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Discussion in 'Mark Blount's Port Cellar: Celtics Forum' started by InstaFace, Jul 13, 2018.
I’m going with the unguardable starting five.
As Brad has said numerous times: starting is irrelevant, its who plays the most minutes and finishes games that's relevant.
Plus Stevens will match up Baynes against Embid, Drummond, Howard, Valanciunias, Thompson etc when we play beefier Centers.
The who starts debate is a silly, relic from a bygone era.
Except that the, who starts, debate will be continuous up to the opening day game against the Sixers. Hell, I've already read a half dozen articles on who will go to the bench (Hayward, Tatum or Brown) so that Baynes can start vs Embid in that game.
I think Nighthob is right, the Celts are going to be less concerned about who they are matching up against and more focused on letting the opposition figure out how to match up with them. Over the course of a game Baynes isn't going to play as many minutes as Embid but you can guarantee that most of his 20 or so minutes, versus the Sixers, will be spent on the court while Embid is out there. Him not matching up with Embid for the opening 6 minutes doesn't mean he can't reduce Al's defensive workload over the period of a game.
PS - as I re-read my post it seems disjointed, that's because many of the members of the Southwest Montana Bourbon Society were out socializing last night and I'm up early and heading out to go fishing.
Yeah I think you let the opponent worry about how their bigs are going to be still standing at the end of a game trying to chase around Irving/Brown/Hayward/Tatum/Horford. A beefed up Tatum against most 4s is just unfair.
The point about starting Baynes is that the opposing beef starts. If you're going to play Baynes for 18-20 minutes against big guys to save wear and tear on Al--and you should--then a bunch of those minutes occurring at tipoff makes sense.
The opinion of Stevens, captured above, is important. The blogosphere is not. Baynes covering certain bigs, getting his limited minutes in that capacity, and everyone else getting theirs--that matters. Who starts doesn't.
If anything, I'm wondering hard about what the last five minutes of games looks like next year. Smart was usually getting real time there. Soon we may be looking at a lot more offense/defense subs at the end of games or a new "ending" five that's more matchup based.
I agree that it will be interesting to see what Stevens does at the end of games. I wonder if he actively subs Smart and Kyrie at the end of games for precisely the reasons you mention. Kyrie plus Hayward, Horford, Brown and Tatum at the end of games is pretty lethal offensively as referenced above but Kyrie is clearly exploitable on defense.
However, Smart plus the other four is, perhaps, one of if not the toughest defensive squads in the league assuming Hayward is at full strength. Opposing coaches will have to be extremely creative in exploiting switches and match-ups on that squad. And given the Celtics help defense overall, especially with that group, I am not sure there are any good choices.
Can the season start already?
This team managed to finish with 40 wins and a playoff birth.
It’s driving me nuts that it’s still more than a week before camp opens. This is summer has seemed endless thanks to our anticipation of this team healthy with Jayson Tatum v2.0 waiting to be unveiled.
I guess I should probably let everyone know that my position on the starting lineup is based on the fact that, if healthy, the team is going 98-0 with a point differential of approximately 35.
I’m more realistic, I think they’re going to go 91-7.
I'd bet Baynes plays pretty much the same role as last year. He starts unless they're playing a small team, like Cleveland if they start Love at the 5.
I'd ballpark it as Horford playing 12-15 minutes per game at center and Baynes/Theis/some random Williams minutes taking up the rest.
Horford at the 5 is their best lineup, and will be their closing lineup, but there's no need to push it in the regular season to wear Horford down. Especially since every indication is Horford doesn't want to be a full-time center.
With Hayward’s return Horford will be spending more time at the 5. They just aren’t going to be sitting better players on the bench to find extra time for Baynes. There’s no way around that. Most teams don’t have Drummond, Jokic, or Embiid. But rest assured, Baynes will get his time when those teams are on the docket.
But lots of teams on the docket also have Gobert, Towns, Howard, Turner, Jordan, Valanciunas, Gortat, Gasol, Capela, Adams, Kanter, Whiteside, Vucevic, Nurkic. Those guys are for sure starters. There's a bunch more likely starters that are natural centers like the Lopez brothers, Ayton, Willie Cauley Stein, Henson...etc.
Teams tend to start big and play smaller once they go to their bench. Baynes is going to play. Doesn't make much sense to me to play his minutes against smaller bench players when his low post defensive ability can be used against the mostly bigger, definitely better starters and save Horfords energy in the process. Still don't know why people ignore all reports that Horford doesn't want to play a ton of center. Or do people just think the Celtics don't care about his feelings about it? Doesn't really seem like Stevens style to possibly piss Horford off just so he can lock up a few extra regular season wins.
Don't think it's going to be really difficult for Stevens to work it out. I think he probably sells Hayward on starting the season as the sixth man, Horford goes to the bench early for Hayward then Horford comes back when Baynes goes out. Also helps having four good perimeter shooters on the floor at pretty much all times starting Baynes so he and Smart play less often together. Could also work it that one of Hayward and Kyrie is always on the court if Hayward doesn't start. Their best five will still all get 30 minutes a game, they just don't necessarily all have to play the first few minutes.
Sure, as long as the 7 are games that help the Kings tank better.
100% agree with this and Jimbodandy above (#155). This is how Stevens will play it.
We are all drooling to see our small ball lineup of Tatum, Brown, Kyrie, Gordon, and Al. But playing Al at the 5 constantly for more than 10-12 mins a night during the regular season and wearing him down to a nub would be coaching malpractice. It's a long, grueling regular season. This season is all about the playoffs, keeping guys fresh/healthy and peaking by then. That will mean minutes spread out to a core 10 players, vets (Horford) getting scheduled days off and playing defensive stalwarts Baynes/Theis plenty of minutes at the 5.
Once again the starting five is irrelevant, but my guess is Baynes* will get the majority of the starts.
*also intrigued by Baynes 3pt shooting in the playoffs last year. Hope he worked hard on it on the off-season and we see him dragging Embiid out to the perimeter opening night. Man Bun lighting up Joel will be pure theater.
Even Cleveland will probably start T.Thompson at the 5. Love will be their primary offensive weapon this season, so they won't want to wear him down at the 5 (like they did to open the regular season last year).
Agree with all above about playing Baynes to avoid putting a beating on Horford. This isn't even speculation: we've seen them do it a lot the past year, and there were also reports that they limited Horford's practice time heavily to keep him fresh for the postseason. These decisions have already been made.
Also worth noting that there are a few guys against whom you do need Baynes to match up with, rather than dictating the match-up. Embiid is the best example: he's good enough, when fresh, to beat anybody, and it's tough to play him off the floor. Baynes is critical for making him expend energy on offense.
Most of those guys aren’t low post players. What wears down Horford is having to defend the Embiids of the world in the low post. They’re not going to worry about playing him against garbagemen, mid range shooters or stretch 5s (like Turner).
Just a heads up that Mr. Heighwurd will be on Wednesday's installment of Pardon My Take.
I can't tell you how giddy I am for the start of the season. More than any other NBA season in a long, long time.
To whet your appetite, enjoy this article:
Good stuff. At first, I was apprehensive with expectations of a "who starts" debate or, worse, a "how do we find minutes for everyone" debate. But much of that was smartly hand-waved away. I agree that the "who closes" piece is closer to an actual question (and have posted as much), but even that will likely change on a game-by-game basis due to rest days, injuries, and matchup/hot-hand factor. I'm actually really looking forward to some of the offense/defense and "ride the hot hand" stuff that will make Stevens look even more like a savant, while it's really just a fun thing to do in the 82. Why not?
IMO, the only minor (repeat: minor) downside to this kind of stupid quality depth is that there is a bit of a lost opportunity for development minutes. I'm not sure how they get 9-15 useful minutes except for rest/injury days. That's like complaining about the coffee after an unusually good dinner though. I guess that we should expect copious rest days. Most night, it won't matter.
Pants are off.
if we don't have significant injuries, I'd expect Stevens to go even harder on the Popovich Rest Rotation, giving people nights off frequently to keep them fresh into the spring.
He dunked twice off his left foot today.
Pic of GH mixing it up with All of Australia:
And from the Globe version:
Kyrie, talking about Stevens:
You need to NSFW tag basically that whole post
What, you mean J.R. Smith's basketball IQ wasn't cutting it for you, Kyrie?
(I still love my avatar)
The Pardon My Take with GH is up...
I expect a lot of Geno Time this season to provide those development minutes.
A great article from the Herald about Horford playing the 5 more and a bunch of other interesting nuggets:
My god, let it be Friday already just to see how this guy is going to adapt to a team with Evolved Tatum and Brown.
Here's an older article about Hayward, but it's a good refresher about what we're adding.
Still debating bailing from work at lunch and driving down to Chapel Hill.
Tix are about $35, parking $10--3.5 hour drive.
Hayward signs 4 year deal with Anta. Apparently Nike has a 10 day window to match the offer.
Anta also has Klay Thompson and Rajon Rondo.
A nice long-form Zach Lowe piece about Gordon's long path back and how he coped.
My favorite bit:
I wonder if Brady shipped it to him deflated. Would be in line with his sense of humor.
Brady's sense of humor?
Yeah, I don’t think Brady would allude to that. We know how angry he felt to be accused.
That was a good read. I didn't realize how big of a setback that second surgery was until I read that article. I didn't think we should expect excellence from Hayward right away but now it's clear that he probably won't be all the way "back" until holidays or even the ASB.
Or maybe ever
Let’s not be overly dramatic.
Really hope Gordon starts the year off on the bench with limited minutes. First few weeks have him play 10-15 minutes and see how his body reacts. The bottom line is we want him healthy by the Spring
If you subscribe to The Athletic there's a video series about his rehab. It's ok. At one point he makes 69 3's in a row.
On the theory that there is only one ball, should the Celtics be looking to stagger their best players as much as they can? I mean, Horford, Hayward, Irving, Tatum should all still start, but should they try to keep 2 of them on the floor at all non-garbage times?
This where Brad will earn his money. A lot with have to do with who the other team has out there and how he wants to defend. I would bet he is confident on the ability to score, and will do his best to stop the other team. Hayward, Tatum, Brown? How to structure minutes? Give me that type of problem any time.
I will guess Tatum and Kyrie may stagger a bit since both can go get their own shots.
Brad seems less predictable than most coaches. My bet is he plays the talented crew together, hopes to play with a lead most nights, and third quarter adjusts lineups.
We've been discussing this in another thread over the past week or so (maybe the Hayward one). My thought is that with the majority of our second unit shots coming from Rozier and Morris, two high quality second unit scorers, there isn't a need to purposely add additional offense to that unit which will already be among the most explosive in the league. You'll have staggered units throughout any substitution pattern anyway and one could argue we have too many chiefs and not enough Indians for sure.
This is a prime opportunity for Smart. I am willing to concede, particularly with this group, his value goes up when his attempts go down. He needs to be willing to shoot late in the clock - but distributing his shot attempts may be a forward indicator for team harmony...
Smart needs to take it to the rim more often. Even if he doesn't get the old-fashioned three point play, he can penetrate and dish to better outside shooters.
He had 4 steals, tying a career high. After one, he had a nice cross court bounce pass to Tatum, but it looks like Tatum fumbled it a bit and couldn't take the open jumper. He did bring the ball upcourt a few times, once getting a screen from Baynes and hitting foul line extended jumper.
I think my favorite was an offense board, dribbled out, after a screen Embiid sagged and Hayward drilled a jumper.
Wait, no my favorite was when there was a break, and he and Tatum were running down the right side, the ball came to Tatum--defender jumped out and Hayward was all alone for a corner three.
There was some rust obviously, but he got to his spots and when the jumper fell, man it looked easy.
I think the improvement in his play and comfort level was exponential from what we saw out of him during the preseason. He's got a little ways to go, but I have ZERO concerns about him returning to 90% of his former self by the All-Star break.
Also, shout out to the Garden for showing him so much love when he was announced at the start of the game, and at the end. Classy of Gordon to show love right back.
I fucking love this team.