Analysis of Celtics Games, '21-'22 Season

nighthob

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He does have a checkered past but thought he turned it around? I see talent stuck in an awful situation. BUT haven't watched many Rocket games this season. I'm not a fan of KPJr. but thought Woods was OK. Liked that signing last year (3yrs for $41MM)
Houston is a tire fire and should be motivated to sell Gordon, House, Wood (before they turn into mush)

The Celtics need to combine assets (young guys, draft picks, cheap controlled players) and land a cusp All-Star from a tanker at the trade deadline or this Summer. Woods talent is undeniable.

I'd defer to our Rockets experts: @nighthob & @Apisith to render a final Woods opinion
Woods is on coast this year as the Rockets clearly aren’t trying to win. It is what it is. I’m hoping that Banchero joins Green next year as the foundation for a new team.
 

NomarsFool

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They are paying John Wall over $90 MM over this season and next to NOT play for them. He is healthy and could play but, similar to OKC with Horford last year, they want to develop young players (and, presumably, lose games). Trust the process.
I have no idea what sort of abilities John Wall has, but these sort of situations don’t seem quite right to me. If he wouldn’t be able to make an NBA roster, than sure. But if he could, it seems wrong to me to not have him playing somewhere just because you want to tank. They should buy him out and let him go to another team.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I have no idea what sort of abilities John Wall has, but these sort of situations don’t seem quite right to me. If he wouldn’t be able to make an NBA roster, than sure. But if he could, it seems wrong to me to not have him playing somewhere just because you want to tank. They should buy him out and let him go to another team.
You are assuming John Wall cares if he's playing or not. It's a mutual sitting until they work out a trade. No one wants to trade for him.
 

NomarsFool

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You are assuming John Wall cares if he's playing or not. It's a mutual sitting until they work out a trade. No one wants to trade for him.
I would think it hurts his career not to be playing. The $47 million he is owed is sunk cost. Paying him NOT to play or paying him to play for another team is fairly irrelevant to Houston. It seems there should be some mechanism to basically allow him to go somewhere else. I'm not saying there IS a mechanism, but that there should be.
 

benhogan

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Yep, thanks for posting. An unvarnished, outsider's view of the Celtic's offense. Easy to stop in the playoffs since it's very JAY-centric with little movement, screens, cuts, PnR and declining transition offense.

My turn/Your turn offense is still in place. Clippers suffer from the same issue.

Need that ballhandler/connector to make it happen, and he doesn't feel Smart or Schroder (good offense) are great at that job.
Jay King keeps pushing Marcus Smart as that guy and Dakhil isn't buying it, he says a lot of what is said around here " Marcus is a good secondary ballhandler but you don't want him dictating the offense"
Mentions missing on Lonzo (gives credit for making Zach/DeRozen work) and Rubio (working for CAVs)

Non-subscribers to the Athletic can listen to the interview:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/breaking-down-the-celtics-struggles-with-mo-dakhil/id1483488736?


King: I look at the roster; I think, Marcus Smart’s a playmaker. You can run offense through Marcus Smart. I actually wonder why they haven’t staggered Smart and Tatum more because I think Dennis Schröder is not a natural point guard; he’s out for his own offense, which is fine. He’s good at it, but I just feel like they’re a lot more structured when Smart has the ball in his hands and is good going through sets and creating for guys, and they have multiple playmakers. So is there anything that they can do? Or that you would do if you were Udoka, whether it’s rotations, whatever else, to try to get out of that stagnation?

Dakhil: Yeah, I don’t agree with you, necessarily, in that Smart’s a playmaker in that sense. I just think if he’s your playmaker, your offense is going to be in trouble. And the Celtics offense is in trouble.

King: To his defense, (they have a better offensive rating with him on the court than with anyone else). He has the most assists on the team, second year running. And even without Tatum, I think, their offense has been pretty good with him on the court, which is rare because their offense has plummeted at other times without Tatum.

Dakhil: Yeah, and I’m not saying he can’t do it. I just don’t think that should be your primary guy. His best role is as a secondary playmaker, as the guy that helps clean things up a bit. They don’t have a guy that just helps to keep the offense flowing and keep the system right. And I think they haven’t had that guy since Gordon Hayward. I think that was a very underrated thing Gordon Hayward did.
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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I would think it hurts his career not to be playing. The $47 million he is owed is sunk cost. Paying him NOT to play or paying him to play for another team is fairly irrelevant to Houston. It seems there should be some mechanism to basically allow him to go somewhere else. I'm not saying there IS a mechanism, but that there should be.
Well, Wall could do something - he could agree to a buy-out but the only buy-out that makes sense for HOU would require putting tens of millions on the table, and I think we all agree that he's probably wouldn't be able to recoup.

I keep thinking back to Chris Davis and all of the Orioles fans who wanted him to give back money. Like any of us are donating part of salaries back if we have a sucky year.
 

benhogan

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Yep, thanks for posting. An unvarnished, outsider's view of the Celtic's offense. Easy to stop in the playoffs since it's very JAY-centric with little movement, screens, cuts, PnR and declining transition offense.

My turn/Your turn offense is still in place. Clippers suffer from the same issue.

Need that ballhandler/connector to make it happen, and he doesn't feel Smart or Schroder (good offense) are great at that job.
Jay King keeps pushing Marcus Smart as that guy and Dakhil isn't buying it, he says a lot of what is said around here " Marcus is a good secondary ballhandler but you don't want him dictating the offense"
Mentions missing on Lonzo (gives credit for making Zach/DeRozen work) and Rubio (working for CAVs)

Non-subscribers to the Athletic can listen to the interview:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/breaking-down-the-celtics-struggles-with-mo-dakhil/id1483488736?


King: I look at the roster; I think, Marcus Smart’s a playmaker. You can run offense through Marcus Smart. I actually wonder why they haven’t staggered Smart and Tatum more because I think Dennis Schröder is not a natural point guard; he’s out for his own offense, which is fine. He’s good at it, but I just feel like they’re a lot more structured when Smart has the ball in his hands and is good going through sets and creating for guys, and they have multiple playmakers. So is there anything that they can do? Or that you would do if you were Udoka, whether it’s rotations, whatever else, to try to get out of that stagnation?

Dakhil: Yeah, I don’t agree with you, necessarily, in that Smart’s a playmaker in that sense. I just think if he’s your playmaker, your offense is going to be in trouble. And the Celtics offense is in trouble.

King: To his defense, (they have a better offensive rating with him on the court than with anyone else). He has the most assists on the team, second year running. And even without Tatum, I think, their offense has been pretty good with him on the court, which is rare because their offense has plummeted at other times without Tatum.

Dakhil: Yeah, and I’m not saying he can’t do it. I just don’t think that should be your primary guy. His best role is as a secondary playmaker, as the guy that helps clean things up a bit. They don’t have a guy that just helps to keep the offense flowing and keep the system right. And I think they haven’t had that guy since Gordon Hayward. I think that was a very underrated thing Gordon Hayward did.
and here is some of Dakhil's fix/medicine with the current group, which I agree with, but many will disagree with (esp. Nesmith):

So what I would do if I’m looking at it (as) Udoka, I think, play Al Horford a little bit as the center and play him in the high post and run some stuff in there through him. Not just elbow game. You could run Princeton sets with him at the high post and go from there. Him being a good enough passer, he can do it. And with his shot, if teams back off of him, he can just, boom, hit the free-throw jumper, right there. The top of the key for 3, all of those things. He has that range. I think that area, I would look at.

Other things too. I would try to stay away from times where you have Marcus Smart and Josh Richardson on the court at the same time. Maybe pair Smart with Aaron Nesmith a little bit. So Nesmith can get some catch-and-shoot opportunities in those instances. So he can be that release valve in that instance. Even though Richardson’s going to bring the defense with Smart, not going to bring a lot of shooting. You’re hoping Nesmith is going to be your best shooter or at least one of your best shooters. I know it hasn’t really borne out that much this year, and he’s struggled badly from it, but we know he can shoot. He’s just in a bad run. I think you just have to start putting him in those positions where he’s going to get easier looks at 3s and things like that. And I think you can get that by tweaking the rotations here and there, and how you pair guys and stuff like that.

I would start trying to put in some sets where you have the ball in different guys’ hands and force Tatum and force Brown to have to move, screen and cut. Because once you start doing that, it’ll open things up for everybody else, and it’ll open it up for them too. It’ll open up back door cuts. Those guys are smart players. They’re going to know when the defense is overplaying them, and they’ll cut backdoor, and guys like Horford, guys like Smart will find them with those passes.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Thanks for posting. A lot of it - particularly the Marcus evaluation - could have been sourced from @HRB.

I would have liked to see some of the stats in context. For example, player movement. While it's instinctive to think that more player movement is better, while I don't watch a ton of other NBA teams (due to time constraints), when I do, I don't see teams having a lot more movement than BOS.

I would have also liked to see how BOS has been doing in transition points since the team has clamped down on defense. Hopefully, as the Cs play better on defense, they will get more easy transition points.

I guess we're going to find out more about this team on the upcoming WC road trip (UT, PDX, LAL, LAC, PHO, and MIL at home).
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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If Wall wants to play, he can force the issue and play. He can play for the Rockets.
How is that? HOU doesn't have to give him minutes. There is literally no upside for HOU to give him minutes right now and they are all-in on the KPJ as PG experiment (whether that's a good idea is an entirely separate question). https://theathletic.com/2972681/2021/11/23/jalen-greens-development-john-walls-availability-and-the-steps-for-a-team-turnaround-rockets-mailbag/
 

HomeRunBaker

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Yep, thanks for posting. An unvarnished, outsider's view of the Celtic's offense. Easy to stop in the playoffs since it's very JAY-centric with little movement, screens, cuts, PnR and declining transition offense.

My turn/Your turn offense is still in place. Clippers suffer from the same issue.

Need that ballhandler/connector to make it happen, and he doesn't feel Smart or Schroder (good offense) are great at that job.
Jay King keeps pushing Marcus Smart as that guy and Dakhil isn't buying it, he says a lot of what is said around here " Marcus is a good secondary ballhandler but you don't want him dictating the offense"
Mentions missing on Lonzo (gives credit for making Zach/DeRozen work) and Rubio (working for CAVs)

Non-subscribers to the Athletic can listen to the interview:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/breaking-down-the-celtics-struggles-with-mo-dakhil/id1483488736?


King: I look at the roster; I think, Marcus Smart’s a playmaker. You can run offense through Marcus Smart. I actually wonder why they haven’t staggered Smart and Tatum more because I think Dennis Schröder is not a natural point guard; he’s out for his own offense, which is fine. He’s good at it, but I just feel like they’re a lot more structured when Smart has the ball in his hands and is good going through sets and creating for guys, and they have multiple playmakers. So is there anything that they can do? Or that you would do if you were Udoka, whether it’s rotations, whatever else, to try to get out of that stagnation?

Dakhil: Yeah, I don’t agree with you, necessarily, in that Smart’s a playmaker in that sense. I just think if he’s your playmaker, your offense is going to be in trouble. And the Celtics offense is in trouble.

King: To his defense, (they have a better offensive rating with him on the court than with anyone else). He has the most assists on the team, second year running. And even without Tatum, I think, their offense has been pretty good with him on the court, which is rare because their offense has plummeted at other times without Tatum.

Dakhil: Yeah, and I’m not saying he can’t do it. I just don’t think that should be your primary guy. His best role is as a secondary playmaker, as the guy that helps clean things up a bit. They don’t have a guy that just helps to keep the offense flowing and keep the system right. And I think they haven’t had that guy since Gordon Hayward. I think that was a very underrated thing Gordon Hayward did.
The “in defense, Celtics have the best offensive rating with him on the floor” isn’t accounting for those many minutes he’s on the floor with Schroder. Such a lazy angle I keep hearing repeated. There is a reason we were down 10 at the start of each half last game forcing Ime to bring in Schroder earlier than he ever has. Baby steps maybe……some day he will figure it out. We hope.
 

sezwho

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Yep, thanks for posting. An unvarnished, outsider's view of the Celtic's offense. Easy to stop in the playoffs since it's very JAY-centric with little movement, screens, cuts, PnR and declining transition offense.

My turn/Your turn offense is still in place. Clippers suffer from the same issue.

Need that ballhandler/connector to make it happen, and he doesn't feel Smart or Schroder (good offense) are great at that job.
Jay King keeps pushing Marcus Smart as that guy and Dakhil isn't buying it, he says a lot of what is said around here " Marcus is a good secondary ballhandler but you don't want him dictating the offense"
Mentions missing on Lonzo (gives credit for making Zach/DeRozen work) and Rubio (working for CAVs)

Non-subscribers to the Athletic can listen to the interview:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/breaking-down-the-celtics-struggles-with-mo-dakhil/id1483488736?


King: I look at the roster; I think, Marcus Smart’s a playmaker. You can run offense through Marcus Smart. I actually wonder why they haven’t staggered Smart and Tatum more because I think Dennis Schröder is not a natural point guard; he’s out for his own offense, which is fine. He’s good at it, but I just feel like they’re a lot more structured when Smart has the ball in his hands and is good going through sets and creating for guys, and they have multiple playmakers. So is there anything that they can do? Or that you would do if you were Udoka, whether it’s rotations, whatever else, to try to get out of that stagnation?

Dakhil: Yeah, I don’t agree with you, necessarily, in that Smart’s a playmaker in that sense. I just think if he’s your playmaker, your offense is going to be in trouble. And the Celtics offense is in trouble.

King: To his defense, (they have a better offensive rating with him on the court than with anyone else). He has the most assists on the team, second year running. And even without Tatum, I think, their offense has been pretty good with him on the court, which is rare because their offense has plummeted at other times without Tatum.

Dakhil: Yeah, and I’m not saying he can’t do it. I just don’t think that should be your primary guy. His best role is as a secondary playmaker, as the guy that helps clean things up a bit. They don’t have a guy that just helps to keep the offense flowing and keep the system right. And I think they haven’t had that guy since Gordon Hayward. I think that was a very underrated thing Gordon Hayward did.
Really good listen, thanks! I’ve got 3-4 Celtics podcasts I’m subscribed too but didn’t have this.
 

benhogan

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The “in defense, Celtics have the best offensive rating with him on the floor” isn’t accounting for those many minutes he’s on the floor with Schroder. Such a lazy angle I keep hearing repeated. There is a reason we were down 10 at the start of each half last game forcing Ime to bring in Schroder earlier than he ever has. Baby steps maybe……some day he will figure it out. We hope.
Yea. as Wade noted above, a lot of what this independent evaluator is saying is straight from your playbook (other than the Nesmith/Smart instead of JRich/Smart pairing).

I'm surprised neither Grant or Romeo's 3pt shooting was mentioned, they are the natural paint kick-out targets. The JAYs can easily make that pass and if those two can convert at 40-45% from Corner3s that would make the halfcourt offense much more efficient, create more spacing, & pump up JAY asst #s.

TL out again. I have no proof but jacking his minutes from 19mpg to 30mpg, with his nagging injury history, doesn't seem very clever.
 
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benhogan

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Really good listen, thanks! I’ve got 3-4 Celtics podcasts I’m subscribed too but didn’t have this.
John Karlis (Locked-On) does a Celtic podcast which is a solid daily update.

Karlis doesn't mind asking IME the tough questions. If you listen to his podcast on YouTube and comment, John will engage with the audience. I find the CLNS podcasts tough to get through
 

sezwho

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John Karlis (Locked-On) does a Celtic podcast which is a solid daily update.

Karlis doesn't mind asking IME the tough questions. If you listen to his podcast on YouTube and comment, John will engage with the audience. I find the CLNS podcasts tough to get through
Thanks, I get the CLNS ones as well but run out of gas pretty quickly most of the time. I subscribed to locked on for a while, maybe time to take another listen.
 

SteveF

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The “in defense, Celtics have the best offensive rating with him on the floor” isn’t accounting for those many minutes he’s on the floor with Schroder. Such a lazy angle I keep hearing repeated. There is a reason we were down 10 at the start of each half last game forcing Ime to bring in Schroder earlier than he ever has. Baby steps maybe……some day he will figure it out. We hope.
Before I bother to actually check numbers, is there any possible statistical evidence one could dig up that would cause you to change your mind? And if so, what form would that take? Offensive rating with Smart on/Schroder off compared to offensive rating with Schroder on/Smart off? Or how about offensive rating with Smart+Tatum on/Schroder off vs offensive rating with Schroder+Tatum on/Smart off?
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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TL out again. I have no proof but jacking his minutes from 19mpg to 30mpg, with his nagging injury history, doesn't seem very clever.
Well, the last two games are because of illness so hopefully he gets some rest for his knees as well.

I was surprised at anyone after Brad taking immense care with TL's minutes that he plays 44 minutes on opening night. Wish I knew what Brad thought of that. Perhaps one train of thought may be that Ime wants to see what happens when he plays starter minutes. Perhaps.
 

Cesar Crespo

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How is that? HOU doesn't have to give him minutes. There is literally no upside for HOU to give him minutes right now and they are all-in on the KPJ as PG experiment (whether that's a good idea is an entirely separate question). https://theathletic.com/2972681/2021/11/23/jalen-greens-development-john-walls-availability-and-the-steps-for-a-team-turnaround-rockets-mailbag/
Sure, they don't have to. He hasn't asked. He hasn't really done anything.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Before I bother to actually check numbers, is there any possible statistical evidence one could dig up that would cause you to change your mind? And if so, what form would that take? Offensive rating with Smart on/Schroder off compared to offensive rating with Schroder on/Smart off? Or how about offensive rating with Smart+Tatum on/Schroder off vs offensive rating with Schroder+Tatum on/Smart off?
I’d listen to it as I always do to see how much noise and luck is involved. In a small sample such as Smart’s minutes as the lone ball handler it would be a very difficult sell especially with TL out as that takes the defense down a notch in the starting unit (who is what is saving Smart from looking like a complete misfit at the position by numbers).
 

nighthob

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I would think it hurts his career not to be playing. The $47 million he is owed is sunk cost. Paying him NOT to play or paying him to play for another team is fairly irrelevant to Houston. It seems there should be some mechanism to basically allow him to go somewhere else. I'm not saying there IS a mechanism, but that there should be.
There is, if he declined his ‘23 option Houston would release him tomorrow and happily pay him his ‘22 salary. He wants every penny due him so he’s in a waiting game.

If he’s willing to compromise, Houston would let him go, if Houston has to pay him for the next two years to play for someone else then they may as well take advantage of the economics of the situation. If they do an extend & release this year Wall is a roughly $18 million cap hit for the four years beyond this one. If they do the extend & release next July then he’s a roughly $16 million cap hit for the three years beyond this one.
 

radsoxfan

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3 PT shooting % is down so far this year across the league, but even accounting for that....Celtics have been very bad. I know it's early but it still has been worse than expected so far.

2017-2018: 37.7% (2nd)
2018-2019: 36.5% (7th)
2019-2020: 36.4 (13th)
2020-2021: 37.4% (10th)
2021-2022: 32.6% (25th)


Some notable outliers this year. None of those 5 are close to this bad, and the top 3 shoot a lot.

Tatum: 32.1% (8.7 Att)
Smart: 28.4% (4.9 Att)
Horford: 30.4% (4.3 Att)
Nesmith: 20.0% (2.2 Att)
Pritchard: 25.0% (1.6 Att)


On the good side:

Romeo: 44.8% (1.9 Att)
GWill: 40.9% (3.5 Att)
 

TripleOT

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It’s obviously still early in Udoka’s coaching stint here, but his team starts too many games not ready to play. They have lost the first quarter 11 games out of 20, winning the first only 6 times, and giving up 30 points in 7 of the games.

After overcoming a big lead away against a bad Spurs team, they get outscored 15-0 in the last 3:21, frittering away an 7 point lead. Although Schroder was exploited all game by the taller Spurs guards, who lived in the paint, Ime didn’t think to go to a more defensive minded line up as the Spurs chipped into the lead, which was especially stupid because DS was horrible on offense all game.

I don’t think they’ll do it, but if the Celtics come out of this road trip with only one or two wins, there will be questions about Udoka and his staff being up to the task of coaching this team
 
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DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Entering the game, the Cs were 22nd in FG% at 44% (league average, which is thus far down is 44.8%). The Spurs were sixth at 46.3%.

SA shot 43.7% from the field while Boston shot 37%.

The Spurs are not a good defensive team as they average FGA of 46.4% on the season so its easy to see what I am getting at. This team's offense is a mess.

My sense is that this is a macro issue with the roster versus a coaching or PG distribution issue. They need to find more consistent sources of offense either internally or externally. You can swap a Smart or Schroder into a more natural distributor and unless that player is also a great scorer, I feel like the team is in roughly the same spot. They need what they have lacked the last few years which is another bucket getter.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Entering the game, the Cs were 22nd in FG% at 44% (league average, which is thus far down is 44.8%). The Spurs were sixth at 46.3%.

SA shot 43.7% from the field while Boston shot 37%.

The Spurs are not a good defensive team as they average FGA of 46.4% on the season so its easy to see what I am getting at. This team's offense is a mess.

My sense is that this is a macro issue with the roster versus a coaching or PG distribution issue. They need to find more consistent sources of offense either internally or externally. You can swap a Smart or Schroder into a more natural distributor and unless that player is also a great scorer, I feel like the team is in roughly the same spot. They need what they have lacked the last few years which is another bucket getter.
Agree that O is a mess. They are super easy to guard. If you are correct and they need a bucket-getter, they need to play Nesmith more as he has the offensive upside potential on the bench. Frankly they should play RL more so they can properly evaluate him.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Agree that O is a mess. They are super easy to guard. If you are correct and they need a bucket-getter, they need to play Nesmith more as he has the offensive upside potential on the bench. Frankly they should play RL more so they can properly evaluate him.
Just to put a fine point on it, even if this roster played to its maximum current potential (efficient distribution and scoring), its my view that it wouldn't be enough to really even sniff contention. Perhaps one of the rotation players figures it out but even so, they still need more. This team is structurally short a player the coach can call upon to do something when Brown and/or Tatum struggle. Schroder isn't enough imo. If not him who? Who can get buckets efficiently and at volume- (I am indifferent to the manner in which they are acquired so post to perimeter is fine with me)? I struggle to find a reasonable answer on the roster.
 
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benhogan

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Agree that O is a mess. They are super easy to guard. If you are correct and they need a bucket-getter, they need to play Nesmith more as he has the offensive upside potential on the bench. Frankly they should play RL more so they can properly evaluate him.
Yep, try to win as much now but develop the assets with a consistent role, mins/games. We are kind of getting an idea of what this is shaping up to be.

If it gets real bad (December could be damaging) then try to get as much as possible for Schroder at the trade deadline. His contract will make it very easy for a contender to add
 

tbb345

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TL out again. I have no proof but jacking his minutes from 19mpg to 30mpg, with his nagging injury history, doesn't seem very clever.
Not only is TL hurt but Horford looks pretty gassed too. The amount he played both of them the first 10 games wasnt very clever indeed.
 

radsoxfan

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Just to put a fine point on it, even if this roster played to its maximum current potential (efficient distribution and scoring), its my view that it wouldn't be enough to really even sniff contention. Perhaps one of the rotation players figures it out but even so, they still need more. This team is structurally short a player the coach can call upon to do something when Brown and/or Tatum struggle. Schroder isn't enough imo. If not him who? Who can get buckets efficiently and at volume- (I am indifferent to the manner in which they are acquired so post to perimeter is fine with me)? I struggle to find a reasonable answer on the roster.
I agree with this, but am not sure where the answer comes.

Lots of mediocre NBA teams could unfortunately say the same thing .

Packaging mediocre recent picks/busts and future mid round picks is not very enticing to most teams.
 

Euclis20

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Not only is TL hurt but Horford looks pretty gassed too. The amount he played both of them the first 10 games wasnt very clever indeed.
The Celtics may be an underwhelming 10-10, but at least 3/4 of their young core is averaging a career high in mpg (and Jaylen was too, before he got hurt).
 

Eddie Jurak

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Anytime you can play two centers you gotta do it though. No choice. /s
The weird thing about this is that now that he has gotten minutes Enes Kanter has been kicking some ass. The Celtics were +28 with Kanter on the floor last night (18 minutes). With Jabari at C they were -7 in 5 minutes. With Horford they were -29 in 25 minutes.

Kanter has his limitations, but there is a difference between a guy who is so limited he cannot be trusted on the floor outside of garbage time and a guy who is too limited to start and play big minutes/needs to be kept out of certain matchups. Kanter is pretty obviously the latter.
 

Eddie Jurak

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So what I would do if I’m looking at it (as) Udoka, I think, play Al Horford a little bit as the center and play him in the high post and run some stuff in there through him. Not just elbow game. You could run Princeton sets with him at the high post and go from there. Him being a good enough passer, he can do it. And with his shot, if teams back off of him, he can just, boom, hit the free-throw jumper, right there. The top of the key for 3, all of those things. He has that range. I think that area, I would look at.
This stands out as something the Celtics rarely do, but could be doing a lot of. Not just with Horford but also some with TL (though less effectively because he doesn't have the shot).
 

Eddie Jurak

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It’s obviously still early in Udoka’s coaching stint here, but his team starts too many games not ready to play. They have lost the first quarter 11 games out of 20, winning the first only 6 times, and giving up 30 points in 7 of the games.

After overcoming a big lead away against a bad Spurs team, they get outscored 15-0 in the last 3:21, frittering away an 7 point lead. Although Schroder was exploited all game by the taller Spurs guards, who lived in the paint, Ime didn’t think to go to a more defensive minded line up as the Spurs chipped into the lead, which was especially stupid because DS was horrible on offense all game.

I don’t think they’ll do it, but if the Celtics come out of this road trip with only one or two wins, there will be questions about Udoka and his staff being up to the task of coaching this team
This isn't a new thing, though, and it would show organization stupidity and lack of direction for the Celtocs to fire Udoka after 20 games because the team is playing like they did befor ehe arrived.

If there's a flaw to Udoka so far, I think that he has in mind a style of play that he wants to do and personnel that don't match that, so he's forcing the issue and it isn't working. In doing that, he is making the team worse. Once Udoka forced to use Kanter, Kanter has been able to contribute. But Udoka has had to abandon switching in favor of drop coverage because Kanter can't be switched onto wings and guards. But drop coverage with Kanter has been reasonable effective. Not "let's start Kanter and do this all the time" effective, but "we can get away with this against most other teams' backups" effective.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Agree that O is a mess. They are super easy to guard. If you are correct and they need a bucket-getter, they need to play Nesmith more as he has the offensive upside potential on the bench. Frankly they should play RL more so they can properly evaluate him.
One thing worth keeping in mind is that one of their 2 intended main bucket getters has missed 45% of the games and been on limited minutes and not fully healthy for another 15%. That's looking like it will become a long term issue, but to the extent we are knocking the Celtics for poor roster construction we should recognize that any team would struggle with such a reduced contribution from its second best player.
 

sezwho

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This isn't a new thing, though, and it would show organization stupidity and lack of direction for the Celtocs to fire Udoka after 20 games because the team is playing like they did befor ehe arrived.

If there's a flaw to Udoka so far, I think that he has in mind a style of play that he wants to do and personnel that don't match that, so he's forcing the issue and it isn't working. In doing that, he is making the team worse. Once Udoka forced to use Kanter, Kanter has been able to contribute. But Udoka has had to abandon switching in favor of drop coverage because Kanter can't be switched onto wings and guards. But drop coverage with Kanter has been reasonable effective. Not "let's start Kanter and do this all the time" effective, but "we can get away with this against most other teams' backups" effective.
I don’t mind more Kanter, but what would the style be that better suits them? Al is one of the better (their best?) ball movers and decision makers, so I could see more high post sets through him, but I’m not sure if he can be the straw that stirs the drink through a season.

All I’m left hoping for is shot luck correction, because by and large I think this resembles the ball Ime wants to be playing, andit’s pretty rough.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Just to put a fine point on it, even if this roster played to its maximum current potential (efficient distribution and scoring), its my view that it wouldn't be enough to really even sniff contention. Perhaps one of the rotation players figures it out but even so, they still need more. This team is structurally short a player the coach can call upon to do something when Brown and/or Tatum struggle. Schroder isn't enough imo. If not him who? Who can get buckets efficiently and at volume- (I am indifferent to the manner in which they are acquired so post to perimeter is fine with me)? I struggle to find a reasonable answer on the roster.
You don't think that if JT was at 50/40/85 this year and JB around 50/40/80 they wouldn't be in contention? The problem to me is that JT & JB are taking 49-ish mostly inefficient shots because for the most part, the other teams just load up on them and they end up taking bad shots. And because they take bad shits, others take bad shots and the Cs go on long droughts bevause the Cs seem to get fewer easy baskets than their opposition.

I don't know what the answer is.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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One thing worth keeping in mind is that one of their 2 intended main bucket getters has missed 45% of the games and been on limited minutes and not fully healthy for another 15%. That's looking like it will become a long term issue, but to the extent we are knocking the Celtics for poor roster construction we should recognize that any team would struggle with such a reduced contribution from its second best player.
I'm not knocking the roster construction. I'm not even saying the Js can't play together. It's just that night after night, teams load up JT or JB when they have the ball, which makes it tough for them to get good shots. Yes they pass the ball occasionally but they end up taking 40-ish shots a game and a lot of them aren't very good.

I mean go back and watch the last possessions (after Cs went up 88-81). The O was dreadful. Meanwhile, SAS was getting open shot after open shot.

It's up to Ime to show them how this contributes to losing and hopefully they will get tired of it.
 

HomeRunBaker

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This isn't a new thing, though, and it would show organization stupidity and lack of direction for the Celtocs to fire Udoka after 20 games because the team is playing like they did befor ehe arrived.

If there's a flaw to Udoka so far, I think that he has in mind a style of play that he wants to do and personnel that don't match that, so he's forcing the issue and it isn't working. In doing that, he is making the team worse. Once Udoka forced to use Kanter, Kanter has been able to contribute. But Udoka has had to abandon switching in favor of drop coverage because Kanter can't be switched onto wings and guards. But drop coverage with Kanter has been reasonable effective. Not "let's start Kanter and do this all the time" effective, but "we can get away with this against most other teams' backups" effective.
Great post.

One thing worth keeping in mind is that one of their 2 intended main bucket getters has missed 45% of the games and been on limited minutes and not fully healthy for another 15%. That's looking like it will become a long term issue, but to the extent we are knocking the Celtics for poor roster construction we should recognize that any team would struggle with such a reduced contribution from its second best player.


56280B30-6B9E-44D2-8D1F-1BB0F0EE0D42.jpeg
 

lexrageorge

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You don't think that if JT was at 50/40/85 this year and JB around 50/40/80 they wouldn't be in contention? The problem to me is that JT & JB are taking 49-ish mostly inefficient shots because for the most part, the other teams just load up on them and they end up taking bad shots. And because they take bad shits, others take bad shots and the Cs go on long droughts bevause the Cs seem to get fewer easy baskets than their opposition.

I don't know what the answer is.
Is the bolded at all related to the non-CoVid illness running through the locker room right now?
 

Eddie Jurak

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I don’t mind more Kanter, but what would the style be that better suits them? Al is one of the better (their best?) ball movers and decision makers, so I could see more high post sets through him, but I’m not sure if he can be the straw that stirs the drink through a season.
I was using Kanter as an example, not as the whole story.

If they are playing Kanter, the strategy needs to be drop coverage on pick and rolls.

Ime wants to switch pick and rolls. The offensive center sets a pick for the ballhandler. When the ballhandler uses the pick to shake his defender, Ime wants the center (Al or Rob) to leave the pick-setter and guard the ballhandler as he gets past the pick. As this happens, the Celtic originally guarding ther ballhandler needs to give him up and dive under the pick to get ibetween the pick-setter and the basket to stop the pick setter from rolling for an easy dunk.

If you do that with Al (and to some extent Rob), they can generally stay in front of the ballhandler and take away the easy drive to the basket. If they do this with Kanter, it is almost the same as giving a free layup.

So, with Kanter on the floor, they need to do something different on pick and rolls, and that something can be drop coverage. When Kanter's man sets a pick, rather than trying to pick up the ballhandler, Kanter stays back, nearer the basket, and reads the play. Let's say Marcus is on the ballhandler. In switch coverage, Marcus needs to switch onto the pick setter and deny the roll. In drop coverage, Marcus needs to stay on his man, going over the pick if the balhandler can shoot, under it if he is bad enough. Assume the ballhander can shoot - depending on how well he uses the pick and how well Marcus goes over it, he may get totally free of Marcus or, more likely, get a step on him. If he does, Kanter needs to be in his way so that he cannot cruise in for a layup. If Marcus stays on his man over the pick Kanter can pick up the roll man.

Kanter is a good rebounder at both ends. Since the Celtics miss more than their share of shots, they can play for second chances more when Kanter is in. They can give up fewer second chances to the other team.

Ime's alternative is to give more minutes to Horford, Rob, and even Grant at the 5 because they can do the style he wants to play.

Anyway, Kanter wasn't the sole example of this - just an obvious one.

As a general matter, I don't think Ime needs to abandon eveything he wants to do, but he needs to incorproate things that play to his actual team's strengths and weaknesses. Forcing them to try to be the Tim Duncan Spurs overnight (or ever) is not the right answer.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Enes Kanter is a useful tool to have but he as well as any player that is incapable of defending even credibly are not an answer to me.

The math is inescapable - for all the really good offensive things Kanter does, he can give it back plus on D.

His lack of playing time isn't a Udoka thing. He has had a number of DNP CDs or limited minutes over the years across multiple teams. A lot of his heavier minutes have come as a result of injuries as was the case last season. Coaches use Kanter out of necessity.
 

sezwho

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I was using Kanter as an example, not as the whole story.

If they are playing Kanter, the strategy needs to be drop coverage on pick and rolls.

Ime wants to switch pick and rolls. The offensive center sets a pick for the ballhandler. When the ballhandler uses the pick to shake his defender, Ime wants the center (Al or Rob) to leave the pick-setter and guard the ballhandler as he gets past the pick. As this happens, the Celtic originally guarding ther ballhandler needs to give him up and dive under the pick to get ibetween the pick-setter and the basket to stop the pick setter from rolling for an easy dunk.

If you do that with Al (and to some extent Rob), they can generally stay in front of the ballhandler and take away the easy drive to the basket. If they do this with Kanter, it is almost the same as giving a free layup.

So, with Kanter on the floor, they need to do something different on pick and rolls, and that something can be drop coverage. When Kanter's man sets a pick, rather than trying to pick up the ballhandler, Kanter stays back, nearer the basket, and reads the play. Let's say Marcus is on the ballhandler. In switch coverage, Marcus needs to switch onto the pick setter and deny the roll. In drop coverage, Marcus needs to stay on his man, going over the pick if the balhandler can shoot, under it if he is bad enough. Assume the ballhander can shoot - depending on how well he uses the pick and how well Marcus goes over it, he may get totally free of Marcus or, more likely, get a step on him. If he does, Kanter needs to be in his way so that he cannot cruise in for a layup. If Marcus stays on his man over the pick Kanter can pick up the roll man.

Kanter is a good rebounder at both ends. Since the Celtics miss more than their share of shots, they can play for second chances more when Kanter is in. They can give up fewer second chances to the other team.

Ime's alternative is to give more minutes to Horford, Rob, and even Grant at the 5 because they can do the style he wants to play.

Anyway, Kanter wasn't the sole example of this - just an obvious one.

As a general matter, I don't think Ime needs to abandon eveything he wants to do, but he needs to incorproate things that play to his actual team's strengths and weaknesses. Forcing them to try to be the Tim Duncan Spurs overnight (or ever) is not the right answer.
Ah, that makes sense. I was looking at your response solely from an offensive perspective, and less from a defensive one.

I can see adjustments on D that could help set Kanter free, or at least minimize his limitations, but the D at this point is much closer to their theoretical peak performance than their O (I realize this is a hard Claim to justify analytically) so that’s where I tend to focus almost bydefault.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I was using Kanter as an example, not as the whole story.

If they are playing Kanter, the strategy needs to be drop coverage on pick and rolls.

Ime wants to switch pick and rolls. The offensive center sets a pick for the ballhandler. When the ballhandler uses the pick to shake his defender, Ime wants the center (Al or Rob) to leave the pick-setter and guard the ballhandler as he gets past the pick. As this happens, the Celtic originally guarding ther ballhandler needs to give him up and dive under the pick to get ibetween the pick-setter and the basket to stop the pick setter from rolling for an easy dunk.

If you do that with Al (and to some extent Rob), they can generally stay in front of the ballhandler and take away the easy drive to the basket. If they do this with Kanter, it is almost the same as giving a free layup.

So, with Kanter on the floor, they need to do something different on pick and rolls, and that something can be drop coverage. When Kanter's man sets a pick, rather than trying to pick up the ballhandler, Kanter stays back, nearer the basket, and reads the play. Let's say Marcus is on the ballhandler. In switch coverage, Marcus needs to switch onto the pick setter and deny the roll. In drop coverage, Marcus needs to stay on his man, going over the pick if the balhandler can shoot, under it if he is bad enough. Assume the ballhander can shoot - depending on how well he uses the pick and how well Marcus goes over it, he may get totally free of Marcus or, more likely, get a step on him. If he does, Kanter needs to be in his way so that he cannot cruise in for a layup. If Marcus stays on his man over the pick Kanter can pick up the roll man.

Kanter is a good rebounder at both ends. Since the Celtics miss more than their share of shots, they can play for second chances more when Kanter is in. They can give up fewer second chances to the other team.

Ime's alternative is to give more minutes to Horford, Rob, and even Grant at the 5 because they can do the style he wants to play.

Anyway, Kanter wasn't the sole example of this - just an obvious one.

As a general matter, I don't think Ime needs to abandon eveything he wants to do, but he needs to incorproate things that play to his actual team's strengths and weaknesses. Forcing them to try to be the Tim Duncan Spurs overnight (or ever) is not the right answer.
I'm not sure what your point is. They definitely use drop coverage with Kanter in the game. The problem is that someone like Murray can get all the open mid-range jumpers he can make in drop coverage and someone like JT can get a ton of open 3Ps. (Of course, during the end of the game, Murray got anything he wanted even with the switch defense and I thought Horford's defense wasn't pretty.)

It was an interesting wrinkle towards the end of the half where GW was trying to replace Kanter on the big so that Kanter wouldn't in the PnR but Kanter blew the switch and Walker hit an open 3P. I think they tried that a couple of times.

But at the end of the day MIL won a championship playing what I recall to be primarily drop coverage at least when Lopez was in the game so theoretically it's possible to win playing drop coverage. I'm sure teams run the numbers all the time - is it better to give up easy points at the rim on mismatches versus better guarding the 3P line or is better to stop stuff at the rim and live with 3P variance?

Last night from Kanter's +/-, it worked in his favor but we know that on many nights, it's going to work against him.
 

benhogan

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Enes Kanter is a useful tool to have but he as well as any player that is incapable of defending even credibly are not an answer to me.

The math is inescapable - for all the really good offensive things Kanter does, he can give it back plus on D.

His lack of playing time isn't a Udoka thing. He has had a number of DNP CDs or limited minutes over the years across multiple teams. A lot of his heavier minutes have come as a result of injuries as was the case last season. Coaches use Kanter out of necessity.
The necessity of using Kanter more than we'd like is probably driven by 30mpg from both Al Horford and Rob Williams. Nobody wants to see Enes on the floor unless the match-up works.

2BIGz is the wrong approach for this team because Al isn't young and TL is injury prone. Their minutes are precious. They need to split the Center minutes (24mpg at most).

Kanter can be effective, in small stints, against certain beef Centers (ie Jakob Poeltl). I don't think anyone is saying PLAY MORE Kanter, he's our SALVATION (Eddie was just making a point about use/approach). BUT Enes is a perfectly acceptable 3rd string Center getting paid the minimum. The Jabari at the 5 experiment needs to end since he is Kanter bad defensively on the perimeter that can't rebound, doesn't set screens and launches/non-ball mover. Grant is a WING, he doesn't have the length to play Center and IME has done a good job playing Grant where he can succeed.

IME has still done a bunch of good things, and this team has more issues than their 3rd string Centers play. It was just highlighted because IME veered from Enes so heavily over the first 13-14 games that it led to bad ancillary events that were foreseeable. Unfortunately, the margin of error is very thin on this team.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Enes Kanter is a useful tool to have but he as well as any player that is incapable of defending even credibly are not an answer to me.

The math is inescapable - for all the really good offensive things Kanter does, he can give it back plus on D.

His lack of playing time isn't a Udoka thing. He has had a number of DNP CDs or limited minutes over the years across multiple teams. A lot of his heavier minutes have come as a result of injuries as was the case last season. Coaches use Kanter out of necessity.
I’m fine with Kanter as your 9th man/2nd unit change of pace big but when has Kanter ever accumulated DNP-CD outside of Boston? He’s avg 21-31 mpg since his 2nd year in the league and to my knowledge only missed games due to injury and never to a Coach’s Decision.