December 31, 2007
THE ROUTINIZATION OF CHAMPIONSHIPS:
Celtics down Lakers, plenty to take from it (Kelly Dwyer, Dec 31, 2007, Yahoo NBA Experts Blog)
With Rajon Rondo out, Doc Rivers started Tony Allen at point guard. I'll repeat: Doc Rivers started Tony Allen at point guard. Love Tony Allen, appreciate his game, enjoyed his breakout season last year - but he also entered the game turning the ball over on 18 percent of the possession he used up. That's not only bad, that's the worst mark of ANY guard in the entire NBA. And Doc Rivers started him, at point guard!
Somehow, it worked. Allen fouled out, did most of his damage against a clueless rookie (sorry for calling you "clueless," JC, happy birthday), and dished as many assists (four) as he had turnovers (four; and there was a backcourt violation he committed that wasn't called), but it worked. Or, let's change the wording on this: the Celtics won. If Rondo doesn't return for Boston's next game (at home, against the Rockets), then we might have a problem.
*When the C's made their moves last summer, one bonus for the team that no media outlet (mainstream or otherwise) mentioned was the idea that Paul Pierce's ability to get to the free throw line would likely put Boston over the top.
Kevin Garnett is brilliant, but his Timberwolves teams (as a result of his style of play, partially, but mostly because of his teammates; and, to a lesser extent, Flip Saunders' offense) always ranked amongst the worst teams in the NBA when it came to getting to the free throw line. Ray Allen can score, but he rarely gets fouled in instances outside of baseline defenders grabbing his jersey to keep up with him curling off screens.
But Pierce gets fouled, a lot, he puts teams in the penalty and he makes it possible for KG and Allen to grab late-period free throws with the work Paul puts in during the early part of the quarter.
In fact, during the first Boston possession of the game, the C's ran a quick post-up (front of the rim, in the paint) for Pierce that was the impetus behind this performance (with Antoine Walker throwing the pass) and Shaquille O'Neal's post-game declaration that Paul Pierce was " The [motherflippin'] Truth." Capital T.
Another sport, another ring. Posted by Orrin Judd at December 31, 2007 3:37 PM