C's pick Aaron Nesmith #14 overall

joe dokes

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24 minutes today, most of anyone off the bench. Drained some 3s, played cromulent defense, kept the ball moving on offense. Not sure what flipped for Brad recently that made him feel comfortable getting Nesmith some run, but an encouraging outing.
That comment from Stevens above suggests that something flipped for *Nesmith*. "Made great strides" suggests that there were things he was showing in practice that made him not-game-worthy, and that he's improved sufficiently at them.
 

DJnVa

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Hadn't Grant been playing reasonable well as of late? Teague is a bit of an enigma has he's been killing it from 3, and looks like junior varsity inside the arc.
Back to back tonight, with no Kemba and likely lots of small ball versus the Hawks. Think it was just a day off for GW. Not as much so for Teague, but assume he'll get some run tonight.
 

HomeRunBaker

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That comment from Stevens above suggests that something flipped for *Nesmith*. "Made great strides" suggests that there were things he was showing in practice that made him not-game-worthy, and that he's improved sufficiently at them.
Correct. Nesmith is working his ass off on the defensive end is what’s earning him minutes right now with Smart out. Brad had talked about it pregame Sunday and apparently the effort thing wasn’t just coachspeak.

Such a bizarre situation where you love a guys offense and question his defense predraft then when he gets to the next level he’s petrified on offense and making his mark on defense. Pandemic Basketball 101.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Hadn't Grant been playing reasonable well as of late? Teague is a bit of an enigma has he's been killing it from 3, and looks like junior varsity inside the arc.
Grant has been shooting well which helps masks a lot. He was also completely invisible his last 2.

If Nesmith starts to get consistent minutes, it does not bode well for Grant.
 

radsoxfan

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Grant has been shooting well which helps masks a lot. He was also completely invisible his last 2.

If Nesmith starts to get consistent minutes, it does not bode well for Grant.
Yeah, Grant's 3 point shooting is the only thing keeping him sort of afloat.

Still overall he has bad, the rest of his offense has been bad/non-existent and his D has regressed.

The Celtics are definitely better if someone else can put up competent minutes his place (like Nesmith last night).
 

NomarsFool

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It's baby steps, but I did think that Grant has done 1-2 things a game on the offensive end lately besides shooting 3s. As for the defense - I don't feel qualified to judge. All season I feel like I've heard Scal say "That's good defense by Grant, but he still got called for the foul". But, one my beefs with Stevens lately is it seems like he hasn't wanted to 'pick a lane' so to speak. So, happy to see Nesmith getting some run - I hope it continues for a meaningful stretch of games, and we don't go back to the Javonte Green experience this weekend.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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This is starting to feel a lot like last year's episode of "Romeo", but with a shot.
He has the same deceptive athleticism and good wingspan. So far it seems to play up when challenging shots and especially on the glass. He really gets after it. The rapid defensive growth under these weird circumstances is extremely promising for a future where things like a real off-season and practice time can happen again.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I wonder how much of his early problems were injury related rust compounded by getting used to the pace of the game. I think a lot of people underestimate just how valuable traveling with the team and sitting on the bench watching is. It's not playing, but in some circumstances, I'd say it's far better than the G league.

If he continues to play more like the Aaron Nesmith many of us over bearishly predicted him to be out of the gate, that will be a huge get. Him and PP being rotation players from year 1 adds tremendous value to the roster and in potential trades.

Rookies are interesting and it's hard not to readjust your opinion on a player after a handful of games unless it's in the positive direction (PP). Even if they look completely lost, it probably doesn't mean much. While I didn't really readjust my stance (I liked the pick, still do), I sorta forgot why I liked the pick. Great shooter, hard worker, constantly in motion on O. Good BBIQ, buys into/understands team defense, positions himself well and he's alert. The effort should be there.

If he does have deceptive athleticism and is actually very good at where to position himself on defense and has decent defensive awareness, he could actually become a pretty good defensive player. From what I saw in videos and in scouting reports, he lacked some lateral and vertical athleticism. If that's not really the case or he's been working to address the issue, it changes his entire ceiling, although it probably doesn't change his offensive game much. We saw it first hand with Tatum, who was supposed to be close to a finished product because scouts were off on his athleticism. Not everyone is Jaylen Brown, it doesn't mean they aren't athletic.

Granted, I just watched videos of him. I'm not a college guru at all and I generally stay away from judging draft picks until I see them play for a year unless they look like they don't belong (Carsen) or far exceed expectations (PP) in the early going. To Edwards credit, he's looked somewhat better this year. Watching Nesmith, I didn't get the Carsen or PP vibe. I've thought all along he should be playing around 10 minutes a game but I think in the long term, it's irrelevant. It also could have hurt his progress. Putting him in to fail won't help.

I think the C's have handled his development fine even if it's not what I'd have done. There's also a reason I'm not an NBA GM or head coach. Hopefully now/soon he'll start to be rewarded with consistent minutes.

I know many of us are impatient and want someone to pair with the Jays now but if Nesmith pans out, he'd be a great fit. He can't really create his own shot though, so that somewhat limits his ceiling. Where you would want one of Tatum/Brown/Kemba on the floor at all times... Nesmith is not that guy. It could create rotation problems long term unless the C's get a bench scorer. You can't always have one of Tatum or Brown on the court. I think Romeo has the higher ceiling but is less likely to reach it. It really depends on how his shot develops but he can get to the rim and create his own shots. They just aren't very good, and may never be. He would be the more traditional 3rd guy.

I think Nesmith is far more likely to add value on his rookie deal, be retained and be the better player but I wouldn't bet on any of it. They are also only 9 days apart in age. I also wouldn't be surprised by the time Romeo gets back, Nesmith will have just as much game experience. It'll be fun to watch them progress. Nesmith and Langford playing well changes the entire landscape for the C's in so many ways, opens so many possibilities.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Yeah, Grant's 3 point shooting is the only thing keeping him sort of afloat.

Still overall he has bad, the rest of his offense has been bad/non-existent and his D has regressed.

The Celtics are definitely better if someone else can put up competent minutes his place (like Nesmith last night).
Ainge has to make a couple of moves in the coming weeks. The answers for a playoff run are not on this roster even with Smart’s return as our competitors will be upgrading as well.
 

Cellar-Door

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I think despite the complaints here and on twitter, Brad has handled Nesmith really well. The idea that you just hand a guy 20 minutes every night regardless of matchup and he gets better isn't really true. Brad has done a nice job of making Nesmith a true rotation player. You get minutes based on matchups and performance. You want minutes... show you deserve them in your individual and practice work, when you get a shot show you are ready, when there isn't a spot for you, sit on the bench and watch.

Too often people want to throw rookies in to "Figure it out" or "learn the league" and all they do is learn bad habits, it's a reason so many of those all young guys teams have players putting up numbers on a bad team, that never move beyond that, because at every step they picked up bad lazy habits and there was no consequence, because the minutes were there no matter what. Those guys float around the league for a while, but they rarely end up contributors on good teams.
 

lexrageorge

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The last thing Brad would want to do is to destroy Nesmith's confidence. The worst thing would be to put him in a position where he gets blamed for a tough loss as a result of a miscue at a key moment. There's no point giving him extra minutes if all he is going to get dominated on both ends of the floor; that does little to help his development. Nor does it help team chemistry if a rookie is getting force fed minutes while possible contributors are riding the bench.

And while the team has few organized practices right now, there are still other ways for Nesmith to show progress. It's not like the days where the only role of the assistant coach was to be available in the event Heinsohn got T'ed up twice in a game. There are more than enough assistants on the coaching staff for Nesmith to work with individually and in small group shoot arounds. Part of rookie development is getting him those minutes in the gym to work on things. Then, when he shows some promise in a short stint, Brad can extend the stint based on the game situation and matchups involved.

Now, if Nesmith shows that the Denver game was no fluke and puts together a string of promising performances, and Brad responds by giving him a string of DNP-CD's, then we have a complaint.
 

RedOctober3829

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Correct. Nesmith is working his ass off on the defensive end is what’s earning him minutes right now with Smart out. Brad had talked about it pregame Sunday and apparently the effort thing wasn’t just coachspeak.

Such a bizarre situation where you love a guys offense and question his defense predraft then when he gets to the next level he’s petrified on offense and making his mark on defense. Pandemic Basketball 101.
It's also a byproduct of missing most of last season at Vanderbilt. It's easier to get your defense back IMO than get a good shooting rhythm especially if you're a rookie who hadn't seen game action in almost a year coming into the season.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Good short video below on Nesmith's gravity. I guess his reputation precedes him. Would be interesting to see the film on this but I suspect that defenses play Nesmith tighter than Semi or Grant - even though the latter two are shooting near or over 40%. I also suspect that's because Semi and Grant take longer and more space to get their shot off.

Hopefully if the Cs don't have a championship roster - by DA's own admission - AN can get some good minutes this season.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeBHQWGz1rQ&feature=emb_logo
.
 

TripleOT

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Amazing to see the defensive emphasis on taking the three away from Nesmith, a guy with 12 career threes and 31% shooting from long distance.
 

slamminsammya

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Good short video below on Nesmith's gravity. I guess his reputation precedes him. Would be interesting to see the film on this but I suspect that defenses play Nesmith tighter than Semi or Grant - even though the latter two are shooting near or over 40%. I also suspect that's because Semi and Grant take longer and more space to get their shot off.

Hopefully if the Cs don't have a championship roster - by DA's own admission - AN can get some good minutes this season.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeBHQWGz1rQ&feature=emb_logo
.
I like the video breakdown but I am not at all convinced this is a product of his reputation. I do believe in 2021 the default NBA scheme is to not help from the corner unless the guy standing there obviously cannot shoot (Javonte Green). An average open corner 3 shot is a really efficient shot even with a not great shooter so they prioritize not giving that up in most cases.

The other examples just look like defensive mess ups in transition / semi-transition.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I like the video breakdown but I am not at all convinced this is a product of his reputation. I do believe in 2021 the default NBA scheme is to not help from the corner unless the guy standing there obviously cannot shoot (Javonte Green). An average open corner 3 shot is a really efficient shot even with a not great shooter so they prioritize not giving that up in most cases.

The other examples just look like defensive mess ups in transition / semi-transition.
No you are correct that every NBA team is trying to stop corner 3s since it's among the most efficient shots in the league (I guess it's a hard scheme to teach but I wonder if coaches ever thought about not rotating up from corner 3Ps to the above-the-break 3Ps).

The issue is how closely the guy in the corner has to be guarded. Basically, it's a question of how many steps a defender in the corner can take to help on the driver. With AN, they aren't taking many steps. With GW or Semi, they can take one or more. Makes a huge difference in the amount of space that JT, JB, and KW get when they drive.

If you watch the game tonight, you'll see a difference in how much space Trae Young gets in the middle when he penetrates versus how much space JT and JB get. Some of that has to do with a lack of ball movement but IMO a lot of also has to do with not having reputational shooters in the corners. Yes, Semi, Grant, and even Green are making corner 3s but their shots are long-ish, their releases are low, and they don't really shoot contested 3s. Having a guy like AN opens things up for drivers. At least that's the way I see it.
 

benhogan

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Good short video below on Nesmith's gravity. I guess his reputation precedes him. Would be interesting to see the film on this but I suspect that defenses play Nesmith tighter than Semi or Grant - even though the latter two are shooting near or over 40%. I also suspect that's because Semi and Grant take longer and more space to get their shot off.

Hopefully if the Cs don't have a championship roster - by DA's own admission - AN can get some good minutes this season.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeBHQWGz1rQ&feature=emb_logo
.
Thanks for posting this Wade. Been pounding this drum for a while now, corner 3s are insanely important to the modern NBA offense and the Celtics in particular (Jays/Kemba are very efficient above the break).

These three should be sharing the corner-3 role:
1. Nesmith
2. Grant
3. Semi

No more double BIGs, no more Green, and please don't play those 3 (SO, AN, GW) together since all are below average creators right now. BUT Brad should have one of them on the floor at all times to space the floor for Jays/Kemba.

I'm sure I'll get pushback, but they add balance to the offense, they are not ball-dominant and add size to the defense. This would also help with the shortage of quality wing play.
Yes, I know Grant's been very inconsistent on D to start this year (he was good last season), but the entire Celtic defense has been a steaming pile of sh!t this season (including Marcus, Tatum & especially Brown).
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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Thanks for posting this Wade. Been pounding this drum for a while now, corner 3s are insanely important to the modern NBA offense and the Celtics in particular (Jays/Kemba are very efficient above the break).

These three should be sharing the corner-3 role:
1. Nesmith
2. Grant
3. Semi

No more double BIGs, no more Green, and please don't play those 3 (SO, AN, GW) together since all are below average creators right now. BUT Brad should have one of them on the floor at all times to space the floor for Jays/Kemba.

I'm sure I'll get pushback, but they add balance to the offense, they are not ball-dominant and add size to the defense. This would also help with the shortage of quality wing play.
Yes, I know Grant's been very inconsistent on D to start this year (he was good last season), but the entire Celtic defense has been a steaming pile of sh!t this season (including Marcus and Tatum).
According to NBA.com, Theis is hitting 40.7% of his catch and shoot 3Ps, including 44.4% on Right corner 3Ps (4-9) and 33.3% on left corner 3Ps (3-9). I'm sure Brad's original intent was that Theis would be the floor spacer when he is on the floor with TT.

And just to be clear, I'm not advocating for the 2x Big lineup; just posting what I think the thinking may have been.

I have to believe that Cs coaching and management see how congested the floor is on offense. From my perspective, BOS is super easy to guard these days on most games (DEN was a counter-example). We've discussed the likely reasons why ad nauseam but it's kind of ridiculous this team is 22nd in PPG and 28th in APG.
 

TripleOT

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Boston is easy to guard because they don’t move the ball. they also rely on a lot of isolation at the top. they are at their best when one of their drivers get into the paint and either finish or kick the ball out for a three or a hockey assist three.
 

benhogan

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According to NBA.com, Theis is hitting 40.7% of his catch and shoot 3Ps, including 44.4% on Right corner 3Ps (4-9) and 33.3% on left corner 3Ps (3-9). I'm sure Brad's original intent was that Theis would be the floor spacer when he is on the floor with TT.

And just to be clear, I'm not advocating for the 2x Big lineup; just posting what I think the thinking may have been.

I have to believe that Cs coaching and management see how congested the floor is on offense. From my perspective, BOS is super easy to guard these days on most games (DEN was a counter-example). We've discussed the likely reasons why ad nauseam but it's kind of ridiculous this team is 22nd in PPG and 28th in APG.
Theis should be starting and getting the majority of 5 minutes since he would also properly space the floor in pick/pops and corner 3s. TL adds some vertical spacing and is actually hitting 15" jumpers.

IMO TT is really a square peg in a round hole with this team. He just camps out in the lane which doesn't help Tatum/Kemba getting to the rim unchallenged (which probably leads to some excessive ball pounding at the top).
 

Devizier

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Such a bizarre situation where you love a guys offense and question his defense predraft then when he gets to the next level he’s petrified on offense and making his mark on defense. Pandemic Basketball 101.
Looks like he was just out of shape to start the year, thank goodness. We don’t need more players with chronic orthopedic conditions.

Nesmith will continue to get opportunities as long as Semi, Grant, and honestly Thompson continue playing like scrubs.
 

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Maybe we are using the wrong 2xBig Lineup. At least against teams that dont go smurf. TL and Theis with Theis as a floor spacer? "Soft hands TL" has to be better TT.

Have we had any Theis, TL lineups? Were they successful? (I dont even know where to look for this).
 

benhogan

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Maybe we are using the wrong 2xBig Lineup. At least against teams that dont go smurf. TL and Theis with Theis as a floor spacer? "Soft hands TL" has to be better TT.

Have we had any Theis, TL lineups? Were they successful? (I dont even know where to look for this).
You don't need to pair TL/Theis. They should be splitting the 5 minutes.

Play Nesmith or Semi or Grant as that 4th wing (when Smart is back)
 

joe dokes

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IMO TT is really a square peg in a round hole with this team. He just camps out in the lane which doesn't help Tatum/Kemba getting to the rim unchallenged (which probably leads to some excessive ball pounding at the top).
Also, while RWilliams might clog the lane, he's also a threat for the lob or alley-oop that Thompson is not.
 

bakahump

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TL can pop out on the baseline for a 12 footer (eye test he is pretty good at). Kemba/J/J/Smart drive and dish. TT couldnt hit a 12 footer if you gave him 11 feet.
Also has TL johnny on the spot for follows.

TL should totally Kerrigan TT.

As someone pointed out TL might only be our starter for 2 weeks before breaking down....but what a glorious 2 weeks (when compared to TT).
 

slamminsammya

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No you are correct that every NBA team is trying to stop corner 3s since it's among the most efficient shots in the league (I guess it's a hard scheme to teach but I wonder if coaches ever thought about not rotating up from corner 3Ps to the above-the-break 3Ps).

The issue is how closely the guy in the corner has to be guarded. Basically, it's a question of how many steps a defender in the corner can take to help on the driver. With AN, they aren't taking many steps. With GW or Semi, they can take one or more. Makes a huge difference in the amount of space that JT, JB, and KW get when they drive.

If you watch the game tonight, you'll see a difference in how much space Trae Young gets in the middle when he penetrates versus how much space JT and JB get. Some of that has to do with a lack of ball movement but IMO a lot of also has to do with not having reputational shooters in the corners. Yes, Semi, Grant, and even Green are making corner 3s but their shots are long-ish, their releases are low, and they don't really shoot contested 3s. Having a guy like AN opens things up for drivers. At least that's the way I see it.
I understand that, and maybe I don't know the NBA that well, but I just dont imagine the guys on the floor are thinking "need to stay glued to Nesmith" right now - its a regular season game and the guy is a rookie. Id guess the thought process is "dont leave the corner" and they just use that heuristic as the default unless its Javonte down there. I recognize this is pure speculation but I just don't think Nesmith has any special gravity right now.
 

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TL can pop out on the baseline for a 12 footer (eye test he is pretty good at). Kemba/J/J/Smart drive and dish. TT couldnt hit a 12 footer if you gave him 11 feet.
Also has TL johnny on the spot for follows.

TL should totally Kerrigan TT.

As someone pointed out TL might only be our starter for 2 weeks before breaking down....but what a glorious 2 weeks (when compared to TT).
You're looking at only offense here. TL needs to eliminate the breakdowns that lead to easy baskets, or his wow moments on offense are basically a wash with his bad defense. Hopefully the last couple of games are a sign of things to come. He has looked pretty sound.
 

Tony C

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I understand that, and maybe I don't know the NBA that well, but I just dont imagine the guys on the floor are thinking "need to stay glued to Nesmith" right now - its a regular season game and the guy is a rookie. Id guess the thought process is "dont leave the corner" and they just use that heuristic as the default unless its Javonte down there. I recognize this is pure speculation but I just don't think Nesmith has any special gravity right now.
That's my sense, too,. I watched that video and mostly I saw very bad defense with guys neither sticking to Nesmith nor providing good help. I think it's a stretch to assume that a rookie with a poor shooting % is getting special treatment despite the pitch of the guy who did that video.
 

benhogan

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You're looking at only offense here. TL needs to eliminate the breakdowns that lead to easy baskets, or his wow moments on offense are basically a wash with his bad defense. Hopefully the last couple of games are a sign of things to come. He has looked pretty sound.
Not picking on you Jimbo but why is the general consensus around here that TimeLord is a bad defender?
Yea, he takes the occasional up fake early but usually settles down after a few minutes (below was posted elsewhere but needs repeating). I thought immediately post-COVID Rob looked rough but overall he has been very effective this season.
  • 102 defensive rating (1st)
  • 4.1 box plus/minus (3rd)
  • .227 winshares/48 minutes (1st)
  • 7.0 block percentage (1st)
  • 3.4 steal percentage (1st)
  • 19.5 rebound percentage (2nd)
Daniel Theis leads the team in total blocks with 26 in 623 minutes played. Rob has 24 blocks in 317 minutes. Jaylen Brown (868 minutes) and Marcus Smart (549 minutes) lead the team with 31 steals each. Rob already has 22 in his limited playing time.

If we combine steals and blocks, Jaylen and Rob would lead the team with 46 total. Jaylen has 76 turnovers on the season, while Rob only has 22. Jaylen has had an incredible season, and yet the contrast here is staggering.
 

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Not picking on you Jimbo but why is the general consensus around here that TimeLord is a bad defender?
Yea, he takes the occasional up fake early but usually settles down after a few minutes (below was posted elsewhere but needs repeating). I thought immediately post-COVID Rob looked rough but overall he has been very effective this season.
  • 102 defensive rating (1st)
  • 4.1 box plus/minus (3rd)
  • .227 winshares/48 minutes (1st)
  • 7.0 block percentage (1st)
  • 3.4 steal percentage (1st)
  • 19.5 rebound percentage (2nd)
Daniel Theis leads the team in total blocks with 26 in 623 minutes played. Rob has 24 blocks in 317 minutes. Jaylen Brown (868 minutes) and Marcus Smart (549 minutes) lead the team with 31 steals each. Rob already has 22 in his limited playing time.

If we combine steals and blocks, Jaylen and Rob would lead the team with 46 total. Jaylen has 76 turnovers on the season, while Rob only has 22. Jaylen has had an incredible season, and yet the contrast here is staggering.
This is why the metrics are ass. I love the kid and he absolutely deserves credit for getting his hands on balls. But our opponents get a lot of layups and easy looks when he misses rotations or doesn't pick up the guy that he's supposed to on a roll or something. That's what I see. It happens to everyone from time to time, with misscommunication, even Tatum and Smart. But it seems to me to happen frequently with TL. Layup lines.

It's the eyeball test, and I fully understand and accept if I'm laughed out of the thread for it. But aside from the last two games or so, which have been excellent for him, that's what I see.

Edit: two other factors. 1. I think that Brad doesn't play him as much against guys who will eat him up, 2. His length and bounce bail him out of bad positional play (goes in the "pro" and "con" columns).
 

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This is why the metrics are ass. I love the kid and he absolutely deserves credit for getting his hands on balls. But our opponents get a lot of layups and easy looks when he misses rotations or doesn't pick up the guy that he's supposed to on a roll or something. That's what I see. It happens to everyone from time to time, with misscommunication, even Tatum and Smart. But it seems to me to happen frequently with TL. Layup lines.

It's the eyeball test, and I fully understand and accept if I'm laughed out of the thread for it. But aside from the last two games or so, which have been excellent for him, that's what I see.

Edit: two other factors. 1. I think that Brad doesn't play him as much against guys who will eat him up, 2. His length and bounce bail him out of bad positional play (goes in the "pro" and "con" columns).
What was the name of the somewhat forgettable center for the Celts, maybe 2016/2017, who seemed pretty fungible to the eye, but had some crazy high "advanced metric" that put him like top 3 in the NBA?
 

JakeRae

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This is why the metrics are ass. I love the kid and he absolutely deserves credit for getting his hands on balls. But our opponents get a lot of layups and easy looks when he misses rotations or doesn't pick up the guy that he's supposed to on a roll or something. That's what I see. It happens to everyone from time to time, with misscommunication, even Tatum and Smart. But it seems to me to happen frequently with TL. Layup lines.

It's the eyeball test, and I fully understand and accept if I'm laughed out of the thread for it. But aside from the last two games or so, which have been excellent for him, that's what I see.

Edit: two other factors. 1. I think that Brad doesn't play him as much against guys who will eat him up, 2. His length and bounce bail him out of bad positional play (goes in the "pro" and "con" columns).
He also has a really positive impact on other possessions by the eye test though. I guess the big question is, are the metrics wrong? It’s certainly plausible they are given the small sample size and the easy to spot breakdowns he is responsible for. Or are we putting too much emphasis on those breakdowns at the expense of all the other positives he brings on defense?

I don’t profess to have a clean answer here, but I do think that visible mistakes can frequently lead to us reaching the wrong judgments. This is kind of like how people used to make the mistake of judging baseball defense by fielding percentage instead of focusing on range/coverage, which matter a lot more. Timelord makes mistakes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s bad at defense (although it might mean that he is).
 

Cesar Crespo

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What was the name of the somewhat forgettable center for the Celts, maybe 2016/2017, who seemed pretty fungible to the eye, but had some crazy high "advanced metric" that put him like top 3 in the NBA?
Amir Johnson?

There was Asik too, but he was never on the C's.
 

DannyDarwinism

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I understand that, and maybe I don't know the NBA that well, but I just dont imagine the guys on the floor are thinking "need to stay glued to Nesmith" right now - its a regular season game and the guy is a rookie. Id guess the thought process is "dont leave the corner" and they just use that heuristic as the default unless its Javonte down there. I recognize this is pure speculation but I just don't think Nesmith has any special gravity right now.
As Jimbodandy said, scouting is scouting. I don't think it matters much what his percentage is this year, if I'm an opposing coach I am absolutely telling my guys he's a rookie shooter, don't let him get open looks. In part because he's likely a good shooter, but also because he's a rookie still getting used to the speed of the NBA and if you make him put it on the floor, there's a good chance he's going to turn it over or muck it up, so you close out hard on him and make him drive (particularly on the baseline) or give it up because that's likely a much better outcome for the defense than giving him space to shoot. In fact, I'd be surprised if teams are told much about him by advanced scouting beyond "he's a shooter, make him put it on the floor."
 

TripleOT

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It’s been a layup line all season against the Celtics. TL at least defends the rim, when he’s not pulled out high, deflecting and stealing the ball.
 

Jimbodandy

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He also has a really positive impact on other possessions by the eye test though. I guess the big question is, are the metrics wrong? It’s certainly plausible they are given the small sample size and the easy to spot breakdowns he is responsible for. Or are we putting too much emphasis on those breakdowns at the expense of all the other positives he brings on defense?

I don’t profess to have a clean answer here, but I do think that visible mistakes can frequently lead to us reaching the wrong judgments. This is kind of like how people used to make the mistake of judging baseball defense by fielding percentage instead of focusing on range/coverage, which matter a lot more. Timelord makes mistakes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s bad at defense (although it might mean that he is).
This is a totally fair question and where I wish that the metrics were better. This is exactly where they're supposed to help us, if they approached the veracity of the baseball ones (or even the football ones). You're absolutely right. I might be judging the breakdowns more harshly and not giving enough weight to the steals that BH appropriately calls out.

And SR's question, YES--Amir. He was like top-10 in RPM. Not a bad player, and used very wisely by Brad, but was oddly very high on that list.
 

DannyDarwinism

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Not picking on you Jimbo but why is the general consensus around here that TimeLord is a bad defender?
Yea, he takes the occasional up fake early but usually settles down after a few minutes (below was posted elsewhere but needs repeating). I thought immediately post-COVID Rob looked rough but overall he has been very effective this season.
  • 102 defensive rating (1st)
  • 4.1 box plus/minus (3rd)
  • .227 winshares/48 minutes (1st)
  • 7.0 block percentage (1st)
  • 3.4 steal percentage (1st)
  • 19.5 rebound percentage (2nd)
Daniel Theis leads the team in total blocks with 26 in 623 minutes played. Rob has 24 blocks in 317 minutes. Jaylen Brown (868 minutes) and Marcus Smart (549 minutes) lead the team with 31 steals each. Rob already has 22 in his limited playing time.

If we combine steals and blocks, Jaylen and Rob would lead the team with 46 total. Jaylen has 76 turnovers on the season, while Rob only has 22. Jaylen has had an incredible season, and yet the contrast here is staggering.
And for a bit broader context, if he qualified for B-Ref's leaderboards (he's not too far off there) the 7.0 Block% would land him 4th overall (Turner, Boucher, Gobert), and he'd be 2nd overall with the 3.4 Steal% (only McConnell ahead at 3.5. Smart's 5th with 2.8).

I do see a lot of what Jimbo sees in terms of him missing rotations and generally being a step late too often, but with the way he generates turnovers and alters shots, the upside if things start to click is so high. This team desperately needs his length and athleticism.
 

benhogan

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It’s been a layup line all season against the Celtics. TL at least defends the rim, when he’s not pulled out high, deflecting and stealing the ball.
Agreed. TL at least challenged Jokic a few times the other night

My eyes tell me some of the "star defenders" on this team have been less than impressive.

We're all getting excited over Nesmith's defense because his effort contrasts so strongly with the lack of effort from others.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Maybe we are using the wrong 2xBig Lineup. At least against teams that dont go smurf. TL and Theis with Theis as a floor spacer? "Soft hands TL" has to be better TT.

Have we had any Theis, TL lineups? Were they successful? (I dont even know where to look for this).
NBA.com has this information (BRef has a limited number of lineups). NBA.com/Stats | Lineups Traditional

DT and TL have played together for 7 games, 25 minutes total. They are +18 in a very SSS.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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This is a totally fair question and where I wish that the metrics were better. This is exactly where they're supposed to help us, if they approached the veracity of the baseball ones (or even the football ones). You're absolutely right. I might be judging the breakdowns more harshly and not giving enough weight to the steals that BH appropriately calls out.

And SR's question, YES--Amir. He was like top-10 in RPM. Not a bad player, and used very wisely by Brad, but was oddly very high on that list.
TL is great on the ball - I've never seen anyone block as many jump shots - and coming over from the weak side but by my eye, once he rotates, he stops playing and doesn't give a second effort. Maybe I'm wrong because I don't study each play but there are too many plays where he's in no-man's land and either someone has an easy shot or someone else gets an easy put back.

Although as everyone points out, if the Cs aren't going to win a championship, why not play some more minutes? If he does suck, that just means they get a better draft pick.
 

Jimbodandy

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TL is great on the ball - I've never seen anyone block as many jump shots - and coming over from the weak side but by my eye, once he rotates, he stops playing and doesn't give a second effort. Maybe I'm wrong because I don't study each play but there are too many plays where he's in no-man's land and either someone has an easy shot or someone else gets an easy put back.

Although as everyone points out, if the Cs aren't going to win a championship, why not play some more minutes? If he does suck, that just means they get a better draft pick.
I do see a lot of what Jimbo sees in terms of him missing rotations and generally being a step late too often, but with the way he generates turnovers and alters shots, the upside if things start to click is so high. This team desperately needs his length and athleticism.
I agree with all of this. His upside and his elite bounce and length is all fucking great. He is coachable, sees the floor, and has been consistently impacting the game since they entered the bubble.

I'm fine with giving him more run and seeing how things go. He has a couple of games in a row without huge miscues, and so has Nesmith. So LFG.

But if we see a night of regression and Brad tightens the reins, I think that he's doing it because the other guys care about 12-0 runs. Thompson can't do most of what TL does, but he generally doesn't step on his own dick either.

We all seem to be settling into "see you next year" mode of thinking, and I feel like it's too early for that. I want Nesmith and TL to get more run because I think that they might impact winning too. And Brad hasn't given up on the season, so bad play there will probably result in more bench time. While seeding isn't that important, missing the playoffs would be bad.
 

lovegtm

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At this point, any time the Celtics draft a long, athletic-ish 6-4+ guy I'm just going to assume he will become a good defender and sit in the corner. It's automatic.

Re the spacing video above: I agree that the guy is way overstating his point. However, I do think that teams definitely pay more attention to Nesmith from 3: most shots he gets have a defender closer than you see for Grant/Semi, which indicates they're not taking the extra 0.5-1 steps off him. Those steps matter a ton for spacing, and I don't think it's a coincidence that things feel a bit less clogged when Nesmith is on the floor.

Given his defensive progress and ability to keep things spaced on offense/attack closeouts on occasion, I don't see why he won't get 20-25 mins/game with Smart out. He's gone from DNP-CDs to first guy off the bench really rapidly, which bodes well.
 

Jakarta

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In so many ways he’s the opposite of what I expect to see when he’s out there. For a guy drafted because of his offense and particularly his shooting, he’s a deer in the headlights handling the ball against the most mild pressure, and hasn’t (yet) been the sniper we all hoped he would be. And for a guy who was thought to be behind defensively, he seems to have a nose for the ball when it comes to rebounding and getting blocks, particularly in transition (although zero career steals is surprising and potentially concerning).

Agree with those who say he is positively impacting the game. The coaching staff deserve a lot of credit for figuring out a way to get him to this point and figuring out how he can contribute (even if his best contribution at the moment is just being not Jeff Teague). It also makes me optimistic that, despite his extended layoff, Romeo will have progressed and be able to give this team another long, athletic wing for the second half of the year and playoffs.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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According to this article - https://www.masslive.com/celtics/2021/02/celtics-aaron-nesmith-using-defense-to-grow-his-role-hes-ferocious.html - Cs have outscored opponents by 42 points during the 99 minutes AN played in the past 4 games (Cs have gone 2-2), primarily because Cs hold opponents to 93 points/100 possessions when Nesmith has been on the floor. That's a +22 net rating.

TT with some nice words about AN's work ethic:

“Man, the kid works, the kid works,” Thompson said. “That’s what you love to see from your young guys. Payton (Pritchard) works hard as well. Those are two guys that are there as soon as the lights turn on the facility and they put the work in an effort. And you see, by the way Aaron’s playing, he’s ferocious. He’s out there. He’s getting over screens. He’s diving to loose balls. He’s cracking back on the bigs. He’s having multiple efforts in the defense of coverages.
“You love that. I think he’s got to keep doing that. Because that’s how you earn your minutes, especially when you’re playing behind to All-Stars in the wing,” Thompson added. “You got to do some things different that can get you on the floor, and we obviously know he could shoot the three.”
 

Koufax

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By the time he was heading to the locker room he wasn't even limping.

Aaron Nesmith is a bit like a version of Javonte Green that can actually shoot and play basketball.