Celtics vs 76ers, Round 2 Discussion

Cellar-Door

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Anyone else see this? It caught me by surprise. I don't like the way he calls a game either but it has worked out in the Celtics favor this year.

View: https://twitter.com/HoopsGraphic/status/1654545871902769152

Scott Foster is officiating tonight's Celtics vs. Sixers game. The Celtics are 13-0 in games Scott Foster officiated. The Sixers are 1-9 in games Scott Foster officiated
It's fake, from a labeled parody account. Surprisingly not everything on Twitter is true
 

jablo1312

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the celtics absolutely did not play their best game, especially from the middle of the 3rd to the middle of the 4th. still got the win. feel good about that today and hope they play better tomorrow.
 

lovegtm

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I still have no idea how Grant didn't break his nose and get concussed. The human body is a strange and resilient thing.
 

lovegtm

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the celtics absolutely did not play their best game, especially from the middle of the 3rd to the middle of the 4th. still got the win. feel good about that today and hope they play better tomorrow.
I'm uncomfortable with "X team didn't play its best but won; just wait until it plays its best!" logic in the playoffs because

a) playing your best for 48 minutes is really, really hard; that's why it's your best

b) there is an opposing group of 8-10 huge, athletic, motivated, freakishly skilled humans supported by a team of highly paid consultants. For 2 weeks, that group's life revolves entirely around getting your team to NOT play its best.

The playoffs are much more about adapting and problem solving in suboptimal conditions than they are about hitting an ideal "best". I think this has hurt past regular season juggernauts like Milwaukee that focused on consistently hitting their ideal in 82-game conditions.
 

Kliq

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I'm uncomfortable with "X team didn't play its best but won; just wait until it plays its best!" logic in the playoffs because

a) playing your best for 48 minutes is really, really hard; that's why it's your best

b) there is an opposing group of 8-10 huge, athletic, motivated, freakishly skilled humans supported by a team of highly paid consultants. For 2 weeks, that group's life revolves entirely around getting your team to NOT play its best.

The playoffs are much more about adapting and problem solving in suboptimal conditions than they are about hitting an ideal "best". I think this has hurt past regular season juggernauts like Milwaukee that focused on consistently hitting their ideal in 82-game conditions.
This is a good description of playoff basketball. We get hung up on poor stretches and losses because it feels like the Celtics are the most talented team. But the gap between teams in the playoffs is very small, there a lot of variables that can swing a game, and so much of the game now is reliant on role players shooting well on a given night.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I'm uncomfortable with "X team didn't play its best but won; just wait until it plays its best!" logic in the playoffs because

a) playing your best for 48 minutes is really, really hard; that's why it's your best

b) there is an opposing group of 8-10 huge, athletic, motivated, freakishly skilled humans supported by a team of highly paid consultants. For 2 weeks, that group's life revolves entirely around getting your team to NOT play its best.

The playoffs are much more about adapting and problem solving in suboptimal conditions than they are about hitting an ideal "best". I think this has hurt past regular season juggernauts like Milwaukee that focused on consistently hitting their ideal in 82-game conditions.
Very well stated.
 

Eddie Jurak

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NBA playoff series usually end with the better team winning, but there's a reason they are best-of-7, and not 3 or 5.
More tickets to sell?
I still have no idea how Grant didn't break his nose and get concussed. The human body is a strange and resilient thing.
View: https://twitter.com/dangercart/status/1654950871392976896?s=20

Ryan Bernardoni: Grant got his head squished like Oberyn Martell and isn’t even on the injury report
 

bigq

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Reported it is a bruise and he could have come back in if needed.
Thanks for that. Here is some additional information.

https://www.boston.com/sports/boston-celtics/2023/05/06/celtics-76ers-game-4-injury-report-robert-williams-status-right-arm-contusion-update/?p1=hp_featurestack

He was initially afraid it was a more severe injury.
“It felt like [pressure] on the muscle, it felt like a tear,” Williams told reporters Saturday.
As you said he was available to return in the game and he is not on the injury list for today's game.
 

lovegtm

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What are people's predictions for today? I feel bad about this one, and I'm not sure whether it's just emotional hedging.

Maybe it's that I'm worried the Cs will relax now that they took one in Philly, and I also worry Harden will find some pride and dig deep for a game.
 

koufax32

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What are people's predictions for today? I feel bad about this one, and I'm not sure whether it's just emotional hedging.

Maybe it's that I'm worried the Cs will relax now that they took one in Philly, and I also worry Harden will find some pride and dig deep for a game.
The Harden rumors are a good sign. I feel like a win today makes PHI effectively give up like Brooklyn last year. Of course, that comes back to whether or not this is a team (BOS) who acts like a shark when there’s blood in the water. If they were, I’d say here comes a 20+ point win. Since they’re not, I’ll say another 6-8 point style win.

But just in case they do stumble into finding the killer instinct:
64480
 

Euclis20

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What are people's predictions for today? I feel bad about this one, and I'm not sure whether it's just emotional hedging.

Maybe it's that I'm worried the Cs will relax now that they took one in Philly, and I also worry Harden will find some pride and dig deep for a game.
The Celtics are deeper, healthier, somehow both younger and more experienced, they have home court back, and they simply match up better. All that seems fairly straightforward, and I'm still not optimistic about today. This current Boston team bounces back incredibly well but is allergic to prosperity. Dating back to just after the Nets sweep last year, they've played 29 playoff games and unless I'm missing something, their longest winning streak over that stretch (more than 1/3 of a full season) is just two games. They'll relax today and win game 5, then I hope to put the hammer down to avoid a game 7 against Embiid.
 

benhogan

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What are people's predictions for today? I feel bad about this one, and I'm not sure whether it's just emotional hedging.

Maybe it's that I'm worried the Cs will relax now that they took one in Philly, and I also worry Harden will find some pride and dig deep for a game.
Embiid gets frustrated with the lack of help, exhausted with 3 games in 5 days and somewhat quits...
 

Justthetippett

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What are people's predictions for today? I feel bad about this one, and I'm not sure whether it's just emotional hedging.

Maybe it's that I'm worried the Cs will relax now that they took one in Philly, and I also worry Harden will find some pride and dig deep for a game.
I feel good. Doc will not have anything all that creative. Embiid looks gassed. Harden and the rest don't have enough. Maybe a big Al or White game. I know they hate prosperity but I think G1 got a lot out of their system.
 

Humphrey

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Embiid gets frustrated with the lack of help, exhausted with 3 games in 5 days and somewhat quits...
Because Tommy Heinsohn's not around to do it, every time the Celts get a bit lazy today, scream RUN or PUSH IT UP at your tv; I guarantee they can wear Embiid out.
 

teddykgb

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It’s really a question of Harden. If he’s decent both of the last two are much much closer. If he continues to miss everything we’d have a hard time not taking this. I can’t see him continuing to be this bad so I guess I think it’s a real battle today
 

DGreenwood

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Celtics win today or else this goes to game seven. Past performance would indicate a let up loss today, but I think they are evolving and will demonstrate the “step on the throat” mentality that a champion needs. JB is the key to that. I think they are realizing that opposing teams can game plan for Tatum or game plan for Brown but you can’t stop both.
 

Euclis20

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3rd time in the playoffs Boston has lost on a last second 3 by the opposing team.

That was hilarious at the end how they talked about how Mazzulla liked to save his timeouts down the stretch, which would give him options at the end of the game. 18 seconds and 2 timeouts, and they don't even get a shot off. Pretty sure Budenholzer was just fired for this sort of garbage.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Celtics win today or else this goes to game seven. Past performance would indicate a let up loss today, but I think they are evolving and will demonstrate the “step on the throat” mentality that a champion needs. JB is the key to that. I think they are realizing that opposing teams can game plan for Tatum or game plan for Brown but you can’t stop both.
Welp
 

Cellar-Door

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3rd time in the playoffs Boston has lost on a last second 3 by the opposing team.

That was hilarious at the end how they talked about how Mazzulla liked to save his timeouts down the stretch, which would give him options at the end of the game. 18 seconds and 2 timeouts, and they don't even get a shot off. Pretty sure Budenholzer was just fired for this sort of garbage.
No, Bud had 4 seconds left so they didn't even get the ball up court. This was fine, they got upcourt on a team that had it's 2 worst defenders in, they got the ball to Tatum on a bad defender, he just didn't execute. Not sure what magic play people want that's better than Tatum driving on Harden with a wide open shooter to pass to.
 

Rook05

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Honestly it’s just fucking stubborn at this point. Jaylen touched the ball, what, once all OT.
Call a fucking time out.
 

Ed Hillel

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Lol guys we could Thriller Red Aurbach back to life and these players would still make the same mistakes.
 

Devizier

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Dude has a philosophy, I can’t say I hate it. But if you weee going to deviate from it, the playoffs would be the time.
 

Euclis20

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No, Bud had 4 seconds left so they didn't even get the ball up court. This was fine, they got upcourt on a team that had it's 2 worst defenders in, they got the ball to Tatum on a bad defender, he just didn't execute. Not sure what magic play people want that's better than Tatum driving on Harden with a wide open shooter to pass to.
I want them to go faster! 19 seconds and two timeouts down 1, that's more than enough time to get 2 chances to tie or take the lead. That's the beauty of having 2 timeouts (and what the announcers alluded too), it gave them the option to advance the ball twice. Instead they walked it up and ran the clock down, and didn't even have enough time for one dribble/kick.

They were awfully close to making it work, but it still failed. I don't mind the look at the end of regulation, a wide open Smart 3 is something like 35% likely to hit, which is better than most game-ending shots. Running the clock down when tied is acceptable (and they got the shot off!). Running the clock down when you're losing and have enough time and timeouts to extend the game is criminal.
 

BaseballJones

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No, Bud had 4 seconds left so they didn't even get the ball up court. This was fine, they got upcourt on a team that had it's 2 worst defenders in, they got the ball to Tatum on a bad defender, he just didn't execute. Not sure what magic play people want that's better than Tatum driving on Harden with a wide open shooter to pass to.
With no time to get the shot off though....that's kind of the fly in the ointment on this play. Tatum just needed to start the play a second sooner.
 

Cellar-Door

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With no time to get the shot off though....that's kind of the fly in the ointment on this play. Tatum just needed to start the play a second sooner.
sure but how does a TO help that? They didn't run out of time because they didn't take timout, Tatum just screwed up. Taking a timeout doesn't change that, it just means you don't get the Tatum/Maxey mismatch that caused PHI to collapse the D and get a wide open shooter.
 

BaseballJones

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sure but how does a TO help that? They didn't run out of time because they didn't take timout, Tatum just screwed up. Taking a timeout doesn't change that, it just means you don't get the Tatum/Maxey mismatch that caused PHI to collapse the D and get a wide open shooter.
Well, taking a TO allows Boston to start their possession in the front court with more time on the clock, so maybe Smart has that extra half second to get the shot off? Not sure, because Tatum waited too long regardless.
 

Cellar-Door

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Well, taking a TO allows Boston to start their possession in the front court with more time on the clock, so maybe Smart has that extra half second to get the shot off? Not sure, because Tatum waited too long regardless.
That's my point, Tatum waiting too long is really the issue, and a TO probably doesn't change that.

Now maybe Joe takes a timeout and decides to play for a quick 2 and defend, but with 16 seconds that's tough, and they have confidence in the offense to win it.

I think no TO was fine, you got a much better matchup for Tatum out of it and there was plenty of time if used correctly, Tatum jsut waited a little too long to start the drive and/or make the pass.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Well, taking a TO allows Boston to start their possession in the front court with more time on the clock, so maybe Smart has that extra half second to get the shot off? Not sure, because Tatum waited too long regardless.
Not taking a TO off the make is defensible. Not taking it after it was clear they didn’t have anything going is inexcusable.
 

BaseballJones

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That's my point, Tatum waiting too long is really the issue, and a TO probably doesn't change that.

Now maybe Joe takes a timeout and decides to play for a quick 2 and defend, but with 16 seconds that's tough, and they have confidence in the offense to win it.

I think no TO was fine, you got a much better matchup for Tatum out of it and there was plenty of time if used correctly, Tatum jsut waited a little too long to start the drive and/or make the pass.
The advantage of a TO is that you get to set up a play AND remind your guys of critical things, like: "HEY NUMBNUTS, we don't want the last shot here. We want a shot with about 3 seconds left so if we miss we can crash the boards, and if Philly gets the rebound we can foul and still have a shot here."

The disadvantage of a TO is that Philly can sub in their better defensive players.
 

Ed Hillel

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Not taking a TO off the make is defensible. Not taking it after it was clear they didn’t have anything going is inexcusable.
They ended up with as good of matchups as you could have hoped for in both regulation and OT. Players gotta execute.
 

Euclis20

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sure but how does a TO help that? They didn't run out of time because they didn't take timout, Tatum just screwed up. Taking a timeout doesn't change that, it just means you don't get the Tatum/Maxey mismatch that caused PHI to collapse the D and get a wide open shooter.
They had enough time and timeouts (and with the 1 point deficit) to get two real shots to extend the game. It would've been against tougher defenders, but I'll take two real chances over one any day of the week. The walking the ball slowly up the court is it's own separate hell. This wasn't a thing where Philly played great defense and Boston just couldn't get the shot in time, it took 10+ seconds before Tatum even moved for the ball. Less than 5 seconds on the clock when he started dribbling, less than 3 seconds when he got inside the arc. They're were 18.2 seconds on the clock after the Harden 3, and Boston made Philly play defense for about 5 seconds of that. It's on Joe for not calling timeout to give them an extra possession and it's on the players for acting like they had all the time in the world.
 

Spelunker

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That's my point, Tatum waiting too long is really the issue, and a TO probably doesn't change that.

Now maybe Joe takes a timeout and decides to play for a quick 2 and defend, but with 16 seconds that's tough, and they have confidence in the offense to win it.

I think no TO was fine, you got a much better matchup for Tatum out of it and there was plenty of time if used correctly, Tatum jsut waited a little too long to start the drive and/or make the pass.
Tatum waited too long to get into action. The TO most likely wouldn't have changed that, just would have meant less of a wait before getting started (but still starting at basically the same clock time), but with better defenders on the court.

Tradeoffs, but its a bit like Pats/Seahawks.

There were other times to use a TO before that, this one seems fine to me. It was just a good play, but bad decision by Tatum.

Edit: bad decisions by both Js at the end, actually. One of them makes a smarter play and we likely win.
 

teddykgb

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I really can’t say I’m OK with it when not taking a timeout leads to 2 shots by Smart. I have to think you can do better than that and I’d really like for Tatum or Brown to be the one shooting. You’ve had months to have a few plays that can reliably get those guys shots
 

Ed Hillel

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Sure, but live I thought it was pretty clear they took too long to get into the action and Joe should have seen this and shut it down.
I dunno, they were playing for the last shot and so holding the ball until 7-8 seconds to make a move makes sense. They just missed a wide open look once and Tatum was too slow on his read on the second. I don’t think you coach that much differently. Players need to execute.
I really can’t say I’m OK with it when not taking a timeout leads to 2 shots by Smart. I have to think you can do better than that and I’d really like for Tatum or Brown to be the one shooting. You’ve had months to have a few plays that can reliably get those guys shots
He was wide open on both, so that context is important. He made one of them, in fact.
 

DeadlySplitter

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If they win it all being unable to ever win in crunch time, I will be amazed. I'm going to be emotionally off the bandwagon until they can show me they can do it.

As it stands, if Harden keeps being great they are at risk of losing this series as of today - feels like they can't pull off the going down 3-2 special this time unlike the Bucks last year.
 

Eddie Jurak

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If they win it all being unable to ever win in crunch time, I will be amazed. I'm going to be emotionally off the bandwagon until they can show me they can do it.

As it stands, if Harden keeps being great they are at risk of losing this series as of today - feels like they can't pull off the going down 3-2 special this time unlike the Bucks last year.
This was lost by the lack of defense in quarters one through three.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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I just don't get what upside Joe sees to the no-TO strategy. Sure, in a mid-February game try to instill a killer mentality, fine. But it's May now, that shit didn't work in the regular season, so what's the upside now? To me, there has to be a pretty massive upside in order to buck a league-wide strategy of calling timeout in the closing minutes. He must just massively overvalue not allowing a defense to rest and get coached up because I can't see what else is driving his choices. I mean, on the Harden three, Doc set up a new look that got Embiid on Tatum and away from the guy who was eating his lunch, which inevitably lead to Jaylen's massive blunder. Not calling a timeout doesn't even give the C's a chance to introduce some new wrinkle that might throw Philly off.