2023-24 Celtics

Euclis20

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Now that Stevens and Banton are gone, Luke Kornet has the worst +/- per 100 possessions on the team, at +5.5. Other than the Celtics, there are only 4 teams with better overall net ratings that Kornet (Minnesota, OKC, Cleveland and LAC).
 

AdamTaylorNBA

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Feb 17, 2024
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Thanks for posting. Taylor puts out a lot of good content; I'm impressed. I suspect that this particular blog will go subscription next year.
Thanks! I always appreciate when people enjoy my work! As for going subscription, that's the long-term plan. Gotta get over the imposter syndrome first. And of course, it will only work if people choose to pay. For now, just focused on growing the newsletter and seeing what stuff people enjoy :)
 

AdamTaylorNBA

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Feb 17, 2024
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Hey everyone. I'm new here. Still figuring out how to navigate the message boards and see when people have replied etc. Hoping to have some fun discussions with everyone :)
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Thanks! I always appreciate when people enjoy my work! As for going subscription, that's the long-term plan. Gotta get over the imposter syndrome first. And of course, it will only work if people choose to pay. For now, just focused on growing the newsletter and seeing what stuff people enjoy :)
Welcome. I think you'll find us a bit more analytical than the typical message board. You may, hoever, want to stay out of game threads for a bit. :)

As for your work, I know it takes a ton of time to come up with clips so I just want to reiterate that from a basketball nerd's POV, I do appreciate that you do it. Aren't a lot of people willing to go into the intricacies of what makes a play work. So thanks.
 

benhogan

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Hey everyone. I'm new here. Still figuring out how to navigate the message boards and see when people have replied etc. Hoping to have some fun discussions with everyone :)
Cool. We re-post your 10 takeaways here quite often, hope that's OK?

You've done some nice work breaking down Celtic offensive sets, thanks.
 

chilidawg

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Combine those two pick-pairs stats with KP’s league leading points per post-up, it becomes clear why fans are so optimistic about what this years team can do in the playoffs when the 3’s aren’t raining.
Interesting data. C's the only team with two pairs, which adds to the resiliency and adaptability of the offense. Also interesting to see Jalen Williams on there but not SGA. JW's an impressive young player.
 

RorschachsMask

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Interesting data. C's the only team with two pairs, which adds to the resiliency and adaptability of the offense. Also interesting to see Jalen Williams on there but not SGA. JW's an impressive young player.
Jalen is good at EVERYTHING, he kind of reminds me of a bigger, more skilled Derrick White.
 

TripleOT

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One of the reasons to acquire KP was to try to emulate the Jokic pick/roll that dominated the 2023 playoffs. It’s great to see how efficient it has been with both JB and Tatum. (More efficient that Jokic and Murray, surprisingly). Hopefully, the offensive stagnation that had plagued this team in past playoff series is a thing of the past, now that they have this new weapon.
 

InstaFace

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Awesome, gives me a sane place to hide when Twitter is in meltdown mode after a close loss. :)
You are new here, lol.
To be clear: We also melt down, or at least have some posters who might melt down. But we DO have some steps towards an improvement: we segregate the knee-jerk reactions into each game's Game Thread, on a separate board. And posts on the threads here on this board, even if made in haste after a close loss, are expected to at least bring some minimal degree of thinking and intelligence (or wit), rather than just pronouncements of doom and proclamations that everyone involved is incompetent and should be fired into the sun.

We still have agendas. Semi-rational opinions. Hot takes on a new trade. We just often argue them with stats or video clips, and gentle ribbing, like how BenHogan is (probably still) the driver of the Aron Baynes bandwagon.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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I think I had predicted the Celtics would win 63-64 games this year. They're currently on pace for 64 almost on the button. Now, two things about this. First, they've played a challenging schedule and it gets a little easier from here on out. Their last 16 games:

at Was (.167)
vs Det (.148)
vs Mil (.625)
at Det (.148)
at Chi (.473)
at Atl (.436)
at Atl (.436)
at NO (.600)
at Cha (.241)
vs OKC (.685)
vs Sac (.574)
vs Por (.278)
at Mil (.625)
vs NY (.600)
vs Cha (.241)
vs Was (.167)

So in their last 16 games, 10 are against sub-.500 teams. 7 are against sub-.300 teams. Only 5 are against teams with a .600+ winning percentage. So the schedule down the stretch is favorable.

However, they currently have a good sized lead in the East, and they are four games clear of the Timberwolves for best record in the NBA. If they want HCA in the playoffs, they can't exactly take their foot off the gas, but they're in very good shape. I could totally see the Celtics engaging in some load management down the stretch to get the team as healthy and ready as possible for the playoffs. That might mean a few losses that we otherwise wouldn't expect.

So currently on pace for 64 wins. Good schedule might bump that up a couple of games, but load management might bump it down a couple. I still will go with 63-64 as my final prediction for them.
 

Jimbodandy

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You are new here, lol.
Haha. Definitely avoid the Game Threads. And it occasionally gets depressing if the Cs lose a meaningless road game. Also there's a handful of folks who inexplicably want to trade Jaylen Brown for a bag of balls and drop that wisdom here semi-regularly. Other than that, pretty sane place with good hoop talk and some awesome stories sometimes.
 

lovegtm

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Haha. Definitely avoid the Game Threads. And it occasionally gets depressing if the Cs lose a meaningless road game. Also there's a handful of folks who inexplicably want to trade Jaylen Brown for a bag of balls and drop that wisdom here semi-regularly. Other than that, pretty sane place with good hoop talk and some awesome stories sometimes.
Hey, I want to trade Jaylen for a Durant-type haul, not a bag of balls :)
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I thought it was amusing so I'll post this - according to NBA.com's clutch stats, over the last 15 games (NOTE: only 15 minutes), the Cs have an ORtg of 105.9 and a DRtg (again this is clutch time) of 64.0.

On a bigger sample size, the NBA.com clutch stats have BOS at a NetRtg of 23.4 (ORtg of 124.5; DRtg of 101.1) in 99 minutes, which is second to DAL, which has a ORtg of 128.0 and DRtg of 104.5 (Net = 23.5) in 68 minutes. BOS's DRtg is 4th overall; ORtg is 5th.
 

RorschachsMask

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I enjoy the game threads.

apparently we managed to run the one comically pessimistic poster out of the forum so we got that going for us.
I’ve always been fine if the pessimism is warranted, but the “they were on their way to losing the game” in a game they won by 15+ nonsense was so tiring.
 

jmcc5400

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I thought it was amusing so I'll post this - according to NBA.com's clutch stats, over the last 15 games (NOTE: only 15 minutes), the Cs have an ORtg of 105.9 and a DRtg (again this is clutch time) of 64.0.

On a bigger sample size, the NBA.com clutch stats have BOS at a NetRtg of 23.4 (ORtg of 124.5; DRtg of 101.1) in 99 minutes, which is second to DAL, which has a ORtg of 128.0 and DRtg of 104.5 (Net = 23.5) in 68 minutes. BOS's DRtg is 4th overall; ORtg is 5th.
For all the talk of the team's crunch-time offense, they really do have the ability to clamp it up on the other end when necessary.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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For all the talk of the team's crunch-time offense, they really do have the ability to clamp it up on the other end when necessary.
Yeah, I don't think the Cs have really played their best defense yet (except for a couple of small stretches in games). If they are healthy (pleasestayhealthypleasestayhealthy), I think they are really going to clamp down in the playoffs and I don't think some teams will be ready for how good they will be on that end.
 

TomRicardo

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One of the reasons to acquire KP was to try to emulate the Jokic pick/roll that dominated the 2023 playoffs. It’s great to see how efficient it has been with both JB and Tatum. (More efficient that Jokic and Murray, surprisingly). Hopefully, the offensive stagnation that had plagued this team in past playoff series is a thing of the past, now that they have this new weapon.
Both Brown and Tatum are much better than Murray
 

benhogan

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Haha. Definitely avoid the Game Threads. And it occasionally gets depressing if the Cs lose a meaningless road game. Also there's a handful of folks who inexplicably want to trade Jaylen Brown for a bag of balls and drop that wisdom here semi-regularly. Other than that, pretty sane place with good hoop talk and some awesome stories sometimes.
The Annual trade Jaylen Brown list is long:
Jimmy Butler
Anthony Davis
Domantas Sabonis
Ben Simmons
:eek:
Kevin Durant
Brandon Ingram
Barnes/Haliburton

Bane/Kennard/filler
Garland/Allen


next up this Summer: Jaylen 3-way for Bridges + Caruso

, and gentle ribbing, like how BenHogan is (probably still) the driver of the Aron Baynes bandwagon.
Indeed, still driving that wagon.

Attaching a First to a dirt-cheap Aron Baynes to open up space for Kemba Walker were some of my darker days...
 

TomRicardo

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Much better in what facet?
Scoring on all three levels. I would argue outside of handle with Brown and distribution with both Brown and Tatum are both superior players. It isn't really a hot take. Tatum is a top five player and Brown is a top 25 player. Playoff Murray is a ~ top 25 player.
 

slamminsammya

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Scoring on all three levels. I would argue outside of handle with Brown and distribution with both Brown and Tatum are both superior players. It isn't really a hot take. Tatum is a top five player and Brown is a top 25 player. Playoff Murray is a ~ top 25 player.
playoff Murray has been a superior player to jaylen Brown imo. 33 points / 100 possessions is pretty rarefied territory. plus the playmaking and chemistry with jokic
 

the moops

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Scoring on all three levels. I would argue outside of handle with Brown and distribution with both Brown and Tatum are both superior players. It isn't really a hot take. Tatum is a top five player and Brown is a top 25 player. Playoff Murray is a ~ top 25 player.
Interesting. Obviously Tatum is a better scorer than Murray, but I would argue that Murray is a much better three point shooter than Brown, about the same in the midrange, and probably worse at the rim
 

Euclis20

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Playoff Murray is radically different from regular season Murray:

Regular season since 2019 (when he first made the playoffs): 20/4/5, .564 TS%
Playoffs: 25/5/6, .587 TS%

This is a really simple look at it (and completely ignores defense), but it's pretty rare to see both production and efficiency go up so dramatically in the playoffs (in a not insignificant sample of 50+ games). Add to that his chemistry with Jokic (although Jokic's superpower is that he has chemistry with everyone, so take that FWIW), and I don't think it's a hot take at this point to say that he's more valuable than Brown, even if on his own JB is a better player. Hell, the Ringer's NBA rankings (updated last week) had Murray at 19 and Brown at 26.
 

Jimbodandy

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I'm a pretty bug Murray fan, but I think that what often gets lost with him is how bad he is defensively. Even on a very good defensive team, his numbers are pretty bad. I know that lots of folks still think that we have Peak Kawhi, Trae Young, and then 450 guys in the middle that are all the same, but where players fall on the actual continuum matters. Murray is closer to Trae than he is to average.
 

InstaFace

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So what games remaining in the season do we hope the team treats as a playoff preview, and has the guys do playoff rotation / minutes, scouting preparation, playoff level effort and tactics, etc? I know you can't fully fool yourself that it's a playoff game when it's not, but I've usually seen playoff-bound teams who've booked their tickets choose an April game or two to go 100% to keep themselves sharp once the games stop mattering as to punching their ticket (or indeed even mattering for seed).

The two I'm looking at are:

4/3 vs OKC. Given how hard-played (and fun) the game in OKC was a month or two ago, and how we rallied all the way from a late double-digit deficit to tie it, before losing it because Porzingis had his foot on the line on a long distance shot... I'm sure they're sore about that one the way they probably aren't about just about any other game this year. Oddly, this one isn't on the national TV schedule, yet 4/1 @ Charlotte is. Go figure.

4/11 vs NYK. I would've said 4/9 @ MIL, but I think we've seen plenty of how well the Celtics match up against the Bucks, and if the "Doc Dive" continues, it may not have the juice. The post-trade-deadline Knicks meanwhile have newfound swagger, may have Randle back, and will probably bring it for this game whether we do or not, so I'd rather give them both barrels and leave them with something to think about.

Another candidate would be 3/14 vs Phoenix; we have an off day before and 2 days off after, so max effort is reasonable for that game. But it's a month from the end of the season, so hard to really call it a "tune-up", and we'll have played @PHX only 5 days prior, so we might have an attitude of "didn't we just leave this party?"
 

Euclis20

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So what games remaining in the season do we hope the team treats as a playoff preview, and has the guys do playoff rotation / minutes, scouting preparation, playoff level effort and tactics, etc? I know you can't fully fool yourself that it's a playoff game when it's not, but I've usually seen playoff-bound teams who've booked their tickets choose an April game or two to go 100% to keep themselves sharp once the games stop mattering as to punching their ticket (or indeed even mattering for seed).

The two I'm looking at are:

4/3 vs OKC. Given how hard-played (and fun) the game in OKC was a month or two ago, and how we rallied all the way from a late double-digit deficit to tie it, before losing it because Porzingis had his foot on the line on a long distance shot... I'm sure they're sore about that one the way they probably aren't about just about any other game this year. Oddly, this one isn't on the national TV schedule, yet 4/1 @ Charlotte is. Go figure.

4/11 vs NYK. I would've said 4/9 @ MIL, but I think we've seen plenty of how well the Celtics match up against the Bucks, and if the "Doc Dive" continues, it may not have the juice. The post-trade-deadline Knicks meanwhile have newfound swagger, may have Randle back, and will probably bring it for this game whether we do or not, so I'd rather give them both barrels and leave them with something to think about.

Another candidate would be 3/14 vs Phoenix; we have an off day before and 2 days off after, so max effort is reasonable for that game. But it's a month from the end of the season, so hard to really call it a "tune-up", and we'll have played @PHX only 5 days prior, so we might have an attitude of "didn't we just leave this party?"
Tatum @ Charlotte on a Monday? Must see TV.

View: https://twitter.com/TheDunkCentral/status/1726790365943091268?s=20
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Some first half numbers for the Cs in this article: https://www.audacy.com/weei/sports/celtics/25-numbers-that-tell-the-story-of-the-celtics-season-so-far. Some of these we have talked about. Some we haven't. Two I wanted to highlight (bolding is mine):

18-8 - Boston’s record in the clutch. The NBA defines “clutch time” as the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime when the score is within five points. Boston’s 18 wins are tied for the most in the league, and their eight losses are the fewest among teams with at least 25 clutch games played. The Celtics are outscoring opponents by a league-best +66 in the clutch. Only one other team is north of +60 (The Dallas Mavericks +61).
Additionally, the Celtics are a league-best 23-4 in games decided by 10 points or fewer. Finding ways to close games has been one of the most encouraging aspects of the new-look Celtics.

and

42.6% - Jaylen Brown’s defended field goal percentage is good for fifth best among players who defend at least 10 attempts per game. Brown wanted to set the tone for the Celtics on the defensive end and has put his money where his mouth is. The All-NBA wing is limiting his opponents to an output of 5.0% below their expected level; among players defending 10 attempts per game, that ranks eighth best. Brown and Kevin Durant are the only non-bigs amidst that group.
Although an All-Defensive team for Brown feels like a long shot, he has undoubtedly made a difference on that end. The three-time All-Star is playing the best basketball of his career and has been worth every penny of the 5-year, $304 supermax extension signed over the season.

Some more interesting numbers in the article.
 

NomarsFool

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Yikes, that’s an awful box score. I must have deleted that game from my memory to keep my sanity.
 

lovegtm

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So what games remaining in the season do we hope the team treats as a playoff preview, and has the guys do playoff rotation / minutes, scouting preparation, playoff level effort and tactics, etc? I know you can't fully fool yourself that it's a playoff game when it's not, but I've usually seen playoff-bound teams who've booked their tickets choose an April game or two to go 100% to keep themselves sharp once the games stop mattering as to punching their ticket (or indeed even mattering for seed).

The two I'm looking at are:

4/3 vs OKC. Given how hard-played (and fun) the game in OKC was a month or two ago, and how we rallied all the way from a late double-digit deficit to tie it, before losing it because Porzingis had his foot on the line on a long distance shot... I'm sure they're sore about that one the way they probably aren't about just about any other game this year. Oddly, this one isn't on the national TV schedule, yet 4/1 @ Charlotte is. Go figure.

4/11 vs NYK. I would've said 4/9 @ MIL, but I think we've seen plenty of how well the Celtics match up against the Bucks, and if the "Doc Dive" continues, it may not have the juice. The post-trade-deadline Knicks meanwhile have newfound swagger, may have Randle back, and will probably bring it for this game whether we do or not, so I'd rather give them both barrels and leave them with something to think about.

Another candidate would be 3/14 vs Phoenix; we have an off day before and 2 days off after, so max effort is reasonable for that game. But it's a month from the end of the season, so hard to really call it a "tune-up", and we'll have played @PHX only 5 days prior, so we might have an attitude of "didn't we just leave this party?"
Good job highlighting these.

I bet Denver on Mar 7 will also be really, really intense. Both teams are playing with a day off before, they both really got up for the game in Boston, and the players all know it's a reasonably likely Finals preview. That is going to be a slugfest and fun af to watch.
 

Euclis20

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Yikes, that’s an awful box score. I must have deleted that game from my memory to keep my sanity.
Don't go skimming the play by play either. 9 point lead with 2 minutes left in the 4th, then 0-4 from the field and 0-2 from the line as Charlotte scored 9 straight to tie it with under 10 seconds.

*edit - that was the game that had some in the national media wondering what was wrong with Jaylen. It was his 3rd worst game of the year by game score, pretty brutal.

Strange fact: Boston has lost all of Jaylen's 8 worst games (by game score) this year, while Boston is 7-1 in Tatum's worst games. It seems we've been able to overcome lousy Tatum performances, while lousy Brown performances have killed us.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Probably pretty obvious, but still fun to hear Tatum lay out unequivocally that this year's team is much better than the 2022 finals team.

View: https://twitter.com/NoaDalzellNBA/status/1760075846679752916?s=20


From a starting-five/six perspective, it's not all that close.

• Tatum and Brown are pretty clearly better and it would be weird if they weren't.
• KP replaces and improves up on Al, as much Al is great.
• Jrue is just clearly and obviously better than Marcus Smart, and I think it's pretty hard to argue that the Cs miss Marcus' "energy" or leadership. Sorry Marcus (sidebar: I think Marcus is always going to be a fan favorite and will give his team 100% effort all the time, but it seems pretty clear that the offense's inability to function properly lies at Smart's feet).
• Then you're essentially trading two-year-better White and Al for White and TimeLord. For all of Rob's entertainment value, he didn't have that many tricks up his sleeve.

Hauser, Pritchard, and Luke are all leveled up. Does anyone miss Grant Williams? I do not. Am I insane to take Kornet over Theis?

Brissett, Tillman, et al, might not play a minute in the playoffs and I think they're rotation pieces for maybe half the playoff teams this year.

Really, it probably reflects pretty well on Ime that they were even in the finals when you look at the lineup two years down the road.
 

jmcc5400

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Probably pretty obvious, but still fun to hear Tatum lay out unequivocally that this year's team is much better than the 2022 finals team.

View: https://twitter.com/NoaDalzellNBA/status/1760075846679752916?s=20


From a starting-five/six perspective, it's not all that close.

• Tatum and Brown are pretty clearly better and it would be weird if they weren't.
• KP replaces and improves up on Al, as much Al is great.
• Jrue is just clearly and obviously better than Marcus Smart, and I think it's pretty hard to argue that the Cs miss Marcus' "energy" or leadership. Sorry Marcus (sidebar: I think Marcus is always going to be a fan favorite and will give his team 100% effort all the time, but it seems pretty clear that the offense's inability to function properly lies at Smart's feet).
• Then you're essentially trading two-year-better White and Al for White and TimeLord. For all of Rob's entertainment value, he didn't have that many tricks up his sleeve.

Hauser, Pritchard, and Luke are all leveled up. Does anyone miss Grant Williams? I do not. Am I insane to take Kornet over Theis?

Brissett, Tillman, et al, might not play a minute in the playoffs and I think they're rotation pieces for maybe half the playoff teams this year.

Really, it probably reflects pretty well on Ime that they were even in the finals when you look at the lineup two years down the road.
And yet they would have beaten the Warriors with the transformative Time Lord we saw for a few months in 2022. I always take the "we would have beaten LA in 2010 with Perk" assertions with a grain of salt, but I am convinced that if Rob had held together a few more months we'd already have Banner 18.
 

lovegtm

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And yet they would have beaten the Warriors with the transformative Time Lord we saw for a few months in 2022. I always take the "we would have beaten LA in 2010 with Perk" assertions with a grain of salt, but I am convinced that if Rob had held together a few more months we'd already have Banner 18.
This team is better, and that team with healthy Rob was really good. The Warriors were pretty weak by the historical standards of Finals-winning teams.
 

lexrageorge

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This team is better, and that team with healthy Rob was really good. The Warriors were pretty weak by the historical standards of Finals-winning teams.
Without a healthy Robert Williams, the Celtics bench got badly exposed by the extra depth the Warriors had. His injury had downstream impacts that go beyond his own play being greatly diminished.
 

InstaFace

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Some first half numbers for the Cs in this article: https://www.audacy.com/weei/sports/celtics/25-numbers-that-tell-the-story-of-the-celtics-season-so-far. Some of these we have talked about. Some we haven't. Two I wanted to highlight (bolding is mine):
Great article, these two jumped out for me:

7.3% - Boston’s post-up frequency. Despite what nonsense Kendrick Perkins may try to sell, the Celtics’ 7.3% post-up frequency is good for second-most in the league. To take it a step further, their 1.17 points per possession in the post puts them first in efficiency. The Celtics are scoring on 58.6% of their post-ups and are getting to the line 21.5% of the time. Match-up hunting has been a focal point of Boston’s offense, and the post has been a significant factor in that, helping Boston find an escape when the three-ball isn’t falling.

47.3 - Boston’s rebounds per game, which leads the NBA. While rebounding might not be the first aspect many associate with the Celtics, they have proven to be elite in this department. Led by Tatum, averaging 8.6 boards per game, five of Boston’s top six players average at least five boards per game. Holiday has also emerged as a terrific rebounder for Boston, snagging a career-best 5.9 boards per game, good for fourth-most among all guards.

The Celtics’ rebounding, specifically their work on the offensive glass, has provided them an additional outlet when the threes aren’t falling. Boston is averaging 14.9 second-chance points per game, good for ninth-best. Mazzulla closely monitors the margins of the box score: Are you attempting more shots than your opponent? Are you getting more possessions? Typically, that starts with rebounding, an area where the Celtics have excelled.
Our frequency of 3s has given us a bit of a rep as an outside shooting team, and I think teams are consistently surprised by the extent to which we're willing to go to the post, and not just with Porzingis.

The rebounding surprises me. Of course, that's a counting stat influenced by the number of shots our opponents miss, so I'd rather see how our DREB% and OREB% rank vs the league... but I definitely don't think of us as a great rebounding team (we're not bad, but I don't think anyone is exceptional at it for their position except maybe Pritchard), and maybe I need to update my thinking there. We know Mazzulla has made it a point of emphasis and we've seen some of the tactics for it sketched out for us (e.g. crashing the offensive glass from the weak side), but it kinda shocks me that we get more boards than any other team in the league.
 

Euclis20

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Great article, these two jumped out for me:



Our frequency of 3s has given us a bit of a rep as an outside shooting team, and I think teams are consistently surprised by the extent to which we're willing to go to the post, and not just with Porzingis.

The rebounding surprises me. Of course, that's a counting stat influenced by the number of shots our opponents miss, so I'd rather see how our DREB% and OREB% rank vs the league... but I definitely don't think of us as a great rebounding team (we're not bad, but I don't think anyone is exceptional at it for their position except maybe Pritchard), and maybe I need to update my thinking there. We know Mazzulla has made it a point of emphasis and we've seen some of the tactics for it sketched out for us (e.g. crashing the offensive glass from the weak side), but it kinda shocks me that we get more boards than any other team in the league.
10th in DRB% and 17th in ORB%. Going in multiple directions from last year, when we were 1st in DRB% and 25th in ORB%.