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Opponents Zoning In

I missed this article yesterday by Scott Souza.   It is an excellent take on how some other teams are trying to match up with the Celtics.  One main tactic has been using the zone, which worked for the Wizards.  Doc and the players are not too worried though.

"The second game against them we went 2-for-17 in wide-open shots," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "So I'm not worried. We have gotten great shots against it. We just didn't hit them."

The Celtics' problem against the zone was likely more how they attacked it - specifically how they did not attack it - than the defense's potential for long-term effectiveness.

"I think the times the zone worked were against Washington and it was when we weren't moving the basketball," said Eddie House, who helped carry the load at point guard in the two games with Rajon Rondo (back, hamstring) mostly sidelined. "The ball was staying on one side of the floor. We were just throwing it to one side and it was staying there. We weren't swinging the ball, we weren't setting picks, we weren't throwing it in the post.

"We weren't playing basketball the way we usually play. That's what the zone wants you to do - take quick shots, keep it on one side of the floor and not make them work."

Rivers seemed to welcome opponents testing the zone going forward.

"Teams that have zoned us have basically gotten out of them pretty quickly," he said of its overall effectiveness for the season. "Washington at home (last Saturday) stayed in it longer than any team this year.

"We prefer for teams to play zone because we not only get post, we get our shooters wide-open shots. Portland just stopped it (in Boston's 100-90 victory on Wednesday). After Tony Allen made one 3-pointer, they never ran it again."

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