I buried Rondo’s jump shot yesterday, but I wanted to share five more Celtics thoughts that have struck me over the past week …….
* The Celts shot the ball exceptionally well over the first half of the season but lately, the club has cooled off, shooting Just 41, 40 and 42 percent in their last three games. Some of the drop off can be ascribed to the fact that they have been up against some good defenses but the truth of the matter is the team’s eFG% is down about sixty basis point since the start of 2011. That isn’t a ton but it feels like we are in the midst of a regression that may still have a ways to go.
* ESPN’s John Hollinger wrote on December 30 that Boston’s shooters were due for a correction, arguing that verious Celtic shooting percentages, particularly on long twos, were not sustainable. This opinion looked like a loser in January as the Celtics kept firing away with success, particularly Pierce who had a great month shooting the ball. But JH’s position has started to make money of late. That said, Hollinger might be wise to sell his position now – at a small loss – as the upcoming schedule looks pretty favorable for Boston shooters. I know … twenty seconds ago I said the Celts shooting regression has legs. But when regression comes face to face with Golden State’s defense (twice), you have to think regression loses.
* Despite Sunday’s 0-10, Paul Pierce continues to lead all small forwards in total shooting percentage. And with a PER of 19.11, he trails only LBJ, Durant and Carmelo among small forwards. Needless to say, guys who shorted Pierce before the year started are starring at losses.
* I never thought these words would pass my lips but the Celtics miss Marquis Daniels in a big way. Say what you want about Daniels, but he can defend, get out on the break and do some good work inside of ten feet. And now, with this news that Paul Pierce has a sore foot, Quis’ absence is a real problem. If Daniels cord injury is a season killer, as I think it could well be, Danny Ainge has his work cut out for him because there is nobody on the roster right now that can spell Pierce and guard opposing threes. Is Michael Finley still alive?
* As much as I was hoping otherwise, Kendrick is the same old Kendrick. Just after Perk returned to action last month, there were some encouraging signs that he may have actually lost some “offensive awkwardness” during his rehab. Nope, turns out he is still his robotic self. My attacks on Perkins are stale at this point but suffice to say, he remains a terrible offensive basketball player who is once again leading all NBA centers in turnover rate. Eight years into his NBA career, Perkins still can’t dribble or play 30 minutes without getting called for an illegal screen.