2019-2020 Celtics Regular Season Thread

bosox79

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Last year, the Celtics had 7 players averaging 8 or more shots a game, and 8 at 7 or more. This year, the Celtics have 5 players taking 8 or more shots and 6 at 7 or more.

There is also a clear 2 this year as opposed to last. It's interesting. This team will probably have at least 3 players averaging 20 points a game, maybe 4. Jaylen Brown is 4th on the team in scoring and is scoring more points a game than our 2nd leading scorer did last year (Brown 16.0 ppg, Tatum 15.7 ppg last year). Our top 4 (Kemba, Tatum, Hayward, Brown) are taking 63.7 FGA/G. Last year, they took 53.6.

Irving led the team with 33.0 mpg. Tatum was at 31.1. Everyone else was under 30. This year, there are 4 averaging over 30 minutes, and 3 of them are logging more minutes than Irving last year. Last year, 8 players averaged 20 or more minutes a game. So far this year, it is 6.

Looks like Brad is finally doing what we've wanted for awhile.
 

lovegtm

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Last year, the Celtics had 7 players averaging 8 or more shots a game, and 8 at 7 or more. This year, the Celtics have 5 players taking 8 or more shots and 6 at 7 or more.

There is also a clear 2 this year as opposed to last. It's interesting. This team will probably have at least 3 players averaging 20 points a game, maybe 4. Jaylen Brown is 4th on the team in scoring and is scoring more points a game than our 2nd leading scorer did last year (Brown 16.0 ppg, Tatum 15.7 ppg last year). Our top 4 (Kemba, Tatum, Hayward, Brown) are taking 63.7 FGA/G. Last year, they took 53.6.

Irving led the team with 33.0 mpg. Tatum was at 31.1. Everyone else was under 30. This year, there are 4 averaging over 30 minutes, and 3 of them are logging more minutes than Irving last year. Last year, 8 players averaged 20 or more minutes a game. So far this year, it is 6.

Looks like Brad is finally doing what we've wanted for awhile.
Clear roles/hierarchies are nice, and I think Danny and Brad learned that the hard way last year.
 

Ale Xander

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A lot to like so far. In no particular order:

- Being 6-1 and on top of the east. Always a good thing to get off to a good start.

- Having beaten Milwaukee, Toronto, and Charlotte. Without their losses to the Celtics, those teams are 6-1, 5-2, and 4-3, respectively. Those are quality wins for this crew.

- Getting it done on the defensive end. 5th in the NBA in points per game allowed at 102.1. 9th in turnovers caused at 17.4. 6th in blocks at 6.3. 10th in steals at 8.1. 6th in opponents' FG% at 42.1%.

- Hayward looks healthy, finally, and is playing free and easy. Looks like a completely different player than last year.
2018-19: 46.6% FG, 33.3% 3FG, 4.5 reb, 3.4 ast, 11.5 pts
2019-20: 56.4% FG, 44.4% 3FG, 7.9 reb, 4.6 ast, 20.3 pts

- The big four are playing like it:
Kemba: 24.3 pts, 5.1 reb, 4.0 ast, 1.0 stl
Tatum: 21.6 pts, 7.7 reb, 1.9 ast, 1.6 stl
Hayward: 20.3 pts, 7.9 reb, 4.6 ast, 0.7 stl
Brown: 16.0 pts, 6.3 reb, 1.8 ast, 0.8 stl

Kemba and Tatum's FG% aren't good yet, but Brown and Hayward are killing it. That's a very difficult foursome to match up with, as any of them could go off for 30 in any given night. This is what we envisioned last year looking like, but with Kyrie doing what Kemba's doing. Well, it didn't turn out that way sadly. Now we're getting to see it.

- Marcus Smart is an absolute beast. Still can't shoot but man is he one tough MoFo.

- Grant Williams. His individual stats aren't impressive, but it's so clear that he makes a big difference for this team on both ends of the floor. Really adds a lot and is contributing in so many ways.


There's more, but this is a good start.
I like the rebounding numbers from supposed smalls/wings. Obviously our lack of a dominant big man allows for that to occur, but still a great sign. If Hayward is at 20/7.5/4.5 for the whole season, that would be awesome.
 

NomarsFool

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I like the rebounding numbers from supposed smalls/wings. Obviously our lack of a dominant big man allows for that to occur, but still a great sign.
I think that is a big part of it. The wings pick up a few extra boards because they are 'competing' with anyone at the 5 on our team.

I was surprised at how late Semi got into the game last night. I feel like for most of the season he has been a first half substitution, but not last night. Is he being edged out by Edwards and GW?
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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NBA steals leader Ben Simmons gets 4.5 steals per 48 mins. He's one place above sneaky thief Robert Williams who averages 4.3 steals per 48. The dunks and the blocks will get the views, but I really like how active he is in the passing lanes.
Per BBall Ref, TL is still leading the team in ORtg (127) and DRtg (non-Tacko Division) (89). Obviously Brad is picking his spots for TL but those numbers are still encouraging.
 

DrewDawg

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This team will probably have at least 3 players averaging 20 points a game, maybe 4. Jaylen Brown is 4th on the team in scoring and is scoring more points a game than our 2nd leading scorer did last year (Brown 16.0 ppg, Tatum 15.7 ppg last year).
Has any team ever had 4 20 ppg scorers?
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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- Getting it done on the defensive end. 5th in the NBA in points per game allowed at 102.1. 9th in turnovers caused at 17.4. 6th in blocks at 6.3. 10th in steals at 8.1. 6th in opponents' FG% at 42.1%.

* * * *

There's more, but this is a good start.
A couple of team notes.

It's interesting that this years Cs are shooting more 3s (+0.6%) and have fewer assists (-11.9%) and steals (-5.4%) than last year, since those are sort of counter the narrative of how the Cs are playing better this year. But what really jumps out to me is that the Cs are (assuming I am reading the BRef tables correctly):

(1) getting to the FT line WAY more (+22.4%)
(2) forcing way more TOs (+15.2%) and
(3) blocking way more shots (+18.5%)

The blocked shots is surprising to me given the angst of Al and Aron leaving. I will also note that the Cs DRB% is up a tick from last year.
 

benhogan

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I think that is a big part of it. The wings pick up a few extra boards because they are 'competing' with anyone at the 5 on our team.

I was surprised at how late Semi got into the game last night. I feel like for most of the season he has been a first half substitution, but not last night. Is he being edged out by Edwards and GW?
It also felt like Green was getting some of Semi's minutes against smaller/quicker wings last night.

I wouldn't read a whole lot into the bench rotations other than Brad experimenting with matchups

I want Brad to play Grant/Carsen ~15mpg. Both have struggled out of the gate, but have high ceilings IMO.

Per BBall Ref, TL is still leading the team in ORtg (127) and DRtg (non-Tacko Division) (89). Obviously Brad is picking his spots for TL but those numbers are still encouraging.
TL also needs to continue to be gently fed minutes. Nice work by Brad here. TL with a few too many loose outlet passes, but he's really trying to push the pace, so can't criticize. TL is noticeably gaining confidence with his passing in the halfcourt
 

lovegtm

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I was surprised at how late Semi got into the game last night. I feel like for most of the season he has been a first half substitution, but not last night. Is he being edged out by Edwards and GW?
Brown is back, so no more minutes for Semi.
A couple of team notes.

It's interesting that this years Cs are shooting more 3s (+0.6%) and have fewer assists (-11.9%) and steals (-5.4%) than last year, since those are sort of counter the narrative of how the Cs are playing better this year. But what really jumps out to me is that the Cs are (assuming I am reading the BRef tables correctly):

(1) getting to the FT line WAY more (+22.4%)
(2) forcing way more TOs (+15.2%) and
(3) blocking way more shots (+18.5%)

The blocked shots is surprising to me given the angst of Al and Aron leaving. I will also note that the Cs DRB% is up a tick from last year.
Turnovers and blocks and better defense lead to run-outs, where Hayward and Brown (in particular) are devastating. Hayward has also been looking to run a lot off his rebounds, which, as noted, he has a lot of.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Has any team ever head 4 20 ppg scorers?
I could not find one in the 3P era when limiting to players who qualified for PPG leaderboard. There are a few teams with 3.

Internet tells me that the 1969-70 Lakers had the following four, but Wilt only played 12 games:
  • Elgin Baylor- 24ppg
  • Jerry West- 31.2ppg
  • Wilt Chamberlain*- 27.3ppg
  • Happy Hairston- 20.6pp
If you think about it, having 4 guys averaging 80+ points per night is kind of tough to do if teams only average 100-110 ppg.
 

bosox79

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Clippers and Celtics are the only teams with 3 atm. That's crazy considering Paul George hasn't played yet. I can't see Harrell keeping it up though.

The way the Celtics are build, it should be pretty top heavy tho. Tatum, Kemba, Hayward and Brown should combine for 80+ points a night even if all 4 of them don't average 20 a game. I don't really know where else the offense is going to come from but it's early.
 

DrewDawg

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I wonder what the 4th leading scorer on teams that had 3 averaged.

Here's the teams I found that had 3 20/g scorers in the last 30 or so years:

90/91 Warriors: Marčiulionis 10.9
07/08 Warriors: Harrington 13.6
13/14 Kings: McLemore 8.8
16/17 Warriors: Green 10.2
17/18 Warriors: Green 11.0

And early going:
Clippers: Zubac 9.6
Celtics: Brown 16.0

Also of note, Kanter will likely be in double digits as well. Crazy.
 

chilidawg

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Clippers and Celtics are the only teams with 3 atm. That's crazy considering Paul George hasn't played yet. I can't see Harrell keeping it up though.

The way the Celtics are build, it should be pretty top heavy tho. Tatum, Kemba, Hayward and Brown should combine for 80+ points a night even if all 4 of them don't average 20 a game. I don't really know where else the offense is going to come from but it's early.
We got 19 last night from Wanamaker and Green, but maybe we shouldn't count on that.

I hear a lot of moaning in the game threads about Wanamaker, but his numbers so far are pretty good. TS% is 59%, steal and assist %'s are excellent also. Turnovers are his weakness so far. Plus he has good size. Seemed like Edwards was getting abused defensively in the first half last night, which led to Wanamaker getting more 2nd half minutes.
 

bosox79

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I wonder what the 4th leading scorer on teams that had 3 averaged.

Here's the teams I found that had 3 20/g scorers in the last 30 or so years:

90/91 Warriors: Marčiulionis 10.9
07/08 Warriors: Harrington 13.6
13/14 Kings: McLemore 8.8
16/17 Warriors: Green 10.2
17/18 Warriors: Green 11.0

And early going:
Clippers: Zubac 9.6
Celtics: Brown 16.0

Also of note, Kanter will likely be in double digits as well. Crazy.
and as I noted, the Clippers get Paul George, who will probably be in the 20s.
 

bosox79

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80/81 Nuggets Kiki Vandewighe 11.6
81/82 Nuggets David Thompson 14.9
82/83 Nuggets Billy Mckinley 9.8
 

NomarsFool

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Brown is back, so no more minutes for Semi.
Wasn't Semi one of the first players off the bench early in the season before Brown was out?

It's just one game, but also going back to pre-season (which I realize is not a great predictor) it seemed like Semi was looking to get regular rotation minutes. Last night was the first time I can remember this year when Semi was only in the game during garbage time.
 

benhogan

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Has any team ever head 4 20 ppg scorers?
If the Celtics end up having four 20ppg scorers they'll be very consistent/offensively potent. When healthy Brad could always have at least two offensive alphas on the floor at all times.

Scoring droughts would happen less and be shorter.
 

Just a bit outside

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I think the last 4 guys on the bench are match up specific guys. Smart and GWill look like they are going to play in every game. TL is seeing time now but it will be interesting when Kanter returns how those minutes get divided. Semi vs. Green and Carson vs. Wanamaker will be game to game depending on the match up.
 

Devizier

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Has any team ever had 4 20 ppg scorers?
Don’t think so, unless you include teams with scorers that didn’t qualify.

Closest I can come up with is the 66-67 Sixers:

Wilt 24.1
Greer 22.1
Walker 19.3
Cunningham 18.5

There were also the Doug Moe Nuggets teams but that was almost all English, Vandeweghe, and Issel.
 

k-factory

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Losing Hayward for a while is tough on a few levels. He gave the C’s:
1. A steady self-initiating scorer
2. A perfect fit in Brad’s pesky tenacious small ball scheme
3. A top of the arc game manager with great vision

Obviously replacing all those characteristics in the starting lineup is impossible but I’m curious as to which path Brad takes. Assuming Kanter is back here shortly, does Brad:
1. Replace GH with Kanter and now the team identity shifts to a bigger lineup out of the chute with Theis at the 4
2. Move Smart and Kanter into the starting lineup and drop Theis to the bench rotation
3. Replace GH with Smart and get even smaller and keep Kanter on the bench

Yes starting lineups aren’t everything but they do set the tone of the game and the rotation is cued from them. My guess is that we’re likely to see matchup dependent starting lineups for the next month and a half unless Kanter really establishes starter value.
 

lovegtm

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Losing Hayward for a while is tough on a few levels. He gave the C’s:
1. A steady self-initiating scorer
2. A perfect fit in Brad’s pesky tenacious small ball scheme
3. A top of the arc game manager with great vision

Obviously replacing all those characteristics in the starting lineup is impossible but I’m curious as to which path Brad takes. Assuming Kanter is back here shortly, does Brad:
1. Replace GH with Kanter and now the team identity shifts to a bigger lineup out of the chute with Theis at the 4
2. Move Smart and Kanter into the starting lineup and drop Theis to the bench rotation
3. Replace GH with Smart and get even smaller and keep Kanter on the bench

Yes starting lineups aren’t everything but they do set the tone of the game and the rotation is cued from them. My guess is that we’re likely to see matchup dependent starting lineups for the next month and a half unless Kanter really establishes starter value.
I think Theis is pretty firmly cemented as the starting center, except in very specific matchups (Embiid and a couple others). He is playing great.

This will be exactly the same as when Brown was out. They want their best players on the floor as much as possible, so Smart will start. They clearly are comfortable with Smart taking on guys like Giannis and Love--it might not even be a disadvantage matchup for the Cs, which is crazy.

This board has a bigger size fetish than (insert sexual reference of your choice), and this year's Celtics are going to disappoint in that regard. They have clearly decided that they want to make up for size with speed, strength, ball pressure, and doubling. It's working really well so far, so I doubt they'll mess with that.
 

k-factory

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By not staggering Kemba and Smart does that have any material impact on ball handling with the second unit?
Last year with the Kyrie Smart tandem in the backcourt it sure seemed like they would have these massive scoring droughts with the second unit but maybe that was more of an overall talent issue.
 

Jimbodandy

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By not staggering Kemba and Smart does that have any material impact on ball handling with the second unit?
Last year with the Kyrie Smart tandem in the backcourt it sure seemed like they would have these massive scoring droughts with the second unit but maybe that was more of an overall talent issue.
They didn't have a ball handling problem last year per se. They had trouble initiating on the second unit because Rozier has no vision and both he and Morris were black holes for the ball (due to their contract situations).

They will have to stagger things smartly, since Hayward is not just a scoring wing but another initiator. GW & RW help mitigate things somewhat, since both move the ball quickly and smartly. Wanamaker has been surprisingly useful. They should be ok for a month, but it is something to keep an eye on.
 

TripleOT

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The Celtics can withstand a loss of Hayward for a month or so. It's unfortunate, obviously, since we finally got the see Walker and the three wings playing well together. Luckily, they can plug Smart into the starting line up, and rely more on Tatum and Brown to initiate offense, along with Kemba.

I'm looking forward to seeing more minutes from Green. He could provide some offensive punch off the bench, which will be needed, since Grant Williams and Edwards are shooting like 30%. Edwards is going to have to grow up a little faster now that he's going to get more meaningful minutes.
 

chilidawg

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The Celtics can withstand a loss of Hayward for a month or so. It's unfortunate, obviously, since we finally got the see Walker and the three wings playing well together. Luckily, they can plug Smart into the starting line up, and rely more on Tatum and Brown to initiate offense, along with Kemba.

I'm looking forward to seeing more minutes from Green. He could provide some offensive punch off the bench, which will be needed, since Grant Williams and Edwards are shooting like 30%. Edwards is going to have to grow up a little faster now that he's going to get more meaningful minutes.
I'd guess that Edwards sees more G League time than meaningful minutes in the short term. Based on watching Langford's completely meaningless 1 game G League highlights I'm campaigning for him to see a little rotation time with Hayward out.
 

Eddie Jurak

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They didn't have a ball handling problem last year per se. They had trouble initiating on the second unit because Rozier has no vision and both he and Morris were black holes for the ball (due to their contract situations).

They will have to stagger things smartly, since Hayward is not just a scoring wing but another initiator. GW & RW help mitigate things somewhat, since both move the ball quickly and smartly. Wanamaker has been surprisingly useful. They should be ok for a month, but it is something to keep an eye on.
I wonder if Hayward being out means Waters will get the occasional call up.
 

Big John

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Well, if Wanamaker plays as well as he did yesterday, maybe Waters stays in Maine. But perhaps Waters' outstanding shooting from beyond the arc (7-11 in the Red Claws opener) earns him a cameo with the varsity.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I wonder if Hayward being out means Waters will get the occasional call up.
I don't think so, unless a couple of others get injured. IMO Waters isn't ready. Yes he shot 7-11 from 3P but a lot of those were wide open because G-leaguers didn't really know how to deal with the top of the key pick. Also, he dribbled himself into the lane a lot and that might work with G-league size but it won't work with NBA size, at least not yet.

He also did a ton of dribbling in the game last night.

But he was his normal pesky self on defense.
 

benhogan

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Well, if Wanamaker plays as well as he did yesterday, maybe Waters stays in Maine. But perhaps Waters' outstanding shooting from beyond the arc (7-11 in the Red Claws opener) earns him a cameo with the varsity.
Waters will get the call up eventually. It's a long season and injuries will continue to happen
 

benhogan

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Gordon would miss 23 games if he comes back after the New Years (~7.5weeks)

Just noticed a Celtics scheduling quirk:
Dec. 11th @ Indiana
Dec. 12th Phila
Dec. 18th @ Dallas

Why the 6 days off, is this something the NBA is doing with all teams?

Also, our next two Phila games are the 2nd nights of back to backs, while the 76ers are rested for both:mad:
 
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lovegtm

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Gordon would miss 23 games if he comes back after the New Years (~7.5weeks)

Just noticed a Celtics scheduling quirk:
Dec. 11th @ Indiana
Dec. 12th Phila
Dec. 18th @ Dallas

Why the 6 days off, is this something the NBA is doing with all teams?

Also, our next two Phila games are the 2nd nights of back to backs, while the 76ers are rested for both:mad:
We may not win the regular season championship!
 

k-factory

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That was quick.
Maine doesn’t play again till Friday. Probably plays in the 2 home games today and Wednesday and then back to Maine as the C’s embark on their 5 game road trip. Probably gets some run in that Wednesday Wizards game and if he’s impressive it’s a different story.
 

bigq

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Maine doesn’t play again till Friday. Probably plays in the 2 home games today and Wednesday and then back to Maine as the C’s embark on their 5 game road trip. Probably gets some run in that Wednesday Wizards game and if he’s impressive it’s a different story.
Makes sense. I hope Langford gets some playing time, performs well and sticks around. He may be undersized to fill in as a wing in Hayward's absence but he seems to have the right tool set and would be a good depth piece. He checks the boxes in terms of ball handling, scoring, passing, rebounding and defense. He was not a great three point shooter in college however if he develops that shot he would fit in well with this Celtics team.
 

Fishy1

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Your weekly hustle/deflection check-in: Smart has unsurprisingly taken the lead with 27, Tatum is second with 24, then it's Kemba at 15 and the Williams: TL has 14 and Grant has 11. Both obviously are putting those numbers up on about half the minutes of the starters. Wanamaker, who really does appear to be an NBA players, has racked up ten in only 93 minutes. Hayward had 10 in 240. This has got just seven and Brown has six in about as many minutes as the Williamses.

This team has been incredible at taking those deflections and turning them into easy buckets. Thank God the days of Avery Bradley-Evan Turner fast breaks are gone.
 

mcpickl

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Maine doesn’t play again till Friday. Probably plays in the 2 home games today and Wednesday and then back to Maine as the C’s embark on their 5 game road trip. Probably gets some run in that Wednesday Wizards game and if he’s impressive it’s a different story.

I think this is right. I'd be really surprised if Romeo got anything more than garbage time minutes, outside of maybe a spot to challenge him.

Assuming Smart now starts, Wanamaker is going to pick up a few more minutes. I'd play a little bigger and have one of Theis/Kanter/R Williams on the floor at all times, making all of G Williams minutes as a forward. I'd let Semi and Javonte fight it out to see who gets to be the first wing off the bench, it'll probably end up a hot hand situation til Hayward is back.

I'd guess Romeo is still behind all those guys, and Carsen Edwards, making him an 12th man at best.