Analysis of Celtics Games, '21-'22 Season

Cellar-Door

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I keep seeing people saying this, and I couldn't disagree more. I think he's a fantastic fit with the Jays(I should note I'm in the top 1% of Smart fanboys)

On offense

good ballhandler
good passer
good screener
moves the ball quickly
doesn't shoot a lot
hit his free throws
opportunistic rebounder

On defense

elite defender
guards 1-4
if playing with a small PG, he'll be the guy scramming him out of bad matchups, so the Jays don't have to
if playing with a PG that doesn't need help, he'll take the toughest wing matchup, so the Jays don't have to
puts pressure on offense by being a threat to steal the ball at all times

Of course we'd like him to also be a good outside shooter. But if he were, you wouldn't have him as your 3rd best guy making less than 20M per year. He'd be making the max because he'd be an all star.

If they trade Smart for more shooting, the Celtics will quickly be looking to replace everything else he does.

Seems to me it would be much easier to just add a shooter, even a one dimensional one, rather than have Smart/Brown/Tatum playing in so many lineups where the other two guys also aren't good outside shooters.
I like Smart a lot... he does a lot of really good things. The problem is the things he doesn't do mean it's very tough to build around that trio.

you can't have multiple guys who don't space the floor in your crunch time lineups, and Marcus can't space at all. That ususally means you need a stretch big who is a real threat. In part because Marcus is also a crappy rebounder.

Late game, it's really hard to build a good 5 man unit around:
1. An ISO star (Tatum) who is (usually) a solid 3pt shooter and a solid to good rebounder (depending on position)
2. A good ISO scorer and solid 3pt shooter who passes well below average and rebounds average
3. A guard who isn't the primary facilitator, is left wide open because he can't consistently hit 3s and rebounds poorly for any position.

Smart having basically no role on offense late in games: ot a good enough facilitator to be using possessions over Tatum, negative spacing because nobody covers him from 3, and he hurts the rebounding... means you need to get good rebounding, and floor spacing from your other 2 guys, which is a hard sell.

As a comparison, a similarly good defensive guard who can't (won't) shoot 3s is Simmons, he also struggles at the line..... I still think he'd be a much better fit (not that PHI would make a deal w/o Brown) than Marcus, because while he won't stretch the floor, he rebounds like an above average PF, letting you get away with worse rebounders at the other 2 positions. It's a lot easier to find guys who can hit 3s and rebound a bit, than guys who can hit 3s and rebound enough to offset poor rebounding guards.

As an example, one issue now is that the Celtics' over 6'4" 3pt shooting options off the bench are Richardson and Grant. Both are bad rebounders for their positions. Add in Marcus who is also bad for his position, Jaylen who is around average and Tatum who is only above average as a 3, and you have a hideous rebounding team (also TL is slightly below/at average for a C and can't stretch, Horford is also way below average). If you had A PG rebounding like a PF... then Grant and/or Horford is fine.
 

DJnVa

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I think if this team didn't shit all over itself in late games, they could be 21-18 instead of the reverse.
It's a better record, but no one here would be all that happy with team that wins at a 44 or 45 game pace.
 

chilidawg

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If they trade Smart for more shooting, the Celtics will quickly be looking to replace everything else he does.

Seems to me it would be much easier to just add a shooter, even a one dimensional one, rather than have Smart/Brown/Tatum playing in so many lineups where the other two guys also aren't good outside shooters.
Yes. The problem with Smart is that he's their third best offensive player. Get another shooter in there along with him and he's a great fit.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Yes. The problem with Smart is that he's their third best offensive player. Get another shooter in there along with him and he's a great fit.
The problem with the Celtics is Smart is their third best offensive player/third best player.
 

tbb345

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Yeah, it really isn’t that complicated. We can blame Covid games lost, we can blame Tatum’s well below norm eFG% in late game “Clutch” situations, we can blame Ime’s lineups/system, etc. it’s likely a whole bunch of each…….but how hard can it be to recognize that a team that analytics, betting markets, and prognosticators had in the 4-6 seed range is underperforming when they sit as the 11?
It’s not complicated at all. It’s something that 99% of the people that follow basketball in any capacity easily accept
 

SteveF

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Late game, it's really hard to build a good 5 man unit around:
1. An ISO star (Tatum) who is (usually) a solid 3pt shooter and a solid to good rebounder (depending on position)
2. A good ISO scorer and solid 3pt shooter who passes well below average and rebounds average
3. A guard who isn't the primary facilitator, is left wide open because he can't consistently hit 3s and rebounds poorly for any position.
I agree with the assessment of Smart, but part of this team's issues at the ends of games is that Tatum and Brown are both quite poor in isolation.
 

Cellar-Door

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Part of the Smart thing is... I think most people would love to keep him, but he can't be your 3rd best player, and moving him is the most likely way to get a better 3rd player
 

benhogan

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A shooter like Fournier would help, but he's been a hot mess ex-Celtic games, so no thanks to that contract.

This team desperately needs to acquire 3pt shooting. In the meantime, JRich + Grant should play more minutes. That's on IME with his overplaying Horford and the 2BIGZ approach.

IME continuously churns out lineups that lack spacing. Boston’s second-most common lineup in terms of minutes this season (Marcus Smart, Schroder, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Robert Williams) has shot just 26.9 percent from behind the arc.

https://www.celticsblog.com/2022/1/8/22865889/boston-celtics-rotation-changes-ime-udoka-dennis-schroder-marcus-smart-payton-pritchard
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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For those who are in the "Marcus Smart Gotta Go" camp, even with his 3P struggles, he would almost certainly get interest from contenders. After today's game he leads the league in steals, lose balls recovered and he is top ten in deflections.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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A shooter like Fournier would help, but he's been a hot mess ex-Celtic games, so no thanks to that contract.

This team desperately needs to acquire 3pt shooting. In the meantime, JRich + Grant should play more minutes. That's on IME with his overplaying Horford and the 2BIGZ approach.

IME continuously churns out lineups that lack spacing. Boston’s second-most common lineup in terms of minutes this season (Marcus Smart, Schroder, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Robert Williams) has shot just 26.9 percent from behind the arc.

https://www.celticsblog.com/2022/1/8/22865889/boston-celtics-rotation-changes-ime-udoka-dennis-schroder-marcus-smart-payton-pritchard
I think Ime was playing Smart and DS together down the stretch because he figured if he played his best offensive players, that would help the offense. He probably also figured it would be a great defensive backcourt as DS can guard the quick guards and MS can guard everyone else.

But as many of us have noted, MS and DS aren't very well suited to play together and playing them with the Jays at the end of games really clogs up the court.

And so (just to repeat myself from the game thread), Ime did not play MS and DS together. I would guess that will not make DS terribly happy going forward but hopefully he either understands it or gets better.

Agreed that JRich needs more minutes.

Also, Ime seems to have channeled his inner KC Jones and jettisoned the youngsters. I'm sure that's going to go over well in the Port Cellar.
 

Cellar-Door

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For those who are in the "Marcus Smart Gotta Go" camp, even with his 3P struggles, he would almost certainly get interest from contenders. After today's game he leads the league in steals, lose balls recovered and he is top ten in deflections.
I mean, that's the reason I think they should trade him. I think he's a really good player, but also that he's one of the few players outside the Jays that has real trade value, and that makes him almost certain to have to go out for you to get a better player/fit than Marcus as your #3 guy (which you need if you want to be a contender).
 

mcpickl

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I like Smart a lot... he does a lot of really good things. The problem is the things he doesn't do mean it's very tough to build around that trio.

you can't have multiple guys who don't space the floor in your crunch time lineups, and Marcus can't space at all. That ususally means you need a stretch big who is a real threat.
I think it's easier to find a stretch big, than it is to find a Marcus Smart.

And again, I don't think there are things Marcus Smart doesn't do. There's thing. Shoot from outside. He's pretty good at everything else.
 

Cellar-Door

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I think it's easier to find a stretch big, than it is to find a Marcus Smart.

And again, I don't think there are things Marcus Smart doesn't do. There's thing. Shoot from outside. He's pretty good at everything else.
he's a bad rebounder for a 2, and not a good passer for a 1.

I like Marcus as a 2, I don't like him as a 1. I just think he's one of the only viable pieces.
 

nighthob

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Part of the Smart thing is... I think most people would love to keep him, but he can't be your 3rd best player, and moving him is the most likely way to get a better 3rd player
Unless that player is demanding a trade to Boston you’re not getting them for Marcus. Despite the fevered dreams that a lottery team is going to give up its pick for “a culture change” his value is simply limited to contenders that could use a sixth man/Swiss army knife of a player. And those teams just aren’t sitting on top of piles of young all stars on rookie deals.

Now if Beal were to demand a trade to Boston (unlikely these days) then by all means, Marcus is the salary ballast that gets you there. But barring that the way out of their present dilemma is probably a trade with OKC built around Jaylen for SGA (because the Thunder dearly need a three level scorer to play off of Giddey and Boston dearly needs a guy that can drive and kick like a bad ass motherfucker to make Tatum’s life a little easier) and the hope that whomever they draft with their lottery pick develops quickly.

Or, I guess, you could hope for #1 and that OKC would take #1 and filler for SGA. Because Gilgeous-Alexander making plays for the JayCrew is the NBA equivalent of a cheat code.
 

mcpickl

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he's a bad rebounder for a 2, and not a good passer for a 1.

I like Marcus as a 2, I don't like him as a 1. I just think he's one of the only viable pieces.
Another way to frame this is he's a good rebounder for a 1, and a good passer for a 2, yeah?

He's just a really good basketball player who's not a good outside shooter.

And to the idea that trading him is the most likely way to get a better third player. Why? Don't teams competing usually do that with picks/prospects? Like, if you're trading for a player better than Marcus Smart, he'd tend to be coming from a non-contender otherwise they're not trading that guy. Why would that team, that's surely rebuilding, be looking for Marcus Smart? He's a win now player, not a rebuilding one.
 

Euclis20

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I keep seeing people saying this, and I couldn't disagree more. I think he's a fantastic fit with the Jays(I should note I'm in the top 1% of Smart fanboys)

On offense

good ballhandler
good passer
good screener
moves the ball quickly
doesn't shoot a lot
hit his free throws
opportunistic rebounder

On defense

elite defender
guards 1-4
if playing with a small PG, he'll be the guy scramming him out of bad matchups, so the Jays don't have to
if playing with a PG that doesn't need help, he'll take the toughest wing matchup, so the Jays don't have to
puts pressure on offense by being a threat to steal the ball at all times

Of course we'd like him to also be a good outside shooter. But if he were, you wouldn't have him as your 3rd best guy making less than 20M per year. He'd be making the max because he'd be an all star.

If they trade Smart for more shooting, the Celtics will quickly be looking to replace everything else he does.

Seems to me it would be much easier to just add a shooter, even a one dimensional one, rather than have Smart/Brown/Tatum playing in so many lineups where the other two guys also aren't good outside shooters.
Most of those offensive skills any league average pg would have just as good or better than Marcus (ball handler, passer, moves the ball quickly, hits free throws), and all but a literal handful of guys would be an improvement behind the arc. His defense has been overrated for at least two years now (I don't know if it's getting older or if his increased offensive load and minutes are weighing him down), and considering the rest of the starters should be + defenders, we can do without. If the Celtics had better shooters elsewhere maybe it wouldn't be as big of a deal, but point guard is the easiest spot to upgrade the shooting and Marcus is valuable enough to potentially bring something useful back.

Beyond the shooting, there's only so many times we talk about how there's something rotten at the core of this team without, ya know, addressing the core of this team. Trading Smart would be the closest we could get to blowing it up without trading away Tatum/Brown, and that sounds ok with me.
 

mcpickl

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Most of those offensive skills any league average pg would have just as good or better than Marcus (ball handler, passer, moves the ball quickly, hits free throws), and all but a literal handful of guys would be an improvement behind the arc. His defense has been overrated for at least two years now (I don't know if it's getting older or if his increased offensive load and minutes are weighing him down), and considering the rest of the starters should be + defenders, we can do without. If the Celtics had better shooters elsewhere maybe it wouldn't be as big of a deal, but point guard is the easiest spot to upgrade the shooting and Marcus is valuable enough to potentially bring something useful back.

Beyond the shooting, there's only so many times we talk about how there's something rotten at the core of this team without, ya know, addressing the core of this team. Trading Smart would be the closest we could get to blowing it up without trading away Tatum/Brown, and that sounds ok with me.
I think the easiest spot to upgrade the shooting is to replace Horford/two big lineups with a shooter. By a mile.
 

Cellar-Door

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Please come up with an idea that gets us a better player in a Smart trade.
Hard to tell without knowing who is or will become available, but if WAS moves Beal a deal built around Smart (probably re-routed) picks and youth is our best option.
Depends how you feel about McCollum (I wouldn't do it for fit) most people see him as better than Smart, but Smart+ could probably get him pretty easily and they want to compete with Dame.
I doubt PHI would trade you Simmons for a package built around Smart and picks (in part because they don't want picks), but you could ask.

I think there are a lot of team that would like Smart and would pay a decent price for him, given that many big NBA trades are 3 way, that's likely how any big trade would work (except POR).... The Celtics send out a bunch of picks/youth, Marcus and salary match, they get their player, Smart gets re-routed to another playoff team for more picks/filler, so the seller is getting a bunch of picks.

Another way to frame this is he's a good rebounder for a 1, and a good passer for a 2, yeah?

He's just a really good basketball player who's not a good outside shooter.

And to the idea that trading him is the most likely way to get a better third player. Why? Don't teams competing usually do that with picks/prospects? Like, if you're trading for a player better than Marcus Smart, he'd tend to be coming from a non-contender otherwise they're not trading that guy. Why would that team, that's surely rebuilding, be looking for Marcus Smart? He's a win now player, not a rebuilding one.
Nope, he's still below average even for a 1, average TRB% for a PG last year was 7.2, Smart's was 5.9, he's at 6.2 this year. I like Marcus, but the vast majority of his value is in his defense. There are a lot of PG and combo guards who bring you as good or better rebounding, passing, moving the ball, FTs, shot selection, etc. If you move Marcus you'll downgrade defense almost for sure (unless it's for Simmons I guess), but the question is how much will you upgrade somewhere else, and it will be VERY easy to find a shooting upgrade at guard, to make up some of the aggregate value differences.

I addressed that you'd be moving Smart either in a 3-way, or to a team that planned to re-sell him. That's the common way most big deals work. It's rare that a team has all the picks and young players another team wants for a star, so they go get them. Marcus can bring you a 1st rounder or 2 plus, and that's what you need to add to your own picks to contend for stars.
 

nighthob

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I think the easiest spot to upgrade the shooting is to replace Horford/two big lineups with a shooter. By a mile.
Luckily Boston is going to come out of the draft with Jabari Smith Jr who’s going to excel under Big Al’s tutelage. Especially after the deal built around JB for SGA leaving Boston with the playmaking scorer to unlock the shooters.
 

Euclis20

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I think the easiest spot to upgrade the shooting is to replace Horford/two big lineups with a shooter. By a mile.
I'm more than fine with dropping the two big lineup (if for no other reason than to stagger the minutes and save both Horford and TL from overuse) but it's going to be with a big wing, not with a guard. Smart is a pretty mediocre rebounder for his size (he's 17th among point guards) and I don't think the team wants Tatum or Brown to have to bang with whomever the other team starts at power forward. That big wing is far less likely to be a good outside shooter than a solid point guard, and if the guy being replaced is Horford, I'm not even sure it will end up being much of a difference (I really think he's going to improve).

The other half of the equation is that Marcus is still valuable enough to bring someone decent back. Other than Tatum/Brown, the only non-Smart player who could bring back a real asset is Timelord, and I'm willing to roll the dice on his upside. We've already seen the best of Marcus.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I mean, that's the reason I think they should trade him. I think he's a really good player, but also that he's one of the few players outside the Jays that has real trade value, and that makes him almost certain to have to go out for you to get a better player/fit than Marcus as your #3 guy (which you need if you want to be a contender).
You can’t trade Smart unless it’s part of a huge deal or a blow up. The return he’d bring would be fairly minimal and certainly not an impact player. He’d bring another role player not named Marcus Smart…..that doesn’t move the needle at all.
 

mcpickl

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Nope, he's still below average even for a 1, average TRB% for a PG last year was 7.2, Smart's was 5.9, he's at 6.2 this year. I like Marcus, but the vast majority of his value is in his defense. There are a lot of PG and combo guards who bring you as good or better rebounding, passing, moving the ball, FTs, shot selection, etc. If you move Marcus you'll downgrade defense almost for sure (unless it's for Simmons I guess), but the question is how much will you upgrade somewhere else, and it will be VERY easy to find a shooting upgrade at guard, to make up some of the aggregate value differences.

I addressed that you'd be moving Smart either in a 3-way, or to a team that planned to re-sell him. That's the common way most big deals work. It's rare that a team has all the picks and young players another team wants for a star, so they go get them. Marcus can bring you a 1st rounder or 2 plus, and that's what you need to add to your own picks to contend for stars.
I don't use these numbers at all. There's zero context to them. Like, if Smart raced back to the defensive boards like Westbrook in an effort to post numbers, I feel pretty good he'd more than hold his own as a rebounder vs other point guards. Like if Smart and average point guard X are both fighting for a rebound, I'll put my money on Marcus.

And I still think the most common way most big deals work are pick/prospect packages. Not guys in their prime.

I mean, we've recently seen Harden, Jrue, Paul George, they all went for massive amounts of picks and guys on rookie deals.

It just doesn't make any sense to me if you're trying to win now, which I'd assume is the goal, by trading for a better third player that you'd include your current third best player. I'd think you'd need that guy to now be your fourth best player.

I mean, does anyone see some reasonable trade to be made out there involving Marcus Smart that makes Boston a contender right now? I can't fathom one.
 
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tbb345

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Unless that player is demanding a trade to Boston you’re not getting them for Marcus. Despite the fevered dreams that a lottery team is going to give up its pick for “a culture change” his value is simply limited to contenders that could use a sixth man/Swiss army knife of a player. And those teams just aren’t sitting on top of piles of young all stars on rookie deals.

Now if Beal were to demand a trade to Boston (unlikely these days) then by all means, Marcus is the salary ballast that gets you there. But barring that the way out of their present dilemma is probably a trade with OKC built around Jaylen for SGA (because the Thunder dearly need a three level scorer to play off of Giddey and Boston dearly needs a guy that can drive and kick like a bad ass motherfucker to make Tatum’s life a little easier) and the hope that whomever they draft with their lottery pick develops quickly.

Or, I guess, you could hope for #1 and that OKC would take #1 and filler for SGA. Because Gilgeous-Alexander making plays for the JayCrew is the NBA equivalent of a cheat code.
Depending on how this season ends and how the ping pong balls bounce, I don’t think it’s crazy to suggest that Presti might be interested in a Smart+all the picks for SGA trade. (To be clear this scenario would only happen if the Thunder get screwed and get the 6th pick again and the Celtics are in the lottery)
There have been rumors that Presti would trade SGA for picks last year and getting rid of him would basically guarantee the Thunder have the worst record in basketball at the end of next year
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Sure if we can move Marcus and upgrade Brad should probably do it but I'm skeptical there's any such trade out there. I mean it isn't like Danny didn't explore trading Smart on at least two occasions and couldn't find a market. But maybe teams get desperate.

I'll note that by metrics, the top 3 players on this team does not generally include Marcus but does include TL.

His defense has been overrated for at least two years now (I don't know if it's getting older or if his increased offensive load and minutes are weighing him down), and considering the rest of the starters should be + defenders, we can do without.
My eyes see differently than you. I think Marcus has been playing really good defense; good enough that he's being mentioned in all-NBA conversation. In addition, he's a really important cog in the switch-everything scheme.

As I've heard Gorman say a couple of times (and he cites the Cs front office), if you trade Marcus, you then spend the next few years looking for a guy like Marcus.

I really would like to see a closing lineup that includes Marcus and JRIch paired together. I think that makes a ton more sense than MS and DS.
 

Cellar-Door

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I don't use these numbers at all. There's zero context to them. Like, if Smart raced back to the defensive boards like Westbrook in an effort to post numbers, I feel pretty good he'd more than hold his own as a rebounder vs other point guards. Like if Smart and average point guard X are both fighting for a rebound, I'll put my money on Marcus.

And I still think the most common way most big deals work are pick/prospect packages. Not guys in their prime.

I mean, we've recently seen Harden, Jrue, Paul George, they all went for massive amounts of picks and guys on rookie deals.

It just doesn't make any sense to me if you're trying to win now, which I'd assume is the goal, by trading for a better third player that you'd include your current third best player. I'd think you'd need that guy to now be your fourth best player.

I mean, does anyone see some reasonable trade to be made out there involving Marcus Smart that makes Boston a contender right now? I can't fathom one.
So I have some thoughts.....
1. If we're not going to base rebounding on you know.... rebounding, then it has no meaning. Smart is on a team that isn't that good at rebounding, despite that his numbers are quite bad in terms of getting rebounds. There is zero evidence that he's good at rebounding, and the best ways we have to measure rebounding say he's not good at it.

2. In the Harden trade, BKN sent out... a bunch of picks, salary filler (Taurean Prince) a guy on a rookie deal (Allen) and a 26 year old on a medium contract who was probably the team's 3rd best player. Hou then re-routed all of those players, getting a 1st and Oladipo (28 year old mid-career guy) who they then traded for a 1st and filler. LeVert/Oladipo are very similar to Smart in terms of career stage/money. If anything they had fewer years left and probably brought back less on the re-route than Marcus would.

3. Jrue... The Bucks trade.... picks, a just drafted late 1st player (RJ Hampton, re-routed to Denver), a 30 year old All-Defense team player who was their 3rd best player on a pretty big contract (Bledsoe), a 34 year old backup PG/6th man (Hill), New Orleans then re-routed Hill to OKC for a 27 year old C who they signed to a big extension. A year later they would flip those 2 with 2 1st round picks for DaVonte Graham (26 year old entering a 4/47 contract), Jonas Valanciunas (29, signed a 3/45 extension). Bledsoe is a Smart comp obviously.

4. Paul George- this one was mostly picks/youth, though they also got Gallo back, but couldn't flip him.

5. You have to trade something. By my guess the Celtics have 4 guys with real trade value on the team... Tatum, Brown, Smart, TL. Smart seems likely to be the one in the sweet spot (though a big deal might well cost TL too) of being more valuable than TL in trade, but not significantly more valuable to the Celtics short and long term.

This team isn't improving via free agency, they are unlikely to get a 3rd best player in the draft... it's trades or nothing. And generally, you care a lot more about your top 3, than your 4 and 5. You can find guys to fill gaps, top end talent is what wins in this league. I don't think the Bucks worried that they were losing their 3rd best player when they upgraded Bledsoe to Jrue, they knew the improvement more than offset moving some guys up and taking some cheap Free agent punts and set them up to make some small deadline trades to pick up role players to fill gaps, and look at buyouts. Roleplayers you can find, especially when vets look at your team and see a really strong top 3.
 

Euclis20

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Sure if we can move Marcus and upgrade Brad should probably do it but I'm skeptical there's any such trade out there. I mean it isn't like Danny didn't explore trading Smart on at least two occasions and couldn't find a market. But maybe teams get desperate.

I'll note that by metrics, the top 3 players on this team does not generally include Marcus but does include TL.


My eyes see differently than you. I think Marcus has been playing really good defense; good enough that he's being mentioned in all-NBA conversation. In addition, he's a really important cog in the switch-everything scheme.

As I've heard Gorman say a couple of times (and he cites the Cs front office), if you trade Marcus, you then spend the next few years looking for a guy like Marcus.

I really would like to see a closing lineup that includes Marcus and JRIch paired together. I think that makes a ton more sense than MS and DS.

All of this is true enough (although I'll believe Marcus gets voted back to 1st team when I see it, voters aren't going to be quick to reward this dumpster fire of a team), and all championship teams do need a guy like Marcus. The problem is that with the exception of Draymond, that guy is typically the 5th or 6th best player on the team and doesn't routinely take bad shots and opportunities away from the more talented offensive players on the floor (and in Marcus' case, that's basically every other player on the court). The other problem is that the Celtics aren't remotely close to a championship team, which makes having a player like Marcus less valuable here than he might be in other places.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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All of this is true enough (although I'll believe Marcus gets voted back to 1st team when I see it, voters aren't going to be quick to reward this dumpster fire of a team), and all championship teams do need a guy like Marcus. The problem is that with the exception of Draymond, that guy is typically the 5th or 6th best player on the team and doesn't routinely take bad shots and opportunities away from the more talented offensive players on the floor (and in Marcus' case, that's basically every other player on the court). The other problem is that the Celtics aren't remotely close to a championship team, which makes having a player like Marcus less valuable here than he might be in other places.
If the Cs are championship contenders, MS will not be the third best player on the team.

I think it's pretty likely at this point Marcus will be on one of the two all-defensive teams but of course I'm one of the optimists about the Cs getting better (and not worse) the rest of this year.
 

Euclis20

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If the Cs are championship contenders, MS will not be the third best player on the team.

I think it's pretty likely at this point Marcus will be on one of the two all-defensive teams but of course I'm one of the optimists about the Cs getting better (and not worse) the rest of this year.
That's it, really. I'm firmly in the "burn it down" camp, and I think getting rid of Smart is the least painful way to do it.
 

Jimbodandy

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Can't even imagine what this page would have looked like, were it not a comfortable win tonight.

26 assists on 36 buckets, 47%/41%. Knicks shot 37 and were outclassed all night.

This "burn it down" camp, were you guys fans of Pitino?
 

HomeRunBaker

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Can't even imagine what this page would have looked like, were it not a comfortable win tonight.

26 assists on 36 buckets, 47%/41%. Knicks shot 37 and were outclassed all night.

This "burn it down" camp, were you guys fans of Pitino?
The Knicks were outclassed the game prior as well. If not for Fournier’s career night we comfortably win by double digits. This Knicks product is really awful.

I am/was the biggest Pitino College coaching fan their is. None better…..possibly ever. He was the original analytic innovator in college basketball. Pure genius how he teaches the game and runs his program. His skillset was not that of an NBA coach/GM however.
 

Jimbodandy

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The Knicks were outclassed the game prior as well. If not for Fournier’s career night we comfortably win by double digits. This Knicks product is really awful.
Yes, but when has that stopped us from sucking lately.

I kept waiting for the Cs to fold, and they didn't. Ball movement all night long, good defense. Looked like the Phoenix game (worse competition obviously).

I'm all for deals that improve the team, whoever it is. But blowing it up just to try shit seems like a waste.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Yes, but when has that stopped us from sucking lately.

I kept waiting for the Cs to fold, and they didn't. Ball movement all night long, good defense. Looked like the Phoenix game (worse competition obviously).

I'm all for deals that improve the team, whoever it is. But blowing it up just to try shit seems like a waste.
There is always going to be better ball movement against mid-January lottery team defenses who provide no resistance like the Knicks in a blowout as the 4Q halfcourt game doesn’t exist (which is when resistance begins to ramp up). We had that the prior game as well for the first 40 min.

These games are fools gold but maybe something to build upon I dunno. We aren’t any different today of a team today than we were a week ago.
 
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HomeRunBaker

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Not playing DS and MS will help if Ime sticks to this rotation.
How will playing inferior players help us win more? We could get away without having to play Schroder as the Knicks didn’t play a PG in their lineup tonight. Smart was fine handling the 1 on both ends against wings disguised as 1’s tonight and the deep 4Q was garbage time. That is rarely the case however.
 

Cellar-Door

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A single game shouldn't change how people think about a team, especially not a win over a sub-.500 team missing 3 of it's top 5 scorers (and most of it's 3 pt shooters).

Celtics played pretty well tonight, they do that sometimes, they still aren't a contender, or particularly close to one, as such they (and the fans) should be looking for what they can do to get closer to that goal, especially since they have a young star under contract, and possibly another. Windows in the NBA tend to be short... you have 3 years or so usually to either break through or start worrying that your star will leave you, if you're not close to that breakthrough you need to be figuring out the moves to get there.
 

SteveF

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Smart and Schroder together aren't that bad by the stats. They have a +4.5 net rating in over 650 minutes with an offensive rating of 111.3, not that different from the O-rating the Celtics have when Tatum or Brown are on the floor (either alone or together). The badness comes in when it's Smart, Schroder, R. Williams and Horford. That combination has a -16 net rating (95 O-rating to boot) in a little over 100 minutes.

111 isn't super duper to be sure, but going by the stats suggests the real issue on offense is playing Horford and R. WIlliams together (103 O-rating in 270 minutes). (Which, to be clear, I'm like the 1030292 person to point that out.)
 

slamminsammya

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So I have some thoughts.....
1. If we're not going to base rebounding on you know.... rebounding, then it has no meaning. Smart is on a team that isn't that good at rebounding, despite that his numbers are quite bad in terms of getting rebounds. There is zero evidence that he's good at rebounding, and the best ways we have to measure rebounding say he's not good at it.

2. In the Harden trade, BKN sent out... a bunch of picks, salary filler (Taurean Prince) a guy on a rookie deal (Allen) and a 26 year old on a medium contract who was probably the team's 3rd best player. Hou then re-routed all of those players, getting a 1st and Oladipo (28 year old mid-career guy) who they then traded for a 1st and filler. LeVert/Oladipo are very similar to Smart in terms of career stage/money. If anything they had fewer years left and probably brought back less on the re-route than Marcus would.

3. Jrue... The Bucks trade.... picks, a just drafted late 1st player (RJ Hampton, re-routed to Denver), a 30 year old All-Defense team player who was their 3rd best player on a pretty big contract (Bledsoe), a 34 year old backup PG/6th man (Hill), New Orleans then re-routed Hill to OKC for a 27 year old C who they signed to a big extension. A year later they would flip those 2 with 2 1st round picks for DaVonte Graham (26 year old entering a 4/47 contract), Jonas Valanciunas (29, signed a 3/45 extension). Bledsoe is a Smart comp obviously.

4. Paul George- this one was mostly picks/youth, though they also got Gallo back, but couldn't flip him.

5. You have to trade something. By my guess the Celtics have 4 guys with real trade value on the team... Tatum, Brown, Smart, TL. Smart seems likely to be the one in the sweet spot (though a big deal might well cost TL too) of being more valuable than TL in trade, but not significantly more valuable to the Celtics short and long term.

This team isn't improving via free agency, they are unlikely to get a 3rd best player in the draft... it's trades or nothing. And generally, you care a lot more about your top 3, than your 4 and 5. You can find guys to fill gaps, top end talent is what wins in this league. I don't think the Bucks worried that they were losing their 3rd best player when they upgraded Bledsoe to Jrue, they knew the improvement more than offset moving some guys up and taking some cheap Free agent punts and set them up to make some small deadline trades to pick up role players to fill gaps, and look at buyouts. Roleplayers you can find, especially when vets look at your team and see a really strong top 3.
I think Smart is a good candidate for looking at team rebounding versus individual rebounding, because according to my eye test he is one of the few NBA players who 1) makes an actual effort to box guys out and 2) has the strength of the bull to do it well even against much bigger guys.

That said, for what its worth without any teammate adjustments, according to 82games the Celtics grab 4% more defensive rebounds with Smart on the court than with him off. I am not sure I would easily classify him as a negative on the boards.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Entering tonight's game, Smart was the Celtics third best player this season using LEBRON - this is his best season overall using that metric. Even using normal stats like the ones referenced above as well as his shooting around the basket, FTs etc suggest that he is having a very good season.

As for individual rebounds, their value hasn't been proven to contribute to winning. They may be as valuable as some think but people have looked at this topic and deemed it effectively inconclusive.

Setting aside questions about his fit or decision making, Smart is having a very good season, even with his long range shot regressing.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Luckily Boston is going to come out of the draft with Jabari Smith Jr who’s going to excel under Big Al’s tutelage. Especially after the deal built around JB for SGA leaving Boston with the playmaking scorer to unlock the shooters.
I know this is in jest but if Horford is on next years team, things have gone very wrong.
 

NomarsFool

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Entering tonight's game, Smart was the Celtics third best player this season using LEBRON - this is his best season overall using that metric. Even using normal stats like the ones referenced above as well as his shooting around the basket, FTs etc suggest that he is having a very good season.
Smart had a very good game last night, for sure. The elite defensive skill of coming up with steals that I referenced in another thread that he usually seems to reserve for the closing minutes, was evident throughout the game. There was a fun sequence where he stole the ball, missed a layup, stole the ball again, and passed to someone else for a 3P.

For quite awhile the Knicks were hanging with the Celtics. It's hard to evaluate the impact of them not having Fournier. Ordinarily, you'd say "Meh" as he's not been that great for them this season. However, Fournier has obviously had the Celtics' number - so the fact that he wasn't in there probably helped.

We've been harping on Brown's playmaking and then he goes out and records 11 assists. We should do that more often :)

I was a little surprised to see Tatum responding to Perkins' criticism. He needs to have thicker skin and not respond when the media criticizes him.
 

BigSoxFan

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Imagine a stretch-4 who could actually hit 3-pointers consistently.
This is why I remain interested in Wood if Houston is ready to give up on him given he’s only signed thru next year and Houston isn’t likely to want that next contract. Not sure we have the pieces to get him but he’s somebody I am focused on.
 

RorschachsMask

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I was a little surprised to see Tatum responding to Perkins' criticism. He needs to have thicker skin and not respond when the media criticizes him.
It was just dumb criticism, Tatum had a 60% TS last night in only 29 minutes. Just didn’t rebound much, and the Celtics only converted on 1 of his 8 potential assists. He looked plenty happy down the stretch even though he didn’t score much, and he still gets criticized. Dude can’t win lol. Jaylen retweeted it as well, they are clearly annoyed with Perk. I don’t think it’ll be the case, but maybe they’ll rally around it.

Speaking of potential assists, the Celtics converted on 11 of Jaylen’s 12, that’s insane.
 

Eddie Jurak

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he's a bad rebounder for a 2, and not a good passer for a 1.

I like Marcus as a 2, I don't like him as a 1. I just think he's one of the only viable pieces.
In Marcus first 5 seasons, cleaning the glass rated him as an above average wing at offensive rebounding. In his past 3 including this one, he has rated as roughly average offensive rebounder for a combo guard (47th, 60th, 44th percentile for the past 3 years). It is true that he has always rated below average as a defensive rebounder, but this year he is only very slightly below average (47th percentile among combo guards). To say he is a "bad rebounder" is not really supported by the data.

He's also consistently been average to above in blocked shots, elite at steals (his career worst cleaning the glass steals percentile is 77th). He;s also consistently above average at drawing fouls. This year, 77th percentile for drawing shooting fouls and 89th for floor fouls. He's also above average among combo guards when it comes to assists (73rd percentile) and assists per usage (79th). He's been consistently above average for those metrics throughout his career, though he rates as elite at wing and merely above average as a combo.

Finally, of course, he rates as well abover average for on/off point differential. 58th, 74th, and 79th percentile over the past 3 years including this year.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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How will playing inferior players help us win more? We could get away without having to play Schroder as the Knicks didn’t play a PG in their lineup tonight. Smart was fine handling the 1 on both ends against wings disguised as 1’s tonight and the deep 4Q was garbage time. That is rarely the case however.
I don't think DS is that much better than JRich both sides of the floor considered down the stretch. Ime's switch scheme means that DS isn't guarding 1s anyways (he got torched by Fournier Thursday night) and if the Jays are going to have the ball in their hands down the stretch, he doesn't provide the necessary spacing or movement.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Yesterday's game was a breath of fresh air because they did not do their regular collapse after building a big lead thing. After being outscored 26-21 in the first quarter, their defense tightened and they allowed only 16, 18, and 15 points over quarters 2, 3, and 4. They took a 2 point lead into the half and then blew the game open with a 32-18 third quaterer.

The star for the Celtics today was Jaylen Brown, who led the team with 22 points but also added 11 roubounds and 11 assists for his first (I think) career triple double. Other key contributors for the Celtics included Tatum (19 points on a not great shooting game), Josh Richardson, who squeezed an efficient 17 points out of an otherwise poor shooting game (4-10) by going 2-3 from three and 7-8 from the line, and Robert Williams, who scored 12 points (6 of 7 from the field) and added 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and steal and 4 blocks. Smart did not do much on the stat sheet but did have 4 steals.

Jaylen's 11 assists were varied, hitting different players, setting up layups and threes, etc. One good part of Jaylen's day was that he found a conncection to Rob, assisting him in 3 different ways on 3 second quarter baskets: 1) Rob sealed his man and Jaylen lobbed the pass to Rob, who received it and went up scored. (This used to happen a lot with Paul Pierce sealing his man and getting the pass from Antoine or KG. Same kind of play here.) 2) Jaylen drives, defenders collapse, and Jaylen hits Rob with a short interior pass to set up an easy dunk. 3) Alley-oop lob. Jaylen also picked up a turnover trying to pass from the top of the key to Rob underneath, but the play went awry because Jaylen passed to where Rob was supposed to be but Rob was late in getting there. This was good to see because I think a lot of these passes to Rob for dunks are there a lot of the time but Marcus is the only guy who consistently hunts them out. Jaylen doesn't have to be a big playmaker/assist guy, if he can just find those easy passes to Rob it will add a lot to his game.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Imagine a stretch-4 who could actually hit 3-pointers consistently.
imagine a PG who could do the same and had plus playmaking ability. The team desperately needs both.

Really, the team's issue is they are build to play in 1992, not 2022.