|Preview: Celtics-Hawks||01.08.10 at 11:04 am ET|
By now we’ve all had a chance to watch and re-watch the inbound play that resulted in a layup for Rajon Rondo and helped the Celtics take Miami to overtime, where they eventually won. (If not, Jess has an excellent re-cap of Doc Rivers explaining the ins and outs on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday). The whole thing was wonderfully executed from Paul Pierce’s pass (“Paul is the only guy that can make the pass,” Rivers said.) to Glen Davis‘ screen that sprung Rondo to Rondo’s finish at the rim.
All of which brings up an interesting point. Rivers is generally acknowledged at a master of designing plays coming out of timeouts. That’s an anecdotal observation. It would be hard to track such a thing without watching tons of game tape from around the league. It might be possible to tell how successful a team was coming out of timeouts and tracing that back to the coach, but what if something hadn’t quite worked on that play? What if Rondo’s tip spun in and out? It was still a great play call.
A few seconds earlier Rivers had Ray Allen isolated at the top of the key. Dwyane Wade stripped Allen and went in for a dunk. We have no idea what play Rivers had drawn up because Allen never got a chance to run it. But on balance, we’ve seen the Celtics score many points of out of timeouts with well-designed calls. (As an aside: One of the best I’ve ever seen at it was Villanova women’s coach Harry Perretta. He shared some of his plays with Pat Summitt who used them to help win a national championship.)
It’s interesting that some coaches don’t seem to even want to try to take advantage of the situation. George Karl rather famously doesn’t have inbound plays at least until Chauncey Billups demand that he draw some up. The Wizards were running a promotion to have a fan draw up an inbound play, which seems ridiculous. But they’ve got other problems right now.
At the very least, it’s to Rivers credit that he takes these situations seriously and does what he can to put his team in a position to make succeed.
CELTICS (25-8, 6-4 last 10)
Points Per Game: 100.9
Points Allowed: 92.3
Offensive Efficiency: 108.9 (10th)
Defensive Efficiency: 100.6 (First)
Pace: 92.0 (19th)
HAWKS (22-12, 4-6 last 10)
Points Per Game: 104.4
Points Allowed: 97.8
Differential: +6.6 (Fourth)
Offensive Efficiency: 112.7 (Second)
Defensive Efficiency: 105.5 (12th)
Pace: 91.8 (22nd)
Injuries: None. Read the rest of this entry »