Zero second-chance points big issue for Celtics


Zero second-chance points big issue for Celtics

BOSTON -- 17-0.

In a game decided by five points, the Boston Celtics were outscored 17-0 in second chance points by the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

Thats one of our focuses -- we always focus on team box outs and limiting penetration, Dallas' Brandon Haywood told following the Mavericks' 90-85 win. Rajon Rondo did a great job of getting down the lane for the Celtics, but when he did miss shots and other guys crashed the boards, we had a guy rotating to keep that guy off the glass. Boxing out is something that we stress in practice. Its a staple of a good defensive team. Thats what we want to do.

While the Mavericks described it as a point of emphasis in their game plan, the Celtics emphasized the importance of improving upon it as the season goes on.

Effort, energy, said Kevin Garnett. When you see second-chance points, a lot of that is effort and the ball bouncing. Weve got to get better at that, along with rebounding and some other things. Weve definitely got to take care of the ball. Ive never seen us like this. But then again, Im sure if you go throughout the league, turnovers are probably up and thats due to chemistry. Again, Im just going to make this repetitive that chemistry, you just dont go to the closet and pull it out. Its something that youve got to continue to work at.

The Celtics were outrebounded, 43-35, including 12-2 on the offensive glass. Haywood led all players with 11 boards.

Most of the teams that we have played that weve lost to weve been beaten on glass, said Ray Allen. We have to keep them off offensive glass. We have to get some of our own. Thats all that second chance, that energy is the challenging part of the game that we have to improve on. I think I have to do a better job, the guards have to do a better job, when the ball bounces along, of getting that big guy off the glass we have to do a better job getting that weak side off the glass.

Coach Doc Rivers saw second chance points as one of many areas of the game that set the Celtics back. In thisloss, second chance points could have given the C's a better chance to earn a victory.

You cant win, Doc Rivers said of being outscored 17-0. And not only those points, our turnovers that led to they had 20 points off of our turnovers so thats 37 points before you start the game against the team that won the title last year. Its very difficult. And on top of that our gambles. I think we gave up nine or ten at halftime and we gave up a couple of threes and two down the stretch with gambles. So thats on me to get them to understand the trust, as far as Im concerned.

Morning Skate: Not a dry eye as Canucks draftee gets the call

Morning Skate: Not a dry eye as Canucks draftee gets the call

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while getting ready to check out GLOW on Netflix.

*This video of a Vancouver Canucks draft pick tearing up while watching the video of his brother celebrating him getting picked is all that is right with the NHL Draft.  

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Adrian Dater has Avs first-round pick Cale Makar talking about his hockey background, and why it doesn’t matter.

*The Calgary Flames are excited about their prospects and the pieces they were able to acquire last weekend.

*The Washington Capitals have re-signed Brett Connolly for a couple of years at short money and he appears to have found a home in DC.

*The Chicago Blackhawks are still in talks with Marian Hossa about how to resolve his contract and the allergic skin condition that might have prematurely ended his hockey career.

*Will the Tampa Bay sports go through a dry spell when it comes to Hall of Fame athletes now that former Lighting forward Dave Andreychuk has been called to the Hockey Hall?

*It looks like young Pierre Luc Dubois will be put in a position to contribute with the Columbus Blue Jackets this season.

*Alex Prewitt has a preview of the NHL free agency period and the stress levels that many players go through in it.

*For something completely different: This video of Drake and Will Ferrell hoop handshakes was pretty solid, and funny.


Drellich: Hanley Ramirez has to improve or Red Sox need to try others

Drellich: Hanley Ramirez has to improve or Red Sox need to try others

BOSTON — It doesn’t really matter what’s holding Hanley Ramirez back: his health, his desire to play at less-than-100 percent, neither, both. The Red Sox need him to produce more at the plate, as the designated hitter, or need to play someone who can produce more.

The suggestion of putting Ramirez on the disabled list so that his shoulders (and now, his left knee, where he was hit by a pitch Sunday) may heal is reasonable. If you can’t hit well — if you can’t even be in the lineup — why are you on the roster?

Ramirez was out for a second straight game Tuesday night. 

Flat-out benching Ramirez in favor of Chris Young or Sam Travis or both for a time makes sense too. Young will DH again Tuesday and Travis will start at first against Twins left-hander Hector Santiago. 

Try one, try all. The route to better production doesn’t matter. As long as the Sox get some, be it from Ramirez or somewhere else.

After Mitch Moreland, who’s playing with a fractured big toe on his left foot, homered and had another impactful night on Monday, Sox manager John Farrell made some comments that are hard to read as anything but a message to Ramirez.

“In his most recent stretch, he’s been able to get on top of some fastballs that have been at the top of the strike zone or above for some power obviously,” Farrell said. “But I think the way he’s gone about it given the physical condition he’s in, is a strong message to the remainder of this team.”

Tuesday is June 27. From May 27 on, Ramirez is hitting .202 with a .216 on-base percentage and .369 slugging percentage. 

In the final three months of the 2016 season, Ramirez hit .300 with a .379 OBP and .608 slugging percentage. That’s from the start of July through the end of the regular season. 

The potential for such a second-half surge is hard to ignore. The Sox need to figure out if Ramirez is healthy enough to give it to them, and if not, be willing to give someone else an extended look — be it with Ramirez on the bench or the DL.