Scalabrine: Celtics need to improve pick-and-roll defense


Scalabrine: Celtics need to improve pick-and-roll defense

You could point to a number of reasons why the Celtics got blown away in Philadelphia, but CSNNE's Brian Scalabrine knows that a major one has to do with Boston's pick-and-roll coverage.

"When you watched the 76ers tonight they were getting to the middle of the floor almost on every pick and roll. A lot of that has to do with the lack of practice and during this time they're going to be able to work through that," Scalabrine said.

The C's didn't get a ton of practice in over in Europe, and with their stretch of five games in seven nights, you won't see much if any practice then either. Eventually though, Boston will work on it more they'll have to to prepare for Miami on Opening Night.

"But Doc talked about Miami 'This is our first game, this is what we're preparing for' well, Miami has two very good pick-and-roll players and you're going to see 70 of those a night," Scalabrine said. "So the Celtics need to kind of sure up their pick-and-roll coverage and when they do that and they'll have that little gap before that first Miami game look for them to tighten up the defense a little bit more."

Boston will have eight days of no games to prepare for Miami. They'll have plenty of time to work out the kinks, but will that super-long stretch between games prove to actually be a bad thing?

Report: Celtics have called Cavaliers about potential Kyrie Irving trade

Report: Celtics have called Cavaliers about potential Kyrie Irving trade

Celtics fans aren’t the only ones thinking of ways Kyrie Irving could end up in Boston.

Even though it would be hard to imagine last season’s No. 2 seed in the East trading one of the best players in the league to last season’s No. 1 seed in the East, ESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote Monday that the Celtics have indeed called the Cavs about the 25-year-old point guard. 

Wrote Lowe:

Most teams, including the asset-rich Celtics, have placed the obligatory call letting Cleveland know they would like to be kept in the loop, sources say. Boston could offer Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and one of their golden picks -- Brooklyn's pick next season, or the Lakers/Kings pick they got from Philly in the Markelle Fultz deal. It's unclear if they would dangle all of that, but those picks could represent the young stud Cleveland needs. Regardless, a deal between the East's two best teams seems unlikely.

While nobody’s counting on Irving joining the Celtics, a trade of Irving elsewhere could still swing the balance in the East in Boston’s favor depending on what Cleveland gets back. Irving reportedly requested a trade from Cleveland earlier this month.