I didn't get to see much of Game 1 between the Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic, but I watched some of it on the recorder and the Magic really did a great job spreading the floor and attack. I watched the first half of Game 2 last night and what really struck me was how easily the Celtics point guards were able to get into the lane and make plays. Rondo finished with a game-high 18 assists.

I think the Magic are really going to have to look at how they pick up defensively in transition and on the pick-and-roll coverages. I thought the Celtics point guards did a great job pushing the ball and getting into the heart of the defense on early offense, not waiting until the defense got set. Once the Magic got caught helping on penetration, it was easy drop offs for layins. Here are three sequences from the first half,

Against quick guards, I think you really have to be aggressive on the PNRs. You can't really allow the guard to turn the corner and drive into the lane. The screener rolls into the lane and its almost a 2v1 situation each time,


In my opinion, the Magic should have gone with a hard hedge or an aggressive trap on the ball-screen. Then, zone up the other 3 defenders to protect the paint with a tilt towards the Celtics best shooter. As for the Magic offensively, I thought they played OK, but probably took too many jump shots that they didn't knocked down.

For a great overall skill development video, take a look at Kevin Eastman's DVD on Skill Development for Inside and Perimeter Players. Coach Eastman is currently an assistant for the NBA Champion Boston Celtics. Discuss this and the rest of your favorite basketball topics at the X's and O's Basketball Forum.