Celtics vs Heat ECF Redux Discussion Thread

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
34,053
I do think one of the reasons Joe would really like PP to be playable is ballhandling and passing, much more than the shooting.
White is the only really reliable ballhandler in this series, Smart has been very up and down. Brogdon has been terrible on D and can't shoot but he's a decent passer, they would like to really zip the ball around on passes, and have a bunch of guys who can take the ball and run up court and make plays to keep the pace. Hauser isn't that guy.
 

RorschachsMask

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2011
5,089
Lynn
Last night was such a beautiful team win.

Need to have 2 of Tatum, White, or Smart out there at all times Saturday night.

Team has a net rating of -24.9 when Tatum has sat this series, crazy. It’s only 40 minutes, so obviously SSS, but the playoffs are all about small sample sizes.
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
11,274
around the way
I do think one of the reasons Joe would really like PP to be playable is ballhandling and passing, much more than the shooting.
White is the only really reliable ballhandler in this series, Smart has been very up and down. Brogdon has been terrible on D and can't shoot but he's a decent passer, they would like to really zip the ball around on passes, and have a bunch of guys who can take the ball and run up court and make plays to keep the pace. Hauser isn't that guy.
I'd argue that Pritchard isn't that guy either. He put up some assists in college, but he has done nothing in the NBA to indicate that he can pass the ball with any impact. A 15.9% career assist rate. He can handle the shit out of the ball and press pace though, so there might be some utility there. And obviously he can shoot the lights out, if his guy is at least 4 feet away from him.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
36,744
Hingham, MA
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
Good context, thanks. I will revise my 34-38 minute range to 36-40 :)
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
19,884
Santa Monica
I do think one of the reasons Joe would really like PP to be playable is ballhandling and passing, much more than the shooting.
White is the only really reliable ballhandler in this series, Smart has been very up and down. Brogdon has been terrible on D and can't shoot but he's a decent passer, they would like to really zip the ball around on passes, and have a bunch of guys who can take the ball and run up court and make plays to keep the pace. Hauser isn't that guy.
Except PP doesn't initiate from the top in the halfcourt where his ball-handling would play-up. Joe has Tatum, Brown, Smart, White doing that.

PP is on the WING where his size prevents him from shooting with Miami aggressively defending the 3pt line or driving into the trees. Hauser at 6'8" can at least get his shot off.
 

splendid splinter

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
1,076
Greenville, SC
I was very happy with Mazzulla's use of timeouts last night. In particular, he called a couple when the Cs made a couple of foolish plays. Tatum razzle-dazzle dribbling near the top of the key and then trying to whip a pass to the opposite wing, only to get it picked off. Smart trying a near half-court alley-oop that rocketed off the backboard. Each time he called a TO to settle them down before they went into stupid-play-mode. I liked that.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
34,053
Except PP doesn't initiate from the top in the halfcourt where his ball-handling would play-up. Joe has Tatum, Brown, Smart, White doing that.

PP is on the WING where his size prevents him from shooting with Miami aggressively defending the 3pt line or driving into the trees. Hauser at 6'8" can at least get his shot off.
I mean more he wants them to run and he sees him as another guy who can run the break.
 

NomarsFool

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 21, 2001
8,021
What I noticed about the Celtics early was that they just seemed to have much more active hands with slapping the ball away and getting steals. The Celtics typically aren't really that team - whether it's skills or defensive gameplan - no idea. I feel like there are a few teams that seem to really give the Celtics trouble with that, but last night it was the Celtics doing that to the Heat and it was beautiful to see.

I'm still puzzled a bit why Hauser gets no run at all. i would think the Celtics don't absolutely have to have two PGs on the floor at all times, given that Tatum and Brown bring the ball up the floor a lot. Also, with Vincent out - the Heat didn't have so many players on the floor that would be a matchup problem going a bit big.

JB hitting some 3s was nice to see - but he's still impacted, I think. He stil airballed one, and had another shot or two that he missed badly that I think are usually automatic for him. But, certainly a significant improvement and a nice sign.

I certainly hope there's some hope of recovery for Brogdon - because the Celtics are a lot weaker without him in the rotation.
 

NomarsFool

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 21, 2001
8,021
I was very happy with Mazzulla's use of timeouts last night. In particular, he called a couple when the Cs made a couple of foolish plays. Tatum razzle-dazzle dribbling near the top of the key and then trying to whip a pass to the opposite wing, only to get it picked off. Smart trying a near half-court alley-oop that rocketed off the backboard. Each time he called a TO to settle them down before they went into stupid-play-mode. I liked that.
Yeah, I didn't like those plays. I realize they are young guys, but stop trying to show off and get on ESPN. Win the ballgame and enough with the behind the back half-court passes.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
24,092
This team gets real thin without Brogdon IF you get a bad Grant Williams night. And that’s always a crapshoot.
 

Strike4

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
3,853
Portland, Maine
This team gets real thin without Brogdon IF you get a bad Grant Williams night. And that’s always a crapshoot.
I think that's why we're seeing the PP runs (and Hauser clamor). It's less about "what can PP give us" than it is about not getting caught in one of those situations.

Somebody's gotta be the hero...
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
19,884
Santa Monica
I mean more he wants them to run and he sees him as another guy who can run the break.
Yea, theoretically I could see PP's ball handling being a +++ (esp with the C's turnover history with Miami). BUT Hauser has done well as the trail 3pt shooter on the break.

It's all pretty moot. Elimination Games should = 7-man rotations
 

chilidawg

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 22, 2015
5,812
Cultural hub of the universe
I was very happy with Mazzulla's use of timeouts last night. In particular, he called a couple when the Cs made a couple of foolish plays. Tatum razzle-dazzle dribbling near the top of the key and then trying to whip a pass to the opposite wing, only to get it picked off. Smart trying a near half-court alley-oop that rocketed off the backboard. Each time he called a TO to settle them down before they went into stupid-play-mode. I liked that.
Joe's TO usage typically has less to do with what the other team is doing and more to correct what the C's are doing. I like that approach.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
19,884
Santa Monica
This team gets real thin without Brogdon IF you get a bad Grant Williams night. And that’s always a crapshoot.
Grant is usually the 4th or 5th scoring option on the floor. At worst his effect on offense is a couple of missed shots with Grant camped out at the Corner3. The defense still needs to pay attention to CornerOffice, since he bangs them at 43%, which helps spread the floor.
 

bigq

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
10,906
Grant is usually the 4th or 5th scoring option on the floor. At worst his effect on offense is a couple of missed shots with Grant camped out at the Corner3. The defense still needs to pay attention to CornerOffice, since he bangs them at 43%, which helps spread the floor.
Plus he is reasonably switchable on to Jimmy or Bam on defense. I don't feel great about Brogdon doing that even if he were fully healthy.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
19,884
Santa Monica
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.
Brown & Tatum, get itchy if they aren't launching shots even when other stuff is working. The MY TURN offense is a bad habit. Boston is at its best on offense when players are moving & the ball is attacking the paint with kick outs.

Miami licks its chops when Boston goes 4 guys watching/potted plant/ISO offense that stagnates.

While I'm a green-goggled Tatum-stan, JT is probably the most guilty of POINTZ hunting.
 

Bergs

funky and cold
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
21,550
I was very happy with Mazzulla's use of timeouts last night. In particular, he called a couple when the Cs made a couple of foolish plays. Tatum razzle-dazzle dribbling near the top of the key and then trying to whip a pass to the opposite wing, only to get it picked off. Smart trying a near half-court alley-oop that rocketed off the backboard. Each time he called a TO to settle them down before they went into stupid-play-mode. I liked that.
I noticed this as well, and said "nice time out" aloud three times in the game.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
24,092
Can't you say this about literally every floor-spacing role player in the playoffs, ever?
Sure.

But it doesn't change my point. Losing Brogdon really matters. They haven't really relied on Grant tons this postseason (compared to last year), which is why so many people have been like, why is Joe burying Grant?

If you have a bench of Rob Williams, Brogdon, and Grant Williams, that's pretty solid under normal circumstances. But with Brogdon out, if you get bad Grant, you're looking at a six-man rotation. That's my only point - things get real thin real fast.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
30,290
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.
You know that the networks don't show anything remotely strategic so all they can show is the "fan-speak" part of the huddle?

This is 95% of the job when coaching a good NBA team: getting the players to play with focused intensity.
I'd say that 95% of the coach's job is figuring out matchups.
 

Van Everyman

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2009
26,854
Newton
Brown & Tatum, get itchy if they aren't launching shots even when other stuff is working. The MY TURN offense is a bad habit. Boston is at its best on offense when players are moving & the ball is attacking the paint with kick outs.

Miami licks its chops when Boston goes 4 guys watching/potted plant/ISO offense that stagnates.

While I'm a green-goggled Tatum-stan, JT is probably the most guilty of POINTZ hunting.
@Eddie Jurak is wringing his hands a bit too much here. Joe almost always called a TO when bad habits surfaced or energy stagnated and they came out of the TO with a different approach. The only time I remember him not calling one for a stretch was in the last 2 or 3 minutes of the 1st half, when things started to go sideways (I believe after Pritchard came in) and they had several bad possessions in a row. Then Joe calls the TO with 33 seconds left, confusing a lot of us, which stopped that shit cold, allowed him to sub out PP, and they ended the half trading baskets, giving Miami no reason to be hopeful going into the break.

This is the thing that Joe seems to have learned since Game 3: when the bad things start happening in the playoffs you don't fight through it, you stop it cold. The solution isn't about "getting Tatum going" -- it's moving the ball with purpose and playing active, pressure D whether they just hit a shot or missed one (I also think the "OMG THEY'RE WALKING IT UP THE COURT" thing is largely because they get tired from time to time ... that is also a good time to take a timeout).

These are all reasons to be hopeful, not worried. You're always going to hit speed bumps -- runs by the other team, poor possessions, shots not falling. In almost every case last night, when those happened, the C's responded either with a run of their own or by playing them even, which effectively stopped Miami's run.
 

Rusty Gate

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
290
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.
Very well put. I had a very similar feeling, but you put it in a way that underscores an even bigger point. It shows how JT makes the leap from All-NBA to All Time Great. That's how All Timers act, and everybody else on the court, including the refs, responds to being in the presence of an All Timer, not a whiny up-and-comer. It's a point to remember going forward whether or not they win this series and championship.
 

Toe Nash

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 28, 2005
5,539
02130
Yeah, I didn't like those plays. I realize they are young guys, but stop trying to show off and get on ESPN. Win the ballgame and enough with the behind the back half-court passes.
They had a number of high degree of difficulty plays that worked well though. On the Tatum one he just didn't see Highsmith lurking and I think on the Smart one he misjudged it. I want them trying those occasionally though because otherwise it's easier for the Heat to defend.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
36,744
Hingham, MA
You know that the networks don't show anything remotely strategic so all they can show is the "fan-speak" part of the huddle?


I'd say that 95% of the coach's job is figuring out matchups.
Obviously they're not showing the ATO wipeboard plays, but my larger point is that their job in-game a lot of the time is to just keep reiterating the same messages
 

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Add me to the "Show Hauser some minutes" crew, as long as they are the right minutes. To wit: when Butler is out. IIRC, Miami often goes zone when Butler sits, so that is the prefect time for Hauser.

Last night, there was a stretch in the 3rd where MIA went zone, the Celts got like 3-4 open three in a row, and missed them all.

When Butler is out, I don't think the Heat has another guy who can feast on Hauser on the other end. The regular season regularly showed that mid-tier players who try to hunt Hauser typically do so at their own peril.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
19,884
Santa Monica
@Eddie Jurak is wringing his hands a bit too much here. Joe almost always called a TO when bad habits surfaced or energy stagnated and they came out of the TO with a different approach. The only time I remember him not calling one for a stretch was in the last 2 or 3 minutes of the 1st half, when things started to go sideways (I believe after Pritchard came in) and they had several bad possessions in a row. Then Joe calls the TO with 33 seconds left, confusing a lot of us, which stopped that shit cold, allowed him to sub out PP, and they ended the half trading baskets, giving Miami no reason to be hopeful going into the break.

This is the thing that Joe seems to have learned since Game 3: when the bad things start happening in the playoffs you don't fight through it, you stop it cold. The solution isn't about "getting Tatum going" -- it's moving the ball with purpose and playing active, pressure D whether they just hit a shot or missed one (I also think the "OMG THEY'RE WALKING IT UP THE COURT" thing is largely because they get tired from time to time ... that is also a good time to take a timeout).

These are all reasons to be hopeful, not worried. You're always going to hit speed bumps -- runs by the other team, poor possessions, shots not falling. In almost every case last night, when those happened, the C's responded either with a run of their own or by playing them even, which effectively stopped Miami's run.
100% agree on all accounts. Joe has adjusted his TO usage.

BUT we want Eddie on that wall, we need Eddie on that wall ;)
 

NomarsFool

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 21, 2001
8,021
They had a number of high degree of difficulty plays that worked well though. On the Tatum one he just didn't see Highsmith lurking and I think on the Smart one he misjudged it. I want them trying those occasionally though because otherwise it's easier for the Heat to defend.
I'm talking specifically about Tatum's attempt to behind the back pass to Brown. That was just being too cute and led to a turnover. Same thing for Smart's whatever that was. It's one thing to attempt high degree of difficulty plays when you have to. It's another to try and show off for the crowd, and I think - occasionally - they lapse into that.
 

the moops

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,620
Saint Paul, MN
Add me to the "Show Hauser some minutes" crew, as long as they are the right minutes. To wit: when Butler is out. IIRC, Miami often goes zone when Butler sits, so that is the prefect time for Hauser.

Last night, there was a stretch in the 3rd where MIA went zone, the Celts got like 3-4 open three in a row, and missed them all.

When Butler is out, I don't think the Heat has another guy who can feast on Hauser on the other end. The regular season regularly showed that mid-tier players who try to hunt Hauser typically do so at their own peril.
I'm not even sure Butler has too much of an advantage over Hauser compared to White/Brogdon.
 

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
I'm not even sure Butler has too much of an advantage over Hauser compared to White/Brogdon.
I thought White was pretty excellent against Butler last night. White is very disciplined so it's hard for Butler to pick up easy fouls from him. There was one play that stuck in my mind: Butler had White backed down on the low post and gave him a bunch of fakes. White held his ground and stayed on his feet. Butler eventually had to kick it out.

I wish Rob Williams could show such discipline. There was one play early on, where one of the Heat (not Butler) was underneath and got TL to jump on not one, but two fakes, leading to an easy shooting foul.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
34,053
I thought White was pretty excellent against Butler last night. White is very disciplined so it's hard for Butler to pick up easy fouls from him. There was one play that stuck in my mind: Butler had White backed down on the low post and gave him a bunch of fakes. White held his ground and stayed on his feet. Butler eventually had to kick it out.

I wish Rob Williams could show such discipline. There was one play early on, where one of the Heat (not Butler) was underneath and got TL to jump on not one, but two fakes, leading to an easy shooting foul.
White is a great shot-blocker for a guard, but I think one thing he's done more the last 2 games is realize....he's not gonna block Butler's jumper. He's too tall and too good at creating distance with his body. When he starter focusing on just annoying him the fouls cut down. I do think Butler probably has at least 1 more game in him where he's just so aggressive and physical that White can't guard him, but unless Jimmy is ready to just hammer drive after drive, White will be okay.
 

Van Everyman

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2009
26,854
Newton
I wish Rob Williams could show such discipline. There was one play early on, where one of the Heat (not Butler) was underneath and got TL to jump on not one, but two fakes, leading to an easy shooting foul.
I think Rob is not yet back to full health -- or maybe doesn't trust his body 100%. Last year he was just a complete game wrecker on the defensive end and combined the insane athleticism we saw when he was younger with tremendous discipline. This year both are more muted but I'm not yet ready to concede "This Is Who He Is Now." As we've seen, the team has had moments--mostly since he's been back in the 2nd half of the season--where they haven't looked terribly disciplined either. And as we saw last night when he blocked the 3PA and his generally great rebounding in this series, his length and athleticism are still game-changers.

What I don't need is to get excited about how Rob might defend Jokic, if they somehow managed to pull this comeback off. What I'll take in the meantime is him continuing to impact the game on the boards and the defensive end (and once in a while sinking a butter smooth jumper).
 

slamminsammya

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
9,019
San Francisco
I think Rob is not yet back to full health -- or maybe doesn't trust his body 100%. Last year he was just a complete game wrecker on the defensive end and combined the insane athleticism we saw when he was younger with tremendous discipline. This year both are more muted but I'm not yet ready to concede "This Is Who He Is Now." As we've seen, the team has had moments--mostly since he's been back in the 2nd half of the season--where they haven't looked terribly disciplined either. And as we saw last night when he blocked the 3PA and his generally great rebounding in this series, his length and athleticism are still game-changers.

What I don't need is to get excited about how Rob might defend Jokic, if they somehow managed to pull this comeback off. What I'll take in the meantime is him continuing to impact the game on the boards and the defensive end (and once in a while sinking a butter smooth jumper).
No one can guard jokic. I don't know how you stop that offense
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
21,386
Pittsburgh, PA
Or you just had TimeLord slapping away Jimmy’s attempt while being several feet away….
That TL not only made the block but busted his ass chasing the loose ball, got around Jimmy (despite giving up a bit of acceleration), and ended up laying out to try and keep the ball from going out of bounds and get a turnover out of it, was my favorite play of the night. TL has spent the last 8 months playing at least a little scared of re-injury. Last night he unleashed his inner no-fear Marcus Smart, on occasion. If he hadn't bitten on a few fakes (which the entire team was good about in general, but not perfect), he'd have had a real throwback TL classic game. As it was, he was a big plus.

This is my point. I think if Vincent is primary on initiating the offense, he protects the ball better and thus fewer steals.
This is absolutely true. The difference in ball security from Vincent to Lowry was jump-off-the-screen obvious last night. One of the Heat's superpowers is awareness of a coming steal attempt and being smart about it, for every player on their team not named Bam Adebayo. Lowry just doesn't seem to have that awareness right now.

Speaking of ball security, I think Jaylen only had one "oh god he's gonna get stripped" play last night, a welcome change. Whatever Miami's normal plans are for generating all the steals (and thus fast breaks) that they do, the only thing that worked last night was Jimmy jumping the guard-to-guard passing lane a few times. We've clearly drilled to avoid certain patterns and it paid off.

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.
The effort made to not foul was much more noticeable than in games 1 and 2, when it seemed like we'd fall for everything, and Jimmy was grifting as if his last name was Trump. Yeah, we gave up a few baskets on shots we might have altered with more aggressive close-outs, but it seems like the narrow space between "contest the shot, just don't let them have a straight look at the basket" and "close out so hard you might foul" has been found.

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 defensive plan for Bam was incredibly obvious last night. Keep him 8+ feet away from the basket, be willing to contest vertically but not aggressively, even if he gets some open looks, and as soon as he picks up his dribble, send help and try to force a steal. Smart and Tatum were treating him like a G-leaguer out there in terms of disrespecting his ball security. He just doesn't think fast enough when the help is coming, and he panics and loses it a shocking fraction of the time. Grant was good at that, TL was better, but in combination Bam had ZERO free throws. It's not his 10-footers that will get ya, it's his and-1s and dunks.

What I couldn't discern was why Butler was so much less involved. We know Jimmy will take the 3 if you dare him to, but is generally looking to get downhill. Other than a few fast breaks, though, it didn't look like he had the juice to get inside, and I don't know why. Were we sending help to wall him off, and he wasn't finding the open guy? Were we stopping his midrange jumpers somehow? Denying him the ball? He was 5-for-10, vs Martin's 12 FGAs, Robinson's 10 (he was 7-of-10, christ), shit Highsmith had 9 FGAs, almost as much as Jimmy. His picture was basically on a milk carton last night, by his standards, and I don't know how we did it.

edit: the "why do we only ever see fan-speak exhortations in a timeout huddle" thing was covered, nevermind
 
Last edited:

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
21,386
Pittsburgh, PA
No one can guard jokic. I don't know how you stop that offense
If you were going to pick one player in the NBA with the length, agility and savvy to slow him down the most, though... you'd pick Anthony Davis I think. But who would you pick second? Gobert? Robert Williams wouldn't be very far down the list, imo. Maybe Jokic decides he can back TL down, but in general I like that matchup, because Jokic isn't out there to grift fouls nearly as much as Butler, Adebayo and Lowry LLP are. He'll do a fake inside 3 feet, but won't (say) jump sideways on a drive just to get a call, that's not his game. Embiid was a much worse matchup for TL.

Anyway, I'll stop getting ahead of things.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
34,053
Generally the best defenders of Jokic are guys who have the bulk to not get bullied but quick enough feet to stay in front... Draymond, Marc Gasol, etc. also key is discipline on fakes (this throws TL right out the window).
IF we made it to the finals, I would expect Horford to get the matchup with Grant getting minutes too.
 

slamminsammya

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
9,019
San Francisco
If you were going to pick one player in the NBA with the length, agility and savvy to slow him down the most, though... you'd pick Anthony Davis I think. But who would you pick second? Gobert? Robert Williams wouldn't be very far down the list, imo. Maybe Jokic decides he can back TL down, but in general I like that matchup, because Jokic isn't out there to grift fouls nearly as much as Butler, Adebayo and Lowry LLP are. He'll do a fake inside 3 feet, but won't (say) jump sideways on a drive just to get a call, that's not his game. Embiid was a much worse matchup for TL.

Anyway, I'll stop getting ahead of things.
I'd have TL pretty far down the list. Not sure he's even top half of the league for who I'd want in that matchup. Horford is up there though.

I don't rate TL very highly as a one on one defender.
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
21,386
Pittsburgh, PA
From the Excited thread, I wanted to pull one thing in here for discussion...
I have like 2 career posts here in the Port Cellar, and it's been a long time since I really dug into the NBA, but my initial impression of ECF game 1 was that the Heat match up well against the Celtics, but are not nearly as talented or deep as Philly. So more than anything, color me flummoxed and disappointed the Celtics dropped 3 straight. They're better than that.

Hold serve, play your best game of the season Saturday night and see what happens.
Do the Heat, in fact, match up well with the Celtics' top 7/8? I'm not so sure about that.

What I see the Heat doing is usually a matter of collective effort and great coaching. When Tatum or Brown commit to a drive, everyone collapses on them (a coaching / drill thing), they're not relying on, you know, Caleb Martin to stop it. When we get them in rotation, they very very rarely miss an assignment; it takes a couple of passes to find someone only slightly open. When they stop a transition that could've become a fast break, it's because everyone is back and there are no obvious holes.

I don't see a ton of the usual "matchups that beat the Celtics" on their roster. Super-quick guards like DeAaron Fox, or enormous loads like Embiid (for the minutes he can play). With Herro in Robinson or Strus playing at their peak, you might say the Heat have the personnel to threaten a 3 from everyone on the floor, force tight perimeter coverage and open up the interior for Butler / Martin drives... but the Heat 3-point shooting is noticeably down. Adebayo is a great matchup against more-plodding Centers, but we have several Adebayo-killers on the roster, led by his longtime nemesis dating back to high school, Grant Williams.

The Heat are a way more disciplined team than Philly was, but I feel like not only are they not as talented as Philly, the Heat also don't match up as well against us. Harris and Tucker played 1:1 vs the Jays about as well as you can find in the league, forcing a lot of adjustments. Horford was taken off his game a lot, they were hunting him; you don't see the Heat hunting Horford, other than Butler getting around him a few times with quickness. I feel like every time (say) Strus manages to stay in front of Smart or Brown, it's a miracle of help and coaching-led prep, not because he has the particular set of skills to give our guy trouble.

Maybe I'm not evaluating it right though, and over-indexing on our blowout last night. What do y'all think?
 

wilked

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
3,998
Not directly related, but a question:

0-3 comebacks by sport:

1 time in Baseball (as we know)
4 times in Hockey (Bs being one such team)
0 times in NBA

Do you suppose there is something unique in hockey that has enabled it to happen much more often? The best I can come up with is there is a lot more variability in hockey where the better team often doesn't win (more 'puck-luck') that causes more variance and allows anomolies like that to happen
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
18,029
Not directly related, but a question:

0-3 comebacks by sport:

1 time in Baseball (as we know)
4 times in Hockey (Bs being one such team)
0 times in NBA

Do you suppose there is something unique in hockey that has enabled it to happen much more often? The best I can come up with is there is a lot more variability in hockey where the better team often doesn't win (more 'puck-luck') that causes more variance and allows anomolies like that to happen
NHL has had a lot more best-of-7 series over its history. For decades, MLB just had a single best-of-7 series as their entire playoffs, while the NHL had at least two.
 

jezza1918

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,585
South Dartmouth, MA
Not directly related, but a question:

0-3 comebacks by sport:

1 time in Baseball (as we know)
4 times in Hockey (Bs being one such team)
0 times in NBA

Do you suppose there is something unique in hockey that has enabled it to happen much more often? The best I can come up with is there is a lot more variability in hockey where the better team often doesn't win (more 'puck-luck') that causes more variance and allows anomolies like that to happen
I think the puck luck plus a hot goalie? a hot SP might get 2 starts down 3-0, so doesn't have the same effect. And compared to basketball I think a goalie is typically more of a determining factor in the outcome of a game than an individual nba player. I've got nothing to actually back this up mind you, just going with my initial gut sense.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
34,053
Not directly related, but a question:

0-3 comebacks by sport:

1 time in Baseball (as we know)
4 times in Hockey (Bs being one such team)
0 times in NBA

Do you suppose there is something unique in hockey that has enabled it to happen much more often? The best I can come up with is there is a lot more variability in hockey where the better team often doesn't win (more 'puck-luck') that causes more variance and allows anomolies like that to happen
Hockey also has the goaltender issue. Basically 1 string of 4 straight excellent performances by one player can flip the series in a way that it can't in any other. You could have an amazing pitcher throw 2 great games in 4 games, but not 4. In basketball a single player can't just prevent the opponent from scoring at all. The impact of a goalie is just going to be larger.
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
21,386
Pittsburgh, PA
Do you suppose there is something unique in hockey that has enabled it to happen much more often? The best I can come up with is there is a lot more variability in hockey where the better team often doesn't win (more 'puck-luck') that causes more variance and allows anomolies like that to happen
When I've brought a similar topic up in other contexts, the term I use is that basketball is a much more "certain" game. The frequency with which a better team will beat a worse team is much higher than in other sports. With baseball of course you have the variation that pitchers can bring, but also it just takes a lot of plays and a lot of games for an advantage in hitting or pitching to really reveal itself. With hockey, there are few enough scoring events and things like PP calls skew results a lot such that it pulls everyone towards parity. Meanwhile, with the NFL, if two teams are playing each other and their eventual season-end records are at least like 3 games different, the "better" team will end up winning like 80-90% of the time. The difference between a 60% chance and an 80% chance of winning ends up with a lot of extra "certainty of the outcome" between the sports. The average might be the same - everyone trends to .500 over a long enough time horizon - but the spread, the standard deviation, of results is not all equal between sports.

You can see this best by looking at the spread of winning percentages throughout the league in any given season, imo. 95%+ of baseball teams end with a winning percentage between .400 and .600. So a good team will beat a bad team like 60-70% of the time. Over 162 games, that spreads teams out pretty good, but in a short series, the fact that a worse team could win 30-40% of the time means upsets even in a 4-of-7 series happen pretty often. Whereas in basketball, you get winning percentages of .700 or .300 (or below that, for tanking teams) pretty commonly every year; likewise, an MLB team with a winning percentage of .700 won 113 games, a top-5 all-time season. It doesn't happen.

So then translate that to the playoffs. In the playoffs, every team is good... but a smaller difference in quality is just much more certain to play out as a win for the better team in basketball. Yes, you have to account for things like "Lebron and AD were resting most of the year, they're not really a 7-seed". But even though upsets do happen, they happen a lot less often in the NBA. The Stanley Cup is kinda a crapshoot though, with upsets far more common imo. If I had a database of series results and could work up some numbers, and break down the percentage chance that the "better" team wins a series when the difference in regular-season W-L% is 5%, 10%, 15% etc, I'm pretty confident basketball would lead the 3 playoff-series sports in certainty of outcome. And even with the NFL's one-off playoff games, you could probably look at the likelihoods there and conclude that the better regular-season team (not necessarily the higher seed, of course) wins at a much more reliable clip, after adjusting for HFA etc, than in MLB and NHL - even when you have the smoothing effects of a 7-game series to take some of the noise out of the latter.

If a team gets to 3-0 in a series, the odds we're talking about a better team being up on a worse team is just a lot higher. And the chance that a worse team comes back and takes 4 in a row against a better team is just a lot less likely, statistically, than it would be in MLB or NHL where there's greater parity of teams. We're dealing today with a very unusual case, of a team that's probably much better, having played 3 games, probably should've won 1 or even 2 of them, and was unlucky (or ascribe-your-motivation to it) enough to actually win 0 of the 3. We are way, way more likely to win 4 in a row against the Heat than the average team that goes down 3-0 in an NBA series is. But it doesn't surprise me at all that teams are 0-149 in the comeback attempt to this point. Most of those times we're talking about a better team being up on a worse team, the better team is probably 80% likely to win any given game. You know what 20% to the power of 4 is? 0.16%. If the number were actually 80% (it's not), you'd expect one such underdog to pull off a comeback once every... 625 series. If it were 75%, it'd be every 256 series; 70%, once every 123 series. If each game were a 50-50 coin flip, of course, it'd be 1-in-16 and we'd expect to have seen 7 or 8 of them up to this point. But it's not, and for basketball, it's nowhere close.
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
43,367
Here
This team gets real thin without Brogdon IF you get a bad Grant Williams night. And that’s always a crapshoot.
Not if White is playing well. Brogdon might add another 8-10 minutes to White’s minutes, which could be a blessing in disguise?
 

the moops

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,620
Saint Paul, MN
I'd have TL pretty far down the list. Not sure he's even top half of the league for who I'd want in that matchup. Horford is up there though.

I don't rate TL very highly as a one on one defender.
Yea, TL is pretty mediocre one on one, especially against huge dudes like Jokic/Embiid.

I think we would see very little of him matched up against Jokic
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
9,096
If you were going to pick one player in the NBA with the length, agility and savvy to slow him down the most, though... you'd pick Anthony Davis I think. But who would you pick second? Gobert? Robert Williams wouldn't be very far down the list, imo. Maybe Jokic decides he can back TL down, but in general I like that matchup, because Jokic isn't out there to grift fouls nearly as much as Butler, Adebayo and Lowry LLP are. He'll do a fake inside 3 feet, but won't (say) jump sideways on a drive just to get a call, that's not his game. Embiid was a much worse matchup for TL.

Anyway, I'll stop getting ahead of things.
Embiid, Bam, Davis, Draymond, Steven Adams are the first names to come to mind for me. All stout, bigger guys with some mobility