A little slow on the take this morning being the weekend and all. It wasn't the prettiest of games last night between the Celtics and Pistons. More than strategy or even talent, what separated the 2 teams was simple, DESIRE. The Celtics wanted the win, more than the Pistons did. It showed up in the way the Celtics played defense, hustled for loose balls, and shared the ball.

This play in the 3rd quarter pretty much summed up the whole game if you didn't watch it. Starts out with great defense by Paul Pierce on Tayshaun Prince, resulting in partially blocking the shot. The alley-oop pass to Garnett doesn't work on transition, but Ray Allen jumps to the loose ball first and PP picks it up. On the 3v2 that ensues, PP finds Kevin Garnett who passes to Kendrick Perkins for the open shot. Here is the full sequence (apologize in advance for the poor video quality),

3v2, Make the Extra Pass:

I just want to point out the extra pass by Kevin Garnett on the 3v2. When you have numbers, you have to force the defense to come and defend you, then make the extra pass to the open teammate,


The other day, I talked about the biggest issue for the Celtics, can they get more scoring than the big 3. If not, it will be difficult to get over 80 points. They answered that question last night with Rondo, Perkins and Posey all picking up 12 points. Still though, the question somewhat lingers. How much of that bench scoring was due to the poor defense of the Pistons? Was this a 1 hit wonder, or will the bench continue to score? If you're the Celtics, you're season depends on it.

As for the Pistons, it's that familiar theme. How much do you want it? You have the players, the talent to win it all. But it's what you do on game day that counts. And so far in these playoffs, the Pistons have not shown that consistent effort every single night. Maybe it's a chemistry thing, maybe it's the coach. But the Pistons right now are their own worst enemy.

For more new video on defensive philosphy and development, check out Larry Shyatt's DVD on 7 ways to develop a defensive mindset. Coach Shyatt is an assistant at the University of Florida and in the video, Shyatt emphasizes the use of overload defense drills to teach on-ball and off-ball defensive concepts. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk about this and your favorite basketball topics.