Derrenmatts over on Celtics Green came up with a good piece on what we should do as a game plan now that we have been decimated with injuries. Here is Derren's Plan:
First of all, maybe its time to scour the D-League to find suitable bodies to fill in while guys like Wally, Pierce and Delonte are out. We can't have Doc filling in at SF for us in practices because he may get the idea of becoming a player-coach
Now that we've lost our main offensive weapon (and that's what Tony has emerged into), we'll need to rely a lot more on smart ball movement and players moving without the ball. This was actually our game plan to start the season, but we always had the option of giving it to Pierce or Wally(and recently Tony) and have them put up points when we needed it. This is not an option now.
Game Plan #1: Use pick and rolls We started using the pick and roll more in the last game (vs. the Pacers), but not nearly as much as we'll need to now. Telfair and Rajon were given a fighting chance to run the team against the Pacers, and running picks for them gave them the opportunity to make plays happen. Even if it didn't lead directly to a bucket, it help open up the floor for other passes that led to scores. We have 4 big bodies who can set solid picks for Telfair and Rajon (Perkins, Jefferson, Gomes and Powe), and we need to use them for this purpose.
Game Plan #2: Establish Jefferson in the post early Its important to get Jefferson going early. Even if teams double and triple team him, he still needs to get touches in the post early. He'll have to kick it out and re-post, but that's alright (as long as he isn't throwing passes away). If we don't go to Jefferson early, he struggles to find his rhythm and the flow of the game. That just means he'll have to find his rhythm later in the game, and by that time, the game may be well out of hand and he's most likely going to force shots to quickly find his rhythm. And its important that Jefferson gets good positioning in the post--not so far away from the basket. He's much more effective when he's within 10 feet.
Game Plan #3: PG's must be aggressive Both Telfair and Rajon must aggressively look for their own shots. Right now, finding consistent offense from our team is not going to be easy. By playing aggressively, they'll help keep defenses honest and also create scoring opportunities for the team. If they are always passing up the ball, it'll put pressure on the other guys who don't have court vision to keep the ball moving, and that slows down the offense and forces us to take bad shots to beat the shot clock. Telfair is most likely going to be the starter and I want him to take those jumpers that the defenses give him. Once he starts knocking them down, defenses will play him tighter, and that will make the pick and roll more effective. When Rajon comes in, he needs to use his slashing and penetrating ability to carve apart defenses. He's one of the best at getting to the basket and positive things happen when he attacks. We need this spark from him off the bench.
Game Plan #4: Gerald and Ray need to shoot the ball off of curls: Gerald is going to get 30+ minutes per game now that Tony, Pierce and Wally are out. Doc has no one else to hide him behind. And I'm hoping Allan Ray will be given a fair amount of playing time too. I see a solid role player in Ray, possibly slipping into a backup SG/PG role in the future. I even think he can slide past Delonte in a little while (of course, Doc loves Delonte, so it may never happen). Doc needs to use both Gerald and Allan Ray off of curls to free them up for clean looks at the bucket. Gerald is a talented scorer and in the near future, he's going to be able to create his own shots. But for now, he's still learning the flow of the game and he doesn't quite understand when to attack, when to shoot, and when to pass. So to help him out (since he'll be the prime perimeter target), Doc needs to run plays for him off of curls. Same for Ray; he's got a sweet stroke and when he's got a split second to square up his shoulders, he'll knock down shots. But Doc has got to run plays for them and not just send them out there to figure things out for themselves. They are not experienced enough for that.
Game Plan #5: Run, run, run!!! We can't go toe to toe with teams with our halfcourt attack. We are too young and too inexperienced to execute our halfcourt offense to perfection most times down court. In order to remain competitive during these trying times, we need to get out and run as much as possible. Push the tempo and always look to advance the ball with passes. This is even more reason to play Allan Ray more because he gives us another quick ball handler who can make passes up the floor, or push the tempo himself.
Also to be included in the list is to give Leon Powe more playing time, and give him a more important role. Doc should not use Powe just as a player to give Jefferson a breather, but instead a valuable role player. Powe gives us a physical rebounding presence as well as a solid shot blocker (when he's not playing 7 footers). Its truly amazing to see how a 6'7" guy can get up there and gather rebounds and block shots against taller competition--his freakishly long arms and jumping ability give him that advantage. But not only this, but he's also a scoring weapon that Doc has failed to capitalize on yet. I'll say this right now; we'll have more success playing Jefferson and Powe together, as opposed to Jefferson and Gomes or Jefferson and Perkins. Powe takes Perkins' and Gomes' strengths and erases their weaknesses. Perkins is a rebounder and shot blocker, but is unreliable on offense. Gomes is a solid offensive producer, but is a liability on defense. Powe gives us that rebounding and shot blocking presence, plus the offensive abilities. He's more of a complete player than either of them. Powe is still more about potential at this point, but we're all hoping that he can reach his ceiling. And to do this, he'll need playing time to develop his game and confidence. And what better time to give him this than now? Now is the time to go into a full blown developmental stage.
I am not expecting our team to win many games right now, but I hope they remain competitive, and at the end of the game, if we are close, I will be more than content. But our team must be playing with hustle and energy. I can stomach losing as long as they are giving 100% effort.
This is the time when the young players we have all been wanting to see will have to get playing time. Doc has to play Powe and Rondo now. If he doesn't there should be some public outcry. While Derren's plan calls for us to run, Doc is saying he plans to slow the game to a crawl. I agree that running is still our best bet but doubt we see much running unless Telfair and Rondo just can't help themselves. We probably won't be winning much until we get players back from their injuries but I do think these kids will fight hard and compete. Full blown developmental mode now will help the team when we are back to full strength.
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