Analysis of Celtics Games, '21-'22 Season

Petagine in a Bottle

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Sure the East was weak then but it’s not as if the Celtics have played a grueling set of teams so far. Are the Wizards, Bulls, Raptors, and Knicks really the cream of the crop?
 

128

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Sure the East was weak then but it’s not as if the Celtics have played a grueling set of teams so far. Are the Wizards, Bulls, Raptors, and Knicks really the cream of the crop?
Don't know if they're elite, but they all play hard. The C's don't.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I just can't right now:

View: https://twitter.com/chrisgrenham/status/1455361676706992131?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1455361676706992131%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=


Marcus Smart: "I would just like to play basketball. Every team knows we're trying to go to Jayson and Jaylen. Every team is programmed and studied to stop Jayson and Jaylen. I think everybody's scouting report is to make those guys pass the ball. They don't want to pass the ball

"That's something that they're going to learn. They're still learning. We're proud of the progress they're making, but they're going to have to make another step and find ways to not only create for themselves but create for others on this team to open up the court for them ...

"later down in the game where they're always going to have to take those tough shots or take tough matchups when they do get the 1-on-1 or they bring the trap. It's something we've been asking them to do and they're learning. We just gotta continue to help those guys do that ...to help our team
 

Deathofthebambino

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Marcus Smart came into tonight's game shooting 25% from the field and 23% from 3. Most of which are on wide open fucking shots, and he thinks Jaylen, who was 10/16 until the last 2 minutes of the game (finished 10/18) should be passing to him? WHY? Because Marcus actually made 5/11 of his shots tonight and was 3/5 from 3?

And he was the starting point guard, and finished with 0 assists in 33 minutes.
 

Jimbodandy

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Tatum is a mess. Not sure what his problem is.

Richardson is back to being the suck.

Schroeder is just painful to watch for long stretches. He's instant momentum, either for us or for them.

I think that Ime said that they need to play hard for 48 minutes, but they heard "28 minutes".
 

Cellar-Door

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Marcus Smart came into tonight's game shooting 25% from the field and 23% from 3. Most of which are on wide open fucking shots, and he thinks Jaylen, who was 10/16 until the last 2 minutes of the game (finished 10/18) should be passing to him? WHY? Because Marcus actually made 5/11 of his shots tonight and was 3/5 from 3?

And he was the starting point guard, and finished with 0 assists in 33 minutes.
I think he was saying they should run more offense, not that he should be getting shots.
I don't totally disagree, they should run real offense, of course, Marcus not being able to shoot is one reason that they are easy to defend late in games.
 

reggiecleveland

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I am probably as far from being high on Romeo or Nesmith as you can get, but my hit take.

New coach badly wants to get going and is pressing. The minutes are distributed like a playoff game. It isn't like the guys he is playing are lighting the world on fire. Losing, while failing to develop guys is awful.
 

Deathofthebambino

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That's rich coming from Marcus.
But wait, there's more:

View: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1455360590302568450?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1455360590302568450%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=

Smart also said "There's only so much I can do when the ball isn't in my hands and I'm standing in the corner." He's not looking to be a scorer, BTW. He wants to run the offense to get other guys shots vs Boston devolving into the same ISO actions that teams know are coming.
Marcus Smart quietly said he wants to be more involved in the offense. Then he added that Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum need to move the ball move, so that they aren't taking such difficult shots. On a follow-up Smart said "I'm a great passer. I know I can get guys good shots."
 

SteveF

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The team needs to run offense it's actually good at. I'd like to see more PnR with Tatum, Smart, and Brown. This team used to be one of the better PnR teams in the league, and last I looked they were dead last there.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Jaylen Brown is averaging 28ppg and shooting 50% from the floor. He took 2 shots tonight after the 3rd quarter, both basically in garbage time.

Marcus saying this literally minutes after he put up a zero assist night, as the starting point guard is fucking bonkers.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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This latest loss feels like a rookie coach type of loss. They really didn't adjust to what the Bulls were doing and it feels like Udoka is still getting a handle on the team.

Are there deeper issues? There absolutely may be and that was a painful loss to be sure. I know I am on an island here but people don't come to their first big job fully formed and I know some here don't believe that teams can "gel" but that is my hope.

I don't begrudge anyone who is giving up or is sure they have no shot to do anything. The trend clearly favors those who are down on this team.
 
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Auger34

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Jaylen Brown is averaging 28ppg and shooting 50% from the floor. He took 2 shots tonight after the 3rd quarter, both basically in garbage time.

Marcus saying this literally minutes after he put up a zero assist night, as the starting point guard is fucking bonkers.
I think Marcus’s comments were towards Tatum to be honest. He said both of their names but as you pointed out, Jaylen’s barely been used in the 4th quarter.

Smarts 100% correct but I really hate that he’s the messenger there.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I think Marcus’s comments were towards Tatum to be honest. He said both of their names but as you pointed out, Jaylen’s barely been used in the 4th quarter.

Smarts 100% correct but I really hate that he’s the messenger there.
I just wrote this in the game thread:

Agreed on Tatum, but tossing Jaylen under the bus is wrong. If anything, Jaylen should be the one tossing these bombs at Tatum, because right now, Jaylen is this team's best offensive player by a wide margin, and he's standing next to Marcus in the corner in crunch time, watching Tatum do Tatum things.
 

BigSoxFan

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This latest loss feels like a rookie coach type of loss. They really didn't adjust to what the Bulls were doing and it feels like Udoka is still getting a handle on the team.

Are there deeper issues? There absolutely may be and that was a painful loss to be sure. I know I am on an island here but people don't come to their first big job fully formed and I know some here don't believe that teams can "gel" but that my hope.

I don't begrudge anyone who is giving up or is sure they have no shot to do anything. The trend clearly favors those who are down on this team.
The problem that may develop here is that Ime may finally learn how to drive as the car is skidding off of the highway. They need to fight and claw their way to a .500 or so record these first 15-20 games and then hopefully settle down.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Amazing that when the game is crumbling they don't even try to run a lob or two to Timelord. Seems like something of a no-brainer since it's close to indefensible if you catch the other team napping. Pritchard to Timelord showed a nice bit of chemistry last year in that regard. I agree with the observation above that Ime is coaching these games like they're do or die playoff games. These dudes are going to be burnt toast come late January at this rate.
 

Cellar-Door

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I think Marcus’s comments were towards Tatum to be honest. He said both of their names but as you pointed out, Jaylen’s barely been used in the 4th quarter.

Smarts 100% correct but I really hate that he’s the messenger there.
COnsidering the coach went out of his way to crap on Jaylen like 2 days ago and hasn't said a word about Tatum, the vibe I'm getting is that Tatum has reached the "above accountability" level already
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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The problem that may develop here is that Ime may finally learn how to drive as the car is skidding off of the highway. They need to fight and claw their way to a .500 or so record these first 15-20 games and then hopefully settle down.
Absolutely and that is a risk. The team is playing inconsistent hoops so they may well dig a hole that is too deep to climb out of, especially with the improvements in the EC. Maybe they will become early sellers but as much as their play to date has been uninspired, they aren't quite dead yet. But they also aren't in a great position obviously.
 

Auger34

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COnsidering the coach went out of his way to crap on Jaylen like 2 days ago and hasn't said a word about Tatum, the vibe I'm getting is that Tatum has reached the "above accountability" level already
I am probably as far from being high on Romeo or Nesmith as you can get, but my hit take.

New coach badly wants to get going and is pressing. The minutes are distributed like a playoff game. It isn't like the guys he is playing are lighting the world on fire. Losing, while failing to develop guys is awful.
100%. It’s really worrisome
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Jaylen Brown is averaging 28ppg and shooting 50% from the floor. He took 2 shots tonight after the 3rd quarter, both basically in garbage time.

Marcus saying this literally minutes after he put up a zero assist night, as the starting point guard is fucking bonkers.
He said Jaylen and Tatum, but he's only really talking about Tatum. The Tatum iso shit is like pouring a fifty pound bag of sand into a small tub of Vaseline. Of course Jaylen doesn't pass the ball in late and close situations because he never knows if he'll get the damn ball back.
 

JCizzle

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COnsidering the coach went out of his way to crap on Jaylen like 2 days ago and hasn't said a word about Tatum, the vibe I'm getting is that Tatum has reached the "above accountability" level already
Same thing happened under Brad. I can't ever remember Tatum being held accountable like Jaylen has been in Boston.
 

Cellar-Door

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Same thing happened under Brad. I can't ever remember Tatum being held accountable like Jaylen has been in Boston.
Brad never publicly criticized anyone, it was his whole thing. Udoka is selling himself as the guy who holds guys accountable... except he doesn't actually seem to do it, considering Tatum and Smart have both been pretty terrible and skated. And of course the guy he never criticizes is the one guy Brad did.... the head coach.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I was sent this and it seemed worth sharing. Apologies if it's redundant:
These SSS stats are fvcking stupid. So our iso-centric scorers shouldn’t play to score with the ball? Everyone is out of rhythm to begin the year. We have our iso players not performing and a coach who wants his iso players to move the ball while not adapting to his personnel. This is quickly becoming a train wreck 7 games in.
 

Just a bit outside

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These SSS stats are fvcking stupid. So our iso-centric scorers shouldn’t play to score with the ball? Everyone is out of rhythm to begin the year. We have our iso players not performing and a coach who wants his iso players to move the ball while not adapting to his personnel. This is quickly becoming a train wreck 7 games in.
You keep saying this but Tatum and Brown combined have one season above the 50th percentile on isos. Tatum in 19-20. You also say Ime is taking away the iso but Tatum has been in iso more this year than in any previous year.
 

lexrageorge

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These SSS stats are fvcking stupid. So our iso-centric scorers shouldn’t play to score with the ball? Everyone is out of rhythm to begin the year. We have our iso players not performing and a coach who wants his iso players to move the ball while not adapting to his personnel. This is quickly becoming a train wreck 7 games in.
The problem with this team isn't excessive ball movement and insufficient iso plays.
 

reggiecleveland

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He said Jaylen and Tatum, but he's only really talking about Tatum. The Tatum iso shit is like pouring a fifty pound bag of sand into a small tub of Vaseline. Of course Jaylen doesn't pass the ball in late and close situations because he never knows if he'll get the damn ball back.
I hate that logic. the idea that tough shot for you is better than any shot your teammates can get is how you go 1-8 in the 4th Q and TL doesn't even attempt a shot.
 

lovegtm

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I am probably as far from being high on Romeo or Nesmith as you can get, but my hit take.

New coach badly wants to get going and is pressing. The minutes are distributed like a playoff game. It isn't like the guys he is playing are lighting the world on fire. Losing, while failing to develop guys is awful.
Yeah, agree with all of that. Ime is pressing hard, and I can't imagine that's good for the respect of the team.
 

HomeRunBaker

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You keep saying this but Tatum and Brown combined have one season above the 50th percentile on isos. Tatum in 19-20. You also say Ime is taking away the iso but Tatum has been in iso more this year than in any previous year.
I shouldn’t say iso only as I mean to include PNR where they have the ball and are looking to score off the dribble. They are clearly out of their comfort zone……I don’t know if it’s bc they don’t like where they are getting the ball with Smart distributing or if it’s Ime wanting more ball movement but it’s something.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The Smart quote is going to be reported as him demanding more shots, but I didn't really think that is the point he was trying to make.
 

Imbricus

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The problem with this team isn't excessive ball movement and insufficient iso plays.
Exactly. I saw the first half of game (not the second) and was impressed that Tatum came out looking to move the ball. But apparently it didn't stick.

Separately, once again, it was depressing to see NBA players easily jump up over Grant's outstretched vertical arms and loft easy shots. He's just too earthbound. Also, he's a bad shot creator.

I continue to be puzzled why Pritchard and Nesmith are getting such low minutes while Ime is pushing other guys into playoff-minute territory, as others have noted. Ime has said Nesmith has been playing too fast and out of control (I guess in practice), but at least that's high-energy, which wouldn't hurt them right now.
 

Batman Likes The Sox

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Jason, Jaylen, and Marcus have spent a lot of years together at this point. I'm glad Marcus is willing to say what he did publicly. Maybe guys are more willing to do this in the NBA now, maybe he's strategically trying to light a fire under guys who seem to need it, maybe he's just frustrated. Probably all of those things.
 

BigSoxFan

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Jason, Jaylen, and Marcus have spent a lot of years together at this point. I'm glad Marcus is willing to say what he did publicly. Maybe guys are more willing to do this in the NBA now, maybe he's strategically trying to light a fire under guys who seem to need it, maybe he's just frustrated. Probably all of those things.
I dunno. The whole “light a fire“ under someone seems so overplayed by fans. I think it’s clear that Smart is frustrated with the lack of ball movement and ISO ball by the stars but I’m not sure how voicing something in public is going to change anything, especially when it makes it easy for an attacking media to use as a distraction.

Truthfully, the only person I deem worthy of saying something like this is Horford. He’s playing well. He’s a respected veteran. He’s played with the Jay’s. But media motivation ain’t going to change anything. It begins and ends with Tatum and Brown elevating their games.
 
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COnsidering the coach went out of his way to crap on Jaylen like 2 days ago and hasn't said a word about Tatum, the vibe I'm getting is that Tatum has reached the "above accountability" level already
Agree completely on this.

Jaylen and Marcus may very well find themselves on the block during the trading deadline --- later during this season.....but Tatum ain't going nowhere.

Jason is "still" younger now then when Larry Bird was a rookie. He's going to continue to be part of any Celtics reboots.

But playing like he has and then refusing to be available to the media last night (and letting Al Horford take the arrows) raises my eyebrows. I'm just not sure how many free passes are left for JT on SOSH, in the media, and inside that franchise.
 

BaseballJones

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The hero ball by Tatum is awesome when he's draining everything, but it's way less awesome when he's bricking everything. It's kind of simple. Ball goes in, team is successful, people are happy. Ball doesn't go in, team is unsuccessful, people are unhappy.

As to WHY the ball goes in or not...interesting conversation.
 

Fishy1

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I'm still cautiously optimistic about this team, and that's mostly because of JT's play so far. Before the season, the question of the fit between the Jays was this: would one of them become a good enough playmaker to enable a symbiotic relationship? The answer thus far is no, but there have been flashes, and there's still lots of time. How many times have we seen Tatum incorporate something new into his game? Starting Schroder might alleviate some of those playmaking difficulties the team has had with Smart starting, but it won't solve them. Only Tatum making a leap we haven't seen yet would do that.

A few things going through my mind: Tatum is shooting sub 40% from the field. He's never in his career shot worse than 45%. He's taking a career high number of field goal attempts too. A big question going into the season was if he would make a leap as a playmaker. I was hoping (fruitlessly) that he would average over 5 assists, but so far he's regressed. He struggles to create the separation needed to get easy passes off, seems determined half the time to beat the double team on his own, and his dribble is still loose enough that he has to play with his head down a lot. Watching him score 20 on 22 shots is distinctly unpleasant. Brown, of course, is no better as a playmaker -- but I wasn't expecting a playmaking leap from him. He's a pure scorer and will probably never be much more than that. Yes, the team needs to run more pick and roll to find guys open shots, but it won't help unless at least one of these guys can learn to make plays. Because right now, the offense looks stupidly bad.

The other ostensible issue, of course, is that they're often surrounded by mediocre or hesitant three point shooters. However, Schroder, Richardson, and Brown and most of the bench have all had good starts from three point land. The problem has been that Smart, Horford and Tatum are all shooting sub 30%. Between the latter three, that's 19 3PA per game at sub 30% levels, or half the team's attempts. We'll see a correction there, of course, but how much? Smart is third on the team in 3PA! That seems like a bad recipe. And of course I wouldn't be surprised to see Schroder and Richardson have bad stretches too. They've both been about as he has been for their careers, although both are much better inside the arc on volume than Smart has ever been.

I wish this team would start Schroder and play Smart 25-30 minutes. He's got 17 steals in six games, which is ridiculous, but he's also been abysmal on the offensive side. He brings nothing there that Schroder doesn't, eats up possessions, and takes bad shots even on nights where he has good shooting numbers.

And then there's the defense. Jesus. The defensive effort hasn't been bad the last few nights, but there seems to be a new issue every night. Early on it was rotations, and last night I feel like they lost the game on fast break points alone. The Bull shots 57% from the field (!), and DeRozan alone shot 15 of 20. They're allowing 37% on three pointers, 24th in the league.
 

lexrageorge

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But playing like he has and then refusing to be available to the media last night (and letting Al Horford take the arrows) raises my eyebrows. I'm just not sure how many free passes are left for JT on SOSH, in the media, and inside that franchise.
Yeah, that's kind of shitty. I get that media availability is sometimes overrated. There was a game last year when Kemba came out after a loss, asked if anyone had any questions. Nobody had any, so he just said "OK, see ya later" and got up and left, clearly a bit irritated. It's a long season, and there are going to be times when it's a best for a player to skip out on the session. Paul Pierce would have benefited from staying in the locker room when he instead wore the bandage.

But, as you said, there are only so many free passes available. I'd hate for things to get ugly around Tatum, as he is the one irreplaceable player on the roster, and I would love for him to prove the "good players don't want to play here" nonsense wrong once and for all. Still plenty of time to right the ship, but still, it could get late early.
 

NomarsFool

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I think Marcus' comments were incredibly stupid. If you have a problem with how your teammate is playing, talk to your teammate in private. If that doesn't work, talk to your coach and he or she can decide whether to confront your teammate about it. Going and complaining to the media is extremely unlikely to get the outcome you are looking for, and more likely than not, going to create a very toxic atmosphere which could also result in blowing up the team.
 

mcpickl

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Jaylen Brown is averaging 28ppg and shooting 50% from the floor. He took 2 shots tonight after the 3rd quarter, both basically in garbage time.

Marcus saying this literally minutes after he put up a zero assist night, as the starting point guard is fucking bonkers.
It is very hard to get assists when you don't have the ball.

They aren't using Smart as a point guard, he's just the shortest guy starting.

He had 21 font court touches last night. Same as Rob Williams and one more than Josh Richardson, two guys who also aren't point guards.

Smart is just giving the ball to Tatum, then standing behind the three point line with everybody else while Tatum feints, fakes, dribbles, then shoots a 20 foot stepback.

Can't really get assists on those even if they go in.
 

reggiecleveland

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Jason is "still" younger now then when Larry Bird was a rookie. He's going to continue to be part of any Celtics reboots.
This is such a silly stat I keep hearing. Larry was an old Rookie (5th yerar sr) at time rookies were much older. Tatum plays in an era where players enter the NBA at a much younger era. Also By January of Larry's rookie year Rick Barry had begun his attacks on Larry in the press, because discussion had already begun as to weather he was (not top 10 guy in the league) but the best forward of all time.
 

Bleedred

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Marcus's message is either going to resonate or piss off the Js to the point of shitting on him. It will get very ugly if it's the latter, because both Js can quite reasonably argue that the 2021-2022 Marcus Smart mostly sucks as a basketball player (all heart, very little game) and for them to take shit from that version of Marcus Smart is an affront. I recognize that that is a bit of an overstatement, and hopefully they both respect Marcus enough to take that criticism and use it to fuel positive energy, but what happens if they don't? i.e. What if Tatum or Brown decide to make a comment akin to "Yeah, I love Marcus, and I heard what he said, but maybe he should look in the mirror and get real about what he can and cannot contribute at this point."

We'll see.
 

JCizzle

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Marcus's message is either going to resonate or piss off the Js to the point of shitting on him. It will get very ugly if it's the latter, because both Js can quite reasonably argue that the 2021-2022 Marcus Smart mostly sucks as a basketball player (all heart, very little game) and for them to take shit from that version of Marcus Smart is an affront. I recognize that that is a bit of an overstatement, and hopefully they both respect Marcus enough to take that criticism and use it to fuel positive energy, but what happens if they don't? i.e. What if Tatum or Brown decide to make a comment akin to "Yeah, I love Marcus, and I heard what he said, but maybe he should look in the mirror and get real about what he can and cannot contribute at this point."

We'll see.
I think Jaylen would absolutely do that, but in a competitive way in the locker room. Heck, he has done it with Marcus! Tatum is much harder to read, sometimes it just doesn't look like he cares. Kobe without the insane passion isn't Kobe.
 

Bleedred

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I think Jaylen would absolutely do that. Heck, he has done it with Marcus! Tatum is much harder to read, sometimes it just doesn't look like he cares. Kobe without the insane passion isn't Kobe.
In some ways, I'd love to see it. It would either cause a conflagration in the organization, forcing them to move Marcus or JB and Marcus for an asset, or it would have an insane positive effect after the recriminations, kissing and making up, and then channeling it positively going forward. Probably wishful thinking.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I think Jaylen would absolutely do that, but in a competitive way in the locker room. Heck, he has done it with Marcus! Tatum is much harder to read, sometimes it just doesn't look like he cares. Kobe without the insane passion isn't Kobe.
Tatum always struck me as someone who would rather look good than be good if that makes sense. He seems very concerned with image.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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In some ways, I'd love to see it. It would either cause a conflagration in the organization, forcing them to move Marcus or JB and Marcus for an asset, or it would have an insane positive effect after the recriminations, kissing and making up, and then channeling it positively going forward. Probably wishful thinking.
Much more likely to have a honeymoon effect where everyone pretends that the airing of grievances was just what they needed but when they face their next bit of adversity they'll crumble. Call it the Kyrie plane ride effect.

I think Marcus' comments were incredibly stupid. If you have a problem with how your teammate is playing, talk to your teammate in private. If that doesn't work, talk to your coach and he or she can decide whether to confront your teammate about it. Going and complaining to the media is extremely unlikely to get the outcome you are looking for, and more likely than not, going to create a very toxic atmosphere which could also result in blowing up the team.
Who knows what else he's tried before this point.