Analysis of Celtics Games (2020-2021)

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
15,725
I wouldn't bet on Tacko ever being a rotation guy, but I think it is more likely than a couple of you. He has a real defensive impact when he's in there, and while he will be hunted and switched you can use him to really change the game in the paint. His offense isn't really a thing, and strong big guys will push him around, but there's a rotation role especially on a second-team unit protecting the rim and providing cover. At least, potentially.
When? Tacko is already 25.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
20,893
I wouldn't bet on Tacko ever being a rotation guy, but I think it is more likely than a couple of you. He has a real defensive impact when he's in there, and while he will be hunted and switched you can use him to really change the game in the paint. His offense isn't really a thing, and strong big guys will push him around, but there's a rotation role especially on a second-team unit protecting the rim and providing cover. At least, potentially.
Never say never I suppose but to me one of the reasons he can’t see the floor is due to his defensive “deficiencies” rather than him having a chance for a role due to his impact. He simply cannot defend in today’s NBA......you even say yourself that he’ll be hunted for switches.
 

shoelace

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 24, 2019
144
Never say never I suppose but to me one of the reasons he can’t see the floor is due to his defensive “deficiencies” rather than him having a chance for a role due to his impact. He simply cannot defend in today’s NBA......you even say yourself that he’ll be hunted for switches.
Agreed, you're one of the best talent evaluators on the board, so I think that holds some weight.

We've never seen Tacko hunted, but I feel like he can be neutralized by the opposing team going small. He just doesn't have enough offensive game to punish the other team for going small. Our own much maligned Grant Williams could pick him up easily and use his strength to push him off the spot on offense to my mind, and I'd guess most teams have someone who could do the same. On the other side, I think you can beat him down the floor or force him to guard the perimeter. I'd love to be wrong, but I think he's a gimmick player.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
25,444
Never say never I suppose but to me one of the reasons he can’t see the floor is due to his defensive “deficiencies” rather than him having a chance for a role due to his impact. He simply cannot defend in today’s NBA......you even say yourself that he’ll be hunted for switches.
Yeah, but he is an example of what I think sometimes happens around here (like in the aaron gordon discussion) where we confuse "is he perfect" with "is he useful?"

What I'm talking about is a 15 minute a game role which flexes up in some matchup situations where the other team doesn't have a stretch big. Sure, he'll be beat sometimes in those 15 minutes but he also will stop penetration and impact the other team's bigs/post actions. I think the pluses might outweigh the minuses in that role.

No guarantees, and notable Brad hasn't used him that way yet but I think that is the realistic vision. I would have been fine cutting him in pre-season for a vet wing, I do not think he'll get there. But it's certainly conceivable...
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
11,609
Santa Monica
Never say never I suppose but to me one of the reasons he can’t see the floor is due to his defensive “deficiencies” rather than him having a chance for a role due to his impact. He simply cannot defend in today’s NBA......you even say yourself that he’ll be hunted for switches.
yea, you'd have to play Tacko in a zone for him to be effective.

I could see coaches that understand/like the zone (Spolstra or Carlisle) or a bottom-feeding team use it for specific matchups.

Next year's business. Tacko is firmly stapled to the bench this season, so no pearl-clutching needed
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
20,893
Tacko is better on defense than Boban is. I don't know how skilled one has to be when one is 7'5"-ish.
In today’s game you have to be able to move your feet to show agaiant PNR and challenge perimeter shots without getting blown by. One defensive failure by a big and the entire set is ruined. We’ve seen Boban fail to do this countless times.
 

chilidawg

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 22, 2015
2,931
Cultural hub of the universe
In today’s game you have to be able to move your feet to show agaiant PNR and challenge perimeter shots without getting blown by. One defensive failure by a big and the entire set is ruined. We’ve seen Boban fail to do this countless times.
When I've watched Tacko I've been impressed by his ability to guard the perimeter, or at least have thought that he's actually not that bad. As someone pointed out above, he's playable on defense, but useless on offense.
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2005
34,583
Last week, I wrote:

In the last 15 games, the Boston Celtics have attempted 208 free throws. Their opponents have attempted 363. That's an average of 10.33 FTA's per game advantage for our opponents.

Four games later, the C's have taken more free throws in every single game than their opponents. 4 wins. Keep running, keep going to the hoop, stay aggressive. That's the mentality this team needs for the rest of the year.
 

Jimbodandy

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
5,278
around the way
Fantastic game on both ends tonight. Beating another good team on the road is one thing, but the offense and defense both are clicking. 30 assists and 9 turnovers. Really enjoyable to watch.
 

Jimbodandy

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
5,278
around the way
Last week, I wrote:

In the last 15 games, the Boston Celtics have attempted 208 free throws. Their opponents have attempted 363. That's an average of 10.33 FTA's per game advantage for our opponents.

Four games later, the C's have taken more free throws in every single game than their opponents. 4 wins. Keep running, keep going to the hoop, stay aggressive. That's the mentality this team needs for the rest of the year.
Going to the hoop hard has made a huge difference for this team.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
15,725
Last week, I wrote:

In the last 15 games, the Boston Celtics have attempted 208 free throws. Their opponents have attempted 363. That's an average of 10.33 FTA's per game advantage for our opponents.

Four games later, the C's have taken more free throws in every single game than their opponents. 4 wins. Keep running, keep going to the hoop, stay aggressive. That's the mentality this team needs for the rest of the year.
It's also when TT came back.

I know it's not the only reason but it's like only having 1 competent big on your team is bad.
 

JakeRae

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
6,818
New York, NY
Going to the hoop hard has made a huge difference for this team.
Playing Timelord with the starters has made a huge difference because all of a sudden everyone has space when they go to the rim. Tatum also looks healthy finally. I think it wasn’t always obvious in real time, but with hindsight it’s pretty clear that the slow walk up the floor dribble in place for 8 more seconds then set up a step back was at least in part an energy conservation approach that he needed to take because he wasn’t playing at full health. Hopefully he stays healthy since with COVID that’s certainly not a guarantee.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
35,667
Smart is healthier too and with Thompson as well as Langford back, the team has more tools with which to work.

Make no mistake though - this is Tatum levelling up again. Over the past five games he is shooting exactly 50% from the field (and yet overall inconsistent from three) while averaging just over 8.5 boards and playing tough D. As JR notes and Tatum himself said on TNT, he is finally feeling healthier. If he can maintain this level of production he is a handful for any opponent.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
12,816
The Celtics are on an impressive run right now. 6-1 over their last 7 games. Beating Minnesota, Houston, and Charlotte are no great shakes, of course, and their one loss was a drubbing against Philly. But the last two wins have been very impressive, going on the road and knocking off two very good western conference opponents. And the thing is, Boston has looked good doing it too.

Is this the team we were all hoping for? Because the way they're playing right now, they can be a handful for anyone.
 

mwonow

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 4, 2005
6,022
I don't think Theis was the problem, but his absence sure seems like it's part of the solution. The Cs are way better with TL and TT splitting the 5
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
15,725
I don't think Theis was the problem, but his absence sure seems like it's part of the solution. The Cs are way better with TL and TT splitting the 5
They are way better with TL and TT splitting the 5 than TL and the 3 stooges. A big part of the problem is they moved Theis while TT was still on the DL.
 

JakeRae

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
6,818
New York, NY
I don't think Theis was the problem, but his absence sure seems like it's part of the solution. The Cs are way better with TL and TT splitting the 5
This makes sense. We had one too many centers and Brad was playing them all, which created all sorts of problems. I don’t think anyone did anything wrong. I think Ainge wanted a wing but the market dried up while the Hayward situation was being worked out. I think that is easy to view as a mistake at the time, but in hindsight, Fournier is a better player than they could’ve gotten with the MLE if they had just renounced Hayward (which was the other option), and the roster going into the playoffs is really what matters. Brad needed to play the roster he had, and part of that is getting the actual NBA players minutes even if he had to play them out of position, which is what happened.

In a perfect world the offseason would’ve shaken out differently, we would’ve used the MLE on a wing and brought in a vet min big as insurance in case Timelord continued to struggle to stay on the court. It very much seems like that was Ainge’s plan after he couldn’t make the Hayward situation work, but he could not make signings that weren’t there to be made. He ultimately got us there though, through a more circuitous route that involved a painfully constructed roster for 2/3 of the season. Hopefully there’s enough time still to turn it around. I’m optimistic. The bottom line is that the core of this team still knows how to play Brad’s defense and do it really well. Hopefully we can land a 4/5 matchup with Atlanta so we can have a first round matchup that gives the team further time to gel in the playoffs before having to run up against the heavy hitters in the East.
 

Jimbodandy

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
5,278
around the way
The bottom line is that the core of this team still knows how to play Brad’s defense and do it really well.
I was thinking of this last night, as Brown, Tatum, and Smart were executing this perfectly. They were often manned straight up on guys, but frequently were overplaying one side and intentionally guiding guys toward the help. And the help was where it was supposed to be, and the ball had to swing.

That defense works great when everyone does their job. It looks like shit when one of them sends a guy to a handoff that isn't there, and it ends up as an uncontested dunk. Then we're all sitting around wondering what happened to Tatum, Brown, and Smart.

Portland shot well like they usually do, but they had to work for their shots.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
23,101
In a perfect world the offseason would’ve shaken out differently, we would’ve used the MLE on a wing and brought in a vet min big as insurance in case Timelord continued to struggle to stay on the court.
I think your perfect world would require a very good fortune teller.

DA had no idea TL would be able to play 47 games at 19 minutes a clip. Not bringing in a legit big would have been, IMO, poor planning.

I don't think Theis was the problem, but his absence sure seems like it's part of the solution. The Cs are way better with TL and TT splitting the 5
I don't have any stats to back this up but I think Theis regressed on defense. The Cs were getting killed in the paint pre-ASB.
 

Jimbodandy

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
5,278
around the way
I think your perfect world would require a very good fortune teller.

DA had no idea TL would be able to play 47 games at 19 minutes a clip. Not bringing in a legit big would have been, IMO, poor planning.


I don't have any stats to back this up but I think Theis regressed on defense. The Cs were getting killed in the paint pre-ASB.
We can't state this enough. Everyone is acting like TL playing this well and this regularly was a foregone conclusion. It wasn't. He looked nice in the bubble, but Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell looked like unstoppable 2K characters too. And TL hadn't shown the ability to stay healthy like ever.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
8,339
Kiev, Ukraine
I don't think Theis was the problem, but his absence sure seems like it's part of the solution. The Cs are way better with TL and TT splitting the 5
TT is also a completely different player than he was at the start of the season. This version of him is probably better than Theis, or at least it's very close.

I had him ticketed as salary filler in the offseason, but I'd absolutely keep this guy unless the trade was for a very impactful player.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
21,526
I think your perfect world would require a very good fortune teller.

DA had no idea TL would be able to play 47 games at 19 minutes a clip. Not bringing in a legit big would have been, IMO, poor planning.


I don't have any stats to back this up but I think Theis regressed on defense. The Cs were getting killed in the paint pre-ASB.
I also don't agree that in a perfect world where you knew TL could play 20-25 MPG you would do that. TT is good, in fact over the last couple months you could argue he's been better than TL. Given the wing options at the TPE, if you had perfect foresight, you still sign TT then you trade Theis before the season in a deal for wing.
 

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
10,311
Celtics began the year with the EC’s 2nd highest Win Total in many books. With a loss tonight in Portland they will make winners out of all the Under 45.5 tickets.
I’m planning on placing a wager on the Lakers game, could you please forecast an LA blowout?
 

Bernie Carbohydrate

writes the Semi-Fin
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2001
3,227
South Carolina via Dorchestah
yea, you'd have to play Tacko in a zone for him to be effective.

I could see coaches that understand/like the zone (Spolstra or Carlisle) or a bottom-feeding team use it for specific matchups.

Next year's business. Tacko is firmly stapled to the bench this season, so no pearl-clutching needed
I really like that idea. If you keep Tacko around as your zone center--as specialized as a LOOGY -- and throw that defense out there to disrupt an opponent's flow, that could be worth a roster spot. I recall how the Heat threw a 2-3 zone at the Celtics in the playoffs, with Adebayo assigned to rim protection, and our boys look s completely unprepared.. Even when Tatum or Kemba got past the top defenders, there was not much room in the paint to do anything.

Sure, an NBA team can't play 48 minutes of zone, but as a change-of-pace Tacko could be, as PedroK, puts it, useful.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
11,609
Santa Monica
I really like that idea. If you keep Tacko around as your zone center--as specialized as a LOOGY -- and throw that defense out there to disrupt an opponent's flow, that could be worth a roster spot. I recall how the Heat threw a 2-3 zone at the Celtics in the playoffs, with Adebayo assigned to rim protection, and our boys look s completely unprepared.. Even when Tatum or Kemba got past the top defenders, there was not much room in the paint to do anything.

Sure, an NBA team can't play 48 minutes of zone, but as a change-of-pace Tacko could be, as PedroK, puts it, useful.
exactly...overloading the right side of the diamond, starting relievers as OPENERS, even the 3pt shot were all considered gimmicks at first.

4mins in the first half would be interesting...if it doesn't work, don't use it in the 2nd half.

Potentially get 4-10mins/night from your 15th roster spot.

Not a "Brad thing", but wouldn't be shocked to see another team try it next season.

People can rip Tacko all they want, but the guy impacts the defensive rim to the point of guys just wanting to jam on him and losing all focus (see Westbrook, Russell)

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKgeme88PiA
 
Last edited:

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
8,339
Kiev, Ukraine
exactly...overloading the right side of the diamond, starting relievers as OPENERS, even the 3pt shot were all considered gimmicks at first.

4mins in the first half would be interesting...if it doesn't work, don't use it in the 2nd half.

Potentially get 4-10mins/night from your 15th roster spot.

Not a "Brad thing", but wouldn't be shocked to see another team try it next season.

People can rip Tacko all they want, but the guy impacts the defensive rim to the point of guys just wanting to jam on him and losing all focus (see Westbrook, Russell)

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKgeme88PiA
He has like 2 ok games in his career. He's 25. I'd way rather use the 2-way slot on a developmental wing or guard.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
11,609
Santa Monica
He has like 2 ok games in his career. He's 25. I'd way rather use the 2-way slot on a developmental wing or guard.
Yea, Tacko has no role on the Celtics, other than Gino time. Neither 2-way suits CBS system. It's rather odd Danny would have them instead of wings with potential.
 

ZMart100

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 15, 2008
2,237
We have trouble finding time for Nesmith as it is. Tacko gave us some mop up duty minutes at the big earlier in the season. I guess we could have given them to Grant, but Stevens seems to want him to play meaningful minutes. With the two bigs we got from Chicago, he is probably replaceable now. I doubt there is a diamond in the rough wing out there at this point though.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
15,725
We have trouble finding time for Nesmith as it is. Tacko gave us some mop up duty minutes at the big earlier in the season. I guess we could have given them to Grant, but Stevens seems to want him to play meaningful minutes. With the two bigs we got from Chicago, he is probably replaceable now. I doubt there is a diamond in the rough wing out there at this point though.
In a normal year, I think Fall and Waters would have been replaced with other players this season.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
7,812
Why? They're on two-ways, right? They're not taking 'normal' roster spots.
Since there's limited practice time, they had no summer league, and they don't have a G league team this year it made some sense to keep guys that already knew the system and you have at least some idea what to expect from them and what their role will be. If you used the spots on 2 random wings they'd never see the floor and it would be hard to evaluate what they even were.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
20,893
Probably doesn't matter much who the 13th-15th guys are, let alone the 2-ways.
Those roster slots don’t matter at all for this year but is a developmental tool to try and find a productive (and cheap) role player for future years like a Lu Dort or even a Dean Wade.
 

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
10,311
Why? They're on two-ways, right? They're not taking 'normal' roster spots.
Because Boston was suspending Portland for the year and new guys wouldn’t have gotten any time at all. Tacko & Tre at least know the system and wouldn’t b e lost.
 

Spelunker

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
7,473
Because Boston was suspending Portland for the year and new guys wouldn’t have gotten any time at all. Tacko & Tre at least know the system and wouldn’t b e lost.
There's definitely additional argument for them being those spots this year, but my point was I don't think they would have replaced them, Tacko especially, even in a more normal year. They're fine on a two-way, currently.
 

bakahump

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 8, 2001
6,802
Maine
Not sure they would have replaced Tacko. As has been pointed out he was on a 2 Way. Which has limited value at best. And the team had "plenty" (too many ...) of Centers anyway. As counterintuitive as it seems I can see a "We will keep him cause we wont have to use him" argument.

Especially if they felt that the "Developmental Wing" they would have instead of Tacko wouldnt play ahead of the Centers/wings already on the roster.

Plus you cant teach height.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
15,725
There's definitely additional argument for them being those spots this year, but my point was I don't think they would have replaced them, Tacko especially, even in a more normal year. They're fine on a two-way, currently.
I could see them maybe keeping Waters but Tacko definitely would have been replaced. He's limited and most players are what they are at age 25, minus small incremental improvement. Waters at least has age on his side and had some hype last year.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
15,725
Tremont Waters is awful at basketball and should never see the court in Celtics green again.

Any team tanking should immediately sign him in the offseason. Not even hyperbole.

Tremont Waters is why G League numbers mean absolutely nothing.

I don't think I've ever hated a player after one game so much in my life.
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
30,754
Melrose, MA
The Celtics are on an impressive run right now. 6-1 over their last 7 games. Beating Minnesota, Houston, and Charlotte are no great shakes, of course, and their one loss was a drubbing against Philly. But the last two wins have been very impressive, going on the road and knocking off two very good western conference opponents. And the thing is, Boston has looked good doing it too.

Is this the team we were all hoping for? Because the way they're playing right now, they can be a handful for anyone.
I wouldn't say it is "the team we've been hoping for" yet, but it is moving in the right direction. Will we get a healthy Evan Fournier back in time to integrate him? That would make a difference. This team should be #4 in the East, albeit with little hope of knocking off any of the top 3. I think that is where they wind up by the end of the season.
 

128

Member
SoSH Member
May 4, 2019
4,301
Tremont Waters is awful at basketball and should never see the court in Celtics green again.

Any team tanking should immediately sign him in the offseason. Not even hyperbole.

Tremont Waters is why G League numbers mean absolutely nothing.

I don't think I've ever hated a player after one game so much in my life.
His decision to shoot early in the shot clock with the C's lead evaporating was perhaps the worst I've ever seen from an NBA player.
 
Last edited:

Jakarta

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 18, 2020
40
His decision to shoot early in the shot block with the C's lead evaporating was perhaps the worst I've ever seen from an NBA player.
It was somehow worse than just an early shot clock miss. It was a non-chalant fadeaway for no reason at all with no one around him and the starters at the scorers table waiting to check in. He should be on a bus to Portland to practice with the non-existent G league team for that.
 

tbb345

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
1,625
Tremont Waters is awful at basketball and should never see the court in Celtics green again.

Any team tanking should immediately sign him in the offseason. Not even hyperbole.

Tremont Waters is why G League numbers mean absolutely nothing.

I don't think I've ever hated a player after one game so much in my life.
He played a decent amount in a game against the Raptors early in the season and was just as bad. His scouting report out of college suggested he was a very heady, solid player and thus far he's been the complete opposite
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
44,375
It was somehow worse than just an early shot clock miss. It was a non-chalant fadeaway for no reason at all with no one around him and the starters at the scorers table waiting to check in. He should be on a bus to Portland to practice with the non-existent G league team for that.
Paraphrasing what Kendrick Perkins said after the game--do these guys not know that the rest of the league sees this? A guy like Waters should be smart enough to know what his potential NBA ceiling is--finishing out blowouts, with occasional minutes early in games depending on injuries and fouls. If he can't handle a 20 point league as the point guard, with 7 minutes on the clock, he's not going to be employed much longer.
 

tbrown_01923

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2006
598
Honestly, I thought waters was heady last year when he got his run. But he looks to be torpedo-ing himself. Its crazy how much he shoots when he is on the court...
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
23,101
He played a decent amount in a game against the Raptors early in the season and was just as bad. His scouting report out of college suggested he was a very heady, solid player and thus far he's been the complete opposite
It's funny because way back in 2019, TW was getting press like other scouts thinking he was a NBA-ready backup PG. (For example, see tweet below.)

I always rooted for him but have never really liked his decision-making on the court in limited minutes. Also, it doesn't seem like he's really improved any part of his game in the NBA (maybe he's added some distance to his jump shot but he doesn't seem like he's a better shooter.)

It's too bad because he's definitely put in the work over his life.

View: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1209125701124796417