Analysis of Celtics Games, '21-'22 Season

ColonelMustard

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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

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.
Just want to add to what others have said. You've made an unbearable season a bearable one with your content, game recaps, and analysis.
 

sezwho

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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.”
My goodness: this quote should be hung up all over the locker room and practice facilities.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Payton Pritchard's first 18 games: 8.8 minutes, .213/.233/1.000. 1.7 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 TO.
Payton Pritchard's last 15 games: 19.9 minutes, .438/.432/1.000. 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.8 TO.

For the year he's now at .375/.375/1.000. Yeah, his 2 PT FG% is also .375. Started the year 7/30 from 3, since he is 37/74.

My guess is going forward Ime will expand his healthy bench to 9 with PP being the 9th. I could be wrong. The team could use the shooting and his play making has improved slightly. In the early going, his assist rate is at 20.0%, up from 13.3% last year. Plus he offers a different look off the bench. GWill and JRich are shooting well but PP lets it rain. JRich 4.7 3PA/36, GWill 5.3, PP 8.2.

C's are also up to .339, they've been trending up recently. The league has too, though. League 3 PT % is up to .349 atm.
 

Fishy1

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Payton Pritchard's first 18 games: 8.8 minutes, .213/.233/1.000. 1.7 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 TO.
Payton Pritchard's last 15 games: 19.9 minutes, .438/.432/1.000. 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.8 TO.

For the year he's now at .375/.375/1.000. Yeah, his 2 PT FG% is also .375. Started the year 7/30 from 3, since he is 37/74.

My guess is going forward Ime will expand his healthy bench to 9 with PP being the 9th. I could be wrong. The team could use the shooting and his play making has improved slightly. In the early going, his assist rate is at 20.0%, up from 13.3% last year. Plus he offers a different look off the bench. GWill and JRich are shooting well but PP lets it rain. JRich 4.7 3PA/36, GWill 5.3, PP 8.2.

C's are also up to .339, they've been trending up recently. The league has too, though. League 3 PT % is up to .349 atm.
Seemed like his shooting kept them in striking distance. I agree they could really use him if he can be as efficient as he was last year. C's have enough length to play that they can hide him to a degree.

I still think he has a Van Vleetish upside that he could get to with enough opportunity. He's not as strong or as quick as Van Vleet, but he can be just as good a shooter.

Interested to see if he gets more of an opportunity if/when they ship out Schroder.
 

Jimbodandy

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Payton Pritchard's first 18 games: 8.8 minutes, .213/.233/1.000. 1.7 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 TO.
Payton Pritchard's last 15 games: 19.9 minutes, .438/.432/1.000. 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.8 TO.

For the year he's now at .375/.375/1.000. Yeah, his 2 PT FG% is also .375. Started the year 7/30 from 3, since he is 37/74.

My guess is going forward Ime will expand his healthy bench to 9 with PP being the 9th. I could be wrong. The team could use the shooting and his play making has improved slightly. In the early going, his assist rate is at 20.0%, up from 13.3% last year. Plus he offers a different look off the bench. GWill and JRich are shooting well but PP lets it rain. JRich 4.7 3PA/36, GWill 5.3, PP 8.2.

C's are also up to .339, they've been trending up recently. The league has too, though. League 3 PT % is up to .349 atm.
Given the dearth of shooting on this team, PP will get run. If he's hitting, he's useful. He can even get to the second and third level if guys have to sell out hard on contests.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Seemed like his shooting kept them in striking distance. I agree they could really use him if he can be as efficient as he was last year. C's have enough length to play that they can hide him to a degree.

I still think he has a Van Vleetish upside that he could get to with enough opportunity. He's not as strong or as quick as Van Vleet, but he can be just as good a shooter.

Interested to see if he gets more of an opportunity if/when they ship out Schroder.

I'd rather him play than Schroder but I don't get the FVV comps and never have. Going into the year, I figured he'd be around 20 mpg, 10 points, 4 assists, 3 boards on .440/.400/.800 ish shooting this season, being effective on offense when his shot is falling. That's what he's been the last 15. Maybe he can be our Monte Morris, and that would be ok.
 

benhogan

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Those last 15 game stats say Pritchard has "earned" minutes. I hope IME follows through, but don't love the Schroder/PP pairing

If PP could keep up that A/TO ratio while handling the ball more that would be a godsend for this team.

IME sometimes asks the youngsters (PP, RL, AN) to pick up full court D when entering. He should do that all the time: gets them warmed up quickly and burns some of the opponents 24.
 

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The Jays' shooting lines this weekend against Eastern Conference big boys Philly and Chicago, both of which were missing multiple key players:

Tatum: 15 for 41 from the floor, including 3 for 12 on 3-pointers

Brown: 15 for 37 from the floor, including 2 for 14 on 3-pointers
 

chilidawg

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The Jays' shooting lines this weekend against Eastern Conference big boys Philly and Chicago, both of which were missing multiple key players:

Tatum: 15 for 41 from the floor, including 3 for 12 on 3-pointers

Brown: 15 for 37 from the floor, including 2 for 14 on 3-pointers
Nice job by the rest of the team picking up the slack tonight, 28-47/8-16 from 3. RWill, Horford, Schroder and jRich all with nice games.
 

reggiecleveland

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The Jays' shooting lines this weekend against Eastern Conference big boys Philly and Chicago, both of which were missing multiple key players:

Tatum: 15 for 41 from the floor, including 3 for 12 on 3-pointers

Brown: 15 for 37 from the floor, including 2 for 14 on 3-pointers
Tatum's inefficiency is starting to worry me.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The Jays' shooting lines this weekend against Eastern Conference big boys Philly and Chicago, both of which were missing multiple key players:

Tatum: 15 for 41 from the floor, including 3 for 12 on 3-pointers

Brown: 15 for 37 from the floor, including 2 for 14 on 3-pointers
Couple of reminders:

1. The Celtics won yesterday, so they atually splist againt "Eastern Conference big boys Philly and Chicago." That's a reasonable performace from a .500 team.

2. Lest we forget, the Celtics have played a lot of games missing multiple key players, and, indeed, were missing a key player for these 2 games.

The Celtics are .500, which is not good, but they have done that while missing:
  • Tatum for 4 games
  • Smart for 6 games
  • Rob for 9 games
  • Al for 9 games
  • Brown for 14 games
  • Schroder for 8 games
That is not insignificant. Maybe it all balances out in comparision to our opponents, but, if so, that leaves the Celtics as a .500 team. No need to denigrate their wins.
 

128

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Couple of reminders:

1. The Celtics won yesterday, so they atually splist againt "Eastern Conference big boys Philly and Chicago." That's a reasonable performace from a .500 team.

2. Lest we forget, the Celtics have played a lot of games missing multiple key players, and, indeed, were missing a key player for these 2 games.

The Celtics are .500, which is not good, but they have done that while missing:
  • Tatum for 4 games
  • Smart for 6 games
  • Rob for 9 games
  • Al for 9 games
  • Brown for 14 games
  • Schroder for 8 games
That is not insignificant. Maybe it all balances out in comparision to our opponents, but, if so, that leaves the Celtics as a .500 team. No need to denigrate their wins.
My initial post had nothing to do with Ws and Ls. It concerned the shooting of Tatum and Brown.

Also, I would argue that the Bulls, missing LaVine, Caruso, Lonzo and Derrick Jones, were significantly more short-handed than the Smart-less Celtics, who needed a miraculous comeback to win last nite. I'll take the victory, but it probably should have been a L.
 

Eddie Jurak

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My initial post had nothing to do with Ws and Ls. It concerned the shooting of Tatum and Brown.

Also, I would argue that the Bulls, missing LaVine, Caruso, Lonzo and Derrick Jones, were significantly more short-handed than the Smart-less Celtics, who needed a miraculous comeback to win last nite. I'll take the victory, but it probably should have been a L.
I get it. It still reflects a focus on the negative. The Celtics have been one of the worst fourth quarter teams in the league, they have been terrible in late, close games, but recently they have been better in these games.
 

128

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I get it. It still reflects a focus on the negative. The Celtics have been one of the worst fourth quarter teams in the league, they have been terrible in late, close games, but recently they have been better in these games.
Time Lord saved the day. If he goes 1 for 2 (or 0 for 2) on that first trip to the line, the C's are forced to foul, and the game probably gets away from them.
 

lexrageorge

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Tatum did not seem that inefficient last night. Yes, it would have been better if his shots were falling, but he seemed to overcome that with some good drives that put him on the line 6 times (only DeMar went more often). Had some key rebounds down the stretch and seemed to pass it when he saw the better play. I thought Brown kept the game flowing as well with the ball in his hands.

Their shooting was a problem against the Bulls, but their play wasn't, if that makes sense. They do need a true shooter in the lineup, though.
 

chilidawg

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Tatum did not seem that inefficient last night. Yes, it would have been better if his shots were falling, but he seemed to overcome that with some good drives that put him on the line 6 times (only DeMar went more often). Had some key rebounds down the stretch and seemed to pass it when he saw the better play. I thought Brown kept the game flowing as well with the ball in his hands.

Their shooting was a problem against the Bulls, but their play wasn't, if that makes sense. They do need a true shooter in the lineup, though.
I just rewatched the 4th Q and would agree. Ball movement was pretty good, had some good looks that didn't drop. A couple bad turnovers, but at least they were a result of good agressiveness offensively. Interestingly Chicago went full DeRozan iso down the stretch and were the ones who folded. DeRozan was an inefficient 7-20 as well.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Tatum did not seem that inefficient last night. Yes, it would have been better if his shots were falling, but he seemed to overcome that with some good drives that put him on the line 6 times (only DeMar went more often). Had some key rebounds down the stretch and seemed to pass it when he saw the better play. I thought Brown kept the game flowing as well with the ball in his hands.

Their shooting was a problem against the Bulls, but their play wasn't, if that makes sense. They do need a true shooter in the lineup, though.
This is an important thing. I feel like the last time there was so much concern about Tatum's inefficiency was his second (and worst) year. This year, though, on a per 36 basis he rebounds more (1.4), assists more (1.2), gets to the line nearly twice as often (2.7 more FTs/game). That all matters.

While Tatum and Brown shot poorly, Tatum helped himself by going 6-6 from the line, by getting a double double (12 rebounds), by adding 4 assists and 2 blocks. He did turn it over 4 times, but that is probably going to happen if Tatum is handling the ball a lot. Brown, for his part, had 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals (the Celtics as a team had only 6 steals).

Rob had another big game, with a double double (14-13) that included 4 key free throws late in the game. He also had 6 assists and 2 blocks.

Good game from Schroder, too, as he added 16 points on good shooting, and 8 assists to lead the team vs one turnover.

And they looked to Al for more offense and he contributed, scoring 15 on 7-11 shooting with 8 rebounds.
 

benhogan

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The silver lining in Q4 last night was their reaction/approach after Tatum blundered 2 ISOs /late turnovers (tossed out of bounds 3:20 + off charge 2:57) :rolleyes:

Importantly the team didn't sulk/shrink as it has in the past. Instead, they stopped the JAYs dribblefests. They went with a Schroder drive, a Brown jump shot off an inbound pass, TimeLord PnR shot/foul & then the 4 FTs from TL.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT7TgvuIe50


The team can't expect the JAYs pound the ball ISO to be productive with 3 non-shooters/2 BIGz lineup. The opponent just loads the lane (noted by Embiid post-game) and force long/contested 2s from the Jays or worse turn them over easily.

Also noted by @wade boggs chicken dinner in the game thread JRich's defense over the last few minutes was excellent. Please IME, more JRich, less 2BIGz
 

RorschachsMask

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Tatum has had a ton of efficiency issues this year, but it’s the case around the league for some reason. Leaguewide the average TS is down 1.5% or so, but a bunch of stars have seen their TS just tank. Luka, Beal, Tatum, Steph, Dame, and countless others. Now Tatum absolutely has to improve it, but it’s all about his three ball. I still think it normalizes, but I am more concerned than I was. Olympics fatigue seems to be a likely culprit.

As for last night, I thought he played really well. There was one bad stretch in the 4th, but besides that? He drove the ball a ton (18 rim drives, which puts a bunch of pressure on the defense). He moved the ball when trapped, he rebounded, and he defended his ass off, especially on Derozen late. I’d have to double check, but I believe three of his misses were offensive rebound “tip shots”, and another one he caught the ball with a couple of seconds left in the half. Now 8-20 still isn’t good, but it’s much better than the 33% shooting he had.
 

128

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Time Lord's form on his free throws, especially the final two, was excellent. It seems reasonable to think he could develop a 12- to 15-foot face-up jump shot.

A jump hook would be a nice weapon, too. Given his length and jumping ability, no defender would come close to blocking it.

I love Time Lord, but his unique offensive game presents some challenges for the C's in the half court.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Interestingly Chicago went full DeRozan iso down the stretch and were the ones who folded. DeRozan was an inefficient 7-20 as well.
De Bulls seemed to like the DeRozen versus TL matchup, which I thought was weird. From my observations, DeRozen is the kind of guy that TL handles pretty easily one on one. At any rate, TL held DeRozen to 1-5 when matched up against him. By comparison, DeRozen was 4-7 against Horford.

DeRozen only scored against Horford, Freedom (1-1) and JRich (1-2). He did not score against JT (0-3), JB (0-2), or DS (0-2)
 

Sam Ray Not

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Tatum’s beating Luka by scoring efficiency (.536 to to .529 ts) and crushing him by advanced stats (+8.3 to -7.1 net on-off, #6 to #94 by RAPTOR, e.g.) as long as we’re fretting about the league’s young superstars.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Time Lord's form on his free throws, especially the final two, was excellent. It seems reasonable to think he could develop a 12- to 15-foot face-up jump shot.

A jump hook would be a nice weapon, too. Given his length and jumping ability, no defender would come close to blocking it.

I love Time Lord, but his unique offensive game presents some challenges for the C's in the half court.
Time Lord's offensive skills are: lobs and other uncontested layups/dunks, putbacks and other offensive rebounds, and passing.

He has no jumper, he has no back to the basket offensive moves, no one-on-one moves even to take advantage of a mismatch.

Actually, he has a work-in-progress not-ready-for-prime-time jumper. He's hit a few in games and the form doesn't look terrible, at least to my amateur eye, so I would guess this is something he may roll out next year. I'd like to see him develop a bit of a post up game. Not so much to score but because he could use his skills as a passer to develop an inside-out passing game.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Tatum's season isn't great but you have to wonder how much regression is a function of Jayson-specific issues versus roster/fit. The Cs other players miss a lot of open shots - at some point its hard to blame Tatum and Brown for trying to do more themselves.

Each passing game against diminished opponents feels like a struggle and it becomes more apparent that this team is performing about how you would expect given their aggregate production. If there is an output gap (again I don't view the individual shooting variance as a function of coaching), its very difficult to identify it using any stats.

In short, if Stevens is able to upgrade the rotation a bit and Tatum continues to play at this level, maybe its time to get more concerned. But for now, its hard to get to worried when you see what the Celtics are trotting out there beyond the starters and a few bench players.
 

Jimbodandy

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Tatum’s beating Luka by scoring efficiency (.536 to to .529 ts) and crushing him by advanced stats (+8.3 to -7.1 net on-off, #6 to #94 by RAPTOR, e.g.) as long as we’re fretting about the league’s young superstars.
I think what's a bit worrisome to Tatum fans is that we know why Luka has fallen off. Tatum came into this year in better shape, not worse. His shooting is just garbage right now.

Maybe Olympic factor...maybe added muscle adjustments, reffing focus changes, maybe team construction, new coach and system...it's over my head.

Luka got fat. Maybe Olympic thing too, but fat is hard to miss.
 

NomarsFool

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One thing I've been pleased with is that in the last handful of games, they have been using Rob Williams throughout the game on offense. It's an extremely efficient play to use him as a rim-runner, and to sprinkle in 10-14 easy points from the TimeLord just really takes some of the weight off of Tatum and Brown. I'm sure that the lob threat must also help Tatum and Brown to score a bit on their own, and if the team just forgets about Williams - that threat goes away.

Different topic, can we get rid of 2Bigs? They went with JRich down the stretch - isn't it clear that Horford and Williams isn't the best pairing? Just alternate the two, keep them both fresh, and leave it at that.
 

benhogan

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Time Lord's offensive skills are: lobs and other uncontested layups/dunks, putbacks and other offensive rebounds, and passing.

He has no jumper, he has no back to the basket offensive moves, no one-on-one moves even to take advantage of a mismatch.

Actually, he has a work-in-progress not-ready-for-prime-time jumper. He's hit a few in games and the form doesn't look terrible, at least to my amateur eye, so I would guess this is something he may roll out next year. I'd like to see him develop a bit of a post up game. Not so much to score but because he could use his skills as a passer to develop an inside-out passing game.
If I had my druthers, I'd rather have TimeLord facing the basket and fire jumpers from the nail (which could be moved out further as he ages). His FG% from 3'-10' last season was 65%, + he also hit a small number of 10-16' jumpers at a good rate. He can develop it.

Rob posting-up creates several negative ancillary problems, like bringing the opposing BIG closer to the rim. The goal is to open up the lane for the wings/ballhandler to cut or get downhill. Facing the rim will also enhance Rob's +++passing to cutters.

I think what's a bit worrisome to Tatum fans is that we know why Luka has fallen off. Tatum came into this year in better shape, not worse. His shooting is just garbage right now.

Maybe Olympic factor...maybe added muscle adjustments, reffing focus changes, maybe team construction, new coach and system...it's over my head.

Luka got fat. Maybe Olympic thing too, but fat is hard to miss.
The Tatum shooting struggles are a head-scratcher. Here are some valid excuses IMO:
#1 Bad lineup construction. Playing with 3 non-shooters is leading to double teams and clogged lanes. Jaylen Browns 3pt% & FG% is also down noticeably.
#2 Bodybuilding focus. FTA led to 50pt bonanza's last season. So rightly JT focused on getting stronger so he could draw more fouls and play through contact. Unfortunately, the NBA decided to ref the games differently
#3 Better defense. Tatum hasn't been loafing on D as he has over the last 2 seasons. he's expending a lot of focus & energy on playing better D
#4 New system. Tatum has to adapt to IME's .5/move the ball quickly philosophy which has led to an uptick in TOs
#5 Olympics. Focused on winning Gold took him away from his Pure Sweat Summer with Hanlen
#6 More minutes. Seems like they are concentrated and sometimes JT doesn't leave the floor for extended Q4 periods. Tired legs = bad shooting, but that doesn't really explain why he opens up most games cold.
#7 New ball. The entire league is shooting worse but improving.
 

reggiecleveland

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This is an important thing. I feel like the last time there was so much concern about Tatum's inefficiency was his second (and worst) year. This year, though, on a per 36 basis he rebounds more (1.4), assists more (1.2), gets to the line nearly twice as often (2.7 more FTs/game). That all matters.

While Tatum and Brown shot poorly, Tatum helped himself by going 6-6 from the line, by getting a double double (12 rebounds), by adding 4 assists and 2 blocks. He did turn it over 4 times, but that is probably going to happen if Tatum is handling the ball a lot. Brown, for his part, had 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals (the Celtics as a team had only 6 steals).

Rob had another big game, with a double double (14-13) that included 4 key free throws late in the game. He also had 6 assists and 2 blocks.

Good game from Schroder, too, as he added 16 points on good shooting, and 8 assists to lead the team vs one turnover.

And they looked to Al for more offense and he contributed, scoring 15 on 7-11 shooting with 8 rebounds.
I would hope he is a better player than he was in his 2nd year. What is the value of comparing him to his 2nd year? He is plus 1 rebound, down .5 assist, and plus .3 turmovers per 36 compared to last year. But if he is the superstar that wants to lead us to the promised land he needs to shoot better than he has this year.

But the fact remains everyone wants to build around a guy that is taking 8 threes a game and making less than 33%. From 2018 through last year Marcus Smart shot better from the 3 than Tatum has this year. I generally argued Smart's shooting was acceptable for defensive guy. This is by far Tatum's worst efg% of his career.

I fully understand the need to be hopeful, and the awful possibility that JT is not the future star we want him to be is not fun to consider, but sad as it is the reality makes me worry.
 

JakeRae

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I would hope he is a better player than he was in his 2nd year. What is the value of comparing him to his 2nd year? He is plus 1 rebound, down .5 assist, and plus .3 turmovers per 36 compared to last year. But if he is the superstar that wants to lead us to the promised land he needs to shoot better than he has this year.

But the fact remains everyone wants to build around a guy that is taking 8 threes a game and making less than 33%. From 2018 through last year Marcus Smart shot better from the 3 than Tatum has this year. I generally argued Smart's shooting was acceptable for defensive guy. This is by far Tatum's worst efg% of his career.

I fully understand the need to be hopeful, and the awful possibility that JT is not the future star we want him to be is not fun to consider, but sad as it is the reality makes me worry.
Using this year’s shooting to doomsay is silly. Tatum is a career .384% shooter from three. There’s really no reason to believe that has changed. His shooting will normalize/regress given time. There are plenty of things to worry about with this team, but whether Tatum is actually an elite shooter is not one of them.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I would hope he is a better player than he was in his 2nd year.
No particular value. Just the last time people we hounding him for his inefficiency.
But the fact remains everyone wants to build around a guy that is taking 8 threes a game and making less than 33%.
He's at 38% for his career, including this year. Do you have a reason why we should judge him on his last 330 attempts from three rather than on his first 1,500? Are there players who shot well for their first 1,000+ plus three attempts over several years before seeing their shooting go permanently bad?

I just think this is unnecessarily pessimistic. I mean, he would probably not be the first NBA player to peak at age 23, but it strikes me as an extremely rare thing for players at his level.
 

reggiecleveland

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The I guess we should ignore his improved rebounding.
You can't have it bpoth ways. You can't look at career stats for what you want to be true, and stats this year for what you want to true.
I man you discussed how great he looked for 1 quarter, them come after me for using whole season as too small a sample.

You want to say his drop is absolutley nothing? Go ahead. You want to praise him for 23 points on 24 shots go ahead. You can keep saying he's great all you want. But he hasn't been near the 'almost top 5 in the league' guy some claim this year.
 

nighthob

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I think what's a bit worrisome to Tatum fans is that we know why Luka has fallen off. Tatum came into this year in better shape, not worse. His shooting is just garbage right now.

Maybe Olympic factor...maybe added muscle adjustments, reffing focus changes, maybe team construction, new coach and system...it's over my head.

Luka got fat. Maybe Olympic thing too, but fat is hard to miss.
The thing is that Luka had defensive issues to begin with because even when he was in shape he wasn’t terribly athletic. He doesn’t have a lot of margin for error.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The I guess we should ignore his improved rebounding.
You can't have it bpoth ways. You can't look at career stats for what you want to be true, and stats this year for what you want to true.
I man you discussed how great he looked for 1 quarter, them come after me for using whole season as too small a sample.

You want to say his drop is absolutley nothing? Go ahead. You want to praise him for 23 points on 24 shots go ahead. You can keep saying he's great all you want. But he hasn't been near the 'almost top 5 in the league' guy some claim this year.
That's certainly true. But it is pretty reasonable to look at an outlier shooting year (good or bad) and expect reversion to the mean going forward.
 

lexrageorge

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The I guess we should ignore his improved rebounding.
You can't have it bpoth ways. You can't look at career stats for what you want to be true, and stats this year for what you want to true.
I man you discussed how great he looked for 1 quarter, them come after me for using whole season as too small a sample.

You want to say his drop is absolutley nothing? Go ahead. You want to praise him for 23 points on 24 shots go ahead. You can keep saying he's great all you want. But he hasn't been near the 'almost top 5 in the league' guy some claim this year.
The bolded is a classic example of how the raw numbers, taken out of context, do not tell a complete story.

Also, players can boost their rebounding numbers as they physically mature and get more adapted to the NBA game. But the number of Tatum-like players that suddenly lose the ability to shoot 3 pointers at the age of 23 is vanishingly small.

He hasn't been a top 5 player this season. He may never get there. But at 23, the potential is still there, and at the very least it seems hard to see his ceiling as being outside a top 10 player.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Please say hello to your above .500 (23-22) Boston Celtics. The first time they have been above .500 since December 7. Rob Williams out for personal reasons.

This game started in all-too-depressing fashion with the Celtics falling behind big in the first quarter (29-18). Lucky for me I was out on an errand and missed it. When I tuned in they were down 34-22 with 8 minutes left in the half, and over the next ~4 minutes New Orleans ran the lead up to 18, 42-24. This was shaping up to be another one of those games where the Celtics fail to show up for a below .500 opponent and gte their butts kicked, but they turned it around from there. Over the final 4:23 they went on a 15-4 run to cut the lead to 11. Horford (5 points), Tatum (4 points), Brown (3) and Schroder (3) did the damage.

The bench did not do much in the first half. Freedom played 4 minutes and rung up a -12. Pritchard played 11 minutes, missed both his shots, was a -12, and did not get a look in the second half. Nesmith got a couple of minutes and kissed a par of threes. With Freedom playing poorly, Horford played 20 minutes in the first half.

In the third quarter, it was back and forth for a while. Celtics cut the lead to 2, NO expanded it back to 7, and then, with 6:21 left in Q3, Ime brought Kanter back in - and Kanter went on to finish the game - Al did not see the court again. With 2:42 left, NO up by 5, Aaron Nesmith came in. He, too, would not leave the game. Celtics go ahead in the third when Schroder pulls off a 2 for 1, in the final 34 seconds first hitting three that put the C's ahead by 2, then driving for a layup after a quick NO basket, for a 71-69 lead at the half. Fourth quarter was all Boston, with the Celtics outscoring New Orleans by 10 to win by 12, 104-92.

What stood out in this game was:

Tatum had a srrong game depite going 0-4 from three. He shot 9-18 overall along with 9-11 from the line for 27 points. He was very aggressive driving the ball, hence his many trips to the line. He had a few beatiful footwork moves that got him past defendars cleanly on his drives. He added 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal versus 1 turnovers. One of his assists was a beautiful one handed bounc pass ahead to Nesmith for a fast break dunk and-1.

Brown had a quieter 23 point, shooting a bit less well 8-17 but shooting better from 3 (3-7). He added 8 rebounds and 2 assists.

Schroder was all over this game in a positive way. He, too, was getting to the rim and hitting from outside. 23 points on 9-16 shooting (3-5 from three), 9 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals. One of his better games as a Celtics in terms of coming through in a timely way. And he only walked the fucking dog once that I saw.

Al had a decent all around line with 12-7-4 in 25 minutes, but did not play most of the second half. Grant, starting for Rob, added 10 points on 4-7 shooting (2-5 from three) and had a couple of blocks.

In terms of the bench guys, Pritchard got a lot of time in the first half, was a -12, and did not play in the second. Langford also got 5 minutes in the first half and did not play in the second.

Mixed bag for Richardson in 19 minutes. Did not shoot it well (1-4) so scored only 2 points, had a team leading 3 turnovers, but did add 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals.

After being a -12 in 4 first half minutes, EK Freedom finished at a +6, so he was a +18 in 19 second half minutes. He scored only 2 points, on 2 free throws, but had 5 rebounds, an assist, 2 blocks, just 1 turnover.

FInally, Aaron Nesmith. He played the last 15 minutes of the game, and that Ime never took him out speaks to how well he played. Overall, he was a +16 in 19 minutes. He was 2 for 2 from the field, scoring once on a nice drive/floater and once when Tatum made agreat feed to him for a dunk (and 1). Added 6 rebounds. Also had a nice drive and dish to Freedom who was fouled and hit the free throws. Best we've seen from him in a while.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I have to say that I really like AN in there more than PP because PP is just so difficult to play on defense. One thing I thought AN did very well was pinch in on PnR where he was the off-ball defender to try to make sure the ball-handler couldn't pull up for wide open jump shots. And AN shoots the ball way better when he's on the move - the floater he hit was a pretty difficult shot.

GW had a personal 8-0 run in the 1H to keep the Cs in it.

Finally, once the Cs started to make some shots and not give up fast break opportunities off long rebounds or TOs, NO had a super hard time scoring. NO didn't really have anyone who was good pulling up off the PnR so playing Freedom didn't hurt. And the rest of the team was very active on defense after the 1Q. Cs tied for 6th in DRtg.

And he only walked the fucking dog once that I saw.
He was going to try it more than once but NO was pressuring the ball so he didn't have a chance.

There was one funny sequence when DS wanted to walk the dog but Tatum (I believe) didn't throw it hard enough. DS watched as the ball rolled to a stop around the foul line and just sat there for a moment before picking the ball up.
 

Cellar-Door

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I'd like to see Ime work Nesmith and ROmeo in more. It's funny, each could use a bit of what the other has... Nesmith could use Romeo's focus on D (yes he sometimes gets lost still, but mostly he's been a strong defender), and understanding of the offense, while Romeo could use some of Nesmith's energy and aggressiveness. Nesmith is often just running around out there, but he's running hard. Romeo on the other hand has a tendency to not trust his own offense and be content to sit in the corner waiting for the kickout.

Maybe we'll see some of the players ahead of them move out at the deadline clearing time.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Nesmith has some seemingly reliable shots, like the floater he hit today and a short pull up jumper, that he can use when driving closeouts. He seems to have confidence and good touch on those shots.

Langford doesn't. I wonder if the limited college experience plus Covid plus the injuries he has had just have him off, somehow. He drives from the corner quite a bit, but often he just can't get the shot to fall. As a percentage of shots taken, he's probably had as many close-in shots roll off the rim as anyone else on the team.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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That Pelicans team is really not good - if they had anyone who could take advantage of the fact that there was no one to protect the rim with TimeLord out, it could have been a different story.

Tatum deciding his 3 wasn't going down and just taking it to the basket was the most encouraging development. His length gets him to the cup from so far out sometimes and his Eurostep gets better and better.

Schroder having a good shooting game also make a difference. Can't really count on him regularly being 9-16/3-5.
 

joe dokes

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One thing I noticed is that the guards, particularly Richardson and Schroeder, were really aggressive on the pick and rolls. They didn't go under the pick and the at least managed to be a factor as they busted between the pick and the dribbler trying to turn the corner. Maybe NOs ballhandlers just weren't that good, but the Celtics avoided the automatic switch-to-a-mismatch-every-time enough that it was noticeable.
 

HomeRunBaker

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As bad as he can be at times, I like to watch Nesmith because he seems to have attended the John Havlicek school of continual movement. Once he learns how to move efficiently and with purpose, he could emerge as a surprisingly good player.
The old adage applies to Nesmith when people say a player is a year away from being a year away. For young fringe players you have a window to get to “a year away” before you get passed by each years group of young prospects in a similar boat.
 

reggiecleveland

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The old adage applies to Nesmith when people say a player is a year away from being a year away. For young fringe players you have a window to get to “a year away” before you get passed by each years group of young prospects in a similar boat.
Exactly. All along it has looked like one of him and Romeo will stick, but not both. 1st round picks get extra chances, but not too many.