Analysis of Celtics Games (2020-2021)

BigSoxFan

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Agree with all of this. I mentioned this upthread but the Cs do seem mentally fatigued. Hopefully they can recharge a bit over the All-Star Break, get Marcus and Romeo back, and start playing better basketball.

It would not take much to turn some of the Ls into Ws, even without upgrading their roster.
I really wonder how Brad is going to make it all work though. The Celtics have the following guys who should receive/need minutes:

Bigs (3)
Thompson
Theis
Time Lord

Wings (5)
Tatum
Brown
Nesmith
Ojeleye
Langford

Guards (3)
Smart
Walker
Pritchard

Outside Looking In
G Williams
Javonte
Edwards
Tacko
Teague

For a team that hasn't yet found its way, that's 11 guys, at full health, that Brad is going to have to eventually juggle and find the right combinations for. But this year, he doesn't really have the luxury of tinkering anymore because of where the team currently sits. Ultimately, as others have mentioned, this feels like a team that really needs a consolidation trade to create more-defined roles and a tighter 8-9 man rotation. But finding that useful 3rd wing via the trade market that does just that just looks dubious at this point.
 

benhogan

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This team is undoubtedly difficult to watch but its really hard to write their epitaph at the halfway point, especially given Smarts absence and all the COVID games missed. Smart's minutes alone are hard to replace at even league average production, let alone all the other things he brings in terms of team defense and playmaking. Tatum's missed games, Kemba working back and the lack of any consistent bench production have all had negative impacts. There may well be other issues at play like chemistry or coaching but we have zero evidence of that (not counting poster complaints).

Setting aside any sorts of roster additions, this team is talented enough to work through this rough patch. That is no guarantee that they will of course but they aren't bad so much as extremely thin down the roster.
Long way to go, obviously half-joking about the lottery pick (Hob/DD spend countless hours watching draft tape to educate the SoSH masses). We're not even at the halfway point, heck the C'a could win 4/5 and feel better about themselves during the All-Star break.

With JayCrew still ascending and Marcus getting healthy they're not far (1 wing short) from being in contention in the EC. Danny is not in denial about the roster, he has the time, young players, picks, TPE's, filler, manageable salary structure, and potential sellers to make a move. BUT Danny will need to make a move or this will be a bridge season. Either way, Danny has some work ahead of him this Summer (address Kemba).
 

lexrageorge

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Letting Wanamaker walk is sneakily one of Danny’s worst moves.
Of course, if he was here, the board would complain about every minute he played over Pritchard in a loss.

I really wonder how Brad is going to make it all work though. The Celtics have the following guys who should receive/need minutes:

Bigs (3)
Thompson
Theis
Time Lord

Wings (5)
Tatum
Brown
Nesmith
Ojeleye
Langford

Guards (3)
Smart
Walker
Pritchard

Outside Looking In
G Williams
Javonte
Edwards
Tacko
Teague

For a team that hasn't yet found its way, that's 11 guys, at full health, that Brad is going to have to eventually juggle and find the right combinations for. But this year, he doesn't really have the luxury of tinkering anymore because of where the team currently sits. Ultimately, as others have mentioned, this feels like a team that really needs a consolidation trade to create more-defined roles and a tighter 8-9 man rotation. But finding that useful 3rd wing via the trade market that does just that just looks dubious at this point.
I like this analysis, as it clearly shows where the team's weaknesses lie. Theis and TT are competent starters, and RWilliams is emerging as at least a decent rotation player with upside. There are problems with fit in the case of both Theis and Thompson on the roster, but that's hardly the biggest issue with this team.

One quibble I do have is that it seems to me that it's more and more unlikely that Langford is going to have much of a role on this year's team. His recovery is already taking longer than expected, and he will need some development minutes for a coach that will likely be increasingly reluctant to hand them out. I know we speculate sometimes about Stevens, but a playoff miss and his seat gets warm for real next season. Regardless of Langford, however, the drop off in talent at the wing is glaringly obvious, and it's unclear if that's fixable at the deadline.
 

Devizier

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Wanamaker is pretty terrible this year. If someone told me that this was his worst move I would guess this team would be playing .700 ball.
Most of the problems on the roster were baked in before the offseason (IMHO). The depth issues were opened up by Kemba/Hayward. Losing Tatum/Smart for a bunch of games hasn't helped either. The few better FAs in the Celtics' range opted for teams that were closer to contention or could offer more minutes.

Ainge didn't have a lot of moves that he could make, and while I'm pretty low on Thompson (and was not very high on him to begin with) he probably was the best big (or wing) available. Teague is just completely washed and looked that way beforehand. Wanamaker isn't great but he could at least hold up defensively and could score sometimes.
 

BigSoxFan

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Of course, if he was here, the board would complain about every minute he played over Pritchard in a loss.


I like this analysis, as it clearly shows where the team's weaknesses lie. Theis and TT are competent starters, and RWilliams is emerging as at least a decent rotation player with upside. There are problems with fit in the case of both Theis and Thompson on the roster, but that's hardly the biggest issue with this team.

One quibble I do have is that it seems to me that it's more and more unlikely that Langford is going to have much of a role on this year's team. His recovery is already taking longer than expected, and he will need some development minutes for a coach that will likely be increasingly reluctant to hand them out. I know we speculate sometimes about Stevens, but a playoff miss and his seat gets warm for real next season. Regardless of Langford, however, the drop off in talent at the wing is glaringly obvious, and it's unclear if that's fixable at the deadline.
Yeah, Langford really is the tough case. He should be back at some point in the next month but there is no room at the inn for him when he does. It's a bit of a Catch-22 because he needs minutes to develop and/or develop trade value but we don't really have the ability to give them to him. And he's probably going to be rusty as hell when he comes back. This is likely a very disappointing redshirt year for him.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Yeah, Langford really is the tough case. He should be back at some point in the next month but there is no room at the inn for him when he does. It's a bit of a Catch-22 because he needs minutes to develop and/or develop trade value but we don't really have the ability to give them to him. And he's probably going to be rusty as hell when he comes back. This is likely a very disappointing redshirt year for him.
I would guess that Romeo is going to get minutes. He's proven that he can play defense, and frankly, he may be the best perimeter defender on the Cs right now in terms of being able to keep in front of quick guards. Hopefully there are openings for him on the offensive side so he just won't sit in the corner like he did last season; he was a great PnR creator in college and showed flashes last year.
Kemba was a team best +9, but try to convince this board that he wasn't the reason they lost.
KW was pretty bad until that last 4Q run. It was extremely interesting to me that Brad had PP close out the 1st half rather than KW. Can't remember if I've ever seen that before.

Is planning for Nesmith/Semi to replace Gordon Hayward's minutes at wing a better decision than planning for R. Williams and Theis to take the vast majority of minutes at the 5? I guess you could consider Romeo a bit, but we did know coming in he was going to miss quite a bit of the season. His return has been slower than expected, but even that - it seems optimistic to have banked on a big role for Romeo this year. Despite some positive signs last season, he doesn't have much of a track record.

Anyway, the one light at the end of the tunnel for me is if I look at last night, if we simply replace the 30 minutes of playing time that Semi and Grant Williams had with 30 minutes of Marcus Smart, that might have made the difference.
First, I'm sure DA was preparing for when GH left but since it dragged on and Pritchard wouldn't budget, it's not like he had a ton of options. I think the contingency option, which came to pass, was to get a good backup PG and have Marcus soak up GH's minutes (the good back-up PG would soak up Marcus's minutes at PG).

The other universe where someone convinced Pritchard to give up Oladipo for GH would be a fascinating season to watch; Pritchard really stuck it to BOS but also stuck it to his own team. IND would be in much better shape with GH. Also, would be interesting to see what HOU would have done.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Yeah, Langford really is the tough case. He should be back at some point in the next month but there is no room at the inn for him when he does. It's a bit of a Catch-22 because he needs minutes to develop and/or develop trade value but we don't really have the ability to give them to him. And he's probably going to be rusty as hell when he comes back. This is likely a very disappointing redshirt year for him.
Disagree that there are not minutes available for Romeo, or anyone else Danny acquires, at the wing. It’s the one area where there ARE minutes begging for someone to grab.
 

BigSoxFan

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Disagree that there are not minutes available for Romeo, or anyone else Danny acquires, at the wing. It’s the one area where there ARE minutes begging for someone to grab.
If you're playing Romeo, it means Nesmith is getting fewer minutes and that doesn't seem ideal. The Celtics desperately need one of these guys to step up and giving them ~10MPG each or whatever runs the risk of neither developing. Didn't say there's no room for another, better wing. In fact, that's exactly what I want - to trade Romeo/1st or whatever for a guy who can come in an take over in that role. But that's a pipe dream due to lack of wing supply and potentially Romeo's poor current trade value.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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I'm much higher on Romeo than Nesmith. Romeo showed a lot in limited minutes. He can get tot he rim, and defend at an NBA level. Nesmith plays hard, but out of control, and doesn't seem sure of himself. If Romeo can get healthy, he'll have a spot in the league for a long time.
 

bigq

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Letting Wanamaker walk is sneakily one of Danny’s worst moves.
I think this is parody however I like the topic from a team depth perspective. I like Wanamaker as a third string PG. He was elevated to a second string role last year and forced to play too many minutes. From what I can see he has been underperforming this season in GS but I think he is a better player than Teague. I’d like to say having Wanamaker instead of Teague on the Celtics this season would make the team better but i don’t know whether meaningfully so. There have been a handful of games where Teague has played >15 minutes and really looked lost. Wanamaker could at least play passable defense which is an improvement over Teague.
 

Cellar-Door

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You've been saying this about the Bane pick since the offseason---but repetition doesn't make it so. They could have drafted Bane and dumped Green or Carsen. That was a mistake, one several of us noted at the time. I get the theory you and others had---they wanted someone who knew the system, minutes might be an issue etc. Those were reasonable arguments at the time---but this far into the season we know they were wrong, don't we? I'm far from a reactive Ainge-killer but it's important to be realistic looking back, too.
I think this would be reasonable if FA happened before the draft, but going into the draft basically everyone was talking about how the Celtics really couldn't use 3 picks without a stash and the reason is this:
1. Everyone knew that certain roster spots were set:
Tatum, Brown, Smart, Kemba, RWIII, GW, Theis, Langford, 2 picks, and backup/starting C (ended up Thompson, but they were always either getting one in FA or keeping Kanter). That leaves 4 spots assuming they could dump Poirier. At the time they had the following: Green, Carsen, Semi under contract.
2. They needed players in those spots that they could cut outright to make a Hayward S&T deal happen
3. The final roster needed to go into the season with a 15th man (if not 14th and 15th) that could easily be cut for buyouts

The hope was likely that 2 of the last 4 spots would be filled by Hayward and a vet PG (a clear need given they had none on the roster and Kemba was going to miss time). leaving only 2 spots.
However, there was also the need to leave 3 spots open in case of a Hayward S&T, because that was always going to be at least 2 if not 3 or 4 for one.

So really there was at most 1 fungible spot (likely Carsen, which would mean eating the salary of a guy you just drafted 33rd). And that assumes they would be willing to cut Semi, which didn't seem that likely given how much they used him the previous year and liked him as a matchup dependent defender specialist.

If you put a 1st round deal in that spot, you don't leave yourself many options for buyouts, trades etc.

Now as it happened, they didn't sign Hayward, or get anything back for him, they missed on the first buyout (Batum).

Right now Green/Carsen are basically placeholders for the TPE and buyout options. PP came out of the gates way better than anyone hoped, and Kemba had no real setbacks, so Teague has become expendable, but at the time of the draft, there was a real roster crunch. That the post-draft moves turned out poorly, doesn't change the decision making at the time.

There is also next year to consider. Right now the Celtics have 9 guys who are no doubt going to be rostered next year barring trade, that's 11 with next year's 1st and at least 1 TPE, they'd likely want to bring back Theis, that's 12. It never really made sense to add the #30 pick, a player who is likely around the same level as Carsen to them, at the expense of flexibility.

This trade also amusingly ties back to where we got the pick..... #20 and Baynes for MIL pick and Carsen. A deal that made some sense at the time, but turned out poorly (losing a good player, and a better pick to free up cap space that we ended up not needing because we never went under the cap and worked a S&T instead). It's a domino effect, we made a dubious trade that ended up not working out, and in the process gave ourselves a situation where we had to make another low return trade.

So the MIL pick trade was not a bad one at the time. It is more of a necessary move that looks worse because the subsequent moves were failures, than a move that was bad in and of itself. Now it was made necessary by a combination of poor roster/pick management and bad luck, and was followed by more poor roster space usage, but the move itself was basically inevitable, I don't know that any good GM wouldn't have made it if dropped into that spot.
 

BigSoxFan

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I'm much higher on Romeo than Nesmith. Romeo showed a lot in limited minutes. He can get tot he rim, and defend at an NBA level. Nesmith plays hard, but out of control, and doesn't seem sure of himself. If Romeo can get healthy, he'll have a spot in the league for a long time.
Romeo is smaller, can't shoot, and is always hurt. He plays good D so he has a role in this league but Nesmith seems like the higher ceiling guy to me given his offensive and physical profile. I must admit that I do think Romeo/PP could be an interesting bench pairing given their relative strengths and weaknesses.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Gorman went on Toucher and Rich this morning and absolutely laid in to the Celtics, especially the Jays, for playing selfishly and being "sad to watch". Obviously he's seeing the same thing we're seeing, and I agree with him, but what concerns me is that the media might start turning on these guys if they don't right the ship, and that seems like a less than good prospect. I don't remember ever hearing Gorman this worked up.

https://985thesportshub.com/2021/02/24/mike-gorman-rips-celtics-toucher-rich/
 

BigSoxFan

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Gorman went on Toucher and Rich this morning and absolutely laid in to the Celtics, especially the Jays, for playing selfishly and being "sad to watch". Obviously he's seeing the same thing we're seeing, and I agree with him, but what concerns me is that the media might start turning on these guys if they don't right the ship, and that seems like a less than good prospect. I don't remember ever hearing Gorman this worked up.

https://985thesportshub.com/2021/02/24/mike-gorman-rips-celtics-toucher-rich/
Gorman speaking up is pretty meaningful. As you indicate, he's generally pretty measured in his responses (since it was pretty much Tommy's job to get animated). It does feel like the Celtics are nearing an inflection point. Either they hit the hard reset and get back to winning basketball or things continue to spiral downward. There's no Kyrie or MaMo to make things worse but it will be interesting to see how the Jay's respond. The play-by-play guy is basically calling them 2006-2007 Kobe's at this point.
 

NomarsFool

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Brown has increased his assist number by almost 100% and JT by about 50% over last year. Kemba actually has gone down from last season (as well as his Charlotte numbers). That could be SSS.

Ball movement definitely sucks, though. I don't think it is just those guys, though. Their offense is just so boring. I realize the need for spacing, but the typical set seems to have one guy camping out in each corner while JB or JT does a little bit of dribbling around in the middle, driving, or stepback/fallaway. Seems to be very little movement off-ball.
 
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JCizzle

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The interview is worth a listen both for Gorman's observations and dropping "bullshit" twice. He's the best.
 

128

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Brown has increased his assist number by almost 100% and JT by about 50% over last year. Kemba actually has gone down from last season (as well as his Charlotte numbers). That could be SSS.

Ball movement definitely sucks, though. I don't think it is just those guys, though. Their offense is just so boring. I realize the need for spacing, but the typical set seems to have one guy camping out in each corner while JB or JT does a little bit of dribbling around in the middle, driving, or stepback/fallaway. Seems to be very little movement off-ball.
Tatum's assist totals are up, but he remains frustratingly reluctant to make the simple pass that keeps the ball moving.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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Brown has increased his assist number by almost 100% and JT by about 50% over last year. Kemba actually has gone down from last season (as well as his Charlotte numbers). That could be SSS.

Ball movement definitely sucks, though. I don't think it is just those guys, though. Their offense is just so boring. I realize the need for spacing, but the typical set seems to have one guy camping out in each corner while JB or JT does a little bit of dribbling around in the middle, driving, or stepback/fallaway. Seems to be very little movement off-ball.
Yeah, this is what I'm seeing. They are prioritizing spacing and not movement. There are few cuts and the screening is weak. People just standing around. Feels like Brad has gotten obsessed with simplification and that's causing stagnation. This was a problem last year, but it's worse now.
 

NomarsFool

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If you think about the fact that's not uncommon to have PP and AN on the floor at the same time, and/or GW or RW or other pretty young players - it's not too surprising they aren't terribly advanced in their offensive schemes. It's unfortunate that the veterans we have aren't particularly great passers (with Smart being out). We certainly miss Hayward.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Wanamaker is pretty terrible this year.
Co-signed. Solid, strong, high IQ defender who can switch confidently onto wings (which is clearly what Myers/Kerr liked about him, with Andre and Shaun having moved on) but pretty atrocious offensively. I mean, anyone who steps in for Steph is gonna seem like they suck in relative terms, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask your backup PG to shoot, score, and create for others at least little bit, none of which Wanamaker has done at an NBA level in GS. Biggest drop-off from last year has been the ability to hit open shots and threes, which has mostly been MIA. Without that, there’s not a lot there. Rumor is that Jordan Poole may be taking over his role as second-unit leader shortly.

On the other hand: GS currently has the #4 ranked D in the league, and I think Wanamaker may be a small part of that.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I think this would be reasonable if FA happened before the draft, but going into the draft basically everyone was talking about how the Celtics really couldn't use 3 picks without a stash and the reason is this:
1. Everyone knew that certain roster spots were set:
Tatum, Brown, Smart, Kemba, RWIII, GW, Theis, Langford, 2 picks, and backup/starting C (ended up Thompson, but they were always either getting one in FA or keeping Kanter). That leaves 4 spots assuming they could dump Poirier. At the time they had the following: Green, Carsen, Semi under contract.
2. They needed players in those spots that they could cut outright to make a Hayward S&T deal happen
3. The final roster needed to go into the season with a 15th man (if not 14th and 15th) that could easily be cut for buyouts

The hope was likely that 2 of the last 4 spots would be filled by Hayward and a vet PG (a clear need given they had none on the roster and Kemba was going to miss time). leaving only 2 spots.
However, there was also the need to leave 3 spots open in case of a Hayward S&T, because that was always going to be at least 2 if not 3 or 4 for one.

So really there was at most 1 fungible spot (likely Carsen, which would mean eating the salary of a guy you just drafted 33rd). And that assumes they would be willing to cut Semi, which didn't seem that likely given how much they used him the previous year and liked him as a matchup dependent defender specialist.

If you put a 1st round deal in that spot, you don't leave yourself many options for buyouts, trades etc.

Now as it happened, they didn't sign Hayward, or get anything back for him, they missed on the first buyout (Batum).

Right now Green/Carsen are basically placeholders for the TPE and buyout options. PP came out of the gates way better than anyone hoped, and Kemba had no real setbacks, so Teague has become expendable, but at the time of the draft, there was a real roster crunch. That the post-draft moves turned out poorly, doesn't change the decision making at the time.

There is also next year to consider. Right now the Celtics have 9 guys who are no doubt going to be rostered next year barring trade, that's 11 with next year's 1st and at least 1 TPE, they'd likely want to bring back Theis, that's 12. It never really made sense to add the #30 pick, a player who is likely around the same level as Carsen to them, at the expense of flexibility.

This trade also amusingly ties back to where we got the pick..... #20 and Baynes for MIL pick and Carsen. A deal that made some sense at the time, but turned out poorly (losing a good player, and a better pick to free up cap space that we ended up not needing because we never went under the cap and worked a S&T instead). It's a domino effect, we made a dubious trade that ended up not working out, and in the process gave ourselves a situation where we had to make another low return trade.

So the MIL pick trade was not a bad one at the time. It is more of a necessary move that looks worse because the subsequent moves were failures, than a move that was bad in and of itself. Now it was made necessary by a combination of poor roster/pick management and bad luck, and was followed by more poor roster space usage, but the move itself was basically inevitable, I don't know that any good GM wouldn't have made it if dropped into that spot.
What I and others said all along--including at the time of the draft as you surely know---is that the thinking you lay out above is wrong and they needed to worry about adding a better player rather than preserving a pretty weak end of the roster. You seem now to realize that is true.

You saying "basically everyone "and "I don't know that any good GM wouldn't have made" is ridiculous. Your assumptions on the players were wrong and that is the same mistake Ainge made---but it was not at all unforseeable, which we know because several here called it at the time. They chose Semi, Edwards, and Green over the pick...that was a mistake.

I am overall an Ainge fan, but it's disingenuous to pretend he was trapped here. He wasn't, and he simply made the wrong choices.
 

Cellar-Door

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What I and others said all along--including at the time of the draft as you surely know---is that the thinking you lay out above is wrong and they needed to worry about adding a better player rather than preserving a pretty weak end of the roster. You seem now to realize that is true.

You saying "basically everyone "and "I don't know that any good GM wouldn't have made" is ridiculous. Your assumptions on the players were wrong and that is the same mistake Ainge made---but it was not at all unforseeable, which we know because several here called it at the time.

I am overall an Ainge fan, but it's disingenuous to pretend he was trapped here. He wasn't, and he simply made the wrong choices.
Meh, he wasn't trying to preserve a weak roster, he was trying to allow himself the chance to maximize Hayward.
And basically everyone, I mean everyone who covers the league and the team for a living. It was very widely speculated that there was zero chance the Celtics took 3 rookies in the 1st.
 

bankshot1

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If you think about the fact that's not uncommon to have PP and AN on the floor at the same time, and/or GW or RW or other pretty young players - it's not too surprising they aren't terribly advanced in their offensive schemes. It's unfortunate that the veterans we have aren't particularly great passers (with Smart being out). We certainly miss Hayward.
This is exactly right. They have rookies (and young players drafted the past 2+ years) playing vet's minutes out of necessity. I posted pre-season that I looked forward to watching the puppies, and the Celts have lots of them, but its best to remember puppies pee on the rug for awhile. But they learn. These guys should be getting 10-15 minutes not 20+

But watching the Celts struggle isn't the rookies faults its Kemba's playing hurt and JnJ playing selfish.

Celts at their best, were always play D-them transition-press hard on offense then makes the pass to the open guy-drive to the basket and make shit happen

This team is not doing that, and roster issues aside, its on Brad and JnJ and Kemba to fix it and make it work.
 
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PedroKsBambino

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Meh, he wasn't trying to preserve a weak roster, he was trying to allow himself the chance to maximize Hayward.
And basically everyone, I mean everyone who covers the league and the team for a living. It was very widely speculated that there was zero chance the Celtics took 3 rookies in the 1st.
You are missing what the choice really was, as I noted. A primary reason people were saying that is people didn't believe they would dump Edwards, which I think was a mistake. And I would guess most of us now see that the same way.

Also, the end of the roster has nothing to do with maximizing Hayward, really.....as noted you can worry about the minutes for Bane (which I get, but which I thikn was a mistake) even with Hayward you're keeping two marginal guys anyway
 

HomeRunBaker

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Tatum's assist totals are up, but he remains frustratingly reluctant to make the simple pass that keeps the ball moving.
Lacking confidence in his teammates is a roster construction issue. At this point I’m in favor of a complete Ainge overhaul with like 4 players being untouchable.

This stretch without Smart is telling.
 

chilidawg

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But watching the Celts struggle isn't the rookies faults its Kemba's playing hurt and JnJ playing selfish.

Celts at their best, were always play D-them transition-press hard on offense then makes the pass to the open guy-drive to the basket and make shit happen

This team is not doing that, and roster issues aside, its on Brad and JnJ and Kemba to fix it and make it work.
Yup. Their. 4th Q. run last night they were getting out in transition, same with the first 30 minutes against NO. 62 shots/12 assists for the big 3 last night. That's gotta change. Having 3 bigs or Teague as your 3rd pg is not the problem.
 

Cellar-Door

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You are missing what the choice really was, as I noted. A primary reason people were saying that is people didn't believe they would dump Edwards, which I think was a mistake. And I would guess most of us now see that the same way.

Also, the end of the roster has nothing to do with maximizing Hayward, really.....as noted you can worry about the minutes for Bane (which I get, but which I thikn was a mistake) even with Hayward you're keeping two marginal guys anyway
No you are missing the issue.... you needed non-guaranteed or cheap players that you could cut in order to take players back in a Hayward deal, and/or add buyouts.

I think it had far less to do with not wanting to cut Edwards (though that is likely a part of it, cutting a #33 pick after a year for a #30 pick is rough) but more not wanting to cut Semi is my guess. Edwards and Green were the designated "cut for trade or buyout" spots on the roster. If you fill that with a pick, you need to cut Semi.

Look at the roster right now. Ignore Teague (at draft time the idea that PP would be so good we wouldn't need a vet PG wasn't on the table).....
Green is they guy we'll cut for a TPE trade right? So he is the first guy who would have gone in a Hayward deal (whether a re-signing or a trade), Edwards is the guy who would then be cut for a buyout or TPE trade (so if we did a 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 for Hayward), now in a 2 for 1 we likely get back a big or a PG, so a spot does open up there, but you still want to play the buyout market so you would still have Edwards/Green as you cuts.

That we absolutely nailed the PP pick and that we fumbled the Hayward situation doesn't mean we should have predicted both. Going into the season with a rookie and Smart as the only PGs for an unknown number of games would be insane. So we had 3 spots to play with, really 2 since a contender usually wants a 15th man they can cut to play the buyout market.

That really means we had 2 spots, maybe 3 if everything goes right, to use on Hayward's situation. Filling one of them with a late 1st rookie... (and it was likely as not Bane, could have been Terry or Carey or any number of others) leaves you with not a lot of flexibility.

Not making the pick was the logical move from a roster standpoint if you are and ECF team trying to improve. The problems are what came after.

Now, the question becomes how does Ainge recover.... what does he do with the TPE, now that PP has emerged and Kemba is "healthy" does he turn over Teague's spot?

I also think this has been exacerbated by Nesmith's slow start and wing injuries. If we had added a player or two in the Hayward spot, I don't see where the minutes come from. We are reacting to a worst case scenario and treating it as if it was what we should have built for. If Marcus is healthy and we have another player from Hayward (him or a trade) I don't see the minutes for pick 30, we'd be struggling to get Nesmith minutes.
 

JCizzle

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Lacking confidence in his teammates is a roster construction issue. At this point I’m in favor of a complete Ainge overhaul with like 4 players being untouchable.

This stretch without Smart is telling.
Co-signed. All parties (coach, players, GM) deserve blame, but I think most of this points back to Ainge. It seems like he's been caught off guard by Horford and Hayward in recent years and misjudged the Kemba signing. He needs to pull the trigger on some major changes.
 

Sille Skrub

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Gorman went on Toucher and Rich this morning and absolutely laid in to the Celtics, especially the Jays, for playing selfishly and being "sad to watch". Obviously he's seeing the same thing we're seeing, and I agree with him, but what concerns me is that the media might start turning on these guys if they don't right the ship, and that seems like a less than good prospect. I don't remember ever hearing Gorman this worked up.

https://985thesportshub.com/2021/02/24/mike-gorman-rips-celtics-toucher-rich/
Wow! Shots fired!
 

nighthob

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Now, the question becomes how does Ainge recover.... what does he do with the TPE, now that PP has emerged and Kemba is "healthy" does he turn over Teague's spot?
The most likely scenario is that they absorb someone's bad contract for some firsts. They might be a year or two finding that third guy to stack with the JayCrew.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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You are missing what the choice really was, as I noted. A primary reason people were saying that is people didn't believe they would dump Edwards, which I think was a mistake. And I would guess most of us now see that the same way.

Also, the end of the roster has nothing to do with maximizing Hayward, really.....as noted you can worry about the minutes for Bane (which I get, but which I thikn was a mistake) even with Hayward you're keeping two marginal guys anyway
I think some of the issue was financial. Assuming that GH would come back (or that he was replaced), the Cs were taxpayers and wouldn't be cutting Carson for another rookie as that would just increase their tax bill. If you recall, most of us didn't think Semi was going to have his option picked up. So really the issue was between a draft pick and Javonte Green, and I would guess that the Cs wanted the non-guaranteed salary.
 

bakahump

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I agree with Gormans take (tough not to agree.)

An aside......Gorman certainly seems like he might be losing his fastball. Off on names...slow on some "The foul is on....." calls.

Sad.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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I agree with Gormans take (tough not to agree.)

An aside......Gorman certainly seems like he might be losing his fastball. Off on names...slow on some "The foul is on....." calls.

Sad.
I have to imagine a large part of that is having to call road games on a monitor. Can't be easy, especially for an old guy.

And I also think they are well above court level at home this year as well instead of their usual spot on the floor.
 

BigSoxFan

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Co-signed. All parties (coach, players, GM) deserve blame, but I think most of this points back to Ainge. It seems like he's been caught off guard by Horford and Hayward in recent years and misjudged the Kemba signing. He needs to pull the trigger on some major changes.
Seems like he's missed on almost every big move since we signed Hayward. That one is obviously not his fault but lost him for nothing but an unused TPE of indeterminate value. Horford lost for nothing (probably a good result though). Kemba signing looking awful. Kyrie leaving for jack squat, etc.

Seems like a combination of bad luck and bad management has really done this team in and the only reason why things are not looking terrible is because we got such a huge surge from the Jays' development.

The only way this really turns around is getting some real value with the TPE, which will be hard, or getting a big jump from Romeo, Nesmith, Time Lord, or PP. This clearly isn't a .500 team in talent so hopefully much of the improvement is organic.
 

DannyDarwinism

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Not making the pick was logical and widely predicted, but there were other ways to get there. I'm not the only one who thought the draft really flattened out after the first dozen or so picks (I never really considered Haliburton would slide so close to us, so that didn't really sting, but I was pretty bummed on missing out on Kira Lewis, though PP has certainly soothed some of that), so maybe staple #14 to Kanter and get a future asset in return instead of #30 and nothing, then take PP and Bane or Tillman or whoever. Or use consolidate two of the picks to move up, and use the second rounder and future assets to move Kanter. Who knows if those deals were actually there to be had- that's one reason why I've never liked these counterfactual exercises- but I did think that this draft was an opportunity to get some useful players on rookie scale contracts, which is why I specifically liked Bane, Tillman and S. Bey (and full disclosure Tre Jones, who hasn't done much of anything) as guys who could come in and contribute right away and at least provide value on the cheap for a couple of years. Maybe they thought Nesmith would be the better bet to do that despite his relatively small sample size, or maybe they thought he gave them the best balance between likelihood of immediate production + upside, but with the team construction and cap situation, it seemed like this was the year to go lower upside/safer bets for the rookie contracts.
 

NomarsFool

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Co-signed. All parties (coach, players, GM) deserve blame, but I think most of this points back to Ainge. It seems like he's been caught off guard by Horford and Hayward in recent years and misjudged the Kemba signing. He needs to pull the trigger on some major changes.
It's strange to me that he was apparently caught off guard by Hayward. Certainly it could have been a surprise that he opted out, but once that happened - it certainly seemed like there was a good chance he was gone. He could have been surprised at the size of Charlotte's offer, many people were - but it seems like money wasn't the only reason he wanted to be somewhere else, and I'd think Ainge & Co would have had some forewarning about that.

Different situation, certainly, but there were some reports that Belichick was surprised Brady left. Really? I think anytime a player opts out or becomes a free agent, you'd have to think there's a reasonable chance they are leaving.
 

JCizzle

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Not making the pick was logical and widely predicted, but there were other ways to get there. I'm not the only one who thought the draft really flattened out after the first dozen or so picks (I never really considered Haliburton would slide so close to us, so that didn't really sting, but I was pretty bummed on missing out on Kira Lewis, though PP has certainly soothed some of that), so maybe staple #14 to Kanter and get a future asset in return instead of #30 and nothing, then take PP and Bane or Tillman or whoever. Or use consolidate two of the picks to move up, and use the second rounder and future assets to move Kanter. Who knows if those deals were actually there to be had- that's one reason why I've never liked these counterfactual exercises- but I did think that this draft was an opportunity to get some useful players on rookie scale contracts, which is why I specifically liked Bane, Tillman and S. Bey (and full disclosure Tre Jones, who hasn't done much of anything) as guys who could come in and contribute right away and at least provide value on the cheap for a couple of years. Maybe they thought Nesmith would be the better bet to do that despite his relatively small sample size, or maybe they thought he gave them the best balance between likelihood of immediate production + upside, but with the team construction and cap situation, it seemed like this was the year to go lower upside/safer bets for the rookie contracts.
We haven't heard it this year, but it was annoying last year to read their leaks about how much they really loved Herro. If that's the case, spend some assets and move up a couple slots to get him.
 

bankshot1

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IMO Ainge, who is responsible, has been snake-bit the last few years. Kyrie looked to be a good move and a reasonable price, but who knew Kyrie was Kyrie, Gordo's immediate injury, the lottery 1s (LAL-Sac, Memphis not being as juicy as imagined) Kemba and Gordo being hurt last year (IMO they were a finals team IF...) was a category 5 shit storm. And I don't blame Gordo for wanting a fresh start and being THE guy on a new team. I still hope that Kemba is servicable and Smart comes back and the rookies with their crash course can blend into a decent team by the post-season.
 

chilidawg

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Lacking confidence in his teammates is a roster construction issue. At this point I’m in favor of a complete Ainge overhaul with like 4 players being untouchable.

This stretch without Smart is telling.
I don't buy the roster construction excuse. This team may not be championship level talent but it's far better than they're currently showing. That's on coaching and your best players, imo.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Seems like he's missed on almost every big move since we signed Hayward. That one is obviously not his fault but lost him for nothing but an unused TPE of indeterminate value. Horford lost for nothing (probably a good result though). Kemba signing looking awful. Kyrie leaving for jack squat, etc.

Seems like a combination of bad luck and bad management has really done this team in and the only reason why things are not looking terrible is because we got such a huge surge from the Jays' development.

The only way this really turns around is getting some real value with the TPE, which will be hard, or getting a big jump from Romeo, Nesmith, Time Lord, or PP. This clearly isn't a .500 team in talent so hopefully much of the improvement is organic.
The history of the last 4-5 years is morbidly fascinating and the opportunity cost is tough to think about. The window was always considered to be based around whatever happened with the BK picks, once it became clear that they were all going to be mid-lotto at worst. But the 2016-17 team made the fool's gold ECF appearance, Hayward was on the market, and the calculus changed. Suddenly the opportunity to bring in a 3rd star on the cheap looks like a no-brainer. And at that time, Jayson Tatum hasn't stepped on an NBA court yet, and it's far from clear that he is a future superstar. And Jaylen is still a raw athlete that you're dreaming on, with little indication he would turn into the Jaylen of today.

Ainge doesn't touch Kyrie with a 10 foot pole if he knows how good Tatum/Brown will become as lead scorers, and how fast it will happen. Keeps the roster more flexible, certainly better for chemistry, and while I'm dreaming, if you take SGA with the last BK pick you have an incredible core of young players on the same timeline while still competing with Al/Hayward/Smart vet core, and it makes no sense to chase Kemba anyway. Kyrie was a good value trade but we are still feeling the aftershock today, and would have been better off trading those pieces for literally nothing. Sigh.

Edit: Fully agree with HRB that there should be no preciousness attached to this roster for the most part. It's time to be as aggressive and creative as possible.
 
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PedroKsBambino

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I think some of the issue was financial. Assuming that GH would come back (or that he was replaced), the Cs were taxpayers and wouldn't be cutting Carson for another rookie as that would just increase their tax bill. If you recall, most of us didn't think Semi was going to have his option picked up. So really the issue was between a draft pick and Javonte Green, and I would guess that the Cs wanted the non-guaranteed salary.
I get that financial piece. But there are options to dump salary later if Hayward comes back. And I am not saying it's nuts---I get the thinking. But it seemed wrong at the time to me, and looks worse in retrospect.

As with many roster things, it's easy (and many writers, though not all, fall into this trap) to assume that most of the roster spots are fixed. What you see the most creative GMs---Riley, Masai, etc.---assume is the opposite: almost everything can be adjusted to get the right frontline players on the roster. Cellar Door's story here is there weren't options---that's a great example of the fallacy. There were plenty of options, and a choice to be made. They made the wrong one, unfortunately.
 

Cellar-Door

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I don't buy the roster construction excuse. This team may not be championship level talent but it's far better than they're currently showing. That's on coaching and your best players, imo.
Yeah, there are some roster issues, but Javonte Green's 10 minutes a night is not why Tatum and Brown are playing with a lot less intensity on defense.
Nor is the presence of some shaky wing depth why guys walk it up while the coach yells at them to push.

This team is in a funk, maybe it's COVID related, this is a weird season, mentally more taxing than any other, but a lot of the worst issues with this team are about consistent application of effort and execution.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Totally agree---there is more going on than roster construction.

I'm puzzled what it is. Are the Js egos getting big? Do they not trust anyone and are doing what they think is best and others are frustrated by that? Are they doing about all they can and getting frustrated by all the marginal minutes being played around them by guys who don't have it? Is Stevens getting tuned out, and by whom?
 

BigSoxFan

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The history of the last 4-5 years is morbidly fascinating and the opportunity cost is tough to think about. The window was always considered to be based around whatever happened with the BK picks, once it became clear that they were all going to be mid-lotto at worst. But the 2016-17 team made the fool's gold ECF appearance, Hayward was on the market, and the calculus changed. Suddenly the opportunity to bring in a 3rd star on the cheap looks like a no-brainer. And at that time, Jayson Tatum hasn't stepped on an NBA court yet, and it's far from clear that he is a future superstar. And Jaylen is still a raw athlete that you're dreaming on, with little indication he would turn into the Jaylen of today.

Ainge doesn't touch Kyrie with a 10 foot pole if he knows how good Tatum/Brown will become as lead scorers, and how fast it will happen. Keeps the roster more flexible, certainly better for chemistry, and while I'm dreaming, if you take SGA with the last BK pick you have an incredible core of young players on the same timeline and it makes no sense to chase Kemba anyway. Kyrie was a good value trade but we are still feeling the aftershock today, and would have been better off trading those pieces for literally nothing. Sigh.
100% correct. And that is the most frustrating part of all this. Ainge did so many things right and is really getting screwed by poor circumstances and/or luck. Starting with your Kyrie example, the opportunity cost was immense. We gave up the #8 pick to get Kyrie (a great trade in concept) but the opportunity cost of that deal was Collin Sexton, SGA, or Mikal Bridges. Imagine Bridges as that 3rd wing next to the Jay's (24 years-old who plays good defense and is hitting 41% of his 3's) or SGA. And then we ended up losing Kyrie for nada. Again, hard to criticize the move at the time but it's something that just didn't work out and cost us serious potential value. I have no idea who Ainge would have picked but good chance SGA would have been that guy based on Ainge's typical drafting profile. Not only that but Kyrie leaving basically led us to the next big miss, the Kemba signing. In short, f*ck Kyrie.

And then you have the 2019 and 2020 drafts. In 2019, we had the triple whammy of the Sac pick being worse than expected and then we lost a coin flip that put us at #14...right after Herro was picked. Fast forward to 2020 and we're picking #14 again and just missed Vassell and Haliburton. I still have high hopes for Nesmith but I'd bet on those 2 guys being better players over the long run.

It almost feels like the universe is balancing itself after our incredible Nets deal. The good news is that Tatum and Brown are 22 and 24 so we have several years to get this right but it's just not going to be easy to find that final big piece.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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One of the huge benefits of the Kyrie deal was moving IT and avoiding what would have been a super messy contract extension negotiation.
They already took the PR hit for squeezing every ounce of effectiveness out of IT before trading him. I'm sure Ainge would have had no problem letting him walk and taking that hit as well.
 

RorschachsMask

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I would like to see them go after Barnes, I think he’s the type of guy the Jays would respect and listen to.

The team has a ton of issues, but I feel a couple of moves could relatively fix it. They aren’t beating the Nets regardless, but the Jays need some help.