Eastern Conference Playoff Seeding: What We Expect, What We Want

128

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Time Lord being held out tomorrow nite. I guess he'll play against Toronto on Wednesday.
 

lovegtm

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Time Lord being held out tomorrow nite. I guess he'll play against Toronto on Wednesday.
Seems like they're hedging their bets a bit to maximize chances to lock in the 2 seed, rather than punting the Toronto B2B.
 

DGreenwood

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Seems like they're hedging their bets a bit to maximize chances to lock in the 2 seed, rather than punting the Toronto B2B.
Isn't it simpler than this? Neither Al or TL will play back-to-back nights so one sits the first night and the other sits the second?
 
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128

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Isn't it simpler than this? Neither Al or TL will play back-to-back nights so one sits the first night and the other sits the second?
That's probably the case. The C's need to make sure they win at least one of these two.
 

DGreenwood

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That's probably the case. The C's need to make sure they win at least one of these two.
For momentum going into the playoffs? Because they have all but locked up the 2 seed. The odds of losing the 2 seed is something less than 1% at this point, using both teams current winning percentage (or even if you consider the remaining games a coin flip).

edit: I agree with the basic premise that it'd be really nice to win one of the next two games and cruise into the playoffs without any drama. I'm just not worried about losing the 2 seed at this point. It'd be hard to mess up that bad.
 
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lexrageorge

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For momentum going into the playoffs? Because they have all but locked up the 2 seed. The odds of losing the 2 seed is something less than 1% at this point, using both teams current winning percentage (or even if you consider the remaining games a coin flip).

edit: I agree with the basic premise that it'd be really nice to win one of the next two games and cruise into the playoffs without any drama. I'm just not worried about losing the 2 seed at this point. It'd be hard to mess up that bad.
They probably also want to stay ahead of Denver.
 

128

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Jaylen out tonite, along with Pritchard and Time Lord. Al (and maybe Tatum) out tomorrow nite?
 

128

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Sixers have Miami, ATL and Brooklyn left.

The C's magic number for clinching the No. 2 seed is one, right?
 

Imbricus

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Last night provided some clarity: Denver's loss to Phoenix means the Celtics have home court if the two come out as winners of their respective conferences. That takes off any remaining pressure for these last two games. Joe can run out any lineups he wants.

Separately, Miami's dismantling of Philadelphia last night should give pause to people who think the Heat aren't dangerous. For last night, at least, their three-point shooting was dead on. If the Celtics do face them in the first round, it will be an interesting test, the rookie coach going up against the veteran Spoelstra. I expect us to see a lot of different looks defensively, as Spo fishes around for ways to stifle the Celtics offense.
 

128

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Last night provided some clarity: Denver's loss to Phoenix means the Celtics have home court if the two come out as winners of their respective conferences. That takes off any remaining pressure for these last two games. Joe can run out any lineups he wants.

Separately, Miami's dismantling of Philadelphia last night should give pause to people who think the Heat aren't dangerous. For last night, at least, their three-point shooting was dead on. If the Celtics do face them in the first round, it will be an interesting test, the rookie coach going up against the veteran Spoelstra. I expect us to see a lot of different looks defensively, as Spo fishes around for ways to stifle the Celtics offense.
I'm with you on Miami. The C's are the better team, but I'll be happy when the Heat are out.

The Nets' magic number for clinching the No. 6 seed is one. They have the tiebreaker with Miami.
 

lovegtm

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Last night provided some clarity: Denver's loss to Phoenix means the Celtics have home court if the two come out as winners of their respective conferences. That takes off any remaining pressure for these last two games. Joe can run out any lineups he wants.

Separately, Miami's dismantling of Philadelphia last night should give pause to people who think the Heat aren't dangerous. For last night, at least, their three-point shooting was dead on. If the Celtics do face them in the first round, it will be an interesting test, the rookie coach going up against the veteran Spoelstra. I expect us to see a lot of different looks defensively, as Spo fishes around for ways to stifle the Celtics offense.
If Miami is the Cs opponent, I expect them to shoot poorly from 3, just because they won't be getting great looks. PP isn't coming through that door this year: there aren't really matchups that Miami can pick on anymore, which means the Celtics won't be in rotation that much. TL lurking on the back line also helps avoid rotations and overhelping.

Tatum also will have a working shoulder and wrist this time around, which is helpful for playing basketball. The Celtics went into that Miami series on 1 day of rest, and things got worse from there.

I think Miami will be tough, will compete hard, and will present some puzzles to solve. At the end of the day, however, a healthy, rested Celtics team is just way too talented for them.
 

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From The Athletic:

Even if the Heat’s disappointing season keeps them in the Play-In Tournament, a performance like last night’s seems to jibe with an encouraging Miami trend. This team can really score again. That’s what’s been missing all season long. The Heat inexplicably missed wide-open 3-point shots throughout the season. And their offense struggled tremendously.

Over the last 16 games (10-6), the Heat’s offense has been on fire. They’re sixth in the NBA in offensive rating during this stretch, scoring 118.8 points per 100 possessions with the second highest true shooting percentage. In the previous 64 games (33-31), the Heat were 26th in offensive rating (110.7). They’ve gone from hitting 35.0 percent of their wide-open 3-pointers to hitting over 45.0 percent in this 16-game stretch.

Now, the defense has been bad (118.0) during these past 16 games, but we know they can lock down defensively. It’s the encouraging trend of actually making the good looks you generate with offense and ball movement that is happening at the right time. It looks a lot like the team we saw a season ago, when they were the No. 1 seed and made the Eastern Conference finals.
 

jezza1918

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From The Athletic:

Even if the Heat’s disappointing season keeps them in the Play-In Tournament, a performance like last night’s seems to jibe with an encouraging Miami trend. This team can really score again. That’s what’s been missing all season long. The Heat inexplicably missed wide-open 3-point shots throughout the season. And their offense struggled tremendously.

Over the last 16 games (10-6), the Heat’s offense has been on fire. They’re sixth in the NBA in offensive rating during this stretch, scoring 118.8 points per 100 possessions with the second highest true shooting percentage. In the previous 64 games (33-31), the Heat were 26th in offensive rating (110.7). They’ve gone from hitting 35.0 percent of their wide-open 3-pointers to hitting over 45.0 percent in this 16-game stretch.

Now, the defense has been bad (118.0) during these past 16 games, but we know they can lock down defensively. It’s the encouraging trend of actually making the good looks you generate with offense and ball movement that is happening at the right time. It looks a lot like the team we saw a season ago, when they were the No. 1 seed and made the Eastern Conference finals.
Regarding the bolded, a quick schedule check makes me think that it's still pretty inconsistent...they've certainly had some big nights, but they also have scored 100 or fewer points in 4 of their last 9 games. Meanwhile the celtics have held their opponents to under 100 in 4 of their last 7 games. I'm sure a first round matchup with them would prove to be more stressful than we all want, but I think it's a very good matchup for the Celtics.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Regarding the bolded, a quick schedule check makes me think that it's still pretty inconsistent...they've certainly had some big nights, but they also have scored 100 or fewer points in 4 of their last 9 games. Meanwhile the celtics have held their opponents to under 100 in 4 of their last 7 games. I'm sure a first round matchup with them would prove to be more stressful than we all want, but I think it's a very good matchup for the Celtics.
How can this be both? I’d like to hear arguments of how Miami is a better matchup than the Nets or even remotely close to similar. The Heat are going to play ugly 48-min halfcourt grindfests while the team Brooklyn is taking to the playoffs doesn’t resemble the team which got them there in any way. After Cleveland, the team I feel who matches up best with us are the Heat both from personnel and stylistically.
 

jezza1918

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How can this be both? I’d like to hear arguments of how Miami is a better matchup than the Nets or even remotely close to similar. The Heat are going to play ugly 48-min halfcourt grindfests while the team Brooklyn is taking to the playoffs doesn’t resemble the team which got them there in any way. After Cleveland, the team I feel who matches up best with us are the Heat both from personnel and stylistically.
Maybe I should've said "I," not "we." By more stressful, I just meant it likely wouldn't be an easy 4 or 5 game series which is what Id love in the first round. But I'm just not scared of losing to them in a best of 7. Per that Athletic quote above, they are kind of asking us to forget about how bad the offense was the first 64 games because of how good it's been the last 16 games...yet at the same time they seem to discount just how bad their defense has been the last 16 games because "we know they can lock down defensively."
That said, I'd LOVE Atlanta winning that 7/8 game because I do think that would result in a relatively stress free series victory.

edit: also fwiw, my Philly fan friend claimed the sixers basically put up ZERO resistance last night (I didnt see a minute of it, so it's 2nd hand info, take with as many grains of salt as you want)
 

PedroKsBambino

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The biggest thing the Nets have is quality defensive wings to muck up C's offense. But that's about it. Miami is a much tougher team and way more experience and big-game players. I don't love playing them ever....they are also about the dirtiest team in league so the chances of an injury go up as well.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Maybe I should've said "I," not "we." By more stressful, I just meant it likely wouldn't be an easy 4 or 5 game series which is what Id love in the first round. But I'm just not scared of losing to them in a best of 7. Per that Athletic quote above, they are kind of asking us to forget about how bad the offense was the first 64 games because of how good it's been the last 16 games...yet at the same time they seem to discount just how bad their defense has been the last 16 games because "we know they can lock down defensively."
That said, I'd LOVE Atlanta winning that 7/8 game because I do think that would result in a relatively stress free series victory.

edit: also fwiw, my Philly fan friend claimed the sixers basically put up ZERO resistance last night (I didnt see a minute of it, so it's 2nd hand info, take with as many grains of salt as you want)
I’m not concerned with the Heat’s regular season results nearly as much as the style they play along with their personnel which is built for the postseason and not for an 82-game schedule. Obv I also expect us to win the series but from a probability perspective and stretching a series beyond 4-5 games…..the Heat are the worst R1 matchup from my seat. Now you’ve got a G6 in Miami…..I wouldn’t be concerned about having to win a G6 road game against Atlanta or Brooklyn.
 

jezza1918

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I’m not concerned with the Heat’s regular season results nearly as much as the style they play along with their personnel which is built for the postseason and not for an 82-game schedule. Obv I also expect us to win the series but from a probability perspective and stretching a series beyond 4-5 games…..the Heat are the worst R1 matchup from my seat. Now you’ve got a G6 in Miami…..I wouldn’t be concerned about having to win a G6 road game against Atlanta or Brooklyn.
Yeah I think we largely agree, and my original post was perhaps a tad dismissive of the heat - but this is one of those times where two things are true (for me at least): 1. I am not scared of losing to them 2. I'd rather not play them in the first round because of the downstream effects in the later rounds
 

the moops

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Over the last 16 games (10-6), the Heat’s offense has been on fire. They’re sixth in the NBA in offensive rating during this stretch, scoring 118.8 points per 100 possessions with the second highest true shooting percentage.
I hate this shit. Let's go as far back as we can to cast them in the best light. Surprised they didn't go with "over the past 3 games, MIA has the best offense that ever lived!".

And for sure don't just go back and look at their previous 6 games, for three of those games resulted in 3 losses and offensive outputs of 92, 92, and 100
 

Euclis20

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Since the trade deadline, Miami is 13-12 and Brooklyn is 11-14. It's not exactly a hot take to say that Brooklyn is a worse team despite the higher seed, and that Miami is still thoroughly mediocre this year.
 

lovegtm

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Since the trade deadline, Miami is 13-12 and Brooklyn is 11-14. It's not exactly a hot take to say that Brooklyn is a worse team despite the higher seed, and that Miami is still thoroughly mediocre this year.
But if you take away when Miami started 3-6 after the deadline, they are 10-6!
 

nighthob

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Since the trade deadline, Miami is 13-12 and Brooklyn is 11-14. It's not exactly a hot take to say that Brooklyn is a worse team despite the higher seed, and that Miami is still thoroughly mediocre this year.
My fear isn't a Miami victory, it's not happening. My fear is that with the Heat stepping into shooters, hacking at drivers, and generally playing football so that refs have to let a lot of flagrants go, is that Boston emerges from the series with Brogdon out, TimeLord playing at 50%, and Jayson Tatum seriously injured. And Boston's title hopes going up in smoke.
 

DeadlySplitter

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The seeding is entirely finalized, it's exactly what it was as of the original post of this thread.
 

Montana Fan

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I would be ecstatic to experience a post season free from seeing Kyle Lowry or Draymond Green flail around on a basketball court and act like assholes. Go Hawks and whoever the Warriors play!!
 

benhogan

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1 year is a steady decline?
The Heat continues its steady decline.

Helluva trade deadline. Kevin Love with 3 minutes, while Miami was getting smoked on the boards.

They are loaded with a bunch of bad contracts, they are headed straight into purgatory for the next few seasons.
Wonder how long before Butler asks out?
 

Imbricus

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They are loaded with a bunch of bad contracts, they are headed straight into purgatory for the next few seasons.
For sure. That Robinson deal, which seemed like a big overpay at the time, now looks really bad if he's lost his three-point shot. They have to pay Lowry for another season. Last night Love launched a three-pointer that didn't even graze the rim.

It was interesting to see the Heat's lack of size get so badly exposed last night; the Hawks were just springing up and over them for offensive rebounds and easy putbacks.
 

Euclis20

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Butler and Bam are a really solid top 2 (and we know how helpful it is when your two best players play both ends of the floor) and Herro is a great third scorer (even if he seems to give most of it back on the other end), but it's just a massive drop off after those guys. If Lowry and Love were 3 years younger they'd be a title contender, but (last night aside for Lowry) they have looked absolutely cooked this year, and I don't think that of their role players (Vincent, Strus, Martin, Zeller, Oladipo, Robinson, Love and Lowry) crack the top 11 in our rotation. Just a massive talent deficit after you get past the first few guys.
 

ManicCompression

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and I don't think that of their role players (Vincent, Strus, Martin, Zeller, Oladipo, Robinson, Love and Lowry) crack the top 11 in our rotation. Just a massive talent deficit after you get past the first few guys.
Sea change from last year when we were bemoaning "How could we let Max Strus go!?!?!?"
 

benhogan

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I don't think that of their role players (Vincent, Strus, Martin, Zeller, Oladipo, Robinson, Love and Lowry) crack the top 11 in our rotation. Just a massive talent deficit after you get past the first few guys.
Agreed.

Filling out the remainder of the roster (after the All-Stars) is tricky and what Brad has excelled at over the last 20 months (Golden State has been exceptional at it over the years).

Finding veteran role players that will sacrifice their own stats for the good of the team on team-friendly contracts isn't all that easy.

I think we witnessed in the Finals last year that relying on 2 players lets the opponent off the hook. The Warriors (& Miami) just loaded up on stopping/frustrating the JAYs.

Having Brogdon, a functional White, a healthy TL and Horford's 3pt shooting will be the differentiator this year IMO
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Sea change from last year when we were bemoaning "How could we let Max Strus go!?!?!?"
We have our own Max Strus, and (without having seen a lot of Strus), I think Hauser is more playable. Lucky us.

The other great benefit of finding Hauser is that we didn't have to hear anything about Garrison Matthews on Sunday and won't for the entire next series. :cool:
 

benhogan

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We have our own Max Strus, and (without having seen a lot of Strus), I think Hauser is more playable. Lucky us.

The other great benefit of finding Hauser is that we didn't have to hear anything about Garrison Matthews on Sunday and won't for the entire next series. :cool:
Garrison probably still wonders how he lost that last spot to Jabari Parker, the human turnstile ;)
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Garrison probably still wonders how he lost that last spot to Jabari Parker, the human turnstile ;)
OTOH, according to NBA.com, Garrison guarded Hauser for 4 minutes 11 seconds (accounting for 19.5 partial possessions) and BOS scored 25 points during those possessions. Hauser went 3-5 from 3P against Garrison. So maybe not a turnstile but not putting up very much defensive resistance either.
 

benhogan

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OTOH, according to NBA.com, Garrison guarded Hauser for 4 minutes 11 seconds (accounting for 19.5 partial possessions) and BOS scored 25 points during those possessions. Hauser went 3-5 from 3P against Garrison. So maybe not a turnstile but not putting up very much defensive resistance either.
Speaking of bad defense, Trae Young :eek: the dude doesn't even pretend to try on D. He just floats around, occasionally guarding someone on the perimeter. He'll just leave opponents unguarded in the paint

Boston couldn't ask for a better Round 1 match-up
 

Smokey Joe

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Who would we like Milwaukee to face in the first round, Toronto (Chicago) or Miami? I have to say that I no longer think that Miami would put up a lot of resistance.
 

Imbricus

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Hmm. Bucks were 2-2 against the Heat this season, 2-2 against the Bulls, and 3-1 against the Raptors.

But their net rating works out to 3.75 against the Heat, 3.5 against the Bulls, and only 0.5 against the Raptors.

Heat and Bulls won their first two games of the year against the Bucks, but then lost the last two. Raptors lost their first three, then won the last one.

I'm going to go with ... I want to see them play Toronto.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I agree---Toronto is the best, or at least capable of the best play, of those three teams.
 

lovegtm

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It felt like Miami mentally threw in the towel vs. Atlanta towards the end. Chicago might at least compete.

I don't have a strong preference though.
 

Euclis20

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It felt like Miami mentally threw in the towel vs. Atlanta towards the end. Chicago might at least compete.

I don't have a strong preference though.
I'm not sure they mentally gave up so much as they just couldn't keep Atlanta off the offensive boards (giving up can definitely look like that). I don't know if it's better or worse to say that they gave up, or that they are just too small to keep bigger teams from winning the rebound margin by a ton. Jimmy is probably the second biggest player that they trust in a do or die game (they gave Love and Zeller a combined 7 minutes, and it was bad), which is rough against anyone (let alone a big team like Milwaukee). To add insult to injury, one of the few things that Butler doesn't do particularly well (for his size anyway) is rebound. They are too small to compete against big lineups, and have too little talent to force teams to play small to match up with Miami on offense.

I started this post wanting the Bucks to have to face Miami (for the same reason I wanted the Celtics to face literally anyone else in the 6-10 range), but maybe Chicago's wing scorers can do a reasonable facsimile of what Boston does to them on offense and give them some heartburn. Or maybe Giannis will plow through their big men like wet tissue paper and pound them into the dirt like last year (can Drummond do anything here?).