Something the C's did right Sunday night, a unique offense with IT in the 1st half
After getting burned in game 2 to the tune of 53 points by Isaiah Thomas the Washington Wizards have made it a point to keep the ball out of the hands of the Celtics top scoring threat. By all accounts they've had some success in doing so as IT's shooting attempts dropped drastically from the 1st two games:
Isaiah Thomas shot attempts vs. Washington:— Taylor C. Snow (@taylorcsnow) May 8, 2017
Games 1 & 2 – 56
Games 3 & 4 – 22
We generally assume that coach Brad Stevens will come up with something in terms of a game-plan to counteract either the Celtics deficiencies or the things their opponents are doing well, and in the first half Sunday night he had the Celtics rolling and Thomas was getting loose on the offensive end going 5 for 5 from the outside. Then as Washington stepped up their efforts to contain Isaiah, coach Stevens had an interesting answer:
Fun sequence of possessions from Q2 of BOS-WAS yesterday: Isaiah Thomas hits back-to-back 3s, WAS calls timeout and…watch what happens. pic.twitter.com/JiF4pwYcZd— Ben Falk (@bencfalk) May 8, 2017
Essentially by taking Isaiah completely out of the play voluntarily, and in doing so his defender as well, the rest of the Celtics had plenty space to operate with and Kelly Olynyk took advantage of the open floor on back-to-back plays taking the ball to the rack.
Obviously the game went south in a hurry after the Wizards made a run to tie the game at the end of 1st half and completely blew the Celtics doors off in the 3rd quarter with that ridiculous 26-0 run, but Stevens' unique offense when the Celtics were playing well in the 1st half struck me. These Celtics live and die by three-point shooting all too often and I personally would like to see more creative efforts like these to get them attacking the basket more.
When IT is rolling he's one of the best in the league at getting to the rim, and someday (hopefully) the Celtics will be miles better when they have a dynamite 2nd scoring option they can compliment him with night in and night out. But in the meantime, utilizing some more creative methods like this to get other guys the ball attacking the basket, instead of just playing hot potato on offense until someone is open enough to launch a three, would be my preference. These Celtics are going to shoot a ton of threes, and that's fine. I'd just love to see Brad open up some more ways like this to get the ball to the rim more often.
Related: Draymond Green ironically calls out Kelly Olynyk for being a dirty player
Photo Credit - Nick Wass/AP Photo
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