Celtics vs. Nets, Round 1 Discussion

Who is your preferred opponent?

  • Cavs - I want an easy sweep

    Votes: 125 74.9%
  • Nets - I want to end their season / I like competitive basketball / DRAMA!!

    Votes: 42 25.1%

  • Total voters
    167
  • Poll closed .

Strike4

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For sure it wasn’t actually an “easy” sweep, but it’s funny that after all the handwringing about getting the Nets it was Celtics in 4 either way.
It was also a perfect way to forge an even more resilient Celtics team going forward. Despite it being a sweep, these were difficult games against a very good opponent. We're crapping on the Nets in other threads but this was no cakewalk.

The Celtics had to execute in some very tough situations (i.e. having to close out without Tatum, making a 4th quarter comeback, winning on last minute shot) and knew that the best way to win this series was to snuff out any hope the Nets had before they could string anything together. And in doing it in 4 games, they get to rest.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Can anyone truly explain to me what the refs may have been thinking (other than "extend the series") on Tatum's sixth "foul" last night?

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CpS1jlhY88


He made a cut to the basket. Dragic got in his way. Tatum beats him to the spot, and pivots to essentially post Dragic up. There's virtually no contact. Dragic then falls over and as he's falling, he essentially pulls Tatum to the ground.

Did they "think" that Tatum pushed Dragic to the floor?

View attachment 51143

View attachment 51144

I mean, Dragic is clearly reaching in here, not the other way around. And look where the official is. 12 feet away staring STRAIGHT AT IT. There's no non-sketchy world where this is a foul on Tatum. There should have been no foul at all. But if there was one, it would have been on Dragic for reaching in and essentially pulling Tatum to the floor.

Of course the NBA didn't offer an explanation, right?
I think it's pretty simple; Dragic flopped and Foster Wright bought it. He assumed the way that Dragic reacted that there must have been excessive contact from Tatum's right arm that caused Dragic to hit the floor.
 
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MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Scal kept commenting on Durant seeming really frustrated and still trying to figure out what the approach to beating the Cs was and I've been thinking of his facial expression when Marcus made that last dive for the ball and fouled him up-3 with 22 seconds to go. It was a great, great play by Marcus - knew the situation, knew fouling ensured they couldn't give up three and lose the lead, knew they'd get the ball back with no shot clock, knew there was no risk at all in going for that ball. He threw himself at the ball and almost got the clean steal. I think if it's not Durant, with his reputation, he probably does.

But then afterward, when the foul had been called and they both picking themselves off the flour, KD was looking at him like, "what the fuck?" And looking to the refs as though it was some egregious thing for Marcus to have done. I mean, you got the foul. What more do you want? But it was like he was pissed at Marcus for trying harder than him or something. Which ultimately means he was pissed at himself.

When people talk about the locker room effect or camaraderie or a team being together, etc., I think it mostly shows itself if how hard the guys want to play - I don't think it's a knock on KD that he just couldn't bring himself, with this Nets team, to want it as much as the Cs wanted it.

Kyrie's a whole different animal. I can never seem to figure out what he wants. Where was he last night?
 

CreightonGubanich

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The 6th foul on Tatum was an egregiously bad call, but the refs were terrible all night for both teams. The Nets had a few guys in foul trouble after ridiculous touch fouls were called, while some obvious ones went uncalled. Durant in particular could have fouled out twice -- remember that time he gave Grant Williams a two-handed shove, sending Grant backpedaling about 15 feet, while Kyrie drilled a wide open three as a result? Durant got away with several frustration shoves after/apart from the play that should have been called. Tough to say either team had an advantage though, the refs were just uniformly terrible.
 

Kliq

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This is the play that caught my attention that kind of defines this team. They play defense like an NFL team. On this play, Grant switches onto Durant and forces knocks the ball off of Durant and out of bounds. It's right near the Celtics bench and Grant celebrates like a special teamer that just nailed a punt returner and the bench celebrates in a similar fashion. It's so much fun to watch that intensity, focus and pride.

https://go.nba.com/9llor
 

CoffeeNerdness

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The 6th foul on Tatum was an egregiously bad call, but the refs were terrible all night for both teams. The Nets had a few guys in foul trouble after ridiculous touch fouls were called, while some obvious ones went uncalled. Durant in particular could have fouled out twice -- remember that time he gave Grant Williams a two-handed shove, sending Grant backpedaling about 15 feet, while Kyrie drilled a wide open three as a result? Durant got away with several frustration shoves after/apart from the play that should have been called. Tough to say either team had an advantage though, the refs were just uniformly terrible.
I agree until you start talking about what was happening five feet from the basket. I think the refs allowed BK to mug any Celtic who dared get near the hoop and it was persistent through all four quarters.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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It was also a perfect way to forge an even more resilient Celtics team going forward. Despite it being a sweep, these were difficult games against a very good opponent. We're crapping on the Nets in other threads but this was no cakewalk.

The Celtics had to execute in some very tough situations (i.e. having to close out without Tatum, making a 4th quarter comeback, winning on last minute shot) and knew that the best way to win this series was to snuff out any hope the Nets had before they could string anything together. And in doing it in 4 games, they get to rest.
Exactly—not that you can take plays off against anyone in the playoffs, but Kyrie/KD are both guys who will absolutely kill you if you miss a handoff on D, or drop too far off a screen, or miscommunicate, or any number of other ways you can screw up a defensive possession.

The Celtics were clearly the better team but a big part of that was executing on D exactly how they wanted to nearly every time down the court. It’s not easy to get to that level of locked in but they have been there for a couple months and it’s going to make them extremely tough to beat, especially since they have also become more locked in on offense at the same time.
 

BaseballJones

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Ime said he thinks it's the closest 4 game sweep in history. Have no idea if that's actually true but that's kind of what it felt like.

As someone else said, close games but Cs always in control.
The Celtics weren't in control with 3 seconds left in game 1. They weren't in control the vast majority of game 2.

They won in four, which is awesome on every level. But it's not like the Nets were pushovers.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The Celtics weren't in control with 3 seconds left in game 1. They weren't in control the vast majority of game 2.

They won in four, which is awesome on every level. But it's not like the Nets were pushovers.
I dunno. G1 was an extraordinary effort from KI and the first half of G2 was the worst the starters played in a while. Even if the Cs lost G1, I don't think anyone was worried that BRK was the better team.

The series was close. The teams were closely matched. But BOS was the better team and I felt like they won despite never playing their best game for an entire 48 minutes. Some of that is due to BRK but not all of that.
 

TripleOT

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There were questions whether the new look Celtics could win close games. Since the devastating buzzer beater loss to the Knicks, the Celtics were 5-4 in games decided by seven points or less. Previous to the turnaround game, they were 6-14.

The Celtics proved they could win close games, even not at full strength.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I saw on twitter last night that it was the second closest.
Yeah, I should have checked twitter but I'm catching up. Pelton says third closest. "With a combined margin of 18 points, Celtics-Nets is the third-closest four-game sweep in NBA history, trailing Warriors-Bullets in the 1975 NBA Finals and Cavaliers-Pacers in the 2017 first round (both 16)."

View: https://twitter.com/kpelton/status/1518765144884785152
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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The series was close. The teams were closely matched. But BOS was the better team and I felt like they won despite never playing their best game for an entire 48 minutes. Some of that is due to BRK but not all of that.
There were a couple of times last night, when the Nets were playing small, where it felt like a healthy and fully reintegrated TimeLord turns that into a blowout, for sure.
 

Kliq

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The games were close but I was never really that concerned outside of G1. The Nets made some threes and incredible shots down the stretch to get things close; but it always felt like the Celtics, if they wanted too, could get a favorable switch on offense and score every time down the floor.
 

Euclis20

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This series was a good counter to anyone saying the NBA has turned into a 3 point shooting contest, in which the winner moves on. The Celtics shot .355 from 3 for the series, right at their season average (.356). The Nets shot .422, well above their average (.361). The Nets outshot the Celtics in 3/4 games, often by a significant margin.
 

johnmd20

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I dunno. G1 was an extraordinary effort from KI and the first half of G2 was the worst the starters played in a while. Even if the Cs lost G1, I don't think anyone was worried that BRK was the better team.

The series was close. The teams were closely matched. But BOS was the better team and I felt like they won despite never playing their best game for an entire 48 minutes. Some of that is due to BRK but not all of that.
Sure. Except this was the 3rd closest 4 game sweep in NBA history.
 

RorschachsMask

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Horford was massive, here’s the on/off for the series. Obvious SSS context, but short samples are much more important in a playoff series, obviously.

51153
 

joe dokes

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In some way, I think that despite his warts, if he indeed wants to play, Simmons needs to be given the keys to the car. It doesn't mean he has to be the team's best player or even its emotional leader, but he's spent his basketball life working around his shortcomings as a player and making other players better. It got untenable in Philadelphia...maybe Embiid tired of him, maybe Doc did. But he'll never drive the car in Brooklyn. I'm not scouring the universe for comps, but 2008 Rondo was a "limited" player in many respects. Nevertheless, Ainge, Doc and (especially) Pierce, Garnett and Allen let Rondo drive.

Of course, "if he indeed wants to play" is carrying a lot of weight here. Or if he *can* play given his health -- physical and not.
 

Kliq

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In some way, I think that despite his warts, if he indeed wants to play, Simmons needs to be given the keys to the car. It doesn't mean he has to be the team's best player or even its emotional leader, but he's spent his basketball life working around his shortcomings as a player and making other players better. It got untenable in Philadelphia...maybe Embiid tired of him, maybe Doc did. But he'll never drive the car in Brooklyn. I'm not scouring the universe for comps, but 2008 Rondo was a "limited" player in many respects. Nevertheless, Ainge, Doc and (especially) Pierce, Garnett and Allen let Rondo drive.

Of course, "if he indeed wants to play" is carrying a lot of weight here. Or if he *can* play given his health -- physical and not.
The difference in competitive fire between Rondo and Simmons is so large, I'm not sure what to compare it to.
 

jezza1918

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The difference in competitive fire between Rondo and Simmons is so large, I'm not sure what to compare it to.
Approximately the difference between the intellect Kyrie thinks he possesses vs. what he actually possesses?
I thought this was a relative toss up going into it...and I guess one can make the argument in retrospect that it was given the way each game played out. But I really don't think so. I get that 4 games is a short sample size, but you don't win 4 straight games of that nature with luck. The Celtics were better.
 

RSN Diaspora

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Horford was massive, here’s the on/off for the series. Obvious SSS context, but short samples are much more important in a playoff series, obviously.
If you told me before I saw this chart that the Celtics were 13 points better with Theis on the floor than Smart in this series, I probably would've laughed in your face. And yet...
 

Eddie Jurak

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Looking back the pre analysis that their role players were going to be their downfall was at least partially wrong. Nash really rode Durant and Kyrie to cover for them but Curry, Brown, Claxton (ft aside), Dragic, even Mills were all fairly good and quite consistent for role players in the playoffs. Dragic had a quieter game 3 and Claxton/Drummond was a position they struggled to decide how to approach but I am more impressed that we swept them while the secondary scoring played somewhere near the top end you could have expected almost across the board
I view it slightly differently. The Celtics committed to stopping KI and KD, and that meant leaving those guys open. If you look at the Boston Globe article that had Marcus breaking down five of his defensive plays from game 1, at least two of them were Smart helping off of Brown. After Brown went off for 20+ points in games 2 and 3, he took only 3 shots in game 4 as Durant fired up 31 shots. I like Brown - under the right circumstances I'd be happy to have him as a Celtic - but the Celtics basically didn't defend him.
EJ, that is a very good summary. I watched the game but missed some the points that you made above. It's good to hear that you think Time Lord still has the hops.
I don't see him having any physical issues as all. Just rhythm, timing, feel, things he'll hopefully get back as he plays and practices with the team.

View: https://twitter.com/celtics/status/1518750700775174144?s=20&t=-Igd3Ca-1_aiPxdGGke6UQ
 

Don Buddin's GS

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From The Ringer: The Nets Were Not Who We Thought They Were

https://www.theringer.com/2022/4/26/23042488/nets-celtics-sweep-nba-playoffs

The preseason favorites to win the NBA championship instead exit as the only one of the 16 playoff participants without a win—an inauspicious start to what promises to be a downright fascinating offseason. As it turned out, there was no monster under the bed, no terror hiding in the play-in tournament; in the end, the “Team the Favorites Don’t Want to Play” never existed. The 2021-22 Nets died as they lived: much better and more compelling in theory than they ever managed to be in reality.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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In some way, I think that despite his warts, if he indeed wants to play, Simmons needs to be given the keys to the car. It doesn't mean he has to be the team's best player or even its emotional leader, but he's spent his basketball life working around his shortcomings as a player and making other players better. It got untenable in Philadelphia...maybe Embiid tired of him, maybe Doc did. But he'll never drive the car in Brooklyn. I'm not scouring the universe for comps, but 2008 Rondo was a "limited" player in many respects. Nevertheless, Ainge, Doc and (especially) Pierce, Garnett and Allen let Rondo drive.

Of course, "if he indeed wants to play" is carrying a lot of weight here. Or if he *can* play given his health -- physical and not.
I think this is correct. IIRC, when Harden came over, it was reported that KI said to Harden, "You play PG, I'll play off the ball" so I'm sure that would work for Simmons as well. So yes, BRK would need to play Simmons in a PG position doing nothing more than driving and creating and playing defense.

Someone posted in one of the thread the idea that BRK, if Simmons is healthy and playing going into next season, they'd probably be the betting favorite to come out of the East. Assuming that they get Joe Harris back and they don't totally screw up the roster, I'd also agree with this.
 

Deathofthebambino

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The 6th foul on Tatum was an egregiously bad call, but the refs were terrible all night for both teams. The Nets had a few guys in foul trouble after ridiculous touch fouls were called, while some obvious ones went uncalled. Durant in particular could have fouled out twice -- remember that time he gave Grant Williams a two-handed shove, sending Grant backpedaling about 15 feet, while Kyrie drilled a wide open three as a result? Durant got away with several frustration shoves after/apart from the play that should have been called. Tough to say either team had an advantage though, the refs were just uniformly terrible.
Let's also not forget the 3rd foul on Horford, that led to him only playing 6 minutes in the entire first half, and still-recovering TL having to pick up the slack. Al picked up 2 early fouls in 5 minutes, and went to the bench.

He returned in the 2nd quarter, and literally, on the first play, he got called down low on a seal off for an offensive, three fouls, and back to the bench. That was a massive, massive foul call and IMO, kept the C's from having a chance to extend the lead and put the game away much earlier. They called Al for his 3rd on a play that could be called a foul on almost every single trip down the floor, and I'm not even sure we ever got a replay.
 

dhellers

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Can anyone truly explain to me what the refs may have been thinking (other than "extend the series") on Tatum's sixth "foul" last night?

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CpS1jlhY88


He made a cut to the basket. Dragic got in his way. Tatum beats him to the spot, and pivots to essentially post Dragic up. There's virtually no contact. Dragic then falls over and as he's falling, he essentially pulls Tatum to the ground.

Did they "think" that Tatum pushed Dragic to the floor?

View attachment 51143

View attachment 51144

I mean, Dragic is clearly reaching in here, not the other way around. And look where the official is. 12 feet away staring STRAIGHT AT IT. There's no non-sketchy world where this is a foul on Tatum. There should have been no foul at all. But if there was one, it would have been on Dragic for reaching in and essentially pulling Tatum to the floor.

Of course the NBA didn't offer an explanation, right?
Great sneaky play by Dragic. Watching the replay, if Dragic doesn't pull Jayson over, Jayson makes an easy grab of a leading pass and cuts straight to the hoop. KD is back there, but
if he switches to cover that drive, Al is wide open. So NOT a bad pass by Marcus.

https://www.sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/celtics-vs-nets-round-1-discussion.36288/page-21#post-4960068

I suppose one could argue the refs did Boston a favor by making a call -- if they had "played on", Brooklyn would of gotten the 'errant' pass with an open path to their basket.
 

kieckeredinthehead

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The games were close but I was never really that concerned outside of G1. The Nets made some threes and incredible shots down the stretch to get things close; but it always felt like the Celtics, if they wanted too, could get a favorable switch on offense and score every time down the floor.
Different sport but this series felt a lot like the 04 ALDS - Sox were clearly the better team, but it only takes a few things going wrong to swing the whole thing, or turn it into five games rather than a sweep. And thank god it was a sweep. Some of those games got uncomfortably close but in retrospect the Angels weren’t getting anywhere near the CS.

Not to get too far ahead of ourselves but there are some other parallels between this Celtics team and the 04 Sox (new manager, underperforming stars, awful first half, energy shifting trade deadline, dominating end of the regular season…).
 

Leon Trotsky

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This play is incredible. Is Ime looking to Tatum/Brown, who are calling the play from the beyond the arc? Between Ime's signal, Grant's fake on Curry, and Marcus's incredible pass, it is just perfect execution. So much goes into these plays that you don't necessarily see in real time.
 

Bleedred

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This play is incredible. Is Ime looking to Tatum/Brown, who are calling the play from the beyond the arc? Between Ime's signal, Grant's fake on Curry, and Marcus's incredible pass, it is just perfect execution. So much goes into these plays that you don't necessarily see in real time.
That play really was awesome. One aspect that is clear is that Curry is so physically overmatched guarding grant that when grant cut to the hoop, he basically went through curry's left shoulder as if curry wasn't there, making sure he had the right angle to receive the pass and score. Awesome x and o
 

NomarsFool

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These were all close contests that realistically could have gone either way with a few different bounces. The Celtics are the better team, and the better team won all 4 of these games - but it's also not like the Nets stink.
 
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For comparison, here is the clip from The Office.

For more context, Barkley had made a comment about KD not driving the bus and just being a passenger for his titles with the Warriors. KD, because he can't help himself, responded to Barkley. In response, some genius at Inside the NBA created the video of the Nets on the bus, with Barkley driving. I also particularly like the detail of adding the Nets logo and Cancun Tours on the side of the bus.

I also don't know how Ben Simmons ever recovers from this video if he sees it.
 

DourDoerr

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I view it slightly differently. The Celtics committed to stopping KI and KD, and that meant leaving those guys open. If you look at the Boston Globe article that had Marcus breaking down five of his defensive plays from game 1, at least two of them were Smart helping off of Brown. After Brown went off for 20+ points in games 2 and 3, he took only 3 shots in game 4 as Durant fired up 31 shots. I like Brown - under the right circumstances I'd be happy to have him as a Celtic - but the Celtics basically didn't defend him.
I don't see him having any physical issues as all. Just rhythm, timing, feel, things he'll hopefully get back as he plays and practices with the team.

View: https://twitter.com/celtics/status/1518750700775174144?s=20&t=-Igd3Ca-1_aiPxdGGke6UQ
One of the most terrifying sights for an opposing coach must be Time Lord pointing up while stutter-stepping outside the baseline paint. The difference between throwing up a shot at the tiny hoop and an alley-oop to the hula hoop size of TL's catch radius must be like approximately the difference between the intellect Kyrie thinks he possesses vs. what he actually possesses (thanks @jezza1918 ).