First, let me vent. Doc says if you don't play hard, you will be subbed. Doc says no one was playing defense. Leon Powe gets in the game. No one plays harder. He was playing solid defense in the lane and in those 3 minutes had 3 rebounds and 1 point. So, why does he come out and not play again? I just don't understand it. This kid does good things and plays hard when he is in the game but he just doesn't get minutes even when we are very short on bigs. It just doesn't make sense. Ok, I got that out of my system so it is on to the happenings in Celtics Nation today.
The Herald, Globe, Metro West Daily, Worcester Telegram, Patriot Ledger, and Projo all have articles on last night's game. It all boils down to a lack of defense as an equally depleted Sixer team got to the basket at will. (getting back to my rant, Powe played defense but Doc didn't keep him in- I would have liked to see Al and Powe playing together for a period and I think things may have turned around). Hopefully the youngsters got a painful lesson last night and will take it to heart. I am hoping to see more team play and more defense when we face Denver on Tuesday.
Scott Souza makes the point that the Celtics were hesitant on offense and often passed up open shots when the game was on the line. The game plan has been to give Pierce the ball and stand and watch him, it will take some time for them to get used to being go to guys. They also have to learn that it is defense that wins games, not offense. If they ever get that message on a regular basis, we will be OK.
In the Globe, Green points to lack of defense as reason for the loss. He has some very mature things to say in this article. If he really understands it and if he takes it to heart, good things could follow.
Shira's article in the Globe points out that the Celtics plan is to share the load with Pierce out. No one player has to take it on alone. Teamwork would go a long way toward making this team into a winner. If they play as a team on both offense and defense they could be dangerous. But each player has to commit to team play and no one has to do it all themselves. It is when one player (even Pierce) tries to do too much that we fail.
The Green Room has a list of players who could benefit from the absence of Pierce. I agree that Powe could very much play a big part on this team but not if Doc only plays him 3 minutes. Green right now has a chance to break out as he will get the most minutes in Pierce's absence and if he takes advantage of it, he could be a big difference maker.
The good news today is that Perk is looking at a Wednesday return to action. Wally may also be back then, which would be a very good thing. Kandi may be able to play on Tuesday.
The Clarion Ledger has a good piece on Big Al and his emergence this season. We are finally seeing the Al Jefferson that we have all been waiting for since those flashes in his rookie season. We can only hope that his emergence will continue.
Draft.net has a piece that makes a case for not stacking stars on a team. At times two stars can complement each other, but more often than not, they simply don't play well together. It takes a team and a committment to defense to win a championship.
The Celtics don't practice until Tuesday's shoot around and hopefully there will be some soul searching and possibly some film watching in the meantime along with the Christmas turkey and gifts.