Throwing some dimes: Breaking down the C's offense

Friday, December 18, 2009

Once in a while, someone else's article catches my eye. Sometimes, it's because the article is so spot-on I wish I'd written it myself. Other times, it's because the article enlightens me with something I never knew. Still other times, it's because I disagree with whatever's written. No matter what the reason, I dish it off to another writer to make his/her point. You know, throwing some dimes.

  • Zach Lowe of CelticsHub does a fantastic job breaking down a couple Boston Celtics plays.  Whenever Zach does his breakdowns, be sure to check them out; they're insightful, thorough, and at the end of the post you'll be more knowledgeable about basketball than you were before it.
  • Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston writes that, despite an 11-game winning streak, the Celtics are still flawed:
While Boston's 2009-10 campaign isn't quite as glossy as last season's 27-2 start, which featured a 19-game winning streak, there are still plenty of similarities between the campaigns.

Chief among the differences, however, is the fact that Celtics coach Doc Rivers likes the brand of basketball his team is playing, which suggests it can avoid the sort of 2-9 tailspin the 2008-09 squad endured starting with a holiday loss to the Lakers.

But despite all the good vibes around this season's team, given its current 11-game winning streak (one that's almost certain to grow with three games at TD Garden against teams with a combined 19 wins over the next five days), there's reason for Boston to tread carefully as it approaches a Christmas visit to Orlando.

Earlier this week we provided a list of 10 reasons the Celtics haven't lost since falling to the Magic on Nov. 20. It's time to examine what needs to be tightened up to ensure they remain at the front of the pack.

Fast forward to this season and, in particular, the Knicks games at MSG on November 22nd.  With the game in the balance in the fourth quarter, exactly the time where Garnett's reputation would have us believe that he would be a shrinking violet, Garnett was 1-for-10 and, at that stage, was shooting 47.6% on the season.  Suddenly, with the pressure on and the Celtics trailing by six, he knocked down a jumper to cut the lead to four.  A couple of minutes later, he knocked down a pair of free throws to put Boston up by one.  With the scores tied and 1:07 to go, he made another jumper to give Boston the lead.  Finally, in overtime, his buzzer beater from the top of the key gave the Celtics a 107-105 win.

But that's just one game, right?  Not necessarily.  Since that game a pattern is starting to form:
“I think I used to try to gather myself to dunk all the time,” said Perkins in what could have been a testimonial from One Pounding Dribblers Anonymous. “I used to take that power dribble to dunk. Now I’m taking the easy layup, the quick two, and that’s been helping me a lot.”

Perkins said the change in habits wasn’t as much difficult as it was a case of focus. A lot of prodding from coaches, fans and media eventually hammered the point home.

“Also, a lot of reps with the medicine ball,” he said. “But it was (C’s assistant coach) Cliff (Ray), pretty much everybody. It’s a big difference. (The extra dribble) gives a guy a chance to strip the ball and even foul me a lot more. I’ll take the quick two any day.”

Lately, it’s helped him to essentially not miss.


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