Analysis of Celtics Games, '21-'22 Season

Cesar Crespo

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Team should be playing small more. Enes should play some against very specific matchups and none against most teams.
Well, that too. More JRich is part of the solution. I'm not sure more GWill is. I'm not advocating for less either. JRich can't make up all the Al minutes, though.
 

Cellar-Door

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Well, that too. More JRich is part of the solution. I'm not sure more GWill is. I'm not advocating for less either. JRich can't make up all the Al minutes, though.
I meant that when Ime thinks "should I put Enes in or ride these 7 guys to death" the correct answer is usually... put in one of the young guys instead,
 

tbb345

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TL's last 10 games: 32.9 minutes, .779/--/.813, 11.9 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 3.3 blocks, 1.2 steals, 1.2 TO, 2.7 PF.

Al's last 7 games: 28.2 minutes, .292/.167/.875, 5.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.3 blocks, 0.6 steals, 1.6 TO, 1.9 PF. In those 7 games, he scored 9, 4, 9, 4, 7, 3, 3.

I don't think Al is cooked but I think he's an 18-20 minute player.
I also disagree with people who say TL plays too much. 41 minutes last game was a bit much but it was an OT game.

Thing is, last 2 games, Al played 20 and 23 minutes. JRich played 29:30 and 37:30. Hopefully it's a trend.

Grant is 4/21 from 3 over his last 6. Over his last 5: 24.8 minutes, .238/.222/1.000, 3.2 points, 2.0 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.0 blocks, 1.0 TO, 1 PF. That's pretty brutal. Hopefully he bounces out of it soon.

Team should be playing Kanter more.
Who could have guessed that continually running Al out there for 30+ minutes was going to backfire?!
 

Jimbodandy

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Actually watched this one real time.

Tons of ball movement all game, with a few sporadic dead spots (most notably in the second quarter). Loved the offensive flow. Guys trusting guys, cutting. Ime seems to have installed some actions that weren't there before (or they're starting to stick). Guys are floating to open spots, and the ball handler is already looking for them there. It's getting guys some easy, close looks.

Defense wasn't as good as it looked on paper, as Indiana was brick city tonight by their own doing mostly. But I think that the Cs didn't put the gas pedal down on defense because it wasn't ever really needed.

Richardson and Grant don't show in the box score much (especially the latter), but their competence on the floor really helps keep runs from happening.

Indiana's no good, but it's another nice win.
 

Eddie Jurak

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This was one of those rare Celtics wins where the outcome was really never in doubt. The Celtics put together a big lead and aside from one difficult stretch late in the second, they stayed ahead.

Tatum and Brown were both on, scoring 33 and 34 points, both on 11-19 shooting. After missing 7 threes in the first game, Tatum hit his first 4, all in Q1, then missed his last 5. Brown was a more consistent 7 for 11 from downtown.

Dennis Schroder had a good scoring game, shooting well and adding 23 points, but he also showed why I can't stand him as a player, as he factored right into the middle of a Celtic collpase late in Q2. With about 4.5 minutes left in the quarter, the Celtics were sitting on a nice lead (51-37). A Pacer missed a shot, with a long rebound toward the left slideline right around the break. Schroder is the closet Celtic, he takes a step toward the losse ball and then stops to let it go out of bounds. Lance Stevenson gets the rebound and feeds someone for a missed three and a putback. That bucket keyed a 10-1 Pacer run that cut the lead to 5 points (52-47) - the closest this ever was to being a game. During the Pacer run, the Celtics were not getting good opportunities on offense and Schroder was doing his stupid walk the dog shit. (Ironically, during a late possession in at the end of the half, were maybe there was something to gain by keeping the clock frozen, Schroder brough the ball up normally).

Rob was good in this game in a way that doesn't show up in a box score: he played only 23 minutes due to 1) foul trouble, 2) banging heads with Lance and needing stitches, 3) 3 full minutes of garbage time at the end. +21.

This was also the best game from Al in a while. Modest stats (8-4-4 in 28 minutes), but when the team came out in the third quarter leading by only 5, they went to him for a couple of key baskets. He also had a couple of great assists on this one. On one, he drove the key and tossed up a lob for Rob to finish with a dunk over Turner. On another, he was in the right corner, ball on the left side, and 3 Celtics passed the ball around the perimeter finally reaching Al in the corner. Al pump fakes, drives, defense collpases onto him, and he hits a short interior pass to Gant for an easy 2.

None much from the bench guys. Pritchard got 11 minutes including garbage time, his first minues back, didn't accomplish much. Late innthe first quarter, for 2-3 minutes, was the only time Ime tried not having a PG (Schroder or Pritchard) on the floor. Richardson and Grant got a lot of minutes, Freedom got a couple in the second half. Nesmith, Fernando, Langford, Thomas got the 3 minutes of garbage time.
 

CreightonGubanich

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Dennis Schroder had a good scoring game, shooting well and adding 23 points, but he also showed why I can't stand him as a player, as he factored right into the middle of a Celtic collpase late in Q2. With about 4.5 minutes left in the quarter, the Celtics were sitting on a nice lead (51-37). A Pacer missed a shot, with a long rebound toward the left slideline right around the break. Schroder is the closet Celtic, he takes a step toward the losse ball and then stops to let it go out of bounds. Lance Stevenson gets the rebound and feeds someone for a missed three and a putback. That bucket keyed a 10-1 Pacer run that cut the lead to 5 points (52-47) - the closest this ever was to being a game. During the Pacer run, the Celtics were not getting good opportunities on offense and Schroder was doing his stupid walk the dog shit. (Ironically, during a late possession in at the end of the half, were maybe there was something to gain by keeping the clock frozen, Schroder brough the ball up normally).
Schroder continues to be maddening. He hit some jump shots in this game, so good for him, I guess. But when the Celtics aren't playing well, it's often because their offense involves too much Dennis Schroder. He'll bring the ball up and dribble for 15 seconds, and neither Jay will touch the ball. To me, he's the guard version of Marcus Morris. Poor defender, bad passer, turnover prone. The only thing he brings to the table is the ability to occasionally hit shots. When he does, he seems really important, but I'd just rather those shots go to other players. If your offense involves that much Schroder (or Morris), you're not going to be very good.

Say what you want about Marcus Smart, and he's limited as a distributor, but he at least wants to move the ball to the team's best players. I'd really love to see Udoka minimize the minutes that Schroder plays with the starters. An assistant told Scal yesterday that the horrific second quarter stretch was because the team got away from playing through Tatum and Brown, and I think Schroder is the biggest issue there.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Ime is often quoted when he points out what guys do wrong so just to be even, here's his quote from last night: "It was a total team effort. Everybody shared the ball. That was pretty evident from the start,” Udoka said. “I loved the ball movement. I loved the body movement. It was a mix of isolations, pick-and-roll, off-ball action — that’s where we’re going to be at our best offensively.”

First time all season that 5 Cs had 3+ assists in regulation (Al, DS, JRich, and the Jays. TL had 2).

This article - https://www.celticsblog.com/2022/1/13/22881331/must-cs-boston-celtics-cut-up-indiana-pacers-with-passes-and-off-ball-movement - has some good clips of off the ball actions that help open up scorers.
 

Cellar-Door

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Schroder continues to be maddening. He hit some jump shots in this game, so good for him, I guess. But when the Celtics aren't playing well, it's often because their offense involves too much Dennis Schroder. He'll bring the ball up and dribble for 15 seconds, and neither Jay will touch the ball. To me, he's the guard version of Marcus Morris. Poor defender, bad passer, turnover prone. The only thing he brings to the table is the ability to occasionally hit shots. When he does, he seems really important, but I'd just rather those shots go to other players. If your offense involves that much Schroder (or Morris), you're not going to be very good.

Say what you want about Marcus Smart, and he's limited as a distributor, but he at least wants to move the ball to the team's best players. I'd really love to see Udoka minimize the minutes that Schroder plays with the starters. An assistant told Scal yesterday that the horrific second quarter stretch was because the team got away from playing through Tatum and Brown, and I think Schroder is the biggest issue there.
yeah with Schroder a lot has to do with whether shots go down.

His signature moment was the back to back 3s, but... I'm not sure either was a good decision, and it came off a defensive play where he inexplicably left LeVert who got a free layup. Those shots go down it's probably breaks the other way, and instead of a +4 it's a -6 to -8.
 

NomarsFool

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One thing I thought was pretty interesting, during the game there was a segment from Abby where she led off by saying that Ime was "holding himself accountable", and then they put up the quote. I'm paraphrasing here, but the quote was basically "there have been times when the players lacked toughness, and that is something I think I can help with".

In my opinion, that is NOT at all holding oneself accountable. It's blaming the players, and believing you are the solution. I'm sure I'm overanalyzing here, but it came off as pretty arrogant to me.
 

CreightonGubanich

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One thing I thought was pretty interesting, during the game there was a segment from Abby where she led off by saying that Ime was "holding himself accountable", and then they put up the quote. I'm paraphrasing here, but the quote was basically "there have been times when the players lacked toughness, and that is something I think I can help with".

In my opinion, that is NOT at all holding oneself accountable. It's blaming the players, and believing you are the solution. I'm sure I'm overanalyzing here, but it came off as pretty arrogant to me.
If anything, it was even worse than that. There was a line from Udoka saying that as a coach, you want your team to take on some of your own personality and be a reflection of you. That lead into the point about toughness. So it wasn't just the team lacking toughness, Ime went out of his way to point out his own toughness, just to contrast it against the team's performance. And then went on to point out that he was the solution - the team just needs to mirror him more.

I'm trying to cut him some slack, but good coaches (and leaders in general) just don't say stuff like this.

And also - I think he's right that the team has lacked direction at times, including mental toughness at the end of games. But when you, as a coach, start calling out effort and toughness via the media, you better be damn sure that more effort and toughness is the solution, and not, like, dudes just need to knock down open shots. That message only resonates for a short time, if you're lucky.
 
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NomarsFool

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In general, I think blaming people for not having "toughness" - in most circumstances, is both stupid and wrong. In my opinion, it's not that the team is soft or doesn't try hard. It's that they don't have a very good strategy at the end of games.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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His signature moment was the back to back 3s, but... I'm not sure either was a good decision, and it came off a defensive play where he inexplicably left LeVert who got a free layup. Those shots go down it's probably breaks the other way, and instead of a +4 it's a -6 to -8.
DS didn't leave LaVert, LaVert took a handoff from Sabonis and DS couldn't get off Sabonis's body. LaVert did a good job of contacting Sabonis when he took the dribble hand-off plus it looks like (I couldn't tell for sure from the camera angle) like LaVert kind of pushed DS into Sabonis and Sabonis slightly threw out his hip plus - neither of which would rise to the level of a foul.

(Side note: DS does get hung up on screens a lot. He got hung up on at least one of Fournier's 3Ps down the stretch in the first NYK game.)

I'm sure IND's game plan was to allow DS to shoot. On the first 3P (which came after a OReb by TL), the IND defender barely contested the shot even though he wasn't that far off (maybe 4 feet)? I kind of feel that if teams aren't going to defend DS there, he's got to take that shot but more importantly he's got to make them at a decent clip.
 

Cellar-Door

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DS didn't leave LaVert, LaVert took a handoff from Sabonis and DS couldn't get off Sabonis's body. LaVert did a good job of contacting Sabonis when he took the dribble hand-off plus it looks like (I couldn't tell for sure from the camera angle) like LaVert kind of pushed DS into Sabonis and Sabonis slightly threw out his hip plus - neither of which would rise to the level of a foul.

(Side note: DS does get hung up on screens a lot. He got hung up on at least one of Fournier's 3Ps down the stretch in the first NYK game.)

I'm sure IND's game plan was to allow DS to shoot. On the first 3P (which came after a OReb by TL), the IND defender barely contested the shot even though he wasn't that far off (maybe 4 feet)? I kind of feel that if teams aren't going to defend DS there, he's got to take that shot but more importantly he's got to make them at a decent clip.
I'll have to see if I can find video, live I remember thinking it looked like Schroder left him for a half-hearted Sabonis trap, maybe I'm misremembering, or mixing 2 plays.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I'll have to see if I can find video, live I remember thinking it looked like Schroder left him for a half-hearted Sabonis trap, maybe I'm misremembering, or mixing 2 plays.
I just looked at the video (I have league pass). I can see how you might have though it was a half-hearted trap but really DS got hung up on Sabonis when LaVert took the dribble hand-off. It certainly wasn't high effort defense by DS but it wasn't egregious.

The only reason I point it out is because DS plays defense like that a lot - not the highest effort, stands around a bit, gets hung up on screens, and goes for steals but does have quick hands and can cover a good amount of ground i recovery. He's not Marcus but he's also no Kemba.
 

Cellar-Door

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I just looked at the video (I have league pass). I can see how you might have though it was a half-hearted trap but really DS got hung up on Sabonis when LaVert took the dribble hand-off. It certainly wasn't high effort defense by DS but it wasn't egregious.

The only reason I point it out is because DS plays defense like that a lot - not the highest effort, stands around a bit, gets hung up on screens, and goes for steals but does have quick hands and can cover a good amount of ground i recovery. He's not Marcus but he's also no Kemba.
yeah just re-watched it, he hits the pick, gets lost then kind tries to trap/stop the pass since he lost LeVert already. Not as bad as I thought, but also, not great awareness/reactions
 

tbb345

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One thing I thought was pretty interesting, during the game there was a segment from Abby where she led off by saying that Ime was "holding himself accountable", and then they put up the quote. I'm paraphrasing here, but the quote was basically "there have been times when the players lacked toughness, and that is something I think I can help with".

In my opinion, that is NOT at all holding oneself accountable. It's blaming the players, and believing you are the solution. I'm sure I'm overanalyzing here, but it came off as pretty arrogant to me.
No, you’re exactly right.
Every instance that someone tries to point to of Ime holding himself accountable is exactly like this.
He puts himself over then blames others (either subtly or not subtly) then doubles back and takes a little bit of responsibility (often times along the lines of “well I thought I made it very clear but I guess I can repeat myself more”).

His quotes give off the vibe of someone who’s not very confident in what he’s doing or confident in his position so he’s looking to deflect all possible blame. Which is interesting since all of the write ups about him mentioned how self assured and self confident he was
 

NomarsFool

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It's an incredibly dangerous position to take, because - let's be honest - the guy wasn't Kobe Bryant as a player. At some point the players could very easily say "Who the heck are you to be judging me?". The marketing leading up to his hire was all about how he would have humility as more of a journeyman and preach the importance of hard work.
 

Jimbodandy

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It's an incredibly dangerous position to take, because - let's be honest - the guy wasn't Kobe Bryant as a player. At some point the players could very easily say "Who the heck are you to be judging me?". The marketing leading up to his hire was all about how he would have humility as more of a journeyman and preach the importance of hard work.
I'm not at all sure that Udoka's style will be successful, but the team did need a kick in the ass. Maybe they'll come together in their hatred of him instead of shouting at each other for lack of effort, shoddy defense, missed assignments, and hero ball.

I get that it didn't work for Bobby V, but "more of the same" probably wasn't a working solution either.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Schroder continues to be maddening. He hit some jump shots in this game, so good for him, I guess. But when the Celtics aren't playing well, it's often because their offense involves too much Dennis Schroder. He'll bring the ball up and dribble for 15 seconds, and neither Jay will touch the ball. To me, he's the guard version of Marcus Morris. Poor defender, bad passer, turnover prone. The only thing he brings to the table is the ability to occasionally hit shots. When he does, he seems really important, but I'd just rather those shots go to other players. If your offense involves that much Schroder (or Morris), you're not going to be very good.

Say what you want about Marcus Smart, and he's limited as a distributor, but he at least wants to move the ball to the team's best players. I'd really love to see Udoka minimize the minutes that Schroder plays with the starters. An assistant told Scal yesterday that the horrific second quarter stretch was because the team got away from playing through Tatum and Brown, and I think Schroder is the biggest issue there.
That’s a prettty bold take after last nights game where he did pretty much everything you’d want your PG to do, albeit against lesser competition, in being one of the key pieces in a comfortable win.
 

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It's an incredibly dangerous position to take, because - let's be honest - the guy wasn't Kobe Bryant as a player. At some point the players could very easily say "Who the heck are you to be judging me?". The marketing leading up to his hire was all about how he would have humility as more of a journeyman and preach the importance of hard work.
I could be mistaken but my sense is that the players/coaches/team personnel pay less attention to these comments than the fans for obvious reasons. These people spend a lot of time together so presumably what is communicated externally is just a snapshot of the discussions etc going on behinds the scenes and context often gets lost in an effort to simplify things for outsiders. Furthermore, I strongly suspect most of these athletes are well aware of the skew to these questions/interviews - its pretty much all downside.

Taken together, it would be surprising if the messaging coming through this channel carries much weight in the locker room. I would guess if anything raises an eyebrow, the default is to assume its media BS versus the coach subtweeting his players.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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No, you’re exactly right.
Every instance that someone tries to point to of Ime holding himself accountable is exactly like this.
He puts himself over then blames others (either subtly or not subtly) then doubles back and takes a little bit of responsibility (often times along the lines of “well I thought I made it very clear but I guess I can repeat myself more”).

His quotes give off the vibe of someone who’s not very confident in what he’s doing or confident in his position so he’s looking to deflect all possible blame. Which is interesting since all of the write ups about him mentioned how self assured and self confident he was
I know I'm in the minority but I think people are taking Ime's comments out of context. And that context is his relationship with players.

If a coach were to say some things similar to what Ime says and doesn't have a relationship with the players, the players are going to resent it. But if Ime is making these same comments to the players in the context of an established relationship, the players won't care.

Take, for example, his comments about TL after the MIN game. They were pointed and had to do with effort and discipline. But we know from TL himself that Udoka is a huge fan of Rob: "Shit, he believes in me a lot. I guess he sees something in me I dont. I'm thankful for the way he pushes me every day, trying to get the best out of me" (see tweet below).

A couple of things that seem apparent at this point: (i) even given Ime's comments, the team seems to be playing better (albeit against inferior competition) and (ii) no one seems disgruntled in the least. Hopefully the playing better continues and the team continues to stay together.

View: https://twitter.com/JaredWeissNBA/status/1477020660627120138?cxt=HHwWlIC9qeOdt_8oAAAA
 

CreightonGubanich

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That’s a prettty bold take after last nights game where he did pretty much everything you’d want your PG to do, albeit against lesser competition, in being one of the key pieces in a comfortable win.
Sure, I guess. It wasn't really about last night's game. The difference last night was that he hit a few jump shots, including 4/5 from three. He's still a below average three point shooter, a bad defender, and a ball stopper. His assist/turnover ratio is under 2.0. He's near the team lead in touches per game, just behind Tatum, while being by far the leader in average seconds per touch, and average dribbles per touch. So he has the ball a ton, holds it for a long time when he has it, and then doesn't create efficient offense.

I know those stats are skewed by him bringing the ball up the floor. But: 1) even by the standards of other point guards, he holds the ball a lot; and 2) that's kind of the point: when your offense is designed to start with that much Dennis Schoder, you're not going to be a very good offense. It bogs the offense down, and it leads to too many possessions where the ball finally makes its way to Brown or Tatum, with eight seconds on the shot clock. I understand why we don't necessarily want one of our wings bringing up the ball to initiate the offense on every possession, but we can at least get into the offense quicker.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Sure, I guess. It wasn't really about last night's game. The difference last night was that he hit a few jump shots, including 4/5 from three. He's still a below average three point shooter, a bad defender, and a ball stopper. His assist/turnover ratio is under 2.0. He's near the team lead in touches per game, just behind Tatum, while being by far the leader in average seconds per touch, and average dribbles per touch. So he has the ball a ton, holds it for a long time when he has it, and then doesn't create efficient offense.

I know those stats are skewed by him bringing the ball up the floor. But: 1) even by the standards of other point guards, he holds the ball a lot; and 2) that's kind of the point: when your offense is designed to start with that much Dennis Schoder, you're not going to be a very good offense. It bogs the offense down, and it leads to too many possessions where the ball finally makes its way to Brown or Tatum, with eight seconds on the shot clock. I understand why we don't necessarily want one of our wings bringing up the ball to initiate the offense on every possession, but we can at least get into the offense quicker.
I don’t understand where the bad defender part comes in. He’s at worst average and I’ve pointed out in multiple game threads how he was the one getting crunch time stops even on switches. We know he’s not the ideal PG but for a team as barren as we are in this area he’s been a godsend as expected. I mean you are criticizing the PG for leading the team in touches and dribbles per touch. What are we even talking about here?
 

Just a bit outside

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I know I'm in the minority but I think people are taking Ime's comments out of context. And that context is his relationship with players.

If a coach were to say some things similar to what Ime says and doesn't have a relationship with the players, the players are going to resent it. But if Ime is making these same comments to the players in the context of an established relationship, the players won't care.

Take, for example, his comments about TL after the MIN game. They were pointed and had to do with effort and discipline. But we know from TL himself that Udoka is a huge fan of Rob: "Shit, he believes in me a lot. I guess he sees something in me I dont. I'm thankful for the way he pushes me every day, trying to get the best out of me" (see tweet below).

A couple of things that seem apparent at this point: (i) even given Ime's comments, the team seems to be playing better (albeit against inferior competition) and (ii) no one seems disgruntled in the least. Hopefully the playing better continues and the team continues to stay together.

View: https://twitter.com/JaredWeissNBA/status/1477020660627120138?cxt=HHwWlIC9qeOdt_8oAAAA
I totally agree with this. In this situation we really don't know the relationship so we don't know how the players take it.
 

128

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I totally agree with this. In this situation we really don't know the relationship so we don't know how the players take it.
Agreed. I'm more concerned with Ime's tight rotation than his public comments. If his players are OK with Udoka's demeanor, and at this point we have no reason to believe otherwise, that's the main thing.
 

Eddie Jurak

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It's an incredibly dangerous position to take, because - let's be honest - the guy wasn't Kobe Bryant as a player. At some point the players could very easily say "Who the heck are you to be judging me?". The marketing leading up to his hire was all about how he would have humility as more of a journeyman and preach the importance of hard work.
Not sure the bolded is exactly right. But, anyway, the problem with all of the anti-Ime takes is that none of them have any idea what is going on behind the scenes. The player might love him or hate him, there has been no credible reporting either way.
 

benhogan

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Not sure the bolded is exactly right. But, anyway, the problem with all of the anti-Ime takes is that none of them have any idea what is going on behind the scenes. The player might love him or hate him, there has been no credible reporting either way.
has anyone around here claimed that the players love him or hate him right now? or that he has lost the team? It's quite the opposite right now, the players have all been saying the right things (which didn't always happen under Brad)

The biggest problem with IME is his use of players, rotations, Q4, etc. His pressers are odd and in stark contrast with Brad's. The players & the fans wanted a new voice and got it.
 

Eddie Jurak

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has anyone around here claimed that the players love him or hate him right now? or that he has lost the team? It's quite the opposite right now, the players have all been saying the right things (which didn't always happen under Brad)

The biggest problem with IME is his use of players, rotations, Q4, etc. His pressers are odd and in stark contrast with Brad's. The players & the fans wanted a new voice and got it.
There's a lot of negative commentary about Ime's approach. Some of ti is what you mention here - rotations, etc - that is fair game. Assessing whether his calling the team out is a good idea or a bad one sort of rests on things we don't and can't know.
 

benhogan

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There's a lot of negative commentary about Ime's approach. Some of ti is what you mention here - rotations, etc - that is fair game. Assessing whether his calling the team out is a good idea or a bad one sort of rests on things we don't and can't know.
The calling out of players by the coach is new/strange in the modern game. It will eventually become a problem if this team continues to underperform.

I think most are noting it as a potential red herring down the road. Much like many of us noted early in the season/preseason that his strategic use of players/rotation/minutes was flawed from Day 1.
 

sezwho

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The calling out of players by the coach is new/strange in the modern game. It will eventually become a problem if this team continues to underperform.

I think most are noting it as a potential red herring down the road. Much like many of us noted early in the season/preseason that his strategic use of players/rotation/minutes was flawed from Day 1.
I guess I’m an outlier: while I didn’t exactly love 2bigz, I felt like the minutes and rotations did make sense on Day 1. Perhaps less so now, but I felt Ime was establishing not just his plays, but his ‘system’ and played the veterans who he thought would do it the right way.

At this point, that groundwork has been established to some degree and the rotations are seemingly becoming more rational…hopefully/likely this continues to develop.

There’s been a lot of hand wringing about his approach to handling players in the media, by myself as well, but it’s possible the most reductive answer is the right one: Ime is a very smart, very experienced, and very strong leader who correctly feels he can help the young Cs, and Js in particular, develop the mental toughness necessary for success in the league.

Or I’m an idiot and he’s Patricia 2.0 which would be appalling :)
 

tbb345

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The calling out of players by the coach is new/strange in the modern game. It will eventually become a problem if this team continues to underperform.

I think most are noting it as a potential red herring down the road. Much like many of us noted early in the season/preseason that his strategic use of players/rotation/minutes was flawed from Day 1.
Your last paragraph is exactly what im trying to say with respect to his post game stuff. In Boston you already have a pretty thin margin for error (tons of media coverage, rabid fan base).
His media availability is making the margin even thinner and there’s really no reason for it.
I have no idea what he’s like in the locker room and the players do seem to like him so far. It’s just a disturbing pattern for a first year coach
 

joe dokes

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The calling out of players by the coach is new/strange in the modern game. It will eventually become a problem if this team continues to underperform.

I think most are noting it as a potential red herring down the road. Much like many of us noted early in the season/preseason that his strategic use of players/rotation/minutes was flawed from Day 1.
I understand that WE call it calling out. But the only way the players consider it calling out is if their twitter feed blows up about it. I don't think there are many players that read the Glob or watch the coaches' press conferences.
 

Jimbodandy

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If Ime was saying that everything is fine, he'd be getting eaten alive here and elsewhere and deservedly so.

If he were avoiding the media and doing a Belichick with terse and unresponsive answers, he'd be getting eaten alive too.

If he were a stream of positivity and optimistic wishcasting, we'd kill him over it.

Basically, it sounds like the board expects him to go to the mic and throw himself on his sword repeatedly. Is that what people want?
 

Cesar Crespo

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If Ime was saying that everything is fine, he'd be getting eaten alive here and elsewhere and deservedly so.

If he were avoiding the media and doing a Belichick with terse and unresponsive answers, he'd be getting eaten alive too.

If he were a stream of positivity and optimistic wishcasting, we'd kill him over it.

Basically, it sounds like the board expects him to go to the mic and throw himself on his sword repeatedly. Is that what people want?
If he avoided the media, the media would eat him alive. The board would love it.
 

Cellar-Door

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If Ime was saying that everything is fine, he'd be getting eaten alive here and elsewhere and deservedly so.

If he were avoiding the media and doing a Belichick with terse and unresponsive answers, he'd be getting eaten alive too.

If he were a stream of positivity and optimistic wishcasting, we'd kill him over it.

Basically, it sounds like the board expects him to go to the mic and throw himself on his sword repeatedly. Is that what people want?
I want him to....
1. Point out the flaws both in how we played and how he coached
2. Note when guys played well
3. Not give the same dumb "toughness" copouts for coaching and player flaws.
4. Make actual changes to his strategy.

If he does that I'm happy. In the stretch where he was doing a terrible job and kept insisting the players didn't have enough toughness... yeah I thought that was bad media work. Especially when he'd do something like walk into a press conference after a loss where Tatum played great and say "all our players aren't tough enough, they need to be tough" which is both a shitty fake vaguery way to avoid responsibility and counterproductive, and throws your star who played well under the bus.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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The real answer is that this team is 21-21. If this team was a 24+ win team, there would be fewer complaints about Udoka's statements to the press.

We can agree to disagree about the delta between the 24+ win expectations and what is happening. I get that some people here have a wealth of knowledge about NBA player rotations including real time information on health/recovery etc and see significant meat being left on the bone there but there is no data accompanying these oft-cited reasons so they are difficult to evaluate. And some folks have other reasons having to do with the overall roster, the composition etc.

But its their record, plain and simple.
 

ColonelMustard

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If Ime was saying that everything is fine, he'd be getting eaten alive here and elsewhere and deservedly so.

If he were avoiding the media and doing a Belichick with terse and unresponsive answers, he'd be getting eaten alive too.

If he were a stream of positivity and optimistic wishcasting, we'd kill him over it.

Basically, it sounds like the board expects him to go to the mic and throw himself on his sword repeatedly. Is that what people want?
I don't love Ime's approach but he has the players' buy-in (note Rob's response) and that's all that matters. I don't love the approach because of Tatum's sensitivity to being called out in the media (see: Perk).

Just a quibble, but I do not consider Belichick to be unresponsive. He just has the age-old clichés that don't negatively impact what he is trying to do - win football games. "It's on us as the coaches, special teams, offense, defense to get better". "I'm not sure. We are focused on the next game." We all have these at work. "it takes all of us pulling together to get this done" or "We need to improve together in XYZ area together as a team. That's on me to set the process and strategy correctly."
 

Eddie Jurak

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Karalis has a nice article on how Brown and Tatum are working together better.

https://www.bostonsportsjournal.com/2022/01/13/video-breakdown-how-jayson-tatum-and-jaylen-brown-work-together-to-get-themselves-and-teammates-open-shots

Video at the link for any who subscribe.

Indiana blitzed Tatum and Brown all night, especially Tatum. That's something that he's going to see a lot, so immediately, the Pacers are committed to rotation. By taking one guy out of the mix and sending him towards Tatum, it requires everyone behind him to rotate and make good decisions.

One thing you don't see at the beginning of this clip is Robert Williams making a cut down the left side of the lane when Tatum and Al Horford are running their pick-and-roll. This cut forces Myles Turner to commit to him, so when the ball comes over to Horford at the top of the key, there is only one defender left to cover both Horford and Brown.

Between the blitzing of Tatum, Rob's cut, and Dennis Schröder in the corner, Brown has a ton of real estate for the widest of wide-open corner 3's.
By running a Tatum and Brown handoff along the left baseline, the Celtics suck in two Pacers defenders. Throwing in a third with Grant Williams bring in a third. Brown then turns and whips the cross court pass to Schröder, who can use his best skill and drive against a defender knowing he has a clear lane. Horford is spacing in one corner, and Tatum needs to be respected in the other, and three Pacers are outside the opposite side of the paint.

If Turner cut Schröder off, Horford was there for an open corner 3.
The set up to the play is to invite the blitz on one side. The goal here is to exploit the defense's desire to get the ball out of Tatum's hands by willingly doing so. The rest requires timing.

With two defenders on the left side of the floor, [Tatum swings the ball] to Horford at the top and over to Josh Richardson. This really creates a game of 3-on-2 with one person guarding Richardson and one having to decide who he sticks with in the corner. It's a pretty good play if run right because the end result should either be a cutter to the rim or a wide-open 3 from Brown.

The timing, though, is way off thanks to Richardson's dribble. Grant Williams cuts as soon as the ball hits Richardson's hands, which is when the pass should be made. Richardson, rushed, then fires a horrible alley-oop pass. He knows it. On the NBC Sports Broadcast, you can hear him cursing himself out.
 

NomarsFool

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The challenge is, having Horford open for a 3 has not turned out to be a good strategy this season. I don't know what happened, but he's been atrocious from behind the arc this season and it doesn't really seem to be getting better.

Maybe he's better in the corner, seems like a lot of his attempts are above the break or straight-on, and he's just been awful at those.
 

RorschachsMask

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The challenge is, having Horford open for a 3 has not turned out to be a good strategy this season. I don't know what happened, but he's been atrocious from behind the arc this season and it doesn't really seem to be getting better.

Maybe he's better in the corner, seems like a lot of his attempts are above the break or straight-on, and he's just been awful at those.
He’s been really good in the right corner (8-17 IIRC), and horrible everywhere else. But the last few games they’ve had him in the right corner much more, even if just to open up some space.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Well, that was an ugly one.

1. The Celtics raced out to a 8-2 lead with Horford looking good and factoring into all three baskets: hitting a three, scoring in the post, assiting a three.

2. The teams then traded baskets, 10-4.

3. Philly went on a 28-2 run.

4. Pritchard scored the last basket of the quarter.

6. Celtics never seriously threatened.

7. Ime pulled all his starters with 9 minutes left in the 4th.

8. The bench seemed like it was going o to go on a little run but never really did. With just under 7 minutes left, a Romeo three that would have cut the lead to 11 rimmed out and Philly built the elad back up to 18. Final score, C's lose by 12 but that understates how bad this loss was.

Not much good to say. Tatum was a -4 in 32 minutes, even though he left the game for good with 9 minutes left and the Celtics trailing by 17. That means they were -13 when he was off. But the early Sixer run was keyed in part by Tatum picking up 2 quick dumb fouls and then being taken out.

The only really notable (in a good way) performance was Pritchard, who scored 17 points in 24 minutes off the bench. Also, Nesmith shot well in garbage time.

Tatum and Brown played 32 minutes each. Ime decided to let them play a lot in the second half to see if they could spur a run, then yank them early in the 4th when it didnt happen.
 

128

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From The Athletic's story on the game:

In the 76ers’ previous outing, they had been blasted by the Hornets, 109-98.

“If you compare tonight to the other night, it’s kind of easier to guard,” said Embiid. “Charlotte, they move the ball extremely well and they have shooters all over the place. And they made a bunch of jump shots. Obviously, Boston is more of an iso-heavy team, so it kind of becomes easier to kind of load up and try to stop them.”
 

benhogan

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Early on it seemed like they tried to pick up the pace by getting the ball into Jaylen's hands immediately after a rebound.
Guessing that was one of IME's new wrinkles. Go with Brown's ball-handling and decision-making in transition? Try to get a quick basket or pull it out and work the 2-man Tatum game. But as Embiid says, easy to load up and stop them on D. The floor isn't spread, not many threats from the outside. Same story as the 42 before it.

Besides shooting this team desperately needs a PG/ballhandler/distributor, and with Smart out it was even more glaring last night.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Karalis, echoing Ime, noted the Celtic stars' unwillingness to drive against Embiid as the problem.

https://www.bostonsportsjournal.com/2022/01/14/bsj-game-report-philadelphia-76ers-111-boston-celtics-99---passive-celtics-turn-the-ball-over-get-rolled-by-sixers

The Celtics almost always settle for jumpers against shot blockers. In a way, this highlights just how self-centered their stars still see the game.

Tatum and Brown see a shot blocker and seem to think ‘well, I can’t get to the rim, so I’m not going to try’ when the actual plan should be to still go at him and make him make decisions.

“You have to be aggressive and understand this is not only for you to get a shot,” Udoka said after the game. “You still have your drop-offs, you know where your outlets are at all times. At times you've seen that this year. No matter who we're playing, guys are getting downhill and finding the right outlets. We got a little hesitant today and settled for some jump shots. So stay aggressive as far as that. Do what they've done the last few games with penetrate and kick and get other guys the ball."

Paint touches are still vitally important. Getting the Sixers' defense into rotation is still vitally important. And hey, if you drive on Embiid and force him into some decision, you might actually get a foul call or two.
Tatum had 7 turnovers today, and Karalis attributed that to the defenders knowing he was not going to drive, allowing them to sell out against the pass.