few whispers about Rajon Rondo's ball-dominating ways. Pundits are suggesting that he holds the ball to long which causes the offense to become stagnant. There are rumors of Courtney Lee being unhappy in Boston and Brandon Bass' recent complaints about his lack of touches seem to support the aforementioned Rondo charges.
Having one of the top point guards in the NBA should not bring the offense to a screeching halt. Prior to his season ending injury, Rajon, from end-to-end, was one of the quickest guards with the ball in his hands. This does not jive with the theory that he is a ball-hog.
Lest you forget, the C's offensive output has always come from Pierce, Garnett, the player formerly known as #20(Ray Allen), and Rondo. He is not a great shooter, but Rondo accounts for 44% of the teams offense and it could and should be more.
The personnel surrounding the 'big three' have always been marginal players who could not generate their own offense. These role-players were great as long as Pierce and company had fresh legs. Fast-forward to this season and the opposite is true; the role-players have the offensive chops to give Pierce and Garnett relief. The only problem is Doc has not incorporated them into the offense; not while Rondo was on the floor anyway.
Doc still hasn't adapted his system to Rondo's skill-set, because he had always had role-players who were fighting to stay in the NBA. Therefore, they would tow the company line without griping. The present roster has only one such player and that is Jason Collins. Leandro Barbosa also has a minimal contract but he can get his own shot, which makes him in demand around the NBA.
Boston was used to giving their opponents a heavy dose of Pierce and Garnett; and that was before they lost their all-star point guard. It is going to be the PP and KG show for real now, unless Doc changes. Los Angeles Laker coach, Mike D'Antoni has finally learned that Steve Nash cannot be all things for him. Nash is now playing more off the ball and Kobe has actually playing the role of point-forward and is thriving in it.
The result is they are riding a three game winning streak, with D'Antoni sticking to his guns of Pau Gasol coming off the bench. Doc should consider doing something similar, by placing Jeff Green in the starting lineup and have Pierce come off the bench. If he really wants to retire as a Celtic, he should be able to do what is best for the team.
Now that Sullinger is in the lineup it takes some of the pressure off of KG to be the only outlet to relieve the pressure. Sully's passing skills compliments Doc's offense because if the team was at full strength, he would then have three capable passers in his starting line-up. This facilitates better ball and player movement, giving the team a more balanced attack.
Rivers has no choice but to continue to run plays that don't require a pure point guard; because when he does, the team thrives. He should continue this way of playing when RR returns next year, because it frees up other aspects of Rondo's game as well as keep the team viable in the foreseeable future.
Danny Ainge also has to do more than just see if the pieces fit; he must see if Doc Rivers and his staff can adjust the offense to the talent that they have.
Frances 1/30/2013 09:50:00 AM Tweet Edit