Analysis of Celtics Games (2020-2021)

Smokey Joe

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Some traditions, especially those that muzzle voices, warrant revision.
I will think about 5 seconds about revising that tradition….
No thanks.

I would suggest that you read every column that man writes for a year. If, at the end of a year, you feel that he adds anything but mean-spiritedness to the New England sports scene, I will be happy to think again.

“But I think, the most likely reason of all, was that his heart was two sizes too small.”
 

radsoxfan

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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.
Agree with the "Kemba isn't the main problem" takes.

He can be a liability in certain matchups but he also does some good, crafty things out there as well to mitigate the damage. He is small but not tiny like IT, big difference.

Not surprised the numbers back up him not being the primary problem. It feels like an effort/scheme issue as much as any one individual player to me.
 

Koufax

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I would suggest that you read every column that man writes for a year. If, at the end of a year, you feel that he adds anything but mean-spiritedness to the New England sports scene, I will be happy to think again.
It doesn't take a year of reading to find a counterpoint. Reaching back all of three days, there is a very nice piece about Ernie Adams. He wraps it up with this:

"There was never anyone like him. There will never be anyone like him. Adams was the power behind the throne. He was legit. A football force. His retirement is the end of an era. Belichick and the Patriots are going to miss him."
 

Devizier

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One thing that has stood out to me is that often times Brown and Tatum perform their best when the other is absent or taking a backseat. I haven’t looked at the numbers, and the sample is probably too small to be meaningful, but I wonder if they haven’t been meshing that well this year (and if that will be a problem going forward).
 

Humphrey

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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.
Except for the part about the fans willing to turn a blind eye to all the incompetent play going on game after game. Maybe an inordinate amount of the few that get to go to games this year do? Which, I for the most part can understand; is one supposed to jump through hoops to get to a live game in these circumstances and act/be miserable like Dan? You just go and root for them and complain about them later, which there is going to be plenty of time for.
 

128

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Except for the part about the fans willing to turn a blind eye to all the incompetent play going on game after game. Maybe an inordinate amount of the few that get to go to games this year do? Which, I for the most part can understand; is one supposed to jump through hoops to get to a live game in these circumstances and act/be miserable like Dan? You just go and root for them and complain about them later, which there is going to be plenty of time for.
Good point.
 

slamminsammya

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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....
I think its because in 2021 NBA defense is roughly 75% about how good your big man is.
 

chilidawg

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I think its because in 2021 NBA defense is roughly 75% about how good your big man is.
Top 5 teams by DRating:

Lakers
Sixers
Jazz
Knicks
Warriors

Of those I'd say the Sixers and Jazz rely on elite bigs to anchor the defense. Knicks played most of the season without Robinson, Gasol is hardly a defensive anchor any more, I guess maybe you could argue Draymond for the Warriors but he's not a true big.

So I'd say no to your premise.
 

slamminsammya

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Top 5 teams by DRating:

Lakers
Sixers
Jazz
Knicks
Warriors

Of those I'd say the Sixers and Jazz rely on elite bigs to anchor the defense. Knicks played most of the season without Robinson, Gasol is hardly a defensive anchor any more, I guess maybe you could argue Draymond for the Warriors but he's not a true big.

So I'd say no to your premise.
Draymond is one of the best defensive 5s in the league for almost a decade now. What does "he's not a true big" even mean in this context? He plays the 5 and has been a top rim protector for a long time. And are we just ignoring Anthony Davis? What? And Nerlens Noel, you think he's not a great defender / rim protector? What even is this post? That list bolsters my point, in my opinion.
 

Cellar-Door

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Draymond is one of the best defensive 5s in the league for almost a decade now. What does "he's not a true big" even mean in this context? He plays the 5 and has been a top rim protector for a long time. And are we just ignoring Anthony Davis? What? And Nerlens Noel, you think he's not a great defender / rim protector? What even is this post? That list bolsters my point, in my opinion.
I think it generally does, though Draymond plays a lot more 4 than 5, particularly this year before Wiseman got hurt, and Noel is a shot blocker, but...not really that great a defender (and he's not as important to that defense, they're a very tough system D and their wings/guards play a bigger role).

Overall though... yes having top defenders inside is generally the easiest way to a top defense, since it covers for the inevitable lapses on the perimeter. Playoffs... not as clear, in a playoff series it's easier to exploit the flaws of even elite bigs, and perimeter D becomes more important.
 

slamminsammya

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I think it generally does, though Draymond plays a lot more 4 than 5, particularly this year before Wiseman got hurt, and Noel is a shot blocker, but...not really that great a defender (and he's not as important to that defense, they're a very tough system D and their wings/guards play a bigger role).

Overall though... yes having top defenders inside is generally the easiest way to a top defense, since it covers for the inevitable lapses on the perimeter. Playoffs... not as clear, in a playoff series it's easier to exploit the flaws of even elite bigs, and perimeter D becomes more important.
My original point wasn't really about 4 versus 5, more about who is protecting the rim especially since the positional distinctions don't matter too much these days. However, even granting that according to BBref Draymond is playing the most 5 of his entire career this season (I believe they compute this purely based on player height, so there is a lot of the Durant effect for previous seasons). Regardless, Draymond is their "big" defender.

Noel, I am not sure what you are basing your opinion off of but he's happened to be on a lot of good defensive teams. His career defensive rating is surprising. Normally you'd disregard that statistic entirely but when its a big man and when theyve played in as many different team situations with as many different teammates as he has you ought to give it a bit more weight. Career D rating is 101. Even against exclusively second units that is pretty impressive IMO.

I buy the theory that offense becomes more important in the playoffs, but I am still not clear on if this has always been true or if this is merely an artifact of the intense and rapid changes to the style of play in the past 8 years.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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No matter how important a elite 5 may be, DA really has to figure out what to do about TL. Obviously that run of games where he played before the ASB was fools gold but if he's available, having 3 legit bigs is an issue too as we found out earlier this season.
 

chilidawg

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No matter how important a elite 5 may be, DA really has to figure out what to do about TL. Obviously that run of games where he played before the ASB was fools gold but if he's available, having 3 legit bigs is an issue too as we found out earlier this season.
Having 3 legit bigs seems like a better problem to have than having 2, as we're seeing now.

Good thing we dodged the Myles Turner bullet.
 

kfoss99

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As someone who got burnt out by my job a number of years ago, this teams seems depressed and burnt out. When Jaylen went down that's when I realized it.

The organization is only made of humans and this club has faced one hardship after another. I think you see it in the bursts of energy, but inability to sustain a consistent energy level. Even with some of the inexplicable/bad moves Ainge and Stevens have made.

In a lot of ways they are front line workers through this pandemic, they've been out there doing their job the whole time. And like a lot of front line workers faced traumas and added stress.

I've moved from disappointment to sympathy for the club.

I think a healthy offseason and some adjustments to the roster that they should be much better next year, barring the injury bug.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Having 3 legit bigs seems like a better problem to have than having 2, as we're seeing now.
Until the 3rd guy complains. It wouldn't really have been an issue this year though.

Having TL as your starting 5 creates a lot problems. He's going to miss a lot of games and when he does play, he's only going to play 25 minutes. With TL, you need a much better than average back up 5. You will also probably have to rely on your 3rd big man more often too, so preferably he wouldn't completely suck... but he always will because no one is going to spend real money on a 3rd big.

I love TL but I'm kind of hoping he's traded away. I doubt a oft injured C with only 1 year on his deal left has much trade value anyway but I'm not sure how you can pay the guy long term.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Having 3 legit bigs seems like a better problem to have than having 2, as we're seeing now.

Good thing we dodged the Myles Turner bullet.
It would be so nice to have 2 legit bigs right now. Kornet is cute in a Greg Steisma type of way but I’m good with never seeing him on the floor ever again in green.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Good thing we dodged the Myles Turner bullet.
Not sure how much trading TT for Turner would have helped. You still have a bunch of wing minutes to fill and I'm assuming DA isn't adding salary. Adding Turner means that you don't get TL's upside - Turner is playing 30- mpg, Theis is playing 20+, so not much time left to TL. And I doubt the Cs t trade for Fournier.

Maybe McDermott would have helped some, although I can't see him helping the Cs defense, particularly 3P shooting defense.

At the end of the day, for the Cs to work, JT, JB, and MS have to be really good on the defensive end. I don't think they were this year. Not really sure why.
 

Deathofthebambino

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It would be so nice to have 2 legit bigs right now. Kornet is cute in a Greg Steisma type of way but I’m good with never seeing him on the floor ever again in green.
Even if your other option is Grant fucking Williams?

There are some nights where I think I'd rather play 4 on 5 than see more Grant Williams.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Even if your other option is Grant fucking Williams?

There are some nights where I think I'd rather play 4 on 5 than see more Grant Williams.
I'd rather see neither of them in a C's uniform again. I hate Grant Williams but I'd take him over Kornet. At least there's a possibility of some upside with Grant.
 

Cellar-Door

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Not sure how much trading TT for Turner would have helped. You still have a bunch of wing minutes to fill and I'm assuming DA isn't adding salary. Adding Turner means that you don't get TL's upside - Turner is playing 30- mpg, Theis is playing 20+, so not much time left to TL. And I doubt the Cs t trade for Fournier.

Maybe McDermott would have helped some, although I can't see him helping the Cs defense, particularly 3P shooting defense.

At the end of the day, for the Cs to work, JT, JB, and MS have to be really good on the defensive end. I don't think they were this year. Not really sure why.
Yeah that's the thing. Turner had a good year.... but EF is more valuable to this team, and TT was fine in the role Turner would play. I think if they re-sign Evan then either use the remaining TPE or Smart to get another big (and probably shift TT) I think that's the much better long-term move.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Even if your other option is Grant fucking Williams?

There are some nights where I think I'd rather play 4 on 5 than see more Grant Williams.
No not at all. I was saying it would be nice to have two actual productive 5’s in the rotation. I’m assuming that TL’s knee issues that were red-flagged by some teams on draft night keep him from being relied upon.
 

chilidawg

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Yeah that's the thing. Turner had a good year.... but EF is more valuable to this team, and TT was fine in the role Turner would play. I think if they re-sign Evan then either use the remaining TPE or Smart to get another big (and probably shift TT) I think that's the much better long-term move.
I'm over the fungible big theory. Turner would have been a huge improvement over TT on both ends, a guy who can both protect the rim and finish inside. And given injuries you'd have plenty of minutes for both TL and Turner. Best case they're both healthy and getting 24 minutes.
 

Cellar-Door

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I'm over the fungible big theory. Turner would have been a huge improvement over TT on both ends, a guy who can both protect the rim and finish inside. And given injuries you'd have plenty of minutes for both TL and Turner. Best case they're both healthy and getting 24 minutes.
I don't know if fungible big is the theory. I think they need a different 2nd big with TL, I just think that a wing like EF is more valuable to this team than Turner by a good margin. Turner is a solid (but not elite) defender, and not a good offensive player and he's a bad rebounder. He wouldn't have brought much.

I think the thing they need this offseason is an athletic youngish big, and that's what they should be targeting with TPE or Marcus. Then backfill Marcus' spot using TT.
 

jmcc5400

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As someone who got burnt out by my job a number of years ago, this teams seems depressed and burnt out. When Jaylen went down that's when I realized it.

The organization is only made of humans and this club has faced one hardship after another. I think you see it in the bursts of energy, but inability to sustain a consistent energy level. Even with some of the inexplicable/bad moves Ainge and Stevens have made.

In a lot of ways they are front line workers through this pandemic, they've been out there doing their job the whole time. And like a lot of front line workers faced traumas and added stress.

I've moved from disappointment to sympathy for the club.

I think a healthy offseason and some adjustments to the roster that they should be much better next year, barring the injury bug.
I think there is a lot to this and I am hoping that along with physical and mental recuperation there comes a restoking of their hunger fueled by the mostly-deserved dirt they are going to have piled on them once they crash out of the play-in tournament or are road kill for one of the top 2 seeds. The core of this team has demonstrated guts and passion as recently as 8-9 months ago. I don't think this ennui is representative of who they are.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I'm over the fungible big theory. Turner would have been a huge improvement over TT on both ends, a guy who can both protect the rim and finish inside. And given injuries you'd have plenty of minutes for both TL and Turner. Best case they're both healthy and getting 24 minutes.
With Myles Turner, maybe the C's are the 6 seed instead of in the play in game. It's not like Indiana is a great defensive team.

I do agree that a big part of the problem with the C's is they rely on their 2nd big far more than most teams do. Turner would help in that regard but this team is still a mess with Myles Turner.
 

Cesar Crespo

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The last few games don't really mean anything for the C's. They are pretty much the 7 or 8 seed regardless. I guess it could mean something re draft position and whether they draft 11th or 14th.

11th has a 9.4% at a top 4
12th 7.1
13th 4.8
14th 2.4

11th has a 2.0% chance at 1, 12th 1.5%, 13th 1.0%, 14th 0.5%.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I'm over the fungible big theory. Turner would have been a huge improvement over TT on both ends, a guy who can both protect the rim and finish inside. And given injuries you'd have plenty of minutes for both TL and Turner. Best case they're both healthy and getting 24 minutes.
They wouldn't have paid Turner $18M (or whatever it is) to play 24 minutes and you forgot Theis. TL and Turner aren't playing together so there are precious few minutes left for TL if they got Turner. I think that's one reason DA was trying to figure out what he could have gotten for Turner.
 

128

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The last few games don't really mean anything for the C's. They are pretty much the 7 or 8 seed regardless. I guess it could mean something re draft position and whether they draft 11th or 14th.

11th has a 9.4% at a top 4
12th 7.1
13th 4.8
14th 2.4

11th has a 2.0% chance at 1, 12th 1.5%, 13th 1.0%, 14th 0.5%.
The No. 9 seed is now in play, no?
 

Cellar-Door

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The No. 9 seed is now in play, no?
Hypothetically yes, if they lose out and both CHA and IND win out, but it's unlikely.

For draft position....
11 is now out.
12 is possible but unlikely
13 is possible (need to lose the play-in games)
14 is possible but unlikely (need to pas Memphis in record, but then lose both play-in games)
 

128

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Hypothetically yes, if they lose out and both CHA and IND win out, but it's unlikely.

For draft position....
11 is now out.
12 is possible but unlikely
13 is possible (need to lose the play-in games)
14 is possible but unlikely (need to pas Memphis in record, but then lose both play-in games)
It's really hard for me to see the C's winning either of the two remaining regular-season games, especially if Stevens decides to rest Tatum and other "high-minute" guys, which apparently is a possibility.
 

Cellar-Door

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It's really hard for me to see the C's winning either of the two remaining regular-season games, especially if Stevens decides to rest Tatum and other "high-minute" guys, which apparently is a possibility.
The part that's unlikely in these scenarios isn't the Celtics losing out, it's all the other similarly placed teams winning out (IND/CHA/SA). If those were the types of teams that could win 3-4 straight including against good competition they wouldn't be 8,9,10 seeds. Remember how bad BOS has been... now remember that those teams were worse (and some of them were healthier and worse).
 

Cesar Crespo

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The part that's unlikely in these scenarios isn't the Celtics losing out, it's all the other similarly placed teams losing winning out (IND/CHA/SA). If those were the types of teams that could win 3-4 straight including against good competition they wouldn't be 8,9,10 seeds. Remember how bad BOS has been... now remember that those teams were worse (and some of them were healthier and worse).
fixed that for you.

C's would have to go 0-2, Charlotte, Indiana and SA have to all go 3-0. Or 2-1 to tie the C's record. No clue who holds tiebreakers.
 

Cellar-Door

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fixed that for you.
yeah, sorry... winning out. which I doubt any of them will, nevermind all 3.
It really puts things in perspective to realize that as bad as BOS has been not only were CHA and IND worse, the Celtics won the season series (and tiebreaker) against both.
 

reggiecleveland

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Agree with the "Kemba isn't the main problem" takes.

He can be a liability in certain matchups but he also does some good, crafty things out there as well to mitigate the damage. He is small but not tiny like IT, big difference.

Not surprised the numbers back up him not being the primary problem. It feels like an effort/scheme issue as much as any one individual player to me.
From a different angle he is a problem though.
1. He takes up a huge chunk of the salary cap,
2. and his style just doesn't fit great with the talent at either end,
3 and he misses a lot of games making the team chemistry suffer. It is one thing if TL misses a game a week and than if a guy who dominates the ball misses.


None of this is his fault, he plays hard, has the positive body language and enthusiasm Tatum and Brown lack. Also defensively they seem to have plans to cover him on D, because, they have to. He also seems to be better on D and has clearly worked on some things he did poorly in the bubble, avoiding getting picked off for example.
 

Cellar-Door

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From a different angle he is a problem though.
1. He takes up a huge chunk of the salary cap,
2. and his style just doesn't fit great with the talent at either end,
3 and he misses a lot of games making the team chemistry suffer. It is one thing if TL misses a game a week and than if a guy who dominates the ball misses.


None of this is his fault, he plays hard, has the positive body language and enthusiasm Tatum and Brown lack. Also defensively they seem to have plans to cover him on D, because, they have to. He also seems to be better on D and has clearly worked on some things he did poorly in the bubble, avoiding getting picked off for example.
It's not ideal, but I actually think he fits pretty well with the players that matter... Tatum and Brown. There is some evidence in limited minutes that he fits fine with EF too.
The guys he doesn't fit with are Smart, Thompson, Grant.... those are not guys we should really care about fit with. Smart is the closest to being a key piece of that group, but he's pretty expendable in a deal.
 

reggiecleveland

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having 3 legit bigs is an issue too as we found out earlier this season.
Did we?
People moaned about the "2 big lineup" begging for more deer in the headlights Nesmith, (worth noting it appears Brad may have not ruined his career, by making his earn minutes)Semi and Grant (go look at the posts)
Some of us said the likelihood all 3 big guys are healthy all year was close to zero. Replacing one of those three bigs, getting to the desired (by your estimation) 2 bigs, with bargain rack bigs, has not worked out, even with TT rounding into shape and playing much better than earlier in the year.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Did we?
People moaned about the "2 big lineup" begging for more deer in the headlights Nesmith, (worth noting it appears Brad may have not ruined his career, by making his earn minutes)Semi and Grant (go look at the posts)
Some of us said the likelihood all 3 big guys are healthy all year was close to zero. Replacing one of those three bigs, getting to the desired (by your estimation) 2 bigs, with bargain rack bigs, has not worked out, even with TT rounding into shape and playing much better than earlier in the year.
3 bigs doesn't work. The problem with the Celtics is they rely on their back up big man far more than most teams in the NBA because their main big and back up big can only play 25 minutes a game.
 

Cellar-Door

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Yeah the 2 big lineup wasn't even that bad, it was mostly that Thompson was working back into shape after a long offseason and a Hamstring issue.
In fact Kemba, Brown, Tatum, Theis, TT was the best net rating lineup that got at least 50 minutes that we had all year.
 

reggiecleveland

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I dunno. Maybe. This team is far better with TL in and Kemba out than Kemba In, TL out.
That wasn't my point. I get I am not your favorite, but respond to what I wrote. TL does not change what everyone is doing, he when healthy (again let's note how many BRAD IS AN IDIOT FOR NOT PLAYING TL 35 MINUTES AGAME!!! posts we have seen.) he is just better. And the adjustment they make with him healthy playing will be more at the defensive end, where strategy changes most game to game, so it is more natural to say 'When Robert is in we can get up on this guy more, help off this guy less," etc.
 

reggiecleveland

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3 bigs doesn't work. The problem with the Celtics is they rely on their back up big man far more than most teams in the NBA because their main big and back up big can only play 25 minutes a game.
Other than to you, I am always wrong, how are Kornet, TL, TT better than Theis , TL, TT? W still have 3 bigs on the roster. One of them just isn't as good.

edit: and surprise 1 is hurt
 
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Cellar-Door

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The more I dig into lineups the more I think the changes that need to happen become clear:
1. We need to re-sign Fournier
2. We need to add a bouncy 4 who can defend and shoot 3s, or a big 3/4 combo who can defend and shoot 3s.
3. We probably need to move on from Smart to get #2.
 

Cesar Crespo

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That wasn't my point. I get I am not your favorite, but respond to what I wrote. TL does not change what everyone is doing, he when healthy (again let's note how many BRAD IS AN IDIOT FOR NOT PLAYING TL 35 MINUTES AGAME!!! posts we have seen.) he is just better. And the adjustment they make with him healthy playing will be more at the defensive end, where strategy changes most game to game, so it is more natural to say 'When Robert is in we can get up on this guy more, help off this guy less," etc.
I quoted you. You literally wrote what I responded to. I don't why you are so defensive about people disagreeing with you.
Other than to you, I am always wrong, how are Kornet, TL, TT better than Theis , TL, TT? W still have 3 bigs on the roster. One of them just isn't as good.
They aren't. Kornet sucks ass. The Celtics would be better moving on from TT or TL and getting a big who can play 30+ minutes a game. A player like Theis isn't going to be happy long term being the 3rd guy. No quality big is going to sign here to be the third big.

3 bigs isn't the answer. Changing the personal is. TT or TL need to go, if not both.

And again, you are so defensive dude. I disagree with everyone.
 

reggiecleveland

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Me: Today is Thursday
Cesar Crespo: Not in Japan you arrogant prick!

Maybe you are like this to everyone, who knows. But is disagreeing with me you said

A. Team is better with TL on the floor than Kemba, noting I was wrong for saying Kemba was the problem by pointing out how Kemba is a problem
B. TL or TT need to go.

Love to hear how those fit together, actually, don't care.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Did we?
People moaned about the "2 big lineup" begging for more deer in the headlights Nesmith, (worth noting it appears Brad may have not ruined his career, by making his earn minutes)Semi and Grant (go look at the posts)
That's an interesting way to package the Nesmith conversations.

For those of us that were calling for more Nesmith minutes, we didn't see the "deer in the headlights" during that 7 game stretch in February where he played well, and then Brad decided to bench him for Semi and Grant. I could easily write "If he had played more early in the season, Nesmith would be averaging over 20ppg by now" and it would literally be as correct as you saying "Brad benching Nesmith and making him earn his minutes, has helped him turn into the player he is now."

I'm not a fan of Dejesus' "we have no idea about anything, so why bother talking about it" approach, but this is one we literally cannot know.

Here's what I know, the Celtics sucked in the beginning of the year, mostly sucked in the middle of the year and truly, unbelievably suck ass right now. Like worse than any other team in the league besides Houston at the moment. But sure, Brad pressed all the right buttons, and should have never changed a thing. Eventually, Grant and Semi will turn into stars, if they just get more minutes, but Nesmith will only turn into one if he's benched and has to earn minutes. I, personally, have been screaming about the same few things all year, and one of them is not punching yourself in the face over and over again, and hope that it doesn't hurt so much the more times you do it. Sending Semi and Grant out there night after night, and sitting Nesmith was the Basketball coaching equivalent of punching yourself in the face over and over again.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
16,881
Me: Today is Thursday
Cesar Crespo: Not in Japan you arrogant prick!

Maybe you are like this to everyone, who knows. But is disagreeing with me you said

A. Team is better with TL on the floor than Kemba, noting I was wrong for saying Kemba was the problem by pointing out how Kemba is a problem
B. TL or TT need to go.

Love to hear how those fit together, actually, don't care.
I'm in your head rent free, I guess.

You said Kemba is a bad fit because if he misses a lot of games, the team will suffer. You also said it's one thing if Kemba misses a game or if TL does. I simply stated the team was better with TL.

This is your response. OK.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
16,881
That's an interesting way to package the Nesmith conversations.

For those of us that were calling for more Nesmith minutes, we didn't see the "deer in the headlights" during that 7 game stretch in February where he played well, and then Brad decided to bench him for Semi and Grant. I could easily write "If he had played more early in the season, Nesmith would be averaging over 20ppg by now" and it would literally be as correct as you saying "Brad benching Nesmith and making him earn his minutes, has helped him turn into the player he is now."

I'm not a fan of Dejesus' "we have no idea about anything, so why bother talking about it" approach, but this is one we literally cannot know.

Here's what I know, the Celtics sucked in the beginning of the year, mostly sucked in the middle of the year and truly, unbelievably suck ass right now. Like worse than any other team in the league besides Houston at the moment. But sure, Brad pressed all the right buttons, and should have never changed a thing. Eventually, Grant and Semi will turn into stars, if they just get more minutes, but Nesmith will only turn into one if he's benched and has to earn minutes. I, personally, have been screaming about the same few things all year, and one of them is not punching yourself in the face over and over again, and hope that it doesn't hurt so much the more times you do it. Sending Semi and Grant out there night after night, and sitting Nesmith was the Basketball coaching equivalent of punching yourself in the face over and over again.
I'm a believer that rookies should have to earn their minutes and you shouldn't just give them 5-10 minutes for the sake of "development time." With that said, how hard is it to earn minutes over Semi and Grant? He also didn't look completely lost during his 2nd stint, as you noted. I think Stevens falls in love with certain players to the detriment of the team. Semi and Grant are two of those players. One of the best things about 21/22 will be no Semi. If there is also no Grant, I will do cartwheels in the streets.

I'm different than most when it comes to player development though. I think whether the player develops or not is almost totally dependent on the player (outside of injuries).