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The Celtics learned how to share the ball
Rondo is definitely one of the most special point guards in the league. Few players in the history of basketball have the privileged court vision he possesses. So, it is only natural that a team that features such a player will rely heavily on him run the offense, right? Magic's Lakers did it and so did Oscar Robertson's Bucks.
The Celtics, though, learned to play better without a ball-dominant point guard by asking all players to share the basketball. As Doc said after the Clippers game:
Ball movement. Listen, it's not a hard way to play. It's simple; shoot the ball when you're open or pass it. Really, that's all we are telling guys to do. If your open and it's you're shot, shoot it. No hesitation.
The stats prove that statement is true.
In the losses against New York, Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago, only a few nights before Rondo's injury, no more than four players were reaching double-figures each night. In the New York game, Rondo and Pierce combined for 45 points (more than half of the Celtics 89 total points that night) and Rondo scored 30 of the Celtics' 99 points in the OT loss to the Bulls.
In the wins against Toronto, the Clippers, Orlando and Sacramento, at least five players wearing green scored 10 or more points each night.
Celtics' opponents don't know who to guard anymore. With Rondo, the key to beating Boston was simple: force Rajon Rondo to make difficult choices with the basketball and deny him the chance to put his players in their sweet spots. Now, the offense can be sparked by Courtney Lee, Jeff Green and even Brandon Bass. If one player isn't scoring, there is always somebody else to make the basket. And their shots have been falling, as they are shooting 48 percent from the field as a team in the last five games.
Doc is incredibly correct in his statement; it's not a hard way to play basketball. The Spurs have been playing like that since 1999 and it seems to work for them, doesn't it?