Celtics Plan, Summer 2021

benhogan

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Speaking only for myself here, I don't like the idea of Al and TL playing together at all. It's not an optimal use of resources. I just don't think that it's a Greek tragedy if it happens once in a while. Just want to clarify that.
Yea, it's probably more like if it happens every once in a while no reason to grab our pearls. As opposed to opening night last year when Tristan was guarding KD on the perimeter

Yes, I’ve been surprised at the support for 2bigs (that should be an MC name) due to what I saw as very poor results last year.
haha, I like that.

2-BIGz, I want to co-op that. where is Uncle Sprowl?
 

JM3

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Was listening to Zach Lowe podcast with Chris Herring from the other day.

ZL listed Boston as 1 of 3 teams he expects to exceed expectations. He pointed to all the bad player minutes they had to roll out last year as a big potential area of improvement.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Was listening to Zach Lowe podcast with Chris Herring from the other day.

ZL listed Boston as 1 of 3 teams he expects to exceed expectations. He pointed to all the bad player minutes they had to roll out last year as a big potential area of improvement.
I hope this media optimism doesn’t pick up steam. I’m looking forward to being bullish on the Celtics in the pre-season prop market. First time in as long as I can remember when I feel they are significantly undervalued.
 

DGreenwood

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Jared Weiss with an article on The Athletic about the Celtics using double big lineups this season. He even states that Al and TL will start a lot of games together. The article mostly focuses on how Al can help the offense playing the 4 with TL at center. No mention about how that would impact the team on defense, which I think is where the problems lie.

It's nothing too insightful. Al can spread the floor so the Jays can attack the rim, he can knock down open threes or attack closeouts when the Jays kick it back out. He's a good playmaker, even when the play breaks down and he needs to improvise.

I guess the most interesting aspect of the article is that Weiss feels that they are planning to use it a lot. I wonder if this is pure speculation or if he's hearing it from inside the organization?
 
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Imbricus

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ZL listed Boston as 1 of 3 teams he expects to exceed expectations. He pointed to all the bad player minutes they had to roll out last year as a big potential area of improvement.
Yeah, I think this is spot on. They're much more balanced, sizewise and vets vs. rookies/near rookies. My big question is how effectively their various backup lineups can generate offense.
 

128

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Jared Weiss with an article on The Athletic about the Celtics using double big lineups this season. He even states that Al and TL will start a lot of games together. The article mostly focuses on how Al can help the offense playing the 4 with TL at center. No mention about how that would impact the team on defense, which I think is where the problems lie.

It's nothing to insightful. Al can spread the floor so the Jays can attack the rim, he can knock down open threes or attack closeouts when the Jays kick it back out. He's a good playmaker, even when the play breaks down and he needs to improvise.

I guess the most interesting aspect of the article is that Weiss feels that they are planning to use it a lot. I wonder if this is pure speculation or if he's hearing it from inside the organization?
If Weiss has sources inside the organization, it's never been apparent in his reporting.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Jared Weiss with an article on The Athletic about the Celtics using double big lineups this season. He even states that Al and TL will start a lot of games together. The article mostly focuses on how Al can help the offense playing the 4 with TL at center. No mention about how that would impact the team on defense, which I think is where the problems lie.

It's nothing too insightful. Al can spread the floor so the Jays can attack the rim, he can knock down open threes or attack closeouts when the Jays kick it back out. He's a good playmaker, even when the play breaks down and he needs to improvise.

I guess the most interesting aspect of the article is that Weiss feels that they are planning to use it a lot. I wonder if this is pure speculation or if he's hearing it from inside the organization?
With all due respect to the double big supporters……I think it’s asinine to suggest the value in that lineup is so Horford can spread the floor from the 4 when any other Freakin player can spread the floor from the 4. The value in Horford’s perimeter ability is to play him as the 5 (or lone big) to force the opponents big away from the basket. Having Horford take another teams 3/4 away from the basket doesn’t accomplish anything. Horford at the 5 with something like Tatum, Jaylen, with J-Rich/Smart at the wings is where Horford’s ability to stretch the defense would be realized.
 

benhogan

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With all due respect to the double big supporters……I think it’s asinine to suggest the value in that lineup is so Horford can spread the floor from the 4 when any other Freakin player can spread the floor from the 4. The value in Horford’s perimeter ability is to play him as the 5 (or lone big) to force the opponents big away from the basket. Having Horford take another teams 3/4 away from the basket doesn’t accomplish anything. Horford at the 5 with something like Tatum, Jaylen, with J-Rich/Smart at the wings is where Horford’s ability to stretch the defense would be realized.
Yep. 2BIGz really eliminates Horford's best offensive attribute, spacing for the offense by taking the opposing BIG away from the rim/out of the lane.

Another tiny knock-on effect of pairing Tl/Al is "forcing" Kanter minutes. You're immediately opening up minutes at the 5 when Al/Rob go to the bench. Enes is much more effective if his minutes are based on match-up not need.

Horford at the 4, in limited minutes w/AB, was really efficient 3 seasons ago. BUT Al's age, the team's construction, and the game's pace have changed just enough to make it less so

I'm really scratching my head on Jared Weiss doubling down on his 2BIGz stance. Guess we should keep an open mind and see if there is something to a TL/Al experiment if IME tries it? As was mentioned up-thread I'd rather see Al/TL shrink-wrapped and their regular-season minutes used judiciously (20-24mpg).
 

Cellar-Door

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I'll note, just about every NBA person I've seen seems to think the Celtics will run double big.

I get it honestly, there are a lot of teams that aren't really set up to exploit it on defense, and the Celtics probably would like Tatum facing more 3s and Brown on 2s.

I also think saying Al's best offensive attribute is spacing is inaccurate. His best offensive attribute is he's a great passer, honestly maybe the best natural passer on this team.
 

benhogan

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agreed... +++ passing and setting moving screens on the perimeter, which leads to....

taking the BIG away from the rim

the sports/NBA media has lead many of us here for something better
 

Jimbodandy

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agreed... +++ passing and setting moving screens on the perimeter, which leads to....

taking the BIG away from the rim

the sports/NBA media has lead many of us here for something better
All of this.

Horford is a good passer and screener. So is TL. Nonsense to imply that this team NEEDS Horford's playmaking at the 4, especially with the half-decent, experienced, ballhandling smalls just added.

I'm a guy who isn't shocked or concerned at the idea of 2bigs in the right situations/matchups. There will be some nights that it makes sense. Not most nights.

Agreed especially on the last point. NBA blogosphere/twitterverse is mostly fucking garbage. That's frankly why most of us spend all too much time in here. Who gives a fuck what they're saying. These are the people STILL telling us that Kyle Kuzma is a good player.
 

Cellar-Door

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All of this.

Horford is a good passer and screener. So is TL. Nonsense to imply that this team NEEDS Horford's playmaking at the 4, especially with the half-decent, experienced, ballhandling smalls just added.

I'm a guy who isn't shocked or concerned at the idea of 2bigs in the right situations/matchups. There will be some nights that it makes sense. Not most nights.

Agreed especially on the last point. NBA blogosphere/twitterverse is mostly fucking garbage. That's frankly why most of us spend all too much time in here. Who gives a fuck what they're saying. These are the people STILL telling us that Kyle Kuzma is a good player.
They really aren't.

I get it, people don't like the two bigs lineup, but the people saying they think that's the starting lineup aren't idiots. Zach Lowe for example knows a lot and is dialed in, if he says (which he has several times) that he thinks Horford and TL will play together, I trust that a lot more than I trust anyone in here.

Edit- also I posted it somewhere in this forum, but the number of teams who use legit bigs at the 4 is pretty high currently, and many of those are guys you'd rather Al guard than Tatum. The idea that the league is just loaded with guys who are gonna destroy Al off the dribble isn't really accurate. I don't think they'll be asking Al to guard KD or Siakam 20+ Min a night. He'll be on guys like Collins and Markanen, etc. where he's a good matchup
 

radsoxfan

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They really aren't.

I get it, people don't like the two bigs lineup, but the people saying they think that's the starting lineup aren't idiots. Zach Lowe for example knows a lot and is dialed in, if he says (which he has several times) that he thinks Horford and TL will play together, I trust that a lot more than I trust anyone in here.

Edit- also I posted it somewhere in this forum, but the number of teams who use legit bigs at the 4 is pretty high currently, and many of those are guys you'd rather Al guard than Tatum. The idea that the league is just loaded with guys who are gonna destroy Al off the dribble isn't really accurate. I don't think they'll be asking Al to guard KD or Siakam 20+ Min a night. He'll be on guys like Collins and Markanen, etc. where he's a good matchup
I haven't followed along closely, but does Lowe think they will start together or play together?

I would definitely agree they will overlap some, they have to be 2 of the top 5 or 6 players on the team. No need for them to only switch off, Al in particular is a lot more versatile than that.

But consistently starting them together would seem to be a different thing, almost certainly implying they plan to go with that lineup for the first 5 or 6 minutes of each half. That might also be a reasonable move, but somewhat different than acknowledging they will sometimes overlap in their minute rotations.
 

Cellar-Door

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I haven't followed along closely, but does Lowe think they will start together or play together?

I would definitely agree they will overlap some, they have to be 2 of the top 5 or 6 players on the team. No need for them to only switch off, Al in particular is a lot more versatile than that.

But consistently starting them together would seem to be a different thing, almost certainly implying they plan to go with that lineup for the first 5 or 6 minutes of each half. That might also be a reasonable move, but somewhat different than acknowledging they will sometimes overlap in their minute rotations.
I believe he said he thought the Starting 5 would be Smart/Brown/Tatum/Horford/TL
 

Jimbodandy

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They really aren't.

I get it, people don't like the two bigs lineup, but the people saying they think that's the starting lineup aren't idiots. Zach Lowe for example knows a lot and is dialed in, if he says (which he has several times) that he thinks Horford and TL will play together, I trust that a lot more than I trust anyone in here.

Edit- also I posted it somewhere in this forum, but the number of teams who use legit bigs at the 4 is pretty high currently, and many of those are guys you'd rather Al guard than Tatum. The idea that the league is just loaded with guys who are gonna destroy Al off the dribble isn't really accurate. I don't think they'll be asking Al to guard KD or Siakam 20+ Min a night. He'll be on guys like Collins and Markanen, etc. where he's a good matchup
You can guard Markanen. But I agree that some matchups will be fought with our 2bigs. The idea that Tatum can't stay with Markanen cracks me up.
 

Cellar-Door

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You can guard Markanen. But I agree that some matchups will be fought with our 2bigs. The idea that Tatum can't stay with Markanen cracks me up.
Tatum can absolutely guard Markanen, the point was that's where you can play Horford without any concerns about foot speed, and get Tatum onto wings, which is a better use of him than bigs.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Has an NBA team ever had 2 bigs with the passing skills of TL and Horford that could actually play together?

Denver had Jokic and Plumlee, but they couldn't really play together. They had Nurkic for awhile too but he falls under the same boat. I'm not sure either of Nurkic and Plumlee is at Average Al and TL's level though.

I'm guessing it may have happened in the old days but centers passing is a rather new phenomenon. It's not as rare a skill nowadays but the 2 big lineup is a relic now.

I'm curious how it works to have one big stretching the floor and passing from the outside and another stretching the floor vertically and passing from the inside. How do you guard it?

Also, how many teams would cause the C's real problems when they go with TL and Al? I don't see it being a problem. Last year, the 2 big lineup was usually the best option despite it being an issue. This season, they have the personal to run a 1 big lineup when the 2 big lineup is an issue, and it will be the far superior option.
 

Cesar Crespo

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You can guard Markanen. But I agree that some matchups will be fought with our 2bigs. The idea that Tatum can't stay with Markanen cracks me up.
I'm a Markkanen fan but he's a guy you let beat you anyway. At least at this point in his career. If he goes 6/9 from 3 on his way to a 25 point game, so be it. That stuff happens.

He's a little younger than Jaylen Brown so there's probably not much growth left, especially beyond this summer.
 

JM3

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I think my biggest problem with 2 bigs is roster ulltilization. They have more wing depth than big depth, & Al is old & TL is fragile.

TL played a career high 19 minutes per game last year. I don't really see a world where you want them playing much more than 52 minutes or so in a game combined, so if you overlap them much more than 4 minutes, you're dealing with a lot of lineups where Kanter is your center & you're eschewing defense entirely because it's not like they have another rim protecting 4 laying around.

So you're upping Kanter's minutes significantly, while adding to the crunch for wing minutes we ran through earlier which squeezes out the PP/Nesmith/RL types even further, & could squeeze Marcus/Schröder/JRich as well.

& to what advantage? We have a # of competent passing secondary players now. Al/TL lineups may be fine on offense & fine on defense, but to the extent that at least 1 of them isn't in the floor at all times as a result, they are significantly weakening the defense over the course of 48 minutes, & I'm not sure how this helps the offense over the course of the game either.
 

Jimbodandy

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I'm a Markkanen fan but he's a guy you let beat you anyway. At least at this point in his career. If he goes 6/9 from 3 on his way to a 25 point game, so be it. That stuff happens.

He's a little younger than Jaylen Brown so there's probably not much growth left, especially beyond this summer.
I have no beef with Lauri at all, but I love the idea of matching up Tatum with him. I worry about actual bigs creating wear and tear on Tatum over the 82, but not a guy like Lauri. And I don't get why we're interested in moving Tatum down the height scale, where smaller guys get into his dribble and mess him up (his only real weakness imo).
 

gammoseditor

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I thought the reason for two bigs was to prevent wear and tear on Al. Al didn’t like playing the 5 when he was younger. The NBA has changed a lot but there are still teams you want to protect Al against in the regular season. All that goes out the window in the playoffs.
 

JakeRae

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I think my biggest problem with 2 bigs is roster ulltilization. They have more wing depth than big depth, & Al is old & TL is fragile.

TL played a career high 19 minutes per game last year. I don't really see a world where you want them playing much more than 52 minutes or so in a game combined, so if you overlap them much more than 4 minutes, you're dealing with a lot of lineups where Kanter is your center & you're eschewing defense entirely because it's not like they have another rim protecting 4 laying around.

So you're upping Kanter's minutes significantly, while adding to the crunch for wing minutes we ran through earlier which squeezes out the PP/Nesmith/RL types even further, & could squeeze Marcus/Schröder/JRich as well.

& to what advantage? We have a # of competent passing secondary players now. Al/TL lineups may be fine on offense & fine on defense, but to the extent that at least 1 of them isn't in the floor at all times as a result, they are significantly weakening the defense over the course of 48 minutes, & I'm not sure how this helps the offense over the course of the game either.
There’s nothing wrong with finding regular season minutes for Kanter. He’s a valuable regular season player who tends to struggle and get exposed in the playoffs outside a small set of matchups. He’s historically been better than everyone except Smart that you worry about him taking minutes from. (There’s reasons to want minutes for all of those players over Kanter, but those reasons relate more to player management and development than present quality.)

I’m not sure two bigs will work for Boston, but if it does, avoiding it because it would require more minutes for Kanter makes little sense.
 

CreightonGubanich

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When the Celtics play small, it's Jaylen Brown that will typically guard the other team's 4, not Tatum. I'm sure there's specific matchups where that might differ, but I think Tatum is a better wing defender, while putting Jaylen on a bigger wing hides some of his own defensive deficiencies. Put me in the camp that is doubtful we'll see significant playing time for Al and Williams together. If that was the plan, the roster construction makes no sense.
 

JM3

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There’s nothing wrong with finding regular season minutes for Kanter. He’s a valuable regular season player who tends to struggle and get exposed in the playoffs outside a small set of matchups. He’s historically been better than everyone except Smart that you worry about him taking minutes from. (There’s reasons to want minutes for all of those players over Kanter, but those reasons relate more to player management and development than present quality.)

I’m not sure two bigs will work for Boston, but if it does, avoiding it because it would require more minutes for Kanter makes little sense.
You don't need to hunt out Kanter minutes. There will be plenty when Al/TL have to rest/get injured. & he's fine against bad teams in minutes that don't matter, but why are you wearing out your fragile centers in those games anyway?

Like I know Kanter crushes such things as points/rebounds/PER, but there's a reason that no one has wanted to pay him significant $ for the past 5 years.

I just don't see any decent complimentary players floating around the Celtics roster to minimize just how bad Kanter is on defense either.
 

JM3

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I believe he said he thought the Starting 5 would be Smart/Brown/Tatum/Horford/TL
He said if he had to bet $ on it, he'd bet on Horford being the 5th starter at the 4 & their back-up center.

Didn't sound like there was any reporting or sourcing involved.
 

Cellar-Door

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I think people are underrating how many bigs are on this roster. Kanter may get minutes, but if he go with Horford/TL as starters he's one of 5 bench bigs: Hernangomez, Williams, Fernando, Kanter, Parker.
For wing bench we'd be looking at: Richardson/Nesmith/Langford
Bench guards: Pritchard/Schroder

This roster has a lot of bigs, and is honestly built to have Tatum play less 4 than last year.

If we use the old Brad Terminology of Ballhandlers, Wings, Bigs I'd say we have:
3 Ball handlers (Smart, Schroder, Pritchard)
5 wings: Tatum/Brown/Richardson/Nesmith/Langford
7 Bigs: TL. Horford, Hernangomez, Grant, KAnter, Fernando, Parker

Now 2 of those bigs could maybe be swings, but generally I'd be comfortable calling them bigs because they aren't playing the 3 outside an emergency.
 

benhogan

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I think my biggest problem with 2 bigs is roster ulltilization. They have more wing depth than big depth, & Al is old & TL is fragile.

TL played a career high 19 minutes per game last year. I don't really see a world where you want them playing much more than 52 minutes or so in a game combined, so if you overlap them much more than 4 minutes, you're dealing with a lot of lineups where Kanter is your center & you're eschewing defense entirely because it's not like they have another rim protecting 4 laying around.

So you're upping Kanter's minutes significantly, while adding to the crunch for wing minutes we ran through earlier which squeezes out the PP/Nesmith/RL types even further, & could squeeze Marcus/Schröder/JRich as well.

& to what advantage? We have a # of competent passing secondary players now. Al/TL lineups may be fine on offense & fine on defense, but to the extent that at least 1 of them isn't in the floor at all times as a result, they are significantly weakening the defense over the course of 48 minutes, & I'm not sure how this helps the offense over the course of the game either.
bingo, this is where I'm at

If Ime tag teams the 5 with TL + Horford + Kanter, the Celtics will get cusp All-Star efficiency from the Center position.

I do wish Brad added a better bench 4 than Juancho or Granite. a Kyle Andersen or Nance would have helped

Christian Wood or Jerami Grant could eventually be targeted, especially if Tatum or Brown can't handle NBA 4s


I thought the reason for two bigs was to prevent wear and tear on Al. Al didn’t like playing the 5 when he was younger. The NBA has changed a lot but there are still teams you want to protect Al against in the regular season. All that goes out the window in the playoffs.
That was one of my points 3 seasons ago, but times/Al's MPG will change. HRB and I smoke a peace pipe.

If Horford plays 20-24mpg at the 5 + load managed that should get him to the playoffs. The days of him going up against Andre Drummond are over, most of the BIG dinosaurs are making barrels of WTI

I'd also guess Al probably saw where compensation for older NBA Centers was going
 

JM3

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I actually totally forgot about Juancho. They do have big depth, but none of those guys outside Al/TL is a competent defensive player/rim protector. Bruno could be some day.
 

benhogan

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When the Celtics play small, it's Jaylen Brown that will typically guard the other team's 4, not Tatum. I'm sure there's specific matchups where that might differ, but I think Tatum is a better wing defender, while putting Jaylen on a bigger wing hides some of his own defensive deficiencies. Put me in the camp that is doubtful we'll see significant playing time for Al and Williams together. If that was the plan, the roster construction makes no sense.
agreed.

Jaylen is really the 4 not JT. Tatum is also a better peimeter defender, esp. on ballhandlers. They are switchy but I'd expect JB to be assigned to guarding Giannis or AD (and larger 4s)
 

HomeRunBaker

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I believe he said he thought the Starting 5 would be Smart/Brown/Tatum/Horford/TL
*Head spins*

Well if this does happen we’ll quickly forget all the past issues of poor roster/lineup balance and the Nesmith thread will be blowing up with DNP-CD’s.
 

Euclis20

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Has an NBA team ever had 2 bigs with the passing skills of TL and Horford that could actually play together?
Without thinking about it too hard, one team that immediately comes to mind are the early 2000s Kings that started both Webber and Divac, both pretty good passers. Worked out pretty well, but obviously different era.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Without thinking about it too hard, one team that immediately comes to mind are the early 2000s Kings that started both Webber and Divac, both pretty good passers. Worked out pretty well, but obviously different era.
Are we seriously comparing Robert Williams passing skills and his 128 career assists to arguably the two best passing bigs to have ever played the game? God, I love this board!
 

JakeRae

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You don't need to hunt out Kanter minutes. There will be plenty when Al/TL have to rest/get injured. & he's fine against bad teams in minutes that don't matter, but why are you wearing out your fragile centers in those games anyway?

Like I know Kanter crushes such things as points/rebounds/PER, but there's a reason that no one has wanted to pay him significant $ for the past 5 years.

I just don't see any decent complimentary players floating around the Celtics roster to minimize just how bad Kanter is on defense either.
I wasn’t advocating hunting minutes for Kanter. I’m just also not advocating hunting minutes for Schroder and Richardson. I think the main point you’re missing that I was making is that Kanter isn’t actually that terrible defensively in the regular season. He’s improved enough that he is passable. That falls apart in the playoffs when he is hunted and exposed, but he’s not a regular season problem. I do hope we can relocate Miami Richardson or that at least one of our young perimeter trio takes a leap forward so that we might end up in a position where Horford isn’t our 5th best player, but right now he likely is and therefore we should all be prepared for the Celtics to see if he and Timelord can play together.
 

Euclis20

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Are we seriously comparing Robert Williams passing skills and his 128 career assists to arguably the two best passing bigs to have ever played the game? God, I love this board!
No. TL isn't in their league (honestly I don't think that Horford is either). I had taken the question to be, "name an NBA team that had two good passing bigs that could play together." That happened to be the first one that came to mind in recent history.
 

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Are we seriously comparing Robert Williams passing skills and his 128 career assists to arguably the two best passing bigs to have ever played the game? God, I love this board!
You can have Chris Webber. I'll take Bill Walton.
 

HomeRunBaker

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That's great, but I wonder how they're going to do this without having lines backing up into Quincy.
The same way many arenas/stadiums are currently doing this. I know I sound like Cosmo Kramer when saying this but….I don’t know how they do it, do you? No, but they do it.