Analysis of Celtics Games (2020-2021)

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
36,292
No analysis. Just an observation that this win was, for me, the most satisfying one since Smart's chase down block in the bubble given all of the context. That Pop had to suffer it makes it all the more rich on some weird level.

I know the first half was a nuclear tire fire and they still have issues etc etc etc. But that was so damn fun.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
36,292
Actually, they ran what I thought was a clever action where Rob Williams faked a screen for Tatum around the top of the key then cut towards the basket creating a gray area moving screen of Tatum's guy, resulting in a clear path to the rim. Its kind of diabolical if the refs don't call it.
 

RorschachsMask

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2011
1,913
Lynn
Actually, they ran what I thought was a clever action where Rob Williams faked a screen for Tatum around the top of the key then cut towards the basket creating a gray area moving screen of Tatum's guy, resulting in a clear path to the rim. Its kind of diabolical if the refs don't call it.
The new version of the Theis snake screen, since refs decided to take that away this season.
 

slamminsammya

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
5,339
Palo Alto
Actually, they ran what I thought was a clever action where Rob Williams faked a screen for Tatum around the top of the key then cut towards the basket creating a gray area moving screen of Tatum's guy, resulting in a clear path to the rim. Its kind of diabolical if the refs don't call it.
It wasn't clear to me if that was by design, it seemed on replay like Williams decided last second to avoid contact but that mightve just been him selling the move.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
36,292
It wasn't clear to me if that was by design, it seemed on replay like Williams decided last second to avoid contact but that mightve just been him selling the move.
Yeah, I watched the Tatum highlights that *you* posted (thank you) and on further review it might have just been Tatum saving a broken play.
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
32,446
Melrose, MA
Here’s something fun...count how many times poor Jakob Pöltl gets posterized in that highlight reel.

Poor guy is the last line of defense, after Tatum has already brushed aside 2-3 other Spurs. He’s actually hustling, trying to rotate, and his reward is being dunked upon.
I enjoyed the play where Tatum drove, pulled it back out with Poeltl on him, and did his sidestep into a corner 3 move.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
21,982
Cool, and if they don't because we've spent all night proving we can't reliably hit shit for 3s, then we just crash and burn. Got it. [Caveat, I didn't watch the game, this is second hand angst.]

I know that sounds snarky, and I'm not really intending to aim at you (or HRB for that matter). You are both probably right, but in the face of the original comment, I'm frustrated at the 'idea' that they can attempt to win the game by doing something that might have been a more successful approach all game.
Been away for a few days and just catching up with this. No worries about appearing snarky.

What slammin is saying is correct in that defensive scheme in a final 10 second scenario protecting a 4-point lead is night and day compared to that of regular game flow. There would be minimal resistance in cutting off an offensive players angle with the dribble and zero interior/rim protection in this play we are discussing. There would also be a designed quick hitter set just for this case which isn’t ever occurring during the regular course of the game with few exceptions (end of quarter, inbounds play w 2-3 sec on shot clock, etc).
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
24,054
Kemba is a lot more important to the Celtics success than Tristen Thompson ...so are Smart and Fournier the wing drop off to Grant/Semi this season has been rough
Disagree. Just in terms of one guy - there are certain matchups where the Cs will need TT (PHI for one, MIL maybe for another; maybe even BRK) and don't have anyone else that can provide those minutes. And as CC said, the drop-off from TT to Murder Kornet is much greater - particularly if AN can be consistent - than the drop-off from any one player other than JT, JB, and TL.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
12,298
Santa Monica
Disagree. Just in terms of one guy - there are certain matchups where the Cs will need TT (PHI for one, MIL maybe for another; maybe even BRK) and don't have anyone else that can provide those minutes. And as CC said, the drop-off from TT to Murder Kornet is much greater - particularly if AN can be consistent - than the drop-off from any one player other than JT, JB, and TL.
I get where you and CC are coming from. I've been known to like those role-playing BIGs that play D/set screens. ;) I'm not going to get into a Kornet argument since his SS is so small in the Brad Machine.

It's more of a minutes, & where the team will get its points from. The CBS Machine just needs BIGs that can switch on D/set screens/move the ball quickly/don't clog the lane. I wouldn't be shocked if Danny moves Tristan this summer and replaces him with a cheap BIG that can replicate his efficiency behind TL. BUT I completely expect Danny to bring back Fournier at $15-18MM/yr, even with his COVID poor play. Fournier getting healthy and playing like he did before COVID will be huge, along with Kemba playing like he did right before the side strain. That will make or break their playoff run.

TT is solid/consistent, but is not a difference-maker (compared to our 3/4 scoring options), especially over 20+ mpg. Its the nature of the modern game and back-up 5s
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
8,448
Kiev, Ukraine
I get where you and CC are coming from. I've been known to like those role-playing BIGs that play D/set screens. ;) I'm not going to get into a Kornet argument since his SS is so small in the Brad Machine.

It's more of a minutes, & where the team will get its points from. The CBS Machine just needs BIGs that can switch on D/set screens/move the ball quickly/don't clog the lane. I wouldn't be shocked if Danny moves Tristan this summer and replaces him with a cheap BIG that can replicate his efficiency behind TL. BUT I completely expect Danny to bring back Fournier at $15-18MM/yr, even with his COVID poor play. Fournier getting healthy and playing like he did before COVID will be huge, along with Kemba playing like he did right before the side strain. That will make or break their playoff run.

TT is solid/consistent, but is not a difference-maker (compared to our 3/4 scoring options), especially over 20+ mpg. Its the nature of the modern game and back-up 5s
We saw enough of Fournier pre-covid (and in his career) to know he'll be a good fit imo. I seriously doubt they'll let this stretch deter re-signing.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
24,054
I get where you and CC are coming from. I've been known to like those role-playing BIGs that play D/set screens. ;) I'm not going to get into a Kornet argument since his SS is so small in the Brad Machine.

It's more of a minutes, & where the team will get its points from. The CBS Machine just needs BIGs that can switch on D/set screens/move the ball quickly/don't clog the lane. I wouldn't be shocked if Danny moves Tristan this summer and replaces him with a cheap BIG that can replicate his efficiency behind TL. BUT I completely expect Danny to bring back Fournier at $15-18MM/yr, even with his COVID poor play. Fournier getting healthy and playing like he did before COVID will be huge, along with Kemba playing like he did right before the side strain. That will make or break their playoff run.

TT is solid/consistent, but is not a difference-maker (compared to our 3/4 scoring options), especially over 20+ mpg. Its the nature of the modern game and back-up 5s
I agree going forward DA could replace TT without a ton of difficulty but I was talking (and I think CC was talking) about the rest of the season. IMO, TT is essential to the Cs success the rest of this year - even more so than anyone else but the Big 3 - just because they don't have anyone who can replace what he offers.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
8,448
Kiev, Ukraine
I agree going forward DA could replace TT without a ton of difficulty but I was talking (and I think CC was talking) about the rest of the season. IMO, TT is essential to the Cs success the rest of this year - even more so than anyone else but the Big 3 - just because they don't have anyone who can replace what he offers.
Yes, and this even undersells TT a bit. He's been a big part of their improved play, and is significantly better than a random vet min center imo.

Someone went through this a couple weeks ago iirc, and while center is a lot more fungible than other positions, you still have to pay 7-10M to get a solid vet there.
 

Jimbodandy

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
5,956
around the way
I get where you and CC are coming from. I've been known to like those role-playing BIGs that play D/set screens. ;) I'm not going to get into a Kornet argument since his SS is so small in the Brad Machine.

It's more of a minutes, & where the team will get its points from. The CBS Machine just needs BIGs that can switch on D/set screens/move the ball quickly/don't clog the lane. I wouldn't be shocked if Danny moves Tristan this summer and replaces him with a cheap BIG that can replicate his efficiency behind TL. BUT I completely expect Danny to bring back Fournier at $15-18MM/yr, even with his COVID poor play. Fournier getting healthy and playing like he did before COVID will be huge, along with Kemba playing like he did right before the side strain. That will make or break their playoff run.

TT is solid/consistent, but is not a difference-maker (compared to our 3/4 scoring options), especially over 20+ mpg. Its the nature of the modern game and back-up 5s
They'll find points with emerging JT and JB and a healthy Fournier/Smart facilitating. There will be spot up points for whoever is in the corner, and TT/TL will get their share in the restricted area.

Yeah all of that and prime Kemba makes something serious, but we're all assuming that prime Kemba is probably gone forever and definitely for this year. So, what we're talking about here is how big of a loss Mediocre Kemba would be to the offense compared to Terrible Kornet taking big minutes on defense. I think that's a no brainer.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
16,928
They'll find points with emerging JT and JB and a healthy Fournier/Smart facilitating. There will be spot up points for whoever is in the corner, and TT/TL will get their share in the restricted area.

Yeah all of that and prime Kemba makes something serious, but we're all assuming that prime Kemba is probably gone forever and definitely for this year. So, what we're talking about here is how big of a loss Mediocre Kemba would be to the offense compared to Terrible Kornet taking big minutes on defense. I think that's a no brainer.
Some posters have been saying all year Kemba would be a liability in the playoffs. I guess that's not necessarily the same thing as "better without him."
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
4,769
It was interesting in the Spurs comeback when Stevens put Brown on Poeltl in order to better handle the 2/5 pick/roll. They did it for five or six possessions and it slowed down the Spurs’ offense.

As the Jays get more physically mature, I can see lineups with Tatum and Brown as the two tallest Celtics, when TL rests.
 

Imbricus

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 26, 2017
3,160
I had to check out after the first half last night. When Brad went to Waters early, I thought he might be throwing in the towel, or at least trying a desperation move. But Waters didn't look that bad, playing with the starters, and Payton had jacked up three 3's and hadn't made one. I figured after the first 24 minutes, the only question left to be answered was whether they were going to lose by 40, 30 or 20.

When I check out of a game early, the next morning I always read the game thread before I check the score. If they had continued sucking, I knew it would be about 5, maybe 6 pages. It was 12, so I'm like, "Damn, they must have taken it into overtime." That seemed incredible. And the win -- an epic turnaround. Spurs fans must have been livid.

Wish I had gotten a chance to see Nesmith. He definitely plays with a little swagger, that up until recently has been wholly unmerited. But that would be exciting if things clicked for him, and it turned out that last year we had a draft where we got two really solid NBA players in the first round (well, three, if you count Bane :) ).
 

128

Member
SoSH Member
May 4, 2019
4,788
C's fall a full game behind the Heat and are now No. 7 in the East.

Hello, play-in game.
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
32,446
Melrose, MA
Wow, what a disastrous way for the season to maybe end. Brown and tatum collide late and both go to the locker room.

Also, this was one of the worst officiated games I've ever seen.
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
22,143
This is a cursed year for this team. In positive news, the development of TL is biggest surprise. This guy make some plays sometimes and I think: is this guy a genius? The way he sees the floor is as impressive as is the physical freak stuff.
 

RorschachsMask

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2011
1,913
Lynn
This is a cursed year for this team. In positive news, the development of TL is biggest surprise. This guy make some plays sometimes and I think: is this guy a genius? The way he sees the floor is as impressive as is the physical freak stuff.
I remember the few times he got on the court in his rookie season, he made some fantastic passes, and I was kind of thrown off by it. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but it’s a legitimate weapon. Once the game slows down more for him, I think he could be a 3-4 assist a game guy at center.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
8,643
It's possible this ends up a lost year, but the fact that Williams turned a corner and both Pritchard and Nesmith look like useful bench pieces at worst is a pretty big development for the Cs going forward.
 

128

Member
SoSH Member
May 4, 2019
4,788
It's possible this ends up a lost year, but the fact that Williams turned a corner and both Pritchard and Nesmith look like useful bench pieces at worst is a pretty big development for the Cs going forward.
If Romeo can get going too, the C's will have a really talented young core. Re-sign Fournier and get a little good fortune, for once, on the health front, and the C's might be in a good place.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
25,984
They do have some thinking to do about vet leadership and Smart.

The ejection call on Smart was atrocious and indefensible----and no doubt also a result of the reputation as a chippy/dirty player he has rightfully earned, plus lack of goodwill from refs he has also rightly earned. His emotions can be an important motivator for the team, but also distracting and I just don't know how to think about that and balance it against the need for the team to show more fire and more consistency overall. Curious thoughts on this from people---not so much the call (where physics and perceptions are already hardened) but the overall role for him looking forward.

I like the players they have and in a world they keep Fournier the depth as well. But they have not shown they are a lot better than a 45-50 win team over course of a season with this core, and Kemba is much more likely to decline than anything else. So where are we? I'm curious to see.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
14,352
This year in some ways has been a big step back for Boston. They’re not nearly as good as most of us figured they’d be. But there are definitely bright spots. Pritchard, Nesmith, and Time Lord are the three biggest pluses.

I do wonder what they could get for Smart in the off-season in a trade. Good contract, player with value. Might get a pretty decent return if they try to move him.
 

Strike4

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
1,980
Portland, Maine
The ejection call on Smart was atrocious and indefensible----and no doubt also a result of the reputation as a chippy/dirty player he has rightfully earned, plus lack of goodwill from refs he has also rightly earned. His emotions can be an important motivator for the team, but also distracting and I just don't know how to think about that and balance it against the need for the team to show more fire and more consistency overall. Curious thoughts on this from people---not so much the call (where physics and perceptions are already hardened) but the overall role for him looking forward.
After they are ousted in the first round we can all reflect and I think people will be willing to give Smart a pass. Not so much of a pass in terms of "Marcus it's ok for you to make boneheaded plays as long as you are great in your role", but more "it was a COVID year but next year will be normal so we need to all get it together Marcus". All this is even more true now that we may have something in Nesmith, who can provide some portion of what Marcus does, and Pritchard, who can provide another portion of what Marcus does. Not that Smart would be a bench player but with increased playing time for the rookies I can see in games next year where playing the hot hand leaves Smart on the bench sometimes when Nesmith is having a great game or Pritchard is hitting 3's.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
12,298
Santa Monica
I like the players they have and in a world they keep Fournier the depth as well. But they have not shown they are a lot better than a 45-50 win team over course of a season with this core, and Kemba is much more likely to decline than anything else. So where are we? I'm curious to see.
Agreed the post mortem will be interesting, but we probably should let the season/playoffs play out. Summer fodder. I mean five days ago people were writing off Nesmith, as another meh pick by Danny. Amazingly after getting real minutes, he learned how to shoot a basketball :rolleyes:

Fournier got screwed by COVID season, he should be brought back, his defense will get better with health.

I'll just throw this in because my stance won't change in regards to Kemba. I hope he plays great (he played better recently) down the stretch because I'd like to see him moved in the offseason.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
24,054
This year in some ways has been a big step back for Boston. They’re not nearly as good as most of us figured they’d be. But there are definitely bright spots. Pritchard, Nesmith, and Time Lord are the three biggest pluses.

I do wonder what they could get for Smart in the off-season in a trade. Good contract, player with value. Might get a pretty decent return if they try to move him.
I'm not sure I'd say that BOS isn't as good as most of us figured they'd be. I mean JT is a top 10-15 player. JB made the All-Star team. TL has made a jump. PP is better than anyone thought he could be and AN may be as well. TT has played well at times. Frankly, the only important player who consensus has him down from last year is Marcus.

I think I'd say that BOS is much more inconsistent than any of us thought they'd be, and no one is really sure why. We're all hoping they put it together for one run when things matter but none of us will be surprised if they don't.
 

Devizier

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2000
15,115
Somewhere
I'm not sure I'd say that BOS isn't as good as most of us figured they'd be. I mean JT is a top 10-15 player. JB made the All-Star team. TL has made a jump. PP is better than anyone thought he could be and AN may be as well. TT has played well at times. Frankly, the only important player who consensus has him down from last year is Marcus.
I would argue that Kemba holds the distinction here.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
25,984
Agree with you guys on waiting for the playoffs and will be thrilled if that impacts the analys---primarily because I'm pessimistic on it right now!
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
16,928
With as inconsistent as the team is, they really should be doing everything to avoid the play in game.

I think in a 7 game series, they have a puncher's chance.
 

OurF'ingCity

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 22, 2016
6,791
New York City
With as inconsistent as the team is, they really should be doing everything to avoid the play in game.

I think in a 7 game series, they have a puncher's chance.
Well, it's really play-in games, plural, since the 7-8 seeds get two chances. And I'd like to think the Cs even given their inconsistencies could, given two chances, beat one of Charlotte, Indiana, and Washington.

(This is assuming of course that the Celtics don't drop to 9-10 by the end of the regular season, which they should be able to avoid simply by beating the teams not in playoff contention remaining on their schedule that have nothing left to play for. )
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
16,928
Well, it's really play-in games, plural, since the 7-8 seeds get two chances. And I'd like to think the Cs even given their inconsistencies could, given two chances, beat one of Charlotte, Indiana, and Washington.

(This is assuming of course that the Celtics don't drop to 9-10 by the end of the regular season, which they should be able to avoid simply by beating the teams not in playoff contention remaining on their schedule that have nothing left to play for. )
Chicago, 2 games against the Heat and the Knicks. Charlotte just got Ball and Monk back and I think Hayward is back soon. They are 2 games behind in the loss column. Pacers are 2 back in the loss column too but there are only a handful of games left.

The C's would be 3-4 if they lose to those 4 teams and beat Orlando, Cleveland and Minnesota. The Hornets would have to go 7-1 (or 6-2) and the Pacers 8-1 (or 7-2) depending on tiebreakers. It would be hard fall back to the 9.

They are probably safe as long as they don't lose out.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
12,298
Santa Monica
I'm not sure I'd say that BOS isn't as good as most of us figured they'd be. I mean JT is a top 10-15 player. JB made the All-Star team. TL has made a jump. PP is better than anyone thought he could be and AN may be as well. TT has played well at times. Frankly, the only important player who consensus has him down from last year is Marcus.

I think I'd say that BOS is much more inconsistent than any of us thought they'd be, and no one is really sure why. We're all hoping they put it together for one run when things matter but none of us will be surprised if they don't.
a mix of Kemba, defense and injuries
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
8,448
Kiev, Ukraine
Interesting tidbit from Keith Smith:
View: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1389589611798835203


Celtics bench is actually really efficient on the shots they take... they just don't take many shots.
This is why it's so important to treat getting shots off as a skill, as opposed to raw %. A big reason that the 2020-21 Celtics reserves shot a high % is that they got run off a lot of shots and then stalled the offense when forced to make a play.

To PP's credit, he's been making adjustments to that, both spacing out further and being more willing look for shots/plays in the in-between area when he is run off his shot. Nesmith has also shown some promise in this area.

On the other hand, Semi and Grant are decent 3-point shooters who are useless if a hard closeout takes that first option away.
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
32,446
Melrose, MA
This is why it's so important to treat getting shots off as a skill, as opposed to raw %. A big reason that the 2020-21 Celtics reserves shot a high % is that they got run off a lot of shots and then stalled the offense when forced to make a play.

To PP's credit, he's been making adjustments to that, both spacing out further and being more willing look for shots/plays in the in-between area when he is run off his shot. Nesmith has also shown some promise in this area.

On the other hand, Semi and Grant are decent 3-point shooters who are useless if a hard closeout takes that first option away.
As a reserve, Rob Williams is shooting 73% from the field on 131 of 180 shooting. I wonder how much that impacts the numbers.
 

Jimbodandy

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
5,956
around the way
This is why it's so important to treat getting shots off as a skill, as opposed to raw %. A big reason that the 2020-21 Celtics reserves shot a high % is that they got run off a lot of shots and then stalled the offense when forced to make a play.

To PP's credit, he's been making adjustments to that, both spacing out further and being more willing look for shots/plays in the in-between area when he is run off his shot. Nesmith has also shown some promise in this area.

On the other hand, Semi and Grant are decent 3-point shooters who are useless if a hard closeout takes that first option away.
This is a really important point and one that frequently got lost when Semi and Grant started hitting at a good rate. Having a shooter who can make a good decision with the ball, even just one good decision, when they're closed out...Brad would pay for that out of his own pocket.

Semi flashed a couple of nice drives on closeouts a couple of months ago, and a few of us were practically pantsless (*guilty), but we haven't seen it again.

NBA teams are really good at running guys off the line, and that really limits players like Semi, Grant, and Theis (when he was in that role). Nesmith and Langford could be huge, if they can punish teams for that.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
23,036
This is why it's so important to treat getting shots off as a skill, as opposed to raw %. A big reason that the 2020-21 Celtics reserves shot a high % is that they got run off a lot of shots and then stalled the offense when forced to make a play.

To PP's credit, he's been making adjustments to that, both spacing out further and being more willing look for shots/plays in the in-between area when he is run off his shot. Nesmith has also shown some promise in this area.

On the other hand, Semi and Grant are decent 3-point shooters who are useless if a hard closeout takes that first option away.
I think it shows 2 things...
1. We have a lot of good shooters on the bench who can't create their own shots
2. We don't do a good job creating shots for our bench players.

Yes Grant/Semi/Nesmith etc., even PP to an extent aren't great at creating their own shots, but also we don't have a lot of guys who create the easy looks these guys need. PP is okay at it, but he's not really a creator/facilitator. Tatum and Brown have stepped up their passing some, but still don't do enough to collapse defenses. Smart is a good passer, but outside of lobs he doesn't consistently create opportunities.

Honestly it feels like Kemba is still important (and FOurnier will be) because he has gravity, and he moves defenders without closing out his passing lanes, something our other ball handlers could learn from. Too often they make it easy to defend the team because they get to spots where their options are tough shot or re-set the offense.