Celtics hire Ime Udoka as HC

HomeRunBaker

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Last year Tatum had a TS of 60% in crunch time, 51% for Jaylen. He’s a much better option late in games, but they need to be more creative than iso every time.
Yes I agree with this and don’t think it’s close. Tatum is a better shot creator against end of game defense by a wide margin. His ability to rise for a jumper or fadeaway is elite. The most important part of a final game possession is the ability to get a shot off.

I recall vividly the complaints about Pierce’s elbow jumper but he got it off nearly 100% of the time. The following year we had multiple games in a row when we couldn’t even get a shot off prior to the shot clock in the final minute.
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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This is pretty much where I am. I have disagreed with some of Ime's rotations but I'll allow that he's in the tinkering phase so you have to discount some of this. My larger concern is that he was basically brought in for one reason and one reason only - to get Tatum/Brown to play focused, team-oriented basketball. When they do, we generally win. When they don't, we generally lose. It's an oversimplification but it's pretty much the reality we're dealing with. Everything else (Smart, TL, playing the young'ns) is almost immaterial. We need a coach who'll get the Jay's bought in and engaged. So often, they look disengaged, which is the most worrying part.

I don't think anyone is really drawing any firm conclusions but people are, in my mind, rightfully showing concern about the direction given that we went through an entire year of this last year. We'll know a lot more in a couple months, which will conveniently be when PBS has more flexibility to make moves.

If things stay bad, he has to consider a major shakeup that involves Smart, Jaylen, etc. The other thing is that if Jaylen's knee remains problematic, then none of this really matters anyways because that'll be game, set, match on the season. We cannot afford any issues there and I'm already very concerned by it.
Even were Ime a miracle worker, if people believe (as I think many posting here do) that there were some bad habits formed around effort in the past, it would take some time for Ime to correct them. Habits are hard to break.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Brown responds to Ukoda's "mind boggling" comment.

https://www.celticsblog.com/2021/10/29/22753356/jaylen-brown-ime-udoka-find-common-ground-on-post-game-criticism-celtics-boston-nba-wizards

The Udoka quote that made headlines led to a meeting between the pair on Thursday, during which Brown expressed the comment didn’t bother him. The team bounced back with a good practice on Friday and showed some of the most film they had all year with heavy dialogue about issues from the Wizards loss ahead of Saturday’s rematch.

“It’s mind-boggling to me too,” Brown said. “I was surprised that my body didn’t respond the way it normally responds. I’m not able to have that zip, that pop flying up and down the court. It just wasn’t there. I think that was obvious. I don’t think he was out of line or anything for that, so I gotta be better. I gotta get with our medical staff and figure how to get my body to the point where I recognize it where I feel normal. Like some days I feel fantastic, and then it’s like 2-3 days it takes my body too long to get back to feeling fantastic again and that’s an issue for me.”
 

Van Everyman

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”So what’s Tatum and Smart’s excuse?!?
I’ll say this again: I have a hard time getting worked up after 5 games. They have a new coach, a bunch of new guys that the new coach seems committed to playing (sans Nesmith so far), and a new defensive of philosophy, as well as a new effort to get our young star to pass more. And yeah, COVID.

If after 30-40 games we are seeing inconsistent efforts against teams they should be beating, sure, we can get really upset. I just don’t don’t see cause for it yet at all.

Hopefully they will handle the Wiz in DC tomorrow. If not, I’m sure everyone here will still be very levelheaded and rational.
 

JM3

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I think the issue is more big picture schematics/approach than the day-to-day results.

But yes, hopefully they will just win every game & this will all be moot.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Hopefully they will handle the Wiz in DC tomorrow. If not, I’m sure everyone here will still be very levelheaded and rational.
I mentioned in one of these threads yesterday that this game is our litmus test. There are no excuses. We lost to this team a couple nights ago, have had two days off to stew while the Wizards played and won another game. We are catching them in a comfort stop with an abnormal start time for the home team. We “should” destroy them. I’m literally betting on it. It’s a classic NBA spot that good teams generally take advantage of in this league. If they don’t, well………
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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"I was surprised that my body didn’t respond the way it normally responds. I’m not able to have that zip, that pop flying up and down the court. It just wasn’t there. I think that was obvious. I don’t think he was out of line or anything for that, so I gotta be better. I gotta get with our medical staff and figure how to get my body to the point where I recognize it where I feel normal. Like some days I feel fantastic, and then it’s like 2-3 days it takes my body too long to get back to feeling fantastic again and that’s an issue for me.
This makes sense to me because JB didn't look right at all (I think I mentioned that after the game) but I have to wonder if there will ever be a time where players are honest with their coaches/trainers when they don't feel 100%. I know the tradition is to gut through everything but aren't we going beyond that with sports science?
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I mentioned in one of these threads yesterday that this game is our litmus test. There are no excuses. We lost to this team a couple nights ago, have had two days off to stew while the Wizards played and won another game. We are catching them in a comfort stop with an abnormal start time for the home team. We “should” destroy them. I’m literally betting on it. It’s a classic NBA spot that good teams generally take advantage of in this league. If they don’t, well………
Its an October game vs the Wizards. They could lose and it would not eliminate them from winning the championship in June. I don't need to qualify that statement one bit.

Also, there is a significant possibility that these rosters may have quite a bit of overlap before the year is out. Does the momentous nature of this contest carry over if players change rosters?

Your gambling account is a different story and this may be the most important regular season game ever. But just for you and your fellow Cs wagerers.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Its an October game vs the Wizards. They could lose and it would not eliminate them from winning the championship in June. I don't need to qualify that statement one bit.

Also, there is a significant possibility that these rosters may have quite a bit of overlap before the year is out. Does the momentous nature of this contest carry over if players change rosters?

Your gambling account is a different story and this may be the most important regular season game ever. But just for you and your fellow Cs wagerers.
To be clear…..you don’t feel that tomorrow’s situational game carries any extra significance to this team moving forward? I understand that it is one of 82…..but there are certain games during the course of the season when a team does or doesn’t respond that tells you something about them as a group.
 

jon abbey

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To be clear…..you don’t feel that tomorrow’s situational game carries any extra significance to this team moving forward? I understand that it is one of 82…..but there are certain games during the course of the season when a team does or doesn’t respond that tells you something about them as a group.
Maybe but those games are never in October.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Maybe but those games are never in October.
Why not? It’s one game for sure. It’s facing a team coming back from a travel game, we are rested and coming off a loss. Winning by 20 or losing by 20 in any individual regular season game means nothing as they happen……my point is that Ime should have his team ready to respond as there is difference from a typical regular season game. There “should” be some sense of urgency to right this ship.
 

jon abbey

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Why not? It’s one game for sure. It’s facing a team coming back from a travel game, we are rested and coming off a loss. Winning by 20 or losing by 20 in any individual regular season game means nothing as they happen……my point is that Ime should have his team ready to respond as there is difference from a typical regular season game. There “should” be some sense of urgency to right this ship.
Sure, but either way, it’s still just game 6. Anyone thinking about last year’s Knicks remembers them as an overachieving hard-working #4 seed at 41-31 but they were 9-13 on Feb 1.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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To be clear…..you don’t feel that tomorrow’s situational game carries any extra significance to this team moving forward? I understand that it is one of 82…..but there are certain games during the course of the season when a team does or doesn’t respond that tells you something about them as a group.
This team may be radically different in composition by as soon as late December. A late October two game losing streak to the Wizards is almost certain to be effectively inconsequential anyway but if the Cs end up with a reworked rotation by mid-season or they simply have a much different rotation by the spring - recall we were all contorting to see why Javonte Green was getting good run this point last season - its hard to see how organizational milestones really matter.

Maybe I am failing to see the gravity of a Saturday afternoon in late October contest but its hard to see it characterized with so much drama. To be clear, I am now a bit more interested in the game so maybe your hype is working.

Its worth noting that Milwaukee started slow last season too. This isn't to suggest that Boston has anything close to the Bucks talent but it does illustrate that early season struggles don't have to be fatal. Also, given that the majority of this board was around to know what 19-8, 28-3 and 35-14 means, I'd like to think we don't panic so easily. I am clearly mistaken.
 

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Its just a game in October, but the lack of effort and focus called out by Coach U, and noted in game threads, has become an issue, and if they come out flat and disinterested and lose ugly there will be repercussions and fingers will be pointed. So this game has more juice than just another game in October.
I hope they play well and get a W. If they play well and get an L, we'll survive. The key is for this team to get its collective head out of its ass ASAP and play to potential.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Sure, but either way, it’s still just game 6. Anyone thinking about last year’s Knicks remembers them as an overachieving hard-working #4 seed at 41-31 but they were 9-13 on Feb 1.
Isn’t that a one-off? I’m guessing that most 9-13 teams on Feb 1st we’re not very good at the end of the season. I didn’t look so maybe they were though.
 

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As an aside, while I get that Al has missed a couple of games and there have been other health issues (Romeo and Jaylen) but Coach U's selective division of minutes and his seemingly icing some players, has a KC Jones feel to it, and I'm not at all sure this team succeeds relying on 7-8 guys. They aren't the '86 Celts.
 

jon abbey

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Isn’t that a one-off? I’m guessing that most 9-13 teams on Feb 1st we’re not very good at the end of the season. I didn’t look so maybe they were though.
Probably but here we’d be talking 2-4 if they lose, 76 games left to just 50 in the Knicks example (72 game season).
 

HomeRunBaker

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Probably but here we’d be talking 2-4 if they lose, 76 games left to just 50 in the Knicks example (72 game season).
I understand all of this. You generally get an initial bump from a fresh voice with a coaching change. Instead, we are seeing even more lethargy. It’s not the end of the season but it has to be concerning when a new voice doesn’t work.
 

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Last year was an anomaly. a lot of teams played deep into the bubble in the '19-20 season, had very little time off, injuries decimated several bubble teams, and not surprsingly several under-performed their predicted wins totals in '20-21. And W/L are a zero sum game.
 

benhogan

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I'm not sure which is worse:

the 5-1 Wizards will have Brad Beal start recruiting Tatum :eek:

or

we are aspiring to be like the NY Knicks?

fukn Kyrie and that incense
 

lovegtm

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Yes I agree with this and don’t think it’s close. Tatum is a better shot creator against end of game defense by a wide margin. His ability to rise for a jumper or fadeaway is elite. The most important part of a final game possession is the ability to get a shot off.

I recall vividly the complaints about Pierce’s elbow jumper but he got it off nearly 100% of the time. The following year we had multiple games in a row when we couldn’t even get a shot off prior to the shot clock in the final minute.
I think people often forget how insanely hard it is to even get off a reasonable shot against good NBA defenders in iso. Even in the best league in the world, there aren't many guys who can do it, and there are big differences between the ones who can.

(This is assuming you want to iso for final possessions, which has been rehashed here many times, and I think is clearly what you want to do.)
 

lexrageorge

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I'd be less concerned with the actual W/L result of today's game. What we should want to see is the team play inspired basketball for the full 48 minutes. While the Wizards were not expected to be good, they are still NBA players, so I'm not going to hang up on the season if the Celtics lose 102-101. If the team's play is a repeat the Toronto game, I start to get mildly concerned that something is more fundamentally broken.
 

Jimbodandy

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I'd be less concerned with the actual W/L result of today's game. What we should want to see is the team play inspired basketball for the full 48 minutes. While the Wizards were not expected to be good, they are still NBA players, so I'm not going to hang up on the season if the Celtics lose 102-101. If the team's play is a repeat the Toronto game, I start to get mildly concerned that something is more fundamentally broken.
Might be 102-101 at the end of the third quarter.
 

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As an aside, while I get that Al has missed a couple of games and there have been other health issues (Romeo and Jaylen) but Coach U's selective division of minutes and his seemingly icing some players, has a KC Jones feel to it, and I'm not at all sure this team succeeds relying on 7-8 guys. They aren't the '86 Celts.
I don't really see that. Pritchard has been healthy scratched once, Nesmith twice, Parker and Juancho three times, Kanter 4 times, Fernando every game. That doesn't seem unusual for the back 6 of a 15 man roster.
 

bankshot1

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I don't really see that. Pritchard has been healthy scratched once, Nesmith twice, Parker and Juancho three times, Kanter 4 times, Fernando every game. That doesn't seem unusual for the back 6 of a 15 man roster.
I see a concentration in minutes in the first 5 games that I did not expect and may be problematic on a couple of fronts further into the season. I expected more PT from Nesmith, PP (and Romeo but he's hurt) and I understand Enes limitation but seeing that AL missed 2 of the 5, he's hardly seen the floor. Its way early, and I assume we have more juggling ahead of us, but Ime seems to have a 7-8 man rotation in mind.
 

Fishy1

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Agreed. The starters have been playing a ton, especially because of the overtimes, but I wasn't so surprised to see Pritchard or Nesmith get buried as I was to see TL playing more than 30 MPG.

I am baffled by what the plan is for the wing minutes. I know he hasn't looked great so far, but what the hell is going on with Josh Richardson? He has started almost every game he's played in going back to his second year in Miami, but is averaging just 17.5 minutes right now and 4 FGA. Meanwhile Smart is averaging 9.5 and shooting like he's wearing a blindfold and mittens. I wonder what Udoka is going to do to get Richardson going.

Starting him next to Schroder still seems like the smart move to me, and moving one of TL and Horford to the bench. I'm fine with starting Horford and TL together, but it also seems like a misuse of resources given that Kanter is such a sieve on defense and seems unlikely to break into the rotation right now.

Smart could see his minutes cut, and I hope they are. I do like what he offers, but I wish he would managed like Tony Allen was in Memphis. His best role is playing 25-30 minutes, balls to the wall on defense. Forcing the guy to play 35+ a night seems shortsighted, bad for Smart and bad for the offense, especially since we've got two guys in Schroder and Richardson who can be primary or secondary ballhandlers/scorers, respectively, next to the Jays. It's a frustrating misuse of resources, and I can't think of a reason for it other than to placate Smart, who's a forceful personality, just signed a big extension, and can be volatile . That's not to say I'm sure that's what's going on -- I hope it isn't.

Getting Pritchard and Nesmith out there for shooting... I'm sympathetic to that, but those guys are extremely limited on defense right now, even if they play hard. They'll get a chance, obviously, at some point this season.
 

Van Everyman

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I understand all of this. You generally get an initial bump from a fresh voice with a coaching change. Instead, we are seeing even more lethargy. It’s not the end of the season but it has to be concerning when a new voice doesn’t work.
I just totally disagree with this. This isn’t Joe Morgan showing up to turn the team around mid season for the August stretch run. Udoka is instituting big changes to the offensive and defensive system and rotation. Guys are getting over COVID. I know you’re just spitballing. But I mean, maybe give it maybe more than two weeks before concluding the “new voice doesn’t work.”
 

leetinsley38

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I like Ime and am optimistic but this guy is *really* coming pretty strong out of the gates. Quote from tonight’s game that could rub pro athletes the wrong way:
I’m understanding of the habits that some of us have, tendencies we want to break,” Udoka said. “I’ll just continue to address those. It’s like parenting to some extent. They’re not gonna just listen to you the first time. Some things have to be broken.
It’s not Mike Singletary dropping his pants at halftime of his first game. Feels more coordinated with backing from Brad and Wyc. Hopefully the kids respond to the “hard coaching”.
 

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I was unimpressed with the ATOs as always, but.... anything but horrific 3pt luck on uncontested shots and we win easily, significantly outplayed them in regulation, and riding Richardson for a lot of bench minutes when he was playing well was good (also, used Kanter correctly).
 

HomeRunBaker

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I like Ime and am optimistic but this guy is *really* coming pretty strong out of the gates. Quote from tonight’s game that could rub pro athletes the wrong way:

It’s not Mike Singletary dropping his pants at halftime of his first game. Feels more coordinated with backing from Brad and Wyc. Hopefully the kids respond to the “hard coaching”.
I’m having David Fisdale flashbacks here with all these comments. “Hard coaching” is great for college kids…..you need to have a certain flair (somehow Thibs makes it work short term) but it wouldn’t shock me to see Tatum or Jaylen do to Ime as Marc Gasol did to Fisdale in Memphis. It’s a players league. Not sure Ime gets that.
 

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I’m having David Fisdale flashbacks here with all these comments. “Hard coaching” is great for college kids…..you need to have a certain flair (somehow Thibs makes it work short term) but it wouldn’t shock me to see Tatum or Jaylen do to Ime as Marc Gasol did to Fisdale in Memphis. It’s a players league. Not sure Ime gets that.
Still wondering how many more things need to be shuffled around Tatum and Brown before people realize that they're not a winning core to build around.
 

Cellar-Door

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Still wondering how many more things need to be shuffled around Tatum and Brown before people realize that they're not a winning core to build around.
A lot. They're younger than any core I can think of, and what's been around them has been.... not that great, the last 2 years.
People get way out in front on Tatum/Brown because they went to ECFs a few times when they were in their first few years. Title teams aren't usually built around under 25 guys.

Edit- closest in Curry who was 26 the first title year. I mean look at OKC, they had a guy who is gonna make a run at top 15 all time, and 2 other in their prime MVP type guys... never got there. Young guys rarely win titles.
 

Marbleheader

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Part of it is Smart, he's been a constant as well. I think Smart is a losing player that does 3 negative things for every positive. I don't know what Jaylen's value is around the league, but I'm guessing it's probably at a low from what it was the past few years. I don't want to sell low on him, but if he's better by the deadline and they can package Jaylen and Smart for a player that compliments Tatum better, I'd do it.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Still wondering how many more things need to be shuffled around Tatum and Brown before people realize that they're not a winning core to build around.
I think they can be a winning core bc they are both still so young by NBA winning standards. I just think that to get to the level we want they aren’t the best fit together.
 

ifmanis5

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Ime's first official situation is being picked up league-wide. Let's see how he handles this.
View: https://twitter.com/TheSteinLine/status/1455374398039461889

It would appear that the Celtics' Ime Udoka, seven games into his NBA head coaching career, is facing his first serious storm after Marcus Smart, among many observations in this thread, says of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown: "They don't want to pass the ball."
 

leetinsley38

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I think it’s fair to say the Ime era is not off to a great start.
Agreed it may end up being Smart that is the one to go (even if he is right).
 

lovegtm

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Marcus was everything right with this team his whole career through the bubble (where he was really good), and has been everything wrong with it since then. I'm not sure what happened (age probably?), but he wasn't himself defensively last year, and that's carried on through.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Marcus was everything right with this team his whole career through the bubble (where he was really good), and has been everything wrong with it since then. I'm not sure what happened (age probably?), but he wasn't himself defensively last year, and that's carried on through.
SSS caveat aside Smart is top four in steals per game and top ten in deflections. Again, tiny number of minutes but his defense isn't the issue. To bring it back to the topic overall, this team just feels disjointed. Smart included and his public comment isn't likely to help. It will be interesting to see how Udoka navigates this whole situation.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I'm bringing this comment from @DeJesus Built My Hotrod over from the other thread to comment on it here.
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.
Karalis had an interesting point about a philosophical difference between Stevens and Udoka. It might be too soon to say he is right about this, but it is worth considering.

https://www.bostonsportsjournal.com/2021/11/02/karalis-nothing-change-celtics-until-emotions-in-check

Brad Stevens seemed to approach the team by working with guys’ strengths and figuring out how to best accentuate them. Udoka seems to say ‘it’s great that you can do these things, but we need you to do less of that and more of this.’

If this is like parenting, then Udoka is the new stepdad throwing the candy bars out and stocking the fridge with kale. Even if everyone can agree it’s better to eat the kale ... I mean, yuck, right?
It has been long-reported that this was how Stevens coached - the first player I remember mentioning it was Jae Crowder, not that long after he first came to the C's and broke out.
 

Apisith

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https://www.dice.hhu.de/fileadmin/redaktion/Fakultaeten/Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche_Fakultaet/DICE/Discussion_Paper/368_Fischer_Reade_Schmal.pdf

I’ll link this here. Football requires a similar level of fitness to basketball so this study is relevant.

‘Relative to their pre- infection outcomes, infected players’ performance temporarily drops by more than 6%. Over half a year later, it is still around 5% lower. The negative effects appear to have notable spillovers on team performance.’

TLDR: covid sucks and it’s highly likely that there are going to be some long term effects. It’s most probably what’s affecting Tatum and Brown.
 

Auger34

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I think they can be a winning core bc they are both still so young by NBA winning standards. I just think that to get to the level we want they aren’t the best fit together.
Someone pointed this out in another thread but it seems like Udoka has criticisms for everyone but himself. That’s a big problem. I think players like accountability but when it seems more like finger pointing that’s when they check out.
 

Captaincoop

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https://www.dice.hhu.de/fileadmin/redaktion/Fakultaeten/Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche_Fakultaet/DICE/Discussion_Paper/368_Fischer_Reade_Schmal.pdf

I’ll link this here. Football requires a similar level of fitness to basketball so this study is relevant.

‘Relative to their pre- infection outcomes, infected players’ performance temporarily drops by more than 6%. Over half a year later, it is still around 5% lower. The negative effects appear to have notable spillovers on team performance.’

TLDR: covid sucks and it’s highly likely that there are going to be some long term effects. It’s most probably what’s affecting Tatum and Brown.
Yeah, that's probably it.
 

lexrageorge

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Given that Tatum dropped over 50 multiple times late last season, I highly doubt his performance is at all CoVid-related.
 

Devizier

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Someone pointed this out in another thread but it seems like Udoka has criticisms for everyone but himself. That’s a big problem. I think players like accountability but when it seems more like finger pointing that’s when they check out.
I am getting strong Bobby Valentine vibes from Udoka.
 

Auger34

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I am getting strong Bobby Valentine vibes from Udoka.
I wouldn’t go that far but even last nights presser, he identifies the time when the Celtics lost as the end of the 3rd quarter. And of course he mentions how he saw it at the time and told them in the huddle to keep their foot on the gas.

In isolation nothing he says looks too bad but when you look through all the public statements there’s a pretty clear thread of Udoka easily diagnosing what is wrong and knowing what’s going on but the players not being capable. It’s just not a great look
 

joe dokes

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I'm bringing this comment from @DeJesus Built My Hotrod over from the other thread to comment on it here.
Karalis had an interesting point about a philosophical difference between Stevens and Udoka. It might be too soon to say he is right about this, but it is worth considering.

https://www.bostonsportsjournal.com/2021/11/02/karalis-nothing-change-celtics-until-emotions-in-check

It has been long-reported that this was how Stevens coached - the first player I remember mentioning it was Jae Crowder, not that long after he first came to the C's and broke out.
With a limited player like Crowder, playing to his strengths like that is the right approach. But with players who have superior skills, trying to get them to use more of them also seems appropriate. I dont know how he's saying it privately, but if "I think you can do more with what you've got" is seen as a negative approach, then there really is no hope for a Tatum/Brown led team. My observations are only that, but I tend to agree with Smart -- especially as it relates to Tatum -- he doesn't seem to like passing any more than Kevin McHale did.
 

leetinsley38

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 24, 2005
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SF Bay Area
I am getting strong Bobby Valentine vibes from Udoka.
He kind of lost me when he publicly criticized Jaylen’s energy level *right when he returned from Covid*.
And Jaylen basically said “yeah he’s right, my energy level is inconsistent - Covid sucks and I’m working with the medical staff on it”.
So Ime played a major card (you can’t call out the efforts of your stars too often) but his point was completely invalidated. Not sure what the effect was besides Ime losing credibility.
And seems now we have a culture of guys calling each other out by name to the press...