Celtics vs Hawks, Round 1 Discussion

Auger34

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"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 have no idea why they repeatedly do this at the ends of games. Egos? Bad coaching? No idea.
The Hawks aren’t the worst playoff team in the East. The Nets were. By a large margin at that
 

HomeRunBaker

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Or bring back the 10-second back court violation. I hate the 8-second back court. The extra two seconds might prevent some of the dog walking. The 8-second rule has been a pet peeve of mine, since it was instituted.
The purpose of dog walking are to run additional clock on top of your :24, get into your set with more time on the shot clock, or bait the opponent into lunging while forcing them out of position to gain numbers/draw contact. The 8 or 10-sec rule doesn’t play any factor in walking the dog.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think shortening the game when you're up double digits with 5-6 minutes to go is what they should be doing, but they have to be able to execute in the half court and they did a horrific job of it.
This is absolutely true. These are professionals whose job it is to execute and reducing possessions while limiting ball movement to reduce turnovers is the safest path to victory. Last night it felt like the players felt that slowing tempo meant shutting down. Everyone on the floor approached the final few minutes like they were dribbling the clock out and there no urgency in executing.
 

OnTheBlack

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This was just as moronic when you posted it in the game thread - and that's where it should have stayed. Who gives a flapping fuck about Mazzulla's relationship with the media?

Tatum was a complete and utter no show tonight, and that is truly disappointing. 1-11 from 3 with a brutal giveaway late (Marcus chipped in two there), a big part of this L lands at his feet. We just had to make a bucket or two at the end there and it was turnovers and missed free throws galore. Smart is not instilling confidence with his turnovers and awful awareness in crunch time, either.
It matters because his demeanor is indicative of the teams demeanor. And teams often take on the personality of their coach. Confident yes, but to the point of arrogance. Refusing to change, and it bleeds into complacency because this team thinks it can win games just by showing up. That’s arrogance and it’s what gets this team in trouble. He’s never been held accountable for his shortcomings as a coach because he got handed a loaded roster to waltz through the regular season. Now the games matter and he will feel the heat for his coaching style if this goes off the rails, as he should. Also don’t be a dick, his coaching style and inexperience is a reasonable discussion point, as is what his response will be to the first meaningful criticism in his head coaching career.
 
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lexrageorge

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It matters because his demeanor is indicative of the teams demeanor. And teams often take on the personality of their coach. Confident yes, but to the point of arrogance. Refusing to change, and it bleeds into complacency because this team thinks it can win games just by showing up. That’s arrogance and it’s what gets this team in trouble, and he will start to get heat for his coaching style if this goes off the rails, as he should. Also don’t be a dick, it’s a reasonable discussion point.
Refusing to answer dumb questions in the manner the media wants him to does not make Mazzulla arrogant. Nor is it going to affect the team’s play in G6.
 

Mystic Merlin

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It matters because his demeanor is indicative of the teams demeanor. And teams often take on the personality of their coach. Confident yes, but to the point of arrogance. Refusing to change, and it bleeds into complacency because this team thinks it can win games just by showing up. That’s arrogance and it’s what gets this team in trouble. He’s never been held accountable for his shortcomings as a coach because he got handed a loaded roster to waltz through the regular season. Now the games matter and he will feel the heat for his coaching style if this goes off the rails, as he should. Also don’t be a dick, his coaching style and inexperience is a reasonable discussion point, as is what his response will be to the first meaningful criticism in his head coaching career.
Have you not followed the Patriots for the past twenty plus years? The Patriots’ level of play has not had any correlation to how Bill - whose media persona is generally perceived as ‘arrogant’ as it gets - handles the media, so forgive me if I’m unconvinced by your assertion that the coach’s tone with the media affects the players’ performance. It’s persona, it has nothing to do with how the coach handles actual business when a microphone isn’t in their face.
 

OnTheBlack

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Refusing to answer dumb questions in the manner the media wants him to does not make Mazzulla arrogant. Nor is it going to affect the team’s play in G6.
If not that then his baffling time out usage or his insistence to play smart over two better point guards? I’d argue playing smart over two cerebral point guards cost us a game 5 for sure. Smart was out there turning balls over, committing fouls, etc… He doesn’t change what he does dispute outside noise calling for him to operate differently. That’s arrogance. That’s not always a bad thing in a coach or player. Belichick has that, MJ had that, etc… but considering the biggest problem with this team is their complacency, thinking they can get W’s without working for it, I’d say it’s worth discussing. If you disagree that Joe is part of the problem then ok. He’s 34 years old and inexperienced. I don’t think he’s a bad coach, and he’s not responsible for Tatum forgetting how to play basketball yesterday, but this isn’t Pop here, the guy has a lot to prove still before he’s suddenly above criticism (for me anyway).
 

Humphrey

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"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.
One thing that hasn't been mentioned here is that at the beginning of Q3, the Celts went away from pounding the ball down low; went back to chucking up threes (2-9 that quarter) when what had been successful in the second quarter could have made it a lot harder for the Hawks to come back.
 

Manzivino

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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.
It seems to me like the crunch-time halfcourt offense should involve a lot of possessions where Smart/White (hell even Al in the post) initiate, run an action for Tatum on one side of the court and Brown on the other, and let the initiator make the read on which guy has the more advantageous position and get him the ball. The fact that we rarely see this tells me I'm missing some obvious flaw in the logic, but I'd love to know the reason they don't do it.
 

Deathofthebambino

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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
I've been saying some version of this, for nearly 2 months now in various threads:

.....

Outside of that, the only thing that's worrying me is Coach Joe's closing lineups. That Smart/Brogdon/White situation is scary, and if he doesn't at least go offense/defense with his remaining timeouts in a late, close game (and we know he'll have timeouts left to do it), I'll throw some shit around my house.
Anyone paying attention saw this coming from a mile away. Smart needs to see some pine late in games when they need scoring. It's really that fucking simple. Smart's defense is NOT so much better than Brogdon's anymore as to justify the downgrade on offense, and Smart isn't better than White at anything on a basketball court right now.

Of course, as I type this, I fully expect Marcus to have some sort of 8/12 shooting game from deep, including multiple late daggers and crazy defensive plays to close out Atlanta, but I don't care. Prove me wrong Mahcus.
 

Cellar-Door

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I'm of the opinion that they should run off misses more in the 4th... easy buckets are better than bleeding the clock unless you're up 20.
 

kfoss99

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Tatum went 1-10 from three. A problem that I've seen all year is that he can get his three off against anyone and he has a lot of confidence in it. I don't think he's lazy when he stops driving in situations, just that his calculus is off. If he hits two 3s in the fourth, yesterday, they put that game away. I'm pretty sure that's what he's been thinking all year.
 

Red Averages

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I'm of the opinion that they should run off misses more in the 4th... easy buckets are better than bleeding the clock unless you're up 20.
4th quarter misses for the Hawks:
- 9:42 left, missed 3, Jaylen rebound and Brogdon gets a 2 foot layup 5 seconds later.
- 8:23: D White Blocks Trae's layp, 5 seconds later Blake misses a 5 footer
- 6:53: Collins misses a 17 footer, TimeLord rebounds and D White misses a 28 foot 3 point pullup
- 6:30: Trae misses a 27 footer, 20 seconds later Jaylen gets a 3
- 2:03: Trae misses a 29 footer, TimeLord rebounds, then Marcus gets an offensive foul 8 seconds later
- 1:07: Trae misses another 28 footer, Jaylen rebounds and gets blocked on a 5 footer

That's it. So the one time they didn't go fast (we'll call that 8 seconds or under) they got a 3.

I think the problem was the Hawks were consistently getting their defense set due to hitting so many shots and free throws. That makes slowing the pace better as you reduce the amount of possessions with the defense set either way. The defense could have been far better, and the offense in the halfcourt could have been far better. Unclear they had opportunities to push the pace off of misses and didn't take advantage of it.

The Hawks had as many made 3s as missed shots in the 4th. That's insane.
 

Jimbodandy

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Tatum went 1-10 from three. A problem that I've seen all year is that he can get his three off against anyone and he has a lot of confidence in it. I don't think he's lazy when he stops driving in situations, just that his calculus is off. If he hits two 3s in the fourth, yesterday, they put that game away. I'm pretty sure that's what he's been thinking all year.
Lazy isn't the best word, but it's a lack of discipline.

When he's taking catch and shoot or open pullups on that shot, it's a good shot. When someone super long is guarding him and he takes that shot, it's no longer a good shot. Tough contests turn that into a bad shot for him. So he needs to do something else really, in order best to serve the offense.
 

Deathofthebambino

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4th quarter misses for the Hawks:
- 9:42 left, missed 3, Jaylen rebound and Brogdon gets a 2 foot layup 5 seconds later.
- 8:23: D White Blocks Trae's layp, 5 seconds later Blake misses a 5 footer
- 6:53: Collins misses a 17 footer, TimeLord rebounds and D White misses a 28 foot 3 point pullup
- 6:30: Trae misses a 27 footer, 20 seconds later Jaylen gets a 3
- 2:03: Trae misses a 29 footer, TimeLord rebounds, then Marcus gets an offensive foul 8 seconds later
- 1:07: Trae misses another 28 footer, Jaylen rebounds and gets blocked on a 5 footer

That's it. So the one time they didn't go fast (we'll call that 8 seconds or under) they got a 3.

I think the problem was the Hawks were consistently getting their defense set due to hitting so many shots and free throws. That makes slowing the pace better as you reduce the amount of possessions with the defense set either way. The defense could have been far better, and the offense in the halfcourt could have been far better. Unclear they had opportunities to push the pace off of misses and didn't take advantage of it.

The Hawks had as many made 3s as missed shots in the 4th. That's insane.
Agreed that typically, you see more runouts after a miss, but it should NEVER preclude a team from pushing the pace even if the other team is making shots. Especially when it's so clear that when the C's are pushing the pace, they are scoring. Let's look at the second quarter after made baskets by Atlanta:

11:32
Bogdan Bogdanovic makes 24-foot three point jumper (Aaron Holiday assists)

TL got a dunk 12 seconds later

10:03
Saddiq Bey makes 27-foot three pointer (Onyeka Okongwu assists)

Marcus layup 9 seconds later

9:30
Bogdan Bogdanovic makes free throw 3 of 3


Horford gets a 3 12 seconds later

8:57
Saddiq Bey makes free throw 2 of 2


Tatum missed layup 16 seconds later

6:35
John Collins makes 28-foot three point jumper (Trae Young assists)

Jaylen makes a 3, 13 seconds later

6:00
Saddiq Bey makes two point shot


Brogdon driving layup 13 seconds later

4:41
De'Andre Hunter makes 17-foot pullup jump shot (Trae Young assists)


Brogdon driving layup 9 seconds later

3:55
Saddiq Bey makes driving layup (John Collins assists)


Brogdon missed a 3, 13 seconds later

2:57
Trae Young makes 16-foot driving floating jump shot


Tatum misses a 3, 19 seconds later

1:24
John Collins makes 8-foot two point shot (Clint Capela assists)


Jaylen misses a layup 19 seconds later

32.1
Trae Young makes step back jumpshot


Jaylen gets fouled 10 seconds later, 2 free throws (1/2)


That's every bucket that Atlanta made in that quarter, and every time they pushed the pace following it, and shot in less than 13 seconds, they scored. Every time they held the ball longer than 13 seconds, they missed. The C's outscored Atlanta 39-28 in that quarter. When the C's got the ball after a miss or ATL turnover, they scored in 12, 7, 7, 2, 5, 7, 4, and 7 seconds.


I mean, this is honestly so straightforward, it's unconscionable when they slow it down. Atlanta simply cannot run with this team.
 

Just a bit outside

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One thing that hasn't been mentioned here is that at the beginning of Q3, the Celts went away from pounding the ball down low; went back to chucking up threes (2-9 that quarter) when what had been successful in the second quarter could have made it a lot harder for the Hawks to come back.
This is where I landed when watching. They seemed comfortable with the lead and gave away a lot of possessions.
 

Auger34

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Tatum went 1-10 from three. A problem that I've seen all year is that he can get his three off against anyone and he has a lot of confidence in it. I don't think he's lazy when he stops driving in situations, just that his calculus is off. If he hits two 3s in the fourth, yesterday, they put that game away. I'm pretty sure that's what he's been thinking all year.
Ok, then he needs to lose a little confidence in it and he needs to re-take calculus. There’s no excuse for him taking those shots against the Hawks, who literally can’t stop any of the Celtics from getting to the basket. It’s positively fucking insane to continue to do it when you clearly don’t have it that night

I don’t know if it’s lazy, lack of discipline, shying away from contact, doesn’t want to get hit again, or if he loves the idea of the dagger 3 and posing to the crowd. Maybe it’s a combination of all of those; I don’t know and I don’t really care that much. It’s maddening and it hurts the team
 
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benhogan

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I've been saying some version of this, for nearly 2 months now in various threads:
Anyone paying attention saw this coming from a mile away. Smart needs to see some pine late in games when they need scoring. It's really that fucking simple. Smart's defense is NOT so much better than Brogdon's anymore as to justify the downgrade on offense, and Smart isn't better than White at anything on a basketball court right now.

Of course, as I type this, I fully expect Marcus to have some sort of 8/12 shooting game from deep, including multiple late daggers and crazy defensive plays to close out Atlanta, but I don't care. Prove me wrong Mahcus.
Yep, they are 3 easy/obvious fixes.

If CJM doesn't efficiently use the talent on the roster we're kind of screwed.
 

thebutlerdidit

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Was just about to post this same thing. Look, the 13 points Trae scored were on two questionable foul calls, a head-scratchingly awful tech call, and three heaves from three well beyond the arc. The suggestion that Young somehow “torched” the Celtics is kind of silly. I’m hoping that he thinks those are good shots in Game 6. Because this isn’t Steph Curry we’re talking about here.
Yeah fair enough, I don't remember seeing the replay of the Smart foul call at the time but my impression about Trae was the same, he was making shots but I wanted to see him try to run something against the set defense because I wasn't convinced he was going to score. I felt fine about his last shot too, tbh, just sucks that he made it.

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.
fwiw I'm not a person who has ever brought up the "killer instinct" thing (I think these types of narratives are way overblown) and I mostly love Chaos Marcus. I just think given the way the refs had been calling that game all night, whistle-heavy and erratic, it wasn't a good gamble. But like I said, I'll take the good with the bad with him, and I also still want to see him in the closing lineup. He's not afraid of anything.

I still feel good about the C's in G6 - I'm gonna run the broadcast through an EQ to chill out that damn hawk sound though
 

Deathofthebambino

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Yeah fair enough, I don't remember seeing the replay of the Smart foul call at the time but my impression about Trae was the same, he was making shots but I wanted to see him try to run something against the set defense because I wasn't convinced he was going to score. I felt fine about his last shot too, tbh, just sucks that he made it.



fwiw I'm not a person who has ever brought up the "killer instinct" thing (I think these types of narratives are way overblown) and I mostly love Chaos Marcus. I just think given the way the refs had been calling that game all night, whistle-heavy and erratic, it wasn't a good gamble. But like I said, I'll take the good with the bad with him, and I also still want to see him in the closing lineup. He's not afraid of anything.

I still think we take this in six without too much trouble **ducks**
Erratic is a good word for the officiating last night. In a game in which 36 fouls were called (20 on Boston, 16 on Atlanta), the teams combined for a total of 23 free throws. (13 for the C's and 10 for the Hawks). Of those 23 free throws, I believe at least 4, maybe 5, were of the And1/technical variety, so of the 36 fouls called, less than 9 occurred when someone was in the act of shooting, when you eliminate the in the penalty shots.

The C's were getting called, once again, for off ball/moving screens all night long. From minute 1 (as folks can read from the game thread), the whistle was very, very fucking strange. The refs are getting off very easily today, IMO, because of the much easier narrative of the C's cheesedicking the game, but that officiating was putrid.
 

benhogan

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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.
Tatum, Mazzulla, & Smart were the biggest culprits here

At 3:26 Joe removes Derrick White for Marcus Smart. Celtics up 6

At that point, Trae Young proceeds to score 12pts, while Marcus has two turnovers over those last few minutes.

Going forward White needs to play 38-40mpg, like he did in Game 1. Plus Brogdon needs to play some situational offense at the end of games
 

Deathofthebambino

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Tatum, Mazzulla, & Smart were the biggest culprits here

At 3:26 Joe removes Derrick White for Marcus Smart. Celtics up 6

At that point, Trae Young proceeds to score 12pts, while Marcus has two turnovers over those last few minutes.

Going forward White needs to play 38-40mpg, like he did in Game 1. Plus Brogdon needs to play some situational offense at the end of games
It's actually worse than that. He took Marcus back out after the technical on Tatum, and then brought him back in again with 30 seconds left, which is when Marcus committed the foul at half court on Trae.

1:39
Derrick White enters the game for Marcus Smart 113 113
1:39
Trae Young makes free throw 2 of 2 114 113
1:23
Jaylen Brown bad pass (Onyeka Okongwu steals) 114 113
1:07
Trae Young misses 28-foot three point pullup jump shot 114 113
1:04
Jaylen Brown defensive rebound 114 113
50.1
Onyeka Okongwu blocks Jaylen Brown 's 5-foot driving floating jump shot 114 113
47.1
Robert Williams III offensive rebound 114 113
47.1
Robert Williams III misses tip shot 114 113
46.1
John Collins defensive rebound 114 113
30.1
Trae Young misses driving layup 114 113
30.1
Onyeka Okongwu vs. Robert Williams III (Jayson Tatum gains possession) 114 113
30.1
Celtics defensive team rebound 114 113
30.1
Marcus Smart enters the game for Derrick White 114 113
25.1
Robert Williams III makes alley oop dunk shot (Jayson Tatum assists) 114 115
15.1
Marcus Smart personal foul
 

benhogan

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It's actually worse than that. He took Marcus back out after the technical on Tatum, and then brought him back in again with 30 seconds left, which is when Marcus committed the foul at half court on Trae.

1:39
Derrick White enters the game for Marcus Smart 113 113
1:39
Trae Young makes free throw 2 of 2 114 113
1:23
Jaylen Brown bad pass (Onyeka Okongwu steals) 114 113
1:07
Trae Young misses 28-foot three point pullup jump shot 114 113
1:04
Jaylen Brown defensive rebound 114 113
50.1
Onyeka Okongwu blocks Jaylen Brown 's 5-foot driving floating jump shot 114 113
47.1
Robert Williams III offensive rebound 114 113
47.1
Robert Williams III misses tip shot 114 113
46.1
John Collins defensive rebound 114 113
30.1
Trae Young misses driving layup 114 113
30.1
Onyeka Okongwu vs. Robert Williams III (Jayson Tatum gains possession) 114 113
30.1
Celtics defensive team rebound 114 113
30.1
Marcus Smart enters the game for Derrick White 114 113
25.1
Robert Williams III makes alley oop dunk shot (Jayson Tatum assists) 114 115
15.1
Marcus Smart personal foul
and it may continue to get worse if ATL continues to not guard Marcus Smart, while aggressively doubling the JAYs
 

NomarsFool

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Personally, the most frustrating thing about all of this is that I need to suffer through watching them play another game in Atlanta. Is it just me, or does the game just seem incredibly loud there with non-stop extraneous noise and that horrific announcer? It sounds like I'm in a video game arcade.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Personally, the most frustrating thing about all of this is that I need to suffer through watching them play another game in Atlanta. Is it just me, or does the game just seem incredibly loud there with non-stop extraneous noise and that horrific announcer? It sounds like I'm in a video game arcade.
Has to be the worst arena in the league for that shit.
 

lovegtm

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Have I been nuts this entire series in rooting for the Bucks and Bud bc I’ve been petrified of facing Spo and the Heat?
I think a little bit nuts. The Bucks were clearly the better team in the past 2 games with Giannis back, and just completely, publicly shat all over themselves.

I was watching that 3rd quarter thinking, "man, it sucks the Heat won't have a miracle in them again, because the Bucks are starting to look pretty good."

Ultimately, I think the real answer is that the Celtics are a good deal better than both teams, but we don't know yet whether they'll be able to get out of their own way.
 

TripleOT

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Tatum is generation 1 point per shot from three. On twos and drives, he’s at 1.3 points per shot when he drives or shoots mid-range (including FTs on drives). The Hawks have had some difficulty containing him off the drive. He needs to continually drive the ball in game six
 

Devizier

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Have I been nuts this entire series in rooting for the Bucks and Bud bc I’ve been petrified of facing Spo and the Heat?
I said before the playoffs that there is a ton of parity this year and no easy outs. I don’t see a reason to revise that statement. The Celtics first have to beat the Hawks.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I'm of the opinion that they should run off misses more in the 4th... easy buckets are better than bleeding the clock unless you're up 20.
Yep—at least a 15+ point lead before you start slowing it down to such a degree. Especially when your defense is basically conceding the 3pt line on a lot of possessions and the slow-down offense is leading to turnovers at the top of the key (i.e. free points the other way).

Have I been nuts this entire series in rooting for the Bucks and Bud bc I’ve been petrified of facing Spo and the Heat?
Aha, no I don't think so at all, but I have been Spophobic and Heatphobic all season especially when it seemed we'd be likely to face them in rd 1. We've seen the C's matchup with the Bucks and it tends to look pretty good in large part because they aren't a fast offense and run their 3pt funnel defense and you generally know what they are going to do most of the time. Less to think about with that team.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Yep—at least a 15+ point lead before you start slowing it down to such a degree. Especially when your defense is basically conceding the 3pt line on a lot of possessions and the slow-down offense is leading to turnovers at the top of the key (i.e. free points the other way).
It isn’t logical to expect our half court offense to result in more turnovers than a freelance fast break. It just seems like everyone is being results oriented bc we didn’t execute our halfcourt offense agaiant one of the easier defenses in the league to execute it against.

Creating more possessions with a greater chance at turnovers and/or runouts the other way was the Hawks best path to get back into the game. Did anyone expect our halfcouet offense to falter like that vs the Hawks at the Garden especially?
 

TripleOT

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Yep—at least a 15+ point lead before you start slowing it down to such a degree. Especially when your defense is basically conceding the 3pt line on a lot of possessions and the slow-down offense is leading to turnovers at the top of the key (i.e. free points the other way).



Aha, no I don't think so at all, but I have been Spophobic and Heatphobic all season especially when it seemed we'd be likely to face them in rd 1. We've seen the C's matchup with the Bucks and it tends to look pretty good in large part because they aren't a fast offense and run their 3pt funnel defense and you generally know what they are going to do most of the time. Less to think about with that team.
Boston made a mistake when they took their foot off the gas to start the second half of Game 1. I didn’t like Mazzulla’s answer when asked about losing the second half of that game. If you can win the first half by 30 points, you should be trying to win the second half too. As many have pointed out on this board, it doesn’t take long to score 15 points in this three-centric league.

The goal should be maximum effort and the highest efficiency at both ends of the floor, regardless of score. Win the beginning of every quarter. Close quarters properly, getting the optimum amount of possessions. This is basketball 101 for top level teams.
 

JakeRae

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If not that then his baffling time out usage or his insistence to play smart over two better point guards? I’d argue playing smart over two cerebral point guards cost us a game 5 for sure. Smart was out there turning balls over, committing fouls, etc… He doesn’t change what he does dispute outside noise calling for him to operate differently. That’s arrogance. That’s not always a bad thing in a coach or player. Belichick has that, MJ had that, etc… but considering the biggest problem with this team is their complacency, thinking they can get W’s without working for it, I’d say it’s worth discussing. If you disagree that Joe is part of the problem then ok. He’s 34 years old and inexperienced. I don’t think he’s a bad coach, and he’s not responsible for Tatum forgetting how to play basketball yesterday, but this isn’t Pop here, the guy has a lot to prove still before he’s suddenly above criticism (for me anyway).
This team doesn’t have two point guards who are better than Marcus Smart. White is certainly having a better season and historically is on a similar level to Smart, so I don’t have an issue with calling for him to play over Smart (I’m not entirely sure I agree), but Brogdon is very clearly not the same level of player as either Smart or White. Here’s how Darko views their careers:

64075
As you can see, Smart is well-established as a consistently and meaningfully better player than Brogdon has ever been. White has taken a leap this year, but his prior peak was also comparable to Smart.

In other words, if there’s something to fault Mazzulla for with the point guards, it’s that he’s playing Brogdon too much, not Smart. White has been averaging 33 mpg, Smart 31 mpg, and Brogdon 25 mpg. There’s room for both White and Smart to get more minutes at Brogdon’s expense, although not a ton, so this only really bothers me when Brogdon is getting significant run in the 4th quarter of close games.

One of the tricky things is that Jaylen probably shouldn’t be playing on key defensive possessions because he’s the weakest defender of our top 6 players, but that’s obviously never going to happen. It’s no surprise that Trae sought out Jaylen and launched a deep three when it became clear Smart was coming out to switch back or double.
 

lovegtm

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Jaylen got a good contest without fouling on a very low % shot. Trae usually has a lot more room on long stepbacks than he did there. I agree he died on screens guarding Trae a lot in this series, but that last possession was as good as anyone on the Cs would have done, particularly up 1 (where a foul is killer, and 2 pointers are very much an option for Atlanta).
 

Euclis20

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Have I been nuts this entire series in rooting for the Bucks and Bud bc I’ve been petrified of facing Spo and the Heat?
Yes? The Bucks have spent much of Giannis' tenure atop the league choking in the playoffs, but the Heat are just not that impressive. Spoelstra is a great coach who hasn't won a title without Lebron, Bam is an unbelievably soft offensive player considering his physical tools, their offense is already below average with Herro, the large number of undrafted players in their rotation is both a credit to Spoelstra and a demerit to Reilly (they've been good to great for the last 4-5 years and they're a free agent destination, how do they have this little talent on that roster?). Playoff Jimmy is the only reason to fear him, and he's still 33 years old, has never won a title, and has won fewer playoff series than Jaylen Brown.

The Celtics play down to their level of competition so any series will be rough, but I think this Heat team may have just won their title already.
 

jablo1312

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Sep 20, 2005
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The other best team in the East has been eliminated. The other top 3 team's MVP player is dealing with a bulky knee, and their 2nd best player is dealing with an achilles issue. They will have HCA against anyone. There needs to be an all-time sense of urgency tonight, and really for the rest of the playoffs. I know everyone thinks these windows are open forever but injuries happen, players get disgruntled, owners get cheap, whatever. East is there for the taking.
 

NomarsFool

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Other than Giannis, is the person most upset about the Bucks being eliminated................................Grant Williams? :)
 

HomeRunBaker

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Other than Giannis, is the person most upset about the Bucks being eliminated................................Grant Williams? :)
Very true. If Randle is out for the Knicks, which could occur with one more ankle roll, he’d likely be on the bench as much as he was in the Atlanta series. This is of course assuming we advance.
 

benhogan

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Nov 2, 2007
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This team doesn’t have two point guards who are better than Marcus Smart. White is certainly having a better season and historically is on a similar level to Smart, so I don’t have an issue with calling for him to play over Smart (I’m not entirely sure I agree), but Brogdon is very clearly not the same level of player as either Smart or White.
I really don't think anyone is saying that. What has been repeatedly mentioned is to play White more minutes and use Brogdon situationally for offense. Not sure the Darko chart pushes back on that.
 

NomarsFool

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I really don't think anyone is saying that. What has been repeatedly mentioned is to play White more minutes and use Brogdon situationally for offense. Not sure the Darko chart pushes back on that.
I don't know, I'm pretty frustrated with Smart right now. I feel like he has been trying to be too "highlight" lately with making passes with too much flair and trying to make TikTok worthy defensive plays instead of playing, you know, boring defense where the guy you are guarding just has to pass it to someone else.
 

Cellar-Door

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https://www.celticsblog.com/2023/4/27/23700614/why-pace-matters-boston-celtics-first-round-series-atlanta-hawks-jayson-tatum-joe-mazzulla

So this has some clips and context, but one of the things I'd note that is buried in there is the numbers....
The Celtics in transition this year scored 127.5 points per 100 possessions... WAY beyond what their (very good) half court offense produced. You don't need to run on everything, but at the same time, running when you normally would is important because even if you see a slight uptick in turnovers (not sure that's even really the case, a lot of turnovers come from good set defense or just lazy passes), you are scoring at a far higher rate.

Joe recognized it too, there is a quote in there from him that they lost their pace, and some of it was him trying to get them to run good plays, where they should have just taken the easy opportunities... you can always pull out and re-set if there isn't a good look... can't speed up once you let the defense set.
 

JakeRae

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Jul 21, 2005
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I really don't think anyone is saying that. What has been repeatedly mentioned is to play White more minutes and use Brogdon situationally for offense. Not sure the Darko chart pushes back on that.
Before accusing me of addressing a fake hypothetical, maybe read the language I bolded in the post I was responding to and quoted. That poster explicitly declared that we have “two better point guards” than Smart.

Based on the substance of your post, I think we agree. White should play a bit more, although he’s already playing the most among our pg at 33 mpg. The thing is, those minutes should come from Brogdon (or Hauser and the rest of the bench), not Smart.
 

NomarsFool

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Before accusing me of addressing a fake hypothetical, maybe read the language I bolded in the post I was responding to and quoted. That poster explicitly declared that we have “two better point guards” than Smart.

Based on the substance of your post, I think we agree. White should play a bit more, although he’s already playing the most among our pg at 33 mpg. The thing is, those minutes should come from Brogdon (or Hauser and the rest of the bench), not Smart.
What I'm saying is, at this moment I feel more comfortable with White and Brogdon on the floor than Smart. Maybe the numbers don't support that, but I'm pretty annoyed with Smart over the last few games.