2022-2023 General Celtics thread

BaseballJones

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Beautiful offense is so nice to watch. They do so many things well on offense, but I have to say, one of the biggest keys for this team - and honestly, it's been true for a long time - is Marcus Smart's decision making. When he's playing the great version of Smart, this team is almost impossible to beat. But when he goes into bad Marcus mode, that's when things break down for them. This year, either he's just matured, or Mazzulla has figured out how to finally for real unlock him, he's been really good Marcus, and the results are showing.

Obviously this incredible start is about much more than JUST Marcus Smart, but he's so key to what they do.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Beautiful offense is so nice to watch.
Quick segue. If you love beautiful offense and like college basketball…..watching Scott Davenport’s Bellarmine team is must-see tv for this fan. The ball never touches the ground and it isn’t uncommon for there to be up to 8-9 passes in a set.
 

snowmanny

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Quick segue. If you love beautiful offense and like college basketball…..watching Scott Davenport’s Bellarmine team is must-see tv for this fan. The ball never touches the ground and it isn’t uncommon for there to be up to 8-9 passes in a set.
You made me Google. Clicked on this article, which has a good clip of their passing and explains why Eric Musselman says Arkansas doesn't want to play them.

“We’re not playing that team. I can tell you that,” he said. “We will not schedule them as long as I’m living. I promise that.”

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/college/2022/11/18/eric-musselman-says-arkansas-basketball-razorbacks-wont-play-bellarmine-knights/69659225007/
 

HomeRunBaker

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You made me Google. Clicked on this article, which has a good clip of their passing and explains why Eric Musselman says Arkansas doesn't want to play them.

“We’re not playing that team. I can tell you that,” he said. “We will not schedule them as long as I’m living. I promise that.”

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/college/2022/11/18/eric-musselman-says-arkansas-basketball-razorbacks-wont-play-bellarmine-knights/69659225007/
Davenport is a Pitino disciple who credits him for much of his success back at Louisville.
 

benhogan

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You made me Google. Clicked on this article, which has a good clip of their passing and explains why Eric Musselman says Arkansas doesn't want to play them.

“We’re not playing that team. I can tell you that,” he said. “We will not schedule them as long as I’m living. I promise that.”

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/college/2022/11/18/eric-musselman-says-arkansas-basketball-razorbacks-wont-play-bellarmine-knights/69659225007/
Jimmy Chitwood with the jumper
 

Reverend

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You made me Google. Clicked on this article, which has a good clip of their passing and explains why Eric Musselman says Arkansas doesn't want to play them.

“We’re not playing that team. I can tell you that,” he said. “We will not schedule them as long as I’m living. I promise that.”

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/college/2022/11/18/eric-musselman-says-arkansas-basketball-razorbacks-wont-play-bellarmine-knights/69659225007/
From the piece. Fascinating.

View: https://twitter.com/overtime/status/1590785959607799808
 

Jimbodandy

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A little nervous that tonight might be letdown night, vs. a team that really needs a W and a scorer in DD who will take and make midrange all night long. Hope I'm wrong.
 

koufax32

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A little nervous that tonight might be letdown night, vs. a team that really needs a W and a scorer in DD who will take and make midrange all night long. Hope I'm wrong.
An amazingly impressive jubilee of turnovers and bricked 3’s so far.
 

lovegtm

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The start to the 3rd quarter was one of the most hilariously lazy offensive stretches I've ever seen. The Cs went out there and just jacked up 3s with no plan to pressure the defense at all.

I'd chalk this one up to regular season, and move on.

Tatum has been really, really unimpressive lately, and has mostly stopped getting to the rim.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Tatum has been really, really unimpressive lately, and has mostly stopped getting to the rim.
I think it is a mistake to be giving Tatum the kind of minutes he is getting to play as poorly (for him of course) as he has lately. He is second in minutes per game in the whole league, after having the shortest offseason in the whole league, after looking less than 100% in the longest playoff run in the whole league. Would the Celtics be a crap team if they weren't leaning on him so hard? If so, that would reflect poorly on the coach, given the amount of talent here. If not, riding Tatum so hard in the early going reflects poorly. Mazzulla should be wanting to play for a championship, not some number of wins. One lesson to be learned from last year is that early season struggles can be overcome. Most of what Mazzulla has done here seems exceptional, in a good way, but his riding of Tatum is reminiscent of KC Jones, in a bad way.
 

lexrageorge

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Tatum's minutes per game are up by 1.3 total, or 3.6%. Part of the issue is that there has not been a lot of garbage time for this Celtics team. Also cannot fault Mazzulla for wanting to bank some wins and get off to a good start.

For comparison among Eastern Conference teams and you can see there's really no significant difference in Tatum's mpg from the leading players on most other teams:

Mitchell: 38.2 mpg
VanVleet: 37.4
Tatum: 37.2
Luka: 36.9
Beal: 36.8
Rozier: 36.8
Murray: 36.6
Durant: 36.6 (Kyrie is at 37.3 but only 9 games)
Lowry: 36.4
Maxey: 36.4 (Harden is at 36.8 but misses half the games)
Paulo: 34.6
DeRozan: 34.2
Barrett: 34.1
Haliburton: 33.8
Cade: 33.3
Giannis: 32.8
 
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Leon Trotsky

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I don't think JT's minutes are a problem at all. He has clearly been coasting in these games lately, only occasionally turning it up. Seems like the team in general, with the exception of last night, has been able to gauge their effort level to the competition, which has led to less intense minutes all around. We'll see if they can keep that up.
 

Jimbodandy

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I don't think JT's minutes are a problem at all. He has clearly been coasting in these games lately, only occasionally turning it up. Seems like the team in general, with the exception of last night, has been able to gauge their effort level to the competition, which has led to less intense minutes all around. We'll see if they can keep that up.
Yeah that's exactly what they have been doing. It didn't work last night, but good point.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I don't think JT's minutes are a problem at all. He has clearly been coasting in these games lately, only occasionally turning it up. Seems like the team in general, with the exception of last night, has been able to gauge their effort level to the competition, which has led to less intense minutes all around. We'll see if they can keep that up.
Minites alone don’t tell the entire story. We have had one of the easiest travel schedules thus far in the NBA along with Minnesota, Milwaukee and the Clippers. Keep in mind that it is on these long road trips when the games are clustered together with multiple B2B in many cases which we’ve avoided so far.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Tatum's minutes per game are up by 1.3 total, or 3.6%. Part of the issue is that there has not been a lot of garbage time for this Celtics team. Also cannot fault Mazzulla for wanting to bank some wins and get off to a good start.

For comparison among Eastern Conference teams and you can see there's really no significant difference in Tatum's mpg from the leading players on most other teams:

Mitchell: 38.2 mpg
VanVleet: 37.4
Tatum: 37.2
Luka: 36.9
Beal: 36.8
Rozier: 36.8
Murray: 36.6
Durant: 36.6 (Kyrie is at 37.3 but only 9 games)
Lowry: 36.4
Maxey: 36.4 (Harden is at 36.8 but misses half the games)
Paulo: 34.6
DeRozan: 34.2
Barrett: 34.1
Haliburton: 33.8
Cade: 33.3
Giannis: 32.8
I would call the gap between Tatum and Giannis (who is the better player of the two) huge. Milwaukee is playing to win a championship, Mazzulla has the Celtics focused on banking early season wins. It's a mistake.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I would call the gap between Tatum and Giannis (who is the better player of the two) huge. Milwaukee is playing to win a championship, Mazzulla has the Celtics focused on banking early season wins. It's a mistake.
Why? Because he’s played 40 min in tight games or OT games on non-B2B’s? Milwaukee already has a championship and playing this year with a banged up team while we are trying to build the culture of a championship team. They are far apart bc they are in two completely different circumstances.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Why? Because he’s played 40 min in tight games or OT games on non-B2B’s? Milwaukee already has a championship and playing this year with a banged up team while we are trying to build the culture of a championship team. They are far apart bc they are in two completely different circumstances.
Tatum played the most minutes of anyone in the league last year, wasn't 100% at the end during the playoff loss, and the Celtics have decided to ramp up his workload. I think it is a mistake. I don't think there's something unique about Tatum versus literally every other star player on a potential contender that justifes this. We learned last year that playoff success doesn't happen in November.
 

BigSoxFan

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Why? Because he’s played 40 min in tight games or OT games on non-B2B’s? Milwaukee already has a championship and playing this year with a banged up team while we are trying to build the culture of a championship team. They are far apart bc they are in two completely different circumstances.
Giannis is also coming back from an early season knee injury so they are being extra cautious with him. I’m sure his minutes will ramp up eventually.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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There is nothing particularly unusual about a HoF quality mid-20s wing in his physical prime playing these kinds of minutes (and not just LeBron who is an alien). Kobe, Pierce, Durant, Curry, Ray Allen, Luka averaging 36.9 this year, the list goes on. Hell, Duncan was averaging 40mpg as a big.

Is it a serious take that this early season run of dominance is actually a signal that the coach isn’t ready to make a title run? Would it really feel better if they were resting a healthy 24 year old and losing more games (in which case we all know EJ would be in here nightly questioning if Joe has what it takes at all)?

If you take away the 10 minutes of OT he is averaging 36.6 mpg instead of 37.2, half a minute more than least season. Maybe we can wait until more than 20% of the season is over before making any grand pronouncements.
 

lexrageorge

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Also need to realize that Mazzulla has the blessing of Brad Stevens to rack up early season wins, and that Brad has ownership's blessing to do the same.
 

Eddie Jurak

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There is nothing particularly unusual about a HoF quality mid-20s wing in his physical prime playing these kinds of minutes (and not just LeBron who is an alien). Kobe, Pierce, Durant, Curry, Ray Allen, Luka averaging 36.9 this year, the list goes on. Hell, Duncan was averaging 40mpg as a big.

Is it a serious take that this early season run of dominance is actually a signal that the coach isn’t ready to make a title run? Would it really feel better if they were resting a healthy 24 year old and losing more games (in which case we all know EJ would be in here nightly questioning if Joe has what it takes at all)?

If you take away the 10 minutes of OT he is averaging 36.6 mpg instead of 37.2, half a minute more than least season. Maybe we can wait until more than 20% of the season is over before making any grand pronouncements.
Only one guy can be the league leader in minutes played. The responses based on looking at the absolute numbers rather than relative ones miss that. Who has played more minutes since the start of last season than Jayson Tatum? No one. And so far this year his workload has risen compared to last year.

Bringing up the OT games is just special pleading. Last year, the Celtics had a couple of double OT games in the early going, so I don;t think "more OT periods" explains anything away.

Doing everything the reasonably can to have Tatum at his physical best come playoff time should be a priority, and we have seen nothing yet to indicate that it is, because the team is prioritizing those all importanrt November wins.
 

Leon Trotsky

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Doing everything the reasonably can to have Tatum at his physical best come playoff time should be a priority, and we have seen nothing yet to indicate that it is, because the team is prioritizing those all importanrt November wins.
Do you really think 1-2 minutes per game spread over six months makes a material difference? I think wins early to take pressure off late is much more important, or just wins in general cause it breeds confidence and culture, but whatever, guess you gotta have something to complain about.
 

ugmo33

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I've always felt like these arguments about minutes are just cherry-picking whatever side fits at the moment. Either the player has "gotten into really good shape" or "they wore themselves out playing big minutes". And people just pick whatever side fits their narrative. Is there any evidence of players "wearing down" by playing 10 more mpg? The risk of injury is real the more time they are on the court, but other than that, I don't see how you couldn't also say "Tatum is getting lots of reps" or "He's going to be in great shape come playoff time".
 

lovegtm

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I can see points both ways here, and I'd prefer for guys to be getting fewer minutes. As I see it, the NBA regular season is for:

1. making sure you comfortably get into the playoffs
2. building good habits such that you can "flip the switch" to engage those habits fully, come playoff time
3. developing players, both overall (young guys) and in the specific roles you want them to be played in (vets)
4. figuring out schemes and lineup combos that work in different situations
5. staying healthy while being "stretched out" enough to play big minutes in May

Having Tatum, Brown, and Al play fewer regular season minutes doesn't seem to conflict with any of those goals, particularly when the team looks on track to bank the wins for (1).

That said, minutes are one coaching decision that can be managed from the GM spot, to a degree. If Brad isn't happy, it's up to him to talk to Mazzulla, make him comfortable with job security, and get on the same page for the long haul of the season. I can't put this one on Mazz fully, one way or another.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I've always felt like these arguments about minutes are just cherry-picking whatever side fits at the moment. Either the player has "gotten into really good shape" or "they wore themselves out playing big minutes". And people just pick whatever side fits their narrative. Is there any evidence of players "wearing down" by playing 10 more mpg? The risk of injury is real the more time they are on the court, but other than that, I don't see how you couldn't also say "Tatum is getting lots of reps" or "He's going to be in great shape come playoff time".
They lack context too.

What is optimal? What does the ample research about minutes say? Are there real, concrete examples of players actually being run into the ground (I bet everyone here has an anecdote or can cite an example but are you controlling for other variables)?

Its really hard to get worked up about a potential issue when there is no evidence that its an issue at all. Like zero evidence.
 

lexrageorge

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Among players that have played 17 games this season (some have played 18 or 19), Tatum does indeed rank #1....by 3 minutes (Mikal Bridges). He has played 10 total additional minutes over Murray and 12 over Booker. Again, typical for a team's #1 star.

Nobody is expecting Tatum to average 40+ mpg while playing all 82 games. But right now there is zero evidence of a real problem, and even less evidence of a coaching issue. November wins are not meaningless; in fact, those losses to Cleveland or Chicago could yet be annoying in a tiebreaker scenario.

There are likely some maintenance days coming up with a home B2B next week and two sets of road B2B's in early December. Then there's this quote from today's Globe:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/11/22/sports/jayson-tatum-celtics-interview/

“The front office gets, not mad, but they definitely wish I would rest a little more and sit some games out. There’s been times where two weeks in advance we talk about, ‘Let’s take this game off.’ And I’ll be like ‘All right.’ Then the day comes and I’ll be like, ‘[Expletive] that.’

“I think that’s just something that’s the kid in me. I always dreamed about playing in the NBA and never want to take that for granted. I just love playing basketball. There’s days they make me not work out. Sometimes I get mad when Joe takes me out of the game. I just always want to play.”
 

Jimbodandy

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Looks like through 17 games last year he played 627 minutes. This year, 633. So yes, it has risen, but that is a tiny and immaterial difference
Sounds like it's going in the wrong direction then.

Obviously it's too early to worry about it. That said, I hope that they learn something from Tatum being gassed after leading the world in minutes last year. Because 1. he played the most minutes last year by a lot, and 2. he was gassed in the finals. I don't think that either of these things are up for debate. So...seems like something Brad and Joe should keep in mind, no?
 

RorschachsMask

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Sounds like it's going in the wrong direction then.

Obviously it's too early to worry about it. That said, I hope that they learn something from Tatum being gassed after leading the world in minutes last year. Because 1. he played the most minutes last year by a lot, and 2. he was gassed in the finals. I don't think that either of these things are up for debate. So...seems like something Brad and Joe should keep in mind, no?
While I think it was partially last season and obviously being injured, it was also the accumulation of minutes since the bubble, really short offseason between bubble and the next season, then playing in the Olympics last summer. This tweet from Grande was from early in the finals, so add another 120 or so minutes. Since the bubble, Tatum hasn’t just played more than anyone, he’s lapped the field, 900 more minutes than the guy who played the third most is bonkers.

It’s why they were so adamant about him taking real time off this summer, and it seems to be paying off, dude usually starts slow and is averaging 30/8/5 on a 62.2% TS through 17 games.

View: https://twitter.com/SeanGrandePBP/status/1534403369510510596?s=20&t=cdrGQZ4b2gr6nhr0SX81zw
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Sounds like it's going in the wrong direction then.

Obviously it's too early to worry about it. That said, I hope that they learn something from Tatum being gassed after leading the world in minutes last year. Because 1. he played the most minutes last year by a lot, and 2. he was gassed in the finals. I don't think that either of these things are up for debate. So...seems like something Brad and Joe should keep in mind, no?
It would surprise me if the Celtics don't have a pretty sophisticated way of looking at player minutes etc. That said, it also wouldn't surprise me if the coaching staff uses that info very loosely.

Also, Tatum may have been gassed during the finals but he was also hurt. That may have been a bigger factor in his play than fatigue but that's just my guess.
 

the moops

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In the age of stars taking days off left and right to "load manage" count me in the "I'm fucking stoked" that Tatum plays as much as he does.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Tatum played the most minutes of anyone in the league last year, wasn't 100% at the end during the playoff loss, and the Celtics have decided to ramp up his workload. I think it is a mistake. I don't think there's something unique about Tatum versus literally every other star player on a potential contender that justifes this. We learned last year that playoff success doesn't happen in November.
I don’t buy the “not 100%” angle physically in the playoffs as he was really good during much of it. He was forced to play defacto PG against the Warriors which imo played a much larger factor than some perception of fatigue without any B2B games. How does an elite young athlete suddenly become “gassed” while having multiple days off between games after being very good leading up to the finals? It’s a false narrative that people are running with imo.

As I mentioned earlier, we’ve also had one of the easiest rest/travel schedules in the league this year so naturally the stars are going to play more under these conditions.
 
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Jimbodandy

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There's a thread on the main board where folks are complaining about Cora quick-hooking starters early last season due to pitch count limitations. All we're missing is a Dick Radatz reference.
 

nighthob

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I don’t buy the “not 100%” angle physically in the playoffs as he was really good during much of it. He was forced to play defacto PG against the Warriors which imo played a much larger factor than some perception of fatigue without any B2B games. How does an elite young athlete suddenly become “gassed” while having multiple days off between games after being very good leading up to the finals? It’s a false narrative that people are running with imo.
He was pretty obviously injured during the Miami series. He stopped getting full shoulder extension after getting belted during that rock fight. Hopefully they can avoid the Heat this year.
 

HomeRunBaker

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He was pretty obviously injured during the Miami series. He stopped getting full shoulder extension after getting belted during that rock fight. Hopefully they can avoid the Heat this year.
Yeah he was definitely banged up but as the old adage goes…..everyone is banged up in June. I’m a proponent of ramping young players minutes UP toward the end of the year to prepare them for the playoffs…..not putting kid gloves on them so they aren’t conditioned for it. The obv exceptions are long condensed road trips with 5 games in 7 nights and on B2B’s but as I’ve been saying we haven’t faced these yet. When we do I’d expect the second units to get some more extended rotations especially in the 1H.
 

nighthob

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Yeah he was definitely banged up but as the old adage goes…..everyone is banged up in June. I’m a proponent of ramping young players minutes UP toward the end of the year to prepare them for the playoffs…..not putting kid gloves on them so they aren’t conditioned for it. The obv exceptions are long condensed road trips with 5 games in 7 nights and on B2B’s but as I’ve been saying we haven’t faced these yet. When we do I’d expect the second units to get some more extended rotations especially in the 1H.
There's a ginormous difference between aches and pains and an injured shooting shoulder. Especially when you're the amazing rubber band man.