Analysis of Celtics Games, '21-'22 Season

HomeRunBaker

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I understand that. He was also on the official roster for the game was my point and received a DNP-CD. It’s nit picking as the original point stands as to why Fernando is on the roster……someone has to be in those slots.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Why is Hauser on the roster? Probably for the same reason…..you have 15 slots and someone is going to take them
What about Hernangomez, Kanter, Parker, etc.?

The C's only played 9 guys in 58 minutes last night (which frankly, I kind of like on a normal night if Al is available), but it was clear to anyone watching that they were getting abused down low by Toppin, Robinson and Randle's length (while also getting destroyed by Fournier on the outside and Barrett after halftime). Without Al, and the constant switching so TL ends up in no-man's land (although he did everything he could), the C's had no answers for the dunk/lay up fest that led to the run by the Knicks in the 2nd half. I thought we'd see something different from Ime, but he just let it roll and I kind of wished he'd have maybe thrown one of those bigs in to change things up a bit, instead of constantly running the DS/Smart and at times DS/Smart/PP lineups....
 

JakeRae

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What about Hernangomez, Kanter, Parker, etc.?

The C's only played 9 guys in 58 minutes last night (which frankly, I kind of like on a normal night if Al is available), but it was clear to anyone watching that they were getting abused down low by Toppin, Robinson and Randle's length (while also getting destroyed by Fournier on the outside and Barrett after halftime). Without Al, and the constant switching so TL ends up in no-man's land (although he did everything he could), the C's had no answers for the dunk/lay up fest that led to the run by the Knicks in the 2nd half. I thought we'd see something different from Ime, but he just let it roll and I kind of wished he'd have maybe thrown one of those bigs in to change things up a bit, instead of constantly running the DS/Smart and at times DS/Smart/PP lineups....
I assume the answer here is that Ime has found his 11 man rotation and it looks like unless at least 3 guys from it are hurt, the other 4 players on the roster aren’t going to play much. I would’ve expected Kanter or Hernangomez to get some run with Horford out, but Ime just went smaller instead. I agree that was a strange move if you think he’s coaching with a primary goal of winning last night. But he probably wasn’t. Instead, he presumably wanted to use the extra minutes to get run for the 4 younger rotation players because getting them minutes when he can is one of the goals.

Obviously, I’ve gone on record that Kanter should be getting minutes. It’s interesting to see Ime exploring a 2 big starting lineup but clearly not being interested in playing his deep bench bigs. My take on this is that Ime doesn’t want to play 2 bigs. Instead, he’s managing Horford’s ego and trying to figure out the 5th starter. I’d predict that at some point in the middle of this season, Horford or Timelord will miss a couple weeks and a new rotation will emerge with either Richardson or one of the young players starting. (I’m not betting on who at this point, just that one of Richardson, Grant, Romeo, or Nesmith will prove themselves and make it easier for Horford to step back.)

It’s also worth noting that the Celtics played and started 2 bigs (counting Grant) and played zero minutes without at least one of them in the game. I think this also tells us that while Ime may be planning on starting and closing with Horford and Timelord, he’s probably also planning to mostly stagger them.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I liked the ball movement too, but was frustrated by the turnovers: 11 between Jaylen, Jayson, and Smart. I can live with Jaylen and Tatum turning the ball over, but Smart can't be turning the ball over 4+ times, given his role. He basically handed the ball to Fournier in one instance. Liked Langford's performance, but he was also sloppy with the ball.
As of now, I am not too worried. If it continues it will be a problem, but none of those guys are really turnover prone.
Also agreed that DS is fine and useful on the first unit. His poor rotations and reads will be less of a problem when surrounded by smart, long people. Was really hoping to see him make hay with the second unit, breaking down defenses and setting up looks for the kids. No way you can run him out there with kids now (forget Kanter too). Turn a 20 point lead into a tie game in 5 minutes.
I'm still against this. Too much of the offense is going to flow through Tatum and Brown anyway, I don't want Schroder eating into their usages.
Smart's shot selection was really good until the bad Marcus stretch EJ mentioned, which happened during a NY run and after Smart temporarily stemmed the run with a 3P. Hopefully someone can tell him that when the other team makes a run, the best thing Smart can do is calm the team down, not hype it back up.
The stretch in question, from PBP data:

The Celtcs had a 7-point lead (76-69) with 4:33 to go in the third, and the Knicks went on a 17-6 run to close out the quarter up four (86-82). Smart was in the lineup for all of the 4:33 to end the third, then out to start the 4th. He came in with 8:57 to go in regulation, with the Celtics having fallen behind by 8, 100-92.

Smart immediately drive and got his shot blocked. On the other end, Rob blocks a shot and Smart rebounds, then he tries (and misses) a step back 3. Pritchard rebounds and passes to Smart who hits a 3, cutting the lead to 5. Toppin misses at the other end, Smart grabs the rebound, goes dow court and misses a 31-foot three. Within a 40 second span, Smart shot 1 for 3 on threes, hitting only the catch and shoot one. About 30 seconds later, Ime calls a time out, does substitutions (Grant and Tatum in; Brown and Pritchard out), and coming out of the time out, Smartt heaves up (and misses) another 3. Kemba sticks a three to open the lead back to 8, and then Smart turns it over. At this point he'd been back in for less then 3 minutes and shot 1-5, 1-4 on threes, and then turned it over. Two minutes later, C's down 11, he missed another three.

After that he settled down, though.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Obviously, I’ve gone on record that Kanter should be getting minutes. It’s interesting to see Ime exploring a 2 big starting lineup but clearly not being interested in playing his deep bench bigs. My take on this is that Ime doesn’t want to play 2 bigs. Instead, he’s managing Horford’s ego and trying to figure out the 5th starter. I’d predict that at some point in the middle of this season, Horford or Timelord will miss a couple weeks and a new rotation will emerge with either Richardson or one of the young players starting. (I’m not betting on who at this point, just that one of Richardson, Grant, Romeo, or Nesmith will prove themselves and make it easier for Horford to step back.)
I think Kanter will get minutes, but his role will be very situational.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I think Hernangomez is going to rack up DNP-CDs. He's just not very good. I'm not sure what he does that can't be replicated by someone else. He also doesn't have youth on his side so it's not like he needs developmental minutes.

If Robert Williams is also going to play 30+ minutes instead of 24-25, there's not much room for Kanter or any other big really. Most of us have just assumed that TL and AL would add up to about 48 minutes or that both would play around 24-25 minutes a game. Maybe that is the case, but there's a chance it isn't.
 

JakeRae

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As of now, I am not too worried. If it continues it will be a problem, but none of those guys are really turnover prone.
I'm still against this. Too much of the offense is going to flow through Tatum and Brown anyway, I don't want Schroder eating into their usages.
The stretch in question, from PBP data:

The Celtcs had a 7-point lead (76-69) with 4:33 to go in the third, and the Knicks went on a 17-6 run to close out the quarter up four (86-82). Smart was in the lineup for all of the 4:33 to end the third, then out to start the 4th. He came in with 8:57 to go in regulation, with the Celtics having fallen behind by 8, 100-92.

Smart immediately drive and got his shot blocked. On the other end, Rob blocks a shot and Smart rebounds, then he tries (and misses) a step back 3. Pritchard rebounds and passes to Smart who hits a 3, cutting the lead to 5. Toppin misses at the other end, Smart grabs the rebound, goes dow court and misses a 31-foot three. Within a 40 second span, Smart shot 1 for 3 on threes, hitting only the catch and shoot one. About 30 seconds later, Ime calls a time out, does substitutions (Grant and Tatum in; Brown and Pritchard out), and coming out of the time out, Smartt heaves up (and misses) another 3. Kemba sticks a three to open the lead back to 8, and then Smart turns it over. At this point he'd been back in for less then 3 minutes and shot 1-5, 1-4 on threes, and then turned it over. Two minutes later, C's down 11, he missed another three.

After that he settled down, though.
It was a standard example of how Smart tries to step up when the offense is faltering and how he frequently struggles when he does that. The solution to this is not changing Smart’s role (playing Smart with the bench will make him do this more, not less), it’s having Tatum not have one of his worst shooting nights ever.

I also still don’t understand the calls for Schroder to start either. The starting 5 had a +43 net rating last night. Swap Schroder for Grant Williams and that drops to -14.8 (these are the only 2 5 man lineups to play a meaningful number of minutes together). Single game plus minus and lineup ratings are meaningless in terms of making affirmative statements. But I feel confident saying there was nothing we saw last night that supports this team being better playing smaller and starting Schroder next to Smart. In the 20 minutes Schroder and Smart played together, the Celtics had an offensive rating of 81.4. Moreover, across the board, the offense died last not when Schroder was on the court, not when Smart was. There are a lot of people here who seem to see only the negative in Smart’s game and are constantly looking at any alternative through rose colored glasses. Neither makes sense and thankfully the people who run the team have never suffered from that bias.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I think a lot of good could come out of this game. From the great play of Brown and Rob, the sold role-playing from Grant (despite getting repeatedly torched by someone you would not ordinarily want him to guard), and a slew of mistakes that hopefully help Ime figure out how to fix things.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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In the 20 minutes Schroder and Smart played together, the Celtics had an offensive rating of 81.4.
That number includes the last 3 min of OT2, where the Cs were completely gassed.

That being said, I think Al would have been closing the game instead of DS had he been available.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I think Hernangomez is going to rack up DNP-CDs. He's just not very good. I'm not sure what he does that can't be replicated by someone else. He also doesn't have youth on his side so it's not like he needs developmental minutes.
Very, very likely, IMO. I think he will get some sort of a chance at some point, especially if there are injuries or Covid issues, but I think he was brought in on the theory that Grant, Langford, Nesmith were expected to amount to much.

I think the good play so far (counting oreseason) of PP, Langford, Nesmith, Grant complicates Udoka's 2-big vision a bit. The deeper you go into the bench, wings >>> bigs.

If Robert Williams is also going to play 30+ minutes instead of 24-25, there's not much room for Kanter or any other big really. Most of us have just assumed that TL and AL would add up to about 48 minutes or that both would play around 24-25 minutes a game. Maybe that is the case, but there's a chance it isn't.
I'm not going to trust Rob as a 30+ minute guy until he does it for more than a game.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Karalis had a great article about the Celtics defensive woes late in regulation and into the OT.

https://www.bostonsportsjournal.com/2021/10/21/lack-of-preseason-reps-shows-itself-critical-late-game-lapses

It turns out that they changed up the defensive plan from "switch everything" to "switch everything except Rob, who will just stay on Randle," and not everyone got the word. This caused the defense to completely break down any time Randle set a pick.

In a normal, man defense with no switching, if Randle sets a pick for Fournier, Fournier's man needs to go over the pick to prevent him from getting an open look behind the screen. But, in a switch everything defense, when Randle sets a pick for Fournier, Fournier's man needs to switch and get between Randle and the basket so that Randle can't go in for an easy lob. Randle's man needs to pick up Fournier.

The Celtics were playing "switch everything" but they changed to keeping Rob on Randle, and switching everything else. So, Randle sets a pick for Fournier, guarded by Tatum. Williams' assignment is to stay on Randle, which he does. Tatum needs to go over the pick, but, wrongly expecting Williams to switch, he goes under. Fournier, along behind the pick, knocks down an easy three. Later in the game, with Brown on Fournier, the exact same thing happened again - Brown expects Williams to switch and goes under the pick, Williams stays on Randle, Fournier cans an even more open 3.

Karalis lays it all out with some good video clips: shows both Tatum and Brown going under the pick and Fournier hitting open threes, along with the counterexample of Marcus, a bit later in the game, playing it the right way - going over the pick and not giving Fournier an easy look.

“We switched from switching everything to switching one through four and guys got a little confused going under expecting (Robert Williams) to switch out,” Ime Udoka explained after the game.

“Changing our coverage in overtime and the fourth quarter, we wanted to keep Rob on Julius Randle, and some of our guys just messed up the coverage,” Udoka said. “Have to be more communicative when we switch it up late in the game. Knew we made a few mistakes that kept them in the game in the first overtime.”

This is where not having everyone for the full preseason hurt them. Yes, Brown and Tatum should have been more aware of the switch in defensive philosophy, so this is on them to be more in tune with how things are going. At the same time, all they’ve known thus far is ‘everybody switch everything,’ so there’s a natural inclination to default to that at this point of the season.
 

Imbricus

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Who are the winners and losers if the Celtics continue with a "switch everything" defense? I would think Pritchard would be one of the losers; he's just too small to guard big men underneath. I would think someone like Langford would be a winner, as he's long and quick enough to defend 1-4.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Who are the winners and losers if the Celtics continue with a "switch everything" defense? I would think Pritchard would be one of the losers; he's just too small to guard big men underneath. I would think someone like Langford would be a winner, as he's long and quick enough to defend 1-4.
I would expect them not to only switch everything - even last night they went away from it. It's good for Point Marcus.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Who are the winners and losers if the Celtics continue with a "switch everything" defense? I would think Pritchard would be one of the losers; he's just too small to guard big men underneath. I would think someone like Langford would be a winner, as he's long and quick enough to defend 1-4.
Romeo, Smart and J-Rich are the winners as this plays into their greatest strengths on the defensive end. If this is going to be the philosophy the losers will be Pritchard and Nesmith.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I expect that Udoka is going to take it easy on the Celtics' bigs tonight. Horford is likely to be back, but I'd expect limited minutes in his first game back from Covid. Rob went 45 minutes in the opener, and with his health issues I'd expect him not to get a ton of minutes. Plus, Grant played well and Kanter might dominate the paint against the smaller Raptors.

I think Rob and Al (if he plays) will both have minutes in the 20a, and Kanter and Grant will both also get minutes.
 

benhogan

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I think a lot of good could come out of this game. From the great play of Brown and Rob, the sold role-playing from Grant (despite getting repeatedly torched by someone you would not ordinarily want him to guard), and a slew of mistakes that hopefully help Ime figure out how to fix things.
Agree with this.

Grant should never be guarding Julius Randle (except for very small spurts on help). TL, who has a DPOY/All-Defense bonuses written into his contract was the obvious cover. It worked when they made the adjustment. They'll learn from it.

The most positive from the Knicks game besides Brown's offensive explosion (he's exploded before) was TL's minutes (and conservative, yet effective style)

On offense, with Brown/Tatum gravity, Horfords' passing awareness, DS's ability to dribble drive, & TL's vertical/roll spacing the CORNER 3 was open and will be open all season.

Whoever out of Grant, Romeo, Nesmith, PP, JRich can hit a high% of CORNER 3s will see plenty of complimentary minutes. It's going to be a long season for the Grant haters (OMG there are tons of them on the game thread) since he was very capable from the corner last season (44.6%) when he absolutely sucked at everything else. He probably shot ~1000 of those every day this Summer, his 3pt stroke looks like it has a little more arc with a little less push
 

tbb345

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The only reason his +/- was the worst was due to Jaylen’s 1Q barrage escalating others +/- while being on the floor during Randle’s. Are we really valuing individual game +/- to mean anything more than random except for the player actually producing?

DS is far from perfect and anything from one game is super small sample. Having said that what we saw last night is why he needs to be running with the first unit and not with the Pritchard and Nesmiths of the world. The offensive flow was far superior with him initiating the first unit offense and as you say that second unit team defense on the perimeter was painful to watch There was movement, penetration to collapse the defense resulting in easy shots……as opposed to the start of each half where there was no collapsing of the defense and bailed out by unsustainable hot shooting. To Ime’s credit he saw this immediately and adjusted to have DS get nearly all of the 2H minutes running the offense.

Speaking of defense……could any two guards have played worse defense than Fournier and Kemba on that final possession of regulation? Still unsure of what either we’re doing out there……Evan leaving DS to double Tatum in the backcourt (LOL!) and Kemba leaving his man while dropping down inside the 3-pt arc to prevent DS penetration in a 3-point game. Next question……WTH is Thibs doing having them out there for a final defensive possession?!!
I agree that the one game sample size is small and one game +/- isn’t much of an indicator of anything.
I only brought it up because I thought it was interesting and somewhat fit what I saw. I didn’t think he was the worse player on the team but I did think he was overall a net negative.
The offense did seem to flow better but I can guarantee people are going to get very frustrated with those shoulder jumpers he likes to take before moving the ball.
Also, as jimbodandy pointed out, his team defense is nonexistent. Playing with the starters, who are all good defenders, should help but it’s still a worry

I do like that he seems to have an edge and a bit of “fuck you” to him. That was desperately needed after last year
 

HomeRunBaker

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I expect that Udoka is going to take it easy on the Celtics' bigs tonight. Horford is likely to be back, but I'd expect limited minutes in his first game back from Covid. Rob went 45 minutes in the opener, and with his health issues I'd expect him not to get a ton of minutes. Plus, Grant played well and Kanter might dominate the paint against the smaller Raptors.

I think Rob and Al (if he plays) will both have minutes in the 20a, and Kanter and Grant will both also get minutes.
I don’t see Grant’s role vs Toronto. I do ageee this is a good matchup to get Kanter’s feet wet and I think he’ll be replacing Grant in the rotation for this one.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Apparently double bigs can work pretty well - if you have the right bigs.
Or if you have the correct opponent.

I remember reading one story about last year's Cs and some opposing scout saying the Cs were super easy to prepare for. This year's team must be easier.

For some reason, the Cs can't get defenses in rotation. If it's the Js with the ball, defenses pack the paint and dare others to beat them. If it's not the Jays with the ball, they play straight up and dare the other Cs to beat them.

Plus, they are horrible on fast breaks so far.

Did not see this coming.
 

luckiestman

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I’m baffled by this shit. I’m going to give it twenty games before I lose my cool. I’m setting an appointment to lose it but I hope I get to cancel the appointment.
 

Jimbodandy

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I'm working in my Dennis Schroder voodoo doll this weekend. Almost everyone played like ass except TL and Al. The defensive rotations just fall apart when DS is out there unless someone bails him out. To be fair, Richardson looks pretty fucking lost at times too, and Pritchard kept ending up under the net with some guy with octopus arms just dunking over him. Total lack of hustle from at least half of the team. Nobody knows where to be. Udoka has his work cut out for him. Toronto had 60 fucking rebounds, and we had way more turnovers than assists. What an egg.
 

Tony C

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I'm working in my Dennis Schroder voodoo doll this weekend. Almost everyone played like ass except TL and Al. The defensive rotations just fall apart when DS is out there unless someone bails him out. To be fair, Richardson looks pretty fucking lost at times too, and Pritchard kept ending up under the net with some guy with octopus arms just dunking over him. Total lack of hustle from at least half of the team. Nobody knows where to be. Udoka has his work cut out for him. Toronto had 60 fucking rebounds, and we had way more turnovers than assists. What an egg.
 

lovegtm

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The lack of ability to generate offensive advantages is pretty worrying. They already know how to do that with Tatum from 2 years ago: put him in high P&R and let him rain 3s until the opponent adjusts. The Tatum in the post experiment is still TBD.

The total lack of effort on the boards and lack of focus on turnovers are the kinds of things that tend to go away as a season goes on. Still a pretty bad look.
 

Imbricus

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They mailed in a stinker. It was a very physical but fun game for about one-half of the first quarter, then the wheels started coming off. It's incredible that Toronto won by more than 30 after shooting 28.6% from three. But Celtics couldn't grab a rebound and kept turning the ball over. I thought the two-big lineup worked fine early on, until we discovered that Ime's plan was to then rotate in a no-big lineup, which was a disaster.
 

Eddie Jurak

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They mailed in a stinker. It was a very physical but fun game for about one-half of the first quarter, then the wheels started coming off. It's incredible that Toronto won by more than 30 after shooting 28.6% from three. But Celtics couldn't grab a rebound and kept turning the ball over. I thought the two-big lineup worked fine early on, until we discovered that Ime's plan was to then rotate in a no-big lineup, which was a disaster.
The thing that really works against the 2-big lineup is that the Celtics' bench depth is really all located on the wing.

As a group, Richardson, Langford, Pritchard, Nesmith, Schroder (with Smart shifting to wing) are better than Grant, Juancho, Parker, Bruno, 3 of whom are sort of in between big and wing anyway.

This is a real challenge for Ime, to see the whole team faceplant like this in the home opener and show all of the bad tendencies from last year on steroids.
 

Fishy1

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Some of Tatums frustration was probably legitimate. 1 free throw the entire night seems ridiculous.

On the other hand, him and Jaylen turned the ball over nearly as much as the entire Raptors roster combined.

Smart and Schroder were both abysmal on offense. No penetration whatsoever. Grant managed one rebound in ten minutes.

The rotations need to get sorted out, but the turnovers are the most troubling thing. The C's got punched in the mouth out of the gate, managed to score a little anyway, and then Toronto just... kept punching them in the mouth. Felt like nobody but Timelord got an easy bucket all night.
 

benhogan

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Makes you wonder how Tatum, Brown, Horford, Smart, Baynes, Rozier & MaMo almost made the Finals?

The team will be fine once Ime figures out he needs to have one of Brown/Tatum + Horford/TL on the court at all times

The rotations are abysmal and non-sensical. The PP/DS/JRich/Romeo/Grant cocktail napkin lineup needs to get tossed out. WTF is he trying to accomplish there? :rolleyes:

What happened to IME announcing 2 Captains? I really don't care if they name two or not, but if you say you're going to do something, fukn do it.
 

reggiecleveland

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Almost everyone played like ass except TL and Al.
I mostly watched the Sox against 1999 Pedro Martinez, last night.
But TL had some awful low effort moments. Miss a 4 foot jump hook loaf back, barely in the frame as Boucher, who sprinted, dunks it. He was the last guy back on D a lot. He demonstrated one of my least favourite things jogging back on D like he was rettreating from Moscow with Napolean, then there was a turnover and he sprinted on O.
Al got mismatch postups and didn't finish, but on d seemed worried about getting beat and gave up a lot of space for people to make 3s against him. Missed shots may be rust, but he looked old on d.
 

Imbricus

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But TL had some awful low effort moments.
Yeah, my favorite was when a Raptor waltzed by next to him and laid the ball up and in, uncontested. This is the same Time Lord who flew out of nowhere to block Van Vleet on what looked like an open layup. A scouting report knock on him coming out of college was "inconsistent effort." I saw that his first year here: he blocked Anthony Davis twice in one game, but sometimes when he was brought in late in a game, he barely seemed engaged.
 

mcpickl

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Makes you wonder how Tatum, Brown, Horford, Smart, Baynes, Rozier & MaMo almost made the Finals?

The team will be fine once Ime figures out he needs to have one of Brown/Tatum + Horford/TL on the court at all times

The rotations are abysmal and non-sensical. The PP/DS/JRich/Romeo/Grant cocktail napkin lineup needs to get tossed out. WTF is he trying to accomplish there? :rolleyes:

What happened to IME announcing 2 Captains? I really don't care if they name two or not, but if you say you're going to do something, fukn do it.
This has been the key for me since the roster shook out.

I'm pleasantly surprised Kanter isn't in the rotation, I was sure he would be with the starting lineup the way it is, but you can't have a lineup with your two smallest guys at guard and Grant as the only big on the floor. It's begging to get pounded on the offensive glass.

They need to figure out how to get Horford to accept a bench role. They could still close halves and games with both Rob/Al if they want to, they just can't start them both. They could still get Al to the mid-high 20s in minutes this way, and if he's coming off the bench he could play with Grant in those minutes so he'd at least have a second big on the floor with him to help on the boards.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The team will be fine once Ime figures out he needs to have one of Brown/Tatum + Horford/TL on the court at all times
The problem is - which someone (HRB?) pointed earlier - is that if Ime thinks that the the best Cs 5 includes TL and Al playing together, then he's going to have to figure out minutes for the third 5.
They need to figure out how to get Horford to accept a bench role. They could still close halves and games with both Rob/Al if they want to, they just can't start them both. They could still get Al to the mid-high 20s in minutes this way, and if he's coming off the bench he could play with Grant in those minutes so he'd at least have a second big on the floor with him to help on the boards.
Or maybe the better idea would have been to bring TL off the bench at the beginning - you know, to keep his minutes down and to keep him healthy for the playoffs. I know TL is supposed to provide vertical spacing but they really aren't using it thus far this year and if he's not rim running, it's just more bodies in the lane.
 

mcpickl

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Or maybe the better idea would have been to bring TL off the bench at the beginning - you know, to keep his minutes down and to keep him healthy for the playoffs. I know TL is supposed to provide vertical spacing but they really aren't using it thus far this year and if he's not rim running, it's just more bodies in the lane.
I could go either way on whether Al or Rob starts.

I lean Rob because I've been advocating for Pritchard to start. That would give them three plus perimeter shooters plus Smart in the starting unit with one non shooter with Rob. Also, with Rob being the better rebounder/rim protector of the two, I think he's the better option to be the sole big.

Then Al on the second unit with Grant as a second big with only one little guy in Schroder as a driver. I'd rather have the bigs that can shoot from outside to open up the paint for Schroder drives and be available for kickouts on them.


I think their minutes could be similar whether off the bench or starting. Say Rob starts, Al comes in for him at the 5 minute mark, Rob comes back in for Al with 2 minutes left and plays 4 minutes into the 2nd quarter. Al plays the last 8 minutes and Rob comes back to join him for the last 3 minutes.

That would be 14 minutes for Rob and 13 minutes for Al per half while always having one of them out there and close with both.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Mar 26, 2005
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I could go either way on whether Al or Rob starts.

I lean Rob because I've been advocating for Pritchard to start. That would give them three plus perimeter shooters plus Smart in the starting unit with one non shooter with Rob. Also, with Rob being the better rebounder/rim protector of the two, I think he's the better option to be the sole big.

Then Al on the second unit with Grant as a second big with only one little guy in Schroder as a driver. I'd rather have the bigs that can shoot from outside to open up the paint for Schroder drives and be available for kickouts on them.


I think their minutes could be similar whether off the bench or starting. Say Rob starts, Al comes in for him at the 5 minute mark, Rob comes back in for Al with 2 minutes left and plays 4 minutes into the 2nd quarter. Al plays the last 8 minutes and Rob comes back to join him for the last 3 minutes.

That would be 14 minutes for Rob and 13 minutes for Al per half while always having one of them out there and close with both.
your plan makes sense. the court needs to open up IMO.

only reason I said Al start is because Al has made it known that starting is important to him. FWIW.
 

benhogan

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I could go either way on whether Al or Rob starts.

I lean Rob because I've been advocating for Pritchard to start. That would give them three plus perimeter shooters plus Smart in the starting unit with one non shooter with Rob. Also, with Rob being the better rebounder/rim protector of the two, I think he's the better option to be the sole big.

Then Al on the second unit with Grant as a second big with only one little guy in Schroder as a driver. I'd rather have the bigs that can shoot from outside to open up the paint for Schroder drives and be available for kickouts on them.


I think their minutes could be similar whether off the bench or starting. Say Rob starts, Al comes in for him at the 5 minute mark, Rob comes back in for Al with 2 minutes left and plays 4 minutes into the 2nd quarter. Al plays the last 8 minutes and Rob comes back to join him for the last 3 minutes.

That would be 14 minutes for Rob and 13 minutes for Al per half while always having one of them out there and close with both.
Agreed. PP was my early pick for starting, but I'd be willing to settle for any of the backup wings at this point. I'm desperate to watch some decent hoops :eek:

As expected, 2 BIGs clogs the paint and does nothing on defense except draw Horford and/or TL out to the perimeter where they are not as nearly effective.

Grant Williams at Center has to end, he'll be fine at the 4 (10th/11th man in the rotation). While on the floor GW can switch on to 5s but for only a few seconds. Surrounding him with PP/JRich/DS/Romeo could not have been more brain numbingly stupid.

Kanter can play but under only very specific matchups. EK is probably the least of our worries if Ime can't figure out the simple staggering of Jays and TL/Al
 
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Cesar Crespo

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Dec 22, 2002
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This team is a lot different than last years, but on paper, the talent is probably worse. Probably looking at 44 or 45 wins. With Ime, maybe that's 37. I kid, for now.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Dec 22, 2002
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who is worse?
I guess it depends on how you value Kemba. I'd take Fournier over DS or JR too but ymmv. It's not a strong opinion. I just don't think the team is all that better or worse than last year. Just the pieces should fit better. That doesn't do much good if our coach is trying to build a boat when the GM handed him the pieces to a car. It's also 2 games in. I'm sure there will be a lot of tinkering.
 

luckiestman

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I guess it depends on how you value Kemba. I'd take Fournier over DS or JR too but ymmv. It's not a strong opinion. I just don't think the team is all that better or worse than last year. Just the pieces should fit better. That doesn't do much good if our coach is trying to build a boat when the GM handed him the pieces to a car. It's also 2 games in. I'm sure there will be a lot of tinkering.
Fournier was on the team for 10 minutes and had covid, but he was on the team so that’s true. Kemba was a negative, imo
 

Imbricus

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Yeah, I think this year's talent is definitely better. Would rather have Horford than Kemba; I think he shot threes better last year and won't get hunted on defense and can help set up the offense (Kemba wasn't so much a point guard; he was looking for his own shot). Fournier may be a bit better than Shroder or Richardson, but his defense was notably bad. Besides, he wasn't around for that long anyway. Then you've got three guys -- Pritchard, Langford, Nesmith -- who are better by virtue of being a year older.

I think a big problem two games in is that they don't really have an offensive identity yet. In a way, it reminds me of last year when Brad pointedly explained to everyone their roles. I don't think people have a good sense of that yet.
 

Fishy1

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Nov 10, 2006
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Rebounding and turnovers seem to be the common issue between games one and two. I don't anticipate Smart and Schroder averaging four turnovers, and I think Jaylen and Jayson should stick around 3 or so.

Even so, there will have to be some adjustments in rotations. Grant just cannot play against guys like Toppin, Robinson, or Anunoby. There's no reason for Al and TL to be on the floor at the same time, either.

I think we'll see an adjustment in the rotations before game 3. I still wanna see Schroder and Richardson next to to the Jays. I think that affords the best balance between spacing and defense. Staggering TL and Horford would also hopefully solve a lot of the rebounding issues and avoid the need for regular G Williams minutes.
 
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benhogan

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Nov 2, 2007
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Rebounding and turnovers seem to be the common issue between games one and two. I don't anticipate Smart and Schroder averaging four turnovers, and I think Jaylen and Jayson should stick around 3 or so.

Even so, there will have to be some adjustments in rotations. Grant just cannot play against guys like Toppin, Robinson, or Anunoby. There's no reason for Al and TL to be on the floor at the same time, either.

I think we'll see an adjustment in the rotations before game 3. I still wanna see Schroder and Richardson next to to the Jays. I think that affords the best balance between spacing and defense. Staggering TL and Horford would also hopefully solve a lot of the rebounding issues and avoid the need for regular G Williams minutes.
the popular narrative is to blame Grant, but he played 10 minutes last night. He's not the reason they lost by 32pts. He just shouldn't play Center with 4 guards. Grant really isn't a 5, unless they are desperate or its a very specific situation

If he can hit 45% of his corner 3s, he can play rotational/bench minutes as a 4 with either Al or TL. It's irrelevant if Toppin, Robinson or OG are on the floor.
 

k-factory

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Dec 22, 2005
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Isn’t the most reasonable explanation that they were just gassed after a double OT effort Wednesday where they had a pretty solid scoring output in regulation despite sluggish Tatum? Nobody is actually in ‘the best shape of their lives’ and game 2 was a big letdown. Impossible to read too much into anything yet. Not to mention acclimation time for all the new faces.
 

benhogan

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Isn’t the most reasonable explanation that they were just gassed after a double OT effort Wednesday where they had a pretty solid scoring output in regulation despite sluggish Tatum? Nobody is actually in ‘the best shape of their lives’ and game 2 was a big letdown. Impossible to read too much into anything yet. Not to mention acclimation time for all the new faces.
if 10 minutes of OT basketball gasses them by Game #2, after a night off, then Brad should start scouting the draft hard