2022-2023 General Celtics thread

benhogan

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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.
I wouldn't expect real-time to go to either Luke or Muscala, even with a TL injury.

Any time they would see in the playoffs would be small and match-up based
 

benhogan

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It should be noted that toward the end of the game

1. Cleveland had a 50/50 call overturned
2. Boston didn't get a 50/50 call overturned on the Dono FTs at 5.8 seconds
Good PP situational substitution/play call at the end by Coach Joe
3. Pritchard takes the inbound, goes the length of the court in 5.8 seconds, and misses a layup.
4. Grant just misses a putback
5. Grant a good FT shooter misses 2 FTs
6. Smart misses a putback off the missed FT

That's a lot of coin-flips going against Boston at the end of a tight game.

Then again, the team only scored 41pts in the 2nd half. By overtime, the team had nothing left in the tank. Zero lift.
There have been questions in regard to CJM usage/mpg, which is fair. Rookie HC pressing.

Hauser (7 minutes) & Grant (16 minutes) need to be used more, especially after a 2OT back-to-back, down 3 starters.

I believe CJM took some blame in the Presser about not playing Derrick White more in the Knicks game. White needs to play a bigger role since a tired/beat-up Smart is not very effective.

here is The Athletic's take:

https://theathletic.com/4283030/2023/03/07/celtics-overtime-loss-cavaliers/?source=dailyemail&campaign=601983

On its own, the loss wouldn’t have been too distressing, especially with the Celtics down three starters. But in their previous two games, they blew a 28-point lead against Brooklyn and a 14-point lead against New York. On Monday, Boston led by 11 points and had the ball with under five minutes remaining. The Celtics had about an 89 percent chance of winning at that point, according to NumberFire.com. They were dominated over the rest of regulation before scoring just five points in overtime. They shot just 3-for-22 from the field over the final 10 minutes, including overtime, while Lamar Stevens crushed them with offensive rebounds.

Mazzulla said he sees this rut as an opportunity. In times like this, he said, a shift of perspective is necessary.
“What are you gonna focus on?” Mazzulla said.

He wants the Celtics to recognize who they are when they’re at their best and why they haven’t been at their best lately. He wants the players to think about what their peak level looks like as a team and how to maintain it.

Mazzulla has preached that same message at other times throughout the season. If the Celtics can’t right themselves in time for their next game, he thinks that’s because they need to go through even deeper struggles.

“If it gets worse, it needs to get worse, for whatever reason,” Mazzulla said. “I don’t look to anything except what do we need to do every day to get to where we need to get to. Everything we’re experiencing from a basketball standpoint is for a reason and as long as we learn from it and grow — we haven’t learned about late-game offensive rebounding yet, and so, this might be the fifth or sixth loss, and so that part pisses me off. Other than that, it’s just part of it.”
 

HomeRunBaker

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I wouldn't expect real-time to go to either Luke or Muscala, even with a TL injury.

Any time they would see in the playoffs would be small and match-up based
Yeah but if it’s matchup based there will be times we need to go big/long. That’s the problem without even a 70% TL.

One thing people missed was that if the first foul on that sequence was called, like it was on an identical play on the other end…..Pritchard would have been the one at the FT line. Inconsistent whistles all night on both sides.
 

128

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Yeah but if it’s matchup based there will be times we need to go big/long. That’s the problem without even a 70% TL.

One thing people missed was that if the first foul on that sequence was called, like it was on an identical play on the other end…..Pritchard would have been the one at the FT line. Inconsistent whistles all night on both sides.
Hard to imagine Pritchard missing two from the line in that situation.
 

Fishy1

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Hard to imagine Pritchard missing two from the line in that situation.
I mean - if I hadn't seen it with my own two eyes -- it would have been hard to imagine Grant missing two, one of which rattled out, and then Smart missing the tip-in, which also rattled out , especially after the bullshit call in Mitchell's favor on the other end. Nevermind the White jumper that hit the front of the rim and then bounced forward and in!

This has been a really tough stretch, but I don't want these players getting too down on themselves. A few really tough losses against very competitive teams. All you can do is bear down, correct what's fixable, and keep playing hard. That's the rational thing to do. Imagine if the players started thinking like some people have been on this board -- "there's something wrong with me, I'm not trying hard enough" -- they'd start pressing, they'd start making more mistakes. Maybe that's what happened with Grant, I don't know.
 

Auger34

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I believe CJM took some blame in the Presser about not playing Derrick White more in the Knicks game. White needs to play a bigger role since a tired/beat-up Smart is not very effective.
This. If Smart is hurt or tired, and the way he is playing on offense certainly indicates some sort of injury or fatigue, he needs to be held out for at least a few games. It’s maybe the one position where he Celtics can afford to have a player of his caliber sit and they should take full advantage of that
 

Auger34

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I mean - if I hadn't seen it with my own two eyes -- it would have been hard to imagine Grant missing two, one of which rattled out, and then Smart missing the tip-in, which also rattled out , especially after the bullshit call in Mitchell's favor on the other end. Nevermind the White jumper that hit the front of the rim and then bounced forward and in!

This has been a really tough stretch, but I don't want these players getting too down on themselves. A few really tough losses against very competitive teams. All you can do is bear down, correct what's fixable, and keep playing hard. That's the rational thing to do. Imagine if the players started thinking like some people have been on this board -- "there's something wrong with me, I'm not trying hard enough" -- they'd start pressing, they'd start making more mistakes. Maybe that's what happened with Grant, I don't know.
Between the trash talk by Mitchell and the refs basically icing him on the second free throw, Grant was in his own head. For someone that talks/complains as much as he does (about literally everything) it’s kind of startling that he doesn’t have more mental composure in that situation.
Missing one I can understand but I am still completely stunned that he missed both. He’s an 82% free throw shooter and didn’t come close to hitting either one. I don’t think you can take anything from what happened, and it shouldn’t be predictive going forward, but it would be nice if this caused Grant to tone down his act (specifically the yelling/gesturing at refs, teammates and coaches) by about 5-10%
 

HomeRunBaker

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This. If Smart is hurt or tired, and the way he is playing on offense certainly indicates some sort of injury or fatigue, he needs to be held out for at least a few games. It’s maybe the one position where he Celtics can afford to have a player of his caliber sit and they should take full advantage of that
This fatigue thing is really being overused and some would say shouldn’t be used at all in most circumstances. Smart just had a month off and played in his first B2B last night. His timing is clearly off, just as Tatum’s was coming out of the break. The guy has played only 13 games over the last two months.

When you’re used to playing/practicing every day with a game every other day and that routine gets throw out of whack the player needs MORE minutes to regain their timing, not less.
 

Eddie Jurak

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View: https://twitter.com/johnschuhmann/status/1632938165865463810?s=46&t=LP8gEhEZKXGKYp3VJskNKA

John Schumann: The Celtics are 11-10 against the other 6 East teams with winning records... 11-3 in regulation. 0-7 in overtime.

So, under the Bill Parcells theory (“you are what you are”), despite the hot start, it is more accurate to think of the Celtics as just being a good team, not an elite one. Maybe they are, roughly, a typical 4 seed. A team whose chance of winning it all is more than zero, but not really a team you expect to win it all.

My problem with this team is that I've overrated them. I truly did think they were elite and special. But they aren't. They are good. But they are closer to ordinary than to elite. Last seaosn was probably an overachievement, and this year they are reverting to the mean.
 

BigSoxFan

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View: https://twitter.com/johnschuhmann/status/1632938165865463810?s=46&t=LP8gEhEZKXGKYp3VJskNKA

John Schumann: The Celtics are 11-10 against the other 6 East teams with winning records... 11-3 in regulation. 0-7 in overtime.

So, under the Bill Parcells theory (“you are what you are”), despite the hot start, it is more accurate to think of the Celtics as just being a good team, not an elite one. Maybe they are, roughly, a typical 4 seed. A team whose chance of winning it all is more than zero, but not really a team you expect to win it all.

My problem with this team is that I've overrated them. I truly did think they were elite and special. But they aren't. They are good. But they are closer to ordinary than to elite. Last seaosn was probably an overachievement, and this year they are reverting to the mean.
You don’t need to be “elite and special” to win it all. Last year’s Warriors certainly weren’t. This is a team that’s still on a 56 win pace. They ain’t the 2008 Celtics but they’re clearly capable of winning it all.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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My problem with this team is that I've overrated them. I truly did think they were elite and special. But they aren't. They are good. But they are closer to ordinary than to elite. Last seaosn was probably an overachievement, and this year they are reverting to the mean.
That's an entirely fair take. Maybe their failings aren't a result of effort, desire or strategy. Maybe they just aren't good enough to compete with the top teams in the NBA.

Does it really make sense to get so worked up at a team that was likely outperforming its talent level or at least its leadership when you know how its all going to end?

Is it really fair to hold people to a standard which they are incapable of meeting?
 

HomeRunBaker

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View: https://twitter.com/johnschuhmann/status/1632938165865463810?s=46&t=LP8gEhEZKXGKYp3VJskNKA

John Schumann: The Celtics are 11-10 against the other 6 East teams with winning records... 11-3 in regulation. 0-7 in overtime.

So, under the Bill Parcells theory (“you are what you are”), despite the hot start, it is more accurate to think of the Celtics as just being a good team, not an elite one. Maybe they are, roughly, a typical 4 seed. A team whose chance of winning it all is more than zero, but not really a team you expect to win it all.

My problem with this team is that I've overrated them. I truly did think they were elite and special. But they aren't. They are good. But they are closer to ordinary than to elite. Last seaosn was probably an overachievement, and this year they are reverting to the mean.
Elite with a close to 100% TL is fair. This team without his presence at all is good but def not elite. Iirc, at least two of those OT losses were in games Tatum did not play as well. Certain losses don’t deserve a ding and last night was certainly one that doesn’t in a schedule loss spot without Tatum.
 

bosockboy

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Elite with a close to 100% TL is fair. This team without his presence at all is good but def not elite. Iirc, at least two of those OT losses were in games Tatum did not play as well. Certain losses don’t deserve a ding and last night was certainly one that doesn’t in a schedule loss spot without Tatum.
They were able to bulldoze the league without TL last season down the stretch. And get within 2 wins of a ring with a 50% TL. Without Brogdon. This season is far from over, but they have easily the best roster in the league and it’s not translating to wins against good teams.
 

sonofgodcf

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The toilet.
They were able to bulldoze the league without TL last season down the stretch. And get within 2 wins of a ring with a 50% TL. Without Brogdon. This season is far from over, but they have easily the best roster in the league and it’s not translating to wins against good teams.
I feel (hope) this is because other teams are giving it their best against the C's, as opposed to last season when they were just another game on the schedule. Every team seems to get up (and crowds as well - last night's game in Cleveland was LOUD) and play hard against the C's right now. Much like when the C's would go all out against GS in the regular season, I think this is just a product of being the defending Eastern champs.

The season is too long for the C's to constantly match this energy, so there are going to be games they lose. Hopefully though, it means when they shift up a gear in the playoffs, they've already seen the best of their opponents and can bulldoze when it matters.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Guys, they played last night without Tatum, without TL and without Horford. It wasn't like they were missing one guy, and they were coming off a back to back double overtime game with travel mixed in. If just one of those guys plays, Evan Mobley isn't going for 25 and 17 and eating us up in the lane. If one of those guys plays, a dude named Lamar Stevens isn't coming in and going 8/8 for a +18 in 17 minutes down the stretch. The reality is the Celtics ran out to a lead, and when I say 'ran," I mean that in the very literal sense. They got winded, and left it all out there and couldn't finish. It happens. Jaylen played 92 minutes in 2 nights over 9.25 quarters of basketball. Smart played 76, White played 67. Grant only played 16, because he played 44 the night before and they worked their asses off early, and faded late. If Mike Muscala and Luke Kornet are playing a combined 54 minutes on the road in the playoffs against the #4 seed, we'll probably lose, but they won't, so the handwringing is insane. I hate moral victories, but last night is about as close to one as you can get.

If Brogdon suits up the other night against the Knicks, does anyone think that game even sees overtime?

I mean, Jesus, I'm not usually the rosy optimist about stuff, but it's a looooooong season, and ruts happen. But this team has had almost zero minutes this year with their entire team playing together. Maybe TL never gets there, but every other night, we've got one of Smart or Jaylen or Brogdon or Tatum or Horford out of the lineup. I'd rather go into the playoffs as a healthy #3 seed than a beaten up, broken down #1 seed, but that's just me. This team can play with anyone in the league, otherwise, they wouldn't be going to overtime in games like this, or losing to the Bucks in a nail biter with essentially zero starters playing, the games would be over before that, and for me personally, I don't think they've played the best ball we're going to see from them this year.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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They were able to bulldoze the league without TL last season down the stretch. And get within 2 wins of a ring with a 50% TL. Without Brogdon. This season is far from over, but they have easily the best roster in the league and it’s not translating to wins against good teams.
They're 21-14 against teams >= .500. Milwaukee is 21-9 and Philly is 17-11. The rest of the East is .500 or below. They're winning plenty against good teams, and the OT record seems like more of an unfortunate fluke to me than anything else, especially considering some of those OT losses (like last night and the game before the ASB in Milwaukee) were the result of overachieving on the part of bench squads to even get to OT in the first place.
 

jmcc5400

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Guys, they played last night without Tatum, without TL and without Horford. It wasn't like they were missing one guy, and they were coming off a back to back double overtime game with travel mixed in. If just one of those guys plays, Evan Mobley isn't going for 25 and 17 and eating us up in the lane. If one of those guys plays, a dude named Lamar Stevens isn't coming in and going 8/8 for a +18 in 17 minutes down the stretch. The reality is the Celtics ran out to a lead, and when I say 'ran," I mean that in the very literal sense. They got winded, and left it all out there and couldn't finish. It happens. Jaylen played 92 minutes in 2 nights over 9.25 quarters of basketball. Smart played 76, White played 67. Grant only played 16, because he played 44 the night before and they worked their asses off early, and faded late. If Mike Muscala and Luke Kornet are playing a combined 54 minutes on the road in the playoffs against the #4 seed, we'll probably lose, but they won't, so the handwringing is insane. I hate moral victories, but last night is about as close to one as you can get.

If Brogdon suits up the other night against the Knicks, does anyone think that game even sees overtime?

I mean, Jesus, I'm not usually the rosy optimist about stuff, but it's a looooooong season, and ruts happen. But this team has had almost zero minutes this year with their entire team playing together. Maybe TL never gets there, but every other night, we've got one of Smart or Jaylen or Brogdon or Tatum or Horford out of the lineup. I'd rather go into the playoffs as a healthy #3 seed than a beaten up, broken down #1 seed, but that's just me. This team can play with anyone in the league, otherwise, they wouldn't be going to overtime in games like this, or losing to the Bucks in a nail biter with essentially zero starters playing, the games would be over before that, and for me personally, I don't think they've played the best ball we're going to see from them this year.
Co-signed.
 

tims4wins

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Man I hope the optimist brigade is correct. It feels like this team has been showing us who they are for a while now but I’m willing to concede the long season arguments.
 

jmcc5400

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Man I hope the optimist brigade is correct. It feels like this team has been showing us who they are for a while now but I’m willing to concede the long season arguments.
If the Bucks had followed-up gagging away the Philly game the other night by losing in OT at Cleveland with Giannis and Lopez sitting would you think twice about it? I'm not happy with how the Celtics have been playing and I guess we're not going to see last spring's juggernaut, but this team is right there at the top of the league notwithstanding these recent blips. I went to a taping of the Mismatch podcast in Los Angeles last night and, while significant derision was directed at Grant, neither Verno nor KOC showed any hesitation about putting Boston and Milwaukee at the top of the East. (As an aside, Verno being piled-on for the Ja situation was pretty hilarious).
 

jezza1918

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Man I hope the optimist brigade is correct. It feels like this team has been showing us who they are for a while now but I’m willing to concede the long season arguments.
How do you define for awhile though? Because since December 1st, after their scorching hot start, per StatMuse they are 27-17 (maybe 27-18 if last nights loss wasnt included). Good for 6th best in the NBA, which is still contender status. And since Jan 1 statmuse has them at 19-11, or 5th best in nba. Certainly 5-5 over their last 10 isn't inspiring but that isn't "awhile."
I don't think it's optimistic to call them a title contender, I'd say it's realistic.
On a slightly related topic, for the first six weeks of the season the pessimists would constantly tell me "doesn't really matter until they do this in the playoffs." (Im referring to people I talk with in the 'real world,' though Im sure there was some of that on this forum as well). Now these same people are all of a sudden trying to tell me what they are doing lately in the regular season matters...
 

4 6 3 DP

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Down 3-2 against Milwaukee they played two great 4th quarters last year in the semis. Wasn't too blown away by them close and late against Miami and GSW, but attributed it to inexperience.

Feel like they are a wagon but still not in love with them close and late, and CJM has his own inexperience.

Unless this team has some legit fatal flaw in these situations, I'd expect the ship to be righted close and late.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Count me in the optimist group. Going 5-5 in a stretch is going to incite concern for a title contender, but I think opinions are colored by:

- Bucks going on that insane hot streak before finally losing. Most teams don't win 16 straight.
- The Knicks loss. People, the Knicks are really good. They're 20-12 on the road (same as the Cs, one win better than the Bucks), and have the same conference record as the Cs. They're going to be a tough out for whoever faces them. That first round battle against the Cavs could be epic.
- A distrust of a first-year coach who got the job because his boss got shit-canned days before the season started is pretty natural. He's just some dude and it's normal to wonder why the youngest, least experienced coach in the league does pressers like he's Bill Belichick and goes against conventional wisdom in a few areas.
- After last year's finals loss, this season is pretty much title or failure; that's a shitty place for a team to be, expectations-wise. It reminds me a little of the late-run Brady Pats where it was title or bust so many years in a row it was hard to appreciate how good they actually were. It was always hurry up and get to the playoffs.

Late season adversity seems good to me. This is Coach Joe's chance to work through it, figure out the weaknesses in the overall plan, and get a little battle-tested before the first round.

Hopefully they don't lose to the Blazers at home with Dame going off for 50 because that could lead to a really spiraling road trip...
 

Fishy1

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I think the reason there's a lot of panic right now is pretty simple: message board posting, for a lot of people, is a way of exorcising their frustration. It's not rational per se, it's a way of reality-testing and validation-seeking.

There's no way of knowing if a stretch of .500 basketball in March is representative of a teams true talent, although probability will tell you it isn't. The uncertainty by itself is frustrating, and add to that the visceral experience of watching your team lose, which feels like a waste of your time and emotional energy, and you get a lot of reactionary takes when there's a tough stretch.

I think it's totally fair to question if the team is as good as we thought it was, and even to be disappointed, but to decry their effort or talent or declare they can't be contenders is something else: maybe a little bit of ressentiment, to be honest. The frustration the team's loss causes needs an outlet, and what more natural outlet than the character of the players?

The reality - that this team needs TL healthy and active to be a juggernaut, and that his health is to some degree out of his control - isn't as satisfying to talk about because it's not a useful outlet for the frustration. It can't be controlled or admonished like effort or character can be. So we end up talking about Grant Williams's facial expressions and Tatum's body language - not totally irrelevant, but not nearly as important as having your space-time-warping center healthy and active.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Yeah, the Celtics playing the most OT games of any team, and being 4-7 in them feels fluky. Like how the dodgers were terrible in extra innings a few years ago. Feels like it must mean something…but probably doesn’t. Doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating as all hell though.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think the reason there's a lot of panic right now is pretty simple: message board posting, for a lot of people, is a way of exorcising their frustration. It's not rational per se, it's a way of reality-testing and validation-seeking.

There's no way of knowing if a stretch of .500 basketball in March is representative of a teams true talent, although probability will tell you it isn't. The uncertainty by itself is frustrating, and add to that the visceral experience of watching your team lose, which feels like a waste of your time and emotional energy, and you get a lot of reactionary takes when there's a tough stretch.

I think it's totally fair to question if the team is as good as we thought it was, and even to be disappointed, but to decry their effort or talent or declare they can't be contenders is something else: maybe a little bit of ressentiment, to be honest. The frustration the team's loss causes needs an outlet, and what more natural outlet than the character of the players?

The reality - that this team needs TL healthy and active to be a juggernaut, and that his health is to some degree out of his control - isn't as satisfying to talk about because it's not a useful outlet for the frustration. It can't be controlled or admonished like effort or character can be. So we end up talking about Grant Williams's facial expressions and Tatum's body language - not totally irrelevant, but not nearly as important as having your space-time-warping center healthy and active.
This team won The Finals last year……

6F92DD5E-0483-4260-BCAC-2CDA32C786DE.jpeg
 

Strike4

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I thought they would win last night and it would have been one of those "yeah but" wins that these Celtics eke out during their Annual Rough Patch. Last night they just had a streak of bad luck with:
  1. Marginal call against Grant on the Donovan layup
  2. PP barely misses his layup
  3. Grant misses BOTH free throws
  4. Marcus' tip rattles out
But I think even if they win, we're saying mostly the same things. They'll figure it out.
 

Eddie Jurak

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There's no way of knowing if a stretch of .500 basketball in March is representative of a teams true talent, although probability will tell you it isn't. The uncertainty by itself is frustrating, and add to that the visceral experience of watching your team lose, which feels like a waste of your time and emotional energy, and you get a lot of reactionary takes when there's a tough stretch.
I don't disagree necessarily with your post, but one point: It's not just about 5-5 in the last 10 - it's also about 24-16 over the past 40, which is half a season. It's not crazy to think that "past 40 games" is a decent gauge of an NBA team's true level.
 

Tony C

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24-16 w/out the last 5-5 is 19-11, or just 1 win short of a .666 winning pct. So not really a mediocre streak preceding the last games. It's the last 10 that have been mediocre, which still counts as "just one of the ebbs/flows of a season."
 

jezza1918

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I don't disagree necessarily with your post, but one point: It's not just about 5-5 in the last 10 - it's also about 24-16 over the past 40, which is half a season. It's not crazy to think that the past 40 games are a decent gauge of an NBA team's true level.
Which has them tied for 5th best record in NBA over that time span, still very much in the contender category, no? And Brown missed about 10 of those 40 games.
 

deconstruction

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24-16 w/out the last 5-5 is 19-11, or just 1 win short of a .666 winning pct. So not really a mediocre streak preceding the last games. It's the last 10 that have been mediocre, which still counts as "just one of the ebbs/flows of a season."
And three of these losses were in OT.

The B team against the Bucks, and then the last two.
 

jezza1918

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24-16 w/out the last 5-5 is 19-11, or just 1 win short of a .666 winning pct. So not really a mediocre streak preceding the last games. It's the last 10 that have been mediocre, which still counts as "just one of the ebbs/flows of a season."
I would add it's not even the last 10...before the knicks loss last week that has kicked off a 1-4 five game span, they won 7 of 8 after that suns loss in early feb. And the only loss in that 8 game stretch was the OT loss to the Bucks missing a ton of players. Starting with the Christmas Day win over the bucks, so dating back about 30 games, I see following h2h records against eastern rivals:
Bucks 1-1
Sixers 2-0
Cavs 1-1
Knicks 0-3
Of those 5 losses, 4 of them are in overtime. They are fine. Are they going to go 16-2 in the playoffs? No. Could they win the title? absolutely. Could they lose 4-2 in the 2nd round in a minor upset? Also absolutely, just like 99% of every other NBA team in the history of the NBA.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Which has them tied for 5th best record in NBA over that time span, still very much in the contender category, no? And Brown missed about 10 of those 40 games.
And White missed 6 games
And Smart missed 14 games
And Horford missed 11 games
And TL missed 13 games
 

jezza1918

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And White missed 6 games
And Smart missed 14 games
And Horford missed 11 games
And TL missed 13 games
Totally. Only reason I didn't bring up those guys was because my gut tells me lots of 2nd tier guys have missed a bunch of time? And didn't feel like getting into that type of back and forth. But collectively that certainly looks like a lot of combined games from 5 of the top 7.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
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Jul 15, 2005
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If the Bucks had followed-up gagging away the Philly game the other night by losing in OT at Cleveland with Giannis and Lopez sitting would you think twice about it? I'm not happy with how the Celtics have been playing and I guess we're not going to see last spring's juggernaut, but this team is right there at the top of the league notwithstanding these recent blips. I went to a taping of the Mismatch podcast in Los Angeles last night and, while significant derision was directed at Grant, neither Verno nor KOC showed any hesitation about putting Boston and Milwaukee at the top of the East. (As an aside, Verno being piled-on for the Ja situation was pretty hilarious).
That would still only be back to back losses for the Bucks, and not blowing 3 straight double digit leads (including a 28 point lead). Great teams, playing their best players, don't blow 28 point leads to bad teams. I get what you're saying, but it was the Nets loss that started this mess.
How do you define for awhile though? Because since December 1st, after their scorching hot start, per StatMuse they are 27-17 (maybe 27-18 if last nights loss wasnt included). Good for 6th best in the NBA, which is still contender status. And since Jan 1 statmuse has them at 19-11, or 5th best in nba. Certainly 5-5 over their last 10 isn't inspiring but that isn't "awhile."
I don't think it's optimistic to call them a title contender, I'd say it's realistic.
On a slightly related topic, for the first six weeks of the season the pessimists would constantly tell me "doesn't really matter until they do this in the playoffs." (Im referring to people I talk with in the 'real world,' though Im sure there was some of that on this forum as well). Now these same people are all of a sudden trying to tell me what they are doing lately in the regular season matters...
A while being basically since the 21-5 start. I'm not saying they're not a good team. I'm not saying I don't think they can win it all. I'm saying I am recalibrating my opinion on this team on the fly. I thought they were a juggernaut that would be extremely hard to eliminate - akin to the Bruins. Now I think they are one of a handful of very good but flawed teams that can win it all, and they're no longer the favorite in the East IMO. I think they're more like a 1 in 8 to 10 shot to win it all, whereas before I would have maybe said a 1 in 4 to 5 shot.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
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Jan 15, 2004
31,070
It's not crazy to think that "past 40 games" is a decent gauge of an NBA team's true level.
It kinda is though. There are injuries, dog days of winter, scheduling, and the general fluctuations of teams peaking at different times during the season.
 

jezza1918

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Jul 19, 2005
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That would still only be back to back losses for the Bucks, and not blowing 3 straight double digit leads (including a 28 point lead). Great teams, playing their best players, don't blow 28 point leads to bad teams. I get what you're saying, but it was the Nets loss that started this mess.

A while being basically since the 21-5 start. I'm not saying they're not a good team. I'm not saying I don't think they can win it all. I'm saying I am recalibrating my opinion on this team on the fly. I thought they were a juggernaut that would be extremely hard to eliminate - akin to the Bruins. Now I think they are one of a handful of very good but flawed teams that can win it all, and they're no longer the favorite in the East IMO. I think they're more like a 1 in 8 to 10 shot to win it all, whereas before I would have maybe said a 1 in 4 to 5 shot.
Glad I asked because I feel pretty much exactly the same. I think I read into your "showing us who they really are" a little more negatively than you intended.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
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Jul 15, 2005
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Hingham, MA
Glad I asked because I feel pretty much exactly the same. I think I read into your "showing us who they really are" a little more negatively than you intended.
That's fair. I think that comment was exhibiting some suppressed rage from the last 3 games. Which obviously came through.
 

jmcc5400

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Sep 29, 2000
5,529
That's fair. I think that comment was exhibiting some suppressed rage from the last 3 games. Which obviously came through.
For what it's worth, my emotional reaction is pretty much the same. I can't even watch the 4th quarters/OTs right now because their play is causing me anxiety and unhappiness. And I really thought after breaking through to the finals last year I could relax during the regular season, and it just isn't happening. And I'm sure my suppressed rage has come out in gamethreads (or maybe even elsewhere in this thread - foolish consistencies, hobgoblins etc. etc.).

But intellectually, I am with those taking a more optimistic perspective because years of following the league suggests that there is nothing out of the ordinary for a legitimate championship contender to suffer through these ruts during a long regular season. And I still like the match-ups with Philly and Milwaukee, which seems to be the most likely path - if we get to the second round, that is - to the finals.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Its probably wise for people to scale back their expectations for the Cs if only because winning in the playoffs is incredibly hard.

Also, it is a fact that they have a rookie head coach who is going to make mistakes and learn on the fly - sometimes that can be tough to watch. Its probably useful to consider that most respected NBA coaches didn't get handed a contender for their first job and the ones who did, like Kerr for example, already had a double PHD in all things NBA/hoops from the masters (Kerr is the NBA's Forrest Gump given that he seems to be involved with the vanguards of every era over the past ~three decades).

Finally, if you look at data like net ratings across different cuts, whether its from the start of the calendar year or over the last few weeks, this looks more like a rough patch/variance/injury/fatigue vs something structural. However teams are attacking in different ways - Horford is being successfully targeted in concerning ways - so its more stay frosty than get super concerned at this point for me.
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
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Apr 12, 2005
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That would still only be back to back losses for the Bucks, and not blowing 3 straight double digit leads (including a 28 point lead). Great teams, playing their best players, don't blow 28 point leads to bad teams. I get what you're saying, but it was the Nets loss that started this mess.

A while being basically since the 21-5 start. I'm not saying they're not a good team. I'm not saying I don't think they can win it all. I'm saying I am recalibrating my opinion on this team on the fly. I thought they were a juggernaut that would be extremely hard to eliminate - akin to the Bruins. Now I think they are one of a handful of very good but flawed teams that can win it all, and they're no longer the favorite in the East IMO. I think they're more like a 1 in 8 to 10 shot to win it all, whereas before I would have maybe said a 1 in 4 to 5 shot.
Let's look at it this way

Pasta, Bergeron, Zacha, Lindholm and Coyle have played every single Bruins game this season.

Clifton has missed one game.

Foligno had not missed a game before his injury, now he's missed two and they went out and replaced him.
Taylor Hall has missed 4 games, also now injured, also now replaced.

Krejci and Carlo have missed 5 games
Grz has missed 6 games and Marchand has missed 8 games.

They're top 2 goalies haven't missed anything.

Really, they've had a Debrusk absense and a McAvoy absence, but aside from that, they've been rolling out their top lines for every game all season in a sport with 20 guys playing substantial minutes every night, give or take.



The C's and most NBA teams are playing 8-9 guys a night.

The only Celtic that has played every game is Derrick White. Grant has only missed 2.

Meanwhile:

The Celtics have played 66 games.

Tatum has missed 5 games, Brogdon has missed 11 games, Jaylen has missed 12 games, Al has missed 15 games, Smart has missed 17 games, Rob has missed 38 games.

If the B's had missed the equivalent number of guys for the equivalent number of games, they also wouldn't look like the juggernaut they are...

Be healthy in April, and anything can happen, for either team.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Jun 6, 2012
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And White missed 6 games
And Smart missed 14 games
And Horford missed 11 games
And TL missed 13 games
It feels like when you follow a team that just needs to get healthy they rarely do.

Starting with Gallinari up through Tatum and Brown getting absolutely barreled by the same guy on the same possession to Marcus taking another massive nut shot last night that clearly hobbled him down the stretch it's been an endless parade of injuries.
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
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Apr 12, 2005
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It feels like when you follow a team that just needs to get healthy they rarely do.

Starting with Gallinari up through Tatum and Brown getting absolutely barreled by the same guy on the same possession to Marcus taking another massive nut shot last night that clearly hobbled him down the stretch it's been an endless parade of injuries.
I completely understand, and with TimeLord, it may never happen. But that's also why I'm not really concerned about the #1 or #2 or #3 seed. If you're good enough to win as the #1 seed, you're good enough to win as the #3 seed. If this team's little bumps and bruises cause them to miss games down the stretch, it also has the added benefit of them not having a major injury either (not to mention some extra rest).

Two weeks ago, this team was the favorite to win it all, were in control of the #1 seed, etc. They probably played over their head at points, and now are regressing to the mean, but that mean is really, really fucking good.

I understand that folks are going to be down on the team as a result of this stretch, but I'm looking at it from a different perspective.

Al Horford in the last 8 games is shooting 59.2% from 3 on 6.1 attempts, bringing his season average up to 45.1%, which is fucking outrageous, and makes our offense absolutely brutal to guard with everyone playing.

Since he put on the mask, Jaylen Brown is averaging 28.0ppg, 7.3rpg and 4.0apg and 1.8stealspg on 47.8% from the field (on 23 attempts), and 38.2% from deep (including 1/7 last night). And I think his defense since the break has been better than it's been all season.

Brogdon is out there quietly shooting .578/.479/.933 over his last 14 games, with an injury and 3 missed games sprinkled in.

White is .477/.392/.875 and 17ppg over his last 17 games.

Right now, on the court, our two biggest problems appear to be Tatum's shooting, and Marcus on offense. I'm not worried about either of those come playoff time. So it's really all about health, IMO.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
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Apr 23, 2010
11,178
I completely understand, and with TimeLord, it may never happen. But that's also why I'm not really concerned about the #1 or #2 or #3 seed. If you're good enough to win as the #1 seed, you're good enough to win as the #3 seed. If this team's little bumps and bruises cause them to miss games down the stretch, it also has the added benefit of them not having a major injury either (not to mention some extra rest).

Two weeks ago, this team was the favorite to win it all, were in control of the #1 seed, etc. They probably played over their head at points, and now are regressing to the mean, but that mean is really, really fucking good.

I understand that folks are going to be down on the team as a result of this stretch, but I'm looking at it from a different perspective.

Al Horford in the last 8 games is shooting 59.2% from 3 on 6.1 attempts, bringing his season average up to 45.1%, which is fucking outrageous, and makes our offense absolutely brutal to guard with everyone playing.

Since he put on the mask, Jaylen Brown is averaging 28.0ppg, 7.3rpg and 4.0apg and 1.8stealspg on 47.8% from the field (on 23 attempts), and 38.2% from deep (including 1/7 last night). And I think his defense since the break has been better than it's been all season.

Brogdon is out there quietly shooting .578/.479/.933 over his last 14 games, with an injury and 3 missed games sprinkled in.

White is .477/.392/.875 and 17ppg over his last 17 games.

Right now, on the court, our two biggest problems appear to be Tatum's shooting, and Marcus on offense. I'm not worried about either of those come playoff time. So it's really all about health, IMO.
I agree with all of this and yet I still feel kind of cold about the team. The thing that’s been happening recently that worries me is watching Al get switched onto perimeter players and hes not holding up very well. I think he can turn it on in the playoffs and I will never doubt Al Horford until he absolutely makes me but it is something to monitor
 

Deathofthebambino

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Apr 12, 2005
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I agree with all of this and yet I still feel kind of cold about the team. The thing that’s been happening recently that worries me is watching Al get switched onto perimeter players and hes not holding up very well. I think he can turn it on in the playoffs and I will never doubt Al Horford until he absolutely makes me but it is something to monitor
That's the thing, if TL is back, Al doesn't need to hold up on the perimeter so much. But if he's not, we have the benefit of the fact that our two biggest competitors in the East (IMO), the Bucks and Sixers are not teams you necessarily want to pull out your bigs to guard the perimeter. If Giannis/Embiid wants to set up and shoot open 3's, I'm fine with that all day long instead of watching them bull rush their way to the foul line over and over again.

But yeah, defensively he doesn't look like he used to, but he also looks so, so much better when he has TL behind him, as does the rest of the team. The playoffs is where Grant needs to shine on that end though.
 

bsan34

New Member
Jul 31, 2006
363
C'ville, VA / Hingham, MA
View: https://twitter.com/johnschuhmann/status/1632938165865463810?s=46&t=LP8gEhEZKXGKYp3VJskNKA

John Schumann: The Celtics are 11-10 against the other 6 East teams with winning records... 11-3 in regulation. 0-7 in overtime.

So, under the Bill Parcells theory (“you are what you are”), despite the hot start, it is more accurate to think of the Celtics as just being a good team, not an elite one. Maybe they are, roughly, a typical 4 seed. A team whose chance of winning it all is more than zero, but not really a team you expect to win it all.

My problem with this team is that I've overrated them. I truly did think they were elite and special. But they aren't. They are good. But they are closer to ordinary than to elite. Last seaosn was probably an overachievement, and this year they are reverting to the mean.
This is trying to fit something to your currently held prior, IMO. Another interpretation is “wow 0-7 in OT seems awfully fluky given every other metric about this team.”
 

Eddie Jurak

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This is trying to fit something to your currently held prior, IMO. Another interpretation is “wow 0-7 in OT seems awfully fluky given every other metric about this team.”
It fits OK with at least one metric: the Celtics are 26th in the league in 4th quarter scoring.