Celtics vs Hawks, Round 1 Discussion

lovegtm

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That was as annoyed as I’ve been in awhile watching a Celtics game. Just about everyone gagged in various ways…those back to back Tatum/smart turnovers had me yell loud enough that I woke the dog up. Needed a double dose of Benadryl to fall asleep. All that said, I was calmer when I watched the suns highlights this morning. They ultimately got the result but they were up 15 with about 5:30 left and 4 minutes later the clips had the ball down 2. So in the span of two nights you have Giannis and the bucks blowing a 12 point lead down the stretch (I’d argue given circumstances the bucks choke was worse than the Cs given it was a borderline must win), the Celtics blowing a 13 point lead, and the suns very nearly blowing a 15 point lead.
I’m not trying to excuse the celts so much as pacify myself by realizing the three teams with the best title odds heading into the playoffs all had extremely sh*tty close out efforts in the span of about 26 hours.
Yes, all of the good teams these years have massive flaws. There is no 2017 Warriors (or even 2017 Cavs).
 

Leon Trotsky

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I also beginning to think that Tatum would rather walk the ball up himself and lose in late game situations than play an off ball role and win.
I didn't think you could outdo yourself, but congratulations.

It was an extremely frustrating loss, but it happens. We literally just watched the Bucks do it, and they are in a much much worse position. Win tomorrow and move on.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The Celtics were up by 10 with 5 minutes left. When did this adjustment that Mazzulla failed to counteract occur? Because it sure seems like the team was playing fine till they fell apart in the final 5 minutes.

And are you concerned about an embarrassing exit? What series are you watching? I am annoyed they have not wrapped this up, but if they did not let their foot off the gas this series would be over.
I don’t think “the Celtics were up by 10 with 5 minutes left” is the strong defense you think it is.
 

NomarsFool

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It’s interesting because there was a lot of talk from the players before the game (including comments from Tatum) about how they couldn’t take anything for granted and needed to close things out but even the feel of the game early on seemed like the Celtics just expected to win. They were practically walking to the rim whenever they wanted, but almost decided they didn’t need to. A few things that really annoyed me:

1) Subbing Smart in for DWhite, Smart played like crap and tried to be the hero on “defense”. We needed an actual defensive player in their on Trae Young, not one who was just looking to get on ESPN

2) Tatum’s T - I place that on the refs. That was a complete joke of a call in that situation

3) Taking Blake Griffin out of hibernation so that he could come in and quickly get called for two hustle fouls. I realize they were still up when he subbed out, but that was a chance to extend the lead and put the game away and they didn’t do it. Was he really better than Grant in that situation?

4) Trying to run out the clock. It’s like this team doesn’t think they have to finish games.

5) Atlanta continually being WIDE open for 3s. Where was the defensive adjustment when they were hitting shot after wide open shot?

6) Tatum’s brick from 4 feet behind the arc

7) The complete panic on offense in the last few minutes. Call a timeout and get a bucket

8) I was quite puzzled they used their challenge on an out of bounds play. It was successful, and resulted in going up by 10, IIRC, but still seemed odd and out of character
 

Silverdude2167

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I don’t think “the Celtics were up by 10 with 5 minutes left” is the strong defense you think it is.
So what is your argument then? Because you were complaining about the lack of adjustments made to Tre Young. And being up by 10 with 5 minutes left begs the question, what are you talking about.
 

jezza1918

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I didn't think you could outdo yourself, but congratulations.

It was an extremely frustrating loss, but it happens. We literally just watched the Bucks do it, and they are in a much much worse position. Win tomorrow and move on.
IIRC he also inferred during Tatum’s post asb slump that Tatum cared more about his shoe deal than the team. And that the bruins weren’t taking the panthers seriously.
 

BaseballJones

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The Celtics were up 13 (104-91) with 8:04 to go.
The Celtics were up 13 (109-96) with 6:10 to go.
The Celtics were up 12 (111-99) with 5:14 to go.

At that point, here were the Celtics' possessions:

- Tatum misses 28 foot pull up three pointer.
- Brown misses 18 foot jumper.
- Tatum bad pass. Turnover. Tatum fouls on the play.
- Horford misses three pointer but Williams rebounds and lays it in plus a foul. Williams misses the FT.
- Smart offensive foul. Turnover.
- Brown bad pass. Turnover.
- Brown shot in the lane is blocked. Williams rebounds and misses the put back.
- Williams dunk on an alley-oop.
- White fouled and makes two free throws.
- Celtics botch end-game play.

So in their last 10 possessions, while Trae Young started torching them (14 points in the last 3:18), the Celtics missed 5 shots, made 1 shot, committed 3 turnovers, and committed two fouls on the offensive end of the floor (one technically was a loose ball foul on Tatum but still). Meanwhile they scored only 6 points in the last 5:14. Young himself had 14 in the last 3:18 as I said.

Just a terrible, awful, horrible, no-good finish to a game.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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8) I was quite puzzled they used their challenge on an out of bounds play. It was successful, and resulted in going up by 10, IIRC, but still seemed odd and out of character
I didn’t hate using the challenge on such a clear and obvious missed call that it was guaranteed to work.
No guarantee that you’ll need it later in the game or that it’ll be successful. I’m more annoyed that the officials couldn’t get such an easy call right.
 

Eddie Jurak

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So what is your argument then? Because you were complaining about the lack of adjustments made to Tre Young. And being up by 10 with 5 minutes left begs the question, what are you talking about.
Trae Young, and the Hawks as a team, have improved as the series went on - to the point where, in game 5, they could walk into the garden and humiliate the Celtics without Murray. Meanwhile the Celtics have regressed. I think some of that is coaching.
 

Silverdude2167

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Trae Young, and the Hawks as a team, have improved as the series went on - to the point where, in game 5, they could walk into the garden and humiliate the Celtics without Murray. Meanwhile the Celtics have regressed. I think some of that is coaching.
If that is your view on this series it is a good thing you are not a Bucks fan or you might be dead.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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The more I digest this the more I think it’s as simple as Jayson Tatum needing to be better. A 19/8/8 line on the surface isn’t awful, but his pace, shot selection, and decision-making in the fourth was atrocious. Team goes as Tatum goes and he gave a real dogshit performance last night. Have to assume he’ll be better moving forward.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Not defending the Celtics inability to close this out….they obv needed to execute and do so. At some point however people need to begin recognizing that 13, 14, 15-pt 4Q leads are not these insurmountable leads in todays game. Not for the Celtics, not for the Bucks, not for the Suns.

5 possession games flip in two-three minute spurts all the time during the course of NBA games it’s just when it occurs at the end of the game, even over a longer period, that it feels the lead was nearly insurmountable. We had a similar run in Q2 that occurred in about half that time. This is why you rarely see teams empty their benches with 12-15 pt leads until less than a minute to go in the game.
 

lovegtm

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The more I digest this the more I think it’s as simple as Jayson Tatum needing to be better. A 19/8/8 line on the surface isn’t awful, but his pace, shot selection, and decision-making in the fourth was atrocious. Team goes as Tatum goes and he gave a real dogshit performance last night. Have to assume he’ll be better moving forward.
Saint Derrick White got the bad pace going. Sometime around 8 minutes (I'd have to re-watch), he started to walk the ball up whenever he had it. Completely out of his normal character, and did nothing to offset Tatum doing the same thing.

White needs to play more, but he helped get the prevent offense going, and should take more heat for it.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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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.
 

128

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The Celtics were up 13 (104-91) with 8:04 to go.
The Celtics were up 13 (109-96) with 6:10 to go.
The Celtics were up 12 (111-99) with 5:14 to go.

At that point, here were the Celtics' possessions:

- Tatum misses 28 foot pull up three pointer.
- Brown misses 18 foot jumper.
- Tatum bad pass. Turnover. Tatum fouls on the play.
- Horford misses three pointer but Williams rebounds and lays it in plus a foul. Williams misses the FT.
- Smart offensive foul. Turnover.
- Brown bad pass. Turnover.
- Brown shot in the lane is blocked. Williams rebounds and misses the put back.
- Williams dunk on an alley-oop.
- White fouled and makes two free throws.
- Celtics botch end-game play.

So in their last 10 possessions, while Trae Young started torching them (14 points in the last 3:18), the Celtics missed 5 shots, made 1 shot, committed 3 turnovers, and committed two fouls on the offensive end of the floor (one technically was a loose ball foul on Tatum but still). Meanwhile they scored only 6 points in the last 5:14. Young himself had 14 in the last 3:18 as I said.

Just a terrible, awful, horrible, no-good finish to a game.
Thank you for subjecting yourself to that torture again and putting that list together. I couldn't bring myself to rewatch the final minutes this morning.
 

lovegtm

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Not defending the Celtics inability to close this out….they obv needed to execute and do so. At some point however people need to begin recognizing that 13, 14, 15-pt 4Q leads are not these insurmountable leads in todays game. Not for the Celtics, not for the Bucks, not for the Suns.

5 possession games flip in two-three minute spurts all the time during the course of NBA games it’s just when it occurs at the end of the game, even over a longer period, that it feels the lead was nearly insurmountable. We had a similar run in Q2 that occurred in about half that time. This is why you rarely see teams empty their benches with 12-15 pt leads until less than a minute to go in the game.
100% agree regarding 12-15 point leads. This one was worse than most blown leads that I've seen.

The Bucks kept running their offense, mostly got good shots, and just got rekt by a Butler supernova, plus some missed shots. They had a few bonehead plays, but it wasn't nearly as bad.
 

jezza1918

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100% agree regarding 12-15 point leads. This one was worse than most blown leads that I've seen.

The Bucks kept running their offense, mostly got good shots, and just got rekt by a Butler supernova, plus some missed shots. They had a few bonehead plays, but it wasn't nearly as bad.
Just out of curiosity did you (or anyone) watch suns clips? Seeing highlights and reading box score seems to me they tried as hard as the Celtics to gag but without having actually seen it I don’t want to make that claim
 

Ed Hillel

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The Celtics were up 13 (104-91) with 8:04 to go.
The Celtics were up 13 (109-96) with 6:10 to go.
The Celtics were up 12 (111-99) with 5:14 to go.

At that point, here were the Celtics' possessions:

- Tatum misses 28 foot pull up three pointer.
- Brown misses 18 foot jumper.
- Tatum bad pass. Turnover. Tatum fouls on the play.
- Horford misses three pointer but Williams rebounds and lays it in plus a foul. Williams misses the FT.
- Smart offensive foul. Turnover.
- Brown bad pass. Turnover.
- Brown shot in the lane is blocked. Williams rebounds and misses the put back.
- Williams dunk on an alley-oop.
- White fouled and makes two free throws.
- Celtics botch end-game play.

So in their last 10 possessions, while Trae Young started torching them (14 points in the last 3:18), the Celtics missed 5 shots, made 1 shot, committed 3 turnovers, and committed two fouls on the offensive end of the floor (one technically was a loose ball foul on Tatum but still). Meanwhile they scored only 6 points in the last 5:14. Young himself had 14 in the last 3:18 as I said.

Just a terrible, awful, horrible, no-good finish to a game.
I think you’re missing another Smart turnover. There was one he dribbled it up and just had his pocket picked.
 

128

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The Celtics were up 13 (104-91) with 8:04 to go.
The Celtics were up 13 (109-96) with 6:10 to go.
The Celtics were up 12 (111-99) with 5:14 to go.

At that point, here were the Celtics' possessions:

- Tatum misses 28 foot pull up three pointer.
- Brown misses 18 foot jumper.
- Tatum bad pass. Turnover. Tatum fouls on the play.
- Horford misses three pointer but Williams rebounds and lays it in plus a foul. Williams misses the FT.
- Smart offensive foul. Turnover.
- Brown bad pass. Turnover.
- Brown shot in the lane is blocked. Williams rebounds and misses the put back.
- Williams dunk on an alley-oop.
- White fouled and makes two free throws.
- Celtics botch end-game play.

So in their last 10 possessions, while Trae Young started torching them (14 points in the last 3:18), the Celtics missed 5 shots, made 1 shot, committed 3 turnovers, and committed two fouls on the offensive end of the floor (one technically was a loose ball foul on Tatum but still). Meanwhile they scored only 6 points in the last 5:14. Young himself had 14 in the last 3:18 as I said.

Just a terrible, awful, horrible, no-good finish to a game.
Where did the bogus technical foul on Tatum fall in that sequence?
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Saint Derrick White got the bad pace going. Sometime around 8 minutes (I'd have to re-watch), he started to walk the ball up whenever he had it. Completely out of his normal character, and did nothing to offset Tatum doing the same thing.

White needs to play more, but he helped get the prevent offense going, and should take more heat for it.
I noticed that too. It was so deliberate and out of character I have to think he was instructed to do it.
 

lexrageorge

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Where did the bogus technical foul on Tatum fall in that sequence?
It was on a Hawks possession. It was a terrible and pointless call, especially as Tatum started moving toward the ball before the whistle was blown. And I'll give Tatum a minuscule amount of credit for not going nuclear and picking up another tech, because in the regular season he would have been justified in doing so.

Tatum should not be the one bringing the ball up and initiating the offense; it allows opposing defenses to exploit the Celtics' weaknesses, much like Golden State did in the Finals last year (and Miami in the ECF). Blame that 50/50 on player/coach.
 

Humphrey

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View: https://twitter.com/ByJayKing/status/1651044835543973888?s=20

Jay King: Joe Mazzulla said he thought the Celtics lost some of their pace down the stretch. He thought that allowed the Hawks to pressure them and get in the passing lanes.

Maybe you should have brought this up during the game, Joe.
Maybe one thing you do, coach, is unless it's under 2 minutes, insist they don't lollygag the ball to midcourt before they start their offense? Who's to know whether those 5 seconds you burn 4-5 times are going to help you or the other team? And the other team doesn't get to rest on defense either.
 

BaseballJones

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Where did the bogus technical foul on Tatum fall in that sequence?
After the Smart offensive foul. Atlanta came down and Trae drove down the left and flopped and they called a bogus call on Horford, and as Trae shot it, Tatum just swatted it away (like a million guys do all the time), and they then gave Tatum the T. It was a total three point gift to the Hawks. Who won by two. Just for the record.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Schematically, a couple of those fourth quarter turnovers were on DHO or screens at top of key where, I think, Hawks surprised Celtics by blitzing the ballhandler which they have not done previously that I can recall. I get the first time, but it happened at least twice and that's really bad awareness - by players as well as coaches. They'll be ready for it going foward, and it's an example of a nice wrinkle from Snyder that- at a critical moment--mattered because Celtics didn't have (or didn't execute) the counter.

Big picture, the Celtics have a bad, and very persistent, tendency to get passive when they are comfortable. That manifests in walking the ball up and in rotating ball around perimeter rather than attacking the basket. As others noted, it predates CJM so it is clearly in part about Tatum, Smart, and Brown's mindset and style. And, the coach is the guy who is supposed to address these things, so that's also a part of it. I wish I knew the answer - it has already cost this team a great deal in the last 12 months, and it threatens to cause more.

It's impossible to define 'killer instinct' but this team has not had it to my eyes; I don't know that you can grow it but they need to do something to ensure continued intensity even when things are going well.
 

BigSoxFan

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The more I digest this the more I think it’s as simple as Jayson Tatum needing to be better. A 19/8/8 line on the surface isn’t awful, but his pace, shot selection, and decision-making in the fourth was atrocious. Team goes as Tatum goes and he gave a real dogshit performance last night. Have to assume he’ll be better moving forward.
This is where I am. Tatum was utter dogshit. There is presumably no injury excuse this year. He is shrinking from the moment once again. Plenty of time for course correction but it’s a recurring theme that he just can’t shake. My arm chair analysis is that he wants a title so badly to solidify his superstar status and it’s causing him to overthink and make mistakes. Pressure does that and he needs to deal with it better.
 

Humphrey

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My first thought when Blake came in was “Good. Maybe he can throw himself out n the floor for a loose ball a couple times and fire this team up.” They were sleepwalking at that point, so I can kind of see this as a motivation.
He evened out Brown's 2 ft misses by knocking the second miss off an Atlanta guy; the Celts kept the ball and scored a 2 pointer. Played another minute, drew a foul and I figured at that point, 6 1/2 left, he was out of there. Inexplicably, however, he played another 2 minutes.
 

Devizier

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With the walking the dog shit, maybe the NBA could institute a one second grace before the shot clock starts, not just at first touch. That way you could preserve end of quarter inbounds plays while getting rid of these aesthetically awful run-out-the-clock situations.

Thats setting aside the merits of whether those even work (I don’t think so).
 

BaseballJones

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It was on a Hawks possession. It was a terrible and pointless call, especially as Tatum started moving toward the ball before the whistle was blown. And I'll give Tatum a minuscule amount of credit for not going nuclear and picking up another tech, because in the regular season he would have been justified in doing so.

Tatum should not be the one bringing the ball up and initiating the offense; it allows opposing defenses to exploit the Celtics' weaknesses, much like Golden State did in the Finals last year (and Miami in the ECF). Blame that 50/50 on player/coach.
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.

The crunch time lineup should be: White, Brogdon, Brown, Tatum, and either Al or Williams, depending. Really good defensive unit, and the best offensive unit too. I'd MUCH rather have the ball in White or Brogdon's hands late than Smart's, and if we're being perfectly honest, they're as good at defense as Smart is now too.

And I'm a fan of Smart, but let's also be honest here: His switch at the end when Trae hit the winning shot was astoundingly bad. He's the reigning DPOY. Trae went to the back court. There was literally NO reason to switch there. Smart had oodles of time to get around that and Trae caught it in the back court anyway. It sure felt like Smart just BAILED on his assignment there....looked like he didn't even want to guard Trae in that spot. If you're the DPOY, you will want that assignment at the end, and you'll fight through any screen you have to in order to stick to your guy. That was just.....awful in every way.
 

Strike4

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Big picture, the Celtics have a bad, and very persistent, tendency to get passive when they are comfortable. That manifests in walking the ball up and in rotating ball around perimeter rather than attacking the basket.
I don't know if anybody else has noticed this, but it seems like the Celtics have been trying to save themselves a bit in this series - like there are times when they let the 50/50 ball go, where they could be pushing the pace but they are up by 12 and decline to do so, where the cuts are lazy, etc. I have been wondering if the players on their own are thinking of how they ran out of gas in the Finals and are holding back a bit, or if the coaching staff has sent this message.

The stand out instance was last night when it was very, very clear in the last five minutes that all they had to do was push the pace coming up in the floor but they declined to do so possession after possession. Literally all they had to do was move quicker.
 

thebutlerdidit

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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
 

128

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And I'm a fan of Smart, but let's also be honest here: His switch at the end when Trae hit the winning shot was astoundingly bad. He's the reigning DPOY. Trae went to the back court. There was literally NO reason to switch there. Smart had oodles of time to get around that and Trae caught it in the back court anyway. It sure felt like Smart just BAILED on his assignment there....looked like he didn't even want to guard Trae in that spot. If you're the DPOY, you will want that assignment at the end, and you'll fight through any screen you have to in order to stick to your guy. That was just.....awful in every way.
Great point.
 

PedroKsBambino

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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
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.
 

BaseballJones

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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
I didn't think it was a foul. He poked the ball away and the two of them dove for it. Trae got the call. Just like he got the call on the play where Tatum picked up a tech. Neither was a foul. But Trae gets star treatment, so.......
 

kfoss99

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With the walking the dog shit, maybe the NBA could institute a one second grace before the shot clock starts, not just at first touch. That way you could preserve end of quarter inbounds plays while getting rid of these aesthetically awful run-out-the-clock situations.

Thats setting aside the merits of whether those even work (I don’t think so).
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.
 

Mooch

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I didn't think it was a foul. He poked the ball away and the two of them dove for it. Trae got the call. Just like he got the call on the play where Tatum picked up a tech. Neither was a foul. But Trae gets star treatment, so.......
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.
 

Humphrey

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With the walking the dog shit, maybe the NBA could institute a one second grace before the shot clock starts, not just at first touch. That way you could preserve end of quarter inbounds plays while getting rid of these aesthetically awful run-out-the-clock situations.

Thats setting aside the merits of whether those even work (I don’t think so).
At least those situations have some tactical advantage for the offense; namely, the 24 second clock doesn't start until the ball is touched. But down the stretch, I don't remember any of those. Ball was inbounded and either White or Tatum took 6-7 seconds off the shot clock before crossing midcourt. Only advantage is shortening the game; and, as it turns out; wouldn't the Celts like those 30-35 seconds back?
 

DJnVa

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I just keep repeating to myself that the 2008 Celtics needed 7 games to beat the 37-45 Hawks.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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I don't know if anybody else has noticed this, but it seems like the Celtics have been trying to save themselves a bit in this series - like there are times when they let the 50/50 ball go, where they could be pushing the pace but they are up by 12 and decline to do so, where the cuts are lazy, etc. I have been wondering if the players on their own are thinking of how they ran out of gas in the Finals and are holding back a bit, or if the coaching staff has sent this message.

The stand out instance was last night when it was very, very clear in the last five minutes that all they had to do was push the pace coming up in the floor but they declined to do so possession after possession. Literally all they had to do was move quicker.
Agreed. I noted last night in the game thread that they were playing at regular season intensity and they weren't able to find that extra gear before it was too late. I don't necessarily hate the idea of conserving energy in Round 1 knowing that they're going to have to go through some physical teams in later rounds, but seems like they took it to the extreme last night and got caught. I know it's hard to trust this team, but if this wasn't their "oh shit" moment and they don't come out with a serious purpose tomorrow night I will be utterly flabbergasted.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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At least those situations have some tactical advantage for the offense; namely, the 24 second clock doesn't start until the ball is touched. But down the stretch, I don't remember any of those. Ball was inbounded and either White or Tatum took 6-7 seconds off the shot clock before crossing midcourt. Only advantage is shortening the game; and, as it turns out; wouldn't the Celts like those 30-35 seconds back?
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.
 

Helmet Head

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
4,841
Central Mass
A significant reason they made it so far last year was their suffocating defense. So far this postseason, they haven’t shown an ability to play to that same level. The last 3 games, they have given up 130, 121 & 119 points, which are all more than than any game in last years run. Credit to Atlanta for bringing it but the Celtics are also complicit in it. Playing lazy defense going under screens and giving up wide open 3s anytime someone drives to the lane and kicks it out.

Maybe they weren’t taking the Hawks seriously and are using it as a quasi tune up series but it’s still a bit disconcerting to me. I still am of the belief they have the defense in them but need to be motivated to do so. If the loss in game 5 doesn’t give them the motivation and they show the same type of effort in game 5, it will be telling.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
54,487
I don't know if anybody else has noticed this, but it seems like the Celtics have been trying to save themselves a bit in this series - like there are times when they let the 50/50 ball go, where they could be pushing the pace but they are up by 12 and decline to do so, where the cuts are lazy, etc. I have been wondering if the players on their own are thinking of how they ran out of gas in the Finals and are holding back a bit, or if the coaching staff has sent this message.

The stand out instance was last night when it was very, very clear in the last five minutes that all they had to do was push the pace coming up in the floor but they declined to do so possession after possession. Literally all they had to do was move quicker.
Yep--I'm no efficiency and energy conservation expert, but it seems like being done in 5 on your home court, even with more intensity, is better than another flight, another hotel, another game, but maybe not!
 

Eddie Jurak

canderson-lite
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Dec 12, 2002
45,396
Melrose, MA
https://www.bostonsportsjournal.com/2023/04/26/karalis-we-should-stop-being-fooled-into-thinking-the-celtics-are-learning-anything-from-the-past

That's the last time I believe in this team.

Jayson Tatum sat there in front of reporters after the Celtics took a 3-1 series lead over Atlanta and rattled off a quote that I bought hook, line, and sinker. It was full of admissions of mistakes and promises of lessons learned.

It was honest and refreshing. I thought the way Boston had been playing that maybe they had turned the corner. Boston is very good and they have a good attitude. The Hawks are potent but awful defensively, and they have poor attitudes. This was a blowout waiting to happen.

We’re still waiting.
Nothing has changed from last year besides some of the supporting personnel and the head coach. There have been no lessons learned. I was wrong to think that after Game 4.

I’m not falling for the banana in the tailpipe again. They might not be able to learn from their mistakes but I can. The worst place this team can be is comfortably in the lead, and no one should trust them to handle that again until they prove otherwise.
 

Jimbodandy

Member
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Jan 31, 2006
12,103
around the way
Joe Mazzula’s terse responses and relationship with the media only works when they are winning. When you blow games and blow off questions it’s not a quirky thing from the coach, it’s arrogance, and the team plays with arrogance and complacency. Such toxic traits in this team. Makes them hard to root for to be honest.
64015
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,317
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.
You're right but....he still torched the Celtics. He isn't Steph, but he did hit those shots (he also missed one along the way in that stretch). But yes, if he spends the next two games firing 28 footers, the odds are good the Celtics will win.
 

Strike4

Member
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Jul 19, 2005
4,014
Portland, Maine
He's right, but he's whiny af. Has always been. I listen to his pods a lot and there seems to be a bunch "they didn't do what I said they should" type of stuff.
But if ever there was a time for the team to see these kinds of articles that are normally kind of dumb, it's now.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
11,191
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
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Jun 6, 2012
9,027
And I'm a fan of Smart, but let's also be honest here: His switch at the end when Trae hit the winning shot was astoundingly bad. He's the reigning DPOY. Trae went to the back court. There was literally NO reason to switch there. Smart had oodles of time to get around that and Trae caught it in the back court anyway. It sure felt like Smart just BAILED on his assignment there....looked like he didn't even want to guard Trae in that spot. If you're the DPOY, you will want that assignment at the end, and you'll fight through any screen you have to in order to stick to your guy. That was just.....awful in every way.
It also caught Brown by surprise and he was a step late getting out on Trae which ended up giving Trae oodles of space. Marcus had acres of room to get around the screen. Baffling play tbh.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,317
It also caught Brown by surprise and he was a step late getting out on Trae which ended up giving Trae oodles of space. Marcus had acres of room to get around the screen. Baffling play tbh.
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.