On October 30, after reading article after article on Red's coaching theories I wrote this article on Loy's Place that puts forth the premise that Red's legacy to Doc should be to keep it simple. It was becoming more and more obvious that Doc is over coaching. We had two complete sets of plays depending on who was on the court. We had no less than 8 defensive sets. And, no one on the team seemed to get them. I have been talking about the need to simplify things in just about every post after that article also. On Celtics.com today, I read this:
After a tough 0-3 start, the Celtics have taken a step back and simplified the offense to keep their running game going and help some of the younger players concentrate on making plays rather than remembering them.
"We've been simplifying the offense and running two plays. [If] they make a shot, we run one play, if they miss a shot, we run another play," said Wally Szczerbiak, who noted that it's easier to play a running style in the preseason because most teams just aren't in shape yet. "We're just trying to simplify things so the young guys can pick everything up and stop turning the ball over."
Coach Doc Rivers said that aside from the last 20 minutes, Monday's long practice was satisfying. And that might just be because while the veterans on the team probably don't need the game simplified, younger players are generally more effective when they don't have to go deep into the playbook.
"It allows the young guys to play on instinct and at full-speed instead of playing while thinking," said Rivers. "In some ways it can hurt you but I think the benefits outweigh the negatives."
One of the benefits of simplification should be a reduction in turnovers; the Celtics committed 20 turnovers in Saturday's loss to Washington, 15 against Detroit and 19 on Opening Night against the Hornets.
Hallelujah!!!! Doc is finally doing something intelligent. Hopefully they are practicing defense and simplifying that as well, since we desperately need work in that area and we definitely need to simplify what Doc has been doing in that area too. We have been able to score, but haven't been able to get stops when we need them.
Also reported in this article is the fact that Ratliff practiced today.
Ratliff admitted that he's still a little rusty and his timing might be slightly off, but teammates and coaches alike seemed impressed with Ratliff's effort on Monday. And everyone seemed to notice that he's still blocking shots.
"We could see the immediate impact defensively," Rivers said of Ratliff. "It was amazing because White (the second team in practice) stopped driving. They were tired of getting their shots blocked."
That will be good news if Ratliff can return, if for nothing more than what Perk will learn playing against him in practice.
Also good to see is that Pierce and Wally are still in a good mood and had some fun with the media.