A Time to Worry: Celtics Postseason Concerns

kazuneko

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So I’m definitely not feeling great about how the Cs are playing right now, but the argument could make that the way they are currently situated in the EC standings is to their benefit.
If the playoffs started today Cs would face off against Brooklyn in the first round followed by (presumably) Philly and Milwaukee (if they make it that far). The Cs seem to match up worst against Cleveland, NY and Miami - and potentially wouldn’t have to face any of them.
Obviously, on paper, the 76ers look like a better team then Cleveland, but the Cavaliers have given the Cs fits and the Cs have won their last 4 against Philly. Boston has also been strong against Milwaukee, crushing them in their first matchup and taking them to overtime - despite missing all their starters but Horford- in their second matchup.
 
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Cellar-Door

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So I’m definitely not feeling great about how the Cs are playing right now, but the argument could make that the way they are currently situated in the EC standings is to their benefit.
If the playoffs started today Cs would face up against Brooklyn in the firstround followed by (presumably) Philly and Milwaukee (if they make it that far). The Cs seem to match up worst against Cleveland, NY and Miami - and potentially wouldn’t have to face any of them.
Obviously, on paper, the 76ers look like a better team then Cleveland, but the Cavaliers have given the Cs fits and the Cs have won their last 4 against Philly. Boston has also been strong against Milwaukee, crushing them in their first matchup and taking them to overtime - despite missing all their starters but Horford- in their second matchup.
The problem is... they could very easily be 3 with Philly as the 1. Then they get MIL in round 2 and either PHI or CLE. You should read exactly ZERO into a couple matchups in the regular season. The Celtics had to go 7 games against MIL last year when MIL was missing their 2nd best player, that to me is more indicative than any regular season stuff.

Edit- also you'd MUCH rather get all of these teams at home than on the road.
 

bakahump

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Has there ever been a team that was as good from the second half of last year to the first half of this year? Had those been the same season we have 18 hanging. I just hope that wasn’t the high water mark.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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My biggest worry is that it seems like neither GW and Al aren't doing well when switched onto smalls, which is a problem with the Cs' defensive scheme. Maybe TL coming back will help but of all the Cs, seems like maybe only DW is playing defense to the same level as last year.
 

chilidawg

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Zach Lowe had this to say about the C's:

At times, the Celtics' passing and cutting stall out. Sometimes, they aim that motion in the wrong places. They attack the toughest matchups, let weak defenders off the hook, look past ideal pick-and-roll combinations staring them in the face. Such haziness almost undid them in last year's conference finals against an overmatched Miami Heat team; they could not overcome it against the champion Warriors.
You can see Joe Mazzulla trying to right them out of timeouts, scripting sets in which Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown interact -- through screens, handoffs, cuts -- with undersized defenders. The Celtics are wary of over-choreographing things. They want this fast, versatile, smart team to play with freedom.


The most concerning thing I've seen was that final possession against Utah, where neither Tatum or Brogdon even engaged with the play, Tatum standing at half court and Brogdon not even stepping onto the court after in bounding to Grant. GW just had no chance on that play going 3 on 5. Tatum and Brogdon just looked totally mentally checked out.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I agree; while they are something like 6th overall in defense, they don't LOOK great. That is especially true in crunch time to my eyes, where last year they were really able to lock down. I know some of that is 'March blahs' but the thing I see this year that I did not see last year is a bit of slowness to the defense....and when I look at bad teams who have had success against Celts over last six weeks (orlando, NJ Houston), can't help but notice younger/quicker teams seem to give them trouble. We'll see what happens with TL and also whether they are able to dial it up---but those two things (lack of TL and lack of quicks) are issues now in my mind. TL can clean up some mess at the rim there, but some of that is really not about TL it's about the point of attack.

Offensively, I don't see them as a lot different than last year, with exception that Brogdon is a big addition and Hauser at least sometimes an added gunner...so they are deeper and better. But overall, when they attack the rim and play inside-out they are very good----among the best offenses in league even against good D---and unless they are really really off shooting-wise they tend to be strong offensively When they settle for perimeter 3pt rotations and pull-ups, they are at the mercy of the 3pt gods. That is especially a threat later in games (unfortunately, when defensive intensity is most comparable to playoffs). I diagnose this as being primarily about discipline about attacking and staying patient, with defensive intensity only a secondary factor.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I agree; while they are something like 6th overall in defense, they don't LOOK great. That is especially true in crunch time to my eyes, where last year they were really able to lock down. I know some of that is 'March blahs' but the thing I see this year that I did not see last year is a bit of slowness to the defense....and when I look at bad teams who have had success against Celts over last six weeks (orlando, NJ Houston), can't help but notice younger/quicker teams seem to give them trouble. We'll see what happens with TL and also whether they are able to dial it up---but those two things (lack of TL and lack of quicks) are issues now in my mind. TL can clean up some mess at the rim there, but some of that is really not about TL it's about the point of attack.

Offensively, I don't see them as a lot different than last year, with exception that Brogdon is a big addition and Hauser at least sometimes an added gunner...so they are deeper and better. But overall, when they attack the rim and play inside-out they are very good----among the best offenses in league even against good D---and unless they are really really off shooting-wise they tend to be strong offensively When they settle for perimeter 3pt rotations and pull-ups, they are at the mercy of the 3pt gods. That is especially a threat later in games (unfortunately, when defensive intensity is most comparable to playoffs). I diagnose this as being primarily about discipline about attacking and staying patient, with defensive intensity only a secondary factor.
Maybe I’m seeing that final play differently but it seemed that the play was designed with Brogdon and Tatum as far from the play as possible to generate spacing for Grant to create off the dribble against a big…..and not them “checking out.”

The primary options looks to be Hauser in the corner or kick to Jaylen on a back cut to the other corner. Hauser wasn’t left open while Jaylen slipped on his cut which left Grant with no other options. For all the ridiculous criticism that Tatum gets, just as Pierce did with his elbow jumper, this is why you run end of game iso’s with your go-to scorer……to get a shot off.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Oh, I wasn't talking at all about that one final play, no disagreement with you there. I was talking about last two months overall.

I avoided saying 'chacking out' as I don't think that is fair, I see them all trying hard. What I'd say is (like Scal and Zach Lowe were saying on recent podcast) it's really hard mentally to be aggressive in the paint each trip and hunt mismatches and I don't see the team as a whole being diligent about doing so each possession. That's not about 'effort' or desire, it's just hard to do and they aren't doing it as much as we'd like. So I see them settling too often for easy perimeter looks or not finding the mismatch, and that's part of what isn't working as well as it did early or should.

Like defense questions, this could be about flipping a switch for playoffs...and may not be. It's hard to do that, and you just worry they are getting used to too many 'ehh' possessions at both ends. Them cranking it up is also absolutely still on the table.
 

benhogan

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Oh, I wasn't talking at all about that one final play, no disagreement with you there. I was talking about last two months overall.

I avoided saying 'chacking out' as I don't think that is fair, I see them all trying hard. What I'd say is (like Scal and Zach Lowe were saying on recent podcast) it's really hard mentally to be aggressive in the paint each trip and hunt mismatches and I don't see the team as a whole being diligent about doing so each possession. That's not about 'effort' or desire, it's just hard to do and they aren't doing it as much as we'd like. So I see them settling too often for easy perimeter looks or not finding the mismatch, and that's part of what isn't working as well as it did early or should.
Yea thought Lowe Podcast did a good job discussing that (below). In hindsight, concentrated/large mpg amongst starters especially guys banged up (Smart/Tatum) hasn't been a great idea. CJM leaned on them too heavily which has led to an 8-7 record over the last 5-6 weeks. Probably has cost them a 1 or 2 seed and has them limping into the playoffs. Long way to go, but SoSH points to those that brought this up a couple of months ago.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOXlvRYsVv8
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Maybe I’m seeing that final play differently but it seemed that the play was designed with Brogdon and Tatum as far from the play as possible to generate spacing for Grant to create off the dribble against a big…..and not them “checking out.”

The primary options looks to be Hauser in the corner or kick to Jaylen on a back cut to the other corner. Hauser wasn’t left open while Jaylen slipped on his cut which left Grant with no other options. For all the ridiculous criticism that Tatum gets, just as Pierce did with his elbow jumper, this is why you run end of game iso’s with your go-to scorer……to get a shot off.
I think you are seeing the play differently.

First of all, it's almost as if Will Hardy actually knew what play they were going to run. Imagine that.

Play is designed - per both GW and JT in post-game interviews - to be a catch by GW leading to a DHO to JT. Problem was that Hardy put a super-long guy on GW and had him overplay to the high side. GW had no other choice than to cut into the lane to create a passing angle. As soon as he did this, JT was not in the play so he just stood there.

There was a second option of JB coming around for a DHO. (Note the play is designed to get either JB or JT the ball on the move, which we all know is a pretty good idea). You can see him start to cut as the pass is thrown in. Again, that option went away when GW chose to cut into the lane. I suppose he could have tried to "post-up" the defender and got something thrown over his head but I'm guessing that's not the way the play was ever practiced.

Hauser's defender did a good job of cutting off that passing lane. GW said that he was trying to (1) create contact and (2) get the ball up on the rim. In retrospect, a floater or a pull-up probably would have been a better idea but it's hard to fault the guy when 4 seconds (or so) are on the clock.

Ironically, if Brogdan steps into the court, GW's best play is probably to pass it back to him for an open 3P but I'm guessing MB is told to stay out of bounds for some reason.

Back to the drawing board.

View: https://youtu.be/Zjb-I2XvC1k?t=283
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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The way it's set up, the inbound to Grant is the only play for Brogdon, so it's clearly supposed to start with him.

As the ball is inbounded, Tatum still has his hands on his hips. If the play is supposed to involve him, I'd think he'd be moving at a sprint toward the basket as the ball comes into play. Then at least a defender would have to account for him.

Agbaji has his head turned toward the inbound the whole time and Tatum could have blown by him, and been at the free throw line when Grant gets his small window of space:

62388

But Tatum is just sort of wandering forward, totally out of the play. Brogdon's just watching.

Since Utah isn't guarding the inbounds, Grant now has to just go at the rim. He really doesn't have other options. I guess Hauser was supposed to be an option, but from the angle Grant catches the ball at, I don't see how even a good point guard gets the ball to Hauser, and Grant's not a good ballhandler or passer, really. What would the guy guarding Hauser do that would allow a pass to get to Hauser? Try to get in front of Grant? Why would he when there's a 7-footer just standing in front of Grant already?

Jaylen is at least moving toward the corner, but 4 seconds isn't much time for a fake one direction, run the other, catch, and shoot operation.

I've watched this way too many times and none of them have helped me understand how Grant Williams driving toward the basket with options for passes is a play I want to happen with four seconds left on the clock, down 1.
 

Auger34

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Oh, I wasn't talking at all about that one final play, no disagreement with you there. I was talking about last two months overall.

I avoided saying 'chacking out' as I don't think that is fair, I see them all trying hard. What I'd say is (like Scal and Zach Lowe were saying on recent podcast) it's really hard mentally to be aggressive in the paint each trip and hunt mismatches and I don't see the team as a whole being diligent about doing so each possession. That's not about 'effort' or desire, it's just hard to do and they aren't doing it as much as we'd like. So I see them settling too often for easy perimeter looks or not finding the mismatch, and that's part of what isn't working as well as it did early or should.

Like defense questions, this could be about flipping a switch for playoffs...and may not be. It's hard to do that, and you just worry they are getting used to too many 'ehh' possessions at both ends. Them cranking it up is also absolutely still on the table.
I am interested to hear your opinion on this but I listened to that podcast and while neither of them outright said it, it seemed to me that both of them (particularly Scal) were diagnosing issues that were coaching problems.

Maybe I am overthinking or misreading what they were taking about but when you hear someone say they lack intensity for a full game, play down to their opponents, and don’t always lock in defensively that seems to me like there’s a coaching/motivation issue.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The way it's set up, the inbound to Grant is the only play for Brogdon, so it's clearly supposed to start with him.

As the ball is inbounded, Tatum still has his hands on his hips. If the play is supposed to involve him, I'd think he'd be moving at a sprint toward the basket as the ball comes into play. Then at least a defender would have to account for him.
If you look at the clip, you'll notice that when GW breaks, JT take one or two steps as if he's starting to make a move. When GW cuts towards the basket to create the passing lane, JT stops. Maybe JT could have blown pass his defender but also note that JB is supposed to be cutting into that space as well so my guess is that JT didn't want to muck up that action.

I saw this only because in JT's post-game interview he said that he didn't care who took the last shot but he was just trying to make the correct basketball play.

Compare that to the HOU game when JT started to make his move when DW was clearly going to get the ball in a place where DW could pass to JT.

View: https://youtu.be/w1xZLD0I0Wg?t=232

View: https://youtu.be/w1xZLD0I0Wg?t=236
 

Jimbodandy

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I am interested to hear your opinion on this but I listened to that podcast and while neither of them outright said it, it seemed to me that both of them (particularly Scal) were diagnosing issues that were coaching problems.

Maybe I am overthinking or misreading what they were taking about but when you hear someone say they lack intensity for a full game, play down to their opponents, and don’t always lock in defensively that seems to me like there’s a coaching/motivation issue.
Yep. That's an understandable interpretation.

Another interpretation to me is that Joe is focused on the playoffs only. His "not calling timeouts" thing seems to be all about developing these guys to make decisions on the court for themselves. He does the whole thing where if a starter is out, he promotes some guy from deep down the roster to take his place so as not to affect rotations by simply promoting everyone one spot. He's playing guys big minutes, so it's not about saving bodies. But it all seems like dress rehearsal and preparation for a playoff run. I'm not sure that it'll work, but at the end of the day losing a few regular season games because guys sleepwalked through defense isn't going to be why we lose. It's going to be whether the guys can lock down once the tournament starts.

I'm probably wishcasting. But at the end of the day, it's really the players that determine the end result.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I am unsure if this played out how anyone thought, Hardy included
I mean sure Hardy had no idea who was going to be in the DHO position but seemed to me that defense was set up to ensure that neither JT nor JB would be getting the last shot off.

As Forsberg mentions, that's kind of the Cs go-to set for the last shot so it's not surprising that Hardy had figured out the best way to defend it.

View: https://twitter.com/ChrisForsberg_/status/1637473007038787584
 

PedroKsBambino

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I am interested to hear your opinion on this but I listened to that podcast and while neither of them outright said it, it seemed to me that both of them (particularly Scal) were diagnosing issues that were coaching problems.

Maybe I am overthinking or misreading what they were taking about but when you hear someone say they lack intensity for a full game, play down to their opponents, and don’t always lock in defensively that seems to me like there’s a coaching/motivation issue.
I took the same away, and thought it was interesting neither of them really hit that head on, as Lowe has with other teams/situations. I get why Scal probably won't go there, and while Lowe is generally defensive of coaches he has said about some situations "may need a change" or "it's not working". So, whether that means he has a different hypothesis or he just likes Joe....no idea.

I do think they both said, and it's consistent with what they have each said in other places over time, that even if coaching isn't great the players still have take some of the responsibility. Scal really focused on how hard it is to be dialed in at both ends all the time, which as you say is in part about motivation/coaching...but also is about mental intensity from the player and building the ability to do that for 48 minutes. This is where Tatum and Brown still being pretty young by NBA Title Contender standards still matters a bit....they are playing hard, but there may be another level mentally that they are still developing.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Yep. That's an understandable interpretation.

Another interpretation to me is that Joe is focused on the playoffs only. His "not calling timeouts" thing seems to be all about developing these guys to make decisions on the court for themselves. He does the whole thing where if a starter is out, he promotes some guy from deep down the roster to take his place so as not to affect rotations by simply promoting everyone one spot. He's playing guys big minutes, so it's not about saving bodies. But it all seems like dress rehearsal and preparation for a playoff run. I'm not sure that it'll work, but at the end of the day losing a few regular season games because guys sleepwalked through defense isn't going to be why we lose. It's going to be whether the guys can lock down once the tournament starts.

I'm probably wishcasting. But at the end of the day, it's really the players that determine the end result.
Milwaukee, at full strength, was trailing the Raptors in the 4Q last night before Giannis took over. This is a common theme in the NBA over 82 games. These reporters need to write about something and it’s Boston writers so it’s usually negative bs.
 

Auger34

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Milwaukee, at full strength, was trailing the Raptors in the 4Q last night before Giannis took over. This is a common theme in the NBA over 82 games. These reporters need to write about something and it’s Boston writers so it’s usually negative bs.
I don’t disagree with your overall hypothesis but it’s gone way beyond just Boston writers.

Zach Lowe led his most recent podcast talking about the Celtics issues. It was one of his “10 Things I Think I Think” as well.

On The Mismatch, one of the Ringer’s NBA podcasts, the title of last Tuesday’s episode included “Collapsing Celtics”.

These are just two examples but the Celtics struggling is being picked up by the National media now.

And to your other point about the Bucks and the Raptors, we both know this is a results oriented business (especially at the national media level) and the Bucks ended up winning. The problem is the Celtics have been losing those types of games
 

Auger34

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I took the same away, and thought it was interesting neither of them really hit that head on, as Lowe has with other teams/situations. I get why Scal probably won't go there, and while Lowe is generally defensive of coaches he has said about some situations "may need a change" or "it's not working". So, whether that means he has a different hypothesis or he just likes Joe....no idea.

I do think they both said, and it's consistent with what they have each said in other places over time, that even if coaching isn't great the players still have take some of the responsibility. Scal really focused on how hard it is to be dialed in at both ends all the time, which as you say is in part about motivation/coaching...but also is about mental intensity from the player and building the ability to do that for 48 minutes. This is where Tatum and Brown still being pretty young by NBA Title Contender standards still matters a bit....they are playing hard, but there may be another level mentally that they are still developing.
I 100% agree. The dialing in all game or dialing in for a random game in February is something that is really hard to do over an 82 game season (something Scal mentioned and Lowe oddly jumped all over as if it was some crazy idea. As a longtime listener of his I was surprised by the gusto with which he challenged Scal there)

However, the other stuff really all seemed like direct shots at Joe. To your point, so much so that I was surprised that Lowe didn’t pick up on it or ask about it or anything.

I can’t believe I am saying this because it kind of goes against how I think head coaches should act now, and I criticized Ime for doing it, but it really seems like this group of players needs more of an ass kicker in charge. Ime constantly called them out in the media and, from the reporting available, was even more direct in his criticism when addressing just the team. For whatever reason, that seems to have worked and the players respected it. CJM seems to take the opposite approach and it really just doesn’t seem to work. This team goes into lapses and lulls constantly that they should be over by now
 

Deathofthebambino

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The way it's set up, the inbound to Grant is the only play for Brogdon, so it's clearly supposed to start with him.

As the ball is inbounded, Tatum still has his hands on his hips. If the play is supposed to involve him, I'd think he'd be moving at a sprint toward the basket as the ball comes into play. Then at least a defender would have to account for him.

Agbaji has his head turned toward the inbound the whole time and Tatum could have blown by him, and been at the free throw line when Grant gets his small window of space:

View attachment 62388

But Tatum is just sort of wandering forward, totally out of the play. Brogdon's just watching.

Since Utah isn't guarding the inbounds, Grant now has to just go at the rim. He really doesn't have other options. I guess Hauser was supposed to be an option, but from the angle Grant catches the ball at, I don't see how even a good point guard gets the ball to Hauser, and Grant's not a good ballhandler or passer, really. What would the guy guarding Hauser do that would allow a pass to get to Hauser? Try to get in front of Grant? Why would he when there's a 7-footer just standing in front of Grant already?

Jaylen is at least moving toward the corner, but 4 seconds isn't much time for a fake one direction, run the other, catch, and shoot operation.

I've watched this way too many times and none of them have helped me understand how Grant Williams driving toward the basket with options for passes is a play I want to happen with four seconds left on the clock, down 1.
Here's my problem with this entire play.

Grant Williams is the guy in that spot with the ball in his hands, instead of a guy named Derrick White. From that spot right there, White can use his floater as good as anyone, has a much better chance of finding an open man, and the defenses have to respect all of it.

The biggest problem with this team right now is health (they never have all of their guys on a given night) and Coach Joe still trying to figure out the three headed monster that is Smart/White/Brogdon. Derrick White will have games where he plays 40 minutes, and then he'll play 25, 26, 23....He's one of the best players on this team, and needs to be there in crunch time if that's the kind of play being drawn up. Instead, you have Brogdon standing out of bounds, and Hauser and Grant Williams driving the lane...Is White gimpy or something?
 

Auger34

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Here's my problem with this entire play.

Grant Williams is the guy in that spot with the ball in his hands, instead of a guy named Derrick White. From that spot right there, White can use his floater as good as anyone, has a much better chance of finding an open man, and the defenses have to respect all of it.

The biggest problem with this team right now is health (they never have all of their guys on a given night) and Coach Joe still trying to figure out the three headed monster that is Smart/White/Brogdon. Derrick White will have games where he plays 40 minutes, and then he'll play 25, 26, 23....He's one of the best players on this team, and needs to be there in crunch time if that's the kind of play being drawn up. Instead, you have Brogdon standing out of bounds, and Hauser and Grant Williams driving the lane...Is White gimpy or something?
Spot on. I will take it a step further and say that, among players that would realistically be in the line up in that situation. Grant is the last guy you want to have the ball in that situation. He’s a bad ball handler, a pretty bad decision maker, and he just doesn’t have the ability to create any sort of play in that situation (where he’s catching the ball and not facing the basket. Grants only chance at shot creation is a catch and shoot pump fake).

The play call and the personnel for a last play was pretty terrible. That’s on Coach Joe
 

Auger34

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Yep. That's an understandable interpretation.

Another interpretation to me is that Joe is focused on the playoffs only. His "not calling timeouts" thing seems to be all about developing these guys to make decisions on the court for themselves. He does the whole thing where if a starter is out, he promotes some guy from deep down the roster to take his place so as not to affect rotations by simply promoting everyone one spot. He's playing guys big minutes, so it's not about saving bodies. But it all seems like dress rehearsal and preparation for a playoff run. I'm not sure that it'll work, but at the end of the day losing a few regular season games because guys sleepwalked through defense isn't going to be why we lose. It's going to be whether the guys can lock down once the tournament starts.

I'm probably wishcasting. But at the end of the day, it's really the players that determine the end result.
This is also 100% true. CJM is definitely coaching (with the notable exception of minute distribution, he’s still running his starters into the ground) this regular season as a way to get the team as mentally prepared for the playoffs as possible.As you said, his timeout patterns are definitely an indicator.

This was actually brought up by Zach Lowe but the question is, have this roster and this team earned the right to coach and play like this? As if a switch can be flipped when the playoff starts and everything will be alright? Or can bad habits be formed from this? Time will tell
 

Jimbodandy

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This is also 100% true. CJM is definitely coaching (with the notable exception of minute distribution, he’s still running his starters into the ground) this regular season as a way to get the team as mentally prepared for the playoffs as possible.As you said, his timeout patterns are definitely an indicator.

This was actually brought up by Zach Lowe but the question is, have this roster and this team earned the right to coach and play like this? As if a switch can be flipped when the playoff starts and everything will be alright? Or can bad habits be formed from this? Time will tell
Yeah it's a gamble for sure. IMO if the guys think that they've earned this, I get why he is rolling with it. Tatum, Brown, and Smart have played an absurd number of playoff games and series for guys their age. Lots of ECF, a trip to the finals. All star games, All-NBA nods, DPOY win. Yeah they're young. And the BBIQ isn't like GSW or Miami levels (or even Milwaukee levels). But if that's where you want to go, giving them the keys to the car is an approach. And spending these 82 on allowing them in those situations with their own GPS and Wikipedia to get themselves out is a development plan. Jury is out on its effectiveness, agreed.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Here's my problem with this entire play.

Grant Williams is the guy in that spot with the ball in his hands, instead of a guy named Derrick White. From that spot right there, White can use his floater as good as anyone, has a much better chance of finding an open man, and the defenses have to respect all of it.

The biggest problem with this team right now is health (they never have all of their guys on a given night) and Coach Joe still trying to figure out the three headed monster that is Smart/White/Brogdon. Derrick White will have games where he plays 40 minutes, and then he'll play 25, 26, 23....He's one of the best players on this team, and needs to be there in crunch time if that's the kind of play being drawn up. Instead, you have Brogdon standing out of bounds, and Hauser and Grant Williams driving the lane...Is White gimpy or something?
Exactly. Really, the play "works." Grant has the space in the screengrab to make a play (the jumper is wide open right there), but he's just not the guy who can make that play!
 

Cellar-Door

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Exactly. Really, the play "works." Grant has the space in the screengrab to make a play (the jumper is wide open right there), but he's just not the guy who can make that play!
I think the thought process is getting a "big" out there to set a better screen and get a slower-footed defender onto Tatum. Like that play works well with Horford who can roll or pop or pass.
In this case though, I feel like the right guys setting that is Jaylen, that way if it gets blown up you have Jaylen going to the rim.
Brogdon works too.
 

the moops

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My biggest gripe was that Grant was in there and not White. I feel like 99% confident that if White got that pass instead of Grant they would have gotten a much better look. If Grant is in there, he should have been in the Hauser role of just parked in the corner or the man setting a screen or something.

Also, why the hell didn't White play at all in the 4th?
 

Ed Hillel

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My favorite part of this is that Grant Williams did not beat Kelly Olynyk to the hoop.

Overall, outside of Hauser, this play is a disaster. If this play was really designed for Tatum, he was way too late to react and it's hard to blame Brogdon for passing it as he did, though he could have at least tried to get back into the play!
 
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benhogan

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My biggest gripe was that Grant was in there and not White. I feel like 99% confident that if White got that pass instead of Grant they would have gotten a much better look. If Grant is in there, he should have been in the Hauser role of just parked in the corner or the man setting a screen or something.

Also, why the hell didn't White play at all in the 4th?
Is Derrick's dad firing Twitter bombs yet?

At this point using a banged-up Smart over White in crunch time is questionable.
Not using White the entire 4th quarter, with Marcus out, is a complete head-scratcher.

Grant catching an inbound pass with 5 seconds left instead of Brogdon or White in a DHO to Tatum is sub-optimal. I don't even really care if GW went off-script, Joe has to put the ball in a PGs hands in a dribble handoff.
 

JCizzle

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Is Derrick's dad firing Twitter bombs yet?

At this point using a banged-up Smart over White in crunch time is questionable.
Not using White the entire 4th quarter, with Marcus out, is a complete head-scratcher.

Grant catching an inbound pass with 5 seconds left instead of Brogdon or White in a DHO to Tatum is sub-optimal. I don't even really care if GW went off-script, Joe has to put the ball in a PGs hands in a dribble handoff.
There’s been a lot of focus on the one play, but I agree that not playing DW for the entire quarter was the big head scratcher to me from CJM. Unless there was an injury or something that I missed in the postgame?
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Mazzulla admitted it was a mistake not to use White on Saturday. He wasn't hurt - they just decided not to use him.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Mazzulla admitted it was a mistake not to use White on Saturday. He wasn't hurt - they just decided not to use him.
Suddenly we believe coach speak? Popovich would have simply said he went with the better matchup in Brogdon so White wasn’t at a 30 lb weight disadvantage or an even larger one when hunted on a switch against their 7-footers.
 

128

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From Gary Washburn's latest:

The issue has been the fourth quarter. Since the All-Star break, the Celtics are 25th in the NBA in points scored and 24th in field goal percentage. Defensively, the Celtics are 20th in opponent field goal percentage since the break, and 26th in 3-point field goal percentage and points allowed.
 

bankshot1

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Suddenly we believe coach speak? Popovich would have simply said he went with the better matchup in Brogdon so White wasn’t at a 30 lb weight disadvantage or an even larger one when hunted on a switch against their 7-footers.
HRB you seem to be fighting awfully hard to ignore what seems to many to be a growing mound of puppy poop on the parquet.
 

HomeRunBaker

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HRB you seem to be fighting awfully hard to ignore what seems to many to be a growing mound of puppy poop on the parquet.
This team will likely be 4-2 on a western road swing after tonight. Yeah, the world is crashing down on them. I’m sorry I just don’t get all the doom and gloom everyone seems to be buying into. We will enter the playoffs as one of the best 2 teams in the East with Milwaukee as we have expected to do all season.
 

bankshot1

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This team will likely be 4-2 on a western road swing after tonight. Yeah, the world is crashing down on them. I’m sorry I just don’t get all the doom and gloom everyone seems to be buying into. We will enter the playoffs as one of the best 2 teams in the East with Milwaukee as we have expected to do all season.
That doom and gloom is a false narrative that I have not promoted. Most think, myself included, the Celts if healthy can win a championship.

The issue is the Celts are underachieving, and have been for months marked by pissing away winnable games, losing large leads, and playing lackluster ball. There is a also growing concern among some that a rookie HC may be too green for the Green, a veteran team that many feel are on the cusp of an 18th championship.

YMMV

Just be careful where you step on the court
 

the moops

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so White wasn’t at a 30 lb weight disadvantage or an even larger one when hunted on a switch against their 7-footers.
By this reasoning every team should just run out a bunch of 300 pound seven footers, and the other team's best players wouldn't play for fear of weight and size disadvantages.
 

HomeRunBaker

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By this reasoning every team should just run out a bunch of 300 pound seven footers, and the other team's best players wouldn't play for fear of weight and size disadvantages.
Wow. I was referring to Utah’s two big guards both of whom dwarf White when we have a better matchup available in Brogdon. And yes, the size of the Jazz frontline has been giving better teams fits all season by creating matchup problems.
 

HomeRunBaker

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That doom and gloom is a false narrative that I have not promoted. Most think, myself included, the Celts if healthy can win a championship.

The issue is the Celts are underachieving, and have been for months marked by pissing away winnable games, losing large leads, and playing lackluster ball. There is a also growing concern among some that a rookie HC may be too green for the Green, a veteran team that many feel are on the cusp of an 18th championship.

YMMV

Just be careful where you step on the court
I have concenrs about our coaching decisions in the playoffs as well but this wasn’t by choice. Our hand was forced and this can’t be addressed until the summer so there’s nothing we can do about it now. As far as underperforming, that’s a bunch of crock imo. Every team, even the top contenders, go through stretches of going through the motions to some degree…..last year the Warriors did in Feb, this year the Bucks in Dec(?) and the C’s part of Feb and March. This is completely normal as much as people want to point fingers.
 

shoelace

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Jun 24, 2019
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That doom and gloom is a false narrative that I have not promoted. Most think, myself included, the Celts if healthy can win a championship.

The issue is the Celts are underachieving, and have been for months marked by pissing away winnable games, losing large leads, and playing lackluster ball. There is a also growing concern among some that a rookie HC may be too green for the Green, a veteran team that many feel are on the cusp of an 18th championship.

YMMV

Just be careful where you step on the court
Months? Didn't they have a 9 game winning streak in January and an 8-3 record in February? They've been inconsistent since coming back from the All-Star break. There are legitimate critiques of CJM and this team in general, but we don't need to engage in revisionism. Anyone who thinks the sky is falling because they've played badly recently has to accept that there may be some recency bias in their reasoning. They've been mediocre for three weeks.
 

Jimbodandy

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I have concenrs about our coaching decisions in the playoffs as well but this wasn’t by choice. Our hand was forced and this can’t be addressed until the summer so there’s nothing we can do about it now. As far as underperforming, that’s a bunch of crock imo. Every team, even the top contenders, go through stretches of going through the motions to some degree…..last year the Warriors did in Feb, this year the Bucks in Dec(?) and the C’s part of Feb and March. This is completely normal as much as people want to point fingers.
Yeah well Felger and Mazz and a few sportswriters disagree with you.
 

bankshot1

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HRB

LMAO.

Ahh now you got religion and are concerned about CJM in the post-season but have difficulty seeing some of his current weaknesses.

That's funny.

IMO the Celts have underperformed for various reasons, health, focus, coaching, boredom, since the Phoenix road win. Its been close to 3 months, IIRC they're playing at about a 50 win pace, not terrible, but not elite either, nor what they are capable of.

Again its not purely about wins, but rather how they are playing. and they have gotten away from the D-transition-attack game that they can destroy most teams with.

And IMO its not just about TL.
 

HomeRunBaker

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HRB

LMAO.

Ahh now you got religion and are concerned about CJM in the post-season but have difficulty seeing some of his current weaknesses.

That's funny.

IMO the Celts have underperformed for various reasons, health, focus, coaching, boredom, since the Phoenix road win. Its been close to 3 months, IIRC they're playing at about a 50 win pace, not terrible, but not elite either, nor what they are capable of.

Again its not purely about wins, but rather how they are playing. and they have gotten away from the D-transition-attack game that they can destroy most teams with.

And IMO its not just about TL.
Are they underperformsing without TL or were they overperforming earlier in the season when they were on a 62-win pace? Wouldn’t you expect some regression espeically once TL is not at full speed? I mean if you thought this team would simply coast to 60+ wins then I can understand why you’d feel this way. This was never a 60+ win team, had some injuries, and normal regression. We are now one game from completing a real successful road trip and the worlds still ending?
 

benhogan

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Months? Didn't they have a 9 game winning streak in January and an 8-3 record in February? They've been inconsistent since coming back from the All-Star break. There are legitimate critiques of CJM and this team in general, but we don't need to engage in revisionism. Anyone who thinks the sky is falling because they've played badly recently has to accept that there may be some recency bias in their reasoning. They've been mediocre for three weeks.
It could be nothing more than
1. Tatum is tired. He told us that the two weeks surrounding All-Star weekend were exhausting.
2. Smart trying to play through hip + ankle injuries

Let's see how they perform tonight, which would be more reflective in regards to playoff rest & opponent.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I have concenrs about our coaching decisions in the playoffs as well but this wasn’t by choice. Our hand was forced and this can’t be addressed until the summer so there’s nothing we can do about it now.
Speaking of which, has anyone found out (or even asked) how long Mazzulla's contract extension is for?