2023-24 Celtics

lovegtm

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The 1st half was interesting to me, because it illustrated some of the extra stuff you have to do when attacking the rim.

Washington is weak inside, they were protecting the 3 more, and 3s weren't falling, so the Celtics naturally tried to attack the rim a ton.

It worked, in that they were putting up points while missing tons of 3s, but whenever they didn't make a shot inside, the Wizards were getting out and running. You can say "get back better!", but it wasn't all laziness: failed paint attempts are inherently harder to recover from. There were some lazy/dumb moments, like Pritchard crashing from above the break and giving up a layup the other way, but a lot of it was bad floor balance.

You can't plan to hit everything at the rim: it's more like a 55-65% proposition against a bad team, not 100%. There will be misses, missed foul calls, whatever, and you need to be prepared to handle them rather than just "oops, missed a paint shot, now the other team gets a dunk/open 3."

Seemed like in the 2nd half they corrected the balance somewhat, and that let them play defense in the halfcourt, where Washington doesn't have much of a chance.

Interesting reminder of the subtle tradeoffs in an NBA game, even when the other team sucks at defending and you're able to get to the rim mostly at will.
 

SteveF

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Alright. Got it working I think.

Created a spreadsheet that looks at FGA related data for all the NBA teams, things like FGA/100 differential, TO/100 differential, Block/100 Differential and computes a point value based on unblocked FGA/100 and FTA/100 differentials using league average numbers for EFG% and FT%.

The idea is that you win games by either getting more shots/FTAs, shooting a higher percentage, or some positive combination of the two. This looks at just the first of those, which can be informative but obviously isn't the whole story.

You can find it here if you are interested
 
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HomeRunBaker

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I have more substantative comments for later, but for now it's funny that their biggest issue the past 2 games has been Prevent Offense with 2 mins left, up big.

I would guess they are relatively confident in their ability to fix that, and I'd mostly chalk it up to pre-ASB boredom.
What is there to fix…..it was effective and accomplished the goal it set out to achieve. Turn game into a crawl to eliminate any game flow, limit the number of possessions and increase win probability. Bingo.
 

m0ckduck

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Washington is weak inside, they were protecting the 3 more, and 3s weren't falling, so the Celtics naturally tried to attack the rim a ton.
There's been a general line of argument that goes: it's fine for the C's to take lots of 3s when they are falling. But they need to develop an offense around attacking the rim for when the 3s aren't going down. (Etc etc)

Watching the game last night, I found myself wondering: is the idea that they are supposed to switch within the flow of a single game to attacking the hoop if they aren't shooting well from 3? This assumes that 3PT% at the beginning of a game is predictive of 3PT% later in the same game and some nights, the team just "doesn't have it." But is this true? Presumably there's something about certain game situations and certain opponents that impact 3-point shooting... but we also see the C's shoot lights-out from deep against (say: ) the Heat in one game and then stink it up the next. Is there similarly high variance from half to half and quarter to quarter? Or is it more like "some nights they have it, others they don't."

Edit: last night was a specific case where the shot selection was driven largely by Washington's lack of rim protection. This is more of a general question, I guess...
 

teddykgb

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Last night’s third quarter was a good example of them fixing some of the things I’ve been complaining about. They had played with their food for the first half and kept a bad team in the game. But they came out of the half and actually played defense at a high level while not settling for 3s. They featured Porzingis a LOT and worked off him to get shots for others. Some were 3s but they weren’t just making a pass and launching. They basically focused for one quarter and blew the doors off the other team.
 

lovegtm

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There's been a general line of argument that goes: it's fine for the C's to take lots of 3s when they are falling. But they need to develop an offense around attacking the rim for when the 3s aren't going down. (Etc etc)

Watching the game last night, I found myself wondering: is the idea that they are supposed to switch within the flow of a single game to attacking the hoop if they aren't shooting well from 3? This assumes that 3PT% at the beginning of a game is predictive of 3PT% later in the same game and some nights, the team just "doesn't have it." But is this true? Presumably there's something about certain game situations and certain opponents that impact 3-point shooting... but we also see the C's shoot lights-out from deep against (say: ) the Heat in one game and then stink it up the next. Is there similarly high variance from half to half and quarter to quarter? Or is it more like "some nights they have it, others they don't."

Edit: last night was a specific case where the shot selection was driven largely by Washington's lack of rim protection. This is more of a general question, I guess...
I think if you asked the Celtics staff and players, they'd say "we don't stop shooting 3s if they're not falling. We try to figure out the best way to attack this opponent, and adjust it if we find stuff that works." I don't think they operate much on the theory of "we have it or we don't" on a given night.

What is there to fix…..it was effective and accomplished the goal it set out to achieve. Turn game into a crawl to eliminate any game flow, limit the number of possessions and increase win probability. Bingo.
Hmmm....I think you're reading something different from what I wrote. I'm not saying "run possessions like normal and don't take iso shots when up big late." I strongly agree that they should turn the game into a crawl and limit possessions in that spot.

The problem is that, in the past two games, they've been turning it over a ton late and not taking the 3-point line away from opponents when up big late. It's great to run Prevent Offense when up by 10 with 2 minutes to go. The thing is....you actually have to run it intentionally and crisply, not suck at it and sloppily go through the motions.
 

benhogan

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There's been a general line of argument that goes: it's fine for the C's to take lots of 3s when they are falling. But they need to develop an offense around attacking the rim for when the 3s aren't going down. (Etc etc)

Watching the game last night, I found myself wondering: is the idea that they are supposed to switch within the flow of a single game to attacking the hoop if they aren't shooting well from 3? This assumes that 3PT% at the beginning of a game is predictive of 3PT% later in the same game and some nights, the team just "doesn't have it." But is this true? Presumably there's something about certain game situations and certain opponents that impact 3-point shooting... but we also see the C's shoot lights-out from deep against (say: ) the Heat in one game and then stink it up the next. Is there similarly high variance from half to half and quarter to quarter? Or is it more like "some nights they have it, others they don't."

Edit: last night was a specific case where the shot selection was driven largely by Washington's lack of rim protection. This is more of a general question, I guess...
Joe has said several times that they (a) take what the defense gives them (b) take the highest-value shot (right INTENTION)

1. sometimes opponents drop into the paint to protect the rim and the C's look for Open 3s, Corner3s, Catch & Shoot 3s
2. sometimes opponents try to take away the 3pt line and then they post KP or whatever WING has a mismatch
3. sometimes opponents double Tatum, which means JT brings the 2 players away from the basket & move the ball

there are other permutations but those 3 have been the most popular

Joe has made it clear to Gary in numerous post-game pressers that the Celtic's offensive strategy isn't to take a ton of 3s AND if they make them great AND if they miss then stop taking 3s. Gary is closing in on CHB status with his blatant stupidity
 

bigq

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I think if you asked the Celtics staff and players, they'd say "we don't stop shooting 3s if they're not falling. We try to figure out the best way to attack this opponent, and adjust it if we find stuff that works." I don't think they operate much on the theory of "we have it or we don't" on a given night.
Agree with this. The objective is to get the best looks and as you say the best ways to attack an opponent. The idea that threes are just not falling today/tonight so they should be abandoned or that one quarter’s or one half’s 3P% is predictive of another period is too broad of a generalization. However if an opponent is selling out to defend the three point line the Celtics certainly can/should adjust their attack strategy.
 

Euclis20

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Celtics were 4-19 from 3 in the first half, and 7-15 in the second half. Changing your game plan partway through a game just because you are missing good shots is a great way to show your team that you never trusted that plan to begin with.

Obviously a different story when a team is crowding the arc and there was some of that, but Boston also missed a ton of shots in the 1st half they'd normally hit.
 

slamminsammya

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Celtics were 4-19 from 3 in the first half, and 7-15 in the second half. Changing your game plan partway through a game just because you are missing good shots is a great way to show your team that you never trusted that plan to begin with.

Obviously a different story when a team is crowding the arc and there was some of that, but Boston also missed a ton of shots in the 1st half they'd normally hit.
There was also that game a couple weeks ago where D White couldn't hit the ocean and then went 4/4 on threes in the fourth quarter.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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When you are missing good looks by players capable of converting them, the math provides a pretty compelling argument to keep shooting.
 

Euclis20

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20-10 gets them to 60 wins. It takes a contender to win 60. The Cs won 62 or more from 1980-86. The one year they won 56 was probably the weakest team. Though they knocked on the door after 86 they were never rerallu close to a title again. So thios group getting to 60 would be the best way, all more detailed analysis aside to show they are the best or ready to take a run.
As a point of reference, 20-10 is what they did last year over their last 30 games. Given the relative ease of their schedule (2nd easiest schedule by opposing win %) and the depth of their core 6 (which allows them to start resting starters and still be competitive), 60 wins feels close to a lock, pending Tatum's health.
 

reggiecleveland

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Celtics were 4-19 from 3 in the first half, and 7-15 in the second half. Changing your game plan partway through a game just because you are missing good shots is a great way to show your team that you never trusted that plan to begin with.

Obviously a different story when a team is crowding the arc and there was some of that, but Boston also missed a ton of shots in the 1st half they'd normally hit.
The transition points by the Magic (sorry Disney Font on the jerseys threw me) Wiz shows how hard it is to have good transition d on missed threes. They were better on D but the best transtion D is to score.
 

teddykgb

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It’s kind of a false choice. When you’re missing bunches of 3s you don’t necessarily abandon them for the game as a binary option. As someone who thinks they shoot way too many threes when they aren’t falling the complaint is that sometimes shooters need to find rhythm and form and that seeing the ball go through the net a few times can really get a shooter untracked. Relatedly, shooting is very much a mental game and the guys who aren’t your stars will put more pressure on themselves when they’re shooting and know the other team is on a run or building a big lead and that makes them more likely to miss. Basically you don’t have to abandon the three but you can work your way back to it
 

koufax32

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That was a frustrating game. A win is a win though, especially this time of year.

Also, I’m not saying that someone should hurt Duncan Robinson. I’m just saying that if he gets the McHale/Rambis treatment I probably won’t be sad.
 

RorschachsMask

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Tatum and KP playing absolutely incredible ball recently. I mean all season really, but feels like they’ve figured out their fit with each other over the last however many games.

28/9/7 on a 63% TS for Tatum over the last 7 games, only one of which he’s had less than 7 assists.

25/8/2/2 on a 67% TS for Porzingis over the last 11.
 

Ed Hillel

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.
Also, I’m not saying that someone should hurt Duncan Robinson. I’m just saying that if he gets the McHale/Rambis treatment I probably won’t be sad.
To be fair, an effort was made, though it was less McHale and more Burfict.
 

lars10

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That was a frustrating game. A win is a win though, especially this time of year.

Also, I’m not saying that someone should hurt Duncan Robinson. I’m just saying that if he gets the McHale/Rambis treatment I probably won’t be sad.
Would have been interesting to hear the conversation between him and Jaylen as he was stepping up to take the T
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Things that frustrated me:

  • Browns double FT misses. He's gotten so much better as a player, but goddman does he have bouts in his career of being rattled at the FT line when it matters.
  • KPs missed layup on a great feed by Tatum. God that was a bunny when the game was close.
  • The refs still treating Tatum like a second class star. 20 shots, lots of time with the ball in his hand, but only 2 FTs in the final 15 seconds.
 

lars10

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Things that frustrated me:

  • Browns double FT misses. He's gotten so much better as a player, but goddman does he have bouts in his career of being rattled at the FT line when it matters.
  • KPs missed layup on a great feed by Tatum. God that was a bunny when the game was close.
  • The refs still treating Tatum like a second class star. 20 shots, lots of time with the ball in his hand, but only 2 FTs in the final 15 seconds.
Tatum wasn’t just treated like a second class star.. was treated worse than most role players today.
 

128

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Things that frustrated me:

  • Browns double FT misses. He's gotten so much better as a player, but goddman does he have bouts in his career of being rattled at the FT line when it matters.
  • KPs missed layup on a great feed by Tatum. God that was a bunny when the game was close.
  • The refs still treating Tatum like a second class star. 20 shots, lots of time with the ball in his hand, but only 2 FTs in the final 15 seconds.
Strange thing about the KP miss was that he almost always dunks on those lobs. Not sure why he decided to finesse it this time.
 

Imbricus

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Anyone hear anything else about Rozier's injury? It's weird, Spo said at halftime all he knew was it was an ankle injury, but all over the internet, everyone's saying it was a knee injury, which makes more sense.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Anyone hear anything else about Rozier's injury? It's weird, Spo said at halftime all he knew was it was an ankle injury, but all over the internet, everyone's saying it was a knee injury, which makes more sense.
Coaches lie. That was a knee injury and looks like the worse case one for Rozier. MRI on Monday to confirm the worst.
 

lovegtm

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The Magic and Pacers both have fairly easy remaining schedules, so there's a good chance of Miami in the play-in, and from there, decent odds of their being the 8 seed.
 

nighthob

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I'd been wondering how Duncan Robinson managed to "improve" on defense.

Not wondering anymore, if the refs have been letting him push, flail, and grab a lot more.
I’ve had it with the whole Heat Culture!!! shtick. It’s easy to see, they step under shooters, they step under rebounders, they grab, they hit. On the old Raiders theory that if you just play dirty from buzzer to buzzer the refs will just let it all go. The NBA could put an end to this tomorrow, and they really should, because one of these times a superstar is going to be permanently injured by these antics (a la Kawhi thanks to the Warriors other goon). I don’t tune in to basketball to see Giannis, Embiid, etc. carried off the court. I tune in to see them play.
 

k-factory

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The Magic and Pacers both have fairly easy remaining schedules, so there's a good chance of Miami in the play-in, and from there, decent odds of their being the 8 seed.
Decent odds but if Cleveland really does end up securing the 2 seed - plausible if the Knicks are banged up for a bit and Doc can’t fix the Bucks - no question the Heat go all out to win the first play-in game.
Shame about Rozier tho. Will always have a soft spot for him - hope he’s alright. That was a good trade for them.
 

lovegtm

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Decent odds but if Cleveland really does end up securing the 2 seed - plausible if the Knicks are banged up for a bit and Doc can’t fix the Bucks - no question the Heat go all out to win the first play-in game.
Shame about Rozier tho. Will always have a soft spot for him - hope he’s alright. That was a good trade for them.
The Heat will go all-out regardless in the play-in. I don't think they were sandbagging it last year when they lost to Atlanta and then trailed to Chicago in the 4th, with a grand scheme to get the Bucks or something.
 

Ed Hillel

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The Magic and Pacers both have fairly easy remaining schedules, so there's a good chance of Miami in the play-in, and from there, decent odds of their being the 8 seed.
And strong odds Philly will be right there with them competing for it.
 

lovegtm

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And strong odds Philly will be right there with them competing for it.
I know I'm supposed to be super-worried about that outcome, but it feels like the Nets in 2022: the Cs would get up for it, it would be intense, but the intensity would favor the better team, because they'll be locked in and motivated from the outset.

Sort of better than Atlanta 2023, in some ways.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I’ve had it with the whole Heat Culture!!! shtick. It’s easy to see, they step under shooters, they step under rebounders, they grab, they hit. On the old Raiders theory that if you just play dirty from buzzer to buzzer the refs will just let it all go. The NBA could put an end to this tomorrow, and they really should, because one of these times a superstar is going to be permanently injured by these antics (a la Kawhi thanks to the Warriors other goon). I don’t tune in to basketball to see Giannis, Embiid, etc. carried off the court. I tune in to see them play.
don’t forget outrageous moving screens on every possession on offense too

I respect the fight and teamwork of the Heat, but they simply get officiated differently than other teams. Riley has been great at that for a long, long time
 

lovegtm

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don’t forget outrageous moving screens on every possession on offense too

I respect the fight and teamwork of the Heat, but they simply get officiated differently than other teams. Riley has been great at that for a long, long time
What's the specific theory on why they get officiated differently though? The NBA loves the Celtics as a market (if national TV appearances are any indicator), they have more star power than Miami, and a much more lucrative fanbase nationally. It would be extremely good for the NBA if the Celtics were in the Finals, as opposed to Miami. What specifically is Riley doing to get Duncan Robinson able to throw the low forearm in the midsection, over and over, that gets called automatically on everyone else?
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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There's been a general line of argument that goes: it's fine for the C's to take lots of 3s when they are falling. But they need to develop an offense around attacking the rim for when the 3s aren't going down. (Etc etc)

Watching the game last night, I found myself wondering: is the idea that they are supposed to switch within the flow of a single game to attacking the hoop if they aren't shooting well from 3? This assumes that 3PT% at the beginning of a game is predictive of 3PT% later in the same game and some nights, the team just "doesn't have it." But is this true? Presumably there's something about certain game situations and certain opponents that impact 3-point shooting... but we also see the C's shoot lights-out from deep against (say: ) the Heat in one game and then stink it up the next. Is there similarly high variance from half to half and quarter to quarter? Or is it more like "some nights they have it, others they don't."
Late to this party but the other thing is that shooters aren't trained to think this way. Shooters think the next shot is going in. They have to think that way. Yeah, there may be times that they are nicked up and their mechanics may feel off but for the most part, they put in the work; they are told to trust their work; and they shoot with confidence. They don't wonder, "Is this the night I'm going to have a bad shooting night"?
 

Montana Fan

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I’ve had it with the whole Heat Culture!!! shtick. It’s easy to see, they step under shooters, they step under rebounders, they grab, they hit. On the old Raiders theory that if you just play dirty from buzzer to buzzer the refs will just let it all go. The NBA could put an end to this tomorrow, and they really should, because one of these times a superstar is going to be permanently injured by these antics (a la Kawhi thanks to the Warriors other goon). I don’t tune in to basketball to see Giannis, Embiid, etc. carried off the court. I tune in to see them play.
But the current NBA is sawft. Member when Laimbeer/Mahorn/Rodman thugged it up nightly? Tic for them that are unsure.

The current version of the NBA is very physical. Most of the physicality is from the lower body but hand use has increased quite a bit the last few years as well. When teams go into pressure mode, there is a TON of physical contact that is not called, nor should it be.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Anyone hear anything else about Rozier's injury? It's weird, Spo said at halftime all he knew was it was an ankle injury, but all over the internet, everyone's saying it was a knee injury, which makes more sense.
I was driving yesterday and listened to the game on radio - so I knew about the knee injury - so when I got home and started to watch the game, I was totally surprised that early on in the 1Q (re-warching it again, the 9:40 mark) when White and Rozier got tangled after a Rozier drive, Terry definitely had something happen to his right knee. He didn't get back on defense, and when the Heat went on offense the next play (Bam got fouled), Terry was leaning over checking his knee out.

I'm surprised that MIA didn't at least sub him out at that time, although I guess it's up to the player.

Maybe that play and the injury have nothing to do with each other, but sometimes a culture of "playing through things" doesn't help anyone. I liked it better when KP went off when he hurt his back at least to get things checked.
 

lovegtm

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I was driving yesterday and listened to the game on radio - so I knew about the knee injury - so when I got home and started to watch the game, I was totally surprised that early on in the 1Q (re-warching it again, the 9:40 mark) when White and Rozier got tangled after a Rozier drive, Terry definitely had something happen to his right knee. He didn't get back on defense, and when the Heat went on offense the next play (Bam got fouled), Terry was leaning over checking his knee out.

I'm surprised that MIA didn't at least sub him out at that time, although I guess it's up to the player.

Maybe that play and the injury have nothing to do with each other, but sometimes a culture of "playing through things" doesn't help anyone. I liked it better when KP went off when he hurt his back at least to get things checked.
They did sub him out. He left the game immediately and didn't take his free throws.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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They did sub him out. He left the game immediately and didn't take his free throws.
They subbed him out after the injury in the 3Q. But there was a play in the 1Q where something happened to Rozier's right leg/knee that clearly bothered him but Rozier kept on playing. Occurred at 9:40 in 1Q. That's the one I' referring to; sorry I wasn't more clear.

Obviously hindsight is 20-20 and hopefully the two incidents are not related but that 1Q incident really sticks out knowing Rozier would be injured on the same leg/knee in the 3Q.
 

Jimbodandy

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They subbed him out after the injury in the 3Q. But there was a play in the 1Q where something happened to Rozier's right leg/knee that clearly bothered him but Rozier kept on playing. Occurred at 9:40 in 1Q. That's the one I' referring to; sorry I wasn't more clear.

Obviously hindsight is 20-20 and hopefully the two incidents are not related but that 1Q incident really sticks out knowing Rozier would be injured on the same leg/knee in the 3Q.
There was one early that looked like an ankle to me. He was flexing/testing his ankle by the FT after he came down and stayed in. That may be where Spoel's fiction about the later injury came from.
 

lars10

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What's the specific theory on why they get officiated differently though? The NBA loves the Celtics as a market (if national TV appearances are any indicator), they have more star power than Miami, and a much more lucrative fanbase nationally. It would be extremely good for the NBA if the Celtics were in the Finals, as opposed to Miami. What specifically is Riley doing to get Duncan Robinson able to throw the low forearm in the midsection, over and over, that gets called automatically on everyone else?
There were a couple times he just openly shoved players.. if he was called the same way as everyone else he’d have zero chance of guarding Tatum or Brown. The only reason the game got tighter at the end was because the Cs, especially Tatum, got zero calls going to the rim.. and there was a ton of contact on each drive.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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There was one early that looked like an ankle to me. He was flexing/testing his ankle by the FT after he came down and stayed in. That may be where Spoel's fiction about the later injury came from.
Watching it a couple of times, Rozier definitely touches his ankle but it also seemed like he wasn't sure where the discomfort was coming from (he was grimacing for a few moments). At any rate, like I said, I hope they aren't connected; just noticed it given the later injury.
 

PedroKsBambino

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What's the specific theory on why they get officiated differently though? The NBA loves the Celtics as a market (if national TV appearances are any indicator), they have more star power than Miami, and a much more lucrative fanbase nationally. It would be extremely good for the NBA if the Celtics were in the Finals, as opposed to Miami. What specifically is Riley doing to get Duncan Robinson able to throw the low forearm in the midsection, over and over, that gets called automatically on everyone else?
Sorry, good call out and I should be more clear: I don't think there's any purposeful league-driven conspiracy to help Miami.

I do think Miami--and Riley teams back to the 1980s--are coached to push to and past the edge of what's called on screens, on defensive contact, on defensive three-seconds, etc. And I believe part of what enables them to get different calls (on average) than most teams is they essentially coach "how to cheat the rules and not get caught" and also publicly talk about (and I surely expect privately communicate with league about) their interpretation of all of these things. And they do those two things better than anyone else.

One can say this is good coaching---certainly many of us viewed that as a big part of the story when Belichick did it for Pats defense. And I do think part of it is hte league acquiescing over a long period of time to the reality someone else noted..."they can't call of them". For example, on the merits and the rules, Bam should get 3-5 offensive fouls on screens in the first half of EVERY GAME. But everyone knows they won't call all of those, and Heat take advantage of that. I net that out to both "they are crafty and well coached" and that, in impact, they are officiated differently than other teams.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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For example, on the merits and the rules, Bam should get 3-5 offensive fouls on screens in the first half of EVERY GAME.
Curious - do you really think Bam does anything that isn't done pretty much in every NBA game I've watched? I mean look at KP. Lots of times when he sets a screen, he leans one way or sticks out his butt.

edit: for instance check out video below at 2:57. KP is screening for JB. He sticks out his butt and slightly shuffles over to get a piece of the defender.

Look at this Kornet PnR below (first I could find quickly). His feet are way wider than his hips and then he leans into the defender to make contact.

Seems to me that what Bam does isn't that much different than what others do but honestly I have not watched Bam closely so interested in hearing your thoughts.

View: https://youtu.be/nQgTwiUvxBA?t=88
 

lovegtm

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SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
11,710
Curious - do you really think Bam does anything that isn't done pretty much in every NBA game I've watched? I mean look at KP. Lots of times when he sets a screen, he leans one way or sticks out his butt.

edit: for instance check out video below at 2:57. KP is screening for JB. He sticks out his butt and slightly shuffles over to get a piece of the defender.

Look at this Kornet PnR below (first I could find quickly). His feet are way wider than his hips and then he leans into the defender to make contact.

Seems to me that what Bam does isn't that much different than what others do but honestly I have not watched Bam closely so interested in hearing your thoughts.

View: https://youtu.be/nQgTwiUvxBA?t=88
Horford is well-known for "pushing the edges" of screen legality himself.


Sorry, good call out and I should be more clear: I don't think there's any purposeful league-driven conspiracy to help Miami.

I do think Miami--and Riley teams back to the 1980s--are coached to push to and past the edge of what's called on screens, on defensive contact, on defensive three-seconds, etc. And I believe part of what enables them to get different calls (on average) than most teams is they essentially coach "how to cheat the rules and not get caught" and also publicly talk about (and I surely expect privately communicate with league about) their interpretation of all of these things. And they do those two things better than anyone else.

One can say this is good coaching---certainly many of us viewed that as a big part of the story when Belichick did it for Pats defense. And I do think part of it is hte league acquiescing over a long period of time to the reality someone else noted..."they can't call of them". For example, on the merits and the rules, Bam should get 3-5 offensive fouls on screens in the first half of EVERY GAME. But everyone knows they won't call all of those, and Heat take advantage of that. I net that out to both "they are crafty and well coached" and that, in impact, they are officiated differently than other teams.
Honestly, if this is the case, I'm mostly upset that the Celtics *don't* coach this better. We're not talking about being dirty: you absolutely need to take advantage of the ability to be more physical if there's a way to do it that doesn't get called. It's on the league to clean it up from there.

Assuming the Heat are able to successfully coach that, it would make me prouder to be a Heat fan and more embarrassed to be a Celtics fan. Spo is doing something better and it should be copied; Pop did a lot of the same stuff in the Spurs' runs.

To CJM's credit, I liked that the Cs were the team flustering the opponent with zone this time around. Miami looked bad against it on a number of possessions. Nice to see, after years of Miami being the only one with a curveball. It does feel like this Celtics team is tougher and more creative than prior iterations.
 

slamminsammya

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Jul 31, 2006
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San Francisco
Horford is well-known for "pushing the edges" of screen legality himself.



Honestly, if this is the case, I'm mostly upset that the Celtics *don't* coach this better. We're not talking about being dirty: you absolutely need to take advantage of the ability to be more physical if there's a way to do it that doesn't get called. It's on the league to clean it up from there.
I don't have a good theory for why but I think there's a tight connection between the Celtics leading the league in fewest free throws per shot on defense while also having the fewest caused turnovers and one of the lowest per shot efficiency's allowed. hard to argue with the results so far
 

astrozombie

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Sep 12, 2022
367
When it comes to fouls, I think the league has settled into an understanding of illegal stuff happens just about every play and picks and chooses what to call. I do not think there is a league-wide conspiracy, but I do think that refs understand that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. If Bam, Herro, KP and Horford all foul out in the first 5 minutes because they are held to the letter (rather than the spirit) of the rules, then the games would get pretty uninteresting.