Only 4 games to play in the regular season. My how time flies when you're having fun. With only 4 games left, I expect Doc to try to get into a regular rotation in the remaining games but also try to keep the starters minutes down as much as possible. Tonight's game against Milwaukee has absolutely no meaning for either team. The Bucks are pretty much set in their spot for the lottery. They aren't a playoff team so the Celtics don't have to worry about meeting them in the playoffs. I expect Doc to start KG, Pierce, Rondo, Ray and Perk, but keep their minutes way down in this one as the following night is a game they will want to win against a team that is fighting to stay in the playoffs and who may be their first round matchup. I can't wait for the playoffs!!!
I have 2 concerns about this team going into the playoffs. One is their turnovers. The Celtics are 5th in the league in turnovers and the only one of the top teams who commit that many turnovers. They are also the worst in the league in turnovers per 100 possessions. In the playoffs, flaws like this are exploited and can lead to a team's early exit. The teams they will face in the conference finals and in the NBA finals take very good care of the ball and will make the Celtics pay for every turnover. I hope they can get them under control at least before they get into the second round. The other concern is free throw shooting. Ask Memphis whether free throw shooting is important. They need to make their free throws as in close games it could mean the difference between winning and losing. We don't want to start a hack a Celtics defense by the other teams.
I just love these commercials. The one with Shaq and Kobe is pretty ironic. This one is destined to become a classic.
Hollinger has his all defensive teams up on ESPN. It is no surprise that he has several Celtics mentioned on it since they are first in just about every defensive category this season. Rondo made first team for point guard. Pierce made 3rd team for small forward behind Tayshun Prince and Bruce Bowen. Perk is given honorable mention for centers and he mentions that Perk is an overlooked factor in the Celtics' success. It is no surprise that KG is first team for power forwards.
In other words, the entire jump from 18th in defensive efficiency a year ago to third all-time this season can pretty much be laid at the feet of Garnett. His intensity on the court is palpable, but perhaps even more important is how he has affected Pierce and the bench guys. I'm not sure whether that translates to MVP -- not when Chris Paul is saving basketball in New Orleans -- but if he doesn't win the defensive player of the year award, there needs to be an investigation, because he's been absolutely spectacular.
It is defense that is going to win the championship and if the Celtics continue to play defense like they have all year, they have a very, very good chance to win it all this season. Hopefully in these last 4 games, the defense will get back on track and be in perfect form going into the playoffs.
Doc kind of worries me going into the playoffs. He has never won a playoff series in his coaching career. Along with everything else, coaching becomes so much more important in the playoffs. It becomes a chess match with teams scouting the other team and making adjustments not only within games but from game to game and coaching becomes very important. I just finished reading the book Celtics Pride, Bob Ryan's book about the '73-74 Championship team. The finals that season was particularly a coaching series and Tommy Heinsohn, the Celtics coach made the adjustments that made the difference in the series. Can we depend on Doc to do that if it comes down to coaching in a series? Will Doc be able to match wits with Flip Saunders or Greg Popovich? I guess we shall see. I may be wrong, but just feel that Doc's weaknesses have been masked by the players on the floor and Tom Thibodeau this season. I am hoping that the combined basketball IQ of KG, Pierce, Ray Allen, Brian Scalabrine, Sam Cassell, James Posey, and Tom Thibodeau will make up for any shortcomings Doc might have. Things like this give me hope that Doc will get enough help from his players and assistants that coaching won't be a problem. Doc is smart enough to accept input from those around him and I believe he will.
Just 4 games left and then the playoffs. I remember all too well last season at this point not wanting the regular season to end because that was it. Now I can't wait for the playoffs. What a difference a year makes.
With only 4 games left, I expect Doc to try to get into a regular rotation in the remaining games
I've been holding off writing about this. There are two approaches.
One: Keep the pedal to the metal and blow out team after team playing the same rotation we used in Texas and at home against Pho and NO. Doc said that's what he was gonna do, but didn't after 60 wins was in hand.
Two: Continue playing the top 7 20-30 MPG, and use the first round to get everyone back on track.
It's a tough call, cuz you want to get the big three some rest.
On the other hand, we are 16 games away from a championship, a championship they've been waiting for their entire life.
If they can't get up for 16 more games, then something is wrong.