Analysis of Celtics Games, '21-'22 Season

Jimbodandy

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not much to hang our hats on and it's going to be a cold December....the Cellar will be salty ;)
Salty and a lot of bad ideas being thrown out there.

My favorite today was "obviously the JB on/off numbers this year are too small to mean anything whatsoever, like anything at all, however, let's talk about why this means that the team is better off without Jaylen on the court".

Also...any conversation where we're debating whether Kanter should be playing more. If Kanter is a key to this season, we are already all kinds of fucked. Not just THE key, if he's even A key.

Of course we need something to discuss...but JFC on a popsicle stick.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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No score settling I’m only having fun with it. These benchings you speak of rarely existed and when they did it was in the playoffs when teams shorten their bench. The only time remotely close was with the Knicks and it wasn’t about his defense, they were 10-31 at the time, it was that they had M.Robinson returning and already said they were trading him.
It occurred while he was with Portland - it has happened on other occasions too but let's just count that as once, which wbcd independently confirmed. That qualifies as at least one time. One is a number. My statement was accurate and the goalpost moving - lawyering me on semantics - is just lame, bad faith message boarding (as is pulling non related posts into this discussion) especially since it has nothing to do with the larger issue.

Btw, a coach DNPing a player in the playoffs only enhances my point that Kanter is probably not the scoring solution for Boston.

I am done as this aspect of the discussion or past posts have no bearing on the topic at hand.
 

Cesar Crespo

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aren't 8 & 9 giving us 40%+ 3pt shooting over the first 20 games? maybe IME should up Romeo and Grants minutes/roles?

Anyways, you could probably add Buddy Hield to that list if Sac blows it up.

Tatum playing better would be a huge help and the real TATUM puts this team somewhere around 13-7. Even with IMEs 2BIGZ nonsense.

20 games in and my Tatum' Top 3 by 2023 playoffs is looking worse by the day. I own it and expect to be ripped if this continues. There is no way JT is catching Steph Curry, who doesn't stop moving for 48minutes and doesn't need to wind up to shoot 3s. He's a freaking magnet that constantly makes smart decisions. Giannis and Durant will still be much better than JT in 18mths. Luka?

I'll ride it out BUT if any want to let me have it, it's deserved.
Sure, but do you trust them to hold up and do so with real volume or in the playoffs? Develop some gravity? I guess it could happen. And Ime is giving them minutes. Grant is at 21.3 and Romeo is at 18.6. The problem with both is they aren't going to shoot enough 3s to go 4/10 on any given night. Grant is getting close and has actually had 2 games where he has hit 4+ 3s. Romeo has 2 games where he attempted 4 (5,4) in 16 games. He is at 3.9 3PA/36. Grant is at 5.8/36 and the number is climbing. There's a chance Grant can develop into/ play that role for the C's, but I'd rather he not have to.

Plus Hield probably makes too much for the C's to really consider. Definitely be a good fit, though.
 

HomeRunBaker

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It occurred while he was with Portland - it has happened on other occasions too but let's just count that as once, which wbcd independently confirmed. That qualifies as at least one time. One is a number. My statement was accurate and the goalpost moving - lawyering me on semantics - is just lame, bad faith message boarding (as is pulling non related posts into this discussion) especially since it has nothing to do with the larger issue.

Btw, a coach DNPing a player in the playoffs only enhances my point that Kanter is probably not the scoring solution for Boston.

I am done as this aspect of the discussion or past posts have no bearing on the topic at hand.
Sure it’s easy to be done with something rather than accepting being wrong. Your original post was that he’s had a number of coaches across multiple years give him DNP-CD’s and limited his minutes as if being held out waiting for a trade and a couple playoff games against an awful matchup in Jokic is indicitive of his usage during his entire career. Aside from those two instances he literally has never been in a situation where he wasn’t a major minute rotation player each game he was healthy.
 

tbb345

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I’m not the Czar of message boarding but I don’t see any bad faith message boarding anywhere.
Definitely a lot of pedantic discussion but that’s par for the course on message boards.

To sum up what everyone seems to agree on…..Kanter has defensive limitations which are more exposed in the playoffs when teams can game plan for him. However, its still very rare for him to get DNP-CD in the regular season. Would have liked him to get 5-12 mins in earlier games when Udoka was riding TL and Al into the ground
 

HomeRunBaker

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@HomeRunBaker
This is personal for you. I am sorry that we cannot agree here.

I am choosing to move on in the interest of the board.
It’s not personal at all. You keep talking about agreeing yet you insist something occurred which hadn’t. If you provided specifics instances of your original claim while keeping it in context (sitting him out while awaiting a deal to be completed is certainly out of context) I’m all ears.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Enes Kanter has had two DNP-CDs prior to this season. Both were under different coaches and both were a result of his defensive deficiencies. Yes, there were feelings between him and Fizdale that may have contributed to his first but ultimately it was because he struggles to defend - though he tries harder than most. It's not his fault that his lateral movements can be measured in eons.
 

benhogan

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Also...any conversation where we're debating whether Kanter should be playing more. If Kanter is a key to this season, we are already all kinds of fucked. Not just THE key, if he's even A key.

Of course we need something to discuss...but JFC on a popsicle stick.
One of the ironies of IME playing the 2BIGZ lineup will be the pleasure of seeing Kanter in PnR defense or watching Jabari Parker's complete disdain with defensive rebounding.

IME has forced that hand, by running TL/Al into the ground over the first dozen games. Get use to the Kanter debate, since he'll get exposed now as opposed to using him in short minutes/advantageous situations (ie Poeltl/SAS). It's like taking a LOOGY and making him your closer.

The only thing worse will be when IME puts Granite back at the 5, crushes his development, and devalues one of our few ascending trade assets.
 

Eddie Jurak

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One of the probalems with starting TL and Al is that Ime justified it by saying that Horford would be a matchup problem.

That's theoretically true. Most teams are going to have to guard Horford with someone who matches up physically but isn't quick enough or (more likely ij today's NBA) someone who is at a significant size disadvantage. But you don't really see the Celtics exploiting that, or even trying to, all that much.
 

benhogan

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One of the probalems with starting TL and Al is that Ime justified it by saying that Horford would be a matchup problem.

That's theoretically true. Most teams are going to have to guard Horford with someone who matches up physically but isn't quick enough or (more likely ij today's NBA) someone who is at a significant size disadvantage. But you don't really see the Celtics exploiting that, or even trying to, all that much.
Yep

Horford is at his best on the perimeter on offense when he can draw the opposing BIG away from the rim. If the BIG plays off him he can launch open 3s or have open passing lanes galore. If the BIG plays him tight, Al can dribble past him.

All of Perimeter Al's advantages go out the window when you stick a larger wing that can get up inside of him. Then the opposing BIG can play drop coverage on Rob Williams and take away his vertical spacing and clog the paint.

BUT you know we should never question Austin Ainge or whatever ex-NBA players they have in the Celtic's Analytics Dept since they have all the data at their fingertips
 

Jimbodandy

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One of the ironies of IME playing the 2BIGZ lineup will be the pleasure of seeing Kanter in PnR defense or watching Jabari Parker's complete disdain with defensive rebounding.

IME has forced that hand, by running TL/Al into the ground over the first dozen games. Get use to the Kanter debate, since he'll get exposed now as opposed to using him in short minutes/advantageous situations (ie Poeltl/SAS). It's like taking a LOOGY and making him your closer.

The only thing worse will be when IME puts Granite back at the 5, crushes his development, and devalues one of our few ascending trade assets.
One of us needs a gummy. Or a power ballad.

Both perhaps.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Yep

Horford is at his best on the perimeter on offense when he can draw the opposing BIG away from the rim. If the BIG plays off him he can launch open 3s or have open passing lanes galore. If the BIG plays him tight, Al can dribble past him.

All of Perimeter Al's advantages go out the window when you stick a larger wing that can get up inside of him. Then the opposing BIG can play drop coverage on Rob Williams and take away his vertical spacing and clog the paint.

BUT you know we should never question Austin Ainge or whatever ex-NBA players they have in the Celtic's Analytics Dept since they have all the data at their fingertips
without looking at any data, my recollection is that Al's defense has been better playing next to TL. Do you agree or disagree?
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Adam Taylor from CsBlog with a good (IMO) breakdown of the Cs offensive woes: https://www.celticsblog.com/2021/11/27/22804521/poor-shooting-lack-execution-jayson-tatum-jaylen-brown-marcus-smart-boston-celtics-san-antonio-spurs

The Cs biggest problem in my mind is that the ball stops too often and then player movement stops. I don't know if guys stop moving because they don't want to get in the way or they think that it's futile. (BTW, one thing Romeo does consistently is cut even though he almost never gets the ball passed to him on these cuts.)

There are a couple of articles (one example and second example) about JT's reaction to the various commentary after the Cs game. On the plus side, he understands that he is a leader and the "blame" will rest on him. On the minus side, JT points to unlucky shooting and the comeback to say that the Cs are playing hard on offense.

While I'm not one to question effort, it's a little concerning to me that JT appears to think that the Cs just need better results, not changes in approach.

I guess we'll see who is correct.
 

benhogan

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without looking at any data, my recollection is that Al's defense has been better playing next to TL. Do you agree or disagree?
It's such a small sample size it's almost laughable, thats why I kind of make fun of the Celtic Data Scientists led by Austin

I agree it would be a defensive upgrade for those 6minutes at the beginning of Q1/Q3 BUT that gets cancelled out with all the bad Knock-On effects that comes with playing them together/more minutes
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Jay King had this in his Atlantic write up on Friday's game:

It’s charitable to say that’s who the Celtics are. They rank 22nd in assists per 100 possessions and 16th in potential assists per game. That would all be forgivable if they were scoring at a high rate, but their offense hasn’t even been average. They rank 29th in fourth-quarter offensive efficiency. They are just 4-8 when their opponents score 100 points, a sign they just haven’t been able to keep up when their defense falls shy of greatness.
This just illustrates how they seem to have little margin for error. Defense plays well but not perfect and its a struggle. And if the O is like it was Friday, they are essentially in a fight versus even weaker teams. They need more scoring but its not obvious where it comes from.

In the interim, lets see if they can get better ball movement against TOR. That doesn't help their roster deficiency but it can hopefully mitigate it to some degree.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I’m a big fan of DeJesus — and all the Port Cellar denizens — fwiw. Happy Holidays!
As am I. We’ve built this place on debating trivial points and nitpicking to call out others to show their work. Rarely is it considered “personal” anymore (earlier days none of us really knew how to internet and sometimes I still don’t) which I don’t think is ever the case here.
 

Eddie Jurak

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This Toronto game ended up being a strange win but a good win. I missed most of the first quartter.

Tatum had a rough scoring game. Five Celtics reached double digits in points, Tatum did not (8 points). Even new Celtic EK Freedom scored more points (9) than Tatum. Tatum shot 2-16 from the field. But he did some good things: 10 assists (4th time he's done this in his career) and 7 rebounds. He didn't just rack up assists, there were some geniunely good looks in there.

Marcus Smart led the team in scoring with 21, including 4 of 10 from 3 (and a few of those threes were critical). Also 8 rebounds and 6 assists (second on team behind Tatum).

Double double from Al (17-11).

Jaylen in limited (27) minutes scored 16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists.

Grant added 15 points, including going 3 of 4 from 3. Also had a great block. On the season, Grant is now second on the team in made threes (6th in attempts). His 4 for 4 shooting from the free throw line brought him, incredibly, up to 50/40/90 on the season! He's not what we think of as a 50/40/90 player, but I'll take it for however long it lasts.

They got some decent contributions off the bench.

The new guy, EK Freedom, played 22 minutes, went +15, and came one point away from a double double. On some key possessions in the 3rd and 4th quarter, EK's offensive rebounding and putbacks kept them in the game.

Pritchard got 10 minutes and was +10, but did very little. 0-3 from the field and a turnover.

Richardson was terrific in this game. He scored 18 in 27 minutes on 6 of 11 shooting. He was +23 to elad the team. With Schoder out he added a ballahndling element, and he was able to create (and hit) some decent midrange looks for himself.

Romeo Langford played 26 minutes (not quite starter minutes?), shot only 1 of 5 from the floor, but that undersells his contribution. He was aggressive (as he has been lately) on drives to the hoop and had a couple of decent looks that rolled off the rim. On a key late poession with Toronto making a comeback, Tatum fed Romeo who took it to the hoop, was fouled, and hit both. Also, Romeo pulled down 8 rebounds, including 3 offensives, and at least one of his missed shots led to an easy Kanter (his name is tecnhically not changed yet) putback.

This was a game was mostly close throughout. The Celtics built up a lead in the 3rd, Toronto almost eraised it in the 4th, but the Celtics held them off.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I know FG% has its limitations but it also kind of tells the story. The good, Toronto shot 37.7% from the field and they are a touch better than Boston on the season at 43.7% so the excellent defense continues.

However so too does the shooting woes. The Cs shot 41.5% and as EJ notes, they needed everything EK Freedom, Richardson and Smart gave them tonight. I think its safe to say that any and all of those three aren't ideal third/fourth scoring options for any team with contention aspirations.
 

RorschachsMask

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Ime needs to chill with Tatum’s minutes, played the last 15 minutes of the game again. Between playing every game, and at huge minutes, dude looks gassed late in games.

Not that he’s been able to shoot in any quarter, so far lol.
 

Jimbodandy

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I know FG% has its limitations but it also kind of tells the story. The good, Toronto shot 37.7% from the field and they are a touch better than Boston on the season at 43.7% so the excellent defense continues.

However so too does the shooting woes. The Cs shot 41.5% and as EJ notes, they needed everything EK Freedom, Richardson and Smart gave them tonight. I think its safe to say that any and all of those three aren't ideal third/fourth scoring options for any team with contention aspirations.
Fwiw, I thought that we had good looks the whole first half and just didn't fall. The flow and people/ball movement wasn't bad at all most of the night to my eyes.
 

Jimbodandy

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He has been so good, and the form on his shot is legitimately excellent. I think it’s very possible that he’s a high 30s/low 40s guy from deep going forward.
Yep. And he's covering almost anyone too.

Grant is honestly the only meaningful pleasant surprise this year. Well maybe Al Horford not being dead yet counts too.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Fwiw, I thought that we had good looks the whole first half and just didn't fall. The flow and people/ball movement wasn't bad at all most of the night to my eyes.
He's basically been then since his 0/25 start.

Somewhat surprisingly, he's the 3rd youngest player on the C's. He turns 23 tomorrow. The C's used to be really young. 16th in the league now.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Fwiw, I thought that we had good looks the whole first half and just didn't fall. The flow and people/ball movement wasn't bad at all most of the night to my eyes.
I agree that ball looked to be moving a lot more tonight.

Cs I believe had 11 TOs in 1H leading to something like 18 TOR points. Cs are really good on defense when they don't turn the ball over.

Hopefully they can keep the ball movement up and the TOs down.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Fwiw, I thought that we had good looks the whole first half and just didn't fall. The flow and people/ball movement wasn't bad at all most of the night to my eyes.
Your eyes are good.

From Jared Weiss' write up in the Athletic which focuses on Tatum's playmaking and the Cs countering the Raps D. Btw, grab the $1 month sub deal if you can. The coverage & clips are great as others here have noted.

It’s a dangerous game to help one pass away, especially when that shooter is locked and loaded. The catch is that Boston’s fourth-quarter offense has so often had one initial action for Tatum or Jaylen Brown to try to get deep into the paint, kick it out and then figure it out from there.

Udoka added a crucial wrinkle to that, often starting with the ball out of Tatum’s hands in a cross-screening action. This would get the ball flowing toward the middle and draw that first pinch from the Raptors’ defense. Tatum would flare to where the play started while the big would fake a roll, but then turn around when the ball would swing back to Tatum. The Raptors defense would already be in recovery mode when Tatum would start this second pick-and-roll, so he would have space to get into the defense and then make that quick pass to a wide-open shooter ready to fire.
 

lovegtm

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Fwiw, I thought that we had good looks the whole first half and just didn't fall. The flow and people/ball movement wasn't bad at all most of the night to my eyes.
Not only was it not bad, it was way, way better than what we've been accustomed to this year.

Playing Kanter with 4 fast/long guys who can defend (Smart/Tatum/JRich/Romeo) worked quite well, and is probably the path to covering for his defensive limitations, since we may need a lot of EK Freedom this year.
 

benhogan

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EKF's drop coverage, while teammates go over the screen, has lessened the Kanter PnR hysteria. As long as the opposing BIG can't efficiently launch from 3 it may be workable for 12-15mpg

His screen setting and rebounding are also making up for his defensive shortcomings. Interested in seeing if they can continue to weather life without Rob
 

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C's have a couple of days off before hosting the Sixers on Wednesday night, after which comes a West Coast swing that could be brutal: Jazz, Blazers, Lakers,
Clippers, Suns.

It would be nice to get Time Lord and Schroder back for this stretch.
 

Eddie Jurak

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EKF is obviously not, by physical attributes or skills, ideal for the modern game.

But he is so freaking good at the things he does well, that he is able to add value in the right situations. Sometimes the Celtics offense and defense struggle for rebounds, and EKF is a rebounding monster. Sometimes the offense struggles generally making shots, and being able to score via putback, which EKF does well, can help.

There's one conversation to have about whether a generic slow, lumbering big can play meaningful productive minutes in today's NBA. But whether EKF specifically can do that is a separate question, because he is way better than a generic slow, lumbering big at the things he does well.

Again, I'm not saying start him or put him in the HoF or any of that nonsense. I think there will be matchups that he can't be put into. I think there will be teams that are able to attack him until Ime has to get him out of there.

But I think he can hold down a useful role on the team because he is good.
 

RorschachsMask

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Tatum (15) and Smart (14) combined for 29 potential assists last night. Gives a good indication of how much the ball was flying around. No Schroder, and Jaylen being on ball less made a noticeable difference with the ball moving around quickly.

Obviously we need Schroder so I’ll gladly take the trade off, but was still awesome to see all the quick passing.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Tatum (15) and Smart (14) combined for 29 potential assists last night. Gives a good indication of how much the ball was flying around. No Schroder, and Jaylen being on ball less made a noticeable difference with the ball moving around quickly.

Obviously we need Schroder so I’ll gladly take the trade off, but was still awesome to see all the quick passing.
Yes to awesome to watch but it wasn't just that the ball was moving - it was that people were driving and kicking. I'm sure there's a stat that tracks how many times that the ball touches the paint (and I"m sure it cost money to see) but I'd put a small wager down that the ball touched the paint more this game than any game since LAL - but that was because LAL can't guard anyone.

I watch Romeo more than I probably should but I've noticed that instead of just moving the ball he's been trying to take the ball into the paint and pass. GW did this a couple of times as well.

I like JT taking 16 shots and getting 10 assists (who doesn't?). Maybe this cold shooting is a blessing in disguise.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Yes to awesome to watch but it wasn't just that the ball was moving - it was that people were driving and kicking. I'm sure there's a stat that tracks how many times that the ball touches the paint (and I"m sure it cost money to see) but I'd put a small wager down that the ball touched the paint more this game than any game since LAL - but that was because LAL can't guard anyone.

I watch Romeo more than I probably should but I've noticed that instead of just moving the ball he's been trying to take the ball into the paint and pass. GW did this a couple of times as well.

I like JT taking 16 shots and getting 10 assists (who doesn't?). Maybe this cold shooting is a blessing in disguise.
That’s the old Rick Pitino offense that he pioneered before becoming Rick Pitino. It is all predicated on beating your man to spots to creating passing angles while collapsing the defense. If you can collapse the defense with dribble penetration you should be able to create open 3-point shots on a consistent basis.
 

Fishy1

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To add to the Grant Williams love... 3 steals in his last five after only getting 3 in the first however many games. Add to that 8 blocks in the last five games (12 so far on the season).
 

PedroKsBambino

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Yes to awesome to watch but it wasn't just that the ball was moving - it was that people were driving and kicking. I'm sure there's a stat that tracks how many times that the ball touches the paint (and I"m sure it cost money to see) but I'd put a small wager down that the ball touched the paint more this game than any game since LAL - but that was because LAL can't guard anyone.

I watch Romeo more than I probably should but I've noticed that instead of just moving the ball he's been trying to take the ball into the paint and pass. GW did this a couple of times as well.

I like JT taking 16 shots and getting 10 assists (who doesn't?). Maybe this cold shooting is a blessing in disguise.
This is part of why I've always like the theoretical Romeo offensively more than most (which may look good---or bad---for me as things develop!) To me, his biggest plus skill offensively is that ability to drive, and if he can both finish and dish from that penetration that is a pretty useful skillset even if nothing else develops (3 pt game, etc.) There were flashes of that from college, and occasionally for Cs, so continuing to push him to be a secondary or even primarily ballhandler and turn those penetrations into points is osmething I definitely am watching.

Obviously, if his 3pt game also develops he's a legit offensive weapon...but one step at a time.
 
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Fishy1

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This is part of why I've always like the theoretical Romeo offensively more than most (which may look good---or bad---for me as things develop!) To me, his biggest plus skill offensively is that ability to drive, and if he can both finish and disk from that penetration that is a pretty useful skillset even if nothing else develops (3 pt game, etc.) There were flashes of that from college, and occasionally for Cs, so continuing to push him to be a secondary or even primarily ballhandler and turn those penetrations into points is osmething I definitely am watching.

Obviously, if his 3pt game also develops he's a legit offensive weapon...but one step at a time.
I'd add to that to my untrained eye, he seems to have had some bad ball luck. A lot of balls rolling off the rim in the early going so far. His ball-handling ability and length is getting him to the rim, he's just not finishing those looks.