2022-2023 General Celtics thread

k-factory

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Is the adjustment to spacing with Timelord back also an issue? He still seems to be getting his sea legs.
More significantly White’s abysmal performance this stretch has really hurt their output.
 

Leon Trotsky

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After shutting it off in disgust at the half, I dragged myself back in and watched the whole rest of the game. What I saw was encouraging, as it seems what has been ailing them is totally fixable. They need to be much much more physical on defense, and they were very unlucky or just a tiny bit off around the rim and need to be more aggressive there - there were at least 10 layups or dunks that missed. It actually reminded me of how they were the first half of last year, which they fixed by eventually going max effort all the time. I think they will turn it around soon (hopefully on Friday).
 

jasail

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Players are going to have their ups and downs over the season. Al and White are atrocious right now and JB is trying to do too much and turning it over. This is frustrating but a reality of performance over time. That said, what is inexcusable is the commitment to defense. They are soft on that end right now and are falling into old bad habits of not getting back when shots aren't falling and they aren't getting the whistle. It's been a tough stretch that's been made worse because these are games they should be winning. Going 0-3 to start this homestand against sub-500 teams, including dropping two to the worst road team in the game is brutal.
 

Reverend

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Does it look to anyone else that while the Celtics are getting good looks from 3, they’re not as wildly open as they were before? Tatum seems to relish shooting over people, but White, for example, looks more hesitant to me, even if he’s open, if a defender is closing—which hesitation of course leads to him being less open.
 

Fishy1

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Does it look to anyone else that while the Celtics are getting good looks from 3, they’re not as wildly open as they were before? Tatum seems to relish shooting over people, but White, for example, looks more hesitant to me, even if he’s open, if a defender is closing—which hesitation of course leads to him being less open.
White's shot looks fucked again. I'm not sure exactly what's wrong but his rhythm is wonky - he's rushing it and shooting too slowly somehow all at once. Last night he bricked a wide-open three so badly I ducked in my living room.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Going 0-3 to start this homestand against sub-500 teams, including dropping two to the worst road team in the game is brutal.
Orlando’s road record early in the year was a product of their teams and backcourt being decimated by injury. They didn’t have a pure guard in their lineup for most of their road stretch earlier in the year. Indiana isn’t a doormat either and are solid teams that will be in the playoff hunt. Rough stretches, especially following a west coast trip, are going to happen. As of this morning we are still favored to win the NBA Title.
 

Leon Trotsky

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Yes, every other contender in the NBA has had a cold streak at some point, this is really no different. Hopefully the team just follows JT's lead, who decided at the half to put in his full effort on both ends of the floor and essentially carried the team back into it.
 

nighthob

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At some point, I just started laughing and stopped letting it get to me. It was just that bad.
I actually put Yakety Sax on repeat at one point in the first half. The game was much easier to watch with that running in the background.
 

bsan34

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Lowe and Pelton did a couple of minutes on the Cs in the middle of their post recent pod about the Sixers. Pelton's take: basically bad shooting luck they're fine. They're still getting great shots that just aren't falling to a freakish degree. The last 3 games were all something among the 8 biggest underperformances compared to expected shot quality of any team in any game this season.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Yes, every other contender in the NBA has had a cold streak at some point, this is really no different. Hopefully the team just follows JT's lead, who decided at the half to put in his full effort on both ends of the floor and essentially carried the team back into it.
If they drop another game it will be the first time the team dropped 6 games out of 7 since before Tatum and Brown were in the league, so, it is different.
 

jmcc5400

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White's shot looks fucked again. I'm not sure exactly what's wrong but his rhythm is wonky - he's rushing it and shooting too slowly somehow all at once. Last night he bricked a wide-open three so badly I ducked in my living room.
It's all because he went on JJ Redick's podcast.
 

jasail

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Orlando’s road record early in the year was a product of their teams and backcourt being decimated by injury. They didn’t have a pure guard in their lineup for most of their road stretch earlier in the year. Indiana isn’t a doormat either and are solid teams that will be in the playoff hunt. Rough stretches, especially following a west coast trip, are going to happen. As of this morning we are still favored to win the NBA Title.
I think if you were to consider this sentence in the context of my full post, it's pretty obvious I share the sentiment that rough patches happen and this team is still well situated to win. I'm not jumping off the Zakim or trying to find my panic button among the Christmas decorations. I'm just not interested in engaging in turd polishing. No one had 0-3 to start this homestand when they hung the schedule magnet to their fridge door. From a fan's perspective, it's been brutal; I've enjoyed approximately zero minutes of Celtic's basketball since they got home from LA. Now, I hope tonight they can get back to doing what they do tonight against an underperforming TWolves team trying to find their swagger.
 

bsan34

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I think if you were to consider this sentence in the context of my full post, it's pretty obvious I share the sentiment that rough patches happen and this team is still well situated to win. I'm not jumping off the Zakim or trying to find my panic button among the Christmas decorations. I'm just not interested in engaging in turd polishing. No one had 0-3 to start this homestand when they hung the schedule magnet to their fridge door. From a fan's perspective, it's been brutal; I've enjoyed approximately zero minutes of Celtic's basketball since they got home from LA. Now, I hope tonight they can get back to doing what they do tonight against an underperforming TWolves team trying to find their swagger.
They just need the good shots they're getting to fall. They're fine.
 

HomeRunBaker

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This could be a poor teams Duncanesque tank if they end up with the 1st or 2nd pick along with a healthy Ball and Bridges, who I’m hearing is going to be returning to the Hornets soon.
Hornets deal with Bridges all but finalized. Should be an interesting structure with an NBA suspension tied into it right out of the gate.
 

benhogan

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Hornets deal with Bridges all but finalized. Should be an interesting structure with an NBA suspension tied into it right out of the gate.
Is there any reason we should care about that crappy team & organization?

I figure we won't hear from them until Silver is rifling through a bunch of envelopes looking for the frozen one
 

HomeRunBaker

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Is there any reason we should care about that crappy team & organization?

I figure we won't hear from them until Silver is rifling through a bunch of envelopes looking for the frozen one
I remember it was being discussed I don’t know how it was in here when I searched though.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Finally, a good win - and one that puts the line to the 'all we need is our shots to fall' nonsense. The Celtics without Rob (non-Covid illness') played Minnesota without KAT and Kyle Anderson. They did not play great from wire to wire and they did not shoot well from three (13-46), but they did find ways to score anyway. They consistently played with pace, got the ball into the paint, attacked Rody Gobert (what a coup it was for Ainge to get so many picks for Gobert), and found ways to score beyond hitting the three. It can be done, but not if they just settle.

This was also mostly a starters' game. Every starter made a big contribution to the win, and the bench, scoring only 14 of the Celtics' 121 points, mostly just did not screw up too badly. Grant hit a couple of threes (though shot only 2 of 6 overall) and defended, Kornet had a few key second half minutes, but this was mostly a game where the starters won it.

For most of the first three quarters, the Celtics were alternately trying to do good things, with some success, and giving up runs.
  • The Celtics had a 17-14 lead midway through the first quarter, until Minnesota outscored them 15-5 to end the quarter up 7, 29-22.
  • They played better in the second quarter, outscoring Minnesota 28-12 to go up 50-41 with 3:46 left.
  • Then they went into a "here we go again" tailspin. Minnesota closed out the first half 15-4 and extended the run to 22-4 by scoring the first 7 points of the third quarter.
  • The the Celtics tightened up their defense and took a small lead, 85-81. Minnesota came back, hitting a go ahead 3 to go up 86-85 with 15 seconds left, and then Al hit a buzzer beating corner three to put the Celtics up by 2 headed into the 4th.
Throughout most of the first 3 quarters, the standout Celtic was Derrick White. He led the team with a +14 at the half, and despite shooting 0-2 from three, he had 9 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, and a block, and he aggressively looked to drive to the rim whenever he could. Tatum had 10 points but on poor shooting (3 of 9, 0 of 4 from three) and he had 3 tunrovers. Brown had 9 points but on poor shooting (4 of 9, 0 of 3 from three). Al and Smart had quitely good halves, with 8 and 6 points, respectively. Smart had 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals; Horford had rebounds, an assist, a steal, and 3 blocks. Both shot 2-3 from three.

Early in the third quarter, after withstanding the 7-0 run, the Celtics offense was once again led by White, who missed his only three attempt but shot 4-5 from the field for 9 points, again running in transition and attacking the rim. Then Tatum took over, scoring 15 points in the quarter on 5-8 shooting plus 5-6 at the line. A lot of driving from Tatum, who did not attempt a three in the quarter. He also had 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Brown had a rough third, shooting 1 of 6 and 0-4 from three. Smart did not score but had 4 assists.

The start of the 4th, after Al's three at the end of the third, was going to be a key point in the game for the Celtics because Smart, Horford, and Tatum had each played the whole fourth quarter, so they were all going to begin the quarter on the bench. And Brown had had a rough third quarter (and game).

The Celtics opened with Grant, Brogdon, Kornet, Brown, and White, and Brown just exploded. Brown scored the Celtics first 10 points of the quarter, putting the Celtics up by 4, 98-94. A three, a layup, a part of FTs, and another three. Then Kornet hit a putback and Brown another layup, 102-94. By now, Tatum, Horford, and Smart are back in. After the Wolves hit a pair of FTs, Smart broke the game open by setting up 3 dunks/layups in quick succession. They run a play designed for Smart to hit a cutting Tatum for a dunk, then Brown gets behind the MN defense and Smart hits him with a long pass off a made basket for another dunk, then MN misses a three and Smart hits a cutting brown for an easy layup, putting the Celtics up 10 for the first time in the game, and there was no looking back after that.

Brown ultimately scored 23 points in the 4th quarter on 8 of 14 shooting, 3 of 6 from three. His best 4th quarter ever, and it was his play at the beginning of the quarter that made the difference. Late in the game, he missed a fast break dunk, came back in bounds, rebounded his miss hit a layup. The other 4th quarter scorers were Tatum, with 5 points, Horford with 3, and Kornet with 2. In addition to his offensive rebound/putback, Kornet also had a key steal in his 3:46. Derrick White played the whole quarter and did not attempt a shot.

For the game, Jaylen (36) and Jayon (30) both had 30+, followed by White (18) and Horford (17). Smart had 6 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals, and no turnovers.

Smart and Horford shot a combined 7-14 from three; the entire rest of the team shot 6-32.

But this is how they win when threes aren't falling, but creating other opportunities for themselves. They can always get the types of threes they have been missing lately. Always. But when they aren't falling they need to do something else, and tonight they did. The bellweather tonight was White. He was not hitting threes (and his misses were bad), but he was aggressive in transition, and driving at Rudy, and on defense. Whether White is cause or effect, when he is making positive things happen, things are usually going well for the Celtics.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Hauser was -14. One thing I think while I have been catching up with games is that the Cs initial run was fueled by dominance of the second unit, which was evidenced by Hauser's great +/- numbers. Not saying that Hauser is playing better or worse (though he is shooting worse), but the fact that he's been minus the few times I've looked indicates to me that maybe the league has adjusted to the way the 2nd unit is playing. Certainly Hauser is not getting as many wide open looks.
 

benhogan

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Hauser was -14. One thing I think while I have been catching up with games is that the Cs initial run was fueled by dominance of the second unit, which was evidenced by Hauser's great +/- numbers. Not saying that Hauser is playing better or worse (though he is shooting worse), but the fact that he's been minus the few times I've looked indicates to me that maybe the league has adjusted to the way the 2nd unit is playing. Certainly Hauser is not getting as many wide open looks.
You're right the 2nd unit (esp with Tatum) was drop-kicking opposing benches. Sam had a few decent defensive plays last night. He's receiving a little more defensive attention but just missing a few open 3s. It's a team-wide shooting slump in December, nothing to really clutch our pearls over. Still confident Sam can be a 40% 3pt shooter as he always has been. I doubt his +++shooting is an illusion

In the offseason, PBS replaced Theis, Nesmith & Pritchard minutes with Brogdon, Hauser, & Kornet. I'm not expecting much in the way of trades. That's more than enough to put them over.
BUT there is clamoring for additional POINTZ, more firepower!!!

They need more firepower. If Brown's shot isn't falling, the gameplan is for Tatum to wear all their finest defenders. I am not concerned about defense once the playoffs start. I am deeply concerned that they don't have the ancillary shotmakers to make opposing teams pay.
No debate here about any of those attributes. I've just seen enough of "washed" wings who come into the playoffs and all of a sudden rediscover their defense. But you almost never see good shooters instantly become much better in the playoffs. In fact, its quite the contrary as everyone has a defender inside their chest cavity. Who besides Tatum and Brown can get their shot when that's happening? Brogdon maybe. Not Smart and not White.
I believe both of those teams have more dependable scorers down their rotation than Boston. At this point, Hauser needs to be considered an illusion. White's early season too. Do you really want this team's fortunes to depend on one of those guys or Smart getting hot? IMO, they need to do the Wu Tang strategy and diversify their potfolio.
Bojan Bogdanovic has been thrown around numerous times, even though Detroit just extended him and there have been zero reports of Brad kicking those tires. Further, Bojan's contract ($20M) means Brad would have to use one of Smart, White, or Brogdon to make/match a deal here for a 33yr old one-dimensional player. Somehow that is lost in the Bojan pining.

We have evidence that Brad isn't in love with offense-only players when he immediately punted Kemba & passed on signing a 29yr old Evan Fournier (the NYK have recently seen an uptick in play once they stapled Fournier, Rose & Reddish to the bench). While Bojan is an excellent offensive player, the trade cost probably makes him a non-starter for Brad.

If we're going to kick fake trades around, Brad is probably limited to the $10M variety. If PBS feels like he needs more veteran scoring from the bench a player like Alec Burks makes more sense since he's younger, cheaper, exp. coming off the bench, a 40% 3pt shooter every year over the last 4, and is friendly w/Tatum.

https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/burksal01.html

Gallo/PP/JJ matches up, although Burks is on a team option next season, while Gallo is gtd.

Still not seeing the urgency for a trade for OFFENSE, they just put up 121pts on 28% 3pt shooting.
Brogdon can easily get his shot at will against 2nd units, while White/Smart are more than capable of bullying smaller PGs at the rim. The Bucks on Xmas will be a good test with one of the better defenses in the NBA.
 

Fishy1

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You're right the 2nd unit (esp with Tatum) was drop-kicking opposing benches. Sam had a few decent defensive plays last night. He's receiving a little more defensive attention but just missing a few open 3s. It's a team-wide shooting slump in December, nothing to really clutch our pearls over. Still confident Sam can be a 40% 3pt shooter as he always has been. I doubt his +++shooting is an illusion

In the offseason, PBS replaced Theis, Nesmith & Pritchard minutes with Brogdon, Hauser, & Kornet. I'm not expecting much in the way of trades. That's more than enough to put them over.
BUT there is clamoring for additional POINTZ, more firepower!!!




Bojan Bogdanovic has been thrown around numerous times, even though Detroit just extended him and there have been zero reports of Brad kicking those tires. Further, Bojan's contract ($20M) means Brad would have to use one of Smart, White, or Brogdon to make/match a deal here for a 33yr old one-dimensional player. Somehow that is lost in the Bojan pining.

We have evidence that Brad isn't in love with offense-only players when he immediately punted Kemba & passed on signing a 29yr old Evan Fournier (the NYK have recently seen an uptick in play once they stapled Fournier, Rose & Reddish to the bench). While Bojan is an excellent offensive player, the trade cost probably makes him a non-starter for Brad.

If we're going to kick fake trades around, Brad is probably limited to the $10M variety. If PBS feels like he needs more veteran scoring from the bench a player like Alec Burks makes more sense since he's younger, cheaper, exp. coming off the bench, a 40% 3pt shooter every year over the last 4, and is friendly w/Tatum.

https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/burksal01.html

Gallo/PP/JJ matches up, although Burks is on a team option next season, while Gallo is gtd.

Still not seeing the urgency for a trade for OFFENSE, they just put up 121pts on 28% 3pt shooting.
Brogdon can easily get his shot at will against 2nd units, while White/Smart are more than capable of bullying smaller PGs at the rim. The Bucks on Xmas will be a good test with one of the better defenses in the NBA.
100% cosign this post. The offense has been struggling largely because the shooting of Hauser, Brogdon, White, Jaylen and cratered all at once. They were all flaming hot at once, and we were bound to see a stretch in which they all struggled. It happens. You still want to take the threes that are wide-open because you never know when they're going to start going in again.

And I'll add it was especially hard for them to be the energetic offense they had been earlier in the season after the long west-coast trip, and last night they proved that they could be that team again. They got a ton of wide-open threes, missed a ton of them, and still hung 120 on the Wolves without Rob, because Tatum and Brown are both dominant scorers.

Nothing to worry about here. The guys will shoot better, and they'll go right back to drowning teams. I think there's a tendency on this board to want to shake things up when the boat starts to leak a little, but we've got the pieces we need - three guards with complimentary skill sets, two dominant wings, a center who can shoot and another who can catch lobs, and a diverse group of bench players who can shoot, rim roll, and defend. Can't wait to see how they play the Bucks this weekend.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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If copying gamethread posts over to the main board is what brings joy go for it.

You point blank also called me an absolute moron there which I fully accept. It raises questions about who would want to engage with an absolute moron but whatever.

In any event, I am not debating this with you - but I am officially on record that this team needs more scoring when the playoffs come around, the game slows and all the"washed" veterans turn into credible defenders. If the team agrees they will have to make difficult choices in terms of moving valuable players for other skill sets. Perhaps they think its all fine and will only tinker at the edges. I think that will be a mistake.

But seriously, why would a smart poster spend time trolling morons?
 

benhogan

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If copying gamethread posts over to the main board is what brings joy go for it.

You point blank also called me an absolute moron there which I fully accept. It raises questions about who would want to engage with an absolute moron but whatever.

In any event, I am not debating this with you - but I am officially on record that this team needs more scoring when the playoffs come around, the game slows and all the"washed" veterans turn into credible defenders. If the team agrees they will have to make difficult choices in terms of moving valuable players for other skill sets. Perhaps they think its all fine and will only tinker at the edges. I think that will be a mistake.

But seriously, why would a smart poster spend time trolling morons?
You're not a moron. Apologies. The Bojan stuff is just not a great idea
 

PedroKsBambino

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If copying gamethread posts over to the main board is what brings joy go for it.

You point blank also called me an absolute moron there which I fully accept. It raises questions about who would want to engage with an absolute moron but whatever.

In any event, I am not debating this with you - but I am officially on record that this team needs more scoring when the playoffs come around, the game slows and all the"washed" veterans turn into credible defenders. If the team agrees they will have to make difficult choices in terms of moving valuable players for other skill sets. Perhaps they think its all fine and will only tinker at the edges. I think that will be a mistake.

But seriously, why would a smart poster spend time trolling morons?
the Gallo signing shows to me the team agrees with you on this. Hauser helps, but he’s just a shooter. The two things you would try to add cheap/ring chase wise are 1) a better defensive/rebounding bench big primarily for Embiid and as an injury hedge—no minutes if everyone is healthy and 2) one more guy with on-ball offensive juice. They can absolutely win a title without either…but you never stop trying to improve.

I wouldn’t chase Bogdanovich given cost.
 

lovegtm

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I loved against Milwaukee that even though they came out hot from 3, they kept playing the right way on offense, and were able to keep control of the game even when 3s stopped falling for a bit as a result.

Feels like the season has been divided into 3 parts:
1: can't miss from 3 ever; overconfidence results
2: can't make from 3 ever, but stop playing the right way in general
3: (against Minnesota and Milwaukee) execute the gameplan against 2 teams with imposing, but somewhat immobile bigs, to be able to keep attacking the paint regardless of whether 3s drop or not.

When 3s do drop, like on Christmas, you get a blowout. When they don't, as against Minnesota, you get a grind-it-out win.
 

Imbricus

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I think the Bucks learned yesterday that it's hard to beat any team in the NBA that's making 49% of its three-point shots. Apart from that, I'm hoping Hauser is getting back on track. I definitely wouldn't give up on him; he should become a consistently good three-point shooter, from all the signs. But he doesn't take them at the volume of Tatum or Brown, so when he goes off on a cold spell, with his lack of experience, I think it can get in his head.
 

lovegtm

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I think the Bucks learned yesterday that it's hard to beat any team in the NBA that's making 49% of its three-point shots. Apart from that, I'm hoping Hauser is getting back on track. I definitely wouldn't give up on him; he should become a consistently good three-point shooter, from all the signs. But he doesn't take them at the volume of Tatum or Brown, so when he goes off on a cold spell, with his lack of experience, I think it can get in his head.
I mean, if the Celtics make 35% of 3s, they still win by 10. The Bucks hit a lot of tough midrangers themselves and had good shot luck, which they definitely can't expect consistently.

If the Bucks take the message of "variance" from this game, it would be the wrong one. Boston solved their defense, and was getting great looks in the paint and from 3 pretty consistently.
 

PedroKsBambino

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What I took from that second half is that the Celtics “A” game is at a level the Bucks can’t match. Middleton would help, but as with last year the Celts best play at both ends is the best team in the league—it’s their consistency which is the question
 

lovegtm

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What I took from that second half is that the Celtics “A” game is at a level the Bucks can’t match. Middleton would help, but as with last year the Celts best play at both ends is the best team in the league—it’s their consistency which is the question
I even thought that the 1st half was good, despite the score. Bucks hit a ton of unsustainable shots, and the Celtics kept attacking rather than settling. In the 2nd half, the process started to manifest itself in the score, as it tends to do over time.
 

Imbricus

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I mean, if the Celtics make 35% of 3s, they still win by 10.
I've got a 6 point game if they make 35.9% of threes (14 of 39 instead of 19 for 39)?

In any event, I thought the defense on Giannis was impressive. Grant definitely is valuable defending him. Giannis bounced off Grant a couple of times, trying to bully his way inside on offense.
 

SteveF

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I'm not sure Milwaukee can play anything but drop given their wing situation, and the Celtics play well against drop. The teams that can switch without having to switch bad defenders onto Tatum or Brown are the kinds of teams the Celtics will struggle to score against, though the Celtics in particular and the league in general has gotten better at scoring in the half court against switches.

The Clippers game will be more of a measure of where the team is offensively.
 

lovegtm

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I'm not sure Milwaukee can play anything but drop given their wing situation, and the Celtics play well against drop. The teams that can switch without having to switch bad defenders onto Tatum or Brown are the kinds of teams the Celtics will struggle to score against, though the Celtics in particular and the league in general has gotten better at scoring in the half court against switches.

The Clippers game will be more of a measure of where the team is offensively.
The Celtics were able to get Brook to switch out up top a lot, because the Bucks have changed their philosophy somewhat, and no longer thing they can just concede above-the-break to good teams. However, the Celtics were able to toast that by getting inside repeatedly.

This current Cs team matches up very well against the Bucks on both ends, and I would not be happy about facing Boston as a Milwaukee fan.
 

Eddie Jurak

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What I liked about this game was the 4th quarter. Milwaukee tried to make a run but could not get stops. It felt like the opposite of the kind of game the Celtics lose when they are not playing well.
 

NomarsFool

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Having a 1-2 punch is incredible. There were parts of the game where Tatum just took over and there were parts of the game where Brown just took over.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I think Middleton's absence is huge for the Bucks vs the Cs and on both ends. His scoring was missed but his length/defense might have helped against the Cs who were getting pretty much what they wanted.


I agree that it feels like a Cs team playing at peak looks superior to Milwaukee at their best. But Middleton in addition to a healthier Jingles makes them pretty formidable. Of course Middleton missing games is not uncommon so that's a factor as well.
 

InstaFace

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I mean, if the Celtics make 35% of 3s, they still win by 10. The Bucks hit a lot of tough midrangers themselves and had good shot luck, which they definitely can't expect consistently.

If the Bucks take the message of "variance" from this game, it would be the wrong one. Boston solved their defense, and was getting great looks in the paint and from 3 pretty consistently.
OK, but did Boston solve our own defense? It looked to me like last year's every-possession tenacity is still missing. If that's the team from last March out there, we don't put up 139, but we probably keep them under 100 given their shooting.

I don't think anyone can watch that game last night and think "we need more firepower", but our great strength last year was D that always hustled and communicated really well, and such team talents don't have "bad nights" the way that 3 shooting does. It seems to me that we have long stretches where we basically can't even force them to make a tough shot, and they score easily on every possession until we get our wits back together. Am I off-base? Is there something we were doing under Ime that we're not doing under Mazzulla?
 

the moops

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SoSH Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,302
Saint Paul, MN
I think Middleton's absence is huge for the Bucks vs the Cs and on both ends. His scoring was missed but his length/defense might have helped against the Cs who were getting pretty much what they wanted.
Agree with the overall point, but this year's Middleton is not a terribly good player. His offense is bad (27% from three, 33% overall), and his defense is even worse. Obviously a small'ish sample, and he is just getting back after a lengthy absence (although now the other knee is causing him to miss games which is troublesome). There has gotta be some concern that the old Middleton is not coming back, and if that's the case, the Allen/Connaughton/Carter defensive wings are a problem for MIL against teams with such big and strong wings like Tatum and Brown.
 

Fishy1

Head Mason
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
5,711
OK, but did Boston solve our own defense? It looked to me like last year's every-possession tenacity is still missing. If that's the team from last March out there, we don't put up 139, but we probably keep them under 100 given their shooting.

I don't think anyone can watch that game last night and think "we need more firepower", but our great strength last year was D that always hustled and communicated really well, and such team talents don't have "bad nights" the way that 3 shooting does. It seems to me that we have long stretches where we basically can't even force them to make a tough shot, and they score easily on every possession until we get our wits back together. Am I off-base? Is there something we were doing under Ime that we're not doing under Mazzulla?
I don't think you're off-base. The facts on the ground are as you've described them. This team does not put clamps down with any of the consistency of last year's team.

But I'll add... that team only found that gear in the second half last year. At this point last year this was team was lost defensively and struggling mightily with its fourth quarter offense. They were playing without confidence, struggled horribly in half-court sets, and had Schroeder trying to run the offense, often to disastrous effect.

This year's team is playing like they're in first-place in the East and the best team in the NBA. Other teams are coming in to the Garden geared up; on the road opponents are desperate and ferocious, looking to defend their turf... and the Celtics are leading the league in Net Rating with the best offense and a top-ten defense.

They are not clamping down on teams like they did last year largely because they don't have to, and the players, even if it's just subconsciously, know it's better to play at 85% capacity much of the time rather than 100% because the former keeps you fresh and uninjured and the latter, while exhilarating and comforting for fans, is unwise and even dangerous for a team to do the whole season.

I suspect as we get closer to the playoffs -- if top of the East is close at all -- and Rob plays more, they'll tighten up and become more and more frightening defensively. They've got all the same tools, plus an extra look in Kornet, and they've got Rob coming back. I think -- just as I do about the #1 offense in the NBA -- that this is a team that is the favorite to win in the finals.
 
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Mooch

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
4,204
The problem for the Bucks is that they have such mismatch issues when playing the Celtics. In order to maximize the open looks with Giannis on the court, you need Connaughton and/or Allen on the court. But the Celts fucking TORCHED those guys on switches in the second half, going 9 of 11 when going against either as a primary defender.

That’s a major issue for Milwaukee against us and it won’t get any better in a postseason series.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
7,221
Imaginationland
I don't think you're off-base. The facts on the ground are as you've described them. This team does not put clamps down with any of the consistency of last year's team.

But I'll add... that team only found that gear in the second half last year. At this point last year this was team was lost defensively and struggling mightily with its fourth quarter offense. They were playing without confidence, struggled horribly in half-court sets, and had Schroeder trying to run the offense, often to disastrous effect.

This year's team is playing like they're in first-place in the East and the best team in the NBA. Other teams are coming in to the Garden geared up; on the road opponents are desperate and ferocious at home, looking to defend their turf... and the Celtics are leading the league in Net Rating with the best offense and a top-ten defense.

They are not clamping down on teams like they did last year largely because they don't have to, and the players, even if it's just subliminally, know it's better to play at 85% capacity much of the time rather than 100% because the former keeps you fresh and uninjured and the latter, while exhilarating and comforting for fans, is unwise and even dangerous for a team to do the whole season.

I suspect as we get closer to the playoffs -if the East is close at all -- and Rob plays more, they'll tighten up and become more and more frightening defensively. They've got all the same tools, plus an extra look in Kornet, and they've got Rob coming back. I think -- just as I do about the #1 offense in the NBA -- that this is a team that is the favorite to win in the finals.
+1. There are literally 29 teams that would trade their problems with the Celtics, at least in terms of the 2023 title. Compared to last year's team and timeframe, well...34 games in, we're 24-10. At this point last year they were 16-18 and had just suffered arguably their worst loss of the year (to Minnesota, who started Beasley/McDaniels/McLaughlin/Knight/Okogie).

Rob wasn't amazing yesterday, but I think he would've been sorely missed if he hadn't played. Griffin had a rough game and I think Kornet would struggle against the size that the Bucks play with (the same size that would prevent the Celtics from trying to go small with Grant). Needing to give 20 real minutes to Griffin/Kornet would have been difficult.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
28,895
I think the Bucks learned yesterday that it's hard to beat any team in the NBA that's making 49% of its three-point shots. Apart from that, I'm hoping Hauser is getting back on track. I definitely wouldn't give up on him; he should become a consistently good three-point shooter, from all the signs. But he doesn't take them at the volume of Tatum or Brown, so when he goes off on a cold spell, with his lack of experience, I think it can get in his head.
I don’t think it’s a lack of experience or it getting to Hauser’s head as every shooter is going to have brief cold stretches…..especially when it is occuring during a long road trip. Not much to see here imo with the exception of defenses becoming more aware of where he is on the floor.