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Nenad Krstic: The Boston Celtics' Big Man And The Virtues Of Not Pump Faking

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 02: Nenad Krstic #4 of the Boston Celtics heads for the net as Robin Lopez #15 of the Phoenix Suns defends on March 2, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Robert YeeCorrespondent IIMarch 6, 2011

I feel like a lot of my basketball posts require the reader to have some video game knowledge. That being said, I didn’t think Nenad Krstic would be anywhere as near as good as he is in NBA 2K11, in which he knocks down jumpers out to 20 feet with ease.

Sure, that holds great and true in real life, but his true value comes in the way he relieves offensive pressure on the Big 3 and, especially, Rajon Rondo.

I might be stretching to try to find the bright side to this trade (I still don’t understand how it’s going to help us win this year), but Krstic is definitely an offensive upgrade. How many times did we see Rondo blow by an aged Derek Fisher or a slow Jameer Nelson, only to lay it off to a wide open Kendrick Perkins?

And then, how many times did we writhe in agony as Perkins pump-faked his nonexistent defender, twice, before being swallowed up by Andrew Bynum or Dwight Howard? Too many, I say.

Krstic’s talents were on full display in tonight’s win over the Bucks. He scored 17 points (including 12 in the first quarter) on very efficient 7-of-8 shooting. When Rondo or Pierce drew double teams, Krstic was left open and made the most of his opportunities.

Once the Celtics develop a long-term game plan with this new group, opponents will have to pick their poison in letting Rondo get to the hoop or letting Krstic and Garnett get open looks. In that, the Celtics are a better team today than they were two weeks ago.

Oh, and Sasha Pavlovic? When? Who knew.


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