2022-2023 General Celtics thread

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From Jay King in The Athletic:

The Celtics took a franchise-record 59 3s Sunday, coincidentally beating the previous record of 57 attempted in another double-overtime loss to the Knicks on opening night last season.

The problem is that a lot of those shots were deep and contested, or just average looks in the middle of the shot clock. Compared to the constant ball churning that yielded an insane amount of open 3s earlier in the year, how many of those shots actually were good Sunday?
 

BigSoxFan

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Didn't NYK give up a 1st and a 2nd? My guess is even if the Cs were in on Hart, the reasons they didn't outbid NYK were: (1) a career .347 3P shooter, some articles said that Hart was reluctant to shoot 3Ps, which would not fit in with JMazz (though he's shooting .591 from 2.4 3P attempts per game since he's joined the NYK, which makes him a completely different player); (2) he's somewhat injury prone; (and 3) the Cs probably weren't going to pay the taxes to keep him next year.

Great pickup for NYK though.
Yup. Knicks have built a nice roster to match their identity. Don’t think they have what it takes to make a deep run but we can no longer laugh off the possibility. They are a really good team that is coming into their own.
 

Eddie Jurak

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From Jay King in The Athletic:

The Celtics took a franchise-record 59 3s Sunday, coincidentally beating the previous record of 57 attempted in another double-overtime loss to the Knicks on opening night last season.

The problem is that a lot of those shots were deep and contested, or just average looks in the middle of the shot clock. Compared to the constant ball churning that yielded an insane amount of open 3s earlier in the year, how many of those shots actually were good Sunday?
This is a team that is not willing or able to put in the work. They'd rather hide behind the excuse of "oh, our threes weren't falling."
 

bradcote

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I don't post much in this thread (rely on reading the wisdom of others), but I don't get why the Celtics were letting Quickly punk them all over the court (with all of his hotdogging). I know the league has changed since the 80's, but back in the day, a few hard fouls would have put an end to that. I know that the Celtics came back in the 4th and Quickly stopped, but if I was a Celtics player and he was doing all of that on our home court, I would have done a hard foul or raised the intensity of the game and blown them out the rest of the way. I was a little frustrated that the Celtics intensity seemed to waiver (as it has lately) and that wasn't enough to inspire them to send the Knicks packing.

Also, if I was Thibodeau and saw that, I would have him running laps next practice until he worked all of that foolishness out of his system. If he did that stuff against the wrong team, it could come back and bite them.
 

Strike4

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This is a team that is not willing or able to put in the work. They'd rather hide behind the excuse of "oh, our threes weren't falling."
Early in the third quarter, when the Celtics were still up by between 5-10 points they were getting some pretty good open looks and they weren't making them. Then you could see them making an effort to get to the basket which was obvious to the Knicks, resulting in tough shots (some of which Tatum made), a bunch of layups that were just missed, and a series of Jaylen Brown drives where he was blocked, had a jump ball, and Muscala was called for a moving screen.

The Knicks had similar looks on threes and they were making them, mostly Quickley. This opened up dribble penetration and/or kicking it out to open guys on the perimeter. As others have mentioned, there are also matchup problems for the Celtics in the scenario, with Muscala, Hauser, and Horford getting torched by quicker players.

I think you are right that's in lazy in that Celtics didn't do a great job of adjusting after the threes didn't fall, but the Knicks are a tough matchup for the Celtics when that happens.
 

Fishy1

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I remain unconcerned about this team's effort level or desire to win. They're 7-4 in their last 11, 8-4 in their last 12, and have lost a bunch of nailbiters.

The "they don't want it bad enough stuff" is embarrassing IMO... it reminds me of all of the physiognomy analysis that used to go on the main board about JD Drew's mien or whatever. The NBA is extremely competitive night-in, night-out, and pretty much the whole bench has gone cold all at once. Definitely a recipe for disaster.

Team could really use Kornet playing himself back into the rotation. He looked more than a little timid his last few times out, and they need his rim deterrence in the second unit. It won't solve their problems at all, but it will certainly help the defense.

The fact is this team has plenty of second-unit guys who can get their shots off and nail threes (even if they've had a rough go of that lately) and very few who can stop the lay-up line, esp with Rob out.
 

BrotherMouzone

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This is a team that is not willing or able to put in the work. They'd rather hide behind the excuse of "oh, our threes weren't falling."
You are the same guy who was complaining about effort level during the Nets sweep last year in the playoffs. Seems like you'd rather hide behind the excuse of "they're not winning because they're not trying hard enough."
 

Eddie Jurak

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You are the same guy who was complaining about effort level during the Nets sweep last year in the playoffs. Seems like you'd rather hide behind the excuse of "they're not winning because they're not trying hard enough."
Because I don’t really believe that this team is playing the best basketball it is capable of. Not against GSW last year and not now. You disagree?
 

BigSoxFan

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But that's not necessarily because of lack of effort. Effort comes and goes for all teams. I thought the defensive intensity last night was some of the best I've seen in a while.
I think it ebbed and flowed last night. Didn’t love the defensive effort in first half. In second half, it was much better. Clearly, the Quickley hot dogging had something to do with it. The loss sucked but if we can see that kind of intensity more consistently, we’ll be ok. Obviously, it’s the regular season and they’re in the August dog days of summer equivalent of the NBA season but they know the type of effort it’ll take to hoist a trophy.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Because I don’t really believe that this team is playing the best basketball it is capable of. Not against GSW last year and not now. You disagree?
Thought the Cs played really good basketball against GSW. I mean first trip to the finals; against a "battle-tested" team with one of the greatest players of all time; and against schemes designed to attack their weakenesses - yeah sure they didn't win but their opponent had a lot to do with it.
 

Eddie Jurak

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But that's not necessarily because of lack of effort. Effort comes and goes for all teams. I thought the defensive intensity last night was some of the best I've seen in a while.
Did you watch the part of the game where they blew a 14 point lead in a matter of minutes? That’s why I attribute to effort and focus. Maybe coaching, too, in terms of allowing NY to get certain matchups over and over again.
 

Toe Nash

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Boston is 9 games clear of the play-in with 17 remaining. They have a >98% chance of getting a top 3 seed. I don't at all buy that this was the problem last night, other teams are good too, but if they wanted to pull back on the effort a bit in March that honestly seems fine. Might have been better if they just lost in regulation though.

Last year they had to go at basically full effort from January through June and they ran out of gas. This year they have the luxury of sitting back a bit, trying different things, getting rest, etc. down the stretch and I think it will serve them well in the playoffs.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Whatever we look like we don’t look nearly as bad as the Warriors last year at this time when they lost 9 of 11…..with Steph Curry last February. Such a shameful collapse too, I thought that team could have done something.
 

HomeRunBaker

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This is a team that is not willing or able to put in the work. They'd rather hide behind the excuse of "oh, our threes weren't falling."
I know you enjoy trolling so I’m hoping you are here otherwise this is laughable if you saw a team last night that didn’t work hard. No TL or Brogdon facing a team we matchup poorly with as we’re forced to play Grant big minutes and can’t use Smart/White together. The Knicks are fuckin real good too.
 

HomeRunBaker

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View: https://twitter.com/stevejones20/status/1631851967432515584


Only thing I'm worried about is the point of attack D. As Steve Jones Jr points out.... why are we doubling? Just switch.
I love how we double when the shot clock is getting down to :06-:07 to force opp to execute ball movement and a shot against the clock to avoid allowing an iso scorer little resistance (which sounds like what Jones is pining for which is plain wrong). The problem occurs when the rotations are a step slow and being forced to play big last night slowed down these rotations.
 

Fishy1

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I personally am going to and think we all should just start ignoring the daily hysterics about the team's effort.

The team's DRTG has slipped all the way to 9th in the league (still very good!), and I think that's in part because they're asking the likes of Muscala and Horford to protect the rim. The C's like to play small, but don't have the personnel at center to have a "death lineup" like the Warriors do, and while they sometimes look great when the play small, they need the second-unit to hold up better defensively. I'm not sure why the Celtics haven't tried putting Kornet next to Horford, but am wondering what others think about it. Or would playing two slog bigs create issues rotating? Interested to hear people's thoughts.
 

Cellar-Door

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I love how we double when the shot clock is getting down to :06-:07 to force opp to execute ball movement and a shot against the clock to avoid allowing an iso scorer little resistance (which sounds like what Jones is pining for which is plain wrong). The problem occurs when the rotations are a step slow and being forced to play big last night slowed down these rotations.
I want to see more selective doubling. Randle... sure, Embiid... yep. Bigs who aren't good passers, or guys late in the clock sometimes... sure. But we double way too often earlier in the clock and against good passers setting up inevitable open shots.

I also have concerns about how few turnovers we create. Doubling AND not getting enough TOV out of them is a concern.

Overall the team is still very good, but it feels like the identity of last year as a switch everything, max effort defense team has fallen away, almost everyone has taken a step back on that end, and I don't think it's really playing big.. Brown and Tatum has regressed, Smart too (but that was inevitable, his year last year was absurd), Horford has a little as well, but you can live with that.
 

Auger34

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Boston is 9 games clear of the play-in with 17 remaining. They have a >98% chance of getting a top 3 seed. I don't at all buy that this was the problem last night, other teams are good too, but if they wanted to pull back on the effort a bit in March that honestly seems fine. Might have been better if they just lost in regulation though.

Last year they had to go at basically full effort from January through June and they ran out of gas. This year they have the luxury of sitting back a bit, trying different things, getting rest, etc. down the stretch and I think it will serve them well in the playoffs.
Do you mean going forward they can give guys rest? Because, as of now, all of the important players are still playing a ton of minutes so no one is really resting.
Maybe it’s less of a mental burden knowing that they have a bit of a cushion but in terms of actual minutes and time played this doesn’t hold up
 

Eddie Jurak

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I know you enjoy trolling so I’m hoping you are here otherwise this is laughable if you saw a team last night that didn’t work hard. No TL or Brogdon facing a team we matchup poorly with as we’re forced to play Grant big minutes and can’t use Smart/White together. The Knicks are fuckin real good too.
Fine, then. Effort was fine, cocahing was fine, player usage is fine, everything was fine, this is just a team that is doing the best it can and that simply isn't good enough. If I credit all of your various points in this regard (including things like 'Smart and White cannot play together'), that is what is left. Last year was kind of a fluke, and the reality is this isn't a championship caliber team. Fair enough, I guess. Not really what I believe but I can't argue against it.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Fine, then. Effort was fine, cocahing was fine, player usage is fine, everything was fine, this is just a team that is doing the best it can and that simply isn't good enough. If I credit all of your various points in this regard (including things like 'Smart and White cannot play together'), that is what is left. Last year was kind of a fluke, and the reality is this isn't a championship caliber team. Fair enough, I guess. Not really what I believe but I can't argue against it.
You didn’t like the effort last night? I think this game can be exactly what the doctor ordered as it forced them to dig deep in the 4Q and both OT’s. I’d like to hear how you would use Smart and White together against the Knicks personnel last night down the stretch in best defending their halfcourt sets.

Were the Warriors fans thinking they had a championship team losing 9 of 11 with Curry last February when they were dealing with other stuff too? The title is wide fucking open this year like I’ve never seen before….like ever! We are one of those in my mix for sure.
 

bankshot1

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I thought the effort was fine last night. And the 4q comeback was a good sign. The take away almost has to be you can't fall asleep for 5 minutes. You'll get killed in those 5 minutes by a good or hungry or opportunistic team. And that's sort of what happened last night.

THE KNICKS literally wanted it more. You could see it in the 2nd chance points, O boards and 50 50 balls. That's where no TL and no Brog hurt. I thought it was a great game but a terrible loss. And a continuation of a broader trend that has gone on for about 2 months. It's a problem. Focus and intensity for 48 minutes or 58 like last night has to be sustained as the teams and games are going to demand it.
 

Toe Nash

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Do you mean going forward they can give guys rest? Because, as of now, all of the important players are still playing a ton of minutes so no one is really resting.
Maybe it’s less of a mental burden knowing that they have a bit of a cushion but in terms of actual minutes and time played this doesn’t hold up
Well as noted two major players didn't play at all last night and they shouldn't just throw the game. If Tatum or anyone is healthy enough to start they should play starter minutes as long as the game is close.

I was speaking more hypothetically, if there was a lax effort (which I don't think was the case at all) that would be basically fine with me given the relative importance of the game to the goal of winning a championship. As long as they get it together in April which I believe they will.

I would be resting more guys overall but there is time for that in the rest of the month.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Did you watch the part of the game where they blew a 14 point lead in a matter of minutes? That’s why I attribute to effort and focus. Maybe coaching, too, in terms of allowing NY to get certain matchups over and over again.
OK, you made me look.

The Cs were up 74-62 with approximately 7:20 left in the 3P when the following plays occurred:
  • Marcus drove, dished to a wiiiiiide open DW in the corner, who missed.
  • NYK next possession had two deflections, both happened to end up in NYK hands; Grimes drove to the basket and after a TO, he hit one FT. 74-63.
  • After multiple passes, DW drove the paint and slung the ball to a wide open Horford, who missed an uncontested 3P. NYK lose rebound; stays Cs ball.
  • Cs sub Hauser and Williams for DW and JT
  • JB gets the ball, makes a move, doesn't have anything, and then passes to GW, who nonchalantly hits a 3P. 77-63.
  • Quickley gets GW switched on to him. Robinson goes to set a pick but slides out of it. GW goes with Robinson; Horford is late getting out; Quickley hits semi-uncontested 3P. 77-66.
  • Marcus pushes pace, gets JB on the block against I think Grimes. JB makes a move and when Robinson gets help, he passes to Al for an open 10 footer in the lane. Al misses this one as well. Great look though.
  • Barrett pushes pace, gets Hauser on him on the wing. Robinson sets a pick; Hauser tries to fight over it and Al also stays with Barrett. Robinson rolls for the easy lob. As a side note here, I think Hauser was at fault and should have stayed with Robinson but none of know how BOS plays these coverages but it's the benefit of pushing the ball up the floor early. 77-68.
  • Marcus walks the dog. After some ball movement, NYK leaves Smart open for an uncontested wing 3P. (I mean literally he wasn't being guarded.) Nope.
  • Randle pushes ball; NYK gets Hauser switched onto Quickley. Hauser stops quickly who passes to Barrett, who gets his shot blocked.
  • JB layup in transition. 79-68. NYK TO.
  • Randle hits a 9' jumper over Brown after getting the ball at the left elbow. 79-70.
  • Marcus Al PnR; Marcus drives and dishes to Al for a 3P . 82-70.
  • NYK come down; JB is on Grimes and Hauser is on Barrett off ball. NYK runs hammer screen for Grimes. Hauser stays with Barrett; Grimes hits 3P over JB. (Another play I would be interested in knowing the coverage.) 82-73.
  • JB has Grimes on the block; has his shot blocked by Quickley, who turns that into a FB layup. 82-75.
  • Marcus walks the dog; runs the same play that Al hit the 3P but on the opposite side; this time when Marcus tries to pass the ball, Quickley steals it, gets the ball to Barret, who drives for the layup. Probably the first bad offensive play of the sequence. 82-77
  • Horns set with JB bringing ball up. JB however, throws a pass to Hauser in the corner, who misses. (I don't love this shot but I'm sure Hauser is being told by everyone that he needs to take that shot.)
  • Quickley pushes pace, Randle take a top of the key 3P and misses
  • JB brings ball up; gets Grimes; drives; and this is the jump ball
  • Muscala comes in for Smart; DW for Horford
  • JB wins tip; ball ends up with Hauser, who misses another contested 3P.
  • Quickley pushes ball, gets Hauser, and pulls up for a 3P that he misses. No contest though as Hauser was off-balance.
  • Double-pick for DW; GW rolls and gets the ball and is fouled. GW makes both. JT for JB. 84-77.
  • Quickley walks the dog. Gets the ball to Randle on DW. Randle spends like 7 seconds in the paint doing a bunch of different moves and then scores. 84-79.
  • JT pull-up 3P in the half court. 87-79.
  • Quickley gets Muscala switched onto him. 3P. 87-82.
  • JT drives off the horns set, gets the ball to GW, who decides to challenge Randle; his jump hook is short.
  • Quickley gets Muscala switched onto him. Hits a runner where he goes into Muscala's body for the foul. 87-85. It was also a 2 for 1.
  • DW dribbles down the shot clock; Cs try a double-screen for him; he puts up a contested 10 footer that misses.
  • Randle hits his ridiculous corner 3P. 87-88. End of quarter.
  • Quickley gets Hauser switched onto him; misses 3P.
  • DW drives, gets blocked but ball goes to GW, who drives, and dishes for DW, who is wide open for a baseline 10 footer, which is not the easiest shot in the world. DW misses.
  • After some passes, NYK almost throws the ball out of bounds and then Cs get a deflection but ball ends up in Barretts hands, who euro-steps by Hauser for contested layup. 87-90.
  • PnR DW and JT; JT tried 3P over Barrett with 9 seconds on shot clock. Clang. (Would also like to know if this is the kind of shot JMazz encourages.)
  • Quickley on Hauser. Hauser holds up this time and Quickley tries a pass to Hart that DW deflects out of bounds.
  • Quickley again switched onto Hauser. Drives. Hauser holds up. Quickley passes to Hartenstein, which is again deflected but bounces off DW's foot back to Hartenstein, who throws to Barrett, who drives and then dishes back to Hartenstein. Hartenstein misses 9'. Barrett rebounds and misses. DW blocks the shot towards the out-of-bounds. Hauser tries to save it but sends it to Quickley. Quickley gets it Toppin, who drives and draws a 50-50 block on Hauser. (Reddick said that one of the other refs was going to call it a charge.) Toppin makes both FTs. 87-92.
  • JT gets Toppin switched onto him, beats him like a drum and hits a layup, and draws a foul on Hartenstein. JT misses FT. 89-92.
  • NYK throws the ball away on the inbounds
  • JT gets Toppin switched onto him again; this time Toppin recovers and looks to have blocked the layup.
  • Hart pushes the ball in transition, goes into the lane, and then sends it to a wide-open Quickley at the top of the 3P arc with non one 15 feet near him. 89-95. (BTW, it looks like Muscala picked up Quickley on the transition but when Hart drove, Muscala overpursued to try to protect the rim, leaving Quickley wide open. I'm guessing Muscala isn't supposed to do this.)
  • Muscala offensive foul on a screen.
  • Quickley gets Hauser switched onto him and drives. He stops, pivots, and Barrett hits a 3P over JT. I'll note that JT is a little late on the contest because he thinks he has to help on Quickley but it's a decent contest and a better shot. 89-98.
  • BOS TO. Muscala and Hauser out
This was a 23 point run. None of this screams "effort". None of this even screamed "sloppiness" as BOS didn't really turn the ball over. They got some good open shots that they missed. Also, NYK relentlessly did two things: (1) pushed the pace (NYK definitely played faster than BOS but again, that didn't prevent BOS from getting good shots) and (2) try to exploit Hauser or Muscala virtually every time down.

I'll also note that BOS got several deflections, all of which ended up in NYK's hands.

Maybe you can say that there were some coverage breakdowns but I'll note that the breakdowns I think I saw involved Hauser or Muscala in the play.

After re-watching that, I think at the end of the day, it's much harder to hide 2 poor defenders than 1, particularly since NYK kept their starters in most of 3Q and beyond.

YMMV.
 

HomeRunBaker

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That’s the post of the week @wade boggs chicken dinner and it’s only Monday! My takeaway from that sequence is that we missed many open looks and our deep bench, who hopefully won’t be on the floor much in the playoffs, were exposed. That’s great work by the Knicks staff as many teams don’t pay enough attention to detail in regular season games to exploit benches.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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THE KNICKS literally wanted it more. You could see it in the 2nd chance points, O boards and 50 50 balls. it.
Cs had more offensive rebounds 17-11. They had more points off TOs 25-24. And if I am reading NBA.com correctly, they had more 2nd chance points: 25-7.

That wasn't their issue. Their issue was that Muscala couldn't guard and Hauser had major lapses.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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That’s the post of the week @wade boggs chicken dinner and it’s only Monday! My takeaway from that sequence is that we missed many open looks and our deep bench, who hopefully won’t be on the floor much in the playoffs, were exposed. That’s great work by the Knicks staff as many teams don’t pay enough attention to detail in regular season games to exploit benches.
Thanks for kind words.

I don't think it takes much coaching for Quickley to start salivating whenever Muscala or Hauser were on him.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Cs had more offensive rebounds 17-11. They had more points off TOs 25-24. And if I am reading NBA.com correctly, they had more 2nd chance points: 25-7.

That wasn't their issue. Their issue was that Muscala couldn't guard and Hauser had major lapses.
Which stems from the starting center and the 6th Man of the Year being out. Follow the yellow brick road to health. That's truly the limiting factor for this team. It's not effort.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Thanks for kind words.

I don't think it takes much coaching for Quickley to start salivating whenever Muscala or Hauser were on him.
Yeah I’m one who credits players over coaches much of the time as they are the ones adjusting on the fly. I’d have to go back and see if the hunts occurred during the set or designed prior.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Which stems from the starting center and the 6th Man of the Year being out. Follow the yellow brick road to health. That's truly the limiting factor for this team. It's not effort.
The Celtics had more offensive rebounds and second chance points due in part to the Knicks missing 18 fewer FGA then Boston. If you don’t miss shots, you aren’t going to have second chance points. The matchup is bad enough but doing so without TL was a killer.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I want to see more selective doubling. Randle... sure, Embiid... yep. Bigs who aren't good passers, or guys late in the clock sometimes... sure. But we double way too often earlier in the clock and against good passers setting up inevitable open shots.

I also have concerns about how few turnovers we create. Doubling AND not getting enough TOV out of them is a concern.

Overall the team is still very good, but it feels like the identity of last year as a switch everything, max effort defense team has fallen away, almost everyone has taken a step back on that end, and I don't think it's really playing big.. Brown and Tatum has regressed, Smart too (but that was inevitable, his year last year was absurd), Horford has a little as well, but you can live with that.
I do think there's something weird going on with the lack of steals the Cs get. With so many rangy, long-armed quick defenders, they only get 6.3 steals a game, which is 29th and down 12% from last year at the same point. They're also down 9% in blocks (which jibes with TimeLord being way down in blocks and often unavailable), though they're still 6th overall.

And that leaves them 26th in turnovers as a defense.

Still, they're first in defensive rebound percentage, so they're not giving up a ton of offensive rebounds and they're 3rd in FTs per FGA, so it's not like they're just fouling all the time (though it can sometimes feel like it since the offense is 19th in getting FTs, so there's not much disparity).

Tough loss last night, but I thought Tatum had that layup at the end of the first overtime. If even a few bunnies during the game don't weirdly rim out, they win. And I really like that Knicks team. Quickley isn't some scrub - he's one of the fastest guys I've ever seen end to end.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Yeah I’m one who credits players over coaches much of the time as they are the ones adjusting on the fly. I’d have to go back and see if the hunts occurred during the set or designed prior.
Most of the time, they just did a soft PnR that BOS switched. (At least once, Hauser picked up Quickley in transition.)

Quickley does not seem like someone who lacks in confidence. I can very easily tell people, get me the ball, get my switches, and get out of my way!
 

Auger34

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Thanks for kind words.

I don't think it takes much coaching for Quickley to start salivating whenever Muscala or Hauser were on him.
Im not going to quote your entire post but it does speak to something, this team loses leads and momentum when they slow down (like Marcus’s walk the dog stuff) and just turn to ISO ball.
In the 4th quarter Tatum (and to a lesser extent Brown) had multiple possessions where he called for a screen and took a 3. To my recollection, he did this 4 times and made none of them. They weren’t terrible shots, they were all decent looks but absolutely 0 need to take early in the shot clock. No ball movement and no player movement any of those possessions.

As an aside, I really fucking hate when Smart does the walk the dog stuff when the game is even somewhat close. He did it on the last possession of OT and it completely ruined the flow of the possession and led to the players standing around to the point where they didn’t look ready. (this was the play where Brown held the ball about a second too long and Tatum rushed and missed a contested lay-up)
 

Auger34

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I do think there's something weird going on with the lack of steals the Cs get. With so many rangy, long-armed quick defenders, they only get 6.3 steals a game, which is 29th and down 12% from last year at the same point. They're also down 9% in blocks (which jibes with TimeLord being way down in blocks and often unavailable), though they're still 6th overall.

And that leaves them 26th in turnovers as a defense.

Still, they're first in defensive rebound percentage, so they're not giving up a ton of offensive rebounds and they're 3rd in FTs per FGA, so it's not like they're just fouling all the time (though it can sometimes feel like it since the offense is 19th in getting FTs, so there's not much disparity).

Tough loss last night, but I thought Tatum had that layup at the end of the first overtime. If even a few bunnies during the game don't weirdly rim out, they win. And I really like that Knicks team. Quickley isn't some scrub - he's one of the fastest guys I've ever seen end to end.
The sequence that I keep coming back to was in the 4th quarter. There was a turnover (I believe Brown swiped Randle after leaving his man to double), Smart got the loose ball throws it to Tatum, who has brown ahead of the pack…but instead he catches, holds, and wildly spins for a turnover. The Celtics get back and somehow get another break opportunity and Jaylen misses a contested lay-up.

This was just one sequence that comes to mind but Tatum and Brown both missed some easy lay up.

Tatum has looked really out of wack since the ASG. I’m not sure what’s going on but he has to be special for this team to be considered a championship team and he hasn’t met that lofty bar recently
 

HomeRunBaker

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Jan 15, 2004
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As an aside, I really fucking hate when Smart does the walk the dog stuff when the game is even somewhat close. He did it on the last possession of OT and it completely ruined the flow of the possession and led to the players standing around to the point where they didn’t look ready. (this was the play where Brown held the ball about a second too long and Tatum rushed and missed a contested lay-up)
I thought that was an ideal time to keep the clock stopped until the ball rolled into the front court as it allowed us to have time to get Tatum in iso without using the timeout for Thibs to prepare his defense. We began the set at :13 rather than :06 or :07 which is an advantage to the offense.

That helter skelter play with Tatum was one where he couldn’t gather the ball due to the defense which forced another dribble then Quickley out-quicked him to the ball. That was the defense forcing a TO and not Tatum losing the ball on an unforced error.
 

Just a bit outside

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Muscala has been a huge disappointment. I thought he would lengthen the bench and help when Al wasn’t on the floor. I don’t watch many OKC games but he seems to have no skills other than being an occasionally good 3 point shooter. His defense and rebounding has been horrific. How did he always have a positive +/-?
 

shoelace

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Jun 24, 2019
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Muscala has been a huge disappointment. I thought he would lengthen the bench and help when Al wasn’t on the floor. I don’t watch many OKC games but he seems to have no skills other than being an occasionally good 3 point shooter. His defense and rebounding has been horrific. How did he always have a positive +/-?
Because he's been used judiciously by coaches in favorable matchups. He played 14 MPG in OKC over the last 4 years on bad teams. He's a limited, rotational big who is going to be exposed in starter minutes.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Jan 15, 2004
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Muscala has been a huge disappointment. I thought he would lengthen the bench and help when Al wasn’t on the floor. I don’t watch many OKC games but he seems to have no skills other than being an occasionally good 3 point shooter. His defense and rebounding has been horrific. How did he always have a positive +/-?
His defense and rebounding hs always been horrific. This is why even as a 7-footer who can space the floor he’s spent his career as a deep second unit guy mostly on lottery teams.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
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Nov 2, 2007
20,614
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Muscala has been a huge disappointment. I thought he would lengthen the bench and help when Al wasn’t on the floor. I don’t watch many OKC games but he seems to have no skills other than being an occasionally good 3 point shooter. His defense and rebounding has been horrific. How did he always have a positive +/-?
MM will live/die with the 3.

9th-man in the rotation will struggle to see playoff minutes BUT TL will keep him in play
 

Euclis20

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Aug 3, 2004
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Imaginationland
MM will live/die with the 3.

9th-man in the rotation will struggle to see playoff minutes BUT TL will keep him in play
If he's not hitting his 3s at a high volume, I don't see anyway that he gets real time over Kornet. Luke has some real defensive issues of his own, but he's still probably the second best rim protector and second best lob threat on the team.
 

Imbricus

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Jan 26, 2017
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I'm really surprised at how bad a defender and rebounder Muscala is. I watched part of the game last night, and on rebounding, it wasn't just that he couldn't jump, but he also didn't seem to know how to block anyone out. We should've been able to find a G league guy with his skillset. I think the Celts have to find at least one big, besides Rob, that can bang inside, grab rebounds and play solid defense around the rim. Forget about another "floor-spacing big."
 

128

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May 4, 2019
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Lost in all the ire/disappointment over Grant's missed free throws—mine included—was the fact that Smart came insanely close to tipping in the game-winner at the buzzer.
 
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