Found April 24, 2013 on Celtics Town:
Boston's need for a rim protector is becoming more and more blatantly obvious.This is the second in a (hopefully) long series of posts detailing Boston’s in-game sets and adjustments during the playoffs, featuring a positive and a negative from each game.Positive: Hand-off plays sparking penetrationOk, so by “hand-off plays sparking penetration,” I meant to say it in the singular. As in “one hand-off play sparked penetration.” This one, right here:Cut me some slack: It’s a little bit difficult to find positives after that abominable second half. But let’s take a closer look at this particular set, since it’s one of the only plays that ended in a shot attempt around the rim and showed the Celtics getting any kind of penetration against New York’s defense. The play began with Avery Bradley bringing the ball up the court on the left side and passing it to Brandon Bass in the middle. Bass then dribbled to the left side, and Jason Terry cut back around him, receiving what amounted to a triple screen from Pierce, Bradley and Bass.The Knicks were able to easily switch because they were playing their super small-ball lineup, which meant that Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni were all, to a certain extent, interchangeable. Prigioni switched off Bradley on the second screen and followed Terry out behind the 3-point line, fighting through Bass’s screen and seemingly knocking the play off-kilter.But Terry seemed to have been a misdirection, because Bradley immediately turns and cuts back around Bass, receiving the hand-off and driving to the hoop.Bradley drives against Chandler and puts up a layup that gets swatted away (viewers disagreed as to whether it was goal-tending (it was totally goal-tending)), but it was one of the rare times that the Celtics got into the paint without crashing into someone. The Celtics only used two hand-off plays, according to mySynergySports, and one of those plays was actually a pass to Kevin Garnett for, you guessed it, a mid-range jumper. After Rondo’s injury, the Celtics have used this tactic on occasion to get penetration against tough defenses. It might be time to put a little bit more emphasis on it, especially since Jeff Green struggled to get himself going in Game 2.Boston has always been a team that lived and died by the jumpshot, but when they exclusively shoot jumpers, there’s going to be a lot more dying and a lot less living.Negative: Pick-and-roll defense on Raymond FeltonMuch has (correctly) been made of Boston’s lack of rim protection, and nobody has taken advantage of this more than Raymond Felton. This is aggravating to say the least but not entirely unexpected. New York has the second best pick-and-roll ball-handler offense in the NBA, at 0.86 points per possession (per Synergy), but last night the Knicks managed 1.18 PPP on 8-14 shooting from the field.One of the reasons the pick-and-roll works so well for New York is the way the bigs setting the screen dive to the hoop after they set the screen. We saw this early on as Tyson Chandler set a screen for Felton and dragged Paul Pierce to the hoop with him, stranding Chris Wilcox on Felton. Felton gets around Wilcox with relative ease and scores.The best way to beat this strategy is to go under the screens, since Felton is much less dangerous as a jumpshooter (34% from 3-9 feet, 24% from 10-15 and 37% from 16-23, per than he is at the rim (57% per HoopData). As you can see from the following videos, even the shots that go in are more difficult because Boston’s defenders saw the pick coming and went under.Perhaps the biggest surprise is in the second video when even Avery Bradley is ducking under the screen, something he doesn’t tend to do very often. It should be noted that it’s not that Boston doesn’t respect Felton’s jumpshot (although it’s possible they don’t), it’s that they don’t have anyone who can stop a ball-handler at the rim, so they’d rather give up the open jumper. From an efficiency standpoint, this makes some sense. It’s not an ideal strategy by any means, but at this point, so many of the Celtics’ strategies are stitched-together makeshifts that this one fits right in.In ConclusionThat was an ugly game with a lot of ugly conclusions to be drawn. One would like to hope that aspects will be cleaned up when the series shifts back to Boston, but if the Celtics can’t get to the rim or make adjustments to limit New York’s pick-and-roll game, this series is going to be over fast.Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

Video: Paul Pierce with the strong alley-oop to Jeff Green

The Boston Celtics are in deep trouble after dropping Game 2 of their playoff series to the New York Knicks. Even in defeat, Paul Pierce managed to pull off an amazing alley-oop to Jeff Green as seen in this video. Pierce paced the Celtics with 18 points and eight assists in their 87-71 loss. Celtics coach Doc Rivers told ESPN that the Knicks knocked the Celtics out. “I thought...

Locker Room Report: Celtics - Knicks Game 2

One barely needs to go to look at post-game footage to guess that the Boston Celtics are frustrated right now. After dropping the Game 2 to the Knicks in a 87-71 bout, the Celtics are headed back to Beantown with the difficult task of winning its first playoff game this year. Something easier said than done, given the way they are playing right now. The worse part? The fact that...

Rivers: 'I don't use tragedy for sports'

With the team returning to Boston for Game 3 against the Knicks, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said he won't use the Boston Marathon bombing as a motivational tool.

Hip pointer won’t keep KG out of Game 3

Doc Rivers says Kevin Garnett suffered a hip pointer in Game 2 against the Knicks. See the video evidence above. The injury will not prevent KG from practicing or playing in Game 3. Shocking. As for why Jordan Crawford is playing significant minutes over Courtney Lee, Doc said: “I think offensively he gives you a better shot at it.” On the team’s effort: At the end of the day...

Doc Rivers Searching for Solution for Second Half Letdowns as Celtics Return to Boston

Things may feel a little different when the Celtics take the court at TD Garden on Friday. That game, the third installment of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference playoff series against the Knicks, will be the Celtics’ first contest in Boston since a tragic week that had a profound affect on the city, as well as a much less significant impact on the Celtics’ schedule. Because...

JR Smith: Celtics don’t know what to do without Rajon Rondo

The Boston Celtics have put themselves in a tough spot against the New York Knicks as they head back home. The age of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and company was evident in the first two games of the playoffs, as they were unable to close out games or come up with answers late in the fourth quarter. Fatigue has clearly been a factor, but we must also remember that the Celtics have...

Celtics-Knicks Live: Jeff Green, C’s Look to Start Spreading News That They Can Make It In New York

8 a.m. ET: After pulling off the seemingly impossible by scoring just eight points in the fourth quarter of a loss in Game 1, the Celtics look to do something much less jaw-dropping in Game 2 by winning the game. Jeff Green, who scored 26 points, and Carmelo Anthony, who dropped a game-high 36 points, were the clear stars of Game 1. But Celtics coach Doc Rivers was immensely impressed...

Such an Exciting Time to Be a Knicks Fan

By Charles R. Trimble III It’s such an exciting time to be a New York Knickerbockers fan. The Knicks hold a 2-0 lead over the Celtics in the 1st round, J.R. Smith was recently named NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year, and Carmelo Anthony is playing the best and most fearless basketball of his career. These things have directly led to the success of this year’s team. Even Coach Woodson...

Flip Flopping Crazy: Doc is in a foul mood about Game 2 officiating

Photo credit: Jim Davis/Boston Globe Let’s be clear about this right off the top: By no means am I citing the officiating as the main reason as to why the Celtics lost Game 2 to the Knicks.  Did it hurt the game plan when KG got into early foul trouble in the first and second quarters?  Without a doubt.  But that is when the Celtics actually played their best and had their...

Knicks Take Game Two From Celtics in Commanding Fashion

For the Knicks, winning game one of their playoff series with the Celtics was simply about beginning to take control. Winning game two meant that New York began to silence the nay-sayers who believed the Knicks should still be considered underdogs.Despite getting swept by the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs just two seasons ago, the tables have now turned, and the Knicks...

Another Strong 2nd Half Gives Knicks 2-0 Series Lead

By Kenneth Teape Final Score: Celtics: 71 Knicks: 87 It was déjà vu at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night as Game 2 between the Knicks and Celtics was eerily similar to Game 1 Saturday afternoon.  The game played out almost in the exact same fashion as the Celtics played a strong first half but the Knicks bombarded them in the second half, looking like a totally different team...

What the Hell Happened to...Chris Ford?

He was a scrappy guard who never came close to making an All Star team, but was always a solid contributor (including being the starting 2 guard on the 81 title team).  He's the answer to a famous NBA trivia question.  After his playing career, he became a Celtics assistant (where he rocked a mean perm a couple of years).  If you think Glenn Rivers was the first guy to go...

Watch this animated GIF of JR Smith and count the famous people

SportsGrid has the index if you need it. **Follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Subscribe, or Return to us on Twitter. Subscribe or Return to Bob's Blitz. Full story at Bob's Blitz ~

Knicks' Anthony Blasts New York Fans: Booing 'Wasn't Right'

In light of the tragic events surrounding this year's Boston Marathon, both Carmelo Anthony and Paul Pierce took to the court in the Madison Square Garden prior the first game between the Celtics and Knicks to express support in trying times. When Pierce began his speech, a few boos resounded through MSG from New Yorkers in the audience. Check out the incident below: Per WEEI...

Knicks shut down Celtics to take 2-0 lead

Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points, Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith added 19, and the New York Knicks opened a 2-0 lead over the Boston Celtics with an 87-71 victory on Tuesday night.,
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.