The Last Play

last playIt’s easy to blame Rajon Rondo for getting torched on the last play of last night’s game… but he had a lot of help.  Jose Calderon didn’t go from beyond the arc on the left win to a layup-and-foul on the right side without a lot of people doing the wrong thing.

Let’s start with the set up… where we can see why Rajon got burned.  He’s got Calderon but he’s not squared up at all.  I have real doubts that he would force Calderon right from this spot on the floor. 

last playOur second culprit here is Kevin Garnett.  Chris Bosh had tried to set a pick.  When your player steps up to set a pick.. you want to chip the other player as he goes by.  I know KG was probably trying to get out of the way to let Rondo go over the pick… but all he did was give Calderon a clear lane to the hoop.  Also in this frame… you can see Paul Pierce is late getting over.  He should be in the middle of the lane.

Had Pierce gotten over into the middle of the lane… he could have actually been playing 3 guys at the same time:  Calderon on the drive… Bosh on the roll… and his own man.  But, by being a step late and a step too low… Calderon actually still has two options on the bosh roll and under the hoop. One simple late rotation caused Pierce to be out of position on three guys… when he could have guarded them all.  One last note:  Ray Allen should probably be a step closer too… just in case Calderon dumps it down.  Ray would have a time to get out to the corner to make a 3 difficult.  And I know how scorching hot they were from 3… but I’d still rather that be their only option… as opposed to something close to the hoop.

Help is the essence of team defense.  So yes, Rajon Rondo got burned… horribly… but he was only the first domino to fall in this defensive collapse.  This also goes to show that one guy can screw up, but he can be picked up by his teammates. 

Herald:  No defense for Celtics  |  Miss leaves Allen at a loss  |  Right time to take a back seat  |  Big Al’s 39 pushes Wolves past Suns  |  Globe:  C’s seeing triple  |  Allen has strong all star case  | Garnett’s goal not the vote  |  Patriot Ledger:  Celts realize they’ve become targets  |  Eagle Tribune:  Boston epicenter of sports universe  |  T&G:  C’s fizzle at the finish  |  Portland could get NBDL franchise

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9 Responses

  1. KG didn’t help Rondo at all. He was face-guarding Bosh, which was of no help. He needed to cheat a bit to impede Calderon’s lane.

    Nice analysis by the way, Coack K.

  2. Thanks… now go take a lap

  3. I still blame Rondo. The “Great” sideline reporter Greg Dickerson said coming out of one of the huddles that Doc was telling Rondo not to play so far off of Calderon & to be more physical when gaurding him.

  4. Mitchell had another play in mind (he didn’t elaborate post game), but changed it once the teams hit the floor for the last play.

    Celtics took 89 shots to the Raptors 69

    C’s pounded Raps in many statistical categories.

    Pg play is one area the Raptors have a clear advantage, although it seems Rondo is better than I gave him credit for, he simply isn’t that good.

    I know he’s young (don’t know exact age). But Calderon is 26, and Ford 24; and they are fringe all-stars already.

    Too much attitude, too little skill to back it up…..didn’t notice him talking too much last night, did we?

  5. […] Celtics can’t stop Calderon   If the Wolves get #1      Red’s Army    The last play      Enterprise    Defense rests for the Celtics     Toronto Sun   Sam not fooling KG   […]

  6. Didn’t notice who talking last night Jon? Rondo? He’s not a talker. He never talks.

  7. Jon, your team is made up of fringe all-stars. and thats where they will stay, on the fringe of the playoffs.

  8. Sorry for the ignorance (Canadian politeness), if Rondo isn’t one of the talkers.

    Just remember him getting in Calderon’s face a couple of times last game.

    I’ve watched about 8 Celtics games total, and Rondo has been more than adequate.

    Look…the Celtics have a chance this year. Kudos to them, I love intense ball. The truth is with the Mitchell/Garnett connection we’re kind of cousins right now.

    Bosh always plays tight against KG….we suspect it’s because of the great reverance of Garnett from Mitchell.(Two were close in Minnesota)

    Mitchell would give anything for the Raps to come at teams a little meaner like Boston or Detroit….still should be a great playoffs this year. Great site, hope to visit again in April.

    Oh yeah Go Patriots, whatever that means.

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