this is way LA always shoots more free throws its not the calls, it's the celtics….they dont play on the block

  • Morpheus

    I actually think playing the Lakers is a good thing. You know what they say about your enemies. As others have mentioned, it's the same fatal flaws with this team. Nothing's changed other than the bench and a useless corpse for a C.

    Lakers exposed all the weaknesses this team has and will continue to have if changes aren't made.

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