Celtics vs Hawks, Round 1 Discussion

BaseballJones

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He whines in an early clip about the defender not being ready to guard Tatum because he originally was in the paint. Uh....he was just fine. He had plenty of time to get to Tatum. And when this guy says, "You're not ready to guard Tatum", here's the position.

63898

He's guarding him just fine. Tatum ends up making a very difficult shot (lucky bounce) despite the defender being draped all over him.

I love watching this guy's videos, but he gets a lot of things wrong.
 

lovegtm

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My guess is Muscala was all about size---they had a foul issue with TL, but didn't want to go as small as Grant as limiting offensive rebounds was a pillar of the game strategy. So they tried Muscala to preserve the size for a few minutes. And yeah---I don't think it really worked, but the theory made some sense.

I like that CJM has shown flexibility on rotations: Grant didn't play first two, which made sense; he played well in game 3, but offensive rebounding was an issue so he tried Muscala instead in game 4. He's subbed out Smart for Brogdon/White on offense late at times, which is tough for a quasi-captain but also the right move. Those tough calls are critical for a coach and he's been willing to make them.
Re White/Brogdon for Smart: I'm surprised no one else mentioned that, good call. Mazzulla has been extremely unattached to intra-team status, and is clearly going to play what seem like the best matchups.

Honestly, he has seemed a lot better and more adaptable than Ime this whole season, to me at least.
 

Cellar-Door

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He whines in an early clip about the defender not being ready to guard Tatum because he originally was in the paint. Uh....he was just fine. He had plenty of time to get to Tatum. And when this guy says, "You're not ready to guard Tatum", here's the position.

View attachment 63898

He's guarding him just fine. Tatum ends up making a very difficult shot (lucky bounce) despite the defender being draped all over him.

I love watching this guy's videos, but he gets a lot of things wrong.
yeah on that one, his original point wasn't bad... that he gave tons of space to Tatum instead of denying, but he recovered fine based on Tatum's movement. The original positioning is dumb, but because it was a slow developing play with White shoveling to Al, then two players crossing it was fine. If White had driven and kicked to the corner it's probably a wide open Tatum 3.

One thing these breakdowns are good at is pointing out... Dejounte Murray isn't really that good of a defender, particularly off ball. He basically fell off a cliff once he decided he was going to be a scorer.
 

BaseballJones

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yeah on that one, his original point wasn't bad... that he gave tons of space to Tatum instead of denying, but he recovered fine based on Tatum's movement. The original positioning is dumb, but because it was a slow developing play with White shoveling to Al, then two players crossing it was fine. If White had driven and kicked to the corner it's probably a wide open Tatum 3.

One thing these breakdowns are good at is pointing out... Dejounte Murray isn't really that good of a defender, particularly off ball.
When you are one pass away you should be in deny, but when you are two passes away, you should be in help position. The defender was in help position, and had time to recover. Now, maybe he could have been a step closer to Tatum, but he was in no danger unless White himself got into the paint and forced this defender into a choice - help (thus leaving Tatum wide open) or not help (protecting against an open Tatum three, but also leaving the lane open for White). I think on the whole, the defender was perfectly fine on this play.

But.....the Hawks are not a good defensive team and left SO many wide open shots for the Celtics.
 

Jimbodandy

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yeah on that one, his original point wasn't bad... that he gave tons of space to Tatum instead of denying, but he recovered fine based on Tatum's movement. The original positioning is dumb, but because it was a slow developing play with White shoveling to Al, then two players crossing it was fine. If White had driven and kicked to the corner it's probably a wide open Tatum 3.

One thing these breakdowns are good at is pointing out... Dejounte Murray isn't really that good of a defender, particularly off ball. He basically fell off a cliff once he decided he was going to be a scorer.
He got more erratic at both ends when he got paid and left Pop, but his defense has suffered much more. It's too bad, because he could be a very good defender if he could be bothered.

To his credit, he has been pretty damn efficient offensively in this series and playing over his regular season baseline. Guy has all sorts of skills and athleticism. But he's basically Harden on defense now. He'll get up for a possession here and there and will get some steals with his quick hands, but he is saving most of his energy for the other end. Murray, Bogdan, and Trae is a rough guard lineup to roll out there.
 

lars10

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Same as game 3, really. He went 5-12 in game 3, so a combined 8-20 in the 2 games in Atlanta. In theory Marcus hitting 40% from 3 is AWESOME. In practice it doesn't always work out like that.
What I don’t like with Marcus is that as a PG he calls his own number an awful lot… last night it worked out because he made a bunch of shots. But I don’t get the feeling he is playing within the offense and that he’s freelancing a lot.

He’s also too careless with the ball.. trying for fancy passes where a simple pass would work just as well ir better. He also brings up the ball too slow… the difference between how White sets up the offense is night and day. The way he waved off Tatum at the end of the game and got stripped in the backcourt is a prime example… just make the simple pass… but instead he tries to dribble full court against a small guard.

(In general the Trae reach around is a move that NBA players should not let happen.. I learned in high school that you need to switch hands if a defender is doing that consistently.. if you do the defender is way out of position.)

Also.. just wish he was a little less chaotic on D.. obviously he creates a lot of turnovers, but like on offense, I get the feeling he freelances a lot on D and is often out of position when he doubles players or cheats into passing lanes… making it harder for his teammates to figure out where he’s going to be.
 

the moops

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Guy is a real weapon. He's a top-15 offensive player in the world.

Unfortunately he is also a bottom-15 defensive player in the NBA. And that matters.
I think you are selling him short on both these things.

Top 5 offensive weapon

Bottom 1 defensive player (and I don't think it is particularly close. His effort, size, and execution are all terrible)
 

Jimbodandy

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I think you are selling him short on both these things.

Top 5 offensive weapon

Bottom 1 defensive player (and I don't think it is particularly close. His effort, size, and execution are all terrible)
I've probably beaten DARKO to death and used it improperly at least a hundred times. So I'll stay away from that shit.

I think that these guys are all better offensive weapons than Trae Young: Lillard, Curry, Tatum, Jokic, Durant, Doncic, Giannis, Embiid. Then you get a bunch of guys who are in his general area and legitimate argument over who's better, like Harden, Mitchell, et al.

Defensively, as bad as Young is, there are still guys who are worse. Jalen Green isn't on anyone's radar for this, but he's still atrocious. Bojan, Dame too. And there are a few other rookie and second-year players who are worse now, although they likely won't be eventually, like Cam Thomas, Ivey.

You can probably make a case for pushing top-5/bottom-5 though. This is hair-splitting on my part. Dame is a fantastic comp imo for a guy who simply gives back as much as he gives you, which is why his teams are eternally in playoff purgatory like Trae's. Fun shit to watch though. The shotmaking is peak Globetrotters, but so is the defense.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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He'll get up for a possession here and there and will get some steals with his quick hands, but he is saving most of his energy for the other end.
Murray tried for and whiffed on at least three steals that led to easy Cs buckets which were so obvious even Jim Jackson had to point it out.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Hauser's meh D + being a near total zero on offense it'd be great if Grant could claw back his relevance as the playoffs proceed.
Hauser doesn't have to hit shots to be a factor offensively. Why do you think there are so many open lanes for JT, JB, and MB?

One advantage that Hauser has over GW is that Hauser's shot is a bit quicker, has more arc, and is released higher. That means that defenders have to be closer to Hauser to contest his shot, and in the NBA, that step (or even half-step) could mean the difference between an open lay-up and a contest.

Yeah, that was about as comfortable of a playoff road win as you’ll ever see. The reasoning for not using Grant had already been discussed as he’s a terrible tweener matchup against a team with agile perimeter players and long bigs.

G5 will likely be similar with even larger spread and longer runs being at home……while unlike our future opponents we have remained healthy in R1. Hard to even squint and see how we aren’t in better shape today than we were at the start of the playoffs.
I hope the basketball gods aren't members here!
 

benhogan

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I'd pin some (not all) of Dejounte's defensive downgrade on playing with Trae Young for a season. He probably gambles or else the opponent will spend 15-18 seconds hunting down Trae and putting ATL in rotation.

A defense is only as good as its worst 1-2 defenders. Stick Bogdanovich on the floor with Trae & its a party
 
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lars10

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He whines in an early clip about the defender not being ready to guard Tatum because he originally was in the paint. Uh....he was just fine. He had plenty of time to get to Tatum. And when this guy says, "You're not ready to guard Tatum", here's the position.

View attachment 63898

He's guarding him just fine. Tatum ends up making a very difficult shot (lucky bounce) despite the defender being draped all over him.

I love watching this guy's videos, but he gets a lot of things wrong.
I think a lot of his analysis was based on results.. the fact that all of the examples were made baskets (I believe) would seem to indicate he’s starting with the basket and analyzing from there.. surely there are a number of mistakes that led to a miss.

On the example you show.. I think he’s critical of how the defender has to take several steps to get to Tatum.. thus he’s off balance when Tatum goes to make his move. Seemed like a lot of those types of examples where the defender was a step out of position which meant they were off balance when they got into position.
 

benhogan

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Hauser doesn't have to hit shots to be a factor offensively. Why do you think there are so many open lanes for JT, JB, and MB?

One advantage that Hauser has over GW is that Hauser's shot is a bit quicker, has more arc, and is released higher. That means that defenders have to be closer to Hauser to contest his shot, and in the NBA, that step (or even half-step) could mean the difference between an open lay-up and a contest.
Hauser torched ATL this season. In three games Sam was 17-25 from 3. They have to be very aware whenever he hits the court.

Mostly CJM is riding with his TOP7 and only playing 3SAM against 2nd units. Joe is doing an excellent job with rotations so far. Muscala for 1 minute yesterday was even explainable.
 

Auger34

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I've probably beaten DARKO to death and used it improperly at least a hundred times. So I'll stay away from that shit.

I think that these guys are all better offensive weapons than Trae Young: Lillard, Curry, Tatum, Jokic, Durant, Doncic, Giannis, Embiid. Then you get a bunch of guys who are in his general area and legitimate argument over who's better, like Harden, Mitchell, et al.

Defensively, as bad as Young is, there are still guys who are worse. Jalen Green isn't on anyone's radar for this, but he's still atrocious. Bojan, Dame too. And there are a few other rookie and second-year players who are worse now, although they likely won't be eventually, like Cam Thomas, Ivey.

You can probably make a case for pushing top-5/bottom-5 though. This is hair-splitting on my part. Dame is a fantastic comp imo for a guy who simply gives back as much as he gives you, which is why his teams are eternally in playoff purgatory like Trae's. Fun shit to watch though. The shotmaking is peak Globetrotters, but so is the defense.
I don’t know, I think in a playoff setting, Young is the worst defender in basketball. He’s small and not very athletic so he just doesn’t have the tools to be anything better than awful. People like Dame, Jalen Green and Bojan are at least bigger and can guard a certain type of player
 

HomeRunBaker

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I'd pin some (not all) of Dejounte's defensive downgrade on playing with Trae Young for a season. He probably gambles or else the opponent will spend 15-18 seconds hunting down Trae and putting ATL in rotation.

A defense is only as good as its worst 1-2 defenders. Stick Bogdanovich on the floor with Trae & its a party
Perfect example of how individual defense stats are flawed. It’s a team defense scheme and Dejounte is relying on Trae much of the time…..can’t imagine why his metrics look worse, right? Now I’m sure the culture also is a factor so while Dejounte may be performing worse defensively in that scheme with this group, part from Trae and part from the entire culture of non-defense, it isn’t predictive of his future defensive performance as a player.
 

TripleOT

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Yep, while a player can take a play off on offense by dragging their man to the corner, they can't take a play off on defense.

POINTZ rule!


When not getting hunted, Trae usually floats around, screwing up any defensive discipline of his 4 teammates.

Thibs nephew at work again...

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnJh9PIlDwA
I call him Exasperated Coach Don. If he coached an NBA team, his next would get sprewelled in the first five minutes of a video session with his team.

I shudder to think about him breaking down the Celtics first half defense in game 3 in Atlanta
 

benhogan

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I call him Exasperated Coach Don. If he coached an NBA team, his next would get sprewelled in the first five minutes of a video session with his team.

I shudder to think about him breaking down the Celtics first half defense in game 3 in Atlanta
He's pretty insufferable (and inaccurate). It has to be part schtick at this point.

I turn off the volume and just watch the Celtic's offense work for 7 minutes
 

Jimbodandy

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Perfect example of how individual defense stats are flawed. It’s a team defense scheme and Dejounte is relying on Trae much of the time…..can’t imagine why his metrics look worse, right? Now I’m sure the culture also is a factor so while Dejounte may be performing worse defensively in that scheme with this group, part from Trae and part from the entire culture of non-defense, it isn’t predictive of his future defensive performance as a player.
Fair point. Maybe Dejounte was wildly overrated by defensive metrics in San Antonio and has been garbage on D all along.
 

benhogan

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Perfect example of how individual defense stats are flawed. It’s a team defense scheme and Dejounte is relying on Trae much of the time…..can’t imagine why his metrics look worse, right? Now I’m sure the culture also is a factor so while Dejounte may be performing worse defensively in that scheme with this group, part from Trae and part from the entire culture of non-defense, it isn’t predictive of his future defensive performance as a player.
I'd venture to guess Brown gets a defensive boost by playing with TL, Horford, Tatum, Smart & White.

I've always considered Brown an above-average on-ball defender & average off-ball. BUT then you'll have Delores & Co go on about the defensive exploits of potential All-Defensive wing Jaylen Brown. Its like the national media doesn't even follow this team
 

TripleOT

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He's pretty insufferable (and inaccurate). It has to be part schtick at this point.

I turn off the volume and just watch the Celtic's offense work for 7 minutes
It’s definitely part of his brand. He isn’t ball washing NBA players, like most commentator. He is exposing, in detail, how NBA players who should be detail oriented enough to get in proper defensive position and execute defensive schemes are not doing that consistently.

I‘m ok with his criticism of a player being a foot or two out of position, or have his feet in the wrong position,, because that’s all it takes for a team defense to fail.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Fair point. Maybe Dejounte was wildly overrated by defensive metrics in San Antonio and has been garbage on D all along.
I think he benefited some and certainly from the pace that the Spurs played early in his career but he played with much more passion on that end as if he had something to prove. I think the Hawks culture really plays a large factor. Something to keep watching with him especially.
 

lovegtm

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I'd venture to guess Brown gets a defensive boost by playing with TL, Horford, Tatum, Smart & White.

I've always considered Brown an above-average on-ball defender & average off-ball. BUT then you'll have Delores & Co go on about the defensive exploits of potential All-Defensive wing Jaylen Brown. Its like the national media doesn't even follow this team
I do think Jaylen raises his defensive concentration for big games and the playoffs, which both makes him look better to national media types, and more valuable as a player, since you prefer 16-game guys.
 

DJnVa

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Murray suspended for game 5 per….sources.

By which I mean Twitter
 

NomarsFool

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I do think Jaylen raises his defensive concentration for big games and the playoffs, which both makes him look better to national media types, and more valuable as a player, since you prefer 16-game guys.
I remember a couple of seasons ago, vs. the Heat, Jaylen practically doing the Morpheus "come at me" thing to Bam and looking totally badass doing it. So, stuff like that helps solidify the narrative that he is a very good on-ball defender. I'm not saying he's not, I'm just saying that it really helps promote the fact that he is - at least - an above average on-ball defender. Whether someone plays appropriate help defense or doesn't lose his guy when he's off-ball is much more subtle and not noticeable to a fan (or an announcer).
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Not that it really matters because the Hawks are toast regardless, but I’m just imagining how pissed we’d be if a Celtic did that. What a stupid, selfish act by Murray.
 

slamminsammya

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It’s definitely part of his brand. He isn’t ball washing NBA players, like most commentator. He is exposing, in detail, how NBA players who should be detail oriented enough to get in proper defensive position and execute defensive schemes are not doing that consistently.

I‘m ok with his criticism of a player being a foot or two out of position, or have his feet in the wrong position,, because that’s all it takes for a team defense to fail.
A lot of his analysis shows he has no idea what he's talking about though. He packs basic familiarity with commonly used defensive schemes.
 

DGreenwood

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I keep seeing comments in the twitterverse that Murray bumped the ref "after the game". I don't think that's an important distinction but some seem to. Either way, "after the game" seems misleading since the buzzer sounds as the bump happens. If it was after the game it was a fraction of a second after.
 

lexrageorge

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I keep seeing comments in the twitterverse that Murray bumped the ref "after the game". I don't think that's an important distinction but some seem to. Either way, "after the game" seems misleading since the buzzer sounds as the bump happens. If it was after the game it was a fraction of a second after.
The only difference it made is that I believe after the game, there is no chance to call a technical. Just proves that the twitterverse is neither well informed or the real world.
 

Euclis20

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Hawks Twitter is upset Tatum wasn’t suspended for pushing the official seen below.

View: https://twitter.com/davidearly/status/1650296647056863232?s=46&t=Czjt40Px7cadfiCYc3CDtQ
I was mildly surprised he didn't get hit with a tech for that contact (and a fine still wouldn't shock me), generally any remotely aggressive contact with an official is punished, even if he was clearly just trying to get past him. Motivations matter of course, so anyone trying to say it's unfair that Murray got suspended for what he did while Tatum skates by with nothing is a moron.

I remember a couple of seasons ago, vs. the Heat, Jaylen practically doing the Morpheus "come at me" thing to Bam and looking totally badass doing it. So, stuff like that helps solidify the narrative that he is a very good on-ball defender. I'm not saying he's not, I'm just saying that it really helps promote the fact that he is - at least - an above average on-ball defender. Whether someone plays appropriate help defense or doesn't lose his guy when he's off-ball is much more subtle and not noticeable to a fan (or an announcer).
I believe it was way back in 2018, he got matched up with Kevin Love a few times in the conference finals and helped completely shut him down. Love was at the end of his prime and still a pretty good scorer (17.6 ppg with a TS% of .614), and he was terrible in that series against Boston (12.5 ppg with a TS% of .480). A young guy with his athleticism who was strong enough to defend a legit power forward like Love seemed like he'd be a ferocious 1v1 defender, and that never really seemed to happen.
 

Cellar-Door

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Very few national media types can actually watch all the games, and certainly can't really tell who is good off-ball. The commentators are better than the studio hacks (cough PERKINS cough) but they are mostly going off the games they call. They see on-ball most of all, and guys like Jaylen get a boost because they look active and athletic out there, especially in ISO, so you might not notice when they die on screens half the time, and the Celtics switch so much that it becomes even harder to causually see what a guy is doing on-ball. (But also... Jaylen is good in ISO and pretty good on-ball otherwise).
I've noticed the guys who watch more tape, the writers in particular (and the gambling guys honestly) are more likely to know who is bad off-ball.
 

HereComesthePizza

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Hauser doesn't have to hit shots to be a factor offensively. Why do you think there are so many open lanes for JT, JB, and MB?

One advantage that Hauser has over GW is that Hauser's shot is a bit quicker, has more arc, and is released higher. That means that defenders have to be closer to Hauser to contest his shot, and in the NBA, that step (or even half-step) could mean the difference between an open lay-up and a contest.


I hope the basketball gods aren't members here!
Agree that Hauser definitely helps with spacing. Hauser is most effective when he’s on the floor with Tatum over JB. Tatum seemed to be much more effective at finding Sam for open 3s in the regular season and he’s a better help defender. If you play around with the player pairings on nba.com, Sam seems to pair best with JT/Smart/DWhite and less so with JB/Malcolm.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I keep seeing comments in the twitterverse that Murray bumped the ref "after the game". I don't think that's an important distinction but some seem to. Either way, "after the game" seems misleading since the buzzer sounds as the bump happens. If it was after the game it was a fraction of a second after.
Yeah that’s completely irrelevant. He head butted him on an NBA floor…..the timing of it means nothing. That’s an auto-suspension every time.
 

RorschachsMask

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Smart is averaging 17/5/6 on a 60% TS, in the series. His last 47 playoff games

16/5/5 on a 55% TS.

Big time playoff riser.
 

lovegtm

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Jaylen definitely died on screens way too much in game 3, but has he had his normal regular season off-ball issues in this series? I can't remember more than maybe once that he's gotten beat backdoor, for example.
 

Reverend

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Not that it really matters because the Hawks are toast regardless, but I’m just imagining how pissed we’d be if a Celtic did that. What a stupid, selfish act by Murray.
What do you even say to your teammates about your suspension for something like that? Or to your coach? Like, what was the cost-benefit calculation here? The very epitome of the expression: “What were you thinking??”
 

Auger34

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Smart is averaging 17/5/6 on a 60% TS, in the series. His last 47 playoff games

16/5/5 on a 55% TS.

Big time playoff riser.
I’ve been very impressed by his ability to get to the basket in this series. He still misses his share of wide open 3 pointers but I have been very happy with how he has played so far
 

lovegtm

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I’ve been very impressed by his ability to get to the basket in this series. He still misses his share of wide open 3 pointers but I have been very happy with how he has played so far
Hasn't he shot 40% from 3 the past 2 games, on 20 shots?

I think people have an unrealistic view of how easy even open NBA 3s are. It's not gym shootaround.
 

lars10

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Hasn't he shot 40% from 3 the past 2 games, on 20 shots?

I think people have an unrealistic view of how easy even open NBA 3s are. It's not gym shootaround.
I think it’s a really difficult shot..which is why I want the best shooters taking them. Even wide open Smart is often one of the worst on the team.. yet he takes a lot of them.. and I know he’s open, but his percentage is why he’s open. Game four had a lot of good Marcus.. especially his drives to the hoop when the C’s weren’t being aggressive for a stretch.
 

the moops

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I think it’s a really difficult shot..which is why I want the best shooters taking them. Even wide open Smart is often one of the worst on the team.. yet he takes a lot of them.. and I know he’s open, but his percentage is why he’s open. Game four had a lot of good Marcus.. especially his drives to the hoop when the C’s weren’t being aggressive for a stretch.
Smart is 39% on wide open threes on 18 attempts. 44% on pretty open (4-6 ft) on 9 attempts
 

ManicCompression

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I think a lot of us have have so much PTSD from previous Marcus shooting performances that it can cloud when he's actually a reasonable option from deep.
 

lars10

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Smart is 39% on wide open threes on 18 attempts. 44% on pretty open (4-6 ft) on 9 attempts
I know what the numbers are.. it’s strategies vs outcomes. Smart making threes is great but he’s shown over the long term that these numbers are most likely an anomaly, no?

Edit: we’ve all seen overconfident Smart when he jacks up threes at every opportunity.. just want play within the offense Marcus
 
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bellowthecat

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Smart has to take open 3s for the offense to work when he's out there. I think the frustration stems from knowing that Smart taking the shot is an outcome that the defense wants. Wide open shots are always good; I just still find myself holding my breath every time he has one because he's the worst 3 point shooter on the team.
 

Cellar-Door

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I know what the numbers are.. it’s strategies vs outcomes. Smart making threes is great but he’s shown over the long term that these numbers are most likely an anomaly, no?

Edit: we’ve all seen overconfident Smart when he jacks up threes at every opportunity.. just want play within the offense Marcus
Last 5 regular seasons
Wide open/Open
35%/34%
40%/36%
37%/30%
36%/32%
35%/40%

Last 5 Playoffs
39%/44%
41%/28%
31%/39%
38%/32%
11%/0% (2 games, 9 shots)

So given sample sizes, not a particularly big outlier, and he has to take those shots for the spacing to work.
Based on his stats from recent years, what he needs to not take are long-touch, multi-dribble pullups he generally stinks at them, with the possible exception of the rip and go fastbreak 3s where he brings it up on the run then pulls up as the defender goes to the paint.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Melrose, MA
I realize that the replies to this are all going to castigate me for not recognizing that the Celtics played a great game, left it all on the court, just lost because Atlanta got lucky.

But that is all bullshit.

They had the game in hand and they collapsed like a house of cards late in the 4th quarter.

For whatever reason, this is team that is less than the sum of its parts.

I don't know what the problem is, there are lots of candidates: coaching, players, mix of both.

But this is a team that cannot be trusted to close out a series 1) on their home court, 2) against the worst team to make the playoffs, 3) even though that team was missing one of its top two players.

An absolute embarassment.
View: https://twitter.com/John_Karalis/status/1651042288913506305?s=20

John Karalis: Absolute embarrassment of a loss. The day after Tatum admitted they got comfortable and let series go too long, they got comfortable and let this series go too long.