Celtics vs 76ers, Round 2 Discussion

PedroKsBambino

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I feel like they said the call on the floor was a block before they went to review? Am I misremembering?
One ref signaled charge and one signaled block. They conferred and then went to replay to clarify whether he was in the restricted area. Which suggests (not definitively) that the one who called it a block thought Smart was there in time, but was in restricted area, and one who called a charge thougtht he was there in time and outside restricted area.

So, they went to check the restricted area (which they announced), found out he was not, and then decided based on the review he was moving (or something) and called it a block---which wasn't what either of them thought or saw live. The NBA pr guy they have as an officiating specialist noted that in last 2 minutes they can review everything, not just the specific thing they initially were looking for. On balance, I do think that's a good thing---if you incur delay in last two minutes focus on getting the call right substantively, not just what they thought initially. I don't think they quite did here.

There's no question on replay he has one foot fully set and outside restricted zone the whole time. What I think one can debate is whether the other foot-which was set when Maxey jumped, but slid a bit towards first---moving constitutes a change of position. While visually Marcus moving his uppper body a bit looks bad, it is not (by the rule) actually determinative---it is about getting to the spot first, which is about the first leg not the body. He would have been more likely to get the call if his upper body was still, though. Especially since both refs appear to have thought live he got there, I wouldn't overturn and think on the merits it's a charge. But I get the counter argument

I am on the side of the spectrum that officiating impact on games is often understatated. That said, for me, last night was about Celtics not executing or playing defense, not the calls ultimately.
 
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BigSoxFan

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Celtics had 10 fouls last night and turned over Philly 6 times. It wasn't the refs. The chair played more defense.
Yup. They lost because of the defense. Got exploited all night by a team without its MVP caliber player. They have only themselves to blame. The ending was just the cherry on the sundae. Plenty of opportunities to ice it away and they failed.
 

CreightonGubanich

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Let's talk about the defense. Right now, it looks like the Celtics have an Al Horford problem. In this thread, we have people lamenting both the drop coverage and the switch-everything approach they've vacillated between. I don't think you can play primarily drop coverage against Harden, especially when you're going to make a concerted effort not to foul him, as they clearly did last night. Smart was almost scared to contest hard, and Harden made some semi-contested shots.

So what do you do? Is Robert Williams more able to stick with Philly's guards on switches? Based on what I've seen in terms of his lateral quickness, I don't think so. You could go small with Grant or Tatum at center, but if you do, even a hobbled Embiid, if he plays, will destroy them on the boards. You could trap Harden, take the ball out of his hands, and hope that Philly's sketchy shooters don't knock down open shots, but you're playing with fire there too.

Personally, I'd stay primarily in the switching defense and hope Harden misses a few more of those semi-contested shots. If so, and Harden's going to continue to run high pick-and-roll over and over, they need to do a better job of staying home/closing out on Philly's other shooters. As great as Harden was last night, you can afford to let him get his. What you can't afford is Melton and Harris knocking down wide open threes, and Maxey getting wide open lanes to the rim.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Yup. They lost because of the defense. Got exploited all night by a team without its MVP caliber player. They have only themselves to blame. The ending was just the cherry on the sundae. Plenty of opportunities to ice it away and they failed.
The optimist would say that the Celtics almost won a game in which Harden and Melton both had their career-best playoff performance on the same night.
 

kfoss99

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For the people with more basketball smarts than me, why is this year's team a far worse defensive team than last year's?

Seems like White has improved. Williams slipped. Horford is a year older. Smart's a year older. But with White, Tatum, Smart they should still have a lockdown perimeter defense.

If they stop playing sloppy and play better defense, they can still go far. But, it seems like they are the defensive team that they are.

Edit: Post #253 answered my question, while I was typing.
 

m0ckduck

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Personally, I'd stay primarily in the switching defense and hope Harden misses a few more of those semi-contested shots. If so, and Harden's going to continue to run high pick-and-roll over and over, they need to do a better job of staying home/closing out on Philly's other shooters. As great as Harden was last night, you can afford to let him get his. What you can't afford is Melton and Harris knocking down wide open threes, and Maxey getting wide open lanes to the rim.
Well, he averaged 17pts a game on 34% shooting during the Nets series (taking into account time served for nut punches). As I said above, we certainly suffered a better-than-expected Harden performance last night, but it's not normal to get a week of rest between games either.
 

Cellar-Door

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The optimist would say that the Celtics almost won a game in which Harden and Melton both had their career-best playoff performance on the same night.
sure, or conversely the Celtics had one of their best shooting nights of the year and lost.
Will those guys score like that again... unlikely, even if they continue to get mostly easy shots.
Conversely... we probably won't score like that again either. The first half (particularly 1st quarter) was a clear outlier performance by the Boston offense too.

Edit- also it's not like PHI had a wild overperformance from 3 overall 44% Melton had a great night, but Maxey had a terrible one (2/9 for a 44% 3pt shooter).
 

Devizier

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The optimist would say that the Celtics almost won a game in which Harden and Melton both had their career-best playoff performance on the same night.
People need to give more credit to Harden. The guy hopped in the time machine --- plus he clearly plays better with Embiid off the floor. He is still an absolute killer off the dribble.
 

m0ckduck

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The optimist would say that the Celtics almost won a game in which Harden and Melton both had their career-best playoff performance on the same night.
It just feels like we need more time to wrap our heads around the level of game-to-game variance and parity in today's playoffs.

In 1983, you had runaway MVP Moses Malone asked about his expectations for the league-best 76ers (65 wins, 7.53 SRS), answering, "Fo Fo Fo" and nearly sweeping the post-season (they finished 12-1). Today, it's hard to picture any team sweeping another non-play-in team, let alone nearly doing it it 3 series in a row. You have four or five teams who are all-in to the tune of mortgaging their entire draft future, three more who are led by finalists in one of the closest MVP voting in history, plus the two defending conference champions. The Warriors, who might be the presumptive favorite today on this board to win the finals, just needed 7 games to get out of the first round.

None of this is to excuse the C's poor play in areas last night, and the disappointment of losing to an Embiid-less Sixers, but I think we'll emerge from this postseason with a different level of expectation around, how hard is it supposed to be?
 
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Jimbodandy

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sure, or conversely the Celtics had one of their best shooting nights of the year and lost.
Will those guys score like that again... unlikely, even if they continue to get mostly easy shots.
Conversely... we probably won't score like that again either. The first half (particularly 1st quarter) was a clear outlier performance by the Boston offense too.

Edit- also it's not like PHI had a wild overperformance from 3 overall 44% Melton had a great night, but Maxey had a terrible one (2/9 for a 44% 3pt shooter).
Yeah I get that some people only love offense, but Melton's 17 points wasn't the difference here, nor was Maxey's 26 points on 24 shots with 2 assists.

The optimist would say that while Tatum and Brown played about as efficiently on offense as they're capable, perhaps Derrick White won't be such a catastrophic negative next time. Awful game for him.

At the end of the day, if the Cs had put up any resistance at all defensively, this game could have been over in the first half. It's not like Philly had Celtics in their shirts all night and just miraculously hit everything over hard contests.
 

RorschachsMask

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According to nba.com, Harden went 13-22 against tight coverage, and 7-12 from deep.

Props to him for going off, but it was pretty flukey IMO.
 

HomeRunBaker

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sure, or conversely the Celtics had one of their best shooting nights of the year and lost.
Will those guys score like that again... unlikely, even if they continue to get mostly easy shots.
Conversely... we probably won't score like that again either. The first half (particularly 1st quarter) was a clear outlier performance by the Boston offense too.

Edit- also it's not like PHI had a wild overperformance from 3 overall 44% Melton had a great night, but Maxey had a terrible one (2/9 for a 44% 3pt shooter).
I don’t disagree much with this. What I do disagree with that many seem to believe is that these Sixers are not a real good team with or without Embiid. They’ve been real good all year so I don’t understand why they are such enormous underdogs in this series. I still think Boston wins in 6-7 as I did prior to the game but the Sixers aren’t going to roll over…..we have to make the necessary defensive adjustments.
 

Jimbodandy

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According to nba.com, Harden went 13-22 against tight coverage, and 7-12 from deep.

Props to him for going off, but it was pretty flukey IMO.
He had 4 FTA. I'm not sure what qualifies as "tight coverage", but I don't think that anyone who was on the court for 39 minutes and dominated the ball like he did and got to the line four times probably even needed to shower after the game.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Yeah I get that some people only love offense, but Melton's 17 points wasn't the difference here, nor was Maxey's 26 points on 24 shots with 2 assists.

The optimist would say that while Tatum and Brown played about as efficiently on offense as they're capable, perhaps Derrick White won't be such a catastrophic negative next time. Awful game for him.

At the end of the day, if the Cs had put up any resistance at all defensively, this game could have been over in the first half. It's not like Philly had Celtics in their shirts all night and just miraculously hit everything over hard contests.
Melton was huge in the 1H imo or the Celtics likely run out to a 20+ pt lead. Who knows how they respond from there.


According to nba.com, Harden went 13-22 against tight coverage, and 7-12 from deep.

Props to him for going off, but it was pretty flukey IMO.
Unless my memory is shot, which is very possible, I don’t recall Harden ever having this big of a playoff game ever.
 

Auger34

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Melton was huge in the 1H imo or the Celtics likely run out to a 20+ pt lead. Who knows how they respond from there.



Unless my memory is shot, which is very possible, I don’t recall Harden ever having this big of a playoff game ever.
Melton kept them in the game in the first half 100%. The announcers never really even mentioned him or his name but he made 4 HUGE 3’s (to the point I was wondering who the fuck the Sixers brought in that was this dead eye shooter).

In regards to defensive adjustments, I’m not sure what needs to be done but Mazzulla needs to figure it out before this game. I have absolutely 0 faith in him making any in-game adjustments so it’s imperative they have a really good game plan. Luckily for CJM, and for us, Doc isn’t exactly notorious for his in-game adjustments either

EDIT: I also have to add, fuck Ime Udoka. I hope he falls flat on his face in Houston
 

luckiestman

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I feel like they said the call on the floor was a block before they went to review? Am I misremembering?
the ref that spoke said that but watching live I thought their was one ref on the floor calling it each way
 

reggiecleveland

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So what do you do? Is Robert Williams more able to stick with Philly's guards on switches? Based on what I've seen in terms of his lateral quickness, I don't think so. You could go small with Grant or Tatum at center, but if you do, even a hobbled Embiid, if he plays, will destroy them on the boards. You could trap Harden, take the ball out of his hands, and hope that Philly's sketchy shooters don't knock down open shots, but you're playing with fire there too.
Rob looks awful. We all love him, but he can't be healthy. He failed to step up on Harden allowing him to come off the screen and shot. Against Atlanta, guys went right by him. It is clear he is not as quick or getting up as high to block shots and the other team is not intimidated. Also, it seems other teams have figured out if the penetrate and instead of taking on TL just kick it and get him into rotations, he isn't very good (at least in his current state)

The real thing that makes me wonder about Rob is how they don't even look at him on the offensive end. In the past his vertical threat was a big part of the O, now he is ignored.
 

128

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I don’t disagree much with this. What I do disagree with that many seem to believe is that these Sixers are not a real good team with or without Embiid. They’ve been real good all year so I don’t understand why they are such enormous underdogs in this series. I still think Boston wins in 6-7 as I did prior to the game but the Sixers aren’t going to roll over…..we have to make the necessary defensive adjustments.
Great points. In general, I think many posters are far too dismissive of the C's opponents. If the C's get past Philly, the next round figures to be a war, too, no matter what New York and Miami are seeded.
 

lars10

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the ref that spoke said that but watching live I thought their was one ref on the floor calling it each way
There was.. but I assume one overruled the other.. he specifically said ‘the call on the floor’ .. it stuck out to me because I figured a review of a charge would be hard to overturn.. but same if it was initially called a block. The fact that it was stated as a block made me think that it was going to be ‘confirmed’ and kept as a foul against Smart.
 

InstaFace

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People need to give more credit to Harden. The guy hopped in the time machine --- plus he clearly plays better with Embiid off the floor. He is still an absolute killer off the dribble.
I'll give credit to him, but the flip side is that he got switches against Horford and Brown and even Brogdon where he clearly thought he could have his way with them - and did. Smart, White and Tatum appeared to affect him or prevent him from doing what he wanted, generally contested without fouling (Flops notwithstanding). But when he could hunt those 3 down he seemed to have no problems whatsoever.

If I can find a Harden highlights video I'll see if I can break down how he did in each case. But assuming my recollection is ballpark accurate, I think we need to ask how the Celtics can rotate to reduce those matchups. Usually once he gets them, Harden will dribble for a few seconds before making his move, and that's plenty of time to rotate a double over, with everyone who's one pass away being on guard for the quick outlet or interior cut, and then have Horford recover to one of those options and rotate everyone else along. Yeah it's probably a little risky, but if done quickly and with everyone's awareness, I'd say it's less risky than letting Horford get torched.

For Brown or Brogdon, I feel like they should be able to do better and it really wasn't clear to me what the failing was. Brogdon is 6'5", same as Harden, and Brown is 6'6". Reaction time? Footwork? Jaylen is not anything special as a defender, he's basically always been league-average defensively. Brogdon is consistently a little below average, and maybe that's the main reason Harden was picking on him from among our guards:

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MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I don’t disagree much with this. What I do disagree with that many seem to believe is that these Sixers are not a real good team with or without Embiid. They’ve been real good all year so I don’t understand why they are such enormous underdogs in this series. I still think Boston wins in 6-7 as I did prior to the game but the Sixers aren’t going to roll over…..we have to make the necessary defensive adjustments.
Yes. To reiterate the point about Embiid, as I don't think I've seen this posted:

Record this year with Embiid - 42-21, .667
Record this year without Embiid - 11-5, .688

While Embiid is for sure an all-world player, their offense is completely different running through him vs. running through Harden. When Harden is healthy and motivated, he's still an incredibly tough player to defend, with real threats to shoot a three in your face, drive by you, finish, or make the right pass. Last night, he went off. He's not THAT good a 3-point shooter and I don't think that performance is indicative of how the series is likely to go.

When Embiid is running the offense, there's a lot more 2-point scoring and a lot more standing around watching Embiid. If he's not hitting the turnaround fadeaway, and he's not getting a favorable whistle, he can be guarded and the Sixers offense can stagnate.

There are reasons to be disappointed, but "can't believe they lost to the Sixers without Embiid!!!" just isn't a rational take. Sorry.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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It just feels like we need more time to wrap our heads around the level of game-to-game variance and parity in today's playoffs.

In 1983, you had runaway MVP Moses Malone asked about his expectations for the league-best 76ers (65 wins, 7.53 SRS), answering, "Fo Fo Fo" and nearly sweeping the post-season (they finished 12-1). Today, it's hard to picture any team sweeping another non-play-in team, let alone nearly doing it it 3 series in a row. You have four or five teams who are all-in to the tune of mortgaging their entire draft future, three more who are led by finalists in one of the closest MVP voting in history, plus the two defending conference champions. The Warriors, who might be the presumptive favorite today on this board to win the finals, just needed 7 games to get out of the first round.

None of this is to excuse the C's poor play in areas last night, and the disappointment of losing to an Embiid-less Sixers, but I think we'll emerge from this postseason with a different level of expectation around, how hard is it supposed to be?
This post is both very good and also terrible. If game to game struggles in the playoffs are largely due to variance/parity, how can I demonstrate my superior skills at judging player and coach mindsets from the comfort of Mom's basement (reminds me, I gotta text her to bring me lunch)?
 

bigq

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The real thing that makes me wonder about Rob is how they don't even look at him on the offensive end. In the past his vertical threat was a big part of the O, now he is ignored.
I believe he had two easy dunks on lobs and then one turnaround semi layup on a handoff under the bucket all in the first half. He also came up with 7 boards and played just 20 minutes in the game. With Embiid out the Celtics probably should have been more focused on ball movement, drive, dish, paint touches and lob opportunities is the 2nd half. The 76ers did change to zone defense in the 2nd half which the Celtics should have been able to beat but for various reasons could not consistently do. All of this is a long winded way of saying Rob should have been more involved particularly in the 2nd half. You may be correct that there is something not right with him. The guy is an enigma. When he is on this is a different team.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I'll give credit to him, but the flip side is that he got switches against Horford and Brown and even Brogdon where he clearly thought he could have his way with them - and did. Smart, White and Tatum appeared to affect him or prevent him from doing what he wanted, generally contested without fouling (Flops notwithstanding). But when he could hunt those 3 down he seemed to have no problems whatsoever.

If I can find a Harden highlights video I'll see if I can break down how he did in each case. But assuming my recollection is ballpark accurate, I think we need to ask how the Celtics can rotate to reduce those matchups. Usually once he gets them, Harden will dribble for a few seconds before making his move, and that's plenty of time to rotate a double over, with everyone who's one pass away being on guard for the quick outlet or interior cut, and then have Horford recover to one of those options and rotate everyone else along. Yeah it's probably a little risky, but if done quickly and with everyone's awareness, I'd say it's less risky than letting Horford get torched.

For Brown or Brogdon, I feel like they should be able to do better and it really wasn't clear to me what the failing was. Brogdon is 6'5", same as Harden, and Brown is 6'6". Reaction time? Footwork? Jaylen is not anything special as a defender, he's basically always been league-average defensively. Brogdon is consistently a little below average, and maybe that's the main reason Harden was picking on him from among our guards:

View attachment 64294
Here are most of Harden's points, from the video on the prior page:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6EgZQRjk_Y



By my count, Harden scored 2 points on Jaylen. Jaylen wasn't even the guy being switched off of, that was Smart into Horford/Al in most cases.
 

Auger34

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I'll give credit to him, but the flip side is that he got switches against Horford and Brown and even Brogdon where he clearly thought he could have his way with them - and did. Smart, White and Tatum appeared to affect him or prevent him from doing what he wanted, generally contested without fouling (Flops notwithstanding). But when he could hunt those 3 down he seemed to have no problems whatsoever.

If I can find a Harden highlights video I'll see if I can break down how he did in each case. But assuming my recollection is ballpark accurate, I think we need to ask how the Celtics can rotate to reduce those matchups. Usually once he gets them, Harden will dribble for a few seconds before making his move, and that's plenty of time to rotate a double over, with everyone who's one pass away being on guard for the quick outlet or interior cut, and then have Horford recover to one of those options and rotate everyone else along. Yeah it's probably a little risky, but if done quickly and with everyone's awareness, I'd say it's less risky than letting Horford get torched.

For Brown or Brogdon, I feel like they should be able to do better and it really wasn't clear to me what the failing was. Brogdon is 6'5", same as Harden, and Brown is 6'6". Reaction time? Footwork? Jaylen is not anything special as a defender, he's basically always been league-average defensively. Brogdon is consistently a little below average, and maybe that's the main reason Harden was picking on him from among our guards:

View attachment 64294
I’m interested in seeing a breakdown when you post it. My recollection was that Harden pretty much toasted everyone not named Smart (and to a lesser extent) Tatum. White was the most surprising to me, I’m hoping it’s just a one game aberration….

I do think Brogdon is worse than a little below average on D, at least during this playoffs, he’s been kind of a turnstile and his off ball defense is noticeably bad
 

Spelunker

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the ref that spoke said that but watching live I thought their was one ref on the floor calling it each way
There was, but you're right: when they announced the official call on the floor, it was a block.

That's why it was nonsensical when they said they were checking if he was in the circle.
 

8slim

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Celtics had 10 fouls last night and turned over Philly 6 times. It wasn't the refs. The chair played more defense.
It's crazy, somehow all 4 of the Boston pro sports teams I root for, and the multiple college teams I root for, are all always on the receiving end of bad officiating in basically every game. At least that's what my fellow fans always say. And even crazier is that the teams we play also claim to be on the receiving end of bad officiating in those same games! But that doesn't seem possible, right?
 

reggiecleveland

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It's crazy, somehow all 4 of the Boston pro sports teams I root for, and the multiple college teams I root for, are all always on the receiving end of bad officiating in basically every game. At least that's what my fellow fans always say. And even crazier is that the teams we play also claim to be on the receiving end of bad officiating in those same games! But that doesn't seem possible, right?
Years ago two enthusiastic professors, Stats and Sports Ethics surveyed all the coaches in their home U about official bias. They found shockingly every coach said the hometown officials in every place favored the home team, except their home referees. They were really shocked the poor home team was treated so badly, but decided to survey the coaches from the other schools in the conference. They found out that it seemed every school, in every sport found they all the other teams got favorable officiating at home except them. They found the phrase "we are the only team that plays all of our games on the road" almost universal. The few exceptions were teams in the middle of championship runs that found things biased but less so. Interestingly the teams that were up and coming, contenders, but not recent champions were most sure they were getting an unfair deal, while last-place teams often went off topic to discuss other inequities like funding, lack of internal support.
 
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Jimbodandy

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Cellar-Door

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Weird since they do it all of the time. Any time someone goes down with a bloody nose or lip, even if it's behind the play. Guess it's not a requirement.
if they call the foul. I can't think of one where a guy goes down with no foul call and it gets reviewed. The key here is nobody called a foul at all, so no opportunity to review if it should be upgraded.
 

8slim

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TripleOT

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Boston is 12-2 when Rob Williams scores 10 or more points. They’re 16-12 when he plays and doesn’t hit double figures. Philly played very small in Game 1, and TL got two early, easy buckets, but didn’t get another shot until the fourth quarter. If they didn’t turn the ball over 16 times, maybe he could have gotten a few more deep touches.

Boston was 8-14 in the first half from three, but when those shots weren’t falling in the second (2-12), they should have gone for a few more easy twos with Rob. I can understand how a team can say that they need to shoot X amount of threes to be the best version of themselves offensively over a regular season, but they need to take the playoffs on a game by game basis. As easy as it was to score at the rim in the first half, they shouldn’t have been taking threes until they saw more resistance in the paint.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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The Celtics averaged 13.4 turnovers during the regular season and 13.3 turnovers through all seven playoff games.

Its entirely possible that the 76ers even sans Embiid are in Boston's collective heads but statistically speaking, one game where a team out/under-perfoms its season averages typically needs to be chalked up to variance. That doesn't mean it actually is but for now this just feels like a fluky game overall.
 
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Jimbodandy

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The Celtics averaged 13.4 turnovers during the regular season and 13.3 turnovers through all seven playoff games.

Its entirely possible that the 76ers even sans Embiid are in Boston's collective heads but statistically speaking, one game where a team out/under-perfoms its season averages typically needs to be chalked up to variance. That doesn't mean it actually is but for now this was just feels like a fluky game overall.
This team lollygagged through at least the first half (I didn't even bother watching the second half). Philly did nothing to instigate turnovers last night. Celtics just threw them the damn ball.
 

TrapperAB

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Can the NBA take a look at the Tucker play or are they just saying nothing to see here at this point and moving on? In no way is this a natural act (he wound up) and was 100% done with intent. I love Reggie, I don’t even think he saw Tatum was there. Ok Reg.

View: https://twitter.com/jose3030/status/1653210696660709376?s=46&t=Czjt40Px7cadfiCYc3CDtQ
First time I've had a chance to see this (I was only able to watch the 4th quarter live, lucky me). I'm baffled. It's a no-look pass nut punch. If he WASN'T intending to make Deuce an only child, WTF WAS he doing? That's not a basketball move in any way, shape, or form.
 

PedroKsBambino

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interestingly.....
https://official.nba.com/rule-no-13-instant-replay/

nope, only within the framework of an "altercation" which by it's rule definition this wasn't.

Also can't challenge a no-call
https://official.nba.com/rule-no-14-coaches-challenge/
The rule states an Altercation includes (ii) "a player, coach, trainer, or other team bench person commits a hostile act against another player, referee, coach, trainer, team bench person, or spectator (including, for example, through the use of a punch, elbow, kick, blow to the head, shove, or thrown object.)"

It absolutely was reviewable under the rule.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
11,296
Can the NBA take a look at the Tucker play or are they just saying nothing to see here at this point and moving on? In no way is this a natural act (he wound up) and was 100% done with intent. I love Reggie, I don’t even think he saw Tatum was there. Ok Reg.

View: https://twitter.com/jose3030/status/1653210696660709376?s=46&t=Czjt40Px7cadfiCYc3CDtQ
I can’t believe I am going to do this but I guess I am going to play the role of HRB here….

I think Tucker was gesturing angrily at Maxey that he needed to get back on defense (which is why he wildly threw his arm and pointed backwards)
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
31,941
For the people with more basketball smarts than me, why is this year's team a far worse defensive team than last year's?

Seems like White has improved. Williams slipped. Horford is a year older. Smart's a year older. But with White, Tatum, Smart they should still have a lockdown perimeter defense.

If they stop playing sloppy and play better defense, they can still go far. But, it seems like they are the defensive team that they are.
One reason they are not the defensive team they were last year is because they really haven't been able to keep the ball in front of them. Plus, TL was doing some unreal things at the rim that for some reason he's not making those same plays.

A lot of this is going to have to be on Al because (as a lot of people have noted over the months), BOS's switching defense means teams are going to target Al. After the ATL series, NBA.com noted that ATL had some success taregting Horford here: https://www.nba.com/news/hawks-expose-flaw-celtics-stars-close-out-playoffs-film-study

That's not to say that Al can't clamp down but it's a little harder to bring every night as one gets older. But if anyone is going to do it, Al will.
 

RSN Diaspora

molests goats for comedy
SoSH Member
Jul 29, 2005
11,918
Washington, DC
Edit: Post #253 answered my question, while I was typing.
More or less, but I think it's critical to note that while the defense was subpar last night, it was the 10 turnover differential between the two teams that hurt the most. You can't have that in the playoffs and expect to win, Embiid or no Embiid.