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Brian Scalabrine: Celtics need to "attack the restricted area - get to free throw line"

Former Celtic, Brian Scalabrine doesn't believe in team chemistry. What he does believe in is playing the game of basketball the right way - and part of that is getting into the restricted area and getting to the free throw line. Celtics legend and current announcer, Tommy Heinsohn is constantly heard yelling at the Guys in Green to take it into the paint (per NBC Sports Brian Scalabrine):

I don't believe in chemistry. I believe in fit. I believe in basketball being played a certain way. When you play that way, everyone thinks you have great chemistry. This team can love each other, they can have S’mores, singing “Kumbaya" with guitars out there. If they don't get to the restricted area and they don't get to the free-throw line, especially with this defensive frontcourt they have, this team is not going to be that good.

Now, if the C's can attack the restricted area -- and I look a lot at Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward -- if those guys are attacking the restricted area and getting to the free-throw line, that’s a good sign.

I could not agree more. S'mores have to be one of the most over-rated desserts ever, and I have never been known to sing Kumbaya, with or without guitar accompaniment. But I do love Scal's sarcasm. To emphasize his point, the Boston Celtics were ranked 27th in percentage of points scored in the paint last season. An average of 39.8% of their points were scored in the painted area. But they were eighth in percentage of points from beyond the arc (33.6%). That team loved to launch 3-pointers.


So who are the points-in-the-paint (%PITP) leaders last season for the current Celtics squad? Rob Williams takes top honors, coming in ranked 7th in the NBA for %PITP with 86.4% coming in the painted area (playing 10-or-more games). Enes Kanter ranks 44th with 76.7%.

So how did the trio of Hayward, Brown and Tatum do attacking the basket last season? Jaylen was rated 201st (48.5 %PITP) - Jayson was 289th (40.1%) and Gordon came in 307th (38.5%). Hopefully, those numbers will be raised this coming season. Here are parting shots from NBC Sports' Brian Scalabrine):

I'll just remind everybody that Kobe (Bryant), his first couple years in the league, all he did was go to the basket and dunk on people. Yes, after like 15 years in the league, when he busted his Achilles, he turned into a jump shooter. But, early on, he was attacking the rim.

So, get the young players to attack the rim and then you can worry about that other stuff when you're old and can't move.

Scal's points are solid. This Celtics team is still fairly young. Last years' 27th ranking in percentage of points in the paint needs to increase. Save some of those 3-pointers for the rocking chair years. The 2019-20 version of the Guys in Green needs to keep Tommy Heinsohn happy. "Take it into the paint. Attack the rim." Great advice from the 8-Time NBA Champion.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and Facebook

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