Analysis of Celtics Games (2020-2021)

NomarsFool

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It's interesting how Grant Williams has been really benched lately. I thought he had had a stretch where he had been playing better. I'm not a huge GW fan, necessarily, and I do like the idea of basically being a bit more consistent (as Nesmith has been playing ~18 minutes a night regularly for a few games now). Not sure exactly who GW has been losing his minutes to, although last night I assume it was TT.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Lineups with Grant are too much of a commitment to being the slower team, especially if he’s out there with another big, Semi, or both.

All the good positioning in the world doesn’t make up for the fact that they have a limited ceiling on D and are mostly useless on O unless WIDE open, and contribute to the general slowdown and lack of playmaking when things are going poorly.

Neither will be missed when better players get healthy and/or are brought in from outside.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Grant’s losing time to Nesmith, that’s a good thing, and I really hope Nesmith didn’t hurt himself last night.

While it’s great that GW can guard a big sometimes, he can’t guard anyone with quickness and it’s looking like maybe Nesmith can. And while they both hustle, Nesmith has been doing some Marcus Smarting lately and getting loose balls, etc, in a way Grant just can’t.

Big difference in the last few games. The kid seems to have leveled up, while GW has plateaued or slipped some.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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While it’s great that GW can guard a big sometimes, he can’t guard anyone with quickness and it’s looking like maybe Nesmith can. And while they both hustle, Nesmith has been doing some Marcus Smarting lately and getting loose balls, etc, in a way Grant just can’t.
Funny, I see it opposite. GW is slightly better at defending quick guys on swithces (remember how he guarded FVV in the TOR series last season?) than AN, who has gotten better about moving his feet but still doesn't shuffle very well.

However, AN is better at straight up on ball defense; covers more ground; gets back quicker on defense; attracts a ton more attention than GW does on offense; and apparently is a better offensive rebounder so with respect to minutes, AN has been more effective than GW.

As they say, you can't teach athleticism and it's sorely needed right now.
 

Cesar Crespo

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It's interesting how Grant Williams has been really benched lately. I thought he had had a stretch where he had been playing better. I'm not a huge GW fan, necessarily, and I do like the idea of basically being a bit more consistent (as Nesmith has been playing ~18 minutes a night regularly for a few games now). Not sure exactly who GW has been losing his minutes to, although last night I assume it was TT.
I'm wondering if he's ever looked good or he just doesn't look as terrible because we only have Semi to compare him to. The same can be said about Semi.
 

lovegtm

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I'm wondering if he's ever looked good or he just doesn't look as terrible because we only have Semi to compare him to. The same can be said about Semi.
He has looked good at times, awful at others, and looked good on D most of last year. The dude clearly has some between the ears issues going on, which is a bit surprising tbh.
 

Cesar Crespo

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He has looked good at times, awful at others, and looked good on D most of last year. The dude clearly has some between the ears issues going on, which is a bit surprising tbh.
Or he's been exposed and teams have adjusted. If Nesmith is going to be playing 20 a night, there really isn't a place for Grant anyway.

Nesmith is probably benefiting from this too actually. He hasn't been very good on O and we have 2 other guys shooting .376 and .416 but we prefer the rookie. Nesmith deserves burn and should be playing every night but the fact some nights he looks like our best option at the position is pretty telling.
 

Rook05

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Now this is a quote:

Tristan Thompson did not like that the Celtics failed to close this one out in blowout fashion. Said it was selfish of the regulars that they didn’t “stomp on their necks and let them bleed out to death” so the end of bench guys could have played at the end.

LFG
 

reggiecleveland

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Funny, I see it opposite. GW is slightly better at defending quick guys on swithces (remember how he guarded FVV in the TOR series last season?) than AN, who has gotten better about moving his feet but still doesn't shuffle very well.

However, AN is better at straight up on ball defense; covers more ground; gets back quicker on defense; attracts a ton more attention than GW does on offense; and apparently is a better offensive rebounder so with respect to minutes, AN has been more effective than GW.

As they say, you can't teach athleticism and it's sorely needed right now.
Mike was raving about Nesmith's athleticism, and Scal said that Nesmith was an normal athlete for the NBA. It highlighted the lack of athletes on the Cs bench.
The Losses before the win last night seemed to be the Cs getting out-jumped, blown by, unable to finish around the hoop, against better athletes. One big problem is two most athletic guys Tatum and Brown, end up having a bigger responsibility on D than you would like. Timelord continuing to improve is the most likley way they get more athletic. Nesmith, too, but both are still kids when it comes to the court game. Romeo is more athletic than Semni, Grant, Prtichard, so maybe he can contribute.
 

Cellar-Door

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Funny, I see it opposite. GW is slightly better at defending quick guys on swithces (remember how he guarded FVV in the TOR series last season?) than AN, who has gotten better about moving his feet but still doesn't shuffle very well.

However, AN is better at straight up on ball defense; covers more ground; gets back quicker on defense; attracts a ton more attention than GW does on offense; and apparently is a better offensive rebounder so with respect to minutes, AN has been more effective than GW.

As they say, you can't teach athleticism and it's sorely needed right now.
I think Grant has not been better on quick guys this year. It's been a thing all year, quick guys are making him move his feet and he's either losing them or committing fouls. His feet look a little slow. Not sure if he's not as quick, or just guys know him now and have adjusted to how to beat him (get in close to him and make him move his feet instead of giving the space for him to make the angle. I think part of it is this.... guys with Grant's height/weight combo usually have bigger wingspans. Draymond is obviously the top of the mountain, then Tucker, both have significantly more wingspan, which lets them keep more space for their feet without losing contest ability, and letting them close of more angles.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I think Grant has not been better on quick guys this year. It's been a thing all year, quick guys are making him move his feet and he's either losing them or committing fouls. His feet look a little slow. Not sure if he's not as quick, or just guys know him now and have adjusted to how to beat him (get in close to him and make him move his feet instead of giving the space for him to make the angle. I think part of it is this.... guys with Grant's height/weight combo usually have bigger wingspans. Draymond is obviously the top of the mountain, then Tucker, both have significantly more wingspan, which lets them keep more space for their feet without losing contest ability, and letting them close of more angles.
I haven't studied this but from my view, I agree that GW was getting blown by earlier in the season but thought he had been doing better. I think I remember him staying in front of Jeremi Grant and there were a few other occasions where I noted to myself that I was impressed he stayed in front of quick guards. Not always of course but he was doing better as a big switched on to a small.

Mike was raving about Nesmith's athleticism, and Scal said that Nesmith was an normal athlete for the NBA. It highlighted the lack of athletes on the Cs bench.
The Losses before the win last night seemed to be the Cs getting out-jumped, blown by, unable to finish around the hoop, against better athletes. One big problem is two most athletic guys Tatum and Brown, end up having a bigger responsibility on D than you would like. Timelord continuing to improve is the most likley way they get more athletic. Nesmith, too, but both are still kids when it comes to the court game. Romeo is more athletic than Semni, Grant, Prtichard, so maybe he can contribute.
Think AN has better explosion but he still has a problem with lateral movement. But I agree that AN's overall athleticism and ability to make plays really helps. As I posted in the other thread, AN is +22 over the last four games so he's definitely been an asset.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Now this is a quote:

Tristan Thompson did not like that the Celtics failed to close this one out in blowout fashion. Said it was selfish of the regulars that they didn’t “stomp on their necks and let them bleed out to death” so the end of bench guys could have played at the end.

LFG
This quote from TT aged well. Not that tonight was his fault, plenty of that to go around..
 

tbrown_01923

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way too much one on one play. I suspect JT / JB become better one on one players becuase of this - but the 1 on 5 (well not 5, but mulitple defenders) needs to stop. JT's handle is too loose to go iso against mulitple defenders. The three ball wasn't there - but I thought the ball movement in the 2nd half was autrocious
 

Cellar-Door

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This team needs Smart back, and it needs 1 more versatile guy. We need to be able to limit the minutes of Semi/Nesmith/PP/GW when they aren't playing well. We couldn't do that today. Smart helps, but one more wing would really help too. Barring foul trouble, we are in a good spot to play matchup/hot hand with the bigs, but the rest... too much rests on guys who should be more late rotation players than key rotation pieces
 

Cesar Crespo

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This team needs Smart back, and it needs 1 more versatile guy. We need to be able to limit the minutes of Semi/Nesmith/PP/GW when they aren't playing well. We couldn't do that today. Smart helps, but one more wing would really help too. Barring foul trouble, we are in a good spot to play matchup/hot hand with the bigs, but the rest... too much rests on guys who should be more late rotation players than key rotation pieces
2 DNP-CDs in a row for GW.
 

reggiecleveland

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My view is that this is a young team. There is a chance next year the year after to have

All Star tandem
Brown
Tatum
Young Cost controlled starters or top 7 guys
TL
PP
Nesmith

Decent cheap Roll players with team experience
(2/3 of )
Theis
Semi
Grant
Romeo
Edwards

There is a missing piece or two and I have no idea who that is, and where they will come from, but they don't have to find him this year.
 
Last edited:

Cesar Crespo

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Romeo could easily be a top 7/8 guy and Waters is trash. It looks like Grant is falling out of favor and Semi is in the last year of his contract and probably gone. Theis too, for that matter.

They have Carsen signed long term too.
 

reggiecleveland

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Romeo could easily be a top 7/8 guy and Waters is trash. It looks like Grant is falling out of favor and Semi is in the last year of his contract and probably gone. Theis too, for that matter.

They have Carsen signed long term too.
Yeah I mean Edwards not Waters. But, lots of roster stuff is injuries we don't know about. So maybe Grant is banged up.
 

Euclis20

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Yeah I mean Edwards not Waters. But, lots of roster stuff is injuries we don't know about. So maybe Grant is banged up.
The available minutes due to injury (Kemba/Smart/Romeo) are in the backcourt, and about 35 mpg at the center spot are already taken with Theis/Thompson (their roles are pretty much locked in at this point). Tatum is also taking minutes at the 4 but Grant is mostly fighting for scraps with Semi/Timelord, two guys who seem to have taken a slight step forward this year while Grant has taken a slight step back. If those two guys are playing well, they have more to offer than Grant.
 

teddykgb

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Romeo Langford is a complete question mark at best. I have no idea why he gets name dropped so much on here. He has 370 NBA minutes and a possibly broken shot. I have no idea how he turned into a rotation player and defensive stopper in everyone’s heads but if we are counting on him to be anything other than a lottery ticket we will regret it
 

Cesar Crespo

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Romeo Langford is a complete question mark at best. I have no idea why he gets name dropped so much on here. He has 370 NBA minutes and a possibly broken shot. I have no idea how he turned into a rotation player and defensive stopper in everyone’s heads but if we are counting on him to be anything other than a lottery ticket we will regret it
Sure but his ceiling is obvious.
 

kfoss99

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Lots of thoughts: Smart will help the defense. But, opponents go on runs,the defensive effort fails, and they start jacking 3s. I question why they don't run more pick-and-roll, but neither Brown not Tatum are good ball handlers under pressure. Stevens isn't Rick Carlisle with the TO to stop runs. Ultimately this is the team or Ainge shakes things up. Teams playing below expectations are the worst, I'm a tax CPA and they are really draining what little joy I get with my limited down time.
 

Jimbodandy

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Lots of thoughts: Smart will help the defense. But, opponents go on runs,the defensive effort fails, and they start jacking 3s. I question why they don't run more pick-and-roll, but neither Brown not Tatum are good ball handlers under pressure. Stevens isn't Rick Carlisle with the TO to stop runs. Ultimately this is the team or Ainge shakes things up. Teams playing below expectations are the worst, I'm a tax CPA and they are really draining what little joy I get with my limited down time.
There's definitely blame to spread around here. Danny needs to improve the roster. Brad should work on some actions that give us an advantage coming out of those dribble traps. It's shameful that we never capitalize on those. But it's on you that you chose tax accounting
 

reggiecleveland

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The available minutes due to injury (Kemba/Smart/Romeo) are in the backcourt, and about 35 mpg at the center spot are already taken with Theis/Thompson (their roles are pretty much locked in at this point). Tatum is also taking minutes at the 4 but Grant is mostly fighting for scraps with Semi/Timelord, two guys who seem to have taken a slight step forward this year while Grant has taken a slight step back. If those two guys are playing well, they have more to offer than Grant.
You can tell I am partial to Canadian guys, but I wanted Brandon Clarke over Grant.
 

NomarsFool

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Seems like JB has regressed a bit. There was a stretch where I felt like a lot of his shots were rimming out, but now it's unfortunately been a little bit of - I don't want to say coming back to earth, because he's still playing really well, but he was phenomenal the first quarter of the season and now he's just really good. Kind of like comparing Tatum this year to Tatum last Spring. Really good, but nobody's talking about him being top 10 in the NBA at the moment. With JB, maybe the knee is bothering him, or maybe it's because he and Tatum get so much defensive attention as the two people that actually have some skill. One thing I've noticed this year is that it seems like JB has slipped and fallen on the floor much, much more than I ever remember last season. Probably more usage and being asked to create with the basketball vs. all the standing in the corner stuff he did last season.

I paused the game in the 3rd quarter. Just astonished to come back and see they lost.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Seems like JB has regressed a bit. There was a stretch where I felt like a lot of his shots were rimming out, but now it's unfortunately been a little bit of - I don't want to say coming back to earth, because he's still playing really well, but he was phenomenal the first quarter of the season and now he's just really good. Kind of like comparing Tatum this year to Tatum last Spring. Really good, but nobody's talking about him being top 10 in the NBA at the moment. With JB, maybe the knee is bothering him, or maybe it's because he and Tatum get so much defensive attention as the two people that actually have some skill. One thing I've noticed this year is that it seems like JB has slipped and fallen on the floor much, much more than I ever remember last season. Probably more usage and being asked to create with the basketball vs. all the standing in the corner stuff he did last season.

I paused the game in the 3rd quarter. Just astonished to come back and see they lost.
I've noticed a lot of shots off the front rim from him lately. Wondering if he's a little gassed having to carry so much of the offensive load, or if his knee isn't quite right as you mentioned.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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It’s frustrating watching all the iso, but I feel like most teams have a closer they turn to in the endgame.

We bitch about the lack of ball movement, but we get beat by drive after drive after drive.

Maybe some of the issue is the lingering question of who the endgame alpha is. JB seems better able to get to the rim, to me, but often Tatum is “the guy” at the end. And Kemba used to be the guy.

Still roles to learn, maybe.
 

lexrageorge

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The problem is that this team needs ball movement to score for the first 46 minutes of the game; the Celtics are nowhere near good enough to get away without it. And that's on Stevens if he cannot make it work by season's end. Getting Smart back should help in that regard.

The last 2 minutes are a different story. I'm guessing we should expect to see growing pains in this area, as neither Tatum nor Brown are threats to get to the free throw line. As I've said, it's a bridge year. But Ainge did not get a $28.3M trade exception so that he could allow it to expire, so next year is the real target for true improvement.
 

k-factory

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It’s frustrating watching all the iso, but I feel like most teams have a closer they turn to in the endgame.

We bitch about the lack of ball movement, but we get beat by drive after drive after drive.

Maybe some of the issue is the lingering question of who the endgame alpha is. JB seems better able to get to the rim, to me, but often Tatum is “the guy” at the end. And Kemba used to be the guy.

Still roles to learn, maybe.
When does the 'endgame' begin though? They got outscored 61-45 in the second half and blew a 24 point lead. They actually did play some pretty tenacious defense for a lot of the game i thought. Way more aggressive and swarming than what we've typically seen this year but they just seemed to freeze up when it mattered the most and bricked a ton of shots. Smart's presence will help some but mostly they just need to find that third reliable shooter when Brown and Tatum are a bit off and Kemba once again was not it - 5/21 and 1/12 3pt is just not going to cut it.

PP was also way tentative today on open looks - understandable but we need the kid to keep slinging in the absence of another decent option. 2-3 today and only 0-1 from 3.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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When does the 'endgame' begin though? They got outscored 61-45 in the second half and blew a 24 point lead. They actually did play some pretty tenacious defense for a lot of the game i thought. Way more aggressive and swarming than what we've typically seen this year but they just seemed to freeze up when it mattered the most and bricked a ton of shots.
The 1st half was a mirage though. The Cs got a ton of points on TO and though I thought they played hard on defense,they couldn't stay in front of guys and played a ton of half-court, which is not their strength.

JT, JB, and KW went 22-68. JB + KW went 4-22 from 3P. KW has been struggling with bigger guards defending him but he had a few open looks that I was surprised he missed (I wonder how much the charge he took from Ball affected him).

Romeo Langford is a complete question mark at best. I have no idea why he gets name dropped so much on here. He has 370 NBA minutes and a possibly broken shot. I have no idea how he turned into a rotation player and defensive stopper in everyone’s heads but if we are counting on him to be anything other than a lottery ticket we will regret it
Romeo played great defense last year - particularly on-ball defense - and he was one of the best guys in college in PnR. He has skill and NBA athleticism and if he can get and stay healthy, might provide some of what Cs need. I don't think Romeo is going to "save" anything but I'm hoping he can give the Cs some above-average minutes at the wing position, which people have pointed repeatedly the Cs could really use.
 

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Toronto has won four in a game and stands fifth in the East. Boston is sixth, a half-game ahead of the Knicks and the Hornets. Chicago and Miami are close behind in ninth and 10th.

Missing the playoffs would be a hell of a feat.
 

128

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From Jay King's latest in The Athletic:

Through 30 games, the Celtics rank 29th in fourth-quarter net rating, 27th in fourth-quarter offensive rating and 25th in fourth-quarter defensive rating.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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From Jay King's latest in The Athletic:

Through 30 games, the Celtics rank 29th in fourth-quarter net rating, 27th in fourth-quarter offensive rating and 25th in fourth-quarter defensive rating.
That's honestly sad. Sad that the players don't have the acumen to snap out of it and stop repeating the same flawed end game execution and sad that this is a year to year flaw that the coach can't fix. One player chucks a brick, they give up an easy basket on D, another dumb offensive possession where each individual player thinks it's their charge to stop the bleeding by hero balling their way out of it, and the coach just watching it all happen in slow motion hoping that this will be one of the rare times they steer out of the skid. Meanwhile it's blood in the water for the other team because they know this is who the Celtics are and if they step on their throats they will crumble.
 

NomarsFool

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One thing that still puzzles me a bit is what Ainge's thinking / plan was for the season around Theis / R. Williams / Thompson with regards to splitting minutes. My hypothesis is that Brad Stevens doesn't play 2 BIGS because he thinks that is a particularly great lineup, but more because DT/RW/TT are all better basketball players than JT/GW/CE/JG/SO. So, what was Ainge thinking with regards to having 3 guys who play the same position (plus GW as occasionally smallball 5)? Has Rob Williams played much better than Ainge expected? I know the argument that 5s get hurt - understood - but you also have to think about setting up your roster for the post-season. It seems we've been struggling all year to figure out how to juggle minutes with these three guys, which has necessitated having 2 bigs on the floor a lot.
 

lexrageorge

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One thing that still puzzles me a bit is what Ainge's thinking / plan was for the season around Theis / R. Williams / Thompson with regards to splitting minutes. My hypothesis is that Brad Stevens doesn't play 2 BIGS because he thinks that is a particularly great lineup, but more because DT/RW/TT are all better basketball players than JT/GW/CE/JG/SO. So, what was Ainge thinking with regards to having 3 guys who play the same position (plus GW as occasionally smallball 5)? Has Rob Williams played much better than Ainge expected? I know the argument that 5s get hurt - understood - but you also have to think about setting up your roster for the post-season. It seems we've been struggling all year to figure out how to juggle minutes with these three guys, which has necessitated having 2 bigs on the floor a lot.
Having 3 bigs on the roster is typical, and Robert Williams had shown very little until this season. Ainge felt that Thompson would be an upgrade over Kanter in several aspects. Probably correct, but TT does seem less of a fit. Biggest problem is that all 3 of the bigs are essentially slightly below average JAGs, with only RWill showing any potential to get beyond that point.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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One thing that still puzzles me a bit is what Ainge's thinking / plan was for the season around Theis / R. Williams / Thompson with regards to splitting minutes. My hypothesis is that Brad Stevens doesn't play 2 BIGS because he thinks that is a particularly great lineup, but more because DT/RW/TT are all better basketball players than JT/GW/CE/JG/SO. So, what was Ainge thinking with regards to having 3 guys who play the same position (plus GW as occasionally smallball 5)? Has Rob Williams played much better than Ainge expected? I know the argument that 5s get hurt - understood - but you also have to think about setting up your roster for the post-season. It seems we've been struggling all year to figure out how to juggle minutes with these three guys, which has necessitated having 2 bigs on the floor a lot.
As Lexrageorge notes, having 3 Bigs is typical and after the MIA playoff loss, BOS needed someone "beefier" (to use a BenHogan term) than DT and TL. The biggest issue, as Brad knows and points out here, is this: "One of the challenges of [BOS] is that you get past our best perimeter players, and the next probably three best guys as far as production goes so far on our team are, at first blush, 5s" (bold added).

JB and JT have been playing in some respects better than they have in their careers but they are, right now, missing GH's production AND MS's production AND for most games (again right now) KW's expected production.

I don't know who said it last night, but one of announcers got a quote from Brad that TL's upside is BOS's upside. BOS really needs TL and someone else to be consistent NBA contributors.
 

BigSoxFan

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As Lexrageorge notes, having 3 Bigs is typical and after the MIA playoff loss, BOS needed someone "beefier" (to use a BenHogan term) than DT and TL. The biggest issue, as Brad knows and points out here, is this: "One of the challenges of [BOS] is that you get past our best perimeter players, and the next probably three best guys as far as production goes so far on our team are, at first blush, 5s" (bold added).

JB and JT have been playing in some respects better than they have in their careers but they are, right now, missing GH's production AND MS's production AND for most games (again right now) KW's expected production.

I don't know who said it last night, but one of announcers got a quote from Brad that TL's upside is BOS's upside. BOS really needs TL and someone else to be consistent NBA contributors.
I'd add PP and Nesmith to this as well. If any organic growth is coming for the Celtics, it's like coming from TL, PP, and Nesmith. On the bright side, we're seeing some growth from everyone on that list. The main problem with this team (beyond everyone sucking on defense) remains Kemba's inability to be that 3rd scorer/creator to take the pressure off of the Jay's. With Hayward gone, we desperately need Nov/Dec 2019 Kemba and that guy only shows up from time to time.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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According to Brad they're managing TL's minutes so he can play more minutes later in the year.

View: https://mobile.twitter.com/Tom_NBA/status/1363565125215670273
MassLive article has more on this: https://www.masslive.com/celtics/2021/02/celtics-robert-williams-continues-to-improve-on-court-but-health-is-always-a-factor-for-big-man.html

“The hip is not bothering him, but we’re just trying to manage it over the course of the long season so that he’s available more often than not, and then able to peak in minutes late,” Stevens said pregame Sunday. “So I guess it’s more of just be alert to it.”
* * * *​

Stevens said that’s been by design to keep Williams fresh.

* * * *​
“We need him to be able to play higher minutes as the season gets later,” Stevens said. “So right now, I guess you would call that managing it appropriately. But certainly, it helps when all three bigs are available.”
 

kfoss99

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Does anyone have access to Marcus Smarts' shooting chart for the season? I suspect he gets to the lane well and is a better finisher than Kemba is at this point.

He's lauded for his defense, but I'm wondering if there is empirical data to prove he's good on offense?
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Does anyone have access to Marcus Smarts' shooting chart for the season? I suspect he gets to the lane well and is a better finisher than Kemba is at this point.

He's lauded for his defense, but I'm wondering if there is empirical data to prove he's good on offense?
I think Brad is a better finisher than KW right now. :)

BRef has Marcus's shot chart and some shooting statistics. Shot chart is here: https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/s/smartma01/shooting/2021.

NBA.com also has some shooting stuff, including video of everyone's shots during a game (accessible from box scores; not sure how far it goes back.)
 

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It's clear how much the defense they want to run was built around having 3 wings with at least average to + on ball defense. Lots of switches, aggressive close-outs, fast recovery, hands in the passing lanes, etc etc. Semi/GW/JG just don't cut it for various reasons, and with Smart/Romeo out there is no 5-man unit they can put out there as an all-D lockdown lineup that can match the intensity when a team is making a run. Nesmith has been getting so much run lately because his awareness has picked up quite a bit, and he plays hard + fast on D and isn't getting crushed in switches. Had some very adequate defensive efforts against Ingram yesterday, for example. He still fouls too much and needs to work on his footwork still but I'm really impressed with his growth already as he seems to be picking up the team D concept MUCH faster than other rookies we've seen come through.

Stevens must be dying to get a Smart/Romeo/Brown/Tatum/Theis lineup on the floor. They need more lineups with fewer mismatches, and at least one or two lineups with none. They have spent entirely too much time this season with 2-3 defensive mismatches in the lineup and there is just no covering for that. You can cover for Kemba if it's just Kemba, but what can you do when it's Kemba + Theis playing out of position or Kemba with Semi + Grant, or whatever combos they have been forced to roll out.

I also suspect that carrying so much weight on the offensive end is having an impact on Tatum/Brown on the other end. Jaylen especially was having a rough time staying in front of guys yesterday, although sometimes it's hard to tell if it's fatigue, lack of awareness, or an incorrect expectation that he is funneling the opposing player toward his help (or some combo of all of the above).
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
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Jan 15, 2004
19,508
Great points Jed. An NBA team defense can be sabotaged with one less than adequate defender as it is one unit/one heartbeat in executing a halfcourt def set. We have the potential offensively with Brown and Tatum on one end however it is the personnel that is haunting us defensively in these 4Q. It isn’t so much the final possession but the first half of the 4Q when you have a mix of second unit players on the floor. It will be interesting to see who Ainge brings in to round out our stretch/playoff rotation but I’m suspecting it will be geared toward the defensive end along with a spot-up shooter (may even be same player).
 

NomarsFool

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Dec 21, 2001
4,816
Does anyone have access to Marcus Smarts' shooting chart for the season? I suspect he gets to the lane well and is a better finisher than Kemba is at this point.

He's lauded for his defense, but I'm wondering if there is empirical data to prove he's good on offense?
He's a pretty terrible finisher, if I recall correctly. Granted, Kemba has been incredibly poor as of late - but Smart is overall still not good.
 

kfoss99

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Jul 15, 2009
252
He's a pretty terrible finisher, if I recall correctly. Granted, Kemba has been incredibly poor as of late - but Smart is overall still not good.
Yep, terrible, when I looked at B-Ref; about 40% at the rim. Hoped to find good news and had it swatted away like a Kemba layup.
 

cardiacs

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SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,386
Milford, CT
I was ready to give up on Romeo based on what I've seen of him but he's so young. I didn't realize he's younger than Nesmith.

I buy into the theory that either Nesmith or Romeo playing competitive wing ball is a better improvement overall to the team instead of tinkering with the interior. If they can get that portion functioning it will lead to more easy points for Theis/TL/TT due to floor spacing, defensive missed assignments, etc.

I also expect PP and TL to make stable (if not improved) contributions until the end of the year, but even if one/both of them make leaps that is not going to fix everything.