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Celtics in 18-19

Discussion in 'Mark Blount's Port Cellar: Celtics Forum' started by RedOctober3829, May 28, 2018.

  1. benhogan

    benhogan Baynes Hogan SoSH Member

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    The schedule did get easier over the last 20, BUT more importantly, credit needs to go to Brad for shaking up the lineup/rotations.

    Marcus/Marcus into the starting lineup added grit/size/balance to that group. Gordon was clearly not fully healthy to start the season. Jaylen as the 4th or 5th option on offense w/the starting unit was a bad use of his talents and confused him (he just looked lost for ~ the first 30 games). Smart as a 5th offensive option w/the starting unit adds to overall team efficiency. Now Hayward can dictate the offense with the 2nd unit and Jaylen can be a top 2 offensive option with that group.

    The lineups/rotations are much more balanced w/role players and offensive weapons.
     
    #2101 benhogan, Jan 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  2. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

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    Brad has done a solid job with these changes. Our open looks are better looks with more ball movement and cohesion opposed to earlier in the year. Having Jaylen comfortable in that second unit role solved a ton of problems. Last night was a huge win against a decent team.....follow that up tonight and go off to the races. You don't want a setback after such a positive outcome.
     
  3. amarshal2

    amarshal2 Member SoSH Member

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    Pre-season how would people have ranked these statements in terms of likelihood:
    -Jaylen Brown averages 25 points a game
    -Kyrie leads the EC in assists
    -Marcus Smart shoots 38% from 3
    -Marcus Morris is top 10 in the NBA in TS%
    -Jayson Tatum leads the NBA in 3pt %

    I’m pretty sure I’d have had Morris last. Jayson was probably near top 10 last year. Brown averaged 20 a game in the playoffs, another huge jump seemed plausible. Kyrie has always been able to dribble and pass, maybe he turns into Harden. And with Smart, anything is possible. But the king of poor shot selection — a modern ‘Twan — being top 10 in the NBA in TS%!?!? IMPOSSIBLE. I’ve seen a lifetime of difficult moving mid range two in just one season last year. He might not even be top 10 on his own team!!

    But it’s the only one that’s true! It’s not even close! What a revelation.

    Here’s to the others becoming plausible! (Fairness: Smart is at .342 from 3).
     
    #2103 amarshal2, Jan 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  4. RedOctober3829

    RedOctober3829 Member SoSH Member

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    As good as they look right now, they have to sustain this for a while now if they want to get to where they want to go. They are still 5th in the EC and 4.5 games back of 1st so they have set themselves back a bit. They do have some games in hand on Toronto/Indy/Philly so that will help a lot as long as they keep winning.
     
  5. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    Obviously a win tonight would be great, but I'd cut the team some slack on a traveling back-to-back where they didn't even land in Miami until about 3am. I was with you on those earlier Spurs/Bucks losses being bad, because you need to be ready to get it up when you know it's a big game. However, really good teams take schedule losses all the time in the NBA--it says a lot less about you than getting up for the marquee games does, because the latter simulate the playoffs way more.
     
  6. BigSoxFan

    BigSoxFan Member SoSH Member

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    I’d settle for 3 seed. Passing Toronto/Milwaukee won’t be easy. But avoiding a first round matchup against Philly/Indiana and getting someone in that Brooklyn/Charlotte/Miami group has significant value.
     
  7. CreightonGubanich

    CreightonGubanich Member SoSH Member

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    The team looks great at the moment, obviously, and the changes that Brad made to the starting lineup are the right ones, for now.

    But, at some point, a team with championship aspirations has to figure out how to play with more than 3 of their 5 best players on the court at the same time. Collectively, they have the talent to beat anyone, but I think they're using it a bit sub-optimally at the moment, even though the results have been fantastic.

    No rush to change anything now, as Brown is comfortable and Hayward is still working his way back into form. But Hayward especially has the skill set to unlock the best of Kyrie, Tatum and Horford with his ability to make plays on the ball, space the floor off it, and defend multiple positions. The best version of the Celtics has him playing extended minutes with those guys.
     
  8. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    The caveat to this is
    1. If Smart is really a 35% 3-point shooter, he's one of the Celtics best 5 players. Same might be true for Morris at his current 3-pt numbers.

    2. Brown and Hayward are particularly well-suited to being bench scorers/playmakers, even if they end up closing games.

    We haven't seen it yet because I think Brad loves what Tatum brings defensively, but we'll probably see them experiment with sitting him in favor of Hayward or Brown in some spots.

    The only thing clear at this point is that if Hayward keeps progressing like this, he'll need to be on the floor for 36mins+ in the playoffs, whether starting or off the bench.
     
  9. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

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    There's some really cool info to tease out of these lineup numbers: https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/BOS/2019/lineups/

    Hayward, Irving, Horford, Tatum, and Morris is +58.3 points in only 32 minutes.
     
  10. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    That lineup is outshooting opponents by 26% from 3, so not much to take there.

    The ones that stood out to me:
    1. Brown/Hayward/Rozier/Theis is +11.1 NetRtg in 137 minutes (+ 11% from 3, probably has to come down, although that group will contest a ton of shots)
    2. The 4-man groups with Rozier and starters (Morris/Smart/Tatum and Horford/Smart/Tatum) are +12 and +13.5 in 95 and 108 minutes (+4% and +8% from 3)
    3. You can put Kyrie into any lineup and they kill everyone. The dude really should be talked about more as an MVP candidate, particularly with his defensive strides. He's clearly a top-10 player now, and is knocking on the door of the top tier.
     
  11. benhogan

    benhogan Baynes Hogan SoSH Member

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    +1. And I'll add
    3. Hayward is still not 100% yet, so patience with Gordon will pay off by the playoffs. Hayward and Brown seemed a little hesitant to open the season, getting them into the flow of games against the opponents 2nd stringers isn't the worst thing for their confidence.

    At the end of the day, Brad will cobble together the best closing unit in the 4th Quarter based on health, match up, score, and situation. Otherwise spreading Gordon and Jaylen's minutes with Theis, Rozier or Baynes provides much better balance and creates more scoring opportunities for Brown.
     
  12. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

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    Well, I wasn't saying it was a sustainable type of thing, just that it was a big number. More of a "Wow" thing.
     
  13. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    It's definitely that lol...it turns that making every 3 pointer is good for scoring margins
     
  14. nighthob

    nighthob Member SoSH Member

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    Yeah, Marcus Smart that shoots .350 from the trey is an all star level player. Especially with the way he abuses bigs on switches. (Really for me the most fun part of the Marcus Smart experience is that look every big man gives the refs as they flail their arms and shout some variant of "Marcus is being mean to me!" and the "Jesus, dude, you got eight inches and 40 pounds on Marcus, man the fuck up" look the refs give in return.)
     
  15. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    The national media (and even Celtics media?) narrative hasn't caught up yet to how good the lower usage, complementary, slightly better-shooting version of Smart is. Lineups with him are killing it, his RPM is great, the eye test is there, and he clearly makes his teammates better. And the dude is only 24 years old.

    I suppose the Celtics are totally fine with his lack of recognition, since it's why they get 3.5 more years of him at 12M per.
     
  16. Big John

    Big John lurker

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    I don't know what went down at that team meeting but they came out of it looking more like the Spurs on offense. It's a pleasure to watch.
     
  17. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    The meeting was before this, but Brad specifically said last night that it had been good to play the Spurs, because the guys got a first-hand look at how much the ball could move. He implied that the game had benefits almost as a practice/demonstration of how to do things.
     
  18. Bunt4aTriple

    Bunt4aTriple Member SoSH Member

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    Just saw him play against the red claws in Portland in NYE. Dozier was much more impressive IMO.
     
  19. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I think Brad should just plan on going with the current lineup for the rest of the season.

    Smart works as a starter because he's more than just an energy guy - he's also a ball-mover whose vision and anticipation in the defenseive end are unparalleled.

    Morris is a borderline All-Star, which I never expected to happen when they picked him up last year. Absolutely deserves to start.

    Brown and Hayward can add plenty of value coming off the bench.

    BTW, Marcus Morris is absolutely gone next year, but... any chance Markieff would be available?
     
  20. Big John

    Big John lurker

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    At home they are playing like a championship team is supposed to play. Let's see if they can sustain it on the road.
     
  21. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    It's the final year of his contract, so, yes. This would be the greatest move ever.
     
  22. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

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    Not really a fair test with the travel and B2B as lovegtm said upthread. It is however the type of game previous years teams go down there and take care of business coming off arguably our best performance of the season.

    How they respond in Orlando on Saturday night will say a lot about where this team is.
     
  23. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    The league is also REALLY tough now. The overall talent level is insanely high, more and more teams are well-coached, and players seem to be in better shape and taking the game seriously night-to-night. If you slip even a bit mentally, you lose.

    I expect the Celtics to respond and blow the doors off Orlando by playing lock-down, focused defense for the first 3 quarters. But I also expect there to be more weird losses and schedule losses this season, just because it's way harder to grind for 82 games when all your opponents are engaged too.

    The playoffs this year are going to be amazing, and we won't really know about a lot of these teams fully until then.
     
  24. Big John

    Big John lurker

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    I don't view last night as a scheduling loss. It was Mr. Hyde to Wednesday's Dr. Jeckyll. There was no ball movement: veryone was dribbling way too much and playing hero ball. It started with Kyrie, but certainly did not end there. And the defense was bad. How can you let the ancient Dwayne Wade score like that?
     
  25. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

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    Every example you gave to denounce this being a schedule loss are examples of the effects of a schedule loss. Team coming off a big win, traveling for 3 hours arriving in early morning to play a rested team coming off 2 losses is the prototypical schedule loss in the NBA when a mentally/physically rested team takes advantage of their edges in these areas. We benefit other times like we did against the Nets last week. This isn't new stuff in this league.

    Just as I noted our super soft schedule the past 6 weeks or so you cannot discount last nights game playing out the way it did based on the challenging schedule set up on the other end.
     
    #2125 HomeRunBaker, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  26. Big John

    Big John lurker

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    No, I get it. Teams are supposed to suck on the second night of a back-to-back on the road. But even if players are gassed, they can attempt to play the right way. They were not just a step slow trying to do the right things. Also, no one had played as many as 30 minutes the previous night.
     
  27. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

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    I equate the difference in 25 or 35 minutes in an NBA game similar to a baseball relief pitcher throwing 15 or 25 pitches the night before. There is very little difference compared to full rest of not physically and mentally preparing to play while also seeing action that night......the 25/35 (or 15/25) doesn't matter much in comparison to Miami's full rest with no travel.
     
  28. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    Cutting is tiring. Finishing at the rim is tiring. Setting offball screens (they did a great job of this against Indy) is tiring.

    What's not tiring? Throwing up jumpers. Being slow on rotations and not getting out to 3-point shooters. All the kinds of stuff we saw last night.

    I get that the internet tough guys here are mad they didn't give 110% effort, but all go watch other teams around the league. This happens to EVERYONE, even the best teams, and particularly this year, when the league is deep.

    Hell, I even discount the Pacers win somewhat because they were coming off a similar b2b (albeit against Cleveland), and it really showed in the 3rd quarter. Indy came out of the locker room obviously flat, and had repeated effort and attention lapses all quarter.
     
  29. Jimbodandy

    Jimbodandy Member SoSH Member

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    You are right.

    They clearly demonstrated that the hero ball ISO thing is sitring right there in the subconscious, waiting to leak out at a moment of weakness.

    The lack of defensive focus can be blamed on road woes. And even the best teams lay eggs, as noted above. But they stopped passing and stopped going to the rim, and the assists and FYA reflected that.

    They corrected the latter and things improved. They improved defensively when TL came in (Horford was truly awful last night and is the old man).

    The lack of ball movement and execution took over. Brad has a lot of good tape to show them today.
     
  30. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    What makes you think they aren't mentally gassed as well? Did you ever think being tired can affect the way a team plays and their decision making? It's not 100% physical.
     
  31. NYCSox

    NYCSox chris hansen of goats Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Getting riled about last night is a little silly. It was the third game in four nights and the back end of a B2B with travel. That's going to happen.

    If you want to be pissed, the home losses to the garbage of league (NY, Orlando and Phoenix) is where you need to focus. That's going to cost them major seeding.
     
  32. Sam Ray Not

    Sam Ray Not Member SoSH Member

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    Then how do you explain the fact that the Warriors are 39-2 with a net rating of +23.4?
     
  33. Jimbodandy

    Jimbodandy Member SoSH Member

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    Yeah, getting riled is silly. But it was a good reminder that the bad habits are still there under the surface. More drilling in the groove of good habits is required.
     
  34. Jimbodandy

    Jimbodandy Member SoSH Member

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    Shocking--a team heavy in experience and continuity experiences fewer lapses in consistency. Film at 11.
     
  35. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    Pretty sure he was joking as the Warriors are 27-14 with a +5.0. The Celtics are 25-16 with a 6.6. But we suck and our season is over.
     
  36. ugmo33

    ugmo33 Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter SoSH Member

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    Don't look now but Marcus Smart is up to 35%...just in time for all-star votes
     
  37. Sam Ray Not

    Sam Ray Not Member SoSH Member

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    Actually, it's even less shocking when a team heavy in experience and continuity experiences a ton of lapses in regular-season consistency, as this year's Warriors have so far. By net rating, the Celtics have been significantly better than Warriors. Indeed, all of the teams expected to kill it going onto the season (GS, HOU, BOS, TOR, PHI, UTA) have stumbled or straight up collapsed. The only team that has pretty consistently looked like a great team is the Bucks.

    Reasons are myriad, but I think the fact that nearly all teams are now playing mathematically smart, 3-point bombing offense, together with the high variance created by all those threes, together with the ever-improving overall talent level created by the league's exploding popularity has made it harder for the top teams than it was even 3-4 years ago. I don't think we're going to see another 73-9 season anytime soon (we're halfway through the season and everyone has at least 11 losses).

    Moreover: in retrospect, that 73-9 season looks kinda like a cautionary tale of what happens when you expend too much energy consistently chasing regular-season glory.

    TLDR: chill. The Celtics are fine. A road segababa in one of the most attractive-woman-laden cities in the League is as close as it gets to a scheduled loss. The Cs have shown that their top gear is elite — and that they've been hitting that gear recently more than they did at the start of the season — which is what you want to see at this point, imo.
     
    #2137 Sam Ray Not, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  38. Commander Shears

    Commander Shears Member SoSH Member

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    If that makes it a schedule loss, then doesn't it also make the 'big win' a schedule win? Indiana was on the second night of a back-to back and playing their fourth straight road game.
     
  39. RetractableRoof

    RetractableRoof Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    A thought or two..

    I agree this was a b2b/scheduling loss - and the come back when they inserted TL shows that it didn't take much energy-wise/effort wise to make a difference. As stated by others, teams in this league are too good to expect to win without a grade A effort - at least while the Celtics are still trying to iron out who they are and the resolve the minutes/rotation issues.

    This was also a game where missing Baynes is a factor. If he was available I don't thing Horford even plays last night. It wasn't that long ago Al was resting his knee(s). He probably needed the day off but for "team".

    The depth of this team probably should have been leveraged more last night. I don't often think Brad misses on lineups, etc. (and who am I too judge) -but I think last night he stayed with the statues/zombies too long. Maybe he was trying to accomplish something by way of building trust the way a baseball manager stays with a struggling starter. I'm not criticizing him, just thinking in hindsight. It might have been interesting for him to take the Bruins Cassidy approach of not starting the first line and giving play to a lineup he could be sure would provide energy to start the game. I've wondered about that for a while given the Celtics depth - on b2b games just start an energy unit both halves and use the starters to close.

    I'll stop there before I find a way to work in Patriots/Revs references.
     
  40. chilidawg

    chilidawg Member SoSH Member

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    Yes indeed it does, which is why it's never good to overreact to one midseason game. We had a nice little run, time to start another.
     
  41. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    Yes. People like building narratives off one game.
     
  42. BigSoxFan

    BigSoxFan Member SoSH Member

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    I really don't care if a loss is a "schedule loss" or not. The Celtics are currently the 5 seed and are staring at a really tough 1st round matchup with Philly or Indiana if they don't get up to the 3 seed. Plenty of time to get there but every loss matters no matter the context. Last night doesn't change the outlook of the season at all but it was still disappointing.
     
  43. the moops

    the moops Member SoSH Member

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    This is from 2016, but teams on a HOME - ROAD back to back had a .196 winning percentage. A ROAD - ROAD back to back they had a .458
     
  44. DeJesus Built My Hotrod

    DeJesus Built My Hotrod Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I posted a link in the game thread but you can Google and find plenty of data based pieces that show that B2B and tight schedule effects are real. Gamblers know this, sports books reflect it and the league itself recognizes the effects and that is why they made changes to the overall schedule.

    The Cs likely didn't land at 3am on Thursday and head out to the club. Again, its also worth noting that last night's game started a bit earlier than normal to accommodate TNT for the OKC/Spurs game on the follow.

    Anyone trying to minimize the effects of playing even part of an NBA game, then getting on a relatively short flight (replete with changing pressurization and recycled air), landing in the wee hours of the morning, then trying to sleep in an unfamiliar bed/room and then having to go play another game is ignoring the ample data that suggests that these factors have a real impact on performance.

    Hell, anyone who travels regularly for non-professional athletic work can tell you how even short trips can induce fatigue and render someone at less than their best.
     
    #2144 DeJesus Built My Hotrod, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  45. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    This will likely be a work in progress even into next season--Kaizen.

    Didn't realize it was that extreme. Fascinating.

    With the way the league is trending (smarter, more variance, better coaching, less partying), I think we're going to see a change in how we view the regular season. Everything is moving more in a tennis direction, where you play a lot of games/tournaments, but teams acknowledge that certain ones are tests (Grand Slams). Of course you try to do well in the others, and it matters for seeding, but the "Grand Slam" games are what GMs and coaches base their evaluations of the team on.

    The loss to the Spurs and the blowout by the Bucks were a lot more discouraging to me, simply because, in those matchups, everyone was trying to bring their A games.
     
  46. Sam Ray Not

    Sam Ray Not Member SoSH Member

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    Heck, my work and blogging skills feel weak today after sitting through that Spurs-Thunder game.
     
  47. lexrageorge

    lexrageorge Member SoSH Member

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    I think this is the biggest negative to last night's loss. While the loss was not necessarily predictive of the team's performance going forward, the Celtics do have a hill to climb to get to their desired playoff seeding, which does actually matter. Just ask last year's Bucks team how much they would have liked to have had one more home game in the first round.
     
  48. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

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    It also would have helped the Bucks to not have shitty coaching; they'd have won in 5. Seeding and home court are great, but you play the hand you're dealt, and cohesion/identity/talent matter more.
     
  49. Jimbodandy

    Jimbodandy Member SoSH Member

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    I misread your original post. Been a long week, sorry.

    Sure, mature teams handle things differently, as they can and should. And of course the Warriors aren't just mature, talented, and with continuity--they also have played more high leverage games than any team over the last few years. They are unique in that regard. Only LBJ the person can relate, but no other team. So if I'm Steve Kerr, I'm not losing a lot of sleep whether they have a hiccup or not. Nor should really Brad Stevens over one game. My point regarding GS was that their situation is entirely unlike the Celtics' one, except for the "high expectations" label. They're mature, loaded, and have been there and done that.

    That said, I'm sure as shit not panicked over last night any more than I'm popping corks over a few nice wins. What the wins showed me was the possibilities. That's exciting, but hardly carved in stone. What last night showed me was that the bad habits aren't fully cleansed. Last night was a dude who gave up drinking for a month or two and started eating better, lost 20 pounds, felt great, and then got hammered at his high school reunion with his old drinking buddies. A good night's sleep and a quick mirror conversation, and he (they) can get right back on the good path.
     
  50. benhogan

    benhogan Baynes Hogan SoSH Member

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    This is 100% correct.

    ALSO lovegtm, dejesus and HRB were all on record calling this a scheduled loss yesterday prior to tip-off. So kudos to them, hopefully, they made their bookies a little poorer.:redwine:

    Good point by RR, Brad could have and should have played it differently with the rotations. The entire roster was available except for Baynes (but Brad has 4 other BIGs at his disposal in Al, Theis, Yabu, TL). Last night was the perfect night to give Al Horford and Gordon Hayward a scheduled rest. Heck, I would have been fine with MaMo (recently banged up) getting the night off also. One of the Celtics strengths (some call it a weakness) is the high-end talent throughout the roster. I'd like to see more scheduled rest days for Horford/Hayward. Guys like Jaylen, Rozier, Theis, TL, Baynes, Semi, Yabu, Wannamaker would see a bump in minutes/role during back-to-backs. This should keep up their engagement and may motivate them to play extra hard in those "scheduled loss" games. One of Brad's greatest strengths is taking underdog teams and getting them to play "up".

    I'm not bothered about the loss, I just think they missed an opportunity to play to the teams' strength.
     
    #2150 benhogan, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019

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