November 14, 2005
In recent years, the Celtics have had a love-hate relationship with the 3-point arc. Under former coach Jim O'Brien , Boston was known for attempting a staggering number of 3-pointers. ( Antoine Walker heaved up 645 in the 2001-02 season.) Those 3-pointers keyed a number of big Boston wins. They also cost the team a number of crucial games. Former Celtic Chris Carr once called the perimeter shot "fool's gold" and he was probably right.
Coach Doc Rivers knows the 3-pointer must be used judiciously. Only certain players, like Raef LaFrentz , have a green light from the arc. LaFrentz rewarded that trust last night and Boston went 12 for 25 from beyond the arc. Rivers, however, did take exception with some of the other attempts, like the one Ryan Gomes threw up in the fourth quarter with plenty of time on the shot clock.
"Raef has a green light to shoot them," said Rivers. " Paul [ Pierce ], Ricky [ Davis ], Delonte [ West ], who passed up a couple, have that green light. Ryan does not. I may have to have a talk with him because that was way too early in the clock. I don't mind threes if they come off your offense. I don't like threes when we're seeking them out."
LaFrentz went 7 for 9 from the arc in scoring a career-high-tying 32 points. Pierce went 3 for 8. Davis went 1 for 3. West went 0 for 2.
Up close look
Growing up in Houston, Gerald Green was a big fan of Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler . In high school, he rooted for Tracy McGrady . Some even see a little of McGrady in the 19-year-old Green's game. Last night, Green, who is on the inactive list, returned to the bench to watch the Rockets in person. He spent the Memphis and San Antonio games in the Celtics locker room watching on television.
When asked why, Green said, "To get a different look at the game. Sometimes on the bench you can't really see. You get kind of caught up [in the emotion of the game]. On TV, you can see everything. I might go inside one game, come out one game, go inside one game."
Taking time to watch the game more closely in the locker room is just one of many things Green is doing to improve his game. He usually arrives for practice an hour and a half early to work out with the strength and conditioning coaches, as well as assistants Kevin Eastman and Dave Wohl . On game days, Green likes to get to the arena around 3 p.m, for some extra practice.
"I feel like I'm learning," said Green. "I've just got to take in as much as I can on the sidelines."
For now, the extra time with the assistant coaches seems to be better than sending Green to Boston's D-League affiliate the Florida Flame. According to Rivers, the Celtics remain uncertain as to whether they will send Green down to the minors for a brief stint. Some days it seems like the right decision. Other days not so much. The same remains true for Tony Allen with regard to a possible rehab stint with Florida. It's a possibility, but not a certainty.
Not remotely pleased
Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy never shies away from speaking his mind. Last night was no exception when he taked about the Rockets' lack of quickness. "We move at glacial speed," said Van Gundy. "We need to be on it. I think we can be." Van Gundy added: "When I watch us play, I have to keep hitting the remote to see that it's not in slow motion. When I see [the Celtics] play, I have to keep hitting it to see that it's not in fast forward." . . . Van Gundy favorably compared Pierce to the Nets' Richard Jeffeson , whom the Rockets faced Saturday night. The coach cited the pair as the best power small forwards in the league, noting their ability to rebound . . . During the offseason, McGrady did not take a break from his workout routine, which Van Gundy praised as setting a strong example for the team. "The dedication in the offseason is all tied into how far you're willing to go to win," said Van Gundy. "For me, it's more of a mentality than you see it in any one skill. He's a star individual player in this league, but I think with the drive to do more in the summer, it gives him credibility with his team to drive them. That's what it's as much about as individual greatness."