Analysis of Celtics Games, '21-'22 Season

Jimbodandy

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Tatum always struck me as someone who would rather look good than be good if that makes sense. He seems very concerned with image.
Nobody looks good with a 48% true shooting.

This team goes nowhere until Tatum figures it out. Brown is doing what Brown does. No, he's not a creator for others yet. But he's true shooting 60% on 28% usage. He's not the problem. Tatum is.
 
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Cesar Crespo

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Nobody looks good with a 48% true shooting.

This team goes nowhere until Tatum figures it out. Brown is doing what Brown does. No, he's not a creator for others yet. But he's true shooting 60% on 28% usage. He's not the problem. Tatum is.
I meant as far as image. He strikes me as a Rondo fashionista type. Unfortunately (and probably fortunately), he doesn't have Rondo's other characteristics.

I remember during a few pre games, he's talking about how he has the best haircut in the league and what not.
 

Deathofthebambino

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EEI is reporting this morning that Brown was scheduled to speak last night, but Marcus went first, and then after Marcus' comments, Jaylen's presser was cancelled by the team. No idea if Brown heard what Marcus said and was like "fuck this, I'm out of here" or if the team was concerned that Jaylen heard what Marcus said and it was going to turn into a public airing of grievances. Either way, I thought it was interesting that Jaylen was getting ready to go up there, and he didn't. No report on whether Tatum had any intention of speaking.
 

Cellar-Door

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EEI is reporting this morning that Brown was scheduled to speak last night, but Marcus went first, and then after Marcus' comments, Jaylen's presser was cancelled by the team. No idea if Brown heard what Marcus said and was like "fuck this, I'm out of here" or if the team was concerned that Jaylen heard what Marcus said and it was going to turn into a public airing of grievances. Either way, I thought it was interesting that Jaylen was getting ready to go up there, and he didn't. No report on whether Tatum had any intention of speaking.
Tatum wasn't on the list, they set 3 guys, it was supposed to be Smart, Horford, Brown, but then the team canceled Brown
 

RedOctober3829

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EEI is reporting this morning that Brown was scheduled to speak last night, but Marcus went first, and then after Marcus' comments, Jaylen's presser was cancelled by the team. No idea if Brown heard what Marcus said and was like "fuck this, I'm out of here" or if the team was concerned that Jaylen heard what Marcus said and it was going to turn into a public airing of grievances. Either way, I thought it was interesting that Jaylen was getting ready to go up there, and he didn't. No report on whether Tatum had any intention of speaking.
Marc Bertrand’s Celtics source said all of this plus he added that Tatum was not scheduled to speak last night.

I think it’s time to start to think about whether these 3 can co-exist together(Smart/Tatum/Brown). I have been on record here saying that Smart should have been gone a long time ago. His act has worn thin and he’s not some kind of defensive wizard anymore. They’ve changed the coach and the same issues with effort and defense are still there. If it continues, the next step is to change the core of the team. As much as I don’t want to trade Brown, it may be the move they have to make.
 

Jimbodandy

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I meant as far as image. He strikes me as a Rondo fashionista type. Unfortunately (and probably fortunately), he doesn't have Rondo's other characteristics.

I remember during a few pre games, he's talking about how he has the best haircut in the league and what not.
I knew what you meant. I'm just old head aggravated. Who cares if you drive a Bentley if you're shooting like Marcus Smart.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Tatum always struck me as someone who would rather look good than be good if that makes sense. He seems very concerned with image.
Well the good news may be that we might see how much JT cares about winning since maybe he figures out that the heavy ISO throughout the game isn't conducive to winning.
Nobody looks good with a 48% true shooting.

This team goes nowhere until Tatum figures it out. Brown is doing what Brown does. No, he's not a creator for others yet. But he's true shooting 60% on 28% usage. He's not the problem. Tatum is.
Well, JB is part of the problem since he doesn't really pass the ball either.

It was super depressing watching the first half of CHI and the WAS games - the other teams are whipping the ball around the court having 6, 7, 8 or more passes in possessions and the Cs make two or three and then jack up the shot.

The funny this is if even if JT got really good at ISO I assume they'd win more but this team wouldn't be that fun to watch. Which is exactly why Marcus says, "I want to go back to playing basketball."

They should institute the Hoosiers rule - three passes before any shot is taken. Only half-serious.
 

Cellar-Door

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Marc Bertrand’s Celtics source said all of this plus he added that Tatum was not scheduled to speak last night.

I think it’s time to start to think about whether these 3 can co-exist together(Smart/Tatum/Brown). I have been on record here saying that Smart should have been gone a long time ago. His act has worn thin and he’s not some kind of defensive wizard anymore. They’ve changed the coach and the same issues with effort and defense are still there. If it continues, the next step is to change the core of the team. As much as I don’t want to trade Brown, it may be the move they have to make.
Smart's defense seems most of the way back this year... but I agree, his offensive limitations are getting worse not better. Come January I think you have to aggressively shop him.
 

reggiecleveland

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I think Jaylen would absolutely do that, but in a competitive way in the locker room. Heck, he has done it with Marcus! Tatum is much harder to read, sometimes it just doesn't look like he cares. Kobe without the insane passion isn't Kobe.
Lots of coaches talk about this. Every player want to be Kobe, but even Kobe hurt his team being Kobe a good 25% of the time. Kobe is the outlier guy so good at making shots he can have the ball trying to score 5 or 6 times in a row and it is the right play.

Tatum would be a tough guy to coach IMHO. He is young but has had insane success. He can't be immune to the social media hyperbole comparing g him to Bird "No other player at this age..." and his development went through dealing with Kyrie. He is just as likely to see Kyrie as a role model, own shoe line, max contract, insanely famous, as a bad example.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I was going to go back and watch the 4Q but this saved me. Thank god.

Two things that you can take away from the clips. (1) There is almost literally no movement on offense. At least 3 and sometimes 4 guys are just standing there. Maybe no one wants to get in JT's way when he has the ball but people have to cut.

(2) As Smith points out, there is also a definite lack of movement on defense - particularly help defense.

The thing I keep coming back to - switching or no switching (they didn't switch as much as they were content to go under screens on most players), they should be a ton better on defense.
 

tbb345

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Lots of coaches talk about this. Every player want to be Kobe, but even Kobe hurt his team being Kobe a good 25% of the time. Kobe is the outlier guy so good at making shots he can have the ball trying to score 5 or 6 times in a row and it is the right play.

Tatum would be a tough guy to coach IMHO. He is young but has had insane success. He can't be immune to the social media hyperbole comparing g him to Bird "No other player at this age..." and his development went through dealing with Kyrie. He is just as likely to see Kyrie as a role model, own shoe line, max contract, insanely famous, as a bad example.
Not only that, every other player seemingly goes out of their way to gas him up.
 

GB5

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the only issue with trading Smart, and this may be a reach, but lets say Ime thinks the same way that Smart does, or even that he encouraged Smart to do this(reach). He wants more ball sharing. If you trade Smart, doesnt it imply that you are trading him for speaking out against the two stars, and the act of trading the one guy who dissented with the way they were playing, further emboldens the two young stars, by tacitly saying they were right.
 

HomeRunBaker

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It is very hard to get assists when you don't have the ball.

They aren't using Smart as a point guard, he's just the shortest guy starting.

He had 21 font court touches last night. Same as Rob Williams and one more than Josh Richardson, two guys who also aren't point guards.

Smart is just giving the ball to Tatum, then standing behind the three point line with everybody else while Tatum feints, fakes, dribbles, then shoots a 20 foot stepback.

Can't really get assists on those even if they go in.
It would be interesting to know if this by design or Ime’s way of playing positionless basketball in wanting Tatum to assume more of a playmaking role. I say this bc this is always how Smart has played as the lead ball handler in the past.
 

tbb345

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I was going to go back and watch the 4Q but this saved me. Thank god.

Two things that you can take away from the clips. (1) There is almost literally no movement on offense. At least 3 and sometimes 4 guys are just standing there. Maybe no one wants to get in JT's way when he has the ball but people have to cut.

(2) As Smith points out, there is also a definite lack of movement on defense - particularly help defense.

The thing I keep coming back to - switching or no switching (they didn't switch as much as they were content to go under screens on most players), they should be a ton better on defense.
In response to 1, doesn’t it seem like Tatum is calling for them to get out of his way? Tatum definitely uses the “clear out” motion a good amount. I’d imagine that when signaling that he wants everyone else to stay behind the 3 point line
 

Fishy1

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There's a ton of factors that have contributed to the rough start. Some of them have been under the Celtics control -- iffy rotations in the first few games, horrific rebounding against Toronto, brutal offensive stretches, as with the end of the game last night -- and others have not. Smart did a pretty good job on Derozan last night. He went 15 for 20 anyway. Tatum is shooting under 40%. That won't go on forever.

I don't think the Jays are dumb, and I haven't gotten the impression that either of them are particularly arrogant. They both know they have to be better. I'm sure Tatum sees his shooting percentages so far and is disappointed. I think he probably also wants to be a more all-around player. There's nothing in his demeanor or comments that suggests otherwise. Even Kobe averaged better than 5 assists for chunks of his career.

Now, is there a childish frustration with the referees? A tendency to settle for tough shots (which he often makes)? No doubt.

But as the shots start to fall -- and they will -- a lot of this team's problems will start to disappear. There's a reason he's drawing double-teams, after all.

Contending -- and I don't think Good Tatum will make them a contender alone -- will hinge on him making a leap as a ballhandler and passer, or on BS bringing in someone who can do those things. I don't think that leap is guaranteed, and I'm not sure I would bet on it, but I remain hopeful. He's made such strides in his career and is still so young.
 

mcpickl

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Marcus's message is either going to resonate or piss off the Js to the point of shitting on him. It will get very ugly if it's the latter, because both Js can quite reasonably argue that the 2021-2022 Marcus Smart mostly sucks as a basketball player (all heart, very little game) and for them to take shit from that version of Marcus Smart is an affront. I recognize that that is a bit of an overstatement, and hopefully they both respect Marcus enough to take that criticism and use it to fuel positive energy, but what happens if they don't? i.e. What if Tatum or Brown decide to make a comment akin to "Yeah, I love Marcus, and I heard what he said, but maybe he should look in the mirror and get real about what he can and cannot contribute at this point."

We'll see.
They could've done that last night.

Instead they stayed in the locker room and let Al and Marcus speak.
 

Cellar-Door

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the only issue with trading Smart, and this may be a reach, but lets say Ime thinks the same way that Smart does, or even that he encouraged Smart to do this(reach). He wants more ball sharing. If you trade Smart, doesnt it imply that you are trading him for speaking out against the two stars, and the act of trading the one guy who dissented with the way they were playing, further emboldens the two young stars, by tacitly saying they were right.
Well it's gonna be 2 months from now, but the thing is.... Marcus could be right, and you'd still trade him, because while you'd like to see more passing, the best way to do that is to get guys who can run the offense AND be an option to pass to because they can shoot.
 

Cesar Crespo

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the only issue with trading Smart, and this may be a reach, but lets say Ime thinks the same way that Smart does, or even that he encouraged Smart to do this(reach). He wants more ball sharing. If you trade Smart, doesnt it imply that you are trading him for speaking out against the two stars, and the act of trading the one guy who dissented with the way they were playing, further emboldens the two young stars, by tacitly saying they were right.
I think it implies they traded him for speaking to the public. That wouldn't be a good look either though because the coach did it.

Plus, everyone knows Smart is always on the trading block.
 

reggiecleveland

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Well it's gonna be 2 months from now, but the thing is.... Marcus could be right, and you'd still trade him, because while you'd like to see more passing, the best way to do that is to get guys who can run the offense AND be an option to pass to because they can shoot.
Exactly nobody really cares why if you improve the team with the return you get or space you clear.
 

teddykgb

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They can’t trade Smart until later in the year and have plenty of time to send the message that Smart isn’t wrong to them before shipping him out anyway if they want to.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Who fits the bill at PG who might become available? I thought of Murray if the Spurs continue to suck, but I'm not sure he's the best fit either.

Someone said Rubio, but I don't see that either. I think the C's need a PG who can actually shoot the ball. It's also incredibly early but Cleveland is an interesting team and they are playing competitive basketball. They are very young but some of their young players are also vets. You'd think they'd want to establish a new culture so keeping Rubio would be the smart thing to do.

Would people do Barnes + Haliburton for Brown? Curious how high people actually are on Haliburton. I'm guessing the Kings jump at the deal but the C's would pause. I think it's a really interesting proposal though, depending on what you think of Haliburton's ceiling. Barnes is signed for another year after this one and is a really good player in his own right. The Kings jump on it because a Brown/Fox core is probably better than Fox/Haliburton and they also have Davion Mitchell. The C's trade the best player and usually that's the team that loses but I think it might actually make the team considerably better for this year and next. After that, it might get dicey. You'd have to be very high on Haliburton.

I'm guessing most would rather add a PG to the Jays rather than trade one of the Jays to acquire said point guard. I'm just not sure who fits the bill and we aren't Ish Smith desperate. Imagine if we didn't luck into DS though? Oi.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Need to see how the season shakes out but I’m getting a distinct 2006-7 vibe from this team - there are definitely some pieces worth building around but there’s also a lot of dreck and guys that just don’t seem to fit. And as with Pierce in that year, it feels like we are going to need to make major changes next off-season or our star is going to start asking out.

I think both at the deadline and in the off-season, everybody other than Tatum (yes, including Jaylen) needs to be on the table if the return is right.
 

Cellar-Door

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Who fits the bill at PG who might become available? I thought of Murray if the Spurs continue to suck, but I'm not sure he's the best fit either.
A lot can happen between now and Dec/Jan when guys become tradeable. But two names on opposite ends of the age/experience spectrum that are already on the block are Goran Dragic and Coby White
 

mcpickl

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We don't even know if "Jaylen bagged out" as it could have been a call by the team.
Again, if Jaylen and/or Tatum wanted to talk, you think it makes sense that the team would've stopped them?

Why?

Why would they let Al and Smart talk, but not Tatum or Brown?

That makes no sense.
 

fairlee76

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Again, if Jaylen and/or Tatum wanted to talk, you think it makes sense that the team would've stopped them?

Why?

Why would they let Al and Smart talk, but not Tatum or Brown?

That makes no sense.
So the team should have let Jaylen talk thereby escalating a public calling out that never should have been public in the first place?

The team not letting JB talk makes total sense. Letting him talk and potentially nuking the season makes no sense.
 

Cesar Crespo

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A lot can happen between now and Dec/Jan when guys become tradeable. But two names on opposite ends of the age/experience spectrum that are already on the block are Goran Dragic and Coby White
I'd love Coby White but I'm not sure that helps much this year. Not sure what the acquisition cost would be either. Why would the Bulls be looking to trade him? Seems like he'd fit fine with everyone else.

A 6'5 PG who is 21 years old, showed year over year improvement in his 2nd year, and has already shown an averageish 3 point shot. Yes please?
 

Cellar-Door

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I'd love Coby White but I'm not sure that helps much this year. Not sure what the acquisition cost would be either. Why would the Bulls be looking to trade him? Seems like he'd fit fine with everyone else.

A 6'5 PG who is 21 years old, showed year over year improvement in his 2nd year, and has already shown an averageish 3 point shot. Yes please?
Not sure, rumor kicking around was he was available if it could get them upgrades elsewhere. I'd assume because they just dropped a whole lot of money on Lonzo and Caruso, add in LaVine and a lot of the 1/2 minutes are spoken for.
 

TheJodyReedExperience

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Again, if Jaylen and/or Tatum wanted to talk, you think it makes sense that the team would've stopped them?

Why?

Why would they let Al and Smart talk, but not Tatum or Brown?

That makes no sense.
Al talked followed by Smart who made his comments. It's entirely foreseeable why the team would then pull Jaylen to not throw gas on a potential fire. It makes lots of sense.
 

tbb345

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Need to see how the season shakes out but I’m getting a distinct 2006-7 vibe from this team - there are definitely some pieces worth building around but there’s also a lot of dreck and guys that just don’t seem to fit. And as with Pierce in that year, it feels like we are going to need to make major changes next off-season or our star is going to start asking out.

I think both at the deadline and in the off-season, everybody other than Tatum (yes, including Jaylen) needs to be on the table if the return is right.
Tatum is the biggest reason why they suck right now. His efficiency is awful and his transition D consists of him complaining to refs as everyone else runs by him.
He has to turn it around because there’s no way he can be this bad but he’s been really fucking bad
 

Cesar Crespo

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Not sure, rumor kicking around was he was available if it could get them upgrades elsewhere. I'd assume because they just dropped a whole lot of money on Lonzo and Caruso, add in LaVine and a lot of the 1/2 minutes are spoken for.
How is White on D? Wonder if the Bulls would have any interest in Smart, probably not.

White is definitely interesting though. Although I just noticed, at 6'5, his wingspan is also only 6'5. His standing reach is 8'1.5. Carsen Edwards wingspan is 6'6, despite being 5'11. Outside of that, everything looks good. He should still see a lot of growth as a player and could develop into the 3rd scorer as well as the starting PG. His scouting reports say he was more of a scorer than a PG and needs to make improve in decision making and passing. It also says that he should be able to improve a lot as a playmaker.

He's lightning quick so maybe he's fine on D.
 

Cellar-Door

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How is White on D? Wonder if the Bulls would have any interest in Smart, probably not.

White is definitely interesting though. Although I just noticed, at 6'5, his wingspan is also only 6'5. His standing reach is 8'1.5. Carsen Edwards wingspan is 6'6, despite being 5'11. Outside of that, everything looks good. He should still see a lot of growth as a player and could develop into the 3rd scorer as well as the starting PG. His scouting reports say he was more of a scorer than a PG and needs to make improve in decision making and passing. It also says that he should be able to improve a lot as a playmaker.

He's lightning quick so maybe he's fine on D.
Not particularly good on D, but not terrible especially for a young guy. White is probably a guy you're adding looking at the next few years rather than this year, it's not clear that he's all that good yet.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Tatum is the biggest reason why they suck right now. His efficiency is awful and his transition D consists of him complaining to refs as everyone else runs by him.
He has to turn it around because there’s no way he can be this bad but he’s been really fucking bad

I can't find it now, but I think I read last night that Tatum's usage% was over 40% last night in the 4th quarter. Jaylen was around 11%.

Looking thru the play by play, Jaylen made a 3 pointer with 5:23 left in third to give the C's an 87-69 lead.

He didn't take another shot until there was 3:17 left in the 4th (a missed layup) and the C's were down 118-112.

Prior to that, Jaylen was 10/16 for 28 points. During that stretch of 14:16, Tatum went 1-9 with a turnover, and the C's turned an 18 point lead into a 6 point deficit.

I don't know how Ime isn't watching that develop and not saying, I've got to get the ball into Jaylen's hands. He's been the best offensive player on the floor all night. Nope, instead he lets Jaylen stand in the corner while Tatum goes hero, and it turns into a rout. Tatum also needs to recognize the nights he doesn't have it, and look to get the guys that do (Jaylen last night) involved, instead of putting his head down and doing whatever he wants.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Not particularly good on D, but not terrible especially for a young guy. White is probably a guy you're adding looking at the next few years rather than this year, it's not clear that he's all that good yet.
That's fair but his floor is also considerably higher than guys like RL and AN. At least IMO.
 

Cellar-Door

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This is a good chart.

Do the implications include that those other guys suck too? Might be news to them, especially PG who's averaging 28 on 60% TS.
Tatum is averaging 8 potential assists a game, Brown is at 5.7. (as a comparison Smart is at 4 AST, 9.5 Potential, Schroder is at 6.4 AST on 11.6 Potential).

PG13 leads the CLippers by a mile at 10.7 potential Assists.

Jaylen does lead the team in secondary assists, with Tatum and Horford tied for 2nd.
 

Cesar Crespo

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This is a good chart.

Do the implications include that those other guys suck too? Might be news to them, especially PG who's averaging 28 on 60% TS.
I think having one player on that chart is fine. Having 2 is problematic. One of them has to start involving others more. When you know 46% of the teams FGA are going to come from the Jays and that they aren't going to pass, you can just load on them.

It doesn't help that their teammates aren't the best shooters either, so loading up and making the rest of the team beat you is the way to always beat the C's unless one of the Jays go off.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Tatum is averaging 8 potential assists a game, Brown is at 5.7. (as a comparison Smart is at 4 AST, 9.5 Potential, Schroder is at 6.4 AST on 11.6 Potential).

PG13 leads the CLippers by a mile at 10.7 potential Assists.

Jaylen does lead the team in secondary assists, with Tatum and Horford tied for 2nd.
That puts Tatum at 54th in the NBA. DS 20th, Smart 38th. Brown 138th.