Celts v. Spurs: Wanna be clutch? Run a play!

by

Boston has been having some serious 4th quarter woes of late, but tonight they found a winning combination.  Rather than isolate Paul Pierce on the wing and ask him to score off the dribble against a set defense, they went with the highly reliable high pick and roll between Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett.  The results?  San Antonio couldn’t miss, but they also couldn’t make up any ground because KG hits that elbow jumper rolling off that pick.

Why did it work, and why don’t they run in more often in the clutch?  Rondo’s scoring prowess.  If his shot isn’t falling or the team lead isn’t big enough, Rondo isn’t a great guy to have the ball late in the game.  He doesn’t want to be the primary scorer if the defense sticks the roll man, and he shoots free throws like Dennis Rodman.  Tonight his shot was falling, and the lead was substantial, so the pick and pop works, and they worked it to death.  A much better option than loading up on Pierce’s shoulders and hoping for the best.

I don’t know of Garnett would shoot as well off of inferior passes – Rondo is one of the best passers in the league today – but I like the idea of closing games running a high pick a roll between Pierce and Garnett.  That’s tough to guard IF Kev can make those same shots when Paul is the one passing the ball back out.

Go Green!

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