Elite Basketball Starts with Stops


"I thought [the Heat] were the aggressor all game," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I thought they got on the floor where they wanted to get on the floor. I thought they took us out of stuff they wanted to. You could see that they've played together a little longer than us. I thought their continuity offensively was better. We made plays offensively but it wasn't good offense."

Say this for last night: it wasn't a "disgrace to the game of basketball," as Bill Walton once described his  and his team's efforts on opening night in 1985. Note to the Celtic fan base: as we get older and our memories get hazy, don't be lured into believing that the Celtics comeback from 24 down against the Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals was primarily due to the offensive efforts of Eddie House and James Posey. No, that run started with stops, as in defense, world class, stifling defense.

Last night the Celtics' once-vaunted defense surrendered 120 points, 100 by the 9:22 marker of the fourth quarter, on 54% shooting. The Green simply had no answers for the Heat's many weapons. The game started out like we expected, the Celtics running and shooting and trying to set the pace. This strategy might have been effective had the team been able to settle down on defense and get  some stops. Never happened.

It will need to for the Celtics to have a chance at banner 18 this year.

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Brian said...
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