Celtics vs 76ers, Round 2 Discussion

luckiestman

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The Maxey play was definitely a block, for what it's worth. Once the attacker is airborne, his flight path is protected space. Unless Smart was there prior to him going up - as the announcers said - it has to be a block. Maxey went up, and then Marcus made his last slide-step over to get in position. If Maxey was still taking steps toward the basket, then sure, it's a charge... but he was in the air, which makes all the difference.
Correct but that is not the issue people had. One ref had it each way live. Ref announced they were checking to see if MS was in the restricted area. He was not. Therefore charge.

Subsequently they explained that because it was under 2 minutes or something the whole play was available for litigation. Therefore the block call is correct.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I can’t tell if you’re actively trolling, or if you used a MenInBlack memory eraser during the off-season?

Do you need me to go back through last years Celtics playoff threads to show your opinion of them?
They were very frustrating to me at times, but what matters is winning and they won 14 playoff games.
 

Red Averages

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They were very frustrating to me at times, but what matters is winning and they won 14 playoff games.
I understand that. My point was your analysis last year was they were mentally not tough and would lose to the Bucks, then the Heat, then the Warriors. Ultimately they lost to the Warriors. Each thread is riddled with these thoughts. Now a year later, with less emotional attachment, you say last years team was very mentally tough and despite haven’t less talent than the current squad you’d take last years version over this year. Somehow the same players have lost “mental toughness” in your analysis. Do you think, perhaps, when looking retrospectively at your last year analysis that would lead you to have less conviction in it this year? Maybe even digest some of these games and listen to what others are saying before expressing certitude about outcomes that are very far away? Right now we have two playoff series and you’re picking up where you left off. The Celtics are 66% odds to win the series.
 

NomarsFool

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That was a pretty embarrassing performance. They got to run a layup line in the first, Philly had nobody who could guard Tatum, Brown or Brogdon. Tons of chances to blow it open, but poor defense and terrible lazy turnovers kept it close. Yes Philly shot well, but they also got good shots, offensive rebounds, and transition off bad turnovers.
I still think the Celtics win this series, especially if Embiid isn't healthy, but the continuation of all the things that helped give away Atlanta games is a concern both for this series and the next round if they can make it.
I wouldn't call it embarrassing. The Celtics played well, and the Sixers just played better. It was kind of a weird game because I felt like the Celtics executed a lot of beautiful basketball leading to easy layups (from passing) while Philly countered by making incredibly difficult shots. Obviously, a huge game from Harden and takeaway a brain fart from Brogdon and the Celtics win the game. The only thing I was a bit annoyed by is that I felt like they were "switching" off of Harden too easily - basically letting him get open whenever he wanted to.
 

Deathofthebambino

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The C's had a 4 point lead with 3 minutes to go, and immediately stopped pushing the pace, and when they had a chance to push the pace, twice in Jaylen's case, the rest of the team stopped running and forced him to slow it down.

When is this team and this coach going to recognize that this team is better in every way when they put pressure on defenses and play with pace? When are they going to realize that this small leads are not safe in the NBA?

And when are they going to realize that you can't keep fucking switching, allowing opposing defenses to end up with the best possible matchup possession after possession? Seriously. PJ Tucker is not beating you, you don't need to switch off him, have his guy pick up the ballhandler and have the player who got screened immediately get back into the play. It's fucking infuriating.

All of it is fucking infuriating.
 

Deathofthebambino

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When they get up 10-12 they don’t have the extra gear to pull away and run outmanned teams off the floor.
They absolutely do have that gear.

The problem is they seem to blow their fucking transmission out, and lose all of their gears instead and try to run out the clock.
 

BaseballJones

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I wouldn't call it embarrassing. The Celtics played well, and the Sixers just played better. It was kind of a weird game because I felt like the Celtics executed a lot of beautiful basketball leading to easy layups (from passing) while Philly countered by making incredibly difficult shots. Obviously, a huge game from Harden and takeaway a brain fart from Brogdon and the Celtics win the game. The only thing I was a bit annoyed by is that I felt like they were "switching" off of Harden too easily - basically letting him get open whenever he wanted to.
The problem with a team that switches all screens is it allows the offense to dictate the matchup. It reminds me of how Kemba buried Pitt in the Big East tournament on that last second shot. Calhoun knew Pitt would switch, so he chose which matchup he wanted. Pitt didn't do anything different, and Kemba took advantage. The Sixers know the Celtics will switch and so they can have whomever they want set the screen to set up whatever matchup they think is most favorable, and Boston will just let them have it.

That would have been a great time to totally change how they defended the high ball screen. But nope.
 

Ed Hillel

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At the end of the day, when you give the other team 10 extra possessions on turnovers alone, it's tough to win. They still should have, and wilted late to an inferior team yet again, but I'm done giving the lion's share of the blame to coaching when the same players keep doing the same shit under different coaches.
 

chilidawg

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49 points in the 2nd half after running what looked like a layup line in the first. Philly defensive adjustment? It did seem like attacking the rim in the 2nd lead to difficult shots and turnovers.
 

Ed Hillel

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Also, the level of play the Celtics have faced in their first 7 games has been kind of nuts. Sure, the defense isn't playing well, but Jesus man have some of these guys they're playing have just gone off to the extent you just have to throw your hands in the air sometimes.
 

Cellar-Door

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I wouldn't call it embarrassing. The Celtics played well, and the Sixers just played better. It was kind of a weird game because I felt like the Celtics executed a lot of beautiful basketball leading to easy layups (from passing) while Philly countered by making incredibly difficult shots. Obviously, a huge game from Harden and takeaway a brain fart from Brogdon and the Celtics win the game. The only thing I was a bit annoyed by is that I felt like they were "switching" off of Harden too easily - basically letting him get open whenever he wanted to.
I think the Celtics played well (with some turnover issues) on offense, I don't think at any point they played well (or all that hard until the 4th) on defense
 

bigq

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49 points in the 2nd half after running what looked like a layup line in the first. Philly defensive adjustment? It did seem like attacking the rim in the 2nd lead to difficult shots and turnovers.
I think Philadelphia went to a zone defense in the 2nd half. I don’t know whether the Celtics could have continued to play with the pace they had in the first half for all four quarters. Actively trying to slow the game down late in the 4th certainly came back to bite them.
 

ehaz

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At the end of the day, when you give the other team 10 extra possessions on turnovers alone, it's tough to win. They still should have, and wilted late to an inferior team yet again, but I'm done giving the lion's share of the blame to coaching when the same players keep doing the same shit under different coaches.
Yeah lions share goes to the players but man. Mazzula is not covering himself in glory. How many times do you have to watch Al and Rob get cooked off a switch by Trae and Harden before making some kind of adjustment?
 

Auger34

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I think Philadelphia went to a zone defense in the 2nd half. I don’t know whether the Celtics could have continued to play with the pace they had in the first half for all four quarters. Actively trying to slow the game down late in the 4th certainly came back to bite them.
Good call on the zone. That flummoxed them for a few possessions…seems like this group should be incredible ar beating zones with the amount of practice they have with it
 

GeorgeCostanza

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The Maxey play was definitely a block, for what it's worth. Once the attacker is airborne, his flight path is protected space. Unless Smart was there prior to him going up - as the announcers said - it has to be a block. Maxey went up, and then Marcus made his last slide-step over to get in position. If Maxey was still taking steps toward the basket, then sure, it's a charge... but he was in the air, which makes all the difference.

There weren't a lot of bad calls in this game, imo. Maybe a few Tatum drives in the first half where he could've gotten an and-1. We got the benefit of the White travel non-call / foul call. Refereeing certainly wasn't the reason we lost. Treating the ball like a live hand grenade in the last minute had a bit more to do with it.
Agreed refs were fine tonight. Dare I say good. Only call I really had an issue with was a late Tatum drive where he was clearly tripped.
 

Auger34

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There weren't a lot of bad calls in this game, imo. Maybe a few Tatum drives in the first half where he could've gotten an and-1. We got the benefit of the White travel non-call / foul call. Refereeing certainly wasn't the reason we lost. Treating the ball like a live hand grenade in the last minute had a bit more to do with it.
There were two really bad calls in the last two minutes. Tatum got absolutely hacked by Harden driving to the basket and got no call…and there should have been a shot clock violation after Jakobi Brogdon led Maxey in stride to the basket
 

GeorgeCostanza

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Also, the level of play the Celtics have faced in their first 7 games has been kind of nuts. Sure, the defense isn't playing well, but Jesus man have some of these guys they're playing have just gone off to the extent you just have to throw your hands in the air sometimes.
Agree with this. Harden is my least favorite player ever but tip of the cap to the fucker tonight, he made the shots. And also flopped all fucking night long though the refs weren’t biting thank Christ.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Copied this from the game thread. Each series game is information and I agree with the other posters that the Celtics have to figure out a counter to Horford getting targeted.

Where I may differ is I am willing to give the coaching staff the opportunity to learn from game to game. In my experience, waiting until a game a series and even a season is over (unless its painfully obvious early on) to do analysis typically yields the most insights. Its when you have the most complete information obviously - like did the team win the championship despite struggling in several series and did the coaching staff adapt on the fly etc.
 

GeorgeCostanza

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Copied this from the game thread. Each series game is information and I agree with the other posters that the Celtics have to figure out a counter to Horford getting targeted.

Where I may differ is I am willing to give the coaching staff the opportunity to learn from game to game. In my experience, waiting until a game a series and even a season is over (unless its painfully obvious early on) to do analysis typically yields the most insights. Its when you have the most complete information obviously - like did the team win the championship despite struggling in several series and did the coaching staff adapt on the fly etc.
I think they overreacted to Harden’s hot start from midrange and started throwing some bad doubles at him that always seemed to lead to a wide open 3.
 

Auger34

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I still have complete confidence the Celtics win this series. Mostly pissed because this seems like it will be another knockdown drag out series when it could have been easier

However, to be completely honest, I am losing confidence that this group can take advantage of the golden opportunity they have to win it all this year
 

Bleedred

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Joe Mazzula is our weakness relative to other teams. I don't think it will be determinative in this series (at least I hope not), but IMO he is not quite ready, which is obviously not his fault. Playing drop coverage for any material portion of the game is a mistake. Not pushing the pace against a depleted opponent is a mistake. Not hunting Maxey and harden is a mistake. Not having a ready offense against a zone is a mistake. I hope and expect he'll adjust and we'll be ok, but it is frustrating that the team is making the same mistakes in temperament as last year. Maybe it's in their DNA, but they are deeper and more talented this year...but their coach is not
 

bosockboy

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Joe Mazzula is our weakness relative to other teams. I don't think it will be determinative in this series (at least I hope not), but IMO he is not quite ready, which is obviously not his fault. Playing drop coverage for any material portion of the game is a mistake. Not pushing the pace against a depleted opponent is a mistake. Not hunting Maxey and harden is a mistake. Not having a ready offense against a zone is a mistake. I hope and expect he'll adjust and we'll be ok, but it is frustrating that the team is making the same mistakes in temperament as last year. Maybe it's in their DNA, but they are deeper and more talented this year...but their coach is not
They really should have hired a strong veteran assistant like Vogel. I’m sure losing Stoudamire hasn’t helped either.
 

Cellar-Door

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Joe Mazzula is our weakness relative to other teams. I don't think it will be determinative in this series (at least I hope not), but IMO he is not quite ready, which is obviously not his fault. Playing drop coverage for any material portion of the game is a mistake. Not pushing the pace against a depleted opponent is a mistake. Not hunting Maxey and harden is a mistake. Not having a ready offense against a zone is a mistake. I hope and expect he'll adjust and we'll be ok, but it is frustrating that the team is making the same mistakes in temperament as last year. Maybe it's in their DNA, but they are deeper and more talented this year...but their coach is not
the first is definitely not on him, as in basically every game you see him waiving guys up the court, he generally wants them to run, and they don't (sometimes late in games he slows it down to prevent turnovers, but mostly the lack of pace is the players not the coach), as to the second, not clear he doesn't have offense against the zone, guys just take easy shots, they were a bit flummoxed for a possession or two, then they got good looks with Tatum at the rim. Then a turnover by Jaylen and a quick 3 by White, Mazzula immediately took a timeout after that and other than Smart making a dumb pass off the inbounds, they settled in and got mostly pretty decent shots.

I don't think Mazzula has been a plus, but little of this is really his fault, people just prefer to blame the rookie coach than the star players.
 

Bleedred

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the first is definitely not on him, as in basically every game you see him waiving guys up the court, he generally wants them to run, and they don't (sometimes late in games he slows it down to prevent turnovers, but mostly the lack of pace is the players not the coach), as to the second, not clear he doesn't have offense against the zone, guys just take easy shots, they were a bit flummoxed for a possession or two, then they got good looks with Tatum at the rim. Then a turnover by Jaylen and a quick 3 by White, Mazzula immediately took a timeout after that and other than Smart making a dumb pass off the inbounds, they settled in and got mostly pretty decent shots.

I don't think Mazzula has been a plus, but little of this is really his fault, people just prefer to blame the rookie coach than the star players.
Oh I agree it's ultimately on the players, but IMO Joe is 8 of 8 of the remaining coaches, unless you like him better than Thibs. Maybe Ham too. I shudder thinking of him matching wits with Spoelstra
 

chilidawg

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Joe Mazzula is our weakness relative to other teams. I don't think it will be determinative in this series (at least I hope not), but IMO he is not quite ready, which is obviously not his fault. Playing drop coverage for any material portion of the game is a mistake. Not pushing the pace against a depleted opponent is a mistake. Not hunting Maxey and harden is a mistake. Not having a ready offense against a zone is a mistake. I hope and expect he'll adjust and we'll be ok, but it is frustrating that the team is making the same mistakes in temperament as last year. Maybe it's in their DNA, but they are deeper and more talented this year...but their coach is not
I really don't know if Joe is a good coach or not, but aren't all of those issues ones we had last year as well? That's the most frustrating thing about this team, that they don't seem to have learned from those problems.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Also, the level of play the Celtics have faced in their first 7 games has been kind of nuts. Sure, the defense isn't playing well, but Jesus man have some of these guys they're playing have just gone off to the extent you just have to throw your hands in the air sometimes.
The Sixers offense all season in non-Embiid games has been lethal. Everyone is overreacting to one playoff game loss as if we are entitled to run through a real good team in 4-5 games. I don’t expect Harden and Melton to shoot like this every game and in the (many) games that they don’t the Sixers are very likely going to lose. It’s a 7-game series. This team will be fine.
 

radsoxfan

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Oh I agree it's ultimately on the players, but IMO Joe is 8 of 8 of the remaining coaches, unless you like him better than Thibs. Maybe Ham too. I shudder thinking of him matching wits with Spoelstra
I'd take him over Ham for sure. But yeah vs. Spo would be mismatch city.

A nice steady veteran coach with some HC experience would be nice, though I have a feeling Brad/Wyc worried how that dynamic would play out.
 

Cellar-Door

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The Sixers offense all season in non-Embiid games has been lethal. Everyone is overreacting to one playoff game loss as if we are entitled to run through a real good team in 4-5 games. I don’t expect Harden and Melton to shoot like this every game and in the (many) games that they don’t the Sixers are very likely going to lose. It’s a 7-game series. This team will be fine.
I think people are reacting to the last 5 games honestly, if they hadn't had most of the same issues in games 3-6 against the Hawks (and honestly a bunch of times in the post-all star period of the regular season) people would be less concerned. And most don't think they're dead against the Sixers or anything, but more that if you fuck around enough times, you're gonna find out 4 out of 7 times at some point.
 

Auger34

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I'd take him over Ham for sure. But yeah vs. Spo would be mismatch city.

A nice steady veteran coach with some HC experience would be nice, though I have a feeling Brad/Wyc worried how that dynamic would play out.
Yeah, I think Ham is 8 and there’s a massive chasm until you get to 7….which is probably CJM
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think people are reacting to the last 5 games honestly, if they hadn't had most of the same issues in games 3-6 against the Hawks (and honestly a bunch of times in the post-all star period of the regular season) people would be less concerned. And most don't think they're dead against the Sixers or anything, but more that if you fuck around enough times, you're gonna find out 4 out of 7 times at some point.
I don’t think we really fucked around. I felt that the Sixers played fuckin awesome…..knocked down their shots, didn’t turn the ball over, and made defensive adjustments at the half. If they play this good every game we are finished……I don’t expect them to be able to recreate tonight’s performance 3 more times though.
 

dhellers

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I think people are reacting to the last 5 games honestly, if they hadn't had most of the same issues in games 3-6 against the Hawks (and honestly a bunch of times in the post-all star period of the regular season) people would be less concerned. And most don't think they're dead against the Sixers or anything, but more that if you fuck around enough times, you're gonna find out 4 out of 7 times at some point.
The "its just one game" mantra may be true, but damn they happen too often. And after watching Denver maintain composure in the 4th: the comparison is kind of depressing.
 

jmcc5400

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I don’t think we really fucked around. I felt that the Sixers played fuckin awesome…..knocked down their shots, didn’t turn the ball over, and made defensive adjustments at the half. If they play this good every game we are finished……I don’t expect them to be able to recreate tonight’s performance 3 more times though.
If they do, tip your cap.
 

Jimbodandy

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That was a pretty embarrassing performance. They got to run a layup line in the first, Philly had nobody who could guard Tatum, Brown or Brogdon. Tons of chances to blow it open, but poor defense and terrible lazy turnovers kept it close. Yes Philly shot well, but they also got good shots, offensive rebounds, and transition off bad turnovers.
I still think the Celtics win this series, especially if Embiid isn't healthy, but the continuation of all the things that helped give away Atlanta games is a concern both for this series and the next round if they can make it.
This. I watched the first half. Philly couldn't be bothered to play any defense at all, which is great. But the Celtics repeated their complete lack of focus and attention on defense, which is fucking embarrassing. A letdown after a hard series win is understandable, but they just didn't put in any real effort on one end of the floor. They played like the Doug Moe Nuggets, which even Doug Moe would tell you is a bad formula for playoff basketball. Turned off the shitshow at halftime and did something else.

They're going to have to try on defense. They should have been up 18-20 at halftime the way the offense was flowing. Then it doesn't come down to complaining about the whistles at the end.
 

m0ckduck

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I don’t expect Harden and Melton to shoot like this every game and in the (many) games that they don’t the Sixers are very likely going to lose. It’s a 7-game series.
Yes. Also: Harden coming off a week of rest looked phenomenal. Let's see what every-other-day-Harden looks like on Weds.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Agreed refs were fine tonight. Dare I say good. Only call I really had an issue with was a late Tatum drive where he was clearly tripped.
I do think the Maxey play was a charge as Smart had established position before Maxey took off. What makes it tricky is Smart's upper body was still moving (not relevant to the rule technically, but looks bad) and his back foot slides a bit while his lead foot never does. The rule requires being set and 'beating player to the spot" and given the angle there Smart did so. But you often won't get the call when there's a little movement like that. It is probably a 55/45 call (as the refs seemed to suggest by having different views) and tough break for Celts. But overall, officiating was fine by NBA standards.

This was about Celtics awful defense all game, poor offensive execution late, and continued inability to stay focused. I cannot excuse CJM from all of that, and also do not think it is just about coaching. But this team has issues, unfortunately, which their talent level is increasingly looking insufficient to overcome. I just don't see the intensity, consistency, and defensive effort I want to. I am, sadly, going to have to consider moving to #TeamEddieJurak

CJM has enhanced the offense---they have gotten more consistent than last year at attacking and driving-dishing for threes. But the defense has gone completely away, and while physical decline of the bigs is a part of that, much is simply effort and intensity. They have gotten worse, not better, at late-game execution this year too. Coaching does matter especially in the playoffs, and I agree that CJM has yet to show he's much better than average. He's young, and it may work out---but they were out-adjusted by Hawks overall and out-adjusted last night. We'll see what they come back with game 2.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I understand that. My point was your analysis last year was they were mentally not tough and would lose to the Bucks, then the Heat, then the Warriors. Ultimately they lost to the Warriors. Each thread is riddled with these thoughts. Now a year later, with less emotional attachment, you say last years team was very mentally tough and despite haven’t less talent than the current squad you’d take last years version over this year. Somehow the same players have lost “mental toughness” in your analysis. Do you think, perhaps, when looking retrospectively at your last year analysis that would lead you to have less conviction in it this year? Maybe even digest some of these games and listen to what others are saying before expressing certitude about outcomes that are very far away? Right now we have two playoff series and you’re picking up where you left off. The Celtics are 66% odds to win the series.
If this had been a healthy Sixers team, rather than one missing Embiid. I would think differently about this loss.
 

Devizier

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The Sixers offense all season in non-Embiid games has been lethal. Everyone is overreacting to one playoff game loss as if we are entitled to run through a real good team in 4-5 games.
Parity is high this year, we should expect knockdown drag out playoff games.
 

Auger34

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Yes. Also: Harden coming off a week of rest looked phenomenal. Let's see what every-other-day-Harden looks like on Weds.
I didnt really think about this but it’s a great point. Sadly, this was another byproduct of not being able to close out Game 5 against the Hawks
 

NomarsFool

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I think the Celtics played well (with some turnover issues) on offense, I don't think at any point they played well (or all that hard until the 4th) on defense
That's fair. I was pretty frustrated with how they were playing against the switches. Smart came up big on a number of plays in the second half, but I was pretty frustrated with him in the first half as I thought he was really half-assing it on defense. Seems like when they ran into a pick most of the team just said to themselves 'Okay, good, I guess my job is done'.
 

lars10

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The one part that was confusing to me.. what part of Tucker’s motion was natural when he threw his arm into Tatum? He’s not motioning to a teammate.. he doesn’t turn around and apologize like it happened by accident.. he just pretends that nothing happened. All that to me shows that he did it on purpose. Should have been a flagrant two which is two shots and the ball.. and he’d have been tossed..

Edit:
Other crazy thing to consider.. Bird was in his second year at Tatum’s age.
 

PedroKsBambino

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The one part that was confusing to me.. what part of Tucker’s motion was natural when he threw his arm into Tatum? He’s not motioning to a teammate.. he doesn’t turn around and apologize like it happened by accident.. he just pretends that nothing happened. All that to me shows that he did it on purpose. Should have been a flagrant two which is two shots and the ball.. and he’d have been tossed..

Edit:
Other crazy thing to consider.. Bird was in his second year at Tatum’s age.
I don't think there's any doubt it was on purpose. The idea he'd be swinging his arm backward in that way out of frustration or to signal a teammate is crazy. I get why commentators threw that out there---they want to minimize blown calls---but it was as clear a flagrant 2 as the other ones recently and should have been called as such.

The game was about the Celtics blowing it; however, two material bad calls in fourth would have changed outcome anyway too
 

lars10

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Correct but that is not the issue people had. One ref had it each way live. Ref announced they were checking to see if MS was in the restricted area. He was not. Therefore charge.

Subsequently they explained that because it was under 2 minutes or something the whole play was available for litigation. Therefore the block call is correct.
I feel like they said the call on the floor was a block before they went to review? Am I misremembering?
 

tims4wins

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I was watching on my phone in an Uber without sound, but my immediate reaction was block. And every replay I saw, it looked like Marcus was moving underneath him. I think that was 100% the correct call and had no issue with it.
 

lars10

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I don't think there's any doubt it was on purpose. The idea he'd be swinging his arm backward in that way out of frustration or to signal a teammate is crazy. I get why commentators threw that out there---they want to minimize blown calls---but it was as clear a flagrant 2 as the other ones recently and should have been called as such.

The game was about the Celtics blowing it; however, two material bad calls in fourth would have changed outcome anyway too
If all the calls go against you.. then at some point it’s not just the Celtics blowing it.

These games are all close.. that non call was a possible five point swing. Tatum not getting a call on a clear hack was a possible four point swing since I think Philly got a fast break out of it.. there was also another where Tatum ended up on the floor and didn’t get back in the play.. where I think there was significant contact that wasn’t called.

Refs were awful in the first half and ‘let them play’ which meant there were no calls.. which doesn’t mean there were no fouls.

The narrative is the C’s choked.. and they did. But the game was close because all of those calls weren’t made in the final minutes as well.

Probably could find a couple calls the other way too.. so maybe it evens out.. but Tucker being on the floor, and his rolling screens were part of why Harden and Maxey were open all night.
 

lars10

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
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I was watching on my phone in an Uber without sound, but my immediate reaction was block. And every replay I saw, it looked like Marcus was moving underneath him. I think that was 100% the correct call and had no issue with it.
I also thought Smart was still moving after Maxey was in the air