Analysis of Celtics Games (2020-2021)

lovegtm

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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.
Nesmith is already flashing a lot of this ability, and I'm excited to see what he can do after a summer.
 

lovegtm

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Is the turf toe a new one this season for Rob?

These nagging injuries/missed games are just slowly burning a little bit off his contract offer at seasons end.

Love the guy but man it's always something. He fell over the other night a half dozen times and you hold your breath every time.
Na I don't hold my breath when he goes down, since I know he'll get up from it and still find a way to get hurt in practice the next day.
 

nighthob

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Na I don't hold my breath when he goes down, since I know he'll get up from it and still find a way to get hurt in practice the next day.
Unfortunately reading that joke caused Romeo Langford to strain an abdominal muscle laughing and he's day to day.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Did they always double so frequently in past seasons under Stevens? Vucevic has ten assists tonight, five of them leading to three pointers, because they doubled him when he got the ball and he found the open shooter without fail.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Did they always double so frequently in past seasons under Stevens? Vucevic has ten assists tonight, five of them leading to three pointers, because they doubled him when he got the ball and he found the open shooter without fail.
Maybe anecdotal but I feel like I have been complaining about pointless doubling for years. It’s possibly standing out more this year because they are worse than I’ve ever seen recovering to challenge outside shots.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Maybe anecdotal but I feel like I have been complaining about pointless doubling for years. It’s possibly standing out more this year because they are worse than I’ve ever seen recovering to challenge outside shots.
We didn’t double Vucevic when we played the Bulls a couple weeks ago and he made our entire frontline his bitch. Scored 29 in 31 min and we ended up sending a second guy to help anyway that resulted in 9 offensive Rebs for the Bulls from us being out of position on the shot. Last night Brad adjusted to be proactive but Vuc shredded that game plan too.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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We didn’t double Vucevic when we played the Bulls a couple weeks ago and he made our entire frontline his bitch. Scored 29 in 31 min and we ended up sending a second guy to help anyway that resulted in 9 offensive Rebs for the Bulls from us being out of position on the shot. Last night Brad adjusted to be proactive but Vuc shredded that game plan too.
This is where the poor, slow rotations come into play. They double and think that’s the end of it, and don’t even try to prevent other players from getting open looks.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Maybe anecdotal but I feel like I have been complaining about pointless doubling for years. It’s possibly standing out more this year because they are worse than I’ve ever seen recovering to challenge outside shots.
Well, as HRB points out, defending Vuc with a 6'6" guy (GW) or a 6'3" guy (MS) mano e mano didn't work out well either.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I think it's not secret that Cs are bothered by size this year: https://www.celticsblog.com/2021/5/8/22426211/chicago-bulls-size-and-length-is-a-worrying-issue-for-the-boston-celtics-nikola-vucevic. As the article puts it: "The common denominator here is that when the Celtics come up against guys with height and wingspan, they revert to their unproductive ways. Early threes, settling for contested jumpers, and tentative ventures into the paint all creep back into their game plan. Fear takes hold."

While I'm not sure I'd say that Fear takes hold and if it were me writing the article, I'd like to look more at who is and is not available in these games, I think when TL and one of the wings are out, the Cs have struggled with length this year. Hopefully they can figure it out.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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That was also the year Kyrie arrived.
Also the first year without Ed Lacerte.

I've been beating the training/medical staff having issues for a bit now, but things absolutely have felt worse in terms of injuries since they replaced everyone. I haven't been able to find any historical numbers for games lost to injuries though. Anyone have that?
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Also the first year without Ed Lacerte.

I've been beating the training/medical staff having issues for a bit now, but things absolutely have felt worse in terms of injuries since they replaced everyone. I haven't been able to find any historical numbers for games lost to injuries though. Anyone have that?
I think Spottrac has games missed to being put on the injury list. May not be complete but it's a start. https://www.spotrac.com/nba/injured-reserve/
 

HomeRunBaker

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Also the first year without Ed Lacerte.

I've been beating the training/medical staff having issues for a bit now, but things absolutely have felt worse in terms of injuries since they replaced everyone. I haven't been able to find any historical numbers for games lost to injuries though. Anyone have that?
Unless there is complete incompetence, which at this level isn’t likely, the training/medical teams are a tiny component of players missing games as these are largely qualified individuals. Nothingburger imo.
 

slamminsammya

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The trainers aren't causing these injuries. Name an injury that has lingered longer than it should have this year because you think it wasn't being properly treated.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Yeah, I just think it's a really bad stretch of luck. That or it happens to most teams and I just notice it more when it happens to the C's.
 

DourDoerr

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I honestly hate watching this team right now. I enjoy TL and am curious to see Nesmith, but the way they play and the horrific D (lacking effort + IQ) just burns me out by halftime. You'll see them turn on the D when they fall behind by 20+. It's like a manager holding back his closer every game when it's the middle inning relievers continually spitting up runs and putting games out of reach.
 
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jmcc5400

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I honestly hate watching this team right now. I enjoy TL and am curious to see Nesmith, but the way they play and the horrific D (lacking effort + IQ) just burns me out by halftime. You'll see them turn on the D when they fall behind by 20+. It's like a manager holding back his closer every game when it's the middle inning relievers continually spitting up runs and putting games out of reach.
I admire your ability to continue to watch. Their lack of hunger and intensity kills me. I can stand losing, but not like this. They’re going to get embarrassed by Charlotte and Washington next week assuming they are capable of embarrassment at this point.
 

Bertha

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It seems like Brad is throwing anything he can at the wall, hoping something will work. Kemba, CE, and PP all on the floor at the same time today, With Nesmith and TT?? This after kemba had been hunted on defense all game.

I tend to be optimistic about tomorrow in sports, but there seems to be a something holding them back. I am not convinced it is the unusual off-season and season. Whether the coaching is part of the issue, or need of more veteran leadership, or maybe even Smart being a net negative with his intensity and highly variable BBIQ, I do not know.
They play soft far too often. If this was at a lower level, in many of these poor starts, they would simply pull the entire 5 and put in higher energy backups.

Miami came in with a game plan, and executed it. We seem far too dependent on good kemba vs OK kemba. Is good kemba even playable in a playoff series? Have they shown they can hide him sufficiently on defense yet?
 

TripleOT

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I’m (again) watching Anything Is Possible, the story of the 2008 Celtics, and it got me thinking of how many tough guys, and tough minded guys, were on that roster.

This Celtics team just don’t have enough tough guys, and don’t have enough tough minded guys
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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It seems like Brad is throwing anything he can at the wall, hoping something will work. Kemba, CE, and PP all on the floor at the same time today, With Nesmith and TT?? This after kemba had been hunted on defense all game.
Maybe the theory is that if KW is getting hunted, it doesn't matter that much who else is on the floor so you might as well have all the shooting possible,
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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KW was +6 in a 6 point loss, best of any of the starters. It's possible that he wasn't the issue.
)
Hmm. Wonder what @benhogan thinks about that? :)

I'm not one of those who say that KW is unplayable on defense but as Brad mentioned in his post-game comments, the Cs are really small compared to a lot of teams - CHI, MIA, MIL, BRK, etc. - so I guess they have to put more pressure on the ball. Certainly, the Cs defense in the first half lacked ball pressure. However, they also lacked communication (look at a couple of Robinson baskets); cohesion, effort, and probably insight too.

From memory, MIA spent much of the first 3Qs posting up Kemba. (How many times did Mark Jones say, "He's got a little one on him"). I'm sure it was not unexpected. But MIA got a lot of open looks out of it.
 

benhogan

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Hmm. Wonder what @benhogan thinks about that? :)

I'm not one of those who say that KW is unplayable on defense but as Brad mentioned in his post-game comments, the Cs are really small compared to a lot of teams - CHI, MIA, MIL, BRK, etc. - so I guess they have to put more pressure on the ball. Certainly, the Cs defense in the first half lacked ball pressure. However, they also lacked communication (look at a couple of Robinson baskets); cohesion, effort, and probably insight too.

From memory, MIA spent much of the first 3Qs posting up Kemba. (How many times did Mark Jones say, "He's got a little one on him"). I'm sure it was not unexpected. But MIA got a lot of open looks out of it.
I can honestly say I don't give +/- over 1 game much thought, along with 95% of this board. ;)

Spoelstra put on a coaching clinic in the first half on how to attack the Celtics... relentlessly.
It sucks and every playoff coach will do it, even Hubie was sighing every time Kemba was posted. I guess Brad's approach* in the 2nd half was to go even smaller, not double on the block, and live with Kemba guarding wings on the block? I could barely stomach watching this group the last 2 quarters so I didn't watch too closely.

There are a dozen reasons why the Celtics will be bounced early this season. Kemba's defense is just one of them. Plenty of time to get into the details post-mortem this summer.
 
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NomarsFool

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I assume there is some strategic counter to another team trying to post-up your 6' point guard. If not, I assume there wouldn't be any 6' point guards in the league. So, what is it, and why can't the Celtics do that?
 

HomeRunBaker

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I assume there is some strategic counter to another team trying to post-up your 6' point guard. If not, I assume there wouldn't be any 6' point guards in the league. So, what is it, and why can't the Celtics do that?
Not all 6-foot guards are created equal. Chris Paul is one of the best defensive guards to ever play the game regardless of size.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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I assume there is some strategic counter to another team trying to post-up your 6' point guard. If not, I assume there wouldn't be any 6' point guards in the league. So, what is it, and why can't the Celtics do that?
Brad Stevens got an IT, Bradley, Crowder, Horford, Johnson starting lineup to 13th in the league in D rating. They're 19th in the league in D rating this year. If the team had any interest whatsoever in playing defense, they'd be able to hide Kemba somewhat successfully.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Not all 6-foot guards are created equal. Chris Paul is one of the best defensive guards to ever play the game regardless of size.
Ain't that the truth. Utah is running 6'1 Donovan Mitchell and 6'1 Mike Conley out there night after night, and somehow, they manage to be the #3 scoring defense in the NBA (as well as the #1 scoring offense). Gobert is obviously a presence in the middle, but somehow, those guys aren't getting abused night in and night out. I guess Bogdanovich and O'Neal and Joe Ingles are just better athletes and can cover up the size deficiencies. Or something....
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I assume there is some strategic counter to another team trying to post-up your 6' point guard. If not, I assume there wouldn't be any 6' point guards in the league. So, what is it, and why can't the Celtics do that?
The first and foremost they try to do is switch out KW before the ball goes into the post, which they do a lot. Of course that likely leaves KW on another mismatch and a good offensive team will seek that out.

Once the ball is in the post, the Cs have to decide whether they are going to play man up (note they tried this with Ariza yesterday but that didn't work so well), double early, or double after the guy starts making his move. However, that gets the Cs into rotation and that's not working out so great either.

Also, by the time crunch time came around, they stopped hunting KW and just put the ball into Butler's hands. Cs couldn't stop that either.

Hopefully JB will play tomorrow. I think at the end of the day, his size will help a lot tomorrow.
 

Cesar Crespo

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The first and foremost they try to do is switch out KW before the ball goes into the post, which they do a lot. Of course that likely leaves KW on another mismatch and a good offensive team will seek that out.

Once the ball is in the post, the Cs have to decide whether they are going to play man up (note they tried this with Ariza yesterday but that didn't work so well), double early, or double after the guy starts making his move. However, that gets the Cs into rotation and that's not working out so great either.

Also, by the time crunch time came around, they stopped hunting KW and just put the ball into Butler's hands. Cs couldn't stop that either.

Hopefully JB will play tomorrow. I think at the end of the day, his size will help a lot tomorrow.
It'll help. It'd help a lot more if TL was available too.
 

Koufax

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Some traditions, especially those that muzzle voices, warrant revision.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Forgive me. I'm not up to speed on all the time-honored traditions of this site. I'm no Shaughnessy fan, but I think he nails it here.
No worries. I had no idea his thread was still going. You can find the history in this 42 page thread if you have time to burn: https://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/dan-shaughnessy-taking-a-dump-in-your-mouth-one-column-at-a-time.117/#post-222003
Some traditions, especially those that muzzle voices, warrant revision.
No one is muzzling his voice. The theory, well at least at one time, was not to post links just so no one would click on his articles. But that was a long time ago and I've not read anything of CHB's for a long time so not sure what he's up to.

It was more a meta-reference than anything else.
 

Cellar-Door

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One note I have on the posting PGs thing.....

If you can't get the switch you should 100% let PGs post Kemba all they want. Where we get in trouble is things like Tatum leaving the opponent's best shooter wide open for a 3 because he decided to help his PG to prevent a fairly low value shot (lots of 12 footers that Tatum seems to want to stop).

There are a few PGs who can post and be deadly, but not many, so you'll live with those possessions.
 

TripleOT

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It’s not going to happen, but this team needs to front run in the playoffs to be successful. They need to win first quarters. Bring Kemba off the bench, so the opponent doesn’t exploit him defensively and put up 30+ points in the first quarter.

Start the game with Smart, Brown, Nesmith, Tatum, and TL, and bring Kemba, Fournier, and TT off the bench. The Celtics would have one of the strongest bench units in the league. They could begin each game featuring the Jays attacking the basket, and try to get their star wings off to good starts every game by getting them a lot of early touches (as opposed to having them stand around while Kemba clangs p/r threes).

Then Kemba and Fournier can come in at the seven minute mark and try to light up the other team’s subs.
 

HomeRunBaker

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One note I have on the posting PGs thing.....

If you can't get the switch you should 100% let PGs post Kemba all they want. Where we get in trouble is things like Tatum leaving the opponent's best shooter wide open for a 3 because he decided to help his PG to prevent a fairly low value shot (lots of 12 footers that Tatum seems to want to stop).

There are a few PGs who can post and be deadly, but not many, so you'll live with those possessions.
Great points here. If you can bait your opponent into getting out of their offensive rhythm by posting up non-low post players that is one way to win a matchup when you otherwise shouldn’t.
 

chilidawg

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HomeRunBaker

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Walker's DRating is better than Smart, Tatum, Brown or TL, and is better than the team's overall rating. I'm not arguing that he's good defensively, but as a team they've sucked both when he's on the court and when he's off. That to me suggests he's not the primary problem.

https://www.nba.com/stats/players/advanced/?sort=DEF_RATING&dir=-1&Season=2020-21&SeasonType=Regular Season&TeamID=1610612738
Kemba is very savvy defensively and takes a ton of charges sliding into the lane similar to how Lowry racks up so many. My issue is the backcourt pairing when it is Kemba and Fournier.