2023-24 Celtics

SteveF

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I did a little check a few weeks ago on what a league average rebounding team would average for Dreb% Oreb% based on shot locations allowed/shot location and the Celtics are doing a bit better than average in both categories.

Their Dreb% on field goals is about 0.8% higher than an average team based on shot location allowed (10th best differential), and 0.7% (14th best differential) higher than an average team based on shot location.

Edit: This obviously isn't super relevant to the bottom line. It just highlights that part of rebounding is tied to shot diet/shot diet of opponents (and to some extent, blocks/blocks against frequency.)
 

benhogan

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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):
Thanks for posting. The Bench #s are nice to see, since the NBA Media made it a thing to start the season & are still running with it.

+180 - Boston’s point differential off the bench, a league-high. No other team is north of +140; just three others are higher than
+100. Boston’s +180 off the bench more than doubles the next Eastern Conference team (the Philidelphia 76ers +87). Entering the season, especially after the Holiday trade, the depth of Boston’s bench was a concern for many. Led by Sam Hauser, Payton Pritchard, and Luke Kornet, Boston’s bench has been a strength more than the weakness fans expected, posting a league-best 5.3 net rating.

+251- Pritchard’s plus-minus, which leads the league (for bench players). Right behind Pritchard, slotting in at number three, is Hauser (+232). Pritchard and Hauser are one and two in the Eastern Conference, respectively.

Pritchard, Hauser, and Kornet have been excellent supporting pieces for the Celtics, ensuring no drop-off when Boston’s top five/six are not on the floor. Regarding the back-to-backs, Pritchard has five 20-point games this season, all five of which occurred on the second night of a back-to-back.
 

TripleOT

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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.
This board has the most reasonable Celtics fans, and many incredibly knowledgeable posters, including some great capology, expert insights on sports injuries, league history, player evaluation, etc etc The game threads rightly get unreasonable at times, which is expected when die hard Celtics fans are reacting in real time (you’re not in the penalty, so take a damn foul on that last possession!!).

Adam Taylor, I read your stuff all the time. Impressive content. Welcome to this Celtics board.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Thanks for posting. The Bench #s are nice to see, since the NBA Media made it a thing to start the season & are still running with it.

+180 - Boston’s point differential off the bench, a league-high. No other team is north of +140; just three others are higher than
+100. Boston’s +180 off the bench more than doubles the next Eastern Conference team (the Philidelphia 76ers +87). Entering the season, especially after the Holiday trade, the depth of Boston’s bench was a concern for many. Led by Sam Hauser, Payton Pritchard, and Luke Kornet, Boston’s bench has been a strength more than the weakness fans expected, posting a league-best 5.3 net rating.

+251- Pritchard’s plus-minus, which leads the league (for bench players). Right behind Pritchard, slotting in at number three, is Hauser (+232). Pritchard and Hauser are one and two in the Eastern Conference, respectively.

Pritchard, Hauser, and Kornet have been excellent supporting pieces for the Celtics, ensuring no drop-off when Boston’s top five/six are not on the floor. Regarding the back-to-backs, Pritchard has five 20-point games this season, all five of which occurred on the second night of a back-to-back.
Sam, PP, and Luke have been really good but they also have the luxury that I'm sure most bench units don't have (too lazy to check) of playing with 2 All-NBA-ish players (I mean Al obviously doesn't play enough to qualify - and no one wants him to play more - but his per 100 possessions stats are 14.3 / 12.1 / 5.2 on 40.9% 3P shooting with a 133 ORtg (which is higher than any starter) and a 110 DRtg (which is tied with JT and only behind KP at 109). I.e., when he's been out there, he's been really really good).
 

Strike4

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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.
To be fair, I have yet to see an interview with a team's star, in any sport, where they were like "we aren't as good as we were a year or two ago". And I'm sure we could dig up interviews from last year where players say "we are better than the team that lost to GS in the finals". It's like the "best shape of my career" thing.

(I do think this Celtics team is better than last year's but once you are in the elite zone, winning a championship is less about how good you are and more about health/injuries, timing, etc.)
 

Ed Hillel

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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
You forgot Jalen Brunson plus picks :).
 

TripleOT

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Jaylen Brown’s effectiveness when JT sits has been a big factor in the bench players’’ eye popping plus/minus. (The bench has always thrived when paired with just JT). PP’s assertiveness along with his much improved floor generalship has also been key.

Al, PP, and Hauser shoot 40 percent from three combined, and besides a Jay, are paired with either Jrue, a 41% guy from deep, or White, at 38%. When hot, they have the ability to stretch out leads. It can get ugly when they pile up a bunch of long ball misses. The three together get to the line only 1.4 times per game, so the Jay and the other starter needs to be aggressive to the hoop when the bench is spacing the floor.

I am hoping that Mazzulla uses the last 27 games to play Brissy more. He’s a high energy grinder who can get to the line. Boston will have the option of tightening up the rotation in the playoffs, but it would be nice to know that they can count on a guy like Brissette if needed.
 

benhogan

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Sam, PP, and Luke have been really good but they also have the luxury that I'm sure most bench units don't have (too lazy to check) of playing with 2 All-NBA-ish players (I mean Al obviously doesn't play enough to qualify - and no one wants him to play more - but his per 100 possessions stats are 14.3 / 12.1 / 5.2 on 40.9% 3P shooting with a 133 ORtg (which is higher than any starter) and a 110 DRtg (which is tied with JT and only behind KP at 109). I.e., when he's been out there, he's been really really good).
Yea, that was Brad's strategy. He went for complimentary role players (PP, Hauser, Luke, OB) that would enhance the starting 6. AND the Celtics were heavily criticized for going that route. This bench is a real weakness is still a meme

A lot of contenders build their bench with vet min ring chasers, and the NBA media goes bananas.
Must have a name-brand veteran who scored 20/game a decade ago!
 

benhogan

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This board has the most reasonable Celtics fans, and many incredibly knowledgeable posters, including some great capology, expert insights on sports injuries, league history, player evaluation, etc etc The game threads rightly get unreasonable at times, which is expected when die hard Celtics fans are reacting in real time (you’re not in the penalty, so take a damn foul on that last possession!!).

Adam Taylor, I read your stuff all the time. Impressive content. Welcome to this Celtics board.
+1. completely agree.

The content/opinions around here can get spicey, but on the whole is excellent.
 

Auger34

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+1. completely agree.

The content/opinions around here can get spicey, but on the whole is excellent.
It's a very good mix of stats/advanced numbers and eye test/scouting. Most boards lean too far one way or the other, the mixture here is what makes it a great place for discussion
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Yea, that was Brad's strategy. He went for complimentary role players (PP, Hauser, Luke, OB) that would enhance the starting 6. AND the Celtics were heavily criticized for going that route. This bench is a real weakness is still a meme

A lot of contenders build their bench with vet min ring chasers, and the NBA media goes bananas.
Must have a name-brand veteran who scored 20/game a decade ago!
I wonder if the Cs have data on this.

And yes, the "bench is a weakness" thing is so dumb. What does a team really need from its bench when the Cs can play at least 2 guys who are or have been top 25 players the entire game? I mean we know that JT plus 4 guys is a net positive. How much better are those units going to be when one of the 4 guys is or has been a top 25 player in the game?
 

InstaFace

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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
Wow. Some people keep receipts... benhogan keeps an entire ledger book.

And you're not wrong, either. We have at various times really not believed in Jaylen. But the one who mattered - Ainge, but mostly Stevens - kept the faith.

Anthony Davis or Kevin Durant might still have been the right moves at the time, though of course neither one wanted to come here. Some people would still probably make the Harrison Barnes+Haliburton trade if they could go back, even knowing what they know now. I'm sure we can have a "who would you trade Jaylen Brown for" thread the next time we have a few off days and it would be some fireworks.
 
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snowmanny

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(I do think this Celtics team is better than last year's but once you are in the elite zone, winning a championship is less about how good you are and more about health/injuries, timing, etc.)
“Timing” presumably includes something about how good is the competition this year.
 

benhogan

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I wonder if the Cs have data on this.

And yes, the "bench is a weakness" thing is so dumb. What does a team really need from its bench when the Cs can play at least 2 guys who are or have been top 25 players the entire game? I mean we know that JT plus 4 guys is a net positive. How much better are those units going to be when one of the 4 guys is or has been a top 25 player in the game?
Exactly.

Energy, role players off the bench, are there to enhance 2-3 of the TOP6. They are not there to take over the offense.

Kelly Oubre, poinZ getting vet, has had a nice season for the 76ers. The media seems to like guys like that off the bench.
BUT I wouldn't want him over Sam Hauser.

In addition to that the bench becomes a lot less impactful in the playoffs when rotations shrink.
 

benhogan

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Wow. Some people keep receipts... benhogan keeps an entire ledger book.

And you're not wrong, either. We have at various times really not believed in Jaylen. But the one who mattered - Ainge, but mostly Stevens - kept the faith.

Anthony Davis or Kevin Durant might still have been the right moves at the time, though of course neither one wanted to come here. Some people would still probably make the Harrison Barnes+Haliburton trade if they could go back, even knowing what they know now. I'm sure we can have a "who would you trade Jaylen Brown for" thread the next time we have a few off days and it would be some fireworks.
Ha, yeah I have had my share of dumb trade ideas over the years (Brown for Sabonis would have been sub-optimal). Credit to Brad on tearing down & completely building around the JAYs. Wish Danny had done that after Tatum's rookie year (G7 EC Finals team)

Most of the Jaylen Brown fake trade talk around here was based around a "need" (PG, 5, etc) for the Celtics. It was never about getting rid of Jaylen because he had a bad playoff game. And I know this stuff over the years has made many posters scratch their heads (jimbo/auger/wade/etc)

At the moment, the Celtics don't have a "need or roster deficiency", it would strictly be a $$$ move. It all comes down to Boston Basketball Group shelling out. I'd guess 99% of us are fine with having them pay the penalties and keeping Jaylen. BUT he is the player they would move (for a lesser player + picks + expiring filler) if it comes down to money and they can get a Durant haul, like a WC Executive recently suggested.

Idle hands are the devils' workshop, All-Star week lends itself to this stuff.
 

Euclis20

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Their bad stretches are when they win wire-to-wire but it gets within 5 late, and people freak out.
It feels like the Celtics have had a lot of games in the last month or so where they lead for 10-15 points for most of the 2nd half, the opposing team gets within 2 possessions with 2-4 minutes left, but never quite closes the gap. I can't decide if this is good (crunch time practice reps), bad (inability to put inferior teams away seems like it's been this teams problem for years) or meaningless (January/February games mean fuck all).
 

Royal Reader

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It feels like the Celtics have had a lot of games in the last month or so where they lead for 10-15 points for most of the 2nd half, the opposing team gets within 2 possessions with 2-4 minutes left, but never quite closes the gap. I can't decide if this is good (crunch time practice reps), bad (inability to put inferior teams away seems like it's been this teams problem for years) or meaningless (January/February games mean fuck all).
It doesn't feel like they have fewer blowouts than other good teams, though.

One thing I've found funny this season is that they lose so few games. Yet every close loss is "proof that their close and late issues haven't gone away" and yet if they lose convincingly they've been "found out" or some such.
 

benhogan

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It doesn't feel like they have fewer blowouts than other good teams, though.

One thing I've found funny this season is that they lose so few games. Yet every close loss is "proof that their close and late issues haven't gone away" and yet if they lose convincingly they've been "found out" or some such.
Yea, the sports media "proof that their close and late issues haven't gone away" meme is lazy journalism at best and media malpractice at worst. Boston has significantly improved their coaching staff & more importantly their starting/closing unit from Smart/TL/Horford/JAYs to KP/Jrue/White/better JAYs

They have a more efficient offense with significantly better end-of-game/half-court options than they had in the past.

 

Saints Rest

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Yea, the sports media "proof that their close and late issues haven't gone away" meme is lazy journalism at best and media malpractice at worst. Boston has significantly improved their coaching staff & more importantly their starting/closing unit from Smart/TL/Horford/JAYs to KP/Jrue/White/better JAYs

They have a more efficient offense with significantly better end-of-game/half-court options than they had in the past.
I agree with all of this but would add that the bench improvement has also contributed greatly to the team's success. PP/Hauser/Al/plus 2 starters are regularly extending leads rather than treading water or giving them up, as evidenced by PP's and Slam's outstanding +/-.
 

Saints Rest

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And yet somehow it feels like Holiday hasn't missed one for a month. Surprising stat.
I'm trying to think of a comp, in any sport, to Jrue. He does pretty much everything well, but with so little fanfare that it often goes under appreciated by anyone who doesn't truly know the sport.

Bergeron is the best comp I could come up with, but unlike Jrue, we saw him grow up a Bruin. Not sure if there is a similar comp for someone who arrived as a fully-formed vet but still in his prime.
 

chilidawg

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I'm trying to think of a comp, in any sport, to Jrue. He does pretty much everything well, but with so little fanfare that it often goes under appreciated by anyone who doesn't truly know the sport.

Bergeron is the best comp I could come up with, but unlike Jrue, we saw him grow up a Bruin. Not sure if there is a similar comp for someone who arrived as a fully-formed vet but still in his prime.
The most obvious comp to me is Derek White. So lucky to have both of them.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I'm trying to think of a comp, in any sport, to Jrue. He does pretty much everything well, but with so little fanfare that it often goes under appreciated by anyone who doesn't truly know the sport.

Bergeron is the best comp I could come up with, but unlike Jrue, we saw him grow up a Bruin. Not sure if there is a similar comp for someone who arrived as a fully-formed vet but still in his prime.
Rodney Harrison would be my Pats football comp.
 

Red Right Ankle

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I'm trying to think of a comp, in any sport, to Jrue. He does pretty much everything well, but with so little fanfare that it often goes under appreciated by anyone who doesn't truly know the sport.

Bergeron is the best comp I could come up with, but unlike Jrue, we saw him grow up a Bruin. Not sure if there is a similar comp for someone who arrived as a fully-formed vet but still in his prime.
JD Drew?
 

benhogan

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I'm trying to think of a comp, in any sport, to Jrue. He does pretty much everything well, but with so little fanfare that it often goes under appreciated by anyone who doesn't truly know the sport.

Bergeron is the best comp I could come up with, but unlike Jrue, we saw him grow up a Bruin. Not sure if there is a similar comp for someone who arrived as a fully-formed vet but still in his prime.
Bill Mueller
 

benhogan

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I agree with all of this but would add that the bench improvement has also contributed greatly to the team's success. PP/Hauser/Al/plus 2 starters are regularly extending leads rather than treading water or giving them up, as evidenced by PP's and Slam's outstanding +/-.
Yea, I was just pushing back on the notion that the Celtic's closing unit (starters) is a continuation of the 2022 & 23 versions.

60% of the lineup has changed, with much more efficient & complimentary players to the JAYs.
A sports reporter would have to be obtuse not to see the uptick in personnel.

BUT I also really like the bench role players & how it was built
 

Auger34

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Rodney Harrison would be my Pats football comp.
That's a good one. I feel like Harrison was a little more highly regarded than Holiday though?

@benhogan's Bill Mueller is another good one but I think Holiday was more highly regarded than Mueller in their respective sports
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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And yet somehow it feels like Holiday hasn't missed one for a month. Surprising stat.
He hasn't. According to NBA.com, Jrue is 69.2% from left corner 3 (13 attempts) and 62.5% on right corner 3 (8 attempts) over the last 15 games.

A few other folks over the last few games:

White is 33.3% from left corner 3 (3-9) and 21.1% from right corner 3 (4-19).
Hauser is 33.3% from left 3 (2-6); 45.5% from right 3 (5-11).
JB is 35.7% from left corner 3 (5-14) and 40% from right corner 3 (4-10). (Note JB is 17.9% on above the break 3Ps - 7-39).
JT is 20% from left corner 3 (1-5) and 25% from right corner 3 (1-4)
Al is 57.1% from left corner 3 (4-7) and 30.8% from right corner 3 (4-13)
PP is 28.6% from left corner 3 (2-7) and 55.6% from right corner 3 (5-9)

(The 26.7% seems weird given the numbers below but I don't know of a good way to find these stats on a team-wide basis.)
 

HomeRunBaker

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That's a good one. I feel like Harrison was a little more highly regarded than Holiday though?
Holiday was 19th in All-NBA Voting and 1st Team All-Defense. He was pretty well regarded but of course Harrison was a perennial 1st Team All-Pro. Mueller was the equivalent of a FA who couldn’t find an MLE so we got him super cheap but he was super solid for us.
 

lovegtm

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It doesn't feel like they have fewer blowouts than other good teams, though.

One thing I've found funny this season is that they lose so few games. Yet every close loss is "proof that their close and late issues haven't gone away" and yet if they lose convincingly they've been "found out" or some such.
The reason it seems like they have "close and late issues" is that most teams lose some of those games, and don't win them all wire-to-wire lol.
 

Deathofthebambino

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It feels like the Celtics have had a lot of games in the last month or so where they lead for 10-15 points for most of the 2nd half, the opposing team gets within 2 possessions with 2-4 minutes left, but never quite closes the gap. I can't decide if this is good (crunch time practice reps), bad (inability to put inferior teams away seems like it's been this teams problem for years) or meaningless (January/February games mean fuck all).
Yes
 

Ed Hillel

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Holiday was 19th in All-NBA Voting and 1st Team All-Defense. He was pretty well regarded but of course Harrison was a perennial 1st Team All-Pro. Mueller was the equivalent of a FA who couldn’t find an MLE so we got him super cheap but he was super solid for us.
Funny story - Rodney Harrison made 4 All-Pro teams, but only 2 Pro Bowls, because other players hated him so much.
 

RorschachsMask

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A pre-season prediction from my friend and myself is starting to look possible. Team is in pretty rarified air as of now. Got a really tough stretch coming up, so let’s see where they are at in two weeks.

78503
 

lovegtm

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Jimbodandy

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The net rating stuff is really aided by the fact that this team basically is never overmatched. And they've only checked out three times in 56 games. It's kinda remarkable.

Here are the 12 losses by points (again in 56 games): 5 3 3 17 10 6 4 2 33 2 19 9

Now, the 33, 17, and 19 are basically the only real "bad" losses. That's three real stinkers in 56 games, which really helps the net rating. But is also proves that the team is a) really fucking good, and b) really locked in. The rating would be even higher if it were important to them to blow the doors off teams, but that's not even a focus (again--proof of "locked in").

This team has 2008 levels of focus with deeper talent. Nothing is a given, and I'd understand folks betting the field of course, but this is theirs for the taking.
 

mwonow

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