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Exit Rondo, Enter Pierce

 

Now that Rajon Rondo has been suspended for game two, we can all welcome back Paul Pierce, Point Forward. This is not a major crisis, given that Pierce has been successful running the offense during previous Rondo absences. Plus, considering how poorly he shot in game one, the additional touches and responsibility may serve to refocus Pierce on the offensive end and give him more opportunities to create for his teammates.

Actually, we can safely assume that Pierce will not only be the point guard tomorrow night but a scoring point guard at that. That’s a net positive for his game. A higher usage rate should lead to more free throw attempts, which are critical for this Boston offense. Pierce had only 3 trips to the line in game one and an ugly shot distribution for a playoff game.

Weren’t we talking about attacking the basket just 48 hours ago?

I’m not worried about Pierce, though. He’ll almost certainly step up. Even if he fails to attack the rim with the regularity we’d like, more of those jumpers will fall. And Kevin Garnett can do a lot more down low and from the mid-range. He should also come in with an edge after being outplayed by Josh Smith in game one.

The real downside with Rondo out is the downstream problems it creates. With Ray Allen also either out or limited, everyone else’s importance is enhanced and the Celtics aren’t working with a deep bench. What will they get from Brandon Bass (8 measly game one points)? Will they get the kind of scoring they need from C-list options like Avery Bradley and Mickael Pietrus? And is there a surprise contributor somewhere on the bench, just waiting for his Nate Robinson moment?

It doesn’t have to be points. It can be hard screens, hard fouls, rim runs, and sneaky cuts. But whatever it is, it’s all hands on deck for the offense tomorrow night.

  • hansgruber

    It's triple double time for Paul it seems.

  • ripsonics

    WHERE IS BRADLEY?! HE SCORED 28 AGAINST THIS HAWKS TEAM AND HE WAS THE FOCAL POINT OF THE OFFENSE?????

    He MUST step up next game – and BB too. weak first game for a lot of players on our team, and we almost won it.

  • Anthony

    Pierce and KG will atone for their subpar game 1 and have strong games. AB will shoot better. He rushed a couple of those jumpers that we've been accustomed to seeing him knock down recently. KG will get double-double, Pierce will get double-double with assist and AB will score 18+.

    My only concern is Bass. He's looked awful whenever he puts the ball on the floor, either turning the ball over, dribbling nowhere, or forcing a contested shot. As long as he brings his typical lunchpail type effort, I can live with it.

    • ElRoz

      KG had 20 points and 12 boards…did you follow the game or what?

      • Anthony

        Did you follow the game? You only looked at the boxscore and thought KG had a good game.

        KG had a bad game even though he 20 and 12. He was shooting fadeaway 20 footers. Not to mention settling and missing shots that he normally make.

  • http://twitter.com/HowardAvellino @HowardAvellino

    Doc always does a little better with reduced talent, like the year in Orlando when he won Coach of the Year. Add in that two of the greatest 50 players in NBA history will play for the Celtics, and were embarrassed — at least, I hope they felt embarrassed — from their game 1 performance. I expect to see the Cs rally around Rondo's absence and the game 1 loss and play with passion. If they do that, they can definitely win game 2.

    • http://twitter.com/HowardAvellino @HowardAvellino

      See, told you so. :)

  • CelticsBIG3

    Sure do hope they win game 2 and can do better than the Knicks are doing right now… Sheesh.

  • skeeds

    Bass. Bass has to do so much more. Energy wise especially. I know he might be twice as skilled as Baby, but god damn Baby knew how to bring it. (and from the looks of it, still is bringing it down in Orlando).

    If you're the strongest guy on the team, and 10 years younger than your partner in the post, then I don't care how much you like the pick n pop, you attack that freaking basket like you're Blake Griffin every time you see a lane.
    Same goes for everyone else not called KG or Pierce. It's not like the Hawks have Ibaka blocking shots. Yet, the only guys willing to go to the rim yesterday were Rondo and Bradley.

    • GowGow

      I agree with you in almost everything but when you said Baby knew how to bring it I had to say "woah, woah, hold it". Weren't we all unanimously raging against him a couple of months ago? We all know Bass is and will always be a great upgrade for that 4 spot. Yes, he's had a slump over the past few weeks and needs to refocus but he's still a better player than Glen Davis, hands down.

      • ElRoz

        Bass is better, sure; but Baby plays harder and bangs…his first two playoff games so far, Baby did well – if Bass can have just one game like that, it be nice. Baby has less talent, but works and bangs harder…for his size and built Bass is SOFT.

        • GowGow

          Playing harder drives him to take too many shots, missing most of them for being bad shots. Wasn't that the exact problem last year? I'd take Bass' softness than Davis' stubbornness any day.

        • Morpheus

          LMFAO…WHAT…do you not remember Baby's disappearing act last year?

          • skeeds

            Oh come on, I'm not comparing them as players, Baby is a knucklehead (whom I liked) but nevertheless, a knucklehead. He shot too many bad shots, and did all those other things we know he did badly.

            But, he was aggressive, took charges, constantly guarded players bigger than him effectively and crashed the boards. It's the intent I value, not the talent. Bass constantly looks as if he's in a trance, and never even goes near the hoop, neither on offense, nor on defense. For his size (and muscle) that's just ridiculous. Meanwhile, Baby had 6 offensive rebounds at the half last night.

            As for last year, well, Doc did to Baby last year exactly what he did to KG this year. Forced him to play the 5, and demanded he somehow be good at it. Well, unfortunately he is neither 7ft tall nor a top 50 all time player. Naturally, he failed.

  • GowGow

    I like how something negative all of a sudden becomes positive. Rondo's out, now the Cs have to step up and stop relying on him to run the game for them. We're in the PLAYOFFS, it's no time to settle for jumpers while Rondo and Bradley do the dirty work.

  • lakershater13

    The chest bump was a bone head play but at least he didnt punch glass… just saying.

  • IBleedGreen

    Amare misunderstood when Mike Woodson told him to attack the glass.

    • lakershater13

      It all makes sense now.

    • ElRoz

      hahahaha! nice.

    • IBleedGreen

      Here's the story:

      Woodson: C'mon Amare, hit the glass hard

      Amare: OK Coach…Boom [glass shatters]

      Woodson: Well, not like that

    • tbunny

      The thing is, it seemed like Amare was the key. They needed to get Amare the ball more instead of orbiting around the top trying to get long jumpers. Maybe some of that is on Amare. Chandler was obviously not a 100% and they needed inside play, otherwise the Miami D was just loading up on Carmelo and their guards couldn't get the ball inside to a laboring Chandler.

      • skeeds

        I was watching the game last night and scratching my head in the 4th quarter. They went again and again to Carmelo iso's, when Carmelo was obviously exhausted, and didn't even try to involve Stoudemire. Which is at least weird, since with his size and muscle, he's a matchup nightmare for whoever's guarding him, especially Bosh.

        • tbunny

          I suspect the knicks coaching staff new this. After one second half time out they immediately went twice and a row to Stoudamire. To me it looks like Amare is not healthy and so lacks confidence. I think the Knicks will play better if Chandler is feeling better, but it doesn't look like enough right now.

  • CG12

    I agree with most commenters in that Bass and Bradley are the two clearest places to look for more offensive contributions. Bass looked way out of sorts (he doesn't ever seem to have a plan B, for better or worse), and Avery seemed to have a touch of playoff jitters.

    • Anthony

      I definitely see both stepping up. Bass may have a harder time since Rondo won't be there to give him those easy looks. But Pierce does nice job with the pick and pop play also. AB played OK for the most part. Just thought he rushed a few of those jumpers that he's been consistently hitting lately.

  • tbunny

    I predict a much better game from the Celtics, even without Rondo. They all know they need to step up.

  • High Rollers

    Can't let the refs be the Hawks' Sixth Man again tonight. Gotta just play and figure things out together.
    http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/celtics/post/_/id/

  • High Rollers

    So Josh Smith thinks his team is going up against a headless snake tonight.

    That could be very telling.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Thats only cause Rondo is his boy that he would say that. See how we do tonight with our point forward rolling.

      • High Rollers

        Yup. As hard as it is to do because it's Rondo, Josh might be over-estimating the impact of his friend's absence this evening.

  • hansgruber

    Hello, 2008 finals MVP Paul Pierce? Yeah we're gonna need you to come down to Atlanta tonight…

  • skeeds

    Ray's out again. This is heartbreaking. I don't care if he'd contribute or not. I want to see Ray take the floor as a Celtic again. And I know Ainge's gonna let him go in the summer, and I'll never hear another Ray Allen for THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE GOT IT!!!!!

    Ray, stay. Please stay.

  • I_Love_Green

    WHERE'S THE GAME THREAD?!?

  • http://www.slideshare.net/CONVOCCOLOCALISATION/convocco-localisation-review convocco

    Welcome to two players, I appreciate him to play a successful game like that Pierce, I hope I can get more information about that game.

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