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Celtics have room for improvement

Posted By Paul Flannery On May 17, 2010 @ 1:28 pm In General | 1 Comment

Doc Rivers and the Celtics still have some things to work out despite their Game 1 win in Orlando. (AP)

Doc Rivers and the Celtics still have some things to work out despite their Game 1 win in Orlando. (AP)

ORLANDO — The important thing is that they got the win, but the Celtics know that if they are going to head home with two games in their back pocket that they have work to do. First and foremost, is cleaning up on the boards.

The Celtics allowed 15 offensive rebounds in Game 1 against the Magic and they know that can’t continue.

“That’s real disturbing,” Paul Pierce said. “That’s something we gave up mostly in the second half.”

Pierce is sort of right on that count — the Celtics allowed eight of the 15 in the second half — but the problem became more noticeable in the fourth quarter when the Magic made their run. As is often the case, a decent number of the Magic’s second-chance points came off dribble penetration and freelancing from their defensive system.

“It wasn’t their bigs in some places, it was their guards,” Doc Rivers said. “[Matt] Barnes hurt us a couple of times. We double teamed three times and they scored all three times where we were not supposed to double team, and then the dribble penetration. [J.J.] Redick killed us off the dribble.”

By Rivers count the Celtics double-teamed on three occasions, and they got burned each time.

“It’s instinct,” Rivers said. “We had a horrible one, where we doubled Dwight [Howard]. Dwight was five feet off the block and we went and doubled him and Jason Williams was standing by himself behind the 3. That’s just an instinct and we do allow that, but we have to be smarter against this team. They kill you when you double them. If you double team this team they’ll hurt you.”

The Celtics also want to figure out their pick and roll coverage. Jameer Nelson burned them in the second half when they went under the screen. He’s too good a shooter to allow him open looks.

“We’ve got to figure out a way to stop Jameer Nelson in the pick and roll,” Pierce said. “He really got hot in the second half. We’re far from being where we want to be.”


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