Celtics vs Heat ECF Redux Discussion Thread

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,499
Jaylen Brown seems so lost on defense way too often.
had a great stretch tonight, some real lapses as usually, but a much better stretch as we pulled away, and a lot more active. That to me is the key... he's not going to learn off-ball defense in the next 2 days, but coming out active and engaged on-ball, and at least having great energy will be a huge benefit
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
11,029
Yes, but he was also nails on Butler for an important stretch.
Was just about to post that. Weird time to post that complaint since Jaylen was really good on defense today.

today was actually like a bizarro Jaylen. Couldn’t shoot, didn’t score much, but did a very good job playmaking and on defense.
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
22,851
Pittsburgh, PA
So in that last minute of garbage time, we got cutaways of Alex Rodriguez biting his lip, and grimacing Derek Jeter (As ever). That they both decided to show up tonight thinking they'd see a nice easy preordained sweep of the Celtics, called in some favors to get courtside seats... and to instead send them home to probably lie awake half the night thinking of that week 18 1/2 years ago, hearing the phrase "Boston avoids the sweep" echo through what passes for their brains as they toss and turn, is already some measure of recompense for us.

But I'd prefer to think that they're our good luck charms, that as long as they're a part of some Boston sporting event, the sporting gods will never favor our opponents. And I hope they show up 3 more times in this series.

edit: oh, and did you hear what the 3-point makes were, from the announcers as those last seconds ticked down? "19 to 8 advantage", they said. A fateful tally for us if there ever was one.
 
Last edited:

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
8,066
Brown with only 1 turnover in Game 4 in 37 minutes. He didn’t shoot well from three, 1-5, and missed 3 FTs, but his 4 first half assists were big, as was his second half defense and ball hawking.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,499
Brown with only 1 turnover in Game 4 in 37 minutes. He didn’t shoot well from three, 1-5, and missed 3 FTs, but his 4 first half assists were big, as was his second half defense and ball hawking.
my biggest concern going into game 5 is that his shot just looks broken, probably an injury thing, but that's tough.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
8,066
So in that last minute of garbage time, we got cutaways of Alex Rodriguez biting his lip, and grimacing Derek Jeter (As ever). That they both decided to show up tonight thinking they'd see a nice easy preordained sweep of the Celtics, called in some favors to get courtside seats... and to instead send them home to probably lie awake half the night thinking of that week 18 1/2 years ago, hearing the phrase "Boston avoids the sweep" echo through what passes for their brains as they toss and turn, is already some measure of recompense for us.

But I'd prefer to think that they're our good luck charms, that as long as they're a part of some Boston sporting event, the sporting gods will never favor our opponents. And I hope they show up 3 more times in this series.
The reverse sweep of Miami would be unbelievable. If Boston locks in for Game 5, I have no doubt they could go back to Miami and get a win, like they did 3x last season.
 

ElUno20

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
6,284
Celtics in 7. All that heat bullshit blistering shooting from 3 has to dip at some point.
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
12,001
around the way
Beats dead horse update: Celtics use 24 personal fouls and turn over Miami 15 times, and lo and behold hold Miami to 44% shooting and 25% from three (and 99 points).

The headline is "Tatum drops 34 as Celtics win game 4". But it should be "hey, Celtics are better than Miami when they actually fucking try."
 

Cabin Mirror

Member
SoSH Member
So in that last minute of garbage time, we got cutaways of Alex Rodriguez biting his lip, and grimacing Derek Jeter (As ever). That they both decided to show up tonight thinking they'd see a nice easy preordained sweep of the Celtics, called in some favors to get courtside seats... and to instead send them home to probably lie awake half the night thinking of that week 18 1/2 years ago, hearing the phrase "Boston avoids the sweep" echo through what passes for their brains as they toss and turn, is already some measure of recompense for us.

But I'd prefer to think that they're our good luck charms, that as long as they're a part of some Boston sporting event, the sporting gods will never favor our opponents. And I hope they show up 3 more times in this series.

edit: oh, and did you hear what the 3-point makes were, from the announcers as those last seconds ticked down? "19 to 8 advantage", they said. A fateful tally for us if there ever was one.
I couldn't help thinking similar. They brought their 2004 juju with them tonight.

Cowboy up.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
8,066
In the game chat at halftime, I mentioned that in this series, the Celtics hadn’t yet played one solid stint of Celtics basketball, where they lock in and get stops, and move the ball to pile up threes and layups. They picked the right time to finally lock in, three and a half games into the series. If they can lay a run like that on the Heat to start Game 5, Miami is going to start turtling.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
49,716
Miami is not going to want to have a game six, even in South Beach. They are likely to view this as a do or die game just because of the potential swing in series momentum. Expect them to Heat Culture the hell out of the next one.
 

Cabin Mirror

Member
SoSH Member
In the game chat at halftime, I mentioned that in this series, the Celtics hadn’t yet played one solid stint of Celtics basketball, where they lock in and get stops, and move the ball to pile up threes and layups. They picked the right time to finally lock in, three and a half games into the series. If they can lay a run like that on the Heat to start Game 5, Miami is going to start turtling.
Unless we are up by 50, I don't think turtling is on the table with this Heat team.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
8,066
Unless we are up by 50, I don't think turtling is on the table with this Heat team.
Their undrafted guys didn’t exactly respond Heat-Culturely once Boston made their run. Bam also tightened up.

For all this Heat Culture talk, they haven’t won a title in a decade, got busted out in the Finals in the bubble, losing three Finals games by double figures, got swept by the Bucks two seasons ago, and dropped three ECF games including a home Game 7 last year. Come into Boston and close out the series, and I’ll begrudgingly respect them.
 

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2004
28,160
Saskatoon Canada
Being down 0-3 is tough. But down 1-3? Much , much easier now.

"NBA teams have overcome 1-3 deficits 13 times, only one of which occurred in the NBA Finals."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_teams_to_overcome_3–1_series_deficits#:~:text=NBA teams have overcome 1,overcome a 3–0 deficit.&text=The Celtics won two games,also won the NBA Finals.
That was my 2004 fan mindset. Win game 4, some teams come back 3-1. Then win game 5,lots of teams come back 3-2. Game 7 put CHB out there.
 

k-factory

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2005
1,957
seattle, wa
Being down 0-3 is tough. But down 1-3? Much , much easier now.

"NBA teams have overcome 1-3 deficits 13 times, only one of which occurred in the NBA Finals."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_teams_to_overcome_3–1_series_deficits#:~:text=NBA teams have overcome 1,overcome a 3–0 deficit.&text=The Celtics won two games,also won the NBA Finals.
And failed 21 times. So comebacks are at a 35% clip, or a shade above Marcus Smart’s 3pt%.
I’ll take it though. You never know with Marcus…
 

Royal Reader

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2005
2,319
UK
I'm going into game five fully expecting them to get blown out again. Win that, then it gets interesting.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,313
Beats dead horse update: Celtics use 24 personal fouls and turn over Miami 15 times, and lo and behold hold Miami to 44% shooting and 25% from three (and 99 points).

The headline is "Tatum drops 34 as Celtics win game 4". But it should be "hey, Celtics are better than Miami when they actually fucking try."
This. It's funny to see people talk about "shooting variance" when the Celtics are out there blocking multiple Heat 3s, fighting over screens, competing with Butler 1-on-1.

Also I don't think there was really any coaching adjustment except "do the same shit and do it way harder, with purpose." Notably, when they do that, all of Spo's coaching genius and cute little zones look a lot less impressive.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
18,479
White 27 mins, smh

Joe can't wait to bench him, even though Smart is moving like utter crap
If you look hard enough, it's always easy to find something to complain about.

White played the first 8 minutes of the first quarter until both he and Marcus were subbed. In the 2nd quarter, White played all but the last 2 minutes, when Grant was put in. Smart had sat most of the 2nd already. White played the entire 3rd and was pulled for Smart 3 minutes into the final quarter with the Celtics holding 9 point lead. And the Celtics were never really threatened anytime after that, so no real reason to put him back in during the latter part of the 4th.

White's never been a big minutes guy in his career, so 27-28 mpg is probably what you can expect.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
38,742
Hingham, MA
Simplistic but 15 turnovers in the 3 Ls, 10 in the W. They keep it to 10 in games 5-7 and they’re winning the series.
 

HereComesthePizza

New Member
Mar 29, 2023
35
JB and Malcolm didn’t have big games. But seeing them making the extra pass over driving the ball into traffic, it was clear the whole team shifted its mindset to ball movement. That JB assist to Rob underneath was a beautiful pass. I’m pretty sure they only had 2 turnovers in second half. On defense, seeing Grant block Jimmy was a play that stood out in my mind. He was trying to take the game over and Boston played him tough.

Miami will certainly make adjustments and they might have been shocked to see the Celtics come out and play so much better on both sides of the ball. But keeping playing like this and they have a chance.
 

Eddie Jurak

canderson-lite
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
45,284
Melrose, MA
Make or miss league…

But the intensity ramped way up on defense, particularly once the shots started to fall. Amazing how sloppy the Heat got once the Celtics started pressuring them and stuffing passing lanes.

The Celtics made the extra pass in the 2nd half, and we’re able to get off a ton of 3s… with space.

Let’s see how Vincent’s ankle responds to one day rest, with a flight.
That's the difference to me, and that they were more consistent about looking for transition after turnovers and missed baskets. They are a good transition team, both athletically and in decision making. Halfcourt offense against a disciplined defense can be a different story. So the team identify needs to be defense and transition.

There was a point in the 4th where they seemed to be slipping into milk the clock mode and Miami looked like it would cut into the lead, and then Smart pushed the ball and Jaylen got an and-one. That's wnat they need to do.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,313
White 27 mins, smh

Joe can't wait to bench him, even though Smart is moving like utter crap
Lol, they dominated the 4th, Mazzulla found something with Grant, and you're complaining?

Coaching really is a thankless job. Mazz killed it, both in lineup flexibility and getting the players ready to play.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,231
The way to beat Miami's zone - and I think Boston only ran this action one time that I can recall - is to have Tatum flash to the middle at the foul line. He can make that shot all day long, and he's become a good enough passer to be able to kick it out to an open guy if they collapse on him, or, if Adebayo comes from the restricted area to challenge him, dump it down to a teammate for a dunk/layup. The one time they ran it he took a wide open foul line jumper and drained it. Why they don't run that action and surround him with three shooters and Rob (for dunks) is beyond me. It would dice up that zone. Like teams dice up SU's 2-3 that way.

-sigh-

Also, it wasn't just a matter of the Celtics TRYING last night, though they certainly did that. Look at the open shots that Miami had and just missed, compared with them making those at a ridiculous percentage in the first three games. Heck, Butler missed at least 3-4 mid range jumpers that he almost ALWAYS makes, and he even missed two layups.

The teams are pretty evenly matched when both are playing well. Effort has a lot to do with it, but so does...whether the ball goes in or not. Not completely a "make or miss" league, but it really is...kinda. First three games, Boston missed and Miami made. Last night, Boston made and Miami missed. We need three more of those.
 

Mooch

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
4,699
Lol, they dominated the 4th, Mazzulla found something with Grant, and you're complaining?

Coaching really is a thankless job. Mazz killed it, both in lineup flexibility and getting the players ready to play.
Yeah, I’m not a Mazz fan but he obviously coached a great game last night. Pulled a lot of the right lineup levers, called timeouts at the right times, drew up actual plays that worked after TOS, etc…
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,231
Regarding the action I just described above, here it is:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8kpZDCrjXg


The play happens at the 6:49 mark of this clip.

Here's a still:

65172

If Vincent had dropped down, White would have been open for a three. Even as it is, Horford has inside position against Lowry in case Tatum misses. It's a gorgeous little set and they can run that all game long against the zone.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,313
Regarding the action I just described above, here it is:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8kpZDCrjXg


The play happens at the 6:49 mark of this clip.

Here's a still:

View attachment 65172

If Vincent had dropped down, White would have been open for a three. Even as it is, Horford has inside position against Lowry in case Tatum misses. It's a gorgeous little set and they can run that all game long against the zone.
Yes, and Spo also recognized that the Cs could run it all day long: Miami stopped zoning soon after that shot. It may even have been the very next possession.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,313
Miami's 3s can be viewed at the link below. They definitely missed some looks they were making, but the Celtics had much, much better contests in general, even when it looked like guys were out of the play. That also led to the multiple blocks they had on 3s.

It's a make or miss league, but that extra 5% effort can swing a lot of makes to misses, at the margin. These were mostly not clean spot-up looks off penetration for Miami. They were mostly off perimeter action, or self-created.

https://www.nba.com/stats/events?CFID=&CFPARAMS=&ContextMeasure=FG3A&EndPeriod=0&EndRange=28800&GameID=0042200304&PlayerID=0&RangeType=0&Season=2022-23&SeasonType=Playoffs&StartPeriod=0&StartRange=0&TeamID=1610612748&flag=3&sct=plot&section=game
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
18,479
The way to beat Miami's zone - and I think Boston only ran this action one time that I can recall - is to have Tatum flash to the middle at the foul line. He can make that shot all day long, and he's become a good enough passer to be able to kick it out to an open guy if they collapse on him, or, if Adebayo comes from the restricted area to challenge him, dump it down to a teammate for a dunk/layup. The one time they ran it he took a wide open foul line jumper and drained it. Why they don't run that action and surround him with three shooters and Rob (for dunks) is beyond me. It would dice up that zone. Like teams dice up SU's 2-3 that way.

-sigh-

Also, it wasn't just a matter of the Celtics TRYING last night, though they certainly did that. Look at the open shots that Miami had and just missed, compared with them making those at a ridiculous percentage in the first three games. Heck, Butler missed at least 3-4 mid range jumpers that he almost ALWAYS makes, and he even missed two layups.

The teams are pretty evenly matched when both are playing well. Effort has a lot to do with it, but so does...whether the ball goes in or not. Not completely a "make or miss" league, but it really is...kinda. First three games, Boston missed and Miami made. Last night, Boston made and Miami missed. We need three more of those.
The only game where shooting variance truly made a difference was Game 2, where in the 4th quarter Miami saw some difficult shots go in while the Celtics had some routine ones miss. Of course, it makes a difference in that we would all take the series being tied 2-2 right now.
 

bsan34

New Member
Jul 31, 2006
362
C'ville, VA / Hingham, MA
That's the difference to me, and that they were more consistent about looking for transition after turnovers and missed baskets. They are a good transition team, both athletically and in decision making. Halfcourt offense against a disciplined defense can be a different story. So the team identify needs to be defense and transition.

There was a point in the 4th where they seemed to be slipping into milk the clock mode and Miami looked like it would cut into the lead, and then Smart pushed the ball and Jaylen got an and-one. That's wnat they need to do.
Couldn’t agree with this more
 

PedrosRedGlove

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 5, 2005
670
That's the difference to me, and that they were more consistent about looking for transition after turnovers and missed baskets. They are a good transition team, both athletically and in decision making. Halfcourt offense against a disciplined defense can be a different story. So the team identify needs to be defense and transition.

There was a point in the 4th where they seemed to be slipping into milk the clock mode and Miami looked like it would cut into the lead, and then Smart pushed the ball and Jaylen got an and-one. That's wnat they need to do.
There was another small moment in the 4th, game pretty much in hand but not quite, when the defense got sloppy and no one picked up Butler full court and he ran straight down the lane for a dunk. Both Jays were getting back to protect the basket, just to turn for a front row view of Jimmy at the rim. Both immediately looked pissed and started barking at the guards who should've picked him up.

Small moment like I said, but it was nice to see, even with the win % probably at 99.5, that there was defensive accountability coming down from the top 2.

EDIT: At 8:15 in the highlight video above.
 
Last edited:

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,231
Yes, and Spo also recognized that the Cs could run it all day long: Miami stopped zoning soon after that shot. It may even have been the very next possession.
So it begs the question (is that the right use of this phrase? I need a ruling): Why didn't Boston run this at all the first three games, when the zone was giving them fits? It's like..... the fundamentals of beating a 2-3 zone - get the ball to a good shooter/distributor at the foul line and it opens up all kinds of options. Boston has an elite guy like that in Tatum and they never did this until last night that one time. It's not a coaching genius move to run this....it's literally a basic 2-3 zone busting concept that you learn in middle school. And it WORKS at all levels. So why didn't Boston try it until last night?
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,231
That's the difference to me, and that they were more consistent about looking for transition after turnovers and missed baskets. They are a good transition team, both athletically and in decision making. Halfcourt offense against a disciplined defense can be a different story. So the team identify needs to be defense and transition.

There was a point in the 4th where they seemed to be slipping into milk the clock mode and Miami looked like it would cut into the lead, and then Smart pushed the ball and Jaylen got an and-one. That's wnat they need to do.
100% PUSH THE PACE

You don't have to take an ill-advised shot just because you hustle getting the ball into the front court. But push the pace and get into your action quickly. Just by pushing the pace you open up options before Miami can set up its defense, and if there's not a good look there, fine, you initiate your half court offense. But it has the added benefit of making Miami WORK, and I think Boston has better depth - especially if Vincent's ankle acts up tomorrow night.

Work hard on defense.
Push the pace on offense.
Against Miami's zone, get Tatum the ball at the foul line.
On D, if Butler gets a screen 30 feet from the hoop, don't switch; just go under the screen and invite him to chuck Steph Curry-range three pointers.
On O against Miami's M2M, once you run a good screen for Brown or Tatum, clear out that side of the floor and give them room to work one-on-one.
Also....if Tatum gets matched up against a smaller guy...dude, just go right to the block and post up, shoot 8-footers right over him all night long.

This. Isn't. Really. That. Complicated.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,313
So it begs the question (is that the right use of this phrase? I need a ruling): Why didn't Boston run this at all the first three games, when the zone was giving them fits? It's like..... the fundamentals of beating a 2-3 zone - get the ball to a good shooter/distributor at the foul line and it opens up all kinds of options. Boston has an elite guy like that in Tatum and they never did this until last night that one time. It's not a coaching genius move to run this....it's literally a basic 2-3 zone busting concept that you learn in middle school. And it WORKS at all levels. So why didn't Boston try it until last night?
I will make sure to ask Joe the next time we have dinner.
 

Jeff Van GULLY

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2005
4,047
There have been a total of 150 playoff series to go 3-0/0-3. Of those:

92 finished in a sweep (61.3%)
44 finished in Game 5 (29.3%)
11 finished in Game 6 (7.3%)
3 finished in Game 7 (2%)

As we all know, the leading team has won all of those 150 matchups.


Additionally, only 26 of those 150 series have occurred in the conference finals.

In all cases between 2011-2023, the Conference Finals 3-0 leader-to-series winner have been by the favorite. The last upset? Celtics over Magic in 2010.

What I’m saying is that we’re in a very rare circumstance where the higher ranked team is down in the conference finals.

I haven’t finished scanning but I’m unsure if there has ever been a 8th ranked team to take a 3-0 lead in the Conference Finals.
 
Last edited:

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,313
There have been a total of 150 playoff series to go 3-0/0-3. Of those:

92 finished in a sweep (61.3%)
44 finished in Game 5 (29.3%)
11 finished in Game 6 (7.3%)
3 finished in Game 7 (2%)

As we all know, the leading team has won all of those 150 matchups.


Additionally, only 26 of those 150 series have occurred in the conference finals.
They made it through the Great Filter of 3-0s, and now things can get interesting.
 

CoffeeNerdness

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 6, 2012
9,008
Looked to me like there was a strong emphasis on not biting on the pump fakes. Butler seemed to settle for passing out of his sweet spot several times because his series of fakes didn't work and of course there was the Grant block.
 

Red Averages

owes you $50
SoSH Member
Apr 20, 2003
9,302
Yes, and Spo also recognized that the Cs could run it all day long: Miami stopped zoning soon after that shot. It may even have been the very next possession.
Yea. And they usually go to zone when Tatum sits. Fortunately he shouldn’t sit much from here in on out.
 

Eddie Jurak

canderson-lite
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
45,284
Melrose, MA
So it begs the question (is that the right use of this phrase? I need a ruling): Why didn't Boston run this at all the first three games, when the zone was giving them fits? It's like..... the fundamentals of beating a 2-3 zone - get the ball to a good shooter/distributor at the foul line and it opens up all kinds of options. Boston has an elite guy like that in Tatum and they never did this until last night that one time. It's not a coaching genius move to run this....it's literally a basic 2-3 zone busting concept that you learn in middle school. And it WORKS at all levels. So why didn't Boston try it until last night?
Al Horford can also break the zone by getting the ball in the middle. For the most part, I don't understand what the struggle is, either - and it has been a year-long struggle. There was one situation earlier in the series where Miami took advantage of the personnel to shut down the Celtics with zone - this was a point where they had a lineup without Jayson, Al, or Smart in game 2. But usually the zone seems to works even though the Celitcs have the personnel on the court to break it. Maybe they have too much temptation to just try to shoot over it.
100% PUSH THE PACE

You don't have to take an ill-advised shot just because you hustle getting the ball into the front court. But push the pace and get into your action quickly. Just by pushing the pace you open up options before Miami can set up its defense, and if there's not a good look there, fine, you initiate your half court offense. But it has the added benefit of making Miami WORK, and I think Boston has better depth - especially if Vincent's ankle acts up tomorrow night.
Right. Even if you push and then reset into halfcourt, you might have caused a mismatch that can be exploited. When you walk it up slow against no pressure, the defenders get to dictate the matchups.

I was half listening to Karalis' podcast this morning, and he brought up a defense of the Celtic penchant for taking early clock threes. I'm not sure who he attributed it to, but the argument for taking early clock shots was "the defense gets tougher as the clock winds down."

That premise, though, is actually an indictment of the Celtics half court offense, because they have so many slow-developing possessions where they spend 10 to 15 seconds just pounding the ball running time off the clock.

The halfcourt offense is deeply flawed, so it needs to be defense and transition that carries the team, as it did last night.