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These Celtics’ opponents know the plays, too

LeBron James points the Cavaliers in the right direction on defense, too.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Celtics say it is obvious when opponents have studied plays and actions. Here are their thoughts about some who stand out.

■  “When I first got in the league, when I’m playing Chris Paul for the first time, I’m calling my play out and he’s telling his players where we’re going, and I’m like ‘Man, guys have to do that in the league?’” Isaiah Thomas said. “And you follow those types of players and see the hard work they put in to know other teams’ plays, and you know you’ve got to do the same thing.”

■  “When I was younger, [Rajon] Rondo used to be like, ‘That’s this, that’s that,’” Avery Bradley said. “At shootaround he was basically walking us through the plays, and it’s because he was always paying attention.”


■  “LeBron [James] is unbelievable. And he’ll know,” assistant coach Micah Shrewsberry said. “I just remember like vividly in the playoffs we ran a play against Toronto at the end of the season last year to win the game and then we lined up in that alignment against Cleveland in the playoffs, and LeBron is like switching guys around and calling out the alignment, what he saw, what he thought was going to happen. DeAndre Jordan, surprisingly, is really good at it. He’s a great communicator on the defensive end, so if he hears a play call he’s constantly talking.”