Wasn't as exciting a day in NBA playoff basketball since the playoffs began, but I took the opportunity to breakdown a little of what the Celtics do. Though they are mainly a half-court offensive team, they do run an Early Offense most of the time with Kevin Garnett on the early post-up.

From a coaching perspective, if you can get your bigs to postup early and gain position, it makes it so much easier to score before the defense sets up. As a center/forward, it's tough having to go up against double-teams all the time, so any opportunity you can to get up the floor post-up, turn and shoot is a good one. In this case, KG posts up, then finds Rondo who cuts underneath the defense for the easy layup. The Czar, Mike Fratello, breakin' it down for us from the TNT crew,

Early Offense Postup:

I like how the Celtics are perfectly spread here. Now, I say early offense, but really this was probably off a rebound or steal. The real early offense would be off of a made basket, but in any case, the wings run their lanes, KG is already ahead of the play going straight down the middle. In the clip, watch him work his defender for position in the key. The first pass goes to the wing from Rondo,

After the wing pass, Rondo cuts to the opposite low block from KG. KG clears the key and posts up. He gets the pass then the quick touch pass to Rondo who goes in for an easy layup,

Another great player that is great when he occasionally gets up and down the floor is Shaq doing the early post up. I went through yesterday's game and found this nice shot of Shaq running ahead of the defense, gets fronted, but the lob comes before the double team and he scores easily,

Shaq is almost unstoppable when he's out running and posting up early. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of conditioning to go back and forth like that and I don't think Shaq is able to do that consistently anymore.


If you watch the Celtics, KG is great at gaining position early in the shot clock. He probably scores half of his points off the early post-up. When it's not there, he'll kick it back out and they'll run another quick hitter from dribble drive or stagger screens for Ray Allen. The key with the Celtics though is their tough M2M defense. They are a great, and I mean great, transition defense team and to a man they each take pride in defending their guy. Just a real old school defensive philosophy.

All kinds of speculation that Tom Izzo might be headed to the Bulls. In any case, there is a new video out that has the numbered fast break used at Michigan State, check out Tom Izzo's new DVD on the Numbered Fast Break. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum to talk hoops with other coaches.