Photo By Lorianne DiSabato on Flickr. Yes, that's Sheed on the line.
"We have been a horrendous team going to the line, for the most part, where as in the past we’ve been very good at it," admitted Rivers. "[Pierce is] the guy. [Point guard Rajon] Rondo doesn’t get to the line as much as we’d like, so we need someone to go to the line. Kevin [Garnett] is on the perimeter a lot, so he doesn't go to the line. When you look at our team, the way we’re built, Paul is really the only guy that can get to the line.
"Avery might be the second best, actually, because he attacks the basket. We just don’t have that [free throw generator on the] team. [Pierce's increased free throws lately is] really nice because, we’re a better defensive team. Whenever you get to the free throw line — I think that’s the thing that people miss most — you get to set your defense, every single time. It’s nice getting to line."
Here's the thing about Rondo's FT attempts: They're actually UP this year. The 3.6 per game would represent a career high.
There are a couple of reasons for his lack of FT attempts:
1) He doesn't attack the rim every game. He didn't take any FT''s in 3 of his last 5 games. But are we really going to complain about how he's played in those games?
2) When he does get to the rim, he's glided by everyone and he's often all alone. You tell me how often you've seen Rondo hacked at the rim without a call.
The Celtics are a jump shooting team. Ray's a shooter. KG's a shooter. Rondo's a passer. Bass is a mid-ranger shooter. Paul Pierce is the only guy who attacks with any regularity. It's like a football team that passes most of the game. They run the ball to keep the defense honest. The Celtics drive to the basket just to keep the defense honest.
The lack of FT's isn't that big of an issue… at least not as long the C's continue to hit their jumpers.
On Page 2: Pietrus is out until the playoffs
"I can't imagine it being any sooner," Rivers said.
[…] "He was talking about (playing) next week," Rivers said. "He has a concussion; that's the way I looked at the conversation."
[…] "I would think with the severity of that injury, we would be very happy if he could return by the playoffs," Rivers said.
Obviously, basketball-wise, I'd want Pietrus back ASAP… but obviously we need to be careful with concussions and the team is playing well at the moment. As long as he can return to help in the playoffs, that'd be fine with me. The playoffs are only a few weeks away anyway.
Related links: Herald: Doc hopes for Pietrus in playoffs
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Celtics rout 'Wolves, move back into division lead | Garnett gets better of Love | ESPN Boston: No complaints for C's | WEEI: C's beat Wolves, all alone in 1st | Ainge: No rush to get Pietrus back | The lure of passing | Herald: Celtics take ticket to the top | Garnett shows he has an edge over Love | Globe: C's in first | Rondo helps the cause | Are the Celtics for real?