Analysis of Celtics Games, '21-'22 Season

Petagine in a Bottle

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I’d like to believe that Pritchard, Nesmith, and Langford are better but just being a year older (or a few months since last season ended) doesn’t necessarily make it so. A lot of players don’t show growth or it isn’t that linear. I think most of us had high hopes after Nesmith showed some promise at the end of last year, yet he hasn’t even scored a point in the first two games. Who really knows what to expect with this teams young players?
 

chilidawg

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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.
Knicks were able to win handily on the same rest, on the road, albeit against Orlando.
 

HomeRunBaker

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SoSH wants more ball movement.

Celtics incorporate more ball movement in their offense.

Celtics turnover numbers skyrocket from ball movement.

SoSH complains about the players.

Hmmmmm
 

slamminsammya

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SoSH wants more ball movement.

Celtics incorporate more ball movement in their offense.

Celtics turnover numbers skyrocket from ball movement.

SoSH complains about the players.

Hmmmmm
You say that as if its an inevitable consequence of greater ball movement. I don't necessarily agree but 10 of the Celtics 16 turnovers classified as 'bad pass' are from Smart and Schroder. I think its as much a Marcus Smart is not a PG problem as it is a trying to move the ball more problem.
 

HomeRunBaker

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You say that as if its an inevitable consequence of greater ball movement. I don't necessarily agree but 10 of the Celtics 16 turnovers classified as 'bad pass' are from Smart and Schroder. I think its as much a Marcus Smart is not a PG problem as it is a trying to move the ball more problem.
I’d say it’s a combination as ball movement against the length and athleticism of NBA defenders is going to result in an increased number of turnovers….but certainly more of an issue when Smart is playing out of position.
 

lexrageorge

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The increased ball movement concept hasn't been the problem. The turnovers have just been careless plays.

I'm guessing for now that we are still seeing the kinks being ironed out with the rotations, chemistry, etc., and that may take 10 games or so to gel a bit.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The increased ball movement concept hasn't been the problem. The turnovers have just been careless plays.

I'm guessing for now that we are still seeing the kinks being ironed out with the rotations, chemistry, etc., and that may take 10 games or so to gel a bit.
Yep. Jaylen Brown stepped out of bounds twice Friday night, for example.
 

HomeRunBaker

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The increased ball movement concept hasn't been the problem. The turnovers have just been careless plays.

I'm guessing for now that we are still seeing the kinks being ironed out with the rotations, chemistry, etc., and that may take 10 games or so to gel a bit.
Lol ok. Careless plays when the ball is moving is what results in turnovers. I’m not saying alternating ISO’s every time down the floor but until we acquire reliable ball handlers there is a ton of value in allowing Tatum and Jaylen to beat their man in iso situations.
 

NomarsFool

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Romeo looking like an NBA player just HAS to result in him being injured shortly thereafter.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Much better game. Only 10 turnovers for the team, which helped. Tatum shot well and went for 31 and 9. Al for 17 and 10 plus 3 steals and 3 blocks. Schroder and Grant went for 18 points each - Grant got his by going 5-7 from three. He was part of a 3-man rotation with Al and Rob that covered most of the minutes at the 4 and 5, but he never played center.

The rest of the bench was less good - Nesmith was pressing and still looking for his first points of the year. Rob was mediocre except for a great pass to set up a layup for someone.
 

Jimbodandy

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Yeah Grant is helping the defense and the offense. You basically can't play PP and DD without turning into the Washington Generals on defense. But DS looked way better tonight. He's not terrible on ball. And when everyone else on the floor is a decent to better defender, he's not a problem there. His penetration is a joy to watch.

Rotation is taking shape rapidly.
 

reggiecleveland

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Yeah Grant is helping the defense and the offense. You basically can't play PP and DD without turning into the Washington Generals on defense. But DS looked way better tonight. He's not terrible on ball. And when everyone else on the floor is a decent to better defender, he's not a problem there. His penetration is a joy to watch.

Rotation is taking shape rapidly.
DD?

The defence is still figuring out rotations. I noticed Tatum and DS getting mixed up, and DS indicating Tatum was aasking him to go too far. 1st Q seemed Tatum was lower energy. Once they got energy up Tatum was blocking shots disrupting.
I think this more frenetric Tatum makes him play better at both ends.

Richardson and Shroeder are so much better away from the ball than Kemba and Semi et al. They are anticipating passes and getting some easy scores.

I noticed PP, and at times Shroeder were not switching and it worked okay.
TL has been pretty bad. He is almost useless when he can't dunk it/ I think they are playing him into shape, and putting up with him being bagged a bit.
If Al starts making shots he will be a big plus. He is the general Tristan Thompson was on D, buy can block some shots, and switch out.
These guys need to start running when Shroeder pushes it, There have been a number of times he streaks down th efloor while Tatum, Brown, TL jog behind. Shroder really seems to want to be pass first guy.
 

Jimbodandy

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DS sorry.

Agree with everything. I'm honestly surprised how good Schroder looks the last two games after appearing lost in the first couple. And love the point on Richardson. Nice to see guys cutting, looking for cutters, taking what's there. Kinda forgot what experienced bench players look like.
 

benhogan

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Yeah Grant is helping the defense and the offense. You basically can't play PP and DD without turning into the Washington Generals on defense. But DS looked way better tonight. He's not terrible on ball. And when everyone else on the floor is a decent to better defender, he's not a problem there. His penetration is a joy to watch.

Rotation is taking shape rapidly.
Better rotations tonight. Ime kept one of TL or Horford on the floor all game.

Grant at the 4 is obvious

I don't recall him pairing Schroder and Pritchard, hopefully, that combo ended

Nesmith, 3 games/27 mins in and he's struggled. Just have to bear with him until he builds confidence. Shooters have to shoot.
 

lovegtm

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It's still early, but Grant looks like he might be the 8th man in the rotation, not PP.
1st year Grant D with post 0/25 Grant shooting was always going to be an interesting player. It's nice he's back to being somewhat reliable on defense.

On offense, he obviously needs space to get his 3 off, but because his defender is often a 4 or 5, it's a lot easier for him to get lost in space and open for 3, so he may have that room more often than you'd expect. Also had a really nice play on the short roll to find Tatum in the corner with Horford screening.
 

lovegtm

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Also worth noting that they've almost completely abandoned "Marcus Smart, point guard", and I don't see that changing when Jaylen is back. Also doing a decent job staggering Horford and Rob (I get starting them together, since Horford looks like he's 29 again).
 

PedroKsBambino

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Grant has been a pleasant surrprise this year---losing the weight (as speculated last year) has helped a lot defensively, as has not pretending he's a perimeter defender. The improved shooting would be huge if real because the passing, screening, positioning has always been good. If he can guard 4s and shoot consistently he'll be a useful piece.

Disappointed Nesmith still looks off, but it's early. He also is "odd man out" minutes-wise on what looks like a pretty deep team---took Jaylen and Romeo being out for him to get non-garbage time minutes.

I'm surprised how quiet Richardson has been---at his salary not a problem, but I thought we'd see a bit more from him.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Also worth noting that they've almost completely abandoned "Marcus Smart, point guard", and I don't see that changing when Jaylen is back. Also doing a decent job staggering Horford and Rob (I get starting them together, since Horford looks like he's 29 again).
Ime also seemed to stagger Tatum and Schroder. Smart can be PG because offense can go through Tayum and Brown.

I'd still like to see more offense running through Horford and Rob. Rob has a forgettable night, but the one standout thing he did was throw an incredible pass to Schroder for a layup.
View: https://twitter.com/ethman43/status/1452422131724206091?s=20

Grant has been a pleasant surrprise this year---losing the weight (as speculated last year) has helped a lot defensively, as has not pretending he's a perimeter defender. The improved shooting would be huge if real because the passing, screening, positioning has always been good. If he can guard 4s and shoot consistently he'll be a useful piece.
Last year, Grant was 4th in line (behind Thompson, Theis, and Rob) for minutes at the 4 or 5, leading to him getting too many minutes at the 3. Clearing out that logjam helps him a lot, although, as the third big he can really only be trusted at the 5 in favorable matchups (ie, not against most teams and especially not against the Raptors).
 

reggiecleveland

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As for Grant he seems a to be 'swing' defender or whatever term the Cs use. He is a guy that switches some matchups, and doesn't others. He has done a much better job of keeping wings in front in this small sample. But he also isn't covering guards as much. Considering his rep as smart player, this makes sense, just keeping himself away from the quickest guards. Also seems to me this changes on matchups. Smart,Tatum, Brown, Al, (so far though he has been lit up from 3) switch just about everything. That Al can still switch onto guards and be okay, is one reason he is such a rich man. My guess from some of the oncourt discussions is they don't want DS switching as much as he has, PP tries not to switch at all. TL, hard to tell since he seems step out of sync, but it looks like the x/o battle is teams trying to gethim away from the rim, while Cs try to switch him back down low.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I only saw the Charlotte overtime, but it was great to see.

Tatum has rounded into form: 41 points on 14-28 shooting (6-12 from 3), plus 7 rebounds and 8 assists, including setting up Brown's decisive dunk over Bridges in the OT.

Brown was back and shot 12-20, 30 points, five in OT (go ahead 3 and the statement dunk over Bridges in transition). Also 9 boards, 3 assists, and 3 steals.

Rob: 12 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, in 36 minutes with Horford out.

Schroder added 23 and 8. Every Celtic starter had at least 3 assists.

Jabari came off the bench to score 13 points in the first half, didn't do much int he second. Grant's 3-point shooting came back to earth as he shot only 1-4 (which still has him shooting 10-17 on the year).

Edit:
View: https://twitter.com/JaredWeissNBA/status/1452816508284018688?s=20

Jared Weiss: Maybe the biggest difference between Ime Udoka and Brad Stevens is that Udoka is literally saying the Celtics wanted to pick on LaMelo Ball late in the game and I can't remember Stevens ever saying anything that didn't sound like the most effusive wedding toast about an opponent
 

radsoxfan

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Great win.

Don't know how the crunch time lineup with Smart, Schroder and Timelord can be the long term plan, just so little shooting to help out the Jays.

Very early of course but Marcus looks.... beyond terrible. A step slow, can't shoot, bad decisions. As ugly as it gets.

Schroder, the Jays, Timelord and player X that can make a shot seeming like a better plan.
 

bigq

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Don't know how the crunch time lineup with Smart, Schroder and Timelord can be the long term plan, just so little shooting to help out the Jays.
I really like those five together and I'm curious about who on the roster you would rather see on the floor at crunch time? Horford was out tonight so you could switch him into the five but I don't think there are great options on the roster to switch out 1-4.
 

luckiestman

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I really like those five together and I'm curious about who on the roster you would rather see on the floor at crunch time? Horford was out tonight so you could switch him into the five but I don't think there are great options on the roster to switch out 1-4.
Let’s see how Romeo’s shooting goes
 

Cesar Crespo

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I really like those five together and I'm curious about who on the roster you would rather see on the floor at crunch time? Horford was out tonight so you could switch him into the five but I don't think there are great options on the roster to switch out 1-4.
He's not on the roster, unfortunately. We knew going into the season shooting would be a problem with Smart, DS and JRich on the roster.
 

benhogan

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He's not on the roster, unfortunately. We knew going into the season shooting would be a problem with Smart, DS and JRich on the roster.
Smart, DS, JRich 3pt shooting is rough but think Schroder could get up to a respectable level (36%). DS seems to fire only when wide open
 

radsoxfan

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I really like those five together and I'm curious about who on the roster you would rather see on the floor at crunch time? Horford was out tonight so you could switch him into the five but I don't think there are great options on the roster to switch out 1-4.
From 3 you've got 32%, 33% and non shooter surrounding the Jays. It just makes their job so much harder late in games with half-court ISO heavy situations.

I like those 3 guys well enough, just a tough combo sometimes I think. Would be nice to have an average (or above) 3 point shooter or two out there to spread things out.

Agree there isn't an obvious solution. PP and Nesmith haven't shown they deserve it, just a tough ask for the Jays.
 
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luckiestman

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Man I would love to find somebody with as much blind faith in me as this board has in Romeo. Guy has had maybe one good game cumulatively in his life is perhaps our crunch time guy.

Man Lars Anderson is jealous
Don’t confuse it, it hope not faith
 

Jimbodandy

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Schroder is not causing any problems for the Celtics on the offensive end. Yeah he's not a good 3pt shooter, but he's the only guy with legit point guard skills on the team. He gets to the rim and either finishes or finds guys, and it was nice having a guy that didn't struggle to get the ball over half court against pressure.

That said, he's an abomination on defense. Charlotte went on a run when he was out there with Jabari and either Richardson or Pritchard (can't remember). Pritchard, Parker, and Schroeder can't occupy the floor together unless the other team has five Semis out there. Ghastly.

Timelord giveth and taketh away. He is giving up a lot of 3s in switches and even more in lollygagging instead of building out to the line on rotations. But man he adds so much. I have high hopes for him. Focus is a concern, but health and confidence don't seem to be. Grant is surprising impactful, to the point that playing them together doesn't seem stupid anymore.

Top 2 guys seem locked in.

Still not sure about Jabari. Looks fantastic at times and just a mess at others.

Tonight is a perfect example of why people either love or fucking hate Marcus. Terrible jacks, key plays at the end. If he keeps the turnovers down like he did tonight, we're gonna have to take the bad with the good.

This team will win a lot of games assisting on 60% of field goals and turning it over 12 times. Especially if they figure out how to defend the line.
 

lovegtm

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Man I would love to find somebody with as much blind faith in me as this board has in Romeo. Guy has had maybe one good game cumulatively in his life is perhaps our crunch time guy.

Man Lars Anderson is jealous
After COVID last year, Romeo went from back of the bench to playing heavy minutes against Brooklyn to being a rotation mainstay this year. The "blind faith" people (which is hugely disrespectful to their analysis) have so far had a much better track record with him than the "hurr durr pointz" people.

Health is a serious question, obviously, and I would need to see a lot more from his 3-point shot. But people are acting like he's a 12th man, and that's simply wrong.
 

reggiecleveland

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After COVID last year, Romeo went from back of the bench to playing heavy minutes against Brooklyn to being a rotation mainstay this year. The "blind faith" people (which is hugely disrespectful to their analysis) have so far had a much better track record with him than the "hurr durr pointz" people.

Health is a serious question, obviously, and I would need to see a lot more from his 3-point shot. But people are acting like he's a 12th man, and that's simply wrong.
Come on he's in the discussion for crunch time right now? That's a huge reach
What exactly is the "great track record" that he has played a little bit?

"hurr durr pointz" WTF does that even mean? Id that me?
 
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lovegtm

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Come on he's in the discussion for crunch time right now? That's a huge reach
What exactly is the "great track record" that he has played a little bit?

"hurr durr pointz" WTF does that even mean? Id that me?
My point is that Romeo backers have been consistently saying he'd get more playing time since near the end of last year, and he consistently has. Everyone else has poo-poo'd that, but he keeps increasing his role.

The fact that he's in discussion for crunch time is more a reflection of the fact that Smart has been hot garbage than of Romeo being a top-5 player on the Celtics, but unfortunately that's the case.

Stop the tone of "haha people who like Romeo's game are so stupid". It adds nothing to the board.
 

Euclis20

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My point is that Romeo backers have been consistently saying he'd get more playing time since near the end of last year, and he consistently has. Everyone else has poo-poo'd that, but he keeps increasing his role.

The fact that he's in discussion for crunch time is more a reflection of the fact that Smart has been hot garbage than of Romeo being a top-5 player on the Celtics, but unfortunately that's the case.

Stop the tone of "haha people who like Romeo's game are so stupid". It adds nothing to the board.
It's more than a bit early to take anything remotely resembling a victory lap regarding Romeo. Maybe he got minutes at the end of last year because half the team was injured and unavailable? I'd love nothing more than the young guys under team control for awhile (specifically Romeo and Nesmith) to step up and grab these minutes, but the idea that Romeo will be the guy at the end of the game (along with Smart/Tatum/Brown and one of Horford/TL) is, at this point, ridiculous. We don't even know if he can be a reliable rotation player for a playoff team, let alone someone to be counted on with the game on the line.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Schroder is not causing any problems for the Celtics on the offensive end. Yeah he's not a good 3pt shooter, but he's the only guy with legit point guard skills on the team. He gets to the rim and either finishes or finds guys, and it was nice having a guy that didn't struggle to get the ball over half court against pressure.

That said, he's an abomination on defense. Charlotte went on a run when he was out there with Jabari and either Richardson or Pritchard (can't remember). Pritchard, Parker, and Schroeder can't occupy the floor together unless the other team has five Semis out there. Ghastly.
As was noted in the game thread, Schroder locked down Oubre in iso on consecutive possessions in OT forcing him into badly missed off balance shots. Agreed on the pairing of him with Pritchard as the team defense takes a massive hit with two smalls out there together.

I don’t know what people are seeing to suggest Romeo isn’t yet a rotation player on a playoff team after his growth as a player and shooter over the last 12 months. When Smart is healthy he shouldn’t be out there in crunch time but on nights Smart is out it’s not reasonable to suggest that he isn’t in the mix for those minutes if not the leader for them. I also don’t think it is always going to be TL down the stretch when Horford is healthy.
 

Jakarta

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I think the benefit of having DS play during crunch time is it gives the team a third ball handler and pushes Marcus down a rung so the ball tends to “find” him less which makes it less likely he hoists an ill advised shot. It’s sort of like when the bubble team had Hayward and Marcus played the defensive Swiss Army knife role. In an ideal world, the third ball handler would be someone more like Hayward (an offensive Swiss Army knife?), which I think is why some see Romeo as a future crunch time option. But for now Schroeder is the best option for that role, and he seems to be getting a lot more comfortable, so it may end up working quite well for this year.
 

lovegtm

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As was noted in the game thread, Schroder locked down Oubre in iso on consecutive possessions in OT forcing him into badly missed off balance shots. Agreed on the pairing of him with Pritchard as the team defense takes a massive hit with two smalls out there together.

I don’t know what people are seeing to suggest Romeo isn’t yet a rotation player on a playoff team after his growth as a player and shooter over the last 12 months. When Smart is healthy he shouldn’t be out there in crunch time but on nights Smart is out it’s not reasonable to suggest that he isn’t in the mix for those minutes if not the leader for them. I also don’t think it is always going to be TL down the stretch when Horford is healthy.
Yeah, the Romeo "victory laps" are because the bar was set so low for him. You and I are probably his biggest backers here, and we haven't been particularly hyperbolic. I'd argue that his detractors have been far more emphatic in the opposite direction, and that hasn't turned out great so far, since he's obviously a rotation player now.

Horford is better than TL right now. We'll see how health for both holds up, and how TL develops.

Apparently Smart had a bad migraine, which explains why he looked drunk out there half the time. I guess sort of a good thing, in that it's probably anomalous. Smart being actually good is really important for this year's team.
 

lovegtm

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Re Schroeder and PP together: it makes so much sense to have Smart be a high minutes 6th man who plays the minutes with PP. Helps PP's defensive deficiencies, and avoids the shaky shooting of Smart+DS lineups.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Not taking a stance here re: Romeo, but we’ve seen a lot more of the quoted lately and maybe we could cut that shit out?
Can someone share what that even means and it’s origin? I feel like Kanter defending a PNR reading that.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Don't know how the crunch time lineup with Smart, Schroder and Timelord can be the long term plan, just so little shooting to help out the Jays.
Marcus was almost a scratch today, and made some key defensive plays down the stretch. (Also, repeatedly switched Schroder out of bad matchups down the stretch).

https://www.bostonsportsjournal.com/2021/10/26/karalis-marcus-smart-game-polarizing-exciting-infuriating-very-marcus-smart

“Marcus Smart was terrific by the way, especially at the end of the game,” Jaylen Brown said, taking a detour from another answer to shout Smart out. “He may not get credit for having a great game, but defensively he won that game for us.”
Brown, if you recall, had some preseason comments that seemed to be obliquely critical of Marcus, got into it with him last year, etc.
“He’s 3-12 on the night, 1-9 from three ... but he impacts the game in other ways,” Ime Udoka said, using the argument that really drives some people nuts. “I said it to the group in there, I said I don’t care about the 41 and the 30 from you guys, Marcus had the play of the game taking that last shot away from them. He does all the little things, switching onto LaMelo and guarding some of those guys well. He does so much that doesn’t show up in the box score, but we know the toughness and heart and soul of our team comes from him.”
Smart is visceral. I’m pretty far removed from my playing days (my knees confirm this on a regular basis), but watching Smart’s finish to this game makes me want to pick him for whatever team I’m putting together. I see the same shots he takes, but I also see him scramming Dennis Schröder out of mismatches before they can be picked on. I hear him saying things on the floor that become plays other guys make. And then, somehow, when the game is on the line, a shot falls.

He sent the Knicks game into overtime. He hit a 3 to cut the lead to 5 in the fourth quarter. He also ripped Gordon Hayward clean, picked up a loose ball and quickly fed Brown for a dunk before Charlotte’s defense could react, and then he picked off an inbounds pass to seal the trip to overtime. And he did it on a day he probably shouldn’t have played.
 

benhogan

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The team should experiment with a different approach than the ISO Tatum back down with the ball for the last 24 seconds at the end of a game/quarter. The opponent just loads up, shoves/bodies and doubles Tatum, forcing an off-balance, contested fadeaway. Put the ball in Schroder's hands to start the last under 24 seconds and design a play where the option is either Tatum or Brown, based on the matchup, for the final shot.

Also, go off/def situational, remove Smart/TL on offense with shooters that spread the floor like PP, Horford, Grant or even Jabari.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I don’t think it is bad to put the ball in Tatum’s hands to start the play. And I can understand Ime’s reasoning for keeping Brown (and his defender) out of it in order to hunt a better matchup. I think the problem is in not leaving Tatum better options (if he chooses to pass) than Smart from deep with the shot clock winding down. Maybe if you run that play in a tie game you have to tell Tatum that he must shoot there.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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After Marcus picked GH's pocket, GH didn't want to bring the ball up again. I suppose Marcus did that to him a few times in practice.

Speaking of Marcus, just checked the stats. Yes he's shooting awfully but he's average 12.8 shots per 100 possessions, which would be the second lowest of his career (lowest was the 12.4 shots per 100 he took in 2018-19). Most of his shots are 3Ps (9.3 per 100 possessions, 2nd highest in his career) and by memory, a lot of them are open catch and shoot 3Ps which he more or less has to take.

I think he'll shoot better (he can hardly shoot worse) but I don't think he's playing terrible - other than one bad stretch in the NYK game.