Celtics vs. Heat, Round 3 Discussion

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RedOctober3829

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Robert Williams was on the active roster for the first time in a week in Game 7 of Boston’s win over the Bucks. The usual starting center did not see any action however as Ime Udoka opted to keep a tighter rotation rather in the must-win situation.


However, with the Celtics set to open up a new series against the Miami Heat on Tuesday night in the Eastern Conference Finals, the likelihood of Williams returning to on-court action appears to be on the rise. Udoka hinted on Monday that Williams’ progress in recovering from a bone bruise in his knee along with a fresh start in a series is getting him closer to a return.

“Rob is available, just like he was last night,” Udoka said. “I mentioned he’d be on a needed basis, and he’s available, no minutes restriction. I’m always going to be a little bit cautious with guys coming off a layoff without touching the court, but it’s a little bit different starting a new series as opposed to being injected into a Game 7 or Game 6 or whatever the case was before. But he’s available, looking better every day, and getting more confident in that.”

https://www.masslive.com/celtics/2022/05/robert-williams-injury-celtics-center-available-for-heat-series-with-no-restrictions-per-ime-udoka.html
 

bakahump

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Its even weirder with Jaylen. How Often he misses his first FT OF THE GAME.
He will then go on to hit 8 of his next 11 or something.

Strange for a guy who goes off as much as he does in the 1st qtr.

And yeah the FT thing is real. How many Big men do you see clank the first and swish the second. Whole bunch of stuff probably goes into it. You can "Gauge" the first one. Heart rate is slower. Crowd is probably a little less fired up (if away......hard to keep up Intense Booing for a minute as opposed to the first 30 seconds). Hands less sweaty. More into routine. A bunch of minor stuff really hard to measure that adds up.
 

snowmanny

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Ouch. Do they play it safe with Smart in G1 in hopes of better heath the rest of the series?
Are you asking me? Because I really really want them to win Game 1. I want the tone of this series to be that this is Boston’s fourth trip in six years to the ECF but this time we are all grown up so fuck you. I’d unleash whatever hell we can on these clowns; Smart in a boot seems cool to me.

As for Cesar’s prediction about the refereeing I am sure I will complain because I am sure it will occasionally suck. But the calls in game 1 against the Bucks, especially early on, were just incredibly awful. That one where Tatum got so obviously pushed in the back going for the loose ball and the play ended up with a Milwaukee 3 still has me pissed off. I hope we have none of that.
 

Saints Rest

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Assuming the Heat start G1 they way they finished the 76er series, how do matchups look on both ends?

Presumptive Heat Starting Lineup:
  • Butler (6'-7")
  • Tucker (6'-5")
  • Adebayo (6'-9")
  • Strus (6'-5")
  • Vincent (6'-3")
Presumptive Celtic Starting Lineup:
  • Tatum (6'-8")
  • Horford (6'-9")
  • RWilliams (6'-9")
  • Brown (6'-6")
  • Smart (6'-4")
When Celtics have the ball:
  • Butler on Al
  • Tucker on Tatum
  • Bam on RWill
  • Strus on Brown
  • Vincent on Smart
When Heat has the ball:
  • Tatum on Butler
  • Al on Bam
  • TL on Tucker
  • Brown on Strus
  • Smart on Vincent
My thought is that the Celts would rather RWill be able to float off Tucker a bit more so that he can provide rim protection. OTOH, perhaps they put Tatum on Tucker to let him (JT) rest a bit on D? Maybe they flip-flop Brown and Smart? Or do they put Smart on Butler???
 

Eddie Jurak

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I think they are going to cycle through different guys on Butler. Tatum will guard him some but they won't always want Tayum on him. Brown can guard him some, Smart can, White can. Bam will be tougher unless Grant can handle him.
 

nighthob

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I picked Celtics in 5. Miami is good, but they've not played the same level of opponent as the Celtics have so far in these playoffs, particularly on defense. Atlanta and Philly w/o Embiid (and then a hobbled Embiid) aren't capable of stopping anyone while Boston has one of the best defenses since the 2004 Pistons 2008 Celtics.
Fixed that for you.
 

BigSoxFan

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Bam is only taking 8.7 FG/G in the playoffs. He averaged 13 in the regular season. Why isn’t he shooting as much?
 

JakeRae

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I think they are going to cycle through different guys on Butler. Tatum will guard him some but they won't always want Tayum on him. Brown can guard him some, Smart can, White can. Bam will be tougher unless Grant can handle him.
In terms of primary assignments, I think the big question is if Tatum is strong enough to defend Butler. Tatum did a good job on Jrue overall but definitely was getting bullied by him a reasonable amount and effectively outside of finishing. If Butler can do the same that could be an issue since he will do a much better job than Jrue did of finishing after he backs Tatum down. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Smart ends up being the primary defender on Butler since he can afford to put all his energy into it, has no strength question marks, and because the height issue doesn’t matter so much given Butler’s weakness as a shooter. I would also expect Grant to get this assignment a reasonable amount of the time.

The player I’d expect us to try to hide from Butler (other than Pritchard, who is obvious) is Brown. There’s not much reason to think Butler wouldn’t abuse that matchup in the same way Giannis did. That’s not to say we won’t use Brown, but he’s the worst defender among our top 7 players, so if he’s spending a lot of time on the best scorer on the Heat, that would seem to be a problem.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Bam is only taking 8.7 FG/G in the playoffs. He averaged 13 in the regular season. Why isn’t he shooting as much?
Opportunities. Their offense during the regular season was pretty balanced with 5-6 players bunched up between 9 and 14 FGA/g behind Herro’s 17. In the post season the offense is much more Butler-centric so while the spot-up shooters are getting the same number of shots it is Bam, as a non-spot up shooter, who hasn’t been involved with the ball nearly as much now that Jimmy is getting the majority of iso’s.
 

Saints Rest

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In terms of primary assignments, I think the big question is if Tatum is strong enough to defend Butler. Tatum did a good job on Jrue overall but definitely was getting bullied by him a reasonable amount and effectively outside of finishing. If Butler can do the same that could be an issue since he will do a much better job than Jrue did of finishing after he backs Tatum down. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Smart ends up being the primary defender on Butler since he can afford to put all his energy into it, has no strength question marks, and because the height issue doesn’t matter so much given Butler’s weakness as a shooter. I would also expect Grant to get this assignment a reasonable amount of the time.

The player I’d expect us to try to hide from Butler (other than Pritchard, who is obvious) is Brown. There’s not much reason to think Butler wouldn’t abuse that matchup in the same way Giannis did. That’s not to say we won’t use Brown, but he’s the worst defender among our top 7 players, so if he’s spending a lot of time on the best scorer on the Heat, that would seem to be a problem.
I'm not so sure Jaylen is a terrible matchup on Butler. He couldn't handle GA, but the Greek Freak is long and strong and was thus a bad matchup for Jaylen (as he is for most humans). Jaylen has had some really strong one-on-one work against mere mortals closer to his size.
 

benhogan

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In terms of primary assignments, I think the big question is if Tatum is strong enough to defend Butler. Tatum did a good job on Jrue overall but definitely was getting bullied by him a reasonable amount and effectively outside of finishing. If Butler can do the same that could be an issue since he will do a much better job than Jrue did of finishing after he backs Tatum down. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Smart ends up being the primary defender on Butler since he can afford to put all his energy into it, has no strength question marks, and because the height issue doesn’t matter so much given Butler’s weakness as a shooter. I would also expect Grant to get this assignment a reasonable amount of the time.

The player I’d expect us to try to hide from Butler (other than Pritchard, who is obvious) is Brown. There’s not much reason to think Butler wouldn’t abuse that matchup in the same way Giannis did. That’s not to say we won’t use Brown, but he’s the worst defender among our top 7 players, so if he’s spending a lot of time on the best scorer on the Heat, that would seem to be a problem.
JB was really bullied by Giannis' size/strength. I can't see Butler bullying Jaylen the same way. That being said I agree that Jaylen is our worst defender out of the top 7 (what a great problem). I imagine Brown will be on-ball on Vincent with Smart/Tatum handling Butler/Strus.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Today's Lowe Post includes Scal as a guest and the one insight he had was that the history of play between Grant Williams and Bam may be a factor in the series. For those who haven't listened, Scal seemed to be suggesting that Grant relishes the opportunities to cover Grant but that Adebayo doesn't seem equally enthused about that match-up. Scal even went so far as to say that when he went back to review some of their past match-ups with that context, it revealed something new.

Maybe this is nothing but given what we know about Granite, he strikes me as the type of person who enjoys getting in people's heads. Having Williams defense and game seven winning shooting is enough but its definitely a good thing if Bam is dreading having to see Grant in his face up and down the court.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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My recollection is Grant looked amazing against Bam in the Bubble and at least one game was ultimately lost when the Heat went to Bam-as-point-forward with Grant out of the game. Could be wrong of course, but that is part of why Grant’s year two felt so disappointing.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Today's Lowe Post includes Scal as a guest and the one insight he had was that the history of play between Grant Williams and Bam may be a factor in the series. For those who haven't listened, Scal seemed to be suggesting that Grant relishes the opportunities to cover Grant but that Adebayo doesn't seem equally enthused about that match-up. Scal even went so far as to say that when he went back to review some of their past match-ups with that context, it revealed something new.

Maybe this is nothing but given what we know about Granite, he strikes me as the type of person who enjoys getting in people's heads. Having Williams defense and game seven winning shooting is enough but its definitely a good thing if Bam is dreading having to see Grant in his face up and down the court.
Can you clear up your typo? Does that mean Adebayo isn't thrilled to cover Grant or he's not thrilled being covered by Grant? Not trying to be pedantic. Guessing the latter. Can't see the former.
 

ManicCompression

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I googled this Grant/Bam thing to see if there were any breakdowns online and came across this. Apparently Grant and Bam's rivalry goes back to high school, when Grant's team beat Bam's for the NC state championship.

Providence Day would completely shut down the High Point offense for the rest of the third to close the period up 53-35. They never looked back. Williams outscored Adebayo 15 to 11 — which included an alley-oop for Adebayo just before the buzzer while Williams began to celebrate with his teammates — as Providence Day won the North Carolina title, 67-53.

Also included in the article is queued up video of Grant taking one of the hardest charges you will ever see in your life from Bam. https://theathletic.com/2084063/2020/09/22/grant-williams-bam-adebayo-high-school-rivals-nba/

Edit: Adding another fun nugget from the story - sounds familiar!: It was apparent in both matchups that Adebayo would try to move Williams on a box out or a post-up and would get absolutely nowhere. Williams would frustrate him by always getting proper position and using his smaller but sturdy frame to move the High Point giant around until he made a mistake and got into foul trouble. Adebayo may have always been the more gifted player, but Williams was renowned for thinking and executing a working strategy.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Can you clear up your typo? Does that mean Adebayo isn't thrilled to cover Grant or he's not thrilled being covered by Grant? Not trying to be pedantic. Guessing the latter. Can't see the former.
Apologies. My language was unclear. My interpretation of Scal's take is that Grant can get to Bam a bit and affect his game. Scal wasn't discussing Adebayo covering Grant. But maybe someone should depending on where people come down on whether we are witnessing the rise of the Dork Knight AKA Grant Curry.

Again, let's see what happens. Spo and the Heat are typically very prepared to counter what the opposition is doing They don't have Giannis but what they do have are a deep rotation of savvy, physical players who typically don't beat themselves. Scal speaks to this as well noting that Miami might let a player get some good looks but unlike Milwaukee, they will adjust and take it away, forcing the next player to beat them. BTW, most of today's pod is on the Suns collapse and the ramifications. Scal only was on for about 20 minutes and that was about the only thing that leapt out to me.
 

bigq

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I googled this Grant/Bam thing to see if there were any breakdowns online and came across this. Apparently Grant and Bam's rivalry goes back to high school, when Grant's team beat Bam's for the NC state championship.

Providence Day would completely shut down the High Point offense for the rest of the third to close the period up 53-35. They never looked back. Williams outscored Adebayo 15 to 11 — which included an alley-oop for Adebayo just before the buzzer while Williams began to celebrate with his teammates — as Providence Day won the North Carolina title, 67-53.

Also included in the article is queued up video of Grant taking one of the hardest charges you will ever see in your life from Bam. https://theathletic.com/2084063/2020/09/22/grant-williams-bam-adebayo-high-school-rivals-nba/

Edit: Adding another fun nugget from the story - sounds familiar!: It was apparent in both matchups that Adebayo would try to move Williams on a box out or a post-up and would get absolutely nowhere. Williams would frustrate him by always getting proper position and using his smaller but sturdy frame to move the High Point giant around until he made a mistake and got into foul trouble. Adebayo may have always been the more gifted player, but Williams was renowned for thinking and executing a working strategy.
That is a great find. Thanks for digging that up. Will make the Grant-Bam matchup even more fun. I hope Grant stones Bam repeatedly.
 

Royal Reader

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That is a great find. Thanks for digging that up. Will make the Grant-Bam matchup even more fun. I hope Grant stones Bam repeatedly.
Scal also alluded to Grant and Bam facing each other repeatedly in AAU as well as High School. It would certainly be nice to see a severely hampered Adebayo. Bam doing whatever the fuck he wanted at the basket is my second most seared-in memory of the last series after Gordon Hayward standing alone underneath the basket missing layups.
 

NomarsFool

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It probably won’t happen, but do you think about starting White and bringing Smart off the bench? White has been playing well lately and I’d think you’d want to basically swap their minutes totals given Smart’s injury situation. Just flipping them in the rotation seems like an easy way to do it.

I think there’s no way Rob starts tonight. I’d use him sparingly to give the Heat a different defensive look. SSS but I feel like TL looks mentally rusty after a layoff, at least I thought he did last time. I’d be a bit worried he wouldn’t have the feel back for when to come and help for the block vs not.
 

BringBackMo

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Let me offer an alternative analysis to must win game 1. BTW: I assume that chance at a sweep means "win the next 4"

1) Game 1 feels like a schedule loss. Miami is rested and disciplined, Boston is banged up and coming off an emotional high
2) Boston has several players who could benefit from a few extra days off. In particular
AH : his efficiency, especially on the offensive end, seems to be much better the fewer his minutes
TL: he seems to be someone who is more likely to get hurt the further he is from 100% health.
MS: the "wolverine" has great recuperative powers, until he doesn't

Thus: does it make sense to rest these 3? Let DW, PP, DT ... and even Neismith .. get some real minutes. Your odds of winning game 1 drop, but they weren't great. And who knows, the limited minutes of these guys means they are not banged up. They might pull off a minor miracle.

And the benefit is for the rest of the series, especially game 2, you have a AH,TL, and MS at improved efficiency. If you believe ( I do!) that a healthy celtics team is Just Better than the Heat, that should increase the odds of winning, probably in 6.

I am not sure I buy the above argument, but I can't reject it. I agree with the notion that Miami is going to pull a page from the 80s and play a punishing physical game. If so, the benefits of 2 days of recuperation (pre game 1) might disappear by game 3.

Perhaps a tight cap on minutes in Game 1-- they all come off the bench?
Please read the @uk_sox_fan post again because it was quite funny and I fear you may have missed that.
 

Dave Stapleton

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Folks also seem to be overestimating Butlers game as well. He is a gamer and a winner but he’s not a particularly good shooter shooting around 23% from 3. Herro can chuck it but Cs killer Duncan Robinson seems to have lost his minutes.
 

benhogan

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Heh, yeah my tongue was firmly in cheek. I'm kind of surprised it is high as 70% seeing as the Cs are without home court advantage. Seems like once we get into this part of the postseason I wouldn't feel great about any odds south of 40% or north of 60%.

Edit: But if 538 had a bunch of 56.7% and 48.2% numbers, they wouldn't get the eyeballs/attention.
Ha. Good point. You figure 538 is just some black box algo that devours tons of data/stats and spits out an unemotional quantitative answer. When the simple truth is they are in the clicks business.

It's Tuesday morning, the sweep is still in play, and we have speculation of Nesmith minutes. I'm kind of glad there was only one day off.
 

joe dokes

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It probably won’t happen, but do you think about starting White and bringing Smart off the bench? White has been playing well lately and I’d think you’d want to basically swap their minutes totals given Smart’s injury situation. Just flipping them in the rotation seems like an easy way to do it.

I think there’s no way Rob starts tonight. I’d use him sparingly to give the Heat a different defensive look. SSS but I feel like TL looks mentally rusty after a layoff, at least I thought he did last time. I’d be a bit worried he wouldn’t have the feel back for when to come and help for the block vs not.
That's a "no" on the White-Smart swap for me. If Smart needs a minutes restriction, let him get it from the starting position. Anything else seems to be overthinking.
RW is a tougher call. I'm not sure how Ime views the matchups, but if this were a regular game and RW would normally start againt the Heat lineup, I'd start him. The rust concern is real, and I suppose the question is, "do you risk the rust at 0-0, or bring him in later when they might be down and can't afford any more rust as he tries to board the moving train?" I don't really have a feel for how RW plays when not starting.
 

Eddie Jurak

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It probably won’t happen, but do you think about starting White and bringing Smart off the bench? White has been playing well lately and I’d think you’d want to basically swap their minutes totals given Smart’s injury situation. Just flipping them in the rotation seems like an easy way to do it.

I think there’s no way Rob starts tonight. I’d use him sparingly to give the Heat a different defensive look. SSS but I feel like TL looks mentally rusty after a layoff, at least I thought he did last time. I’d be a bit worried he wouldn’t have the feel back for when to come and help for the block vs not.
I am more concerned about whether Smart plays at all than about who starts. For all PP has had his moments against MIL, I think the Celtics are a lesser and more vanilla defensive team when he is on the floor, as they put a lot of effort into protecting him. If Smart is available I'd start him but I would hope Ime does not hesitate to give White more minutes if Smart is less than 100% and White is more effective.
Folks also seem to be overestimating Butlers game as well. He is a gamer and a winner but he’s not a particularly good shooter shooting around 23% from 3. Herro can chuck it but Cs killer Duncan Robinson seems to have lost his minutes.
I think Robinson will get his chance at some point. I'm actually more worried about Bam than Butler. A less extreme version of the Giannis plan will let Butler score some points but will limit his creation of open three looks for shooters. Bam scares me unless Grant can handle him.
 

tims4wins

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Folks also seem to be overestimating Butlers game as well. He is a gamer and a winner but he’s not a particularly good shooter shooting around 23% from 3. Herro can chuck it but Cs killer Duncan Robinson seems to have lost his minutes.
He is over 36% from 3 in these playoffs (SSS obviously). If he keeps that up it is problematic for the Celts. If he reverts to his season average... he's a worse shooter than Giannis and we want him jacking as many 3s as possible, just like Giannis.
 

lovegtm

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I am more concerned about whether Smart plays at all than about who starts. For all PP has had his moments against MIL, I think the Celtics are a lesser and more vanilla defensive team when he is on the floor, as they put a lot of effort into protecting him. If Smart is available I'd start him but I would hope Ime does not hesitate to give White more minutes if Smart is less than 100% and White is more effective.
I think Robinson will get his chance at some point. I'm actually more worried about Bam than Butler. A less extreme version of the Giannis plan will let Butler score some points but will limit his creation of open three looks for shooters. Bam scares me unless Grant can handle him.
Grant played Bam fairly well in the bubble, but was limited because he wasn't as good offensively then. He's a much better player on both ends now.

The Cs also have Al Horford now, who almost certainly (imo) would have swung that 2020 series their way.

Miami can of course go for switches to get perimeter players on to Bam, and let him attack them, but that seems like a very very poor man's version of Giannis' approach, and not a recipe for consistent offense.

The Celtics have built their team defensively to be able to neuter teams like Miami via extensive switching, and I expect them to lean into that very hard.

My concern is more that Tatum will get the same treatment on the other end, and this is where he needs to earn his superstar status. If he is able to punish PJ Tucker types, destroy switches, handle blitzes, rain pullup 3s when open, this will be a short series. If he isn't ready to do that, it will be a slugfest nailbiter.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Grant played Bam fairly well in the bubble, but was limited because he wasn't as good offensively then. He's a much better player on both ends now.

The Cs also have Al Horford now, who almost certainly (imo) would have swung that 2020 series their way.

Miami can of course go for switches to get perimeter players on to Bam, and let him attack them, but that seems like a very very poor man's version of Giannis' approach, and not a recipe for consistent offense.

The Celtics have built their team defensively to be able to neuter teams like Miami via extensive switching, and I expect them to lean into that very hard.

My concern is more that Tatum will get the same treatment on the other end, and this is where he needs to earn his superstar status. If he is able to punish PJ Tucker types, destroy switches, handle blitzes, rain pullup 3s when open, this will be a short series. If he isn't ready to do that, it will be a slugfest nailbiter.
I think Miami will struggle to score in the half court, but their defensive intensity and savvy could result in a lot of points off turnovers if the C’s are not on top of their ball handling and passing.
 

Saints Rest

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Looking at MPG in the playoffs, Bam is averaging about 32 and Deadmon about 10. Who is playing the 5 for the other 6 minutes? Morris is at 3 MPG.

Although the 76er series was weird in that most games weren't very close. (Final margins of 9, 35, 8, 20, 16, 14 (from most recent to G1). The Hawks series had two close games and three blowouts.
 

lovegtm

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I think Miami will struggle to score in the half court, but their defensive intensity and savvy could result in a lot of points off turnovers if the C’s are not on top of their ball handling and passing.
Yeah, this is where I'm at and what I'm concerned about.

Looking at MPG in the playoffs, Bam is averaging about 32 and Deadmon about 10. Who is playing the 5 for the other 6 minutes? Morris is at 3 MPG.

Although the 76er series was weird in that most games weren't very close. (Final margins of 9, 35, 8, 20, 16, 14 (from most recent to G1). The Hawks series had two close games and three blowouts.
People have speculated they might go to PJ Tucker at center, although that makes them thin defending the wing in the other minutes.

Everything is pointing at Miami needing to go zone at some point, and if the Celtics can solve that, they'll likely take control. If not, could get ugly.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Grant averaged <10 minutes per game in the Miami bubble series, so I am skeptical about how much can be read into that.
 

Mooch

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Yeah, this is where I'm at and what I'm concerned about.


People have speculated they might go to PJ Tucker at center, although that makes them thin defending the wing in the other minutes.

Everything is pointing at Miami needing to go zone at some point, and if the Celtics can solve that, they'll likely take control. If not, could get ugly.
If the Heat use PJ Tucker at center, they might not grab a single rebound. I'd be THRILLED if they went that small.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Looking at MPG in the playoffs, Bam is averaging about 32 and Deadmon about 10. Who is playing the 5 for the other 6 minutes? Morris is at 3 MPG.

Although the 76er series was weird in that most games weren't very close. (Final margins of 9, 35, 8, 20, 16, 14 (from most recent to G1). The Hawks series had two close games and three blowouts.
Went back and checked the plus/minus charts from BRef (here's game 5 for example). Minutes played is kind of misleading since PHI without Embiid is an entirely different team and yes at that point MIA went with Tucker (and once Morris) at the 5 but that's because PHI was playing a lot of minutes with Paul Reed and Niang at the 5 (Jordan had 17 minutes in G1 and 13+ in G2). Once Embiid came back, it was generally Bam and Dedmon until the game got out of hand, except for G4 when Dedmon was out with a head cold.

Dedmon did pretty well vs BOS in March; I suspect he will get almost all of the non-Bam minutes unless BOS can kill him on switches.
 

Saints Rest

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Grant played Bam fairly well in the bubble, but was limited because he wasn't as good offensively then. He's a much better player on both ends now.

The Cs also have Al Horford now, who almost certainly (imo) would have swung that 2020 series their way.

Miami can of course go for switches to get perimeter players on to Bam, and let him attack them, but that seems like a very very poor man's version of Giannis' approach, and not a recipe for consistent offense.

The Celtics have built their team defensively to be able to neuter teams like Miami via extensive switching, and I expect them to lean into that very hard.

My concern is more that Tatum will get the same treatment on the other end, and this is where he needs to earn his superstar status. If he is able to punish PJ Tucker types, destroy switches, handle blitzes, rain pullup 3s when open, this will be a short series. If he isn't ready to do that, it will be a slugfest nailbiter.
My recollection from that bubble series was that Miami crushed the Celtics with that 3-2 zone where they hid Herro and Robinson (primarily) on the back line, with Bam and Butler (and Dragic?) waking havoc up top.
 

Kliq

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The thing about the zone back in the bubble was that Tatum was not a very good passer and he has made tremendous strides in that field since the bubble series; I'd be surprised if it was nearly as effective, especially if guys like Grant and Horford keep hitting shots from outside. Jaylen is a better passer too, although he might still struggle against the zone.
 

Saints Rest

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The thing about the zone back in the bubble was that Tatum was not a very good passer and he has made tremendous strides in that field since the bubble series; I'd be surprised if it was nearly as effective, especially if guys like Grant and Horford keep hitting shots from outside. Jaylen is a better passer too, although he might still struggle against the zone.
I also wonder if Al and/or TL can operate as that high-post passer who can kill the zone. My recollection is that Hayward was ideal for this role but then he tore up his ankle.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I think it could still bother them in spurts as any change-up can but they are much more equipped to handle it now.
 

lovegtm

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The thing about the zone back in the bubble was that Tatum was not a very good passer and he has made tremendous strides in that field since the bubble series; I'd be surprised if it was nearly as effective, especially if guys like Grant and Horford keep hitting shots from outside. Jaylen is a better passer too, although he might still struggle against the zone.
White is also a good guy for getting into zone cracks and attacking it off the dribble. Despite his 3 point struggles he is still dangerous in the midrange and closer.

Grant averaged <10 minutes per game in the Miami bubble series, so I am skeptical about how much can be read into that.
Sure, if you want to go from first principles, it's hard for me to see how a guy who can credibly guard Giannis 1-on-1 will have more trouble with Bam. Bam is inferior to Giannis in nearly all facets offensively (not a knock on him, more about what Grant can handle).
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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White is also a good guy for getting into zone cracks and attacking it off the dribble. Despite his 3 point struggles he is still dangerous in the midrange and closer.
So long as he doesn't make the wise decision to go right at Bam, similar to when he took it to Lopez with some weak sauce TWICE in Game 7 with predictable results.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Sure, if you want to go from first principles, it's hard for me to see how a guy who can credibly guard Giannis 1-on-1 will have more trouble with Bam. Bam is inferior to Giannis in nearly all facets offensively (not a knock on him, more about what Grant can handle).
I'm actually optimistic about Grant on Bam - I just think it is an open question not a settled one.

But I would throw out the name of Marcus Smart as a guy who can credibly guard Giannis but who just gets destroyed by Bam, so such thing does exist.
 

Steve Dillard

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As a modest basketball fan, that height advantage on offense almost compels posting up down low. That’s not the usual perimeter style, so how much are they guided by the matchups vs letting Tatum/Brown do their thing on the wings
 

Kliq

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Heat will go zone anytime Tatum sits, which won’t be too often. This is a really good article, from the underrated Pina.

View: https://twitter.com/MichaelVPina/status/1526579419632046080?s=20&t=Ygk61rUSp8l5_R7VmFZsjA
And to lovegtm's point, this would mean a big series for White. Who else on the team is capable of penetrating the zone and making the right pass to presumably open shooters? Smart could also do this, but who knows if he is 100%. White will be a guy that should be able to attack closeouts and make the pass to beat the zone.
 

RorschachsMask

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And to lovegtm's point, this would mean a big series for White. Who else on the team is capable of penetrating the zone and making the right pass to presumably open shooters? Smart could also do this, but who knows if he is 100%. White will be a guy that should be able to attack closeouts and make the pass to beat the zone.
White is also a perfect matchup for Herro on the other end of the court. White struggles some with stronger guards who can bully him a bit, but feels like he could swallow up Herro.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Ha. Good point. You figure 538 is just some black box algo that devours tons of data/stats and spits out an unemotional quantitative answer. When the simple truth is they are in the clicks business.

It's Tuesday morning, the sweep is still in play, and we have speculation of Nesmith minutes. I'm kind of glad there was only one day off.
Speculation of Nesmith minutes? Good lord I’m glad I’ve been mostly away the past several days.

Ok I’ll bite……I’ll speculate that in Games 2 thru 6 when we are up 25+ with under 4 minutes to play we WILL see Aaron Nesmith. Then we’ll see him again next winter on ELEVEN SPORTS playing for Olimpia Milano of the Italian Serie A League.