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Do the Celtics have any players who are very good?

Discussion in 'Mark Blount's Port Cellar: Celtics Forum' started by Koufax, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    In the last twelve games (admitted cherry-picked but this is probably the basis of the observations above), ET has been shooting .551 with a TS% of .607 (he's shooting .457 on the season even including this hot streak; .417 before it) while averaging over 5 rebounds and 5 assists a game. He's also only taken 3 3Ps during that time, which is a big plus for him.

    Other than IT4, ET is the only person on the Cs right now that can create a decent shot and if he keeps shooting in the .500s, I assume it means that he's creating good shots (for him). Plus, my eye says that he's pretty versatile defensively.

    If only ET could develop a 3P shot. Reports have surfaced over the years about ET working with various shooting coaches and doing other drills (here's the most recent one I could find: http://www.nba.com/celtics/news/sidebar/prac-111915-Evan-Turner-Working-Overtime-Improve-Shot) but his mechanics on catch-and-shoot jumpers look ugly to me, possibly because the way he shoots his bread-and-butter pull-up jumper. Oh well.
     
  2. bowiac

    bowiac I've been living a lie. Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    The recent shooting is a fair point, although I more or less disregard that in the context of a player's skillsets in such a short stretch, since that's so prone to random variance. But the lack of threes during that time is a bad thing - not a plus. Shooting threes provides spacing value, and gives your teammates room to operate. For a given TS%, you almost always want more threes.

    I'll admit I haven't given him enough credit over this recent stretch however.
     
  3. luckiestman

    luckiestman Son of the Harpy SoSH Member

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    I don't get how the spacing is messed up if he is handling the ball. The D isn't sagging off of him that I've noticed
     
  4. bowiac

    bowiac I've been living a lie. Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I don't have the defender tracking data in front of me, but that would be surprising, given he's not a threat to shoot. Three point shot attempts (even missed ones) are a positive coefficient in a lot of player valuation models for just this reason.
     
  5. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    I would agree with this in principal, except Evan Turner is shooting 3P shots at a historically bad rate - I believe he's 4 or 5 missed 3P attempts from having the worst shooting percentage ever with more than 60 attempts) - I would think (without doing any research) that in this specific case, ET's lack of 3P shots would be a net benefit not a neg negative.

    In fact, from a quick perusal of ET's shot charts from the last few games, it seems that most of his shooting "improvement" is due to the fact that he's shooting at the rim more often. For example, yesterday he went 4-8 but that was because he was 3-4 from close. Versus the Cavs, he went 8-16, of which 7-9 was from in close. Detroit: 4-8 total, 2-2 from in close. Etc.
     
  6. southshoresoxfan

    southshoresoxfan Member SoSH Member

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    Good. The cs need a guy that can get to the bucket and score outside of IT.
     
  7. ElcaballitoMVP

    ElcaballitoMVP Member SoSH Member

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    Turner has been great lately because he isn't settling for 3's and long 2's. He's using the pick and roll game very well to attack defenses. He and Zeller are clicking very well in this regard. He's often guarded by a smaller player, so he can get into the paint and shoot over the defender or find a big man rolling to the basket for a layup.

    While 3's are generally a good thing, and allow spacing for the offense, you don't want Evan Turner shooting them. He's a bad outside shooter. I cringe every time he puts up a 3. Rather than having him shooting 3's to open the floor, the C's are better off playing him with Zeller and 3 shooters to allow ET room to operate inside the 3 pt line.
     
  8. smastroyin

    smastroyin simpering whimperer Dope SoSH Member

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    Under the assumption that you have to play him, it's better for him not to take threes. I think bowiac's point was that if he could shoot threes he would be a lot more useful and moving to the good or very good. Without the threes, he's a JAG that happens to fit in on the Celtics right now.
     
  9. bowiac

    bowiac I've been living a lie. Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    This is right. I didn't explain it very well, but no, I don't want Turner taking a bunch of threes. I was just trying to say that for any given TS%, you usually want more three-point attempts. As in, usually going 4 of 10 from three is more valuable than going 6 of 10 from two (obviously this is super quick and dirty). But since Turner is probably gonna go 2 of 10 from three, I'm happier with the "all 2s" approach.

    I remain skeptical that this is anything other than a hot shooting stretch for Turner, but I've been wrong many times before. I'd love for this to be one of those cases.
     
  10. zenter

    zenter indian sweet SoSH Member

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    So, putting aside TS% and his horrific 3 PT shooting, there are a few things I've seen (which, admittedly, data may refute) -

    1) Shot Creation - As others have said, he's the only one other than Thomas doing this, including generating just enough chaos to create for others (especially Zeller). Against a disciplined defense, I doubt this would be a game-changer, but second units tend to be less disciplined.
    2) Fewer (non-3) attempts >15 ft - I haven't had a chance to check the data, but if it's true and he's consciously collapsing defenses this way, it could be sustainable.
    3) Defensive Intensity - He seems to be more intense generally, taking fewer possessions off on D. Like he just realized this is a contract year in an era of salary inflation.

    Again, none of this may be supported by data, but this is what my eye test has seen recently.
     
  11. thehitcat

    thehitcat Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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  12. PedroKsBambino

    PedroKsBambino Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Turner has been a guy where I think one really has to watch the sets and think about the offensive limitations of the roster to see why he is more valuable for THIS Celtics team than the pure numbers, primarily because of your point 1) That is not at all to say he's more than JAG, either...it is only to say that some of the commentary on him misses the reality of the Celtics roster and usage of Turner, and why they do so.

    While it is true in a theoretical sense that Turner's shooting/shot creation are not good and they'd be better off with others taking those opportunities (that is the reality of his numbers), in the real-world, on the court basketball sense he is the second-best creator they have. And thus, they end up asking him to create, likely doing better than their alternatives would do. We kind of know this is true, because Brad Stevens---a smarter basketball mind with awareness of the numbers--keeps asking him to do exactly what is described above.

    Imagine a roster with a dozen great spot-up shooters none of whom can dribble very well. SOMEONE on that group would be the ballhandler at all times, and the stats would show that person to be an abysmal ballhandler. One might look at the data and say that player isn't any good. That may be true, but it also misses that for the specific roster, the actual team simply doesn't have a better ballhandling option and so that ballhandler is better than their other current options. That, simply put, is what Turner is at this point--the 'napkin' of Celtics scoring options: not as good as real TP, but better than a bare hand.

    I think the real takeaway is this team badly needs 2 superior creators to Evan Turner in order to beat good teams---which we already knew, of course, but which also explains why he is doing what he is doing for them now.
     
  13. bowiac

    bowiac I've been living a lie. Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    As usual, you are confused. This is exactly the scenario where something like RPM would "catch" that a player had been valuable offensively and rate them quite well, because the team would perform better with them on the court than with an even worse ball handler. The scenario you're describing is usually thought to be a weakness of RPM, because it would lead to that "best of an awful bunch" ballhandler being overrated.
     
  14. PedroKsBambino

    PedroKsBambino Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    This is indeed exactly the challenge with RPM that I and others have noted previously and you have not grasped. Whether or not you are willing to think through your assumptions on this one, for others who might get it I'll clarify: RPM has an inherent limit in that it is reading relatively small sample sizes for different permutations on both teams (the full 5 on 5 matchup) and thus it is susceptible to misinterpreting performance in a specific role. Our sample for "Evan Turner" as a player overall is reasonably large, but our sample for "Evan Turner, in specific role of creator, compared to others in similar context on court" is not that large at all.

    That is for a couple reasons.

    First, the 'alternative' scenario to Turner being the creator is frequently Thomas, not 'someone worse.' This certainly will not tend to overrate Turner. This on-court reality muddies the Turner data since they are sometimes on court together

    Second, Brad Stevens is deploying Turner in specific ways based on the roster and limits of players, not to create a clean baseline scenario to compare "with Turner" to "without Turner" comparisons with similar 4 Celtics and similar 5 opponents on the court. That is the 'role' issue, as well as a contributor to the small sample size of the 'apples to apples' comparison.

    Third (and this is where it is conceivable we might dig up data that is somewhat helpful, but I suspect not) once we're down to the scenarios that have neither Thomas or Turner on the court (what you are describing as the potential 'overrating' problem of comparing Turner to someone even worse at the creator role) we're into very different matchups many times---these are generally small samples of time in a given game, against different competition across games, and often in garbage time with all sorts of noise in the data and odd situations for the players. I certainly agree those are not very good comps, but that only proves my point....that set of data and the set with Thomas as the 'creator' are what Turner is being compared to, and that's why it's hard to really feel good about the quality of the numbers, imo.
     
    #264 PedroKsBambino, Feb 12, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  15. bowiac

    bowiac I've been living a lie. Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Now you've switched to a different scenario. Rather than your simplified "dozen spot-up shooters who can't handle the ball" scenario, you're changing it to Isaiah Thomas is now one of the alternatives (i.e., a great ball handler), and you're adding that scenario you've described is now not really all that common. But besides moving the goalposts, you're also missing that the other samples also matter. Lets say Turner is super valuable to the Celtics in certain lineups with no other ball handlers available. The fact that RPM still thinks he's lousy is a sign that in the real world, that abstract usage case which you described (which you now say doesn't exist) is just not common enough to make him a good piece overall. Troll gonna troll though I guess.
     
  16. PedroKsBambino

    PedroKsBambino Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Just to be clear, my point on both scenarios has remained the same the whole time, and in spite of your misplaced invective to the contrary I have not changed anything or moved any goalposts. I picked an extreme hypothetical to make it simpler to grasp the principle that underlies the challenge when applying RPM to Evan Turner on the Celtics; one either understands that principle or they do not.

    As I stated quite clearly in my first post, I think everyone agrees that the Celtics need better creators than Turner. Neither that, nor calling people trolls, changes that Turner seems to be the best option they have currently for a certain role
     
  17. smastroyin

    smastroyin simpering whimperer Dope SoSH Member

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    But you're missing literally the entire point bowiac is making, which is that Turner still sucks, whether or not he is the best for this role on the Celtics.

    Look, let's say you can get murdered by fire, drowning, or gunshot. Just because gunshot is what you would choose in this scenario doesn't make it desirable to get shot in general.

    In the context of "do the Celtics have any players who are very good?" the answer of "Evan Turner is fitting into a role on the Celtics" has some merit, but the counterargument is that an actually good player in that role would make the Celtics that much better.
     
    #267 smastroyin, Feb 12, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  18. PedroKsBambino

    PedroKsBambino Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I am not remotely missing that---in fact, I said as much in my first post on this. I am surprised you are not seeing that, frankly.

    The post of Zenter's I responded to made a point that Turner has value to this team because he can create shots. I noted why RPM rating Turner poorly doesn't really suggest otherwise (at least not reliably). It's a nuance within the point of "Evan Turner is not the second best creator on a contending team" not a dispute of that reality. Bowiac is oversimplifying the problem, but no one is disputing expecting too much of Turner is indeed a problem.
     
  19. smastroyin

    smastroyin simpering whimperer Dope SoSH Member

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    Sure, but the argument came from a place of "I think Evan Turner is turning into a very good player" which is what prompted bowiac's commentary in the first place, right?

    I think it's fine to think "as long as they don't have a replacement for him Evan Turner has value to the Celtics playing the way they are now" and "I really wish the Celtics could upgrade from Evan Turner" and even "I wish the Celtics would try something else other than relying on Evan Turner." Granted the last one is a bit of a bad place because it presumes a dude on the internet is smarter than Brad Stevens, but the argument can be made.
     
  20. bowiac

    bowiac I've been living a lie. Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    To be clear, I'm basically on board with the fact that Turner has played well over the last two to three weeks. This is more the result of "draining it", than his "playmaking" skills, but the point stands either way - he's played well. It all matters - nothing is binary.
     
  21. PedroKsBambino

    PedroKsBambino Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I can only speak to my own read of the thread, which was jumping off the most recent ET comments on the prior page:

    For me, the entire point of the discussion is elevating things from "Turner Sucks" to "Turner has been playing an additive role on this team, in spite of his limitations" which are quite different. I don't think anyone doubts, or is disputing, that the team needs to change that to be a real contender. And I also think what we here want to be doing is going deeper on these things, down to roles/fit/analyzing metrics.
     
  22. thehitcat

    thehitcat Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Who among the current projected 2016 draftees could be counted on to take on this role and do better at it right out of the gate? Secondary ball handler, creator on offense especially in the pick and roll or pick and pop and long enough to cover big 2s and small 3s. I'm wondering if it's someone we could get with a later pick or if what I'm asking for is essentially Brandon Ingram or maybe Buddy Hield (although Hield seems like a bad fit for that role when I've watched him which has admittedly only been twice.)

    Or what about a Free Agent? It seems like a standard spot up player is not going to work. I don't watch enough other teams to know what kind of players other than bigger PG take on these roles on other teams. I'd love to hear from some of the folks who watch more widely than I do and have ideas on the type of players who could do this.
     
  23. chilidawg

    chilidawg Member SoSH Member

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    Hield isn't much of a playmaker. The obvious comp for me is Valentine, who probably isn't as athletic, but is a much better shooter.

    Let's not forget that players improve (or regress), and that perhaps the best fit is ET.
     
  24. Soxfan in Fla

    Soxfan in Fla Member SoSH Member

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    As a complete Spartan homer I think Valentine will be a very solid pro player. I think Draymond Green has opened the eyes to what kind of player Valentine could be in the NBA although Denzel is 2-3 inches shorter and not as versatile on defense as Green.
     
  25. joe dokes

    joe dokes Member SoSH Member

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    Does the shoddy defensive results lately give some credence to the "Olynyk *can* play defense" camp?
     
  26. bowiac

    bowiac I've been living a lie. Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I was trying to avoid posting the same. I wonder what kind of slide without Olynyk it'd take before people came around to the fact that he's actually good.
     
  27. chilidawg

    chilidawg Member SoSH Member

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    Well, probably more than 3 games to make any kind of real conclusion. The Celtics were good against Denver, holding them 5 points per 100 below their season average, and very bad in the other two, 15.2 and 16.1 points above. Previous 5 games they had two good games (-9.7,-3.5), one bad (+7.0), and two very bad (+15.1, +13.3). Not seeing a trend yet.

    FWIW, I agree that the numbers all tell you that he is a good team defender.
     
  28. southshoresoxfan

    southshoresoxfan Member SoSH Member

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    I'd trade him for an air pump with no needle even if they allowed 160 ppg in his absence. I loathe watching him play and I'm letting it cloud my normal even keeled and stat based analysis.
     
  29. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

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    If Brad threw him out there as a starter I'd feel the same way and he would be severely exposed. He works well on the second unit in limited minutes so he's rarely matched up against length or athleticism. The moment he is Brad generally makes a quick adjustment.

    So is he a good defender? I'd prefer to say he's used well as a defender since he can so easily be exposed both inside and up by being unable to really challenge shooters with his alligator arms.
     
  30. oumbi

    oumbi Member SoSH Member

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    Not exactly sure whether this is correct thread, but I don't think this is worthy of its own thread. Interesting article about the Knicks possibly having interest in Evan Turner. What I liked most was the recognition of how Stevens has gotten the best out of Turner, which may not happen were Turner to get a new coach and a new system.

    http://nba.nbcsports.com/2016/03/21/report-knicks-to-pursue-evan-turner-in-free-agency/

    If recent history is any indication, one by one, the Knicks will strike out on the biggest free agents summer. Kevin Durant has reportedly already eliminated New York from contention.

    That would leave Phil Jackson scouring the market for underrated players to take the Knicks’ money.

    How about Celtics wing Evan Turner?

    Chris Mannix of CSN New England:

    The team that might be after him the hardest is the New York Knicks. I’ve been told that Phil Jackson is a big fan of Evan Turner.

    I expect New York to make a run at Evan Turner.

    Turner, a 6-foot-7 perimeter player, could be a nice fit in the triangle offense. He could even play the role of tall point guard Jackson seems to like.

    But Turner found a role that will make him a sought-after free agent only once he began playing for Brad Stevens, one of the NBA’s best coaches. Would Turner remain productive under Kurt Rambis or whomever the Knicks hire?

    New York might end up with a version of Turner whose deficiencies – high turnover rate, poor outside shooting and lack of foul-drawing – overwhelm his positives. Stevens has helped Turner develop. More so, Stevens has crafted a scheme around Turner that highlights his best attributes and hides his worst.

    I don’t have much faith in the next Knicks coach doing the same.

    ______

    P.S. This is courtesy of Celticsblog.
     
  31. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

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    There will be a ton of money out there this summer and Turner is primed to take advantage of it. It could be the Knicks, I know nighthob has it being the Nets, but there will be a 4/$40m+ deal out there for Turner. Consider him gone.
     
  32. sox311

    sox311 Member SoSH Member

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    It has been a great year with Evan, but yes, he is better off getting paid elsewhere for all parties involved. When he loses a step he will be a useless player, especially in today's NBA, and that could happen any time now. At that point he will do nothing but clog up the floor and hurt spacing.

    I personally hope he goes to the Knicks and he can light it up for one year, while getting glares from Melo. He'll be like Jacoby, one good year for the Yankess, and now look at him. If Dwight heads to the Knicks maybe we can do a sign and trade sending picks and Evan to Phil for Robin Lopez.
     
  33. ElcaballitoMVP

    ElcaballitoMVP Member SoSH Member

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    Stevens has gotten pretty good play out of Turner, but with the slew of draft picks and young players, the C's are better off letting someone else give him that kind of contract. They could replace him with a Denzel Valentine in the draft, for example, and save a ton of money.

    It would be nice to replace him with a player who can initiate the offense, as Bradley and Smart haven't shown they can do that. Simmons, Bender, Hield, Dunn, D. Jackson, Ullis (although I don't think he's a fit with IT on the roster), Wade Baldwin, Valentine, Trimble, Brogdon, GPII are potential ball handlers available throughout round 1/early round 2. Spend the money on an impact guy like Al Horford, not on Evan Turner.
     
  34. Jed Zeppelin

    Jed Zeppelin Member SoSH Member

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    Replacing Turner with somebody who can shoot is probably the clearest and simplest means of improving the Celtics. I don't even care if the guy can handle the ball. We're top 10 in 3pt attempts and bottom 5 in 3pt percentage.
     
  35. ALiveH

    ALiveH Member SoSH Member

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    I probably don't trust anyone past Simmons or Ingram in this draft to reliably replace Turner in his rookie year (folks tend to underestimate how bad / unproductive rookies are in the NBA). Hoping we can sign or trade for a backup SF and/or playmaker and/or guard shooter with size.
     
  36. sox311

    sox311 Member SoSH Member

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    Simmons is the only player who could come in and do what Turner has done for Boston this year. What rookies this year have been as valuable to their team as Turner has been? And there have been a lot of good rookies this year. Ingram, in his first year next year, may be only as useful as James Young has been for the Cs this year. How ready is he for big time?

    Rozier may be able to do some of what Turner has done if "the game slows down for him." Or Smart could take all those minutes and handle the ball in the same way.
     
  37. ElcaballitoMVP

    ElcaballitoMVP Member SoSH Member

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    I'll go ahead and bet you $20 to the Jimmy Fund if Brandon Ingram isn't as useful in his rookie year as James Young has been for the C's this year. That is a ridiculous statement.

    And what rookies have been as valuable as Turner? He of the 13.5 PER and 10 pts per game (with 20% 3pt shooting)? Towns, Jokic, Porzingis, Okafor, Miles Turner, Cauley-Stein, Payne, Russell, TJ McConnell (!), Bobby Portis, Hollis-Jefferson. Not a bad list.
     
  38. ALiveH

    ALiveH Member SoSH Member

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    How hard will it be to replace ET? Even if Rozier / Smart don't improve their ball handling enough, the Cs should be able to find at least an OK backup PG with OK 3P shot on the free agent scrap heap right? I thought this was the deepest position in the league.
     
  39. sox311

    sox311 Member SoSH Member

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    Yea, the Ingram/Young comment was a bit off the wall, but we don't know how ready he will be. Only three of those rookies are on playoff teams and they haven't contributed for the entire season.

    PER is far from perfect. My comment was that Turner has been a needed piece for the Celtics that I think only Ben Simmons could replace next year, next year only. Turner has helped the Celtics win games this year, a lot of them. Sure I would have rather had Towns, Kristaps or anyone on that list, but they weren't who the Celts had on their roster, I'm talking about about what Turner had contributed in games all season long. Not a stat for every minute he was on the floor, be it the first five minutes of a game or complete garbage time. David Lee has a higher PER than Draymond Green, and yes, Lee has qualified minutes played.

    The Cs need a wing who can create his own shot and handle the ball, which is what Turner has done. He is a horrible 3 point shooter, but he shouldn't be taking those shots. Smart hasn't had the break out year at handling the ball, but if he does, he could easily take those minutes when Turner is gone, and his shooting is just about as bad, in fact it is. Let's just hope that improves!
     
  40. sox311

    sox311 Member SoSH Member

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    Ainge isn't playing fantasy basketball. Ty Lawson, Lance Stephenson, OJ Mayo, Eric Gordon, Jamal Crawford, JR Smith aren't going to come in and make this team better.

    Maybe Turner's replacement should be it's own thread. Evan Fournier could be the best I see out there, but he is going to get paid too.
     
  41. the moops

    the moops Member SoSH Member

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    Why would a 27 year old Evan Turner lose a step anytime soon?
     
  42. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

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    Yeah he should be in his prime for most of if not all of his next contract. The question is whether that prime is worth the overpay he'll likely receive. My opinion is that it's a pretty obvious no similar to Posey's.
     
  43. CreightonGubanich

    CreightonGubanich Member SoSH Member

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    The reason the Celtics shouldn't sign Evan Turner is that they plan on being good in the next four years or so. Turner fills a role on this team; but it's a role that, if it's being filled by Evan Turner, you're not very good. He's managed to turn himself into a useful player in the right context, mostly because he's a versatile defender who can guard three positions, and that's a credit to both Turner and Brad Stevens. But he's useless off the ball on offense, and a good team is going to want the ball in the hands of someone a lot better than Evan Turner.
     
  44. JakeRae

    JakeRae Member SoSH Member

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    The Celtics shouldn't sign Evan Turner because Terry Rozier should be able to do 90% of what he currently does for this team starting next year. Between that fact and that the team should either be signing or trading for a wing who is significantly better than Turner, and that the team is likely to continue to add talent at the position via the draft, Turner simply doesn't make sense, even if he is underpaid.
     
  45. Jed Zeppelin

    Jed Zeppelin Member SoSH Member

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    At least Posey's limited skill set was basically perfect for a bench+crunch time role on a championship team. Turner is almost the polar opposite of that.

    I imagine Ainge will do right by him and publicly talk about how much they'd like to bring him back, but the guy isn't stupid (I hope)--ET is a goner.
     
  46. southshoresoxfan

    southshoresoxfan Member SoSH Member

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    Buddy Hield taking ETs min wouldnt be a bad miss on the top two conso prize
     
  47. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

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    I like Rozier a lot. It wouldn't surprise me if he's a better NBA player as soon as the end of next season than Turner.
     
  48. ifmanis5

    ifmanis5 Member SoSH Member

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    Will Marcus Smart ever learn to shoot? I'm getting.... concerned.
     
  49. Koufax

    Koufax Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I love me some Rozier, but Turner has six inches of height on him and is therefore able to do many things that Rozier can't. I'm predicting that the Celtics sign Turner at market value and we all learn to love that signing. It was said earlier that the Celtics don't sign bench players at market value. That was true when they had supersized salaries for Pierce and Garnett, but that's not the case now. They'll find a way to keep Turner.
     
  50. ifmanis5

    ifmanis5 Member SoSH Member

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    Someone will massively overpay for Turner and Danny will be too smart to match. He'll be with another team next year at double what he's worth.
     

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