This is what I want to see heading into Game Two
C – Garnett
PF – Pierce
SF – Pavlovic
SG – Ray
PG – Rondo
G – Dooling
SG/SF – Pietrus
PF – Bass (Haslem)
C – Stiemsma
I absolutely hated seeing Doc put Garnett and Stiemsma on Shane Battier defensively. Covering the perimeter instead of the paint. Removing from prime help defense + rebounding positions and sacrificing the integrity of Boston’s defense and rebounding in the process.
Boston needs to go small to better matchup against Miami’s small lineup. They simply don’t have enough talent in their big men outside of Kevin Garnett to punish Miami’s small-ball consistently enough over a seven game series to justify staying big.
It’s also glaring how little depth Boston truly has at the forward positions. Pavlovic and Pietrus are more big two guards than genuine small forwards. The Celtics only really have two rotation caliber forwards in Pierce (quick forward) and Bass (big forward). Doc doesn’t trust JaJuan Johnson (and rightly so) because of defensive ineptitude. Or Sean Williams, the late season signing (who I would have liked to have seen get the nod ahead of Hollins earlier in the playoffs). Anyway, it’s one of those times where you can’t help but think of Jeff Green and of how useful he would have been matching up against this current Miami Heat lineup/rotation. He was a big loss.
I’d also like to see Doc Rivers decrease the load on Ray Allen. He is playing too many minutes for a guy who is struggling as much as Ray is. His shot has deserted him for most of the playoffs and his defense has been up and down. Ray still has a good role to play (~~25mpg) here but it should be less than it currently is.
On another note, I also disliked Doc playing Rondo-Dooling-Ray together in a small ball alignment with Pietrus (PF) and Garnett (C). I’d like to see more size, defense and rebounding on the wing. So one of Dooling/Ray and a Pavlovic/Pierce. Preferably Pierce especially if LeBron is on the floor.
I thought Miami played some terrific team defense in game one. Their activity levels and positioning were brilliant. Wrecked havoc on Boston’s offense. Kudos to them.