action:article | category:SPORTS0201 | adString:SPORTS0201 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Basketball » Celtics/NBA

April 23. 2013 12:38AM

Celts 'point' to Garnett for solutions

NEW YORK - Celtics coach Doc Rivers probably had no idea of how his words would take form Saturday after saying, "I've never gone into any game or series without a point guard on the team."

No disrespect to Avery Bradley, who is indeed more comfortable playing off the ball, but the absence of Rajon Rondo was bound to start hurting the C's the most once the playoffs began.

It was never more apparent than down the stretch of Saturday's Game 1 playoff loss to the New York Knicks. The Celtics turned the ball over seven times in the last 5:30, and generally stumbled over their own bad decision-making.

This is the same team that actually played its best basketball of the season in the two weeks following Rondo's departure. That was made possible because of the surrogate playmaking of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, and an emphasis on ball movement.

Pierce now believes there is a road back to that efficiency, and it has to do with how the Celtics completely botched the way they utilized Garnett on Saturday.

"We've got to play through Kevin a lot more," Pierce said Sunday at the team hotel. "He's one of our best passers. I mean he's one of the most unselfish players, so we have to do a better job of getting him the ball, a lot more than he got it yesterday.

"Doc said he wants Kevin to be aggressive, he wants him to take 20 shots, but even when we run plays for Kevin, he's so responsible that he's going to find the open man and be responsible with the ball. He usually ends up getting four or five assists. So we have to do a better job of involving him because he's good at doing a lot of playmaking duties."

Garnett's diminished role was evident in the fact he seemingly never got a good look at the basket Saturday. He shot 4-for-12, and though he had four assists, nothing came easily offensively for his team.

Though his post passing can work wonders in the absence of Rondo, Garnett's teammates also have to give him the proper space. That didn't happen.

Rivers was careful not to hang responsibility on Bradley, who simply fell victim to the same bad decision-making as his teammates.

The Celtics ultimately threw the ball away 20 times, including six each by Pierce and Green. Pierce has historically been prone to the occasional turnover spree.

"We made bad decisions," Rivers said. "It wasn't Avery, only. Paul had six turnovers and Jeff had six. That part didn't play out. Avery could have made some better decisions and so could everybody else.

"But we made some unbelievable decisions with the ball. A lot of it we just became impatient. Three or four post passes to Kevin were just impatience, instead of just advancing the pass. It was three or four guys, not just the point guard. They saw Kevin and wanted to get it to him so bad, almost. One of them was a crosscourt post pass which I don't think I've ever seen, and the other was a pass from beyond halfcourt to the post. Those are passes we can't make.

"But that's why the film is good. They'll see that. They'll see the wing guys who were open. We have to do a better job of that, because we have to get Kevin in the right spots."

Garnett is always reluctant to discuss his offensive role, but he remains confident in the team's ability to make the right decisions.

"Well, sharing the ball is one thing that's consistent throughout," he said. "But our decision-makers are guys who've been there a long time. Obviously, without Rondo who can obviously see plays before they happen (things get tougher).

"I mean we've survived up until this point. Not to say Avery's good or bad or nothing like that, but we do due diligence with him by helping him with some of the decision-making. Being consistent with our leadership, you know, is important. It's not like we're going to get up to the playoffs and all of a sudden we forget. We've been kind of like this since Rondo went down. So it's the same conditions we've already had."

Garnett believes that his own shots will come.

"Well, I thought from an offensive standpoint I didn't have a lot of different opportunities," he said. "I should have had shots and stuff. Some went down; some didn't. But I try not to let that predicate my energy or level of play. So I tried to (focus on) ball movement. I thought I moved the ball very well (and) got other guys open. My game surely can be a little more aggressive, obviously, but consistent with my overall game."

 NH Sports Angle ╗ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Former All-Star Red Sox shortstop Rico Petrocelli: ôblessedö to have grown up in Brooklyn, now lives in Nashua

Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk, right, tangles with Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in the first period of Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals hockey playoff series in this 2013 file photo.

NH-based insurer sues NHL to limit its defense in players concussion lawsuits

A's claim former Fisher Cat Marcus Walden

Mariano Rivera's son to pitch for NH squad

Kevin Davis, CEO and president of Bauer Performance Sports, displays Bauer Hockey's latest innovation in hockey skates — the Vapor APX 2 with easily changeable skate blades in this 2013 file photo.

Exeter-based Bauer continues to expand beyond hockey with $330M purchase of baseball firm Easton-Bell

Hollis-Brookline head football coach resigns unexpectedly

New owners for Waukewan Golf Club

Matches announced for USA v. Cuba clash at Rockingham Park this weekend

Boston Marathon victim Jeff Baumann throws out the first pitch prior to the start of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park last year.

Service's creed on display in support of airman affected by Boston bombing

40-year-old Manchester mechanical engineer wins MMA decision

New Hampshire Motor Speedway touts viability of casino site in Loudon

USA Knockouts Tamed in Cuba

U.S., Cuba boxers clash in Havana, U.S. bouts set for Rockingham Park in Salem

Lee USA Speedway opens season April 13

Newmarket woman plans world-record cross-country run for charity

CHIP KELLY

Is Chip Kelly racist?

World Series of Boxing event moved to Rockingham Park - USA vs. Cuba

Manchester man in top 30 candidates for Padres public address announcer

NH man helps MLB players deal with stresses on, off the field

Review of the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook

New Hampshire Motor Speedway may run Sprint Cup race in 2015 under the lights

How Boston lost the Patriots and 'New England' grabbed the NFL's 'Gold Standard'

Twin State Speedway gets new manager

Yale promotes former UNH coach to offensive coordinator

Bulldogs sign UNH's Nick Sorkin

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   ╗ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   ╗ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!