[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: C's Lose 120 - 117 Wrapup
The 30 assist figure last night really is an excellent stat, especially
since these were spread around throughout the team (20 from the frontline,
with Pots actually dishing for 6 assists on just 1 turnover). As Paul M
says, that's great news. The only noticeable difference between Pitino's UK
and Celtics teams is crisp and consistent passing, as personified by his
10-deep and unselfish 1996 squad.
Unfortunately, the Celts are back to being just another team as rebounding
goes, with a not surprising -8 against the massive Charlotte frontline
(Mason didn't start but he did play 37 minutes). In the first game we were
+13 on the boards against Charlotte, led by Fortson. This probably explains
why Pitino was too upset to open practice to the media the other day, after
both his power forwards apparently got injured then. I'm hoping for a quick
and full recovery, and thank goodness the injury was nothing as serious as
what happened to Popeye or Eric Williams.
I hoped we'd have a much better idea of our lineup tonight, but somehow I
doubt Pervis and Potapenko will start together. It's hard to speculate
whether Walker will continue to start at small forward alongside Battie
(when he returns), or if McCarty or Williams will get rewarded for their
play with a starting job. I noticed the name "Riley" appears in last night's
scoresheet. I assume it wasn't "Pat".
Last year, an inferior Celts unit started the season 6-5 with a big road win
at Miami and back-to-back blowout wins over Orlando, the Knicks and NJ (all
the latter games without Ron Mercer). Everything fell apart after that.
Hopefully we can hold together this year. Again, passing and ball movement
will make a big difference. It's a shame to lose Fort in the "easy" part of
our schedule (with so many home games).
Still we have a far deeper bench, a bigger and more productive starting
center, two key guys in better shape to start the year (Antoine, Kenny),
better ball movement almost guaranteed, plus a conference in disarray (with
key injuries and bad chemistry players spread all around). The key is for
Antoine (our only instinctively gifted rebounder) to rediscover his knack
for stringing together double-double games. But he'll need to get in
absolutely awesome shape to do that, while also making reasonably
intelligent passes and shots on the offensive end for 36 minutes per game
(something he hasn't done before). Just rebounding alone (more than 10 per
game against NBA athletes) requires relentless energy and focus, on top of a
natural nose for caroms. Try setting a personal target of ten rebounds in a
pick-up game, and see how tired you are afterwards. Most of us would have an
easier time aiming for 20 assists.