Celtics vs Hawks, Round 1 Discussion

Mooch

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I am trying to think of a way to phrase this so forgive me if this reads a bit clunky.

I want to start by saying Tatum is an elite NBA player any way you slice it. He’s elite because of the totality of his game. However, I don’t think he is an ELITE iso scorer.

Tatum and the coaching staff need to recognize that the team, and Tatum himself, are vastly superior when the thinking is “go get a bucket” vs. “Jayson you go get a bucket”. Unfortunately, in late game situations, it seems like the only operative is time for Jayson to ISO.

It’s like he has these two different sides as a player, “MVP Tatum” and “Kobe Tatum”. MVP Tatum takes what the defense is giving him and recognizes how to play to make his teammates better/more comfortable. And the Celtics as a team are much, much better when they play fast and with basic structure. Lots of getting into the paint so they have two clear options: a lay up or a kick-out. This gets the defensive rotations scrambling and then each Celtic doesn’t have to think much and just react. This playing style may not always be the way Jayson prefers to play but there’s a recognition that the way that he likes to play is always available.
MVP Tatum is there the vast majority of the time (obviously, since he’s going to finish 4th in the voting)

However, Kobe Tatum still rears his ugly head too often for anyone’s liking and especially in close and late situations. Kobe Tatum walks the ball up court, pounds the air out of the ball, and never imposes his will on the defense. There’s constant settling, his teammates are literally never involved (other than setting one pithy pick so Jayson can get to his beloved sidestep easier), and it rarely works.

Last night was one of the worst games I have ever seen Tatum play. Not only did Kobe Tatum show up constantly, he showed up at the most inopportune times to absolutely destroy the teams pace and momentum. The 3 at the end of the first half was unconscionably bad. The lack of awareness was stunning. Slowing the team down to take a heat check 3 when the teams offense is humming and you’re 3 for 10 is criminal. The lazy passes all game. @128 correctly pointed out that fortuitous bounces and Sam Hauser saved him from two disastrous turnovers by hustling to the ball. I believe there were 2 more passes like that that DIDNT turn into turnovers, so excluding the play at the end of the game where he just threw the ball right to DeAndre Hunter.

There’s a lot of talk about CJM, Smart, Blake, and missed FTs. All fair. That loss last night was solely and squarely on Tatum.

Luckily, he can wash this all away with a great game 6 but if the Celtics get to where we all think they can get to and end up running out of gas, this game and this performance will loom very large
Some of this is fair and some of this is not.

First of all, the criticism of Tatum in his stubbornness in shooting semi-contested threes when ice cold is warranted. It's the most frustrating part of his game for sure. The "Kobe" comparisons and saying that Tatum didn't "impose his will" are not. Tatum was facing double-teams on nearly every play in the 4th quarter and made the correct pass much of the time. He only turned the ball over twice vs. 8 assists and I noticed a whole bunch of "hockey assists" from him during much of the game. Tatum drew a lot of contact on drives during the game that didn't get called (a theme for the Celtics all night: 60 points in the paint and only 13 FT attempts? OK....) Tatum had an off night for sure but this loss wasn't "solely and squarely on Tatum." IMO, the blame goes largely on the coach for his inexplicable substitution patterns and stubborn refusal to use White/Brogdon to close out games and when the Hawks go small.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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No that wasn't it. Watch it again.

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


Brown picks Trae up six feet into Atlanta's back court. He may have been surprised by it, but he ran up and got into defensive position with no problem. Brown was ok. I just think the two errors there were: (1) on Smart, who had NO reason to switch whatsoever. And (2) you bring a double and take the ball out of Trae's hands. He had buried two deep threes in the last couple of minutes and was kind of feeling it. You want anyone else but him taking that shot. Bring a hard double, make him pass, and rotate like hell.
I'm not faulting JB at all.
 

tims4wins

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Tatum regular season:
30.1 / 8.8 / 4.6, .350 from 3, .466 overall, .543 eFG, 8.4 FTA / game
Tatum playoffs:
26.6 / 8.6 / 5.0, .340 from 3, .435 overall, .514 eFG, 5.0 FTA / game

Playoffs are harder, but not against a sieve like the Hawks. The FTA / game is jarring.

He has to be better or the narrative will continue to build.
 

benhogan

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I'm a huge Marcus defender generally (there is no good and bad Smart, there is just Smart) but that foul he committed at halfcourt to send Trae to the line after White's free throws was just brutal - make them run their offense and take a shot. All you need is one miss and the game is over there
IMO Marcus fouled there.

It's not even Marcus' fault since he shouldn't even be guarding Trae. Smart has never been great on small PGs, he's an excellent switch defender, controlling bigger PGs, & ball-handling wings. White should be guarding Young. But DW wasn't even on the floor with 15 seconds left

Our rookie HC made several questionable coaching decisions yesterday. The C's will close them out in Game 6 or Game 7, so not hugely concerned.
 

BaseballJones

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I'm looking at basketball-reference, and it says that these are his career regular season and playoff shooting numbers:

Regular season: 6.5 three point attempts per game, shooting .375
Post season: 6.5 three point attempts per game, shooting .369

He's shot 510 three pointers in the playoffs over his career.

.375 over 510 threes is 191.3 made
.369 over 510 threes is 188.2 made

So over his six year playoff career, the difference in his three point percentage is equivalent to three more makes. Virtually the same.

Regular season: 10.7 two point attempts per game, shooting .509
Post season: 11.2 two point attempts per game, shooting .477
 

Auger34

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Some of this is fair and some of this is not.

First of all, the criticism of Tatum in his stubbornness in shooting semi-contested threes when ice cold is warranted. It's the most frustrating part of his game for sure. The "Kobe" comparisons and saying that Tatum didn't "impose his will" are not. Tatum was facing double-teams on nearly every play in the 4th quarter and made the correct pass much of the time. He only turned the ball over twice vs. 8 assists and I noticed a whole bunch of "hockey assists" from him during much of the game. Tatum drew a lot of contact on drives during the game that didn't get called (a theme for the Celtics all night: 60 points in the paint and only 13 FT attempts? OK....) Tatum had an off night for sure but this loss wasn't "solely and squarely on Tatum." IMO, the blame goes largely on the coach for his inexplicable substitution patterns and stubborn refusal to use White/Brogdon to close out games and when the Hawks go small.
To each their own…..and I am normally pretty reasonable about this type of stuff but we just completely disagree on this, to the point that i am not sure we watched the same game.
I am all for complaining about the refs and I think that technical foul was disgustingly terrible….other than that I don’t remember a single play where Tatum got hacked and it wasn’t called. I think everything I said was eminently fair
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Tatum regular season:
30.1 / 8.8 / 4.6, .350 from 3, .466 overall, .543 eFG, 8.4 FTA / game
Tatum playoffs:
26.6 / 8.6 / 5.0, .340 from 3, .435 overall, .514 eFG, 5.0 FTA / game

Playoffs are harder, but not against a sieve like the Hawks. The FTA / game is jarring.

He has to be better or the narrative will continue to build.
I don't know anything about De'Andre Hunter's defensive reputation, but to me, he's doing a great job Wiggins'ing Tatum. Tatum has shot 40%, 40%, and 38% over the last three which is a credit to Hunter and some timely double teams.
 

TripleOT

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Smart teams try to take the ball out of the other team’s superstar’s hands in a final possessio, figuring that a lesser player has lass of a chance of beating them

Golden State did it Fox, when Steph and Draymond doubled him late. Harrison Barnes couldn’t make the game winner.

They way Trae was hitting long threes late in Game 5, the last thing I’d want is him taking a game winner.
 

Leon Trotsky

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I had to go back and look at 2008 Celtics v. Hawks. #1 v. #8, the C's looked even worse in that series. And it turned out just fine.

It was a stupid loss, but it still took a ridiculous, low percentage shot from Trae to win it with 2 seconds left. Miracles in the playoffs happen all the time, good thing it was in this situation and not Jimmy Butler last year.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Smart teams try to take the ball out of the other team’s superstar’s hands in a final possessio, figuring that a lesser player has lass of a chance of beating them

Golden State did it Fox, when Steph and Draymond doubled him late. Harrison Barnes couldn’t make the game winner.

They way Trae was hitting long threes late in Game 5, the last thing I’d want is him taking a game winner.
I agree; that is also a CJM call, not a Smart or Jaylen call. I would say that Trae had a great fouth, but most of game his passing hurt more than his shooting so I get deciding that a 30 foot Trae shot is not a bad bet.
 

128

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I don't know anything about De'Andre Hunter's defensive reputation, but to me, he's doing a great job Wiggins'ing Tatum. Tatum has shot 40%, 40%, and 38% over the last three which is a credit to Hunter and some timely double teams.
He was ACC defensive player of the year at Virginia, and he has a big wingspan (and good height).
 

tims4wins

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I had to go back and look at 2008 Celtics v. Hawks. #1 v. #8, the C's looked even worse in that series. And it turned out just fine.

It was a stupid loss, but it still took a ridiculous, low percentage shot from Trae to win it with 2 seconds left. Miracles in the playoffs happen all the time, good thing it was in this situation and not Jimmy Butler last year.
It was a weird series because the Celts kicked the crap out of Atlanta in all the Boston games and didn't play well in Atlanta. I think that was a bit more understandable. It was a more veteran group, but they also hadn't played a single playoff game together before that series. The same trend basically continued into round 2.

It's concerning that they lose a home game to a crappy defensive 7 seed.
 

bosockboy

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Only thing to add not covered is I wonder if Brad erred in not bringing in a veteran assistant to help Mazzulla (Frank Vogel, Terry Stotts, etc). I really think it would’ve been helpful. And losing Stoudamire on the fly didn’t help either.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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where was Joe terse and what questions did he blow off? He answered every single question in full after a tough loss.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5KGIu232IE
Just finished listening to this and man, the questions that were asked were almost as bad as the end of the game itself. I mean I know it must be tough to have to figure out what to ask someone a few minutes after the game ended, but nothing on why the pace slowed down? Nothing about whether the Cs were running what JMazz wanted them to? Nothing about whether ATL made any adjustments that the Cs hadn't faced? Nothing why Blake was dusted off in the 4Q?

Nothing about whether the Cs tend to lose focus when they think they should win?

Maybe those questions were asked later on but I would hope someone could think of a better question that several different iterations of "Did the Cs choke"?
 

Kliq

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I love Trae Young.

He's incredibly flawed, and we've spent so much time talking about his flaws. Mediocre three point shooter given his reputation; horrible defensive player; adjusted poorly to playing more off-ball with Murray. But he's got that ability to rise up on a big occasion and the balls to deliver even when he really has no reason to be confident. He was bad for a large portion of the game yesterday, and I think they said he got his shot blocked seven times. Yet down the stretch, on the road, with his season on the line, he just put it out the Celtics. Taking and making that 30-footer and then doing the "Brrrr" celebration is King shit, I'm sorry.

You can't really win with him as your best player, and for someone to celebrate like that he doesn't REALLY deserve it, but that makes it more entertaining. I'm sad the Celtics lost and hope they can close out Atlanta in G6 with minimal drama, but Young is a true joy to watch from an entertainment perspective.
 

astrozombie

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Dispiriting, but not crushing loss here. The miracle heave by Trae happens and it is what it is, but I still think the Celtics are the better team. My own casual take on the end of the game last night is that they started trying to get too cute trying to make highlight plays, failed, got tight and just fell apart. Hopefully there is a more business-like approach to the next one and they close it out.
 

mcpickl

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I think the simplest adjustment for the late game slow down clock grinding "strategy" is D White for Marcus. With Marcus and Tatum on the court at the end of the game you have two guys who burn shot clock, pound the ball into the ground, and are far too predictable. Tatum especially, it's like, dude, everybody and their grandpa has seen you burn the shot clock and pull up for three, it's your signature move that you never deviate from. His teammates know he's going to do it, ATL knows, Scal knows, Joe knows, Janus knows... everybody fucking knows. Conversely, D White is fearless and is a major threat to get downhill to the basket QUICKLY while also being a threat to pull up and knock down a three. Coach has to steer them out of this year's long skid or we'll keep seeing the same issue continue to repeat itself.
Smart played a little over two minutes out of the last nine minutes of the game.

he wasn’t slowing down the pace while sitting on the bench. That’s tough to do.

the biggest problem for the Celtics down the stretch, is that their superstar scored 2 points in the fourth quarter.

Tatum has to figure out how to close games. That’s his final step.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I get the risk/reward criticism there, but I disagree with it. The replay showed pretty clearly he didn't foul, and it was (yet another) really bad call that hurt the Celts. Marcus has made a lot of those kinds of plays over the years, and on defense he's earned deference on them, imo (not on offense). If he pulls that off it is a huge turnover that can win the game; he almost did, and on the merits he at least disrupted the play. You can say the foul is a known risk and that's fair, but to me that is a worthwhile gamble that almost worked out.
This is where I am on this play, too. He stole the ball. The cobra struck. That was not a foul - Trae fouled him, if anything, diving into his path.

It's bullshit to say the team needs a killer instinct AND criticize that play, in my opinion. He went for it and did a Marcus Smart thing and the refs were utter ass there and all game. I'm fine with Marcus all game long, really, and while I can see some offense-defense at the end, I want him in at the end of games. I think he wins games and he's the emotional leader of the team. If anything, I wish Tatum and Brown listened to him more. I think he's often frustrated that other players aren't matching his intensity.
 

jezza1918

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Smart played a little over two minutes out of the last nine minutes of the game.

he wasn’t slowing down the pace while sitting on the bench. That’s tough to do.

the biggest problem for the Celtics down the stretch, is that their superstar scored 2 points in the fourth quarter.

Tatum has to figure out how to close games. That’s his final step.
He had 16 points on 7 shots in the 4th Q in game 4. So I'd argue he just needs to figure out how to do it more consistently. That said, I also think the Celts have such a bevy of options on offense when they are executing I'm fine if Tatum doesn't shoot at all if he's as off as he was last night, especially when his passing game was pretty dynamic.
 

Cellar-Door

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Smart played a little over two minutes out of the last nine minutes of the game.

he wasn’t slowing down the pace while sitting on the bench. That’s tough to do.

the biggest problem for the Celtics down the stretch, is that their superstar scored 2 points in the fourth quarter.

Tatum has to figure out how to close games. That’s his final step.
I would say the biggest problem is that they consistently have bad possessions late in games. The Tatum/Smart/Smart/Jaylen 4 terrible turnovers in 5 possessions is what changed the game. They run good offense and score on even 2 of those possessions they're fine. Instead it ends with them trailing somehow.
 

jezza1918

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I would say the biggest problem is that they consistently have bad possessions late in games. The Tatum/Smart/Smart/Jaylen 4 terrible turnovers in 5 possessions is what changed the game. They run good offense and score on even 2 of those possessions they're fine. Instead it ends with them trailing somehow.
Totally agree. On a positive note, per NBA.com they had 2nd best record (8th best net rating) in the NBA this year in "clutch" situations (5 minutes or less, score within 5). In 21/22 and 20/21 they were near the bottom in terms of record and 27th/17th in net rating last two seasons. ...so hopefully last night was an exception to what has been this years rule.
 

mcpickl

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I would say the biggest problem is that they consistently have bad possessions late in games. The Tatum/Smart/Smart/Jaylen 4 terrible turnovers in 5 possessions is what changed the game. They run good offense and score on even 2 of those possessions they're fine. Instead it ends with them trailing somehow.
those two issues are related, no?

if Tatum figures out how to close out games, which I think he will, you don’t have as many possessions where Brown and Smart are involved. Though both of the Smart turnovers were trying to get Tatum involved.
 

mcpickl

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He had 16 points on 7 shots in the 4th Q in game 4. So I'd argue he just needs to figure out how to do it more consistently. That said, I also think the Celts have such a bevy of options on offense when they are executing I'm fine if Tatum doesn't shoot at all if he's as off as he was last night, especially when his passing game was pretty dynamic.
It is nice the Celtics have a bevy of options on offense, and Tatum scored a bunch of fourth quarter points the game before, but Tatum can’t score 2 fourth quarter points in a close playoff game.

He has to take the game over.
 

jezza1918

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It is nice the Celtics have a bevy of options on offense, and Tatum scored a bunch of fourth quarter points the game before, but Tatum can’t score 2 fourth quarter points in a close playoff game.

He has to take the game over.
Agreed. Im more coming from the standpoint that if Celts are up 10 with 5 to go, I dont think he has to take over from scoring standpoint. But yeah, once it gets down to 4 or something, you want to look to him.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I don't know anything about De'Andre Hunter's defensive reputation, but to me, he's doing a great job Wiggins'ing Tatum. Tatum has shot 40%, 40%, and 38% over the last three which is a credit to Hunter and some timely double teams.
Jalen Johnson also purchased a Tatum suit this series and is wearing the hell out of it. Its pretty remarkable for a kid who didn't get a lot of run during the regular season.

The point is thay the Hawks have the personnel to slow Tatum and its working. Celtics need to adjust.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Agreed. Im more coming from the standpoint that if Celts are up 10 with 5 to go, I dont think he has to take over from scoring standpoint. But yeah, once it gets down to 4 or something, you want to look to him.
Or at least make the right play if the defense is making a concerted effort to take him away. Smart had Al wide open for a corner three on the possession he threw the ball away late. Tatum cut to the paint and Collins stunted toward him leaving Al wide open, but Marcus tried to force feed it to Tatum instead and it got picked off. Tatum also had Al open in the corner on the possession he stood there like an idiot for two seconds and had it picked off trying to go cross court to Jaylen instead of making the short pass to Al. Al in the corner was such a staple all year, I'm not sure why they couldn't find him last night when they had it twice in the final possessions.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I would say the biggest problem is that they consistently have bad possessions late in games. The Tatum/Smart/Smart/Jaylen 4 terrible turnovers in 5 possessions is what changed the game. They run good offense and score on even 2 of those possessions they're fine. Instead it ends with them trailing somehow.
The frustrating thing is that it's not consistent. I mean we just talked about in G4 how the Cs kept having good to great offensive possessions and ATL never got it below 4 points in the 4Q.

I'm not one who typically complains about players' effort because I know that performance is variable and I don't think anyone can tell how hard people are or are not playing.

However, I agree with Scal who said on the post-game that the Cs downshifted on offense at some point in the 4Q. They started walking the ball up; they stopped moving the ball; and there wasn't much cutting going on either. They did the same thing in G5 against MIL last year and it almost cost them dearly in G7 against MIA.

Maybe this is the time they will learn!
 

ifmanis5

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Big picture level I really hope Tatum and the rest of the team and coaches are half as mad as most of the fans are today. Unacceptable loss and the intensity level can't fall into The CD Zone again.
Good post from Kliq. Trae gets a lot of shit but making a shot like that with no fear in the playoffs is something even NBA stars can struggle with.
Finally I think Coach Joe is a problem. It's hopefully not a title dealbreaker but it's a franchise disadvantage in every game from here on out. Not what you want.
 

Strike4

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Agreed. Im more coming from the standpoint that if Celts are up 10 with 5 to go, I dont think he has to take over from scoring standpoint. But yeah, once it gets down to 4 or something, you want to look to him.
While this is true about Tatum, it doesn't jive with whatever the plan was last night. Tatum would start each possession with the ball and the Hawks would double team and pressure him, causing him to attempt a pass (the end result being a few key turnovers because the rest of the team didn't see the danger). The ONLY adjustment that needed to be made (either by Tatum on his own or the HC) was to have Tatum speed up, do a small ISO move like a crossover or jab step, etc., to create a bit of space. He didn't even have to score or go to the basket - just something to break the pressure a little so he could increase his options.
 

jmcc5400

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The frustrating thing is that it's not consistent. I mean we just talked about in G4 how the Cs kept having good to great offensive possessions and ATL never got it below 4 points in the 4Q.

I'm not one who typically complains about players' effort because I know that performance is variable and I don't think anyone can tell how hard people are or are not playing.

However, I agree with Scal who said on the post-game that the Cs downshifted on offense at some point in the 4Q. They started walking the ball up; they stopped moving the ball; and there wasn't much cutting going on either. They did the same thing in G5 against MIL last year and it almost cost them dearly in G7 against MIA.

Maybe this is the time they will learn!
Maybe they don't learn and never will. God knows they are frustrating.

But one thing this team has shown, time and again is that as hard as they make things for themselves they usually find a way to bounce back. Games 3-4 and 6 against the Raptors in 2020. Games 3 and 5 against the Bucks last year. Games 3 and 6 against Miami last year. All soul-crushing, sleepless night losses. Followed by redemption.

So, shake it off and let's serve some soup in Atlanta Thursday night.
 

Jimbodandy

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Jalen Johnson also purchased a Tatum suit this series and is wearing the hell out of it. Its pretty remarkable for a kid who didn't get a lot of run during the regular season.

The point is thay the Hawks have the personnel to slow Tatum and its working. Celtics need to adjust.
This shit happened last year with Wiggins too. He's obviously a better player than Johnson, but it's length and quickness that bothers Tatum. Some of this blame belongs to Tatum for defaulting to his Kobe mode bad habits, but some of this belongs on Joe and staff also. They spent the first half of the year utilizing motion, ghost screens, and a bunch of nice actions to create good looks for people and have gotten away from that. It bit us in the ass finally. There's no way that someone as studious as Tatum doesn't see this. Some of the vets do too.

Maybe it's the green colored glasses here, but I'm hopeful that they'll see this game for what it was--a lesson. Stop letting the air out of the ball and run the offense. Sending a tall, half-decent defender at Tatum shouldn't be this team's fucking kryptonite.
 

BaseballJones

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those two issues are related, no?

if Tatum figures out how to close out games, which I think he will, you don’t have as many possessions where Brown and Smart are involved. Though both of the Smart turnovers were trying to get Tatum involved.
You close out games by consistently getting the best shots possible. So do what you have to do to get the best shots possible.
 

kazuneko

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Joe needs to go situational. Brogdon in for Smart on offense at the end.
He needs to play his best players the most minutes. White has to play over 31 minutes.
He needs to let White & Brogdon QB the offense in late/tight and put the JAYs in a position to succeed
Totally agree and said it at the time. No one doubts that Brogdon is the better offensive player, so why the heck wasn’t he in the game when the Cs were desperate for a bucket? Subjectively, he also seems like the player that is least likely to panic; the guy consistently projects calm and that was exactly what the team needed.
Also why the heck wasn’t White (instead of Brown) covering Trae on that final possession? White is the teams best defender of quicker guards and the best shotblocking guard in the league. Not sure I’d choose anyone in the league over him to defend Trae in that moment and instead he goes with Brown.
Mazzulla needs to also be criticized for his squandering of the coach’s challenge on an out of bounds play in the third quarter. Yes, he won the challenge but all he got out of it was a change of possession. And while I’m all for using the challenge early, when you only have one challenge it needs to take points off the board or be used at a critical moment late in the game. Instead, Joe has spent the year either not using the challenge at all (which he does far too much) or focusing on out of bounds plays - which for some reason has become his main emphasis in the second half of the season. Last night he chose this path again and then didn’t have any way of challenging the questionable call on Smart at the end of the game….
 

mcpickl

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Or at least make the right play if the defense is making a concerted effort to take him away. Smart had Al wide open for a corner three on the possession he threw the ball away late. Tatum cut to the paint and Collins stunted toward him leaving Al wide open, but Marcus tried to force feed it to Tatum instead and it got picked off. Tatum also had Al open in the corner on the possession he stood there like an idiot for two seconds and had it picked off trying to go cross court to Jaylen instead of making the short pass to Al. Al in the corner was such a staple all year, I'm not sure why they couldn't find him last night when they had it twice in the final possessions.
Smart did find Al wide open in the corner on one of the late possessions, and he bricked it.

luckily Rob got the offensive rebound and put back, then missed the free throw.
 

teddykgb

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I’m as angry as anyone but Mazzulla didn’t have Brown on Trae. He had Smart on Trae and they switched the pick. Maybe Brown called a switch or maybe Smart was lazy to get over the screen but it was clearly not intended for Brown to guard that possession.

I was down on the Mazzulla hire when it happened but yesterday is squarely on Tatum. He was bad all game and bad when it mattered and unlucky in the tech but lucky to avoid a take foul on his boneheaded turnover. As good as he is, and he can be incredibly good, he’s been taken out of way too many playoff games by guys I don’t consider top 1% defenders. He’s improved in a lot of areas but unlike most of those top guys he doesn’t really have a move or a go to shot that isn’t a dribble out the clock side step 3 and so when teams double him or get up on him he seems more vulnerable than other top 5ish players in what he can do to affect the outcome. I know that it’ll likely result in accusations of overreacting but I think most of our late game white knuckling is because our alpha scorer player isn’t really capable of handling those situations and getting a bucket himself most times down the floor. Some of that is scheme and some of that is skill set but I think most people who watch this team would agree that we all secretly kind of hope for plays designed for Brown to go to the rim when we need a bucket because he consistently shows the ability to at least get by the first man and get there
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Mar 26, 2005
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Maybe they don't learn and never will. God knows they are frustrating.

But one thing this team has shown, time and again is that as hard as they make things for themselves they usually find a way to bounce back. Games 3-4 and 6 against the Raptors in 2020. Games 3 and 5 against the Bucks last year. Games 3 and 6 against Miami last year. All soul-crushing, sleepless night losses. Followed by redemption.

So, shake it off and let's serve some soup in Atlanta Thursday night.
Usually but not always (see: GSW)

Having said that, maybe the Cs just wanted to have the whole world watching them on Thursday night so they can drop a performance for the ages!
 

tims4wins

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This adds nothing of substance but I am reminded of that “definition of insanity” of keep trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Unfortunately it feels like this version of the Celtics has shown us who they are. Please let them prove me wrong.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I’m as angry as anyone but Mazzulla didn’t have Brown on Trae. He had Smart on Trae and they switched the pick. Maybe Brown called a switch or maybe Smart was lazy to get over the screen but it was clearly not intended for Brown to guard that possession.
Smart called for the switch. You can see it in the replay that he pointed the switch to JB.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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This adds nothing of substance but I am reminded of that “definition of insanity” of keep trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Unfortunately it feels like this version of the Celtics has shown us who they are. Please let them prove me wrong.
As I said to CD, just last game the Cs were great in executing down the stretch so I don't know about trying the same things over and over.
 

tims4wins

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As I said to CD, just last game the Cs were great in executing down the stretch so I don't know about trying the same things over and over.
I meant more about us as fans expecting them to have found the “killer instinct “ or whatever you want to call it. I keep buying in only to be proven wrong time after time.
 

jezza1918

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As I said to CD, just last game the Cs were great in executing down the stretch so I don't know about trying the same things over and over.
And the clutch stats I pointed to in an earlier post suggest they have been very good at executing down the stretch this season. But we are haunted (understandably so) from the last couple seasons.

edit: just seeing your last post WRT 'killer instinct,' @tims4wins. Totally agree there.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
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Jalen Johnson also purchased a Tatum suit this series and is wearing the hell out of it. Its pretty remarkable for a kid who didn't get a lot of run during the regular season.

The point is thay the Hawks have the personnel to slow Tatum and its working. Celtics need to adjust.
I think this speaks to Tatum’s limitations as well. As noted, both coaches and players need to adjust to this reality.
 

Auger34

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This shit happened last year with Wiggins too. He's obviously a better player than Johnson, but it's length and quickness that bothers Tatum. Some of this blame belongs to Tatum for defaulting to his Kobe mode bad habits, but some of this belongs on Joe and staff also. They spent the first half of the year utilizing motion, ghost screens, and a bunch of nice actions to create good looks for people and have gotten away from that. It bit us in the ass finally. There's no way that someone as studious as Tatum doesn't see this. Some of the vets do too.

Maybe it's the green colored glasses here, but I'm hopeful that they'll see this game for what it was--a lesson. Stop letting the air out of the ball and run the offense. Sending a tall, half-decent defender at Tatum shouldn't be this team's fucking kryptonite.
I’ve got one very easy solution that would help Tatum out and avoid doubles being thrown at him and clogging up the offense…..STOP HAVING HIM WALK THE GODDAMN BALL UP!!! My god, you have 3 capable point guards, why the fuck is Tatum playing that role in games close and late?!

I watched Jalen Johnson at Duke and I’ve watched him some for the Hawks. I am having a really hard time accepting that he’s some great defender who is putting clamps on Tatum and now an adjustment needs to be made. Like that shouldn’t be something we are discussing on here
 

JCizzle

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Re: Tatum, I hope they didn't repeat the same mistake as last year by not forcing him to sit enough. After looking exhausted against GSW, he played the fifth most minutes in the league this year. It's a bit early in the playoffs to be tired already, but he's played a lot of basketball in recent years.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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I’ve got one very easy solution that would help Tatum out and avoid doubles being thrown at him and clogging up the offense…..STOP HAVING HIM WALK THE GODDAMN BALL UP!!! My god, you have 3 capable point guards, why the fuck is Tatum playing that role in games close and late?!

I watched Jalen Johnson at Duke and I’ve watched him some for the Hawks. I am having a really hard time accepting that he’s some great defender who is putting clamps on Tatum and now an adjustment needs to be made. Like that shouldn’t be something we are discussing on here
Agree 100%.

Or, you know, you could have Tatum post up, because he's pretty darned good at that too. They didn't run a single play like that for him late in the game (did they do it at ALL during the game?).
 

Jimbodandy

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I’ve got one very easy solution that would help Tatum out and avoid doubles being thrown at him and clogging up the offense…..STOP HAVING HIM WALK THE GODDAMN BALL UP!!! My god, you have 3 capable point guards, why the fuck is Tatum playing that role in games close and late?!

I watched Jalen Johnson at Duke and I’ve watched him some for the Hawks. I am having a really hard time accepting that he’s some great defender who is putting clamps on Tatum and now an adjustment needs to be made. Like that shouldn’t be something we are discussing on here
Agreed on the former. For the latter, I don't mean to imply that Johnson is a good defender. I'm just staying that he's another athletic enough guy with an 8'10" standing reach, and that shit seems to be a problem for Tatum. God knows why, since that stepback is gonna get off over just about everyone. It just seems to be a blind spot for him, and thus for the team. Seems like something that can be coached around imo.
 

lexrageorge

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I daresay that I think this happens because Tatum is "the man". Which is a ridiculous reason to do it, but this is the NBA. Butler brings it up. Giannis brings it up. LeBron brings it up. Durant brings it up. All the big names bring it up in crunch time. But that's not how it should be. You should just do what works best, and what works best for the Celtics is NOT when Tatum brings it up. But.....superstar, so whatever.
This is where the coaching staff needs to step up. I have no issue with the ball in Tatum's hands in crunch time; it's when he's also forced into being the initiator is when the team's offense stalls completely. Tatum is not the same player as Butler (who schooled Tatum during last year's playoffs again on this very issue), Giannis, LeBron, Durant. Tatum and the Celtics need to play to the strengths of the players on the roster, as opposed to what they want those strengths to be.
 

Eddie Jurak

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It was a weird series because the Celts kicked the crap out of Atlanta in all the Boston games and didn't play well in Atlanta. I think that was a bit more understandable. It was a more veteran group, but they also hadn't played a single playoff game together before that series. The same trend basically continued into round 2.

It's concerning that they lose a home game to a crappy defensive 7 seed.
"Crappy defensive 7 seed" understates the issue. Atlanta is the worst playoff team in the East, despite winning the play in game, and they were without their second best player. And still the Celtics could not put them away.
I would say the biggest problem is that they consistently have bad possessions late in games. The Tatum/Smart/Smart/Jaylen 4 terrible turnovers in 5 possessions is what changed the game. They run good offense and score on even 2 of those possessions they're fine. Instead it ends with them trailing somehow.
I have no idea why they repeatedly do this at the ends of games. Egos? Bad coaching? No idea.
 

Eddie Jurak

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This is where the coaching staff needs to step up. I have no issue with the ball in Tatum's hands in crunch time; it's when he's also forced into being the initiator is when the team's offense stalls completely. Tatum is not the same player as Butler (who schooled Tatum during last year's playoffs again on this very issue), Giannis, LeBron, Durant. Tatum and the Celtics need to play to the strengths of the players on the roster, as opposed to what they want those strengths to be.
Yes, exactly. The point is not that Tatum should be shoved in a corner as a decoy. The point is that they should be running plays for him rather than having him run the offense.