By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)
It didn't take a Mensa membership to see that turnovers doomed the Celtics' offense in Game 1. They gave the ball away 20 times in total, which is a recipe for a loss when you are playing against a team that is objectively more talented, like the Knicks are.
Perhaps it's a function of their lineup. Without Rajon Rondo, Boston has gone to a "big" alignment with Avery Bradley at the point, Paul Pierce at the 2 and a trio of hybrid forwards (Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett) in the front court. Do me a favor and find the capable ball-handler in that group.
No, they don't have a classic floor general, the player who can handle against pressure while also being able to create offense for himself and his teammates. Bradley struggles as a playmaker and using Pierce, who is often asked to assume those duties, takes away from his utility as a scorer they so desperately need. If the Celtics are going to win, they too need improved ball movement and smarter passing.
Doc Rivers recalled after the game at least three attempts to make post entry passes directly from halfcourt. As he said, "you're going to turn the ball over when that happens."
In contrast with the Knicks, for whom the ball uncharactersticially stuck in guys' hands, the Celts were overly aggressive when looking to move the ball. Expect Rivers and his staff to hammer home the importance of protecting the ball and making the easy pass in a series where they know they will struggle to score and every possession matters.
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