2022-2023 General Celtics thread

Spelunker

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Earlier this week the Celtics played good teams (Pels and Nets) on back to back nights and they were without two starters for each game (Smart/TL then AL/JB). I had a lot of confidence in the Celtics ability to win each night.

Think about that for a second. I can't remember a time I'd have been that confident in our ability to win with two starters out, regardless of the opponent. Then they did it on back to back nights. Against really good teams.
Would you have been confident if those teams weren't both missing their best player?
 

NomarsFool

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That’s every bench but is it really true? In the playoffs those guys are not going to be playing together……they are going to be in specific roles alongside Tatum/Brown/Smart.
I agree. People talk so much about the "second unit" but that's not how things go - really even in the regular season, let alone the playoffs. We aren't playing 5 on, 5 off. Barring an injury to one of the top 8 players, the only real question on the Celtics - I think - is whether there is an upgrade available for Hauser (I don't think Kornet or Pritchard are playing any meaningful minutes in the playoffs)? We could also talk about insurance for Horford/TimeLord - but that's sort of a different category of need, I think. Kornet seems okay as a 'break glass in case of emergency' player.
 

Reverend

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A healthy Gallinari would really be perfect. Oh well.
I know, right? I mean, all teams have injuries, but I think it’s worth noting that this team still isn’t quite as good as the one management put together. I mean… wow.
 

Reverend

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I agree. People talk so much about the "second unit" but that's not how things go - really even in the regular season, let alone the playoffs. We aren't playing 5 on, 5 off. Barring an injury to one of the top 8 players, the only real question on the Celtics - I think - is whether there is an upgrade available for Hauser (I don't think Kornet or Pritchard are playing any meaningful minutes in the playoffs)? We could also talk about insurance for Horford/TimeLord - but that's sort of a different category of need, I think. Kornet seems okay as a 'break glass in case of emergency' player.
This is also why +/- is very limited as a stat. A guy could be kicking ass as a stop-gap while key starters rest and still go negative.
 

TomTerrific

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I was listening to some random NBA podcast this morning and they had two Celtics-related items I found interesting.

1. There are two NBA teams with 4 players on their roster who all were drafted top 5. The Celtics are one, and I'll let you guess the other. I'll also let you guess who the players are before clicking below.

2. Going back to 1971, the team with the worst record at the halfway point that ultimately won the championship was the 2006 Heat, who were 24-17. This makes me doubly sad that last year's 20-21 Celtics at the turn didn't complete their run.

Celtics: Tatum (2017, 3rd), Brown (2016, 3rd), Horford (2007, 3rd), Griffin (2009, 1st). I never thought about it before, but thank god Horford has maintained his abilities at the level he has for as long as he has as compared to, say, Blake Griffin, who has 3 years less in the league and is just toast.

Cavs: In case anyone's interested, it's Okoro, Mobley, K-Love, and Garland[\SPOILER]
 

DourDoerr

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Thanks for posting this. Missed the game. I really like how Brogdan plays. Efficient and even-keeled. Just a perfect complementary piece. Well done PBS.
 

Euclis20

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Thanks for posting this. Missed the game. I really like how Brogdan plays. Efficient and even-keeled. Just a perfect complementary piece. Well done PBS.
He wasn't particularly efficient as the #1 (or #1a alongside Sabonis) in Indy, but make him the clear #3 scorer (behind Giannis/Middleton in MIL or Tatum/Brown in Boston) and he really excels. He scored in the closing seconds of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters (leaving 0.2, 6.1 and 0.0 seconds left, respectively). I'm sure that's happened before, I just don't ever remember seeing it.

Pritchard had a nice game, and it was interesting seeing him on the court to start the 3rd quarter (with Brown and White out). Him grabbing his own offensive rebound when all five hornets were within a step of him (followed by Brogdon draining the wide open 3) was excellent.

I think we've hit the point know where even when White/Brown are healthy, Robert Williams has to start. He's by far the best rebounder, rim protector and lob threat, it gives the starters a dynamic they occasionally need (moreso than giving time to a smaller shooter). That Kornet remains serviceable makes this an even better option, as I think the double big starting lineup requires a competent 3rd center to work properly.

Hauser is pretty low right now. It's easy to say the rest of his game isn't a liability when he's hitting 40%+ from 3 on high volume and without needing much daylight, but he's 21-74 (.284) from 3 over his last 23 games. He's not on the floor for his surprisingly not awful defense and occasionally decent rebounding and finishing. Just 5 minutes for him for the second game in a row, despite there being a bunch of extra wing minutes up for grabs with Brown out. He was so bad that Justin Jackson got some run in non-garbage time.
 

lovegtm

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Don't look now, but the Celtics are up to #4 in defense, per cleaningtheglass. If Rob stays relatively healthy, I'd be surprised if they don't end up top 2. They've been very good for awhile now, basically since the first month.

Mazzulla is doing some interesting stuff with 3-guard lineups that put Al or Grant at the 4, with Kornet and Rob at the 5. If Hauser isn't going to shoot, I think they'd rather have PP out there, since he's a much better perimeter defender who can space the floor, but also attack closeouts better.

If Mazzulla is fine playing Kornet a decent amount, we might see more PP in 3-guard lineups the rest of the way. It takes advantage of TL/Kornet rim protection, puts Al at the 4 (he's been meh at the rim for awhile), and utilizes the fact that Smart/Brogdon/White all can play bigger.

EDIT: Euclis20 and I made the same post at the same time, from slightly different angles.
 

HomeRunBaker

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He wasn't particularly efficient as the #1 (or #1a alongside Sabonis) in Indy, but make him the clear #3 scorer (behind Giannis/Middleton in MIL or Tatum/Brown in Boston) and he really excels. He scored in the closing seconds of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters (leaving 0.2, 6.1 and 0.0 seconds left, respectively). I'm sure that's happened before, I just don't ever remember seeing it.
Brogdon wasn’t efficient in Indy due to the role he was asked to play not due to him being an inefficient player. He was essentially being asked to be Devin Booker when Paul isn’t on the floor. That’s not what he does so it isn’t surprising that he wasn’t really good at it and a large part of what wore him down.



I think we've hit the point know where even when White/Brown are healthy, Robert Williams has to start. He's by far the best rebounder, rim protector and lob threat, it gives the starters a dynamic they occasionally need (moreso than giving time to a smaller shooter). That Kornet remains serviceable makes this an even better option, as I think the double big starting lineup requires a competent 3rd center to work properly.
How many minutes per night do you feel TL can handle right now that would be most likely to have him healthy for the playoffs? You can’t start TL unless he’s capable of playing 32-35 mpg consistently if he’s going to be on the floor in the 4Q. Why does everyone have this fascination with starting him when the most optimal use of his 24 mpg would include him playing the 4Q without effective the rotation?
 

lovegtm

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Brogdon wasn’t efficient in Indy due to the role he was asked to play not due to him being an inefficient player. He was essentially being asked to be Devin Booker when Paul isn’t on the floor. That’s not what he does so it isn’t surprising that he wasn’t really good at it and a large part of what wore him down.




How many minutes per night do you feel TL can handle right now that would be most likely to have him healthy for the playoffs? You can’t start TL unless he’s capable of playing 32-35 mpg consistently if he’s going to be on the floor in the 4Q. Why does everyone have this fascination with starting him when the most optimal use of his 24 mpg would include him playing the 4Q without effective the rotation?
Upfront disclaimer: I agree TL should be playing 22-27 mins/game.

The trick right now is that Al is looking more and more like a 4 than a 5 as he ages. He still can move laterally, and guards smaller guys well, but is having issues protecting the rim. On offense, he doesn't threaten the rim at all, even though his spacing is obviously great.

He's turning into a rich man's PJ Tucker, on both ends.

As a result, the team is looking for C minutes. I'm fine playing Kornet more, since I think he's actually a good player in the right lineups. But center rotation is something they need to figure out a bit.
 

m0ckduck

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I was listening to some random NBA podcast this morning and they had two Celtics-related items I found interesting.

1. There are two NBA teams with 4 players on their roster who all were drafted top 5. The Celtics are one, and I'll let you guess the other. I'll also let you guess who the players are before clicking below.

2. Going back to 1971, the team with the worst record at the halfway point that ultimately won the championship was the 2006 Heat, who were 24-17. This makes me doubly sad that last year's 20-21 Celtics at the turn didn't complete their run.

Celtics: Tatum (2017, 3rd), Brown (2016, 3rd), Horford (2007, 3rd), Griffin (2009, 1st). I never thought about it before, but thank god Horford has maintained his abilities at the level he has for as long as he has as compared to, say, Blake Griffin, who has 3 years less in the league and is just toast.

Cavs: In case anyone's interested, it's Okoro, Mobley, K-Love, and Garland[\SPOILER]
interesting.

1. Last year’s Nets had 5 players drafted in the top 2: Durant, Irving, Simmons, Aldridge and Griffin. The last 4 of those were overall #1 picks.

2. 1978 Finals featured two teams that finished with fewer than 50 wins. The Sonics started out something like 5-17 and fired their coach. The champion Bullets were 42-40.
 

Eddie Jurak

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That’s every bench but is it really true? In the playoffs those guys are not going to be playing together……they are going to be in specific roles alongside Tatum/Brown/Smart.
Well, I think there are minutes in the playoffs where three bench guys do play together, around the 2 quarter breaks.
Don't look now, but the Celtics are up to #4 in defense, per cleaningtheglass. If Rob stays relatively healthy, I'd be surprised if they don't end up top 2. They've been very good for awhile now, basically since the first month.

Mazzulla is doing some interesting stuff with 3-guard lineups that put Al or Grant at the 4, with Kornet and Rob at the 5. If Hauser isn't going to shoot, I think they'd rather have PP out there, since he's a much better perimeter defender who can space the floor, but also attack closeouts better.
Some of this is a roster construction issue. After Tatum and Brown, the Celtics are surprisingly thin at wing. They have lost of depth at C/PF (Horford, Rob, Grant, Kornet, even Blake) and at PG/combo guard (Smart, White, Brogdon, Pritchard). At wing they have Brown, Tatum, Hauser, and Justin Jackson. With Brown injured and plenty of bigs, you get the 2 big/3 guard lineups out of necessity.
If Mazzulla is fine playing Kornet a decent amount, we might see more PP in 3-guard lineups the rest of the way. It takes advantage of TL/Kornet rim protection, puts Al at the 4 (he's been meh at the rim for awhile), and utilizes the fact that Smart/Brogdon/White all can play bigger.
Another way to look at this is that Hauser's play has cratered of late. There was a point when he was playing well earlier that he looked like the #9 guy (and with Rob out the #8 available guy). He's #8 on the team in minutes, with a pretty big gap (210 minutes) between him and #9, Kornet.

As of now, and with Rob back, he looks to me like #11.

Starters: Rob, Horford, Tatum, Brown, Smart
6th man: Brogdon
7th/8th: White, Grant
9th/10th: Kornet/Pritchard
11th: Hauser

Last night, with Brown out and White leaving early with an injury, there were minutes there for Hauser but he was unplayable. In a game the Celtics won by 16, Hauser was a -14 in 5 minutes. Two of those minutes were garbage time and he was even, so when the game mattered he was -14 in 3 minutes. Mazulla put him in late in the third, he gave up an and-1 on a drive to the basket, and Mazzulla got him right back out of there (going back to Pritchard) after 17 seconds. Then he started the 4th with Justin Jackson on the floor with Brogdon, Grant, Rob, Pritchard.

If the Celtics look to add depth it is probably a wing, but with everyone healthy there isn't really much playing time there.
 

lovegtm

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Well, I think there are minutes in the playoffs where three bench guys do play together, around the 2 quarter breaks.
Some of this is a roster construction issue. After Tatum and Brown, the Celtics are surprisingly thin at wing. They have lost of depth at C/PF (Horford, Rob, Grant, Kornet, even Blake) and at PG/combo guard (Smart, White, Brogdon, Pritchard). At wing they have Brown, Tatum, Hauser, and Justin Jackson. With Brown injured and plenty of bigs, you get the 2 big/3 guard lineups out of necessity.

Another way to look at this is that Hauser's play has cratered of late. There was a point when he was playing well earlier that he looked like the #9 guy (and with Rob out the #8 available guy). He's #8 on the team in minutes, with a pretty big gap (210 minutes) between him and #9, Kornet.

As of now, and with Rob back, he looks to me like #11.

Starters: Rob, Horford, Tatum, Brown, Smart
6th man: Brogdon
7th/8th: White, Grant
9th/10th: Kornet/Pritchard
11th: Hauser

Last night, with Brown out and White leaving early with an injury, there were minutes there for Hauser but he was unplayable. In a game the Celtics won by 16, Hauser was a -14 in 5 minutes. Two of those minutes were garbage time and he was even, so when the game mattered he was -14 in 3 minutes. Mazulla put him in late in the third, he gave up an and-1 on a drive to the basket, and Mazzulla got him right back out of there (going back to Pritchard) after 17 seconds. Then he started the 4th with Justin Jackson on the floor with Brogdon, Grant, Rob, Pritchard.

If the Celtics look to add depth it is probably a wing, but with everyone healthy there isn't really much playing time there.
Right, I think that they can use the 3-guard lineups as a way to substitute PP for Hauser in the rotation, because the former has just been way better of late.
 

Imbricus

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Mazulla put him in late in the third, he gave up an and-1 on a drive to the basket, and Mazzulla got him right back out of there (going back to Pritchard) after 17 seconds.
Hauser's got to tap his inner beast. I've watched him a lot this year, and while he's often an adequate defender, he does come off a lot as too passive. Last night was a great example. Mazz obviously wanted the Celts to ratchet up the defensive intensity, and you could feel it early in the second half. At times, Pritch looked almost rabid on defense.

Then Hauser comes in, his man pushes through him, scores the bucket, with Hauser not offering much resistance, and I bet Mazz was thinking, "Uh oh, we're not going back there in this game," and quickly yanked him. I think it was partly to send a message to the rest of the team: we're not playing like this anymore tonight; I want fighters out there.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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interesting.

1. Last year’s Nets had 5 players drafted in the top 2: Durant, Irving, Simmons, Aldridge and Griffin. The last 4 of those were overall #1 picks.

2. 1978 Finals featured two teams that finished with fewer than 50 wins. The Sonics started out something like 5-17 and fired their coach. The champion Bullets were 42-40.
Apropos of nothing, this Reddit thread says 59-60 Lakers had 5 #1 draft picks on the same team: Elgin Baylor, Hot Rod Hundley, Chuck Share, Ray Felix, and Frank Selvy .

https://www.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/grtnkk/the_most_1_picks_on_one_team/
 

slamminsammya

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interesting.

1. Last year’s Nets had 5 players drafted in the top 2: Durant, Irving, Simmons, Aldridge and Griffin. The last 4 of those were overall #1 picks.

2. 1978 Finals featured two teams that finished with fewer than 50 wins. The Sonics started out something like 5-17 and fired their coach. The champion Bullets were 42-40.
Aldridge was second overall. Number one that year? The legendary Andrea Bargnani.
 

Strike4

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Hauser's got to tap his inner beast. I've watched him a lot this year, and while he's often an adequate defender, he does come off a lot as too passive. Last night was a great example. Mazz obviously wanted the Celts to ratchet up the defensive intensity, and you could feel it early in the second half. At times, Pritch looked almost rabid on defense.

Then Hauser comes in, his man pushes through him, scores the bucket, with Hauser not offering much resistance, and I bet Mazz was thinking, "Uh oh, we're not going back there in this game," and quickly yanked him. I think it was partly to send a message to the rest of the team: we're not playing like this anymore tonight; I want fighters out there.
I saw Hauser with the Maine Celtics a few times last year and he kind of is what you're seeing: an adequate defender on corresponding bench players and when his 3's are falling he's a great positive. I think the Celtics have held onto Pritchard because while his size makes him a liability in many situations, he can make up for it with rebounding, perimeter defense, nice playmaking, etc., and he can shoot the three. He's a better overall player who happens to be smaller than Hauser in a game where size matters. But also - Pritchard now has a lot of playoff experience. It's not unique to Hauser, but players of his type and level of experience can turn into a net negative pretty quickly. With Pritchard I think we can now rely on what you see, what you get.
 

benhogan

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He (Brogdon) scored in the closing seconds of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters (leaving 0.2, 6.1 and 0.0 seconds left, respectively). I'm sure that's happened before, I just don't ever remember seeing it.
Great point....Brogdon playing initiator in the half-court to close Quarters...Games...in the Playoffs would be a massive development.

That would leave Tatum/Brown to attack from the wing without the need for either of them to initiate from the top. No reason to lean heavily on JAY Coma ISO Dribblefest in late/close. Malcolm also becomes their best spot-up 3pt option when the JAYs drive hard to the rim & look for the kick out.

How many minutes per night do you feel TL can handle right now that would be most likely to have him healthy for the playoffs? You can’t start TL unless he’s capable of playing 32-35 mpg consistently if he’s going to be on the floor in the 4Q. Why does everyone have this fascination with starting him when the most optimal use of his 24 mpg would include him playing the 4Q without effective the rotation?
Your math is off...TL has started the last 3 games, averaged under 27mpg + played in Q4

As far as TimeLords minutes & usage, that's an easy one:
1. 24-28mpg...Starts Q1/Q3. Closes Q2/Q4.... roughly 6-7 minute stints in each.
2. No back to backs
3. TL is by far the most impactful defender on this team. He is their cheat code. He lets his 4 teammates play tighter D on the perimeter knowing that TL will be at the rim to help.
4. You start/finish with TimeLord because opponents start/finish games with their most proficient offensive players. You want your best defender on the floor for those minutes.
5. TL/Al was highly efficient last season, it's been even more efficient this season. It's been a proven method of shutting down most NBA teams. There might be moments where other teams go really small and it may make sense to play Brogdon or White instead of TL or Horford. CJM will recognize those situations and adjust
6. Luke's emergence also means they can play TL/Al together while simultaneously shrink-wrapping both.
7. Horford at the 4 is his best role, especially when he is shooting 44% from 3

NBA Advanced stats like the pairing, so get used to it.

this season:
A. Horford - R. Williams III BOS 10 67 106.6 90.3 16.3


last season:
A. Horford - R. Williams III BOS 51 761 113.2 99.9 13.2


last season playoffs:
A. Horford - R. Williams III BOS 14 191 105.6 100.5 5.0


https://www.nba.com/stats/lineups/advanced?GroupQuantity=2&TeamID=1610612738&dir=A&slug=advanced&sort=GROUP_NAME&Season=2021-22&SeasonType=Playoffs
 
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radsoxfan

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How many minutes per night do you feel TL can handle right now that would be most likely to have him healthy for the playoffs? You can’t start TL unless he’s capable of playing 32-35 mpg consistently if he’s going to be on the floor in the 4Q. Why does everyone have this fascination with starting him when the most optimal use of his 24 mpg would include him playing the 4Q without effective the rotation?
I don't particularly care about him starting, just want him healthy.

Having said that, I don't understand why you can't build a 24 minute game plan for TL that includes the first 5 minutes and last 5 minutes of the game.

He doesn't need to be a 32-35 min guy to start and play in crunch time.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Your math is off...TL has started the last 3 games, averaged under 27mpg + played in Q4
Not really but my point isn’t about math it’s about a rotation that occurs naturally without having to structure it around what is essentially a minutes restriction without saying it. In our last 4 games, he sat one out, didn’t play the final 7:30 vs Chicago and didn’t play the final 10:30 vs Charlotte and against Brooklyn he was yanked in and out of the lineup 4x in the 2H to time his availability down the stretch. It just seems weird and unnecessary……but Jayson said he wants him to start and it’s his team so I guess TL starts. Seems like an inefficient way to manage his minutes.


I don't particularly care about him starting, just want him healthy.

Having said that, I don't understand why you can't build a 24 minute game plan for TL that includes the first 5 minutes and last 5 minutes of the game.

He doesn't need to be a 32-35 min guy to start and play in crunch time.
Yes, healthy and available at end of games should be the goal. Sure we can structure these minutes by creating a rotation around one player and that’s my point……it shouldn’t be about one player unless his name is Tatum. It disrupts a normal flow where you need a 3rd big. Are we really going to be playing Kornet 4Q minutes in critical playoff games?
 

Jimbodandy

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Yes, the fact that he would sign the deal right before the cap goes crazy would quickly make it a very reasonable contract.

Unfortunately, barring a change to tax rules, it will probably mean that the days of carrying four $18-28M role players are over for the Cs, but that was always going to happen in the Jays' prime. (18-28M adjusted for future cap %)
Imo, that will make those first or quality second rounder stashes that much more important in the coming years. Depth is great, but yeah you can't keep throwing 20M at bench players indefinitely even if they're rotation quality.

This is also why +/- is very limited as a stat. A guy could be kicking ass as a stop-gap while key starters rest and still go negative.
The best metrics account for exactly that. They regress for the quality of the guys on the floor with you. There are varying degrees of success to this of course. RPM was notoriously bad at it back in the day. DARKO is great at all of the math. LEBRON is pretty good also imo.

Hoop metrics in the last few years have come a ridiculously long way.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Not really but my point isn’t about math it’s about a rotation that occurs naturally without having to structure it around what is essentially a minutes restriction without saying it. In our last 4 games, he sat one out, didn’t play the final 7:30 vs Chicago and didn’t play the final 10:30 vs Charlotte and against Brooklyn he was yanked in and out of the lineup 4x in the 2H to time his availability down the stretch. It just seems weird and unnecessary……but Jayson said he wants him to start and it’s his team so I guess TL starts. Seems like an inefficient way to manage his minutes.
Not playing the final 10:30 vs Charlotte probably had to do with the state of the game at the point where they would have reinserted him.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Not playing the final 10:30 vs Charlotte probably had to do with the state of the game at the point where they would have reinserted him.
What state? It was a 3-5 possession game nearly the entire quarter and starters weren’t removed until inside of 2 minutes. Even if he did return now he’s pushing 35 minutes…..what about OT? At this stage of the year TL shouldn’t even be touching 30 (which he didn’t due to him starting and logging 28 of games first 38 min) much less 40. It just unnecessarily complicates the rotations bc of one non-Tatum player.

The only part of it I get is that Tatum asked for this which at the end of the day is probably all that matters.
 

Euclis20

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How many minutes per night do you feel TL can handle right now that would be most likely to have him healthy for the playoffs? You can’t start TL unless he’s capable of playing 32-35 mpg consistently if he’s going to be on the floor in the 4Q. Why does everyone have this fascination with starting him when the most optimal use of his 24 mpg would include him playing the 4Q without effective the rotation?
He started every regular season game he played last year without averaging that many (29.6). He started 15 playoff games last year and averaged just over 24 minutes in those starts. It's entirely possible for him to both start AND play the important minutes while averaging well under the 32-35 above.

Something I don't think is mentioned often, Williams isn't exactly Brogdon, a fully formed [injury prone] player that ideally we'd just wrap in bubble tape and unleash him for the playoffs when the games start really mattering. He's just 25 and took a huge leap forward last year - it's not inconceivable to think he's got more developing to do, and it may be worth the risk of extra minutes now to make him a better player later.
 

benhogan

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What state? It was a 3-5 possession game nearly the entire quarter and starters weren’t removed until inside of 2 minutes. Even if he did return now he’s pushing 35 minutes…..what about OT? At this stage of the year TL shouldn’t even be touching 30 (which he didn’t due to him starting and logging 28 of games first 38 min) much less 40. It just unnecessarily complicates the rotations bc of one non-Tatum player.

The only part of it I get is that Tatum asked for this which at the end of the day is probably all that matters.
If Coach Tatum starts playing Rob Williams 35mpg, I'll break out the pitchfork

Otherwise, Joe has done a nice job building up Rob's minutes and role/rotation.
Starting TL with the group that will play the most minutes together in the playoffs makes a ton of sense.
 

RorschachsMask

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Imo, that will make those first or quality second rounder stashes that much more important in the coming years. Depth is great, but yeah you can't keep throwing 20M at bench players indefinitely even if they're rotation quality.



The best metrics account for exactly that. They regress for the quality of the guys on the floor with you. There are varying degrees of success to this of course. RPM was notoriously bad at it back in the day. DARKO is great at all of the math. LEBRON is pretty good also imo.

Hoop metrics in the last few years have come a ridiculously long way.
Speaking of LEBRON, it finally dropped today. Harden has quietly had a really good season, so far. EPM is a really highly regarded advanced stat too, it’s in the link below the tweet.

View: https://twitter.com/knarsu3/status/1614719184742633474?s=20&t=PPoW8qE2yUbwrzUUMgbreg

https://dunksandthrees.com/epm
 

Euclis20

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RorschachsMask

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James Harden has been better defensively than both Tatum and Durant? Yeah ok.
Defensive advanced stats lag pretty far behind the metrics themselves. but Harden is better defensively than people think. He has a higher defensive DARKO too, but D-EPM has Tatum/KD a fair amount ahead.

I just don’t pay as much attention to the defensive impact stats though.
 

Euclis20

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Defensive advanced stats lag pretty far behind the metrics themselves. but Harden is better defensively than people think. He has a higher defensive DARKO too, but D-EPM has Tatum/KD a fair amount ahead.

I just don’t pay as much attention to the defensive impact stats though.
Well, most people think he's one of the worst defenders in the league (while Tatum/Durant are in the conversation for 2nd team all defense). Even if Harden is better than people think and Tatum/Durant are worse, there's a pretty big gap that isn't reflected here. You're right not to pay attention to these defensive stats.
 

RorschachsMask

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Well, most people think he's one of the worst defenders in the league (while Tatum/Durant are in the conversation for 2nd team all defense). Even if Harden is better than people think and Tatum/Durant are worse, there's a pretty big gap that isn't reflected here. You're right not to pay attention to these defensive stats.
I don’t think there’s much merit to the worst defender stuff, players are shooting 4.2% worse against Harden than in general this season,

He got into much better shape this offseason, and I think you’re seeing the results on the court. I despise the Sixers lol, so I wish it wasn’t the case.
 

Euclis20

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Worst defender may be pushing it (if only because Trae Young still exists), but he's definitely still a liability out there. He's slow moving his feet and the effort is still inconsistent at best. He's saved somewhat because Tucker and Maxey take the harder perimeter matchups and he's got Embiid behind him to clean the mess. The comparison with Tatum and Durant defensively is night and day.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I agree with the both of you……

1. Harden’s defense isn’t much if any worse than other high scoring guards with only few exceptions. Obviously Tatum/Durant are much better.

2. Individual defensive stats in a team defense game is LOL.
 

InstaFace

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If you'd asked me to guess which teams would have two players in the LEBRON top 20, I'd have gotten LAL and PHI pretty quickly, gotten BRK for the wrong players, and would've guessed for a long time before getting Memphis (seriously, JJJ #4 overall?!).
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Jaren Jackson is a very good player and his defensive impact is among the league's best but his ranking sticks out for me more than Harden. As @RorschachsMask notes, these metrics appear to measure offensive output better than defense so it's really remarkable how high Jackson grades out - but he is having a very good season offensively too so it tracks.

I find that once you get past narratives and takes, the data often makes more sense. I am not suggesting that any of these metrics are that accurate but some of the rankings make sense once you get past the skew (e.g. towards offense) and look at things like system, personnel etc.
 

Jakarta

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Yes, healthy and available at end of games should be the goal. Sure we can structure these minutes by creating a rotation around one player and that’s my point……it shouldn’t be about one player unless his name is Tatum. It disrupts a normal flow where you need a 3rd big. Are we really going to be playing Kornet 4Q minutes in critical playoff games?
This seems to be 2 different points. The first on the rotation is no different from the other starters. Each of them know when they will come out and go back in. We might pay a bit more attention to TL and maybe he needs more rest/less PT but it’s still a structured period of on and off court.

The second point about Kornet seems less relevant to other posters wanting to keep TL’s regular season minutes down. I think healthy TL would ramp up to 32-35 minutes in the playoffs, making Kornet less likely to need to play except in emergencies. I’m perfectly happy for Kornet to keep getting regular season minutes as he is playing well enough that he can help keep TL and Al’s minutes down so they can be more effective in the playoffs.

The point Ben Hogan makes about having time together with the starters who he will be playing with most during the playoffs seems to be particularly relevant to the discussion.
 

HomeRunBaker

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This seems to be 2 different points. The first on the rotation is no different from the other starters. Each of them know when they will come out and go back in. We might pay a bit more attention to TL and maybe he needs more rest/less PT but it’s still a structured period of on and off court.

The second point about Kornet seems less relevant to other posters wanting to keep TL’s regular season minutes down. I think healthy TL would ramp up to 32-35 minutes in the playoffs, making Kornet less likely to need to play except in emergencies. I’m perfectly happy for Kornet to keep getting regular season minutes as he is playing well enough that he can help keep TL and Al’s minutes down so they can be more effective in the playoffs.

The point Ben Hogan makes about having time together with the starters who he will be playing with most during the playoffs seems to be particularly relevant to the discussion.
The first point about the rotation is relevant as he isn’t/shouldn’t be available to play a regular rotation for up to 35-40 mpg when necessary and into the 40’s for OT games. This is what makes him different than the other starters. He was removed 4 minutes into the game the other night to help keep his minutes down…..this isn’t happening with any other starter.
 

TomTerrific

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interesting.

1. Last year’s Nets had 5 players drafted in the top 2: Durant, Irving, Simmons, Aldridge and Griffin. The last 4 of those were overall #1 picks.

2. 1978 Finals featured two teams that finished with fewer than 50 wins. The Sonics started out something like 5-17 and fired their coach. The champion Bullets were 42-40.
I had forgotten about that ugly Bullets team (which actually went 44-38, but still gnarly). Even they scratched out a 24-17 mark at the halfway point.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Defensive advanced stats lag pretty far behind the metrics themselves. but Harden is better defensively than people think. He has a higher defensive DARKO too, but D-EPM has Tatum/KD a fair amount ahead.

I just don’t pay as much attention to the defensive impact stats though.
Harden is ok in the post as he's so strong but bad on all other types of defense. I've also wondered how stats desl with things like backdoor cuts.

EPm has TL as a -0.6 on defense. I don't know a lot about EPM but any stst that had TL as a negative on defense probably needs to be reconfigured.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Harden is ok in the post as he's so strong but bad on all other types of defense. I've also wondered how stats desl with things like backdoor cuts.

EPm has TL as a -0.6 on defense. I don't know a lot about EPM but any stst that had TL as a negative on defense probably needs to be reconfigured.
TL can get overpowered by bigger 5’s in the low post where he can’t create space between himself and the defender (Jokic, Embiid?) but that’s about it. Having him as an overall negative is yet another black eye for individual defensive metrics in a team defense game.
 
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lexrageorge

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Harden is ok in the post as he's so strong but bad on all other types of defense. I've also wondered how stats desl with things like backdoor cuts.

EPm has TL as a -0.6 on defense. I don't know a lot about EPM but any stst that had TL as a negative on defense probably needs to be reconfigured.
R Williams negative ePM score for 2023 could be related to the small sample size: 12 games and 255 minutes, of which at least 4 or 5 of those games he was clearly getting his rhythm back. Specifically, those 12 games include 3 during the team's losing streak at the start of December, a game against the Bucks in which TL was in foul trouble and so didn't play very much, and the loss in Denver.
 

Reverend

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TL can get overpowered by bigger 5’s in the low post where he can’t create space between himself and the defender (Jokic, Embiid?) but that’s about it. Having him as an overall negative is yet another black eye for individual defensive metrics in a team defense game.
I always go back to the Shane Battier well, when Morey figured out be was great at defense even though literally other players thought he sucked. Nothing splashy about inducing a guy to go to his left on a certain part of the court knowing it’s a lower percentage shot and maybe a greater likelihood that there’s help over there, and the player only remembers getting a shot off over him… but it shows up on the scoreboard, yeah?

I remember reading that Kobe thought he was awful, which meant he had no idea how low his scoring numbers were when matched up against him.
 

InstaFace

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TL can get overpowered by bigger 5’s in the low post where he can’t create space between himself and the defender (Jokic, Embiid?) but that’s about it. Having him as an overall negative is yet another black eye for individual defensive metrics in a team defense game.
TL's skillset is one that's so rare, I'd actually be far more surprised if a system was able to account for it. It's not merely rim protection, it's the deterrence threat of rim protection. It's not merely the blocks, it's the deterrent threat of being blocked (in humiliating fashion), all of which causes attackers to decline that option and pull back to make a new plan, costing time and probably expected score on the possession. And then, when someone posts up on him who can actually back him down or pull off a sky hook, they can get that on him - which is more easily noted by systems. I'd say we should understand that conclusion, in other words, while also understanding why it's wrong and has to be systematically wrong.
 

radsoxfan

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C's by Lebron:
Tatum 4.94
Brown 1.82
White 1.46
Smart 1.27
RW 0.97
Brogdon 0.95
Al H. 0.32
Grant -.76
Kornet -.86
Pritchard -2.04

Not a bad ranking. Grant the most surprising to me.
Someone please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is that these stats are normalized to 0 being “average NBA minutes”.

Since obviously the best players get the most minutes, there are going to more negative than positive DARKO/LEBRON players in the NBA if you include the entire roster.

Put another way, if your rotation bench guys are close to zero that’s actually pretty good. Not giving minutes to the -2 and worse disaster guys is very impressive.

Grant seems pretty good for a 7-8th man to me, but overall not giving any better than average NBA minutes. So his rating tracks for me.