3.02.2008

Of Course the Celtics Can be Effectively Defended

“I mean, they’ve got so many things that they can hit you with that it makes it tough to stop any one thing. And I think that’s why this is a real good team this year.”
--
Sam Vincent Sam Vincent

I think everyone knows I'm fond of the kool-aid when the going is good. But even I have my limitations.

Beat writers followed up the above quote by asking Paul Pierce whether the Cs can be defended?

His answer?

“I don’t think we can,” he said. “If we move the ball and we play unselfish and we can keep our turnovers down, we’re a tough team to guard.”

At least one beat writer agreed, emphasizing the fact that the Cs committed 17 turnovers against Charlotte and rank 21 in the league in protecting the ball.

All fine and well. But if the Cs aren't hitting their shots, then of course they can be defended. Anyone remember the Phoenix Suns game? Pierce and Jesus were a combined 5-25 and the Cs were never really in the game after halftime.

Which brings me to the 500-pound gorilla in the room.

What is the difference between the Celtics now and say the Celtics of December and early to mid-January?

The Surgeon.

Ray Allen is hitting his shots.

It's an entirely different ball game when the "third option" is draining threes at a higher percentage than I remember Antoine Walker converting fast break layups.

And it's not just threes.

The Surgeon is simply hitting his shots.

He does this going forward and then Paul Pierce gets to say what he said, even if they aren't protecting the ball as well as we'd like.

Bottom line:

Ray Allen remains judicious and efficient and the Cs stay healthy, you better contact Betsy Ross's granddaughter, or whomever is responsible for sewing together Banner 17.

She'll need a head start if we're gonna hoist it next November.

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