The C’s wrapped up their second straight Tuesday practice this afternoon in Waltham, readying themselves for a rematch with the Brooklyn Nets. After getting torched on the defensive end for large sequences of the past three games, Doc Rivers made no secret what his team was doing to prepare for the visiting Nets, fresh off a nice win over their New York rivals.
“Pick and roll defense. A long time on it,” Rivers told reporters. “Teams take steps, too. To win titles, you take a lot of steps. The first step for us was buying in, and I think we’ve done that. But now we’ve got to get it right, and the second step is pick-and-roll, and it never stops.”
We’ve already covered the team’s pick and roll issues here at CelticsHub,but with Deron Williams coming to town and Jameer Nelson having lit up the C’s for an entire quarter with the play Sunday night, the emphasis on the team’s consistent play needs to be there. It’s refreshing to see that’s one of the things Doc knows that needs plenty of attention at this juncture. Rivers continued on about how much the pick-and-roll play call has become more useful because of rule changes and foul calls in the the league:
“You can’t touch anybody,” said Rivers. “You can’t touch above the free throw line. It’s brought the small guard back in the league, it’s brought the quick guard back in the league. I watched a game the other night and they never ran another play besides the pick and roll, and they won. It was unbelievable. The other team couldn’t stop it.”
Needless to say, it’s more important for the C’s to get this figured out sooner than later.
A quick update, or lack there of on Avery Bradley’s progress was addressed, with no real timetable in effect for the guard, who continues to watch practices.
“Honestly, he’s not been in anything,” Rivers said. “We are doing some things before shootarounds every once in a while where we just run our plays so he can have an idea. But, if I’ve learned anything, it doesn’t matter how much you do skeleton offense; when you put the defense on, if you haven’t played, the game, it just goes too quick and you can’t remember anything. It’s going to take time, even when he comes back.”
Kris Joseph and Fab Melo were also down in Boston from Maine to attend today’s practice before re-joining the Red Claws. The quick hour and a half commute each way makes it a nice perk for the C’s to have both guys around whenever needed. Joseph was out taking reps with the second team, while Melo stayed on the sidelines due to the high number of bigs Boston has in their rotation.