2023-24 Celtics

benhogan

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Good. Bus 1 crew. More Payton Pritchard bully ball. Who had that on their bingo card to start the season?

I'm not sure when Payton started using his low center of gravity to move defenders around but it makes him very playable in the playoffs. He's no longer a one-dimensional 3pt launcher. His Nash dribble is a threat at the rim and he's added a pull-up against drop coverage.

The proverbial 3 level scorer. Yes, I'm drinking the PP Kool-Aid
 

JCizzle

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lars10

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It's dumb that a team can work really hard to earn a rest before the playoffs (that other teams don't get! Giannis got hurt trying hard!), and then have that used against them.

Tatum is going to have a similar challenge making 1st team All-NBA: "he didn't finish the season strong! What happened???"
They’ve been so good for so long that basically every pundit has been looking for any excuse to doubt or disparage them.. they’ve been basically one of the best teams of all time and the narrative is that they’re a really good regular season team but what will they do in the playoffs? They’ve had nothing to play for for basically a month.. people just aren’t used to that reality because it just never happens.
 

lars10

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I mean this sincerely - how much time off is too much? I thought some of their recent games were dumb, but at least they were getting in NBA cardio.
Would you rather be in a situation like almost all of the rest of the NBA where every game is going to matter? The next month or two is going to be stressful.. a few days off must be a pretty nice luxury
 

Euclis20

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It's dumb that a team can work really hard to earn a rest before the playoffs (that other teams don't get! Giannis got hurt trying hard!), and then have that used against them.

Tatum is going to have a similar challenge making 1st team All-NBA: "he didn't finish the season strong! What happened???"
Tatum is almost universally acknowledged to be the 5th guy in the all-NBA voting (after Jokic/Giannis/Luka/SGA), and because he's 5th everyone talks about how there's a chance that one of the other guys could pass him. Haliburton/Durant/Kawhi/Brunson have been the names mentioned throughout the year as potentially passing Tatum on the list, but speaking of late season drop offs, Haliburton/Kawhi have really stumbled, and the Suns likely staying in the play in is brutal for Durant's chances. Brunson has the momentum (both with his own play and the Knicks potential rise all the way up to 2nd without Randle), but when the dust clears, people will acknowledge that Tatum/Boston are miles ahead of Brunson/New York, and the former will be an overwhelming choice for 1st team. Jokic/Giannis/Tatum/SGA/Luka is 100% going to be the group, all well deserving.

It would be more interesting if Embiid hadn't missed 30 games with his knee injury. We'd likely see the Celtics having an historic regular season and only getting a single 2nd team all-NBA selection.
 

themuddychicken

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The Luka love is so weird because we can so easily see how guys like Porzingis and Brunson played worse with him and immediately got much better on different teams. Yet people still marvel at how great he is despite "having no help."

In an alternate reality where Luka and Jaylen were teammates, Jaylen would have been traded away for a couple nickels while the team shifted the deck chairs around Luka. Meanwhile, guys like Jaylen and White get better alongside Tatum and Tatum gets dinged for having great teammates.
 

Euclis20

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I think it's interesting that watching the end of Knicks/Bulls, Doris is spending a decent amount of airtime pushing for Brunson to make 1st team all-NBA...over Giannis, not Tatum.
 

lovegtm

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It's not just POINTZ though. The guy averages more rebounds, assists, and steals than Tatum. The offensive difference between the two is not trivial
Leaving the offensive stuff aside, if we're talking about the rebounds and steals totals, do you think that Luka is a better rebounder and defensive player than Tatum?

This seems like you're inadvertently making the exact...point that people make when they criticize "POINTZ"-based analysis: valuing counting stats over impact metrics and simple eye test stuff.
 

lovegtm

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And the offensive side shouldn't just be conceded to Luka: he definitely is better than Tatum in the specific scenario where he has the ball in his hands, but that is not the totality of offensive impact.

As said above, Luka has consistently gotten less out of star teammates, and Tatum has consistently gotten more out of them. How much of that is causal? Idk, definitely not all of it, and definitely not none of it. Where the actual answer is determines a lot of their relative value, that's hard to do, so people fall back on counting stats.
 

lovegtm

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I think it's interesting that watching the end of Knicks/Bulls, Doris is spending a decent amount of airtime pushing for Brunson to make 1st team all-NBA...over Giannis, not Tatum.
That won't ever happen, because "muh points on high efficiency!", but imo Giannis is low-key in decline, and the Bucks' upcoming 1st round elimination while he's hurt will overshadow that story.
 

Euclis20

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That won't ever happen, because "muh points on high efficiency!", but imo Giannis is low-key in decline, and the Bucks' upcoming 1st round elimination while he's hurt will overshadow that story.
I thought Giannis was in decline last year, but he's bounced back nicely this season in almost every way (while also playing 10 more games, although he may be paying for it now). I think he's still inarguably a top 3 player, the Bucks problem is that Lillard no longer looks like a top 20 guy and everyone else on their roster (other than Portis) is just an aging role player at this point.
 

bosockboy

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I thought Giannis was in decline last year, but he's bounced back nicely this season in almost every way (while also playing 10 more games, although he may be paying for it now). I think he's still inarguably a top 3 player, the Bucks problem is that Lillard no longer looks like a top 20 guy and everyone else on their roster (other than Portis) is just an aging role player at this point.
If Indiana beats them they need to consider blowing it up. And firing Doc, who they regressed under.
 

Euclis20

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If Indiana beats them they need to consider blowing it up. And firing Doc, who they regressed under.
If Giannis doesn't play, there's just no way they can fire Doc. I don't know if they can even if he does play - they're already going to be paying three coaches next year (and two coaches for another three seasons after that), I can't see them possibly go for #4. The only way they blow it up is if Giannis comes back and suffers a major injury (achilles) that would keep him out all next season. At that point, it's burn everything down that isn't Giannis.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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If Indiana beats them they need to consider blowing it up. And firing Doc, who they regressed under.
I'm sure they've already considered it but so long as Giannis wants to play for them, they are going to try to put a championship contender around him.

Besides, MIL doesn't really have a ton of assets to move. It's doubtful that Dame is going to fetch anyone that doesn't make MIL worse in the short-term and I can't really see that Lopez would have an active market. They also don't have (right now) any draft picks to trade.

Assuming MIL gets bounced early I'm sure management will look to improve somewhere but seems to me the most likely scenario is that they run it back and hope that Doc with a full summer to prepare can fix some of their flaws.
 

Jakarta

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NBA.com has the Cs playing Sunday as the only east coast home team of the four. Hoping that means we get the early game.
I hope they play all home games at night. Seems like road teams outperform expectations during day games. I think HRB has commented on this before in the gambling thread.
 

HomeRunBaker

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It's dumb that a team can work really hard to earn a rest before the playoffs (that other teams don't get! Giannis got hurt trying hard!), and then have that used against them.

Tatum is going to have a similar challenge making 1st team All-NBA: "he didn't finish the season strong! What happened???"
The top-5 favorites for MVP have had a gap to #6 for awhile and Tatum has been the 4th favorite since around the ASB. He’s making 1st Team or I’ll eat a log of Boban Marjanovic’s shit.
 

DeadlySplitter

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The problem for the Bucks is they traded Jrue, lmao. Thought they were getting an offensive elixir in Dame and it seems like he's leaving his prime.
 

jablo1312

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So....we're rooting for Philly to smash Miami and then ATL or CHI to somehow pull off the upset vs the Heat yea?
 

Euclis20

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View: https://twitter.com/SeanGrandePBP/status/1779589650421571824


It's still more likely than not that Boston won't win the title this year (at least by the current title odds), and it's an unfortunate truth that when a title or bust team fails to win it all, their regular season is inevitably forgotten, or even thought of in negative terms. We've got almost a week until the Celtics first playoff game, and at least until then, I'm gonna appreciate the last 6 months for what it was, not however it might end up being remembered.
 

tims4wins

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View: https://twitter.com/SeanGrandePBP/status/1779589650421571824


It's still more likely than not that Boston won't win the title this year (at least by the current title odds), and it's an unfortunate truth that when a title or bust team fails to win it all, their regular season is inevitably forgotten, or even thought of in negative terms. We've got almost a week until the Celtics first playoff game, and at least until then, I'm gonna appreciate the last 6 months for what it was, not however it might end up being remembered.
Correct. Unfortunately my memories of the 2023 Bruins are tainted. And the same might eventually come to pass of the 2024 Celtics. But they were awesome.
 

benhogan

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Go to 41:30 for Timpf's (unapologetic Bron/Laker fan) take on the Celtic roster build. After the Jrue Holiday extension, it is just dawning on the rest of the NBA that Brad has a multi-year approach to title contention.

We desperately want it this year, as favorites, but this looks like a multiple-year window. With the new CBA restrictions, "contender building" for the rest of the League is more difficult than in past seasons. Plus Brad can also pull more levers if need be.

If OKC ownership greenlights tax spending they will be troublesome for the next half-decade. To a lesser degree, the same applies to Orlando & the NY Knicks are in much better front-office hands.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDga7tDYge0
 

InstaFace

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We've got almost a week until the Celtics first playoff game, and at least until then, I'm gonna appreciate the last 6 months for what it was, not however it might end up being remembered.
Amen. To that end, one of the many ways the team succeeded was in starter rest. Final update in that department, per my spreadsheet:

Games of rest this season:

Tatum: 8
Brown: 12
Porzingis: 25 (played 57)
Holiday: 13
White: 9
Horford: 17

All of them besides KP qualified for postseason awards, Horford nailed the cutoff. These numbers include a stretch of 4 games for Porzingis in Nov/Dec (calf) and 5 games in early March, also 5 games in a row for Holiday in mid March.

Average starters rested per game, by month:

Month Avg absences Porzingis Out %
Oct / Nov 0.61 17%
Dec 0.93 43%
Jan 0.81 31%
Feb 0.50 10%
Mar 1.50 44%
Apr 2.25 38%
Full Season 1.02 30%


The first 4 months of the season, rest appeared to be mostly Porzingis-driven. Since March 1st, though, we've rested everybody else at a much higher rate, obviously boosted by sitting everybody the last two games. The Knicks, by contrast, uh, did not.

The team went:

  • 7-1 with Tatum out (only loss: @ IND on 1/8, by 2)
  • 12-0 with Brown out (including the OT win vs DET, and the 50-burger vs the Nets right before the ASB)
  • 21-4 with Porzingis out (losses: Pacers IST, @ GSW in OT, vs Clippers, and @ MIL last week)
  • 11-2 with Holiday out (losses: Magic IST, and @ ATL #1; we won all 5 in his injury absence)
  • 6-3 with White out (dropped both games for his baby in early Nov, the OT losses @ MIN and @ CHA, plus @ ATL #1)
  • 13-4 with Horford out (including @ CHA, the Jan @ MIL disaster, @ ATL #2, and @ MIL last week - clearly, we should play him against the Bucks)

  • 9-3 with exactly 2 starters out (@ CHA, @ ATL #1, @ MIL last week)
  • 8-0 with 3 or all 6 starters out! Obviously including Games 81 and 82, but also including the 6 previous games where we sat 3 starters: vs TOR in late Dec (narrow 2-point win), and 5 games vs patsies in mid March: @UTA, @WAS, vs DET, @ DET, @ CHI)

Here are the 6 games since March 1st where we played all 6 starters (which btw is only 32 games all season!):

3/1 vs DAL: W, 138-110 (game 10/11 in the win streak)
3/5 @ CLE: L, 104-105, the less said the better
3/7 @ DEN: L, 109-115
3/30 @ NOP: W, 104-92
4/3 vs OKC: W, 135-100
4/11 vs NYK: L, 109-118

So basically, after the ASB, they only brought it against a handful of top opponents, and more or less coasted against everyone else (and still won most of their games). Exactly as we hoped for - picking a few playoff warmup spots to test ourselves and otherwise focusing on health. And that health wasn't miraculously good this season - we had some 4- and 5-game absences - it was only moderately fortunate, probably, but excellently managed. Just an amazing job of executing a solid strategic plan for rest.

Chicago is gonna be complaining about us running up the score again on Sunday. It's business time.

porzingis-brown-suit.png
 
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Eddie Jurak

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Amen. To that end, one of the many ways the team succeeded was in starter rest. Final update in that department, per my spreadsheet:

Games of rest this season:

Tatum: 8
Brown: 12
Porzingis: 25 (played 57)
Holiday: 13
White: 9
Horford: 17

All of them besides KP qualified for postseason awards, Horford nailed the cutoff. These numbers include a stretch of 4 games for Porzingis in Nov/Dec (calf) and 5 games in early March, also 5 games in a row for Holiday in mid March.

Average starters rested per game, by month:

Month Avg absences Porzingis Out %
Oct / Nov 0.61 17%
Dec 0.93 43%
Jan 0.81 31%
Feb 0.50 10%
Mar 1.50 44%
Apr 2.25 38%
This analysis holds true if you look at total minutes instead of games (as one would expect) and also if you look at minutes per game (which wouldn't directly flow from games played).

Basically, Holiday and White are playing about the same or more minutes this year than last year, whether you look at total or per game minutes. The others in our top 6 all have reduced minutes and miniutes per game compared to what they did last year.

Minutes per game, this year:
Tatum: 12th
Brown 34th
Holiday, 42nd
White, 49th
Horford, 121st

Minutes per game, last year:
Tatum, 3rd
Brown, 11th
Holiday, 49th (not here)
Porzingis, 50th (not here)
Smart, 58th
Horford, 75th
White, 113th

Total minutes, this year:
Tatum, 16th
White, 46th
Brown, 50th
Holiday, 58th
Pritchard, 137th
Hauser, 152nd
Horford, 153rd
Porzingis, 163rd

Total minutes, last year:
Tatum, 7th
Brown, 35th
White, 49th
Holiday, 71st (not here)
Porzingis, 87th (not here)
Grant, 98th
Smart, 114th
Horford, 123rd
 

Euclis20

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I'm wondering what we'll see in terms of Celtics winning postseason honors. Tatum seems like a lock for 1st team All-NBA, White for 2nd team All-Defense, and Brad for executive of the year. After that, Jaylen has a chance at 3rd team All-NBA, Holiday has a chance at 2nd team All-Defense, and Joe has a chance at Coach of the year. I think Joe is the biggest longshot of that 2nd group, but he's being mentioned in everyone's top 5, so worth noting here.
 

Jimbodandy

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I'm wondering what we'll see in terms of Celtics winning postseason honors. Tatum seems like a lock for 1st team All-NBA, White for 2nd team All-Defense, and Brad for executive of the year. After that, Jaylen has a chance at 3rd team All-NBA, Holiday has a chance at 2nd team All-Defense, and Joe has a chance at Coach of the year. I think Joe is the biggest longshot of that 2nd group, but he's being mentioned in everyone's top 5, so worth noting here.
I wish that they had an award for Most Improved Coach.
 

lovegtm

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I'm wondering what we'll see in terms of Celtics winning postseason honors. Tatum seems like a lock for 1st team All-NBA, White for 2nd team All-Defense, and Brad for executive of the year. After that, Jaylen has a chance at 3rd team All-NBA, Holiday has a chance at 2nd team All-Defense, and Joe has a chance at Coach of the year. I think Joe is the biggest longshot of that 2nd group, but he's being mentioned in everyone's top 5, so worth noting here.
Tatum and White are locks, as is Brad I think.

If you go through the All-NBA names, it would be pretty surprising for Jaylen not to make 3rd team. He's also had a strong narrative push from ~everyone in the media post-ASB.

Coach of the year really should be Daigneault or CJM imo, maybe Finch. A lot of choices this year for coaches who had talented rosters and also got a ton out of them, which to me is a lot more interesting than "who dragged some bums to the 7 seed."

(CJM isn't winning this year, but if they win the title, I bet he gets the Monty Williams Retroactive Award the next year.)
 

the moops

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Coach of the year really should be Daigneault or CJM imo, maybe Finch.
I actually would vote for Mosley. Over/Under for Orlando was 37.5, they won 47. They were thought to be a borderline play-in team, and instead came a game away from hosting a first round playoff matchup.
 

lovegtm

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I actually would vote for Mosley. Over/Under for Orlando was 37.5, they won 47. They were thought to be a borderline play-in team, and instead came a game away from hosting a first round playoff matchup.
Orlando has been a great story, and I think that's a reasonable opinion.

I personally prefer coaches who get more out of high-end rosters (think Kerr with the Warriors), just because I think that squeezing out that high-end is the hardest part of NBA basketball for players, coaches, and execs.

I also am a huge fan of the schematics of Boston and OKC's offenses, and of Minny's defense.
 

Euclis20

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Tatum and White are locks, as is Brad I think.

If you go through the All-NBA names, it would be pretty surprising for Jaylen not to make 3rd team. He's also had a strong narrative push from ~everyone in the media post-ASB.

Coach of the year really should be Daigneault or CJM imo, maybe Finch. A lot of choices this year for coaches who had talented rosters and also got a ton out of them, which to me is a lot more interesting than "who dragged some bums to the 7 seed."

(CJM isn't winning this year, but if they win the title, I bet he gets the Monty Williams Retroactive Award the next year.)
Yeah Jaylen isn't mentioned on every 3rd team ballot, but it's not like it's between him and one other guy. There quite a few guys on the bubble, so even if Jaylen is only on half of the ballots, he might still get voted in. I think here are the all-NBA locks:

SGA
Tatum
Jokic
Luka
Giannis
Durant
Kawhi
Brunson
Edwards
Davis
Lebron
Curry

That leaves three spots left for:

Brown
Booker
George
Zion
Sabonis
Haliburton
Fox

All of these guys have real weaknesses in their candidacies, but JB has as good a shot as any.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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NBA has Sabonis as #6 on the MVP ladder thingee. It seems weird he'd be #6 there and on the bubble for third team all-NBA, so I think he's maybe got a spot.

I think Haliburton has "he's been bad since the all-star break" hanging around his neck.

Sacramento's big slide could hurt both Fox and Sabonis, even if that's not fair at all, given their two big late season injuries in Monk and Heurter.

I don't think people believe in Zion yet.

Paul George has the pedigree, but Clips did a lot of treading water this year in many people's eyes.

I don't have a good feel for how people see Booker — I think people might blame him for Suns not being better than they are, but the finger is probably pointing at Beale.
 

Euclis20

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Sabonis is definitely on that bubble, despite his place on the MVP ladder. The NBA award tracker google doc is far away from being all that meaningful, but of the five ballots recorded for all-NBA, Sabonis made it onto just two 3rd teams, and was absent from the other three altogether (JB was on three of the ballots, on 3rd team). His truly mediocre advanced numbers, combined with Sacramento's disappointing performance (which is truly unfair, not only as you note because of late season injuries, but they did beat their over/under in wins), his lack of defense and playoff failure from last year really make this hard for him.

Him finishing 6th on NBA's MVP ladder is honestly pretty baffling, unless double doubles are still the most valuable stat out there. Jokic, SGA, Luka, Giannis, Tatum, Brunson. How does Sabonis finish above one of those guys, let alone Edwards, Durant, Kawhi...he wouldn't be in my top 10.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I'm wondering what we'll see in terms of Celtics winning postseason honors. Tatum seems like a lock for 1st team All-NBA, White for 2nd team All-Defense, and Brad for executive of the year. After that, Jaylen has a chance at 3rd team All-NBA, Holiday has a chance at 2nd team All-Defense, and Joe has a chance at Coach of the year. I think Joe is the biggest longshot of that 2nd group, but he's being mentioned in everyone's top 5, so worth noting here.
Redick had Mazzulla 2nd on his ballot.