Celtics vs Heat ECF Redux Discussion Thread

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Either he’s worn to shit or Butler completely punted tonight to conserve everything he has for Game 6. Really praying it’s the later. Celtics defense was great but he has absolutely nothing out there and I’m nervous he’s playing the long game and is going to play out of his mind on Saturday.
He did that last year. Looked done. But wasn't.

I think you want the former
 

lexrageorge

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Those weren't low percentage shots against the zone. Saw a lot of ball and player movement leading to open 3's or easy drives.
 

schillzilla

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More White minutes feels like a big bonus to Brogdon being done. I vote for some Hauser minutes.
I’ve been a huge Brogdon guy all year, and it’s been painful to watch him this series. Although I guess now we know why he’s looked so bad. But with White playing so well, definitely want to see them push him to full heavy minutes. Agree that we should at least try Hauser for a spell, especially if Heat are going zone when Tatum is out.
 

GeorgeCostanza

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I didn’t get to watch the whole game but I don’t recall a single set against the zone where they ran Tatum to the foul line tonight.

I don’t get it.
They had others flashing there. Al, Marcus, and Jaylen. They didn’t always do it and I’m not sure why it’s not done more frequently but they did show it multiple times.
 

brendan f

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Funny to hear the TNT guys saying Game 6 is a must-win for Miami. Could have sworn it was a must-win for Boston.
 

Cabin Mirror

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Either he’s worn to shit or Butler completely punted tonight to conserve everything he has for Game 6. Really praying it’s the former. Celtics defense was great but he has absolutely nothing out there and I’m nervous he’s playing the long game and is going to play out of his mind on Saturday.

He's definitely coming to play Saturday, you can count on it. Celts can weather it if they keep playing D like they have last two games.
 

Jimbodandy

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Because for the most part, they've struggled against the zone. It was better tonight but I think that shelving your best zone offense is a bad idea.
If they need it and don't go to it, then your complaint is valid. If they don't need it, we're good.


Also, we have learned that we can beat Miami even when they shoot well...if we steal the ball 13 times. Another solid defensive effort. Kudos to the good guys.
 

InstaFace

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The problem with the Heat zone is that they’re prone to offensive rebounds. Celtics dominated in that department against it and I don’t see that changing.
Did we? I thought we got most of our ORBs vs man defense. vs zone, it felt like we put up a perimeter shot and then everyone backpedals, nobody crashes.
 

lovegtm

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I didn’t get to watch the whole game but I don’t recall a single set against the zone where they ran Tatum to the foul line tonight.

I don’t get it.
They tried it once or twice. Miami was ready, and had adjusted by having a guy pressure Tatum there. He found White for a 3, and that was that.

I thought the Cs did a good job breaking the zone without becoming predictable against it. Spo and the Heat have played tons of zone, and know all the basic counters, so you have to mix it up on offense.
 

wilked

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Heat were very undisciplined to start the game, turnovers galore. If that hadn’t been the case could have been a very different game.

now some of that for sure is attributable to Vincent being out. If he comes back at 90+% I expect a much closer game.

jimmy will try and put his team on his back and I expect the Heat to play this next one like it’s their Game 7. It’s going to be a wild ride…
 

Jimbodandy

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Heat were very undisciplined to start the game, turnovers galore. If that hadn’t been the case could have been a very different game.

now some of that for sure is attributable to Vincent being out. If he comes back at 90+% I expect a much closer game.

jimmy will try and put his team on his back and I expect the Heat to play this next one like it’s their Game 7. It’s going to be a wild ride…
Is it just being undisciplined though if 13 of the 16 turnovers were steals? It's not like they were throwing the ball out of bounds, traveling, etc.
 

lovegtm

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The Celtics found a great counter for shooting variance: don't let the other team take any 3s, ever.

The Heat were 6 of 14 (!!) from 3 through the first 3 quarters. They were shooting "lights-out", 43%......they just couldn't find any 3s, because the Cs were pressuring everything, running them off the line, not doubling Jimmy, and even conceding some layups to Duncan Robinson rather than let anything happen from 3.

They've found something here that takes a lot of variance out of the equation, and I'm not sure what counters Miami has left, besides "go the fuck off, Jimmy." Which, to be fair, has been a good counter many times in the past.
 

lovegtm

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Is it just being undisciplined though if 13 of the 16 turnovers were steals? It's not like they were throwing the ball out of bounds, traveling, etc.
When I saw the intensity of the pressure the Celtics applied from the jump, I felt very, very confident they'd win, even when it was 6-5.

And now that Brogdon is out of the rotation with injury (probably replaced by PP for 4-8 mins/night), they are only going to be playing high-energy defenders for games 6 and 7.
 

wilked

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Is it just being undisciplined though if 13 of the 16 turnovers were steals? It's not like they were throwing the ball out of bounds, traveling, etc.
This is my point. I think if Vincent is primary on initiating the offense, he protects the ball better and thus fewer steals.
 

Jimbodandy

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This is my point. I think if Vincent is primary on initiating the offense, he protects the ball better and thus fewer steals.
Ah got you. There's probably something to that.

I think that the Cs deserve a bunch of credit for turning up the heat though (and perhaps muttered curses for not doing that in games 1 through 3).
 

Red Averages

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The Celtics found a great counter for shooting variance: don't let the other team take any 3s, ever.

The Heat were 6 of 14 (!!) from 3 through the first 3 quarters. They were shooting "lights-out", 43%......they just couldn't find any 3s, because the Cs were pressuring everything, running them off the line, not doubling Jimmy, and even conceding some layups to Duncan Robinson rather than let anything happen from 3.

They've found something here that takes a lot of variance out of the equation, and I'm not sure what counters Miami has left, besides "go the fuck off, Jimmy." Which, to be fair, has been a good counter many times in the past.
Yeah. This was very noticeable. Often the Heat would get a few different passes to try to get someone open only to see yet another Celtic hustle out to them.

Or you just had TimeLord slapping away Jimmy’s attempt while being several feet away….
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Cs hit 7 more threes, and six more free throws, than the Heat. Combined with seven fewer turnovers, that's the ballgame. Rebounds, assists, and shooting percentage were all basically even.

It seemed like they were giving the Heat some of their own medicine - conceding some twos so they could win the math problem at the three point line and doing everything they could not to foul.

Seems like the series is really coming down to which offense can generate and hit threes at a higher rate.
 

lexrageorge

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Cs hit 7 more threes, and six more free throws, than the Heat. Combined with seven fewer turnovers, that's the ballgame. Rebounds, assists, and shooting percentage were all basically even.

It seemed like they were giving the Heat some of their own medicine - conceding some twos so they could win the math problem at the three point line and doing everything they could not to foul.

Seems like the series is really coming down to which offense can generate and hit threes at a higher rate.
Celtics also attempted 16 more 3's than Miami, which is indicative of the Celtics defense and ball movement. The C's were getting really good looks while Miami wasn't. Just like Game 3 wasn't about shooting variance, neither was Game 5. Sometimes the winning team just plays better.
 

joe dokes

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The Celtics found a great counter for shooting variance: don't let the other team take any 3s, ever.

The Heat were 6 of 14 (!!) from 3 through the first 3 quarters. They were shooting "lights-out", 43%......they just couldn't find any 3s, because the Cs were pressuring everything, running them off the line, not doubling Jimmy, and even conceding some layups to Duncan Robinson rather than let anything happen from 3.

They've found something here that takes a lot of variance out of the equation, and I'm not sure what counters Miami has left, besides "go the fuck off, Jimmy." Which, to be fair, has been a good counter many times in the past.
If Robinson is only makes 2s, he's a net negative. Announcers were gushing over his offense early (not without reason), but at the time, the Celtics were leading and Robinson was picking up 3 fouls.
 

RedOctober3829

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Cs hit 7 more threes, and six more free throws, than the Heat. Combined with seven fewer turnovers, that's the ballgame. Rebounds, assists, and shooting percentage were all basically even.

It seemed like they were giving the Heat some of their own medicine - conceding some twos so they could win the math problem at the three point line and doing everything they could not to foul.

Seems like the series is really coming down to which offense can generate and hit threes at a higher rate.
They made everything harder for the Heat offensively and the Heat still shot well. Forcing turnovers and getting easy baskets is what led them to the win(and torrid shooting of their own).
 

Eddie Jurak

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The Celtics' shots were falling last night, but to me what really mattered was the defense they played. Lots of ball pressure, lots of steals, they were commited to not giving Miami an easy time of it. The defensive intensity reminded me a bit of game 2 in Philly. Not only were they able to get stops, they were able to run, and absent the occasional Brown tunnel vision or Smart brain crap bad pass, their transition offense is good and they make good decisions. Even when the defense gets back, there are benefits to pushing the ball. Last night, Horford got an opportunity to post up Kyle Lowry because running creates mismatches.

That is what they need to do to win. They cannot count on their offense, which continues to mostly be a stagnant, perimieter-oriented mess that is driven by hot shooting streaks and occasionally our star players doing stars thing. Even tonight they were infuriating to watch at times. Even though they can break the zone pretty easily by getting the ball to Tatum or Horford in the middle, they will usually go through several bad possessions against the zone before it occurs to them to try it. They have almost no motion and cutting, and there is always that potential for them to be shut down for long stretches.

So, to win, they need to defend and then to run.

How much of the new (for this series) aggression was the home fans? the absence of Gabe Vincent which limited the number of healthy Miami ballahandlers?

I think on the plus side, they may have finally discovered the identity they need to win. On the downside, maybe Vincent is back and the Miami role players play better in game 6. Also, Highsmith showed something yesterday: he played 36 minutes and was a +2, while the team was a -15 in the 12 minutes he didn't play. The fossilized remains of Kevin Love started and was -10 in the first 5 minutes. Miami is probably not making that mistake again.

I think this will be a defensive rock fight that either team could win, or, less likely, a Miami blowout win.
 

Strike4

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  1. Coach Joe seems to have given up on the "players can play through it" theory and recognizes that this bunch needs to be saved from themselves - quicker, and more, timeouts in the 3rd and early 4th. I think an organization-wide recognition that these players are what they are, and aren't going to stop being maddening, is the way to go. Just learn to manage them as they are.
  2. Everything the Celtics do well starts with intensity and purpose, from good switches on screens to getting the ball up the court quickly to getting up to the three point line with purpose. They don't need help scoring or running an offense outside of a few sets and pointers - when they don't play lazy their world just opens up for them (transition, rebounding, making life hard for the Heat).
  3. Coach Joe's job seems to now be more about managing these aspects, rather than devising or drawing up schemes to counter the Heat. He just needs to remind them to pressure the ball, to make that pass quicker after the Heat made bucket, to keep moving, to get up in Jimmy's face. From these things will come victory.
 

lovegtm

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]Coach Joe's job seems to now be more about managing these aspects, rather than devising or drawing up schemes to counter the Heat. He just needs to remind them to pressure the ball, to make that pass quicker after the Heat made bucket, to keep moving, to get up in Jimmy's face. From these things will come victory.
This is 95% of the job when coaching a good NBA team: getting the players to play with focused intensity.

This is true for Miami too: Spo is mostly out of cutesy tricks. He needs Jimmy and Bam to play way better if they want to close this out.
 

the moops

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I only saw the late 3rd and 4th quarters. Brogdon only played 8 minutes, what's up with him? I know he has been playing terribly, but is it an injury?
 

tims4wins

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This is 95% of the job when coaching a good NBA team: getting the players to play with focused intensity.

This is true for Miami too: Spo is mostly out of cutesy tricks. He needs Jimmy and Bam to play way better if they want to close this out.
I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes, but pretty much every time we see video / hear audio of a basketball huddle during a timeout, we hear "we need to get back!" or "we need to box out!" or "we need to run more!". There's no like double secret formula going on. It's basically fan-speak.
 

lovegtm

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I only saw the late 3rd and 4th quarters. Brogdon only played 8 minutes, what's up with him? I know he has been playing terribly, but is it an injury?
Torn tendon in his right elbow. Doubt we see him play again this year.
 

Cellar-Door

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Some interesting things to come out of last night:
1. The continued cut of Brogdon minutes. Joe gave him one stint and then said "yeah this guy just can't play through this injury" and pulled him, interesting to see if we can go 7 man rotation, and if not who gets the call.
2. Jaylen's 3 point shot might be back? Made more tonight than the first 4 games combined, and the looked better.
3. Turning MIA over, not only is the intensity up, instead of complaining about the refs not calling it when guys are swiping at the ball when drivers get in a crowd like they did games 1-3, they started taking advantage by doing it too.... lead to 13 steals.

So we go back to MIA, the better team, the healthier team. Whether we'll have an 8th man is a question.... PP was bad, Joe doesn't trust Hauser in big spots.
 

brendan f

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PP was bad, Joe doesn't trust Hauser in big spots
Yeah was also notable that Joe called a timeout to get Pritchard off the floor when he saw those minutes weren't going well. I think next game he pushes the White minutes further and gives Hauser a short stint to see if he can get going.
 

benhogan

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Credit to CJM for some series adjustments:

1. Last night he swapped White & Smart minutes/usage. White is the 3rd best player on this team and it's not particularly close. DW needs to be going up to 38-40mpg going forward.
2. Grant back into the rotation
3. Immediately yanking PP last night. One of the oddest rotational plays I've seen in a while
4. Aggressively using timeouts
5. Good use of challenge last night

The next move, with Brogdon out, is to go with a 7-man rotation. Maybe play Hauser if they get up double digits.
 

lovegtm

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Some interesting things to come out of last night:
1. The continued cut of Brogdon minutes. Joe gave him one stint and then said "yeah this guy just can't play through this injury" and pulled him, interesting to see if we can go 7 man rotation, and if not who gets the call.
2. Jaylen's 3 point shot might be back? Made more tonight than the first 4 games combined, and the looked better.
3. Turning MIA over, not only is the intensity up, instead of complaining about the refs not calling it when guys are swiping at the ball when drivers get in a crowd like they did games 1-3, they started taking advantage by doing it too.... lead to 13 steals.

So we go back to MIA, the better team, the healthier team. Whether we'll have an 8th man is a question.... PP was bad, Joe doesn't trust Hauser in big spots.
I'm guessing we see 7 man rotation or PP for 4-8 minutes. If White can play 38 mins again, 7-man is no problem.
 

tims4wins

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Yeah was also notable that Joe called a timeout to get Pritchard off the floor when he saw those minutes weren't going well. I think next game he pushes the White minutes further and gives Hauser a short stint to see if he can get going.
While I am a huge White fan and have been pushing for more minutes, he played 37 last night. Maybe he can go 40, but I wouldn't push it too much. He's a young guy who seems to be in fantastic shape but if you play a guy more than he's accustomed it could have some negative effects. I think 34-38 minutes is right for him.
 

lovegtm

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While I am a huge White fan and have been pushing for more minutes, he played 37 last night. Maybe he can go 40, but I wouldn't push it too much. He's a young guy who seems to be in fantastic shape but if you play a guy more than he's accustomed it could have some negative effects. I think 34-38 minutes is right for him.
Note that a 7 man rotation is only 34 mins per player. If you put TL at 25 mins, that's 36 per guy. With Brown/Tatum going 39-40, the minutes won't be a problem.
 

Strike4

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Yeah was also notable that Joe called a timeout to get Pritchard off the floor when he saw those minutes weren't going well. I think next game he pushes the White minutes further and gives Hauser a short stint to see if he can get going.
I think the issue is more that Joe recognizes that the Celtics need to blow the Heat's doors off and the team just can't afford to put Pritchard out there with the risk that they go -6 over a 90 second stretch. When the Celtics are up by 20, they stay up. When that starts getting whittled away, it can vanish pretty quickly and it's difficult for this team to course correct.

I think Joe also recognizes that Pritchard or Hauser is going to have to play, it's just hard for him to try and work them in in these situations with this fatal risk.
 

bsan34

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The only way you can maybe get PP minutes is when Jimmy is on the bench, and then you need to get him out of there as soon as Jimmy comes back in. But if Jimmy plays near 48, then you have to ride your top 7.
 

tims4wins

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Note that a 7 man rotation is only 34 mins per player. If you put TL at 25 mins, that's 36 per guy. With Brown/Tatum going 39-40, the minutes won't be a problem.
The only way you can maybe get PP minutes is when Jimmy is on the bench, and then you need to get him out of there as soon as Jimmy comes back in. But if Jimmy plays near 48, then you have to ride your top 7.
These both seem right to me.
 

Cellar-Door

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The only way you can maybe get PP minutes is when Jimmy is on the bench, and then you need to get him out of there as soon as Jimmy comes back in. But if Jimmy plays near 48, then you have to ride your top 7.
he played him last night in non-Jimmy minutes, he got roasted by Heywood Highsmith and was reluctant to pull the trigger on 3s... I think he's done for the series.
 

jmcc5400

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When I saw the intensity of the pressure the Celtics applied from the jump, I felt very, very confident they'd win, even when it was 6-5.
This is going to sound weird and I’m not sure if I can articulate this well, but Tatum’s technical at 6-4 made me very confident. It was not his typical whiny, throwing-up-his-hands complaining that is indicative of him losing composure. Instead it struck me as angry and intense - but controlled - as if he was telling Davis that he’d better come correct tonight because Tatum wasn’t going to tolerate anything else.
 

brendan f

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While I am a huge White fan and have been pushing for more minutes, he played 37 last night. Maybe he can go 40, but I wouldn't push it too much.
Yeah but he was out with the garbage group at the end so some of those weren't real minutes.

I think Joe also recognizes that Pritchard or Hauser is going to have to play, it's just hard for him to try and work them in in these situations with this fatal risk.
Fair but Hauser deserves a chance now. His shooting is on par with Pritchard's and he's a better defender. There's less of a chance he gets roasted.
 

Strike4

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Fair but Hauser deserves a chance now. His shooting is on par with Pritchard's and he's a better defender. There's less of a chance he gets roasted.
Oh I agree - I think the getting roasted issue is not really Pritchard or Hauser's fault, they are what they are. You have a roster of players and at this point they are what they are. You can't reasonably expect to put Hauser in for two minutes and get 9 points and great defense, in the playoffs, against the Heat. The issue is that a #2 seed with a relatively healthy roster should be able to absorb a rough patch with the 8th/9th players, when they are up by 15 points in the second quarter, and these Celtics just can't do that very well. But Joe still has to try because if somebody is in foul trouble or is banged up or really tired, somebody will have to play.
 

benhogan

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While I am a huge White fan and have been pushing for more minutes, he played 37 last night. Maybe he can go 40, but I wouldn't push it too much. He's a young guy who seems to be in fantastic shape but if you play a guy more than he's accustomed it could have some negative effects. I think 34-38 minutes is right for him.
White won EC Player of the Week in February. He was averaging ~39mpg over a 5-game stretch then.

He played 82 games this season, so those big-minute games in the middle of the season had little to no effect on him.
He can handle the workload. It's the playoffs with days off, the screwing around with Payton Pritchard is absurdly silly

https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/celtics/celtics-derrick-white-named-nba-eastern-conference-player-week