Analysis of Celtics Games, '21-'22 Season

Cellar-Door

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OTOH, Smart has a career high in REB% and STL% and is shooting 1.00% from the FT line.

As you indicate, Marcus doesn't have the ball in his hand as much. Yes, he's struggling on offense. Yes if this continues it will be a huge problem. But is not an effort issue, and he should be given IMO more than 5 games particularly since he thought he would be handling the ball more but he has ended up not doing that. Plus he's always been a super streaky shooter.

From a quick look at BRef's shot chart, it looks like he's shooting corner 3Ps okay but is miserable on above-the-break 3Ps. Maybe one solution is to move him to a corner instead of above-the-break while he is waiting for someone to pass to him, although the Cs would definitely lose floor balance if that happened.

The bigger issue arises if your concerns trump my long-term optimism and Marcus continues to be abysmal on offense. Can't imagine Marcus taking benching very well, or maybe he'll get more opportunities to play with the ball in his hands.
DRB% I think you mean... he has a career low in TRBs% because while he tied his defensive top year, he has zero ORBs.

Yeah it's 5 games, and shooting terribly is a factor, but one reason it's a factor is he's taking all his shots from 3, and he's a bad 3pt shooter. Putting him in the corner isn't the solution. He needs to either get to the rim or set up other guys... he does neither. I have no idea what he thinks his role is on the team, but it definitely is not 3pt shooter. If he were shooting poorly, but setting guys up and crashing the glass, I'd be unconcerned. But he's shooting poorly, while taking way too many of the shot he's worst at, he isn't hitting the offensive boards, he turns it over a ton while also not creating opportunities for others, there is not a single element on the offensive side of the ball he has been even decent at this year, he's been bad at every single thing.

If you built the world's worst offensive PG in a lab.... it would look a whole lot like 2021-22 Marcus Smart.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Do you mean 'over' screens? Under is what you do if you are switching, because it puts you between the pick setter and the basket, preventing the easy roll to the basket.

There were screwups in the NY game because not everyone was on the same page. They changed from switch everything to switch everything except for Rob on Randle. Randle sets a pick for Fournier, Brown goes under it thinking Rob would pick up Fournier, and that his (Brown's) job was to take Randle. Fournier stops and takes (and hits) a practice 3. Tatum made the same mistake.
Yep, that's what I'm talking about. Under is what you do when you are switching, but the problem was, nobody switched. Tatum went under the screen, tried to come out the other side, and by the time he got back to the ballhandler, he was already taking an open 3. It felt like Tatum was switching, but whoever was guarding the screener forgot, or they were playing man, and Tatum forgot and went under instead of over.

Marcus was going over screens all night, as if he was playing man. I truly can't figure out from possession to possession what they are doing, and they apparently haven't figured it out either.
 

benhogan

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I understand what you say but I think the CHA game is a bad example because as posted elsewhere (JT thread?) JT had 8 assists and could have had as many as something like 17 if people hit shots.

I think JB is a great person and I'm super glad that he's on the Cs but someone has got to get in his ear and tell him that if he wants to win a championship, the best way to do that is to make other players better. For all of our hand-wringing about the rest of the rotation the fact of the matter is that beyond stars, the other parts of a NBA's team rotation is basically fungible and it's up to the superstars to make them better whether on defense or offense. By my eyes, JB really more than anyone to figure out how he can makes his teammates better, particularly when JT is sitting.
Jaylen was really bad last night. Invisible. No help on D. Clumsy. I've said it over the years, but he's a really bad zone defender (and a below-average defender overall). Ime's switchy D has zone principles, not sure JB can pick it up.

ALSO JB can't stand in the corner when JT plays initiator. It's fine if complementary players like Grant, Romeo, PP, JRich, Nesmith sit in the corner but Jaylen can't be a potted plant. He needs to be cutting or getting involved. If he's injured, sit and play someone else.

Start DS. Last night Ime brought Schroder in with 6:48 left in Q3. DS played the rest of the 3rd quarter and the entire 4th. Dennis is a high-energy PITA. BUT had nothing by the last half of Q4. This is bad rotational use by IME. It's obvious that Dennis is one of the few players that can beat his man off the dribble and create for others. He should play large minutes but that has to begin at the tip and the start of the 2nd half. That way he can get a 6-minute break then get back out to finish the half/close games with his high energy intact. PP can play those 12 backup PG minutes that would include either Rob/Horford and one of the JAYs.
 

slamminsammya

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Marcus has had offensive stretches as bad as this 5 game stretch. I am more concerned by him looking slower defensively. Shots will fall, but will his feet get quicker?
 

RorschachsMask

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Jaylen was really bad last night. Invisible. No help on D. Clumsy. I've said it over the years, but he's a really bad zone defender (and a below-average defender overall). Ime's switchy D has zone principles, not sure JB can pick it up.

ALSO JB can't stand in the corner when JT plays initiator. It's fine if complementary players like Grant, Romeo, PP, JRich, Nesmith sit in the corner but Jaylen can't be a potted plant. He needs to be cutting or getting involved. If he's injured, sit and play someone else.

Start DS. Last night Ime brought Schroder in with 6:48 left in Q3. DS played the rest of the 3rd quarter and the entire 4th. Dennis is a high-energy PITA. BUT had nothing by the last half of Q4. This is bad rotational use by IME. It's obvious that Dennis is one of the few players that can beat his man off the dribble and create for others. He should play large minutes but that has to begin at the tip and the start of the 2nd half. That way he can get a 6-minute break then get back out to finish the half/close games with his high energy intact. PP can play those 12 backup PG minutes that would include either Rob/Horford and one of the JAYs.
So obviously this is just speculation, so hopefully nobody blasts me lol. But I think part of the reason Ime called out Jaylen and not Tatum is because it’s clear as day that you can see the effort Tatum has put into playing differently on offense. He’s holding the ball far less, dribbling less, keeping the ball moving. Whereas Jaylen is playing pretty much the same as he did last season, stylistically.

He just stands around if he doesn’t have the ball, the same as he did under Brad. He should be cleaning up with off ball cuts in this ball movement offense, but I think Tatum cut off ball more on the rockets game alone than Jaylen has combined in his four games. This style of play is a bigger adjustment for Tatum, who is used to slowdown and heavy dribbling, and yet he’s made a much more visible effort.

It’s only four games, but they are very clearly frustrated with Jaylen. I’m curious about how he responds Saturday, I’m hoping he comes out and plays like he should be.
 
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benhogan

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So obviously this is just speculation, so hopefully nobody blasts me lol. But I think part of the reason Ime called out Jaylen and not Tatum is because it’s clear as day that you can see the effort Tatum has put into playing differently on offense. He’s holding the ball far less, dribbling less, keeping the ball moving. Whereas Jaylen is playing pretty much the same as he did last season, stylistically.

He just stands around if he doesn’t have the ball, the same as he did under Brad. He should be cleaning up with off ball cuts in this ball movement offense, but I think Tatum cut off ball more on the rockets game alone than Jaylen has combined in his four games. This style of play is a bigger adjustment for Tatum, who is used to slowdown and heavy dribbling, and yet he’s made a much more visible effort.

It’s only four games, but they are very clearly frustrated with Jaylen. I’m curious about how he responds Saturday, I’m hoping he comes out and plays like he should be.
did Ime call out Jaylen?

I went into "sports blackout" after the game last night and only read this thread.
 

RorschachsMask

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HomeRunBaker

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So obviously this is just speculation, so hopefully nobody blasts me lol. But I think part of the reason Ime called out Jaylen and not Tatum is because it’s clear as day that you can see the effort Tatum has put into playing differently on offense. He’s holding the ball far less, dribbling less, keeping the ball moving. Whereas Jaylen is playing pretty much the same as he did last season, stylistically.

He just stands around if he doesn’t have the ball, the same as he did under Brad. He should be cleaning up with off ball cuts in this ball movement offense, but I think Tatum cut off ball more on the rockets game alone than Jaylen has combined in his four games. This style of play is a bigger adjustment for Tatum, who is used to slowdown and heavy dribbling, and yet he’s made a much more visible effort.

It’s only four games, but they are very clearly frustrated with Jaylen. I’m curious about how he responds Saturday, I’m hoping he comes out and plays like he should be.
That is Jaylen’s game. It has always been Jaylen’s game. He’s never been a guy to do much off the ball. I’m not sure why you’d feel this would be more difficult for Tatum for those reasons.

Blow it up!!! Root for the Wizards to begin losing. Swap Jaylen and Beal. Who says no?
 
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Euclis20

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It's not just that Jaylen had Covid, he was symptomatic. He's spoken about having breathing issues. I don't think it's at all fair to ding him just yet for being inconsistent.
 

sezwho

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I don’t really agree with Ime doing this so soon, but yeah he was pissed.

View: https://twitter.com/ByJayKing/status/1453552224219639812?s=20

He seems to be struggling with the rapid ball movement, has 10 assists and 15 turnovers though the first four games. But he absolutely deserves some time to adjust.
Bringing the total number of times Ime has publicly dressed down a player past CBS's record in just five games. Don't get me wrong, this is what they said they wanted and the old way surely didn't work, but wow.
 

benhogan

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I don’t really agree with Ime doing this so soon, but yeah he was pissed.

View: https://twitter.com/ByJayKing/status/1453552224219639812?s=20

He seems to be struggling with the rapid ball movement, has 10 assists and 15 turnovers though the first four games. But he absolutely deserves some time to adjust.
Thanks

Accountability can be a tough pill to swallow. Everyone, esp. the players, wanted a new voice. Here it is.

JB wants to leap at any chance to jam the ball with "bad intentions", which to be honest was an offensive foul with his left arm last night

More importantly, he really struggles to help on the weak side or battle for a board or hold his own on the block with BIGs...and that's an effort thing.
 

benhogan

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That is Jaylen’s game. It has always been Jaylen’s game. He’s never been a guy to do much off the ball. I’m not sure why you’d feel this would be more difficult for Tatum for those reasons.

Blow it up!!! Root for the Wizards to begin losing. Swap Jaylen and Beal. Who says no?
yikes you were always a Jaylen guy :eek:

Let's see if IME can get more out of Brown before blowing it up. It's all about '23 playoffs anyways
 

RorschachsMask

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Thanks

Accountability can be a tough pill to swallow. Everyone, esp. the players, wanted a new voice. Here it is.

JB wants to leap at any chance to jam the ball with "bad intentions", which to be honest was an offensive foul with his left arm last night

More importantly, he really struggles to help on the weak side or battle for a board or hold his own on the block with BIGs...and that's an effort thing.
It’s something they’ve noticed, here is some more from Ime last night.

“It probably is our weakest area through training camp, preseason: our weak-side activity and awareness,” said Udoka. “A lot of time we just get caught standing next to our man, watching him and not taking a step and helping. We can’t just always rely on individual one-on-one defense against good players, we have to have a full team behind it. Like I said, it’s one of our weakest areas. We’ve addressed it and shown it on film, and we continue to do the same.”
 

HomeRunBaker

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yikes you were always a Jaylen guy :eek:

Let's see if IME can get more out of Brown before blowing it up. It's all about '23 playoffs anyways
Yeah I was mostly embellishing now that this is the direction we’ve taken but I did call for a COMPLETE blow up last year to build around Tatum with better fits and non-ancient veterans. I think it’s coming too.
 

Devizier

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it's far from a perfect analogy, but I remember back when Pitino wanted to implement the full court press. Was highly effective for him in college, when college coaches had absolute authority, but didn't translate super well to the NBA.
I mean the press failed because even backup NBA point guards can beat it.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Yep, that's what I'm talking about. Under is what you do when you are switching, but the problem was, nobody switched. Tatum went under the screen, tried to come out the other side, and by the time he got back to the ballhandler, he was already taking an open 3. It felt like Tatum was switching, but whoever was guarding the screener forgot, or they were playing man, and Tatum forgot and went under instead of over.

Marcus was going over screens all night, as if he was playing man. I truly can't figure out from possession to possession what they are doing, and they apparently haven't figured it out either.
i haven't rewatched the game but my reaction during the game is that they weren't switching everything in the 4Q but I couldn't tell if they were only switching certain spots or they were doing something different.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I mean the press failed because even backup NBA point guards can beat it.
That may have been the case 20 years ago but with today’s length and athleticism on the defensive end the issue would be more about sustainability and buy-in from the players……which surely wouldn’t occur. We watched Kemba fail to get the ball over halfcourt on consecutive end of game possession and almost a third against an end of game press in their opener(?).
 

Jimbodandy

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i haven't rewatched the game but my reaction during the game is that they weren't switching everything in the 4Q but I couldn't tell if they were only switching certain spots or they were doing something different.
Yeah they weren't. They were trying to stick with man at times, maybe as a curveball. Tried in on a couple of possessions before the 4th too. Most notably was Marcus fighting over screens to stay with Beal more than once. I think some more man might be good, especially since they really don't have to go heavy drop with TL and Al. Can't get much worse than they doing. Just based on pure points (they have more overtimes than most teams), they're 29th in defense.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Maybe the Wizards are better than we thought they were. Nice win over ATL on the second night of a back-to-back. Montrezl was a beast again.
I know it’s only Game 6 but this is our first litmus test of the season coming up on Saturday. I’d expect a strong performance and a big win coming off a loss to the Wizards on the second leg of a home-and-home. Early 5pm EST start time too which often favors the road team.

Edit: Moving this to appropriate thread.
 

sezwho

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Yeah they weren't. They were trying to stick with man at times, maybe as a curveball. Tried in on a couple of possessions before the 4th too. Most notably was Marcus fighting over screens to stay with Beal more than once. I think some more man might be good, especially since they really don't have to go heavy drop with TL and Al. Can't get much worse than they doing. Just based on pure points (they have more overtimes than most teams), they're 29th in defense.
Interesting, I’m glad to get another take. I had the same reaction as @wade, namely I couldn’t figure out what they were actually doing.

Certainly there were changes in scheme, like going from man to switching everything to switch all but center, etc. , but it was pretty fuzzy and I’m pretty sure there was a chunk of just messed up rotations as well.
 

NomarsFool

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I'm admittedly a huge JB fan, but I always think it's extremely risky to call out a player in public and in this particular situation, with a player coming back from COVID, seems even more curious. Hopefully, this lights a fire under Brown and no one ever really remembers this. What I'd hate to see is a bunch of mediots calling to get rid of "lazy" Jaylen Brown and running him out of town.
 

lexrageorge

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I'm admittedly a huge JB fan, but I always think it's extremely risky to call out a player in public and in this particular situation, with a player coming back from COVID, seems even more curious. Hopefully, this lights a fire under Brown and no one ever really remembers this. What I'd hate to see is a bunch of mediots calling to get rid of "lazy" Jaylen Brown and running him out of town.
It was one of those quotes that sounded a lot worse on mediot Twitter than it did in real life. And he was referring more to consistency and focus than effort.
 

Jimbodandy

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Interesting, I’m glad to get another take. I had the same reaction as @wade, namely I couldn’t figure out what they were actually doing.

Certainly there were changes in scheme, like going from man to switching everything to switch all but center, etc. , but it was pretty fuzzy and I’m pretty sure there was a chunk of just messed up rotations as well.
Yeah it was hard to see what happened immediately, and I'm not 100% sure how many possessions they tried this. Definitely noticed some guys going under and over and sticking with their guy. It stood out to me because we've more or less been "switch everything" for a while.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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It would be wild to call Jaylen out on effort for that game. Remember the end of the first half, when the Wiz had a breakaway? Jaylen was the only player to get back on defense. No one else even tried.
 

Eddie Jurak

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View: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1454114637436395528?s=20

Keith Smith: Ime Udoka says Marcus Smart is OUT for tomorrow's game at Washington. Udoka said Smart has been feeling "up and down" the last few days. So, the team is holding him out for now. Smart mentioned he was ill following the game in Charlotte. Aaron Nesmith is also feeling unwell, but he's expected to travel with the team.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I don't think Ime's quote about Jaylen is an accident---he's sophisticated and so it was there for a reason. But beyond that hard to say.

Belichick, for example, would sometimes target Brady (who he knew could handle it---at least until the later years) so others who were more fragile would hear the message but not feel it personally. Or it could be he is trying to directly light a fire under Jaylen. No idea.

I am glad there's heat, though, because what I've seen on the court is discouraging. Whether that heat melts thigns, I mean....we'll see?
 

HomeRunBaker

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View: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1454114637436395528?s=20

Keith Smith: Ime Udoka says Marcus Smart is OUT for tomorrow's game at Washington. Udoka said Smart has been feeling "up and down" the last few days. So, the team is holding him out for now. Smart mentioned he was ill following the game in Charlotte. Aaron Nesmith is also feeling unwell, but he's expected to travel with the team.
Boston Media: “Smart benched after shoot around fiasco!”
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Not just JB.

https://www.barstoolsports.com/blog/3391430/ime-udokas-switch-everything-defense-has-been-hot-garbage-and-that-needs-to-change-quickly

edit: the article says that TL has challenged the most 3P shots on defense. That doesn't seem ideal for this team, particularly if Al and TL aren't playing together, but what do I know?
 

sezwho

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Super interesting, thanks for posting. Two of those I specifically recall watching and muttering’what the heck is happening here?’. Now I know. Oddly it gives some optimism that once they dial this in they won’t look so foolish. Also, no amount of hustle is going to make up for simply not quite knowing where to be yet, which leaves plenty of room for improvement.
 

benhogan

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Not just JB.

https://www.barstoolsports.com/blog/3391430/ime-udokas-switch-everything-defense-has-been-hot-garbage-and-that-needs-to-change-quickly

edit: the article says that TL has challenged the most 3P shots on defense. That doesn't seem ideal for this team, particularly if Al and TL aren't playing together, but what do I know?
Thx for posting

Defensively there is a lot going wrong with this system.

Really can't complain (but we will) about the rotations since most of the team seems confused defensively

I see a lot of film room in their future
 

Eddie Jurak

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Ime is doing some things differently from Stevens and it is taking the team some time to adapt. That part is not of great concern to me, especially with the short preseason and key players down with Covid and other injuries.
 

Jimbodandy

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Thx for posting

Defensively there is a lot going wrong with this system.

Really can't complain (but we will) about the rotations since most of the team seems confused defensively

I see a lot of film room in their future
Yeah I think that most of the team is confused defensively, but the longer guys can make up for it and still bother shots at least. That's probably why TL and Al don't look that bad, and the shorter guys do (except Smart). Could also just be that the better defensive players are less lost.
 

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Another double overtime loss. Celtics seemed so gassed at the end that they could even execute the basics, and they also got screwed by officiating.
 

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Another double overtime loss. Celtics seemed so gassed at the end that they could even execute the basics, and they also got screwed by officiating.
After three overtime games, we know that Udoka stays with the same guys who closed out the fourth quarter through first, second and probably third overtime. He won't substitute fresh bodies to save our lives, no matter how much the designated finishers gasp for air.
 

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The postice I saw was the defence. Richardson, and to a lesser extent Schroeder know what they are doing in the team Do. The mixups that lead to easy hoops are fewer, and they were tight down the stretch. Al is really doing great job pressuring shots. Next step is to rebound better after the stops.

The O in OT looked like a bad game from last year. Tatum not only taking tough shots, but holding the ball before attacking.
 

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After three overtime games, we know that Udoka stays with the same guys who closed out the fourth quarter through first, second and probably third overtime. He won't substitute fresh bodies to save our lives, no matter how much the designated finishers gasp for air.
I would have loved to see an extra shooter in the game on the last possession when they were down 3. PP has crazy range, and would have been a nice bail out option
 

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After three overtime games, we know that Udoka stays with the same guys who closed out the fourth quarter through first, second and probably third overtime. He won't substitute fresh bodies to save our lives, no matter how much the designated finishers gasp for air.
When the rotation after the Jays is so flat, it makes no sense at all. Horford was playing well so I get him I suppose.

But were an exhausted JS and DS really required to play every minute of the final 15+? Completely nonsensical.
 

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The Kemba for Al + sign DS for peanuts was a great sequence of moves.

Trying to be positive.
Also positive: Josh Richardson showed that he deserves minutes (even if not quite as many as he got today) and improves the Celtics' quickness on defense.
 

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When the rotation after the Jays is so flat, it makes no sense at all. Horford was playing well so I get him I suppose.

But were an exhausted JS and DS really required to play every minute of the final 15+? Completely nonsensical.
Does Pop ride his regulars the way Ime has so far in Boston? This is insane. I get that there are situations where it doesn't make sense to play Kanter or Nesmith, but there's something to be said for keeping guys fresh.
 

benhogan

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When the rotation after the Jays is so flat, it makes no sense at all. Horford was playing well so I get him I suppose.

But were an exhausted JS and DS really required to play every minute of the final 15+? Completely nonsensical.
it's a rookie HC frozen by a tight game
 

Eddie Jurak

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The postice I saw was the defence. Richardson, and to a lesser extent Schroeder know what they are doing in the team Do. The mixups that lead to easy hoops are fewer, and they were tight down the stretch. Al is really doing great job pressuring shots. Next step is to rebound better after the stops.

The O in OT looked like a bad game from last year. Tatum not only taking tough shots, but holding the ball before attacking.
I thought the turning point in the OTs came when the C's got up 6 with the ball and then had a long possession where Tatum Iso'd and didn't get a good shot off. Harrell was playing with 5 fouls and Scal was screaming for the C's to hunt him with switches but they realy never did. They never really got any offense going after that.

The defense was good to see though.
 

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When the rotation after the Jays is so flat, it makes no sense at all. Horford was playing well so I get him I suppose.

But were an exhausted JS and DS really required to play every minute of the final 15+? Completely nonsensical.
Did they make plays that lost the game? What went wrong had zero to with them. They 100% did their jobs and gave to stars a chance to win the game. It was their rotations on team D that got them back and gave them a chance to win. PP in there you can guarantee he or DS have Beal or Dimwiddie in an 1 on 1, or worse. I know our wishes for a championship run require Nesmith, Romeo, et al to be really good players, but wishing it, does not make it so.