How many regular season games will the Celtics win in 2019-2020?

JakeRae

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The thing missing from this team are all those frontcourt role players you mention who understand defensive schemes and have high BBIQ's. We really don't have an Amir, or an Olynyk, or even a Sully. This presents an enormous defensive hole amongst our bigs to go along with Kemba's defensive struggles on the perimeter.
I think Theis is a pretty good match to that type of player. He’s a limited player but has performed well based on advanced metrics. I’m hoping he sees an expanded role this year. Of course, that doesn’t really change the core point. We had a front court then that, while not star-studded, was led by two very good and very underrated players in Olynyk and Amir Johnson and Sullinger was briefly a very effective player too. We only realistically have one guy who looks even capable of giving us that sort of performance this year and any positive is likely to be offset by Kanter unless Stevens’ magic returns with a vengeance or Williams makes a big leap in his second season.
 

DrewDawg

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Should we add a poll? Discussion is great, but like to see where the group is falling...
 

TheDeuce222

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Should we add a poll? Discussion is great, but like to see where the group is falling...
Yes. For what it's worth, I think the Celtics are gonna win between 48 and 58 games. I'll say 56-26, with a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. I think they're gonna be good, and there's a good chance they make a move at the deadline for a big. But in the interim (and going forward for that matter), Robert Williams is going to be way better than people seem to think. Why looking lost on defense in a handful of (mostly garbage) time minutes nets out his two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year credentials to thinking he will be unplayable is something that is lost on me. Yes, NBA defense is far, far different. Yes, he had a lot to learn. But he is wildly talented from a defensive perspective, and he is going to help a lot.
 

pjheff

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But in the interim (and going forward for that matter), Robert Williams is going to be way better than people seem to think. Why looking lost on defense in a handful of (mostly garbage) time minutes nets out his two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year credentials to thinking he will be unplayable is something that is lost on me. Yes, NBA defense is far, far different. Yes, he had a lot to learn. But he is wildly talented from a defensive perspective, and he is going to help a lot.
Team executive on Williams’ development: “We knew he was a project when we drafted him, but a worthy one. Sometimes a project gets tossed early, but Robert is a guy we’ll go the distance with. Word of warning: Don’t put too much on this kid too early. We signed a lot of bigs for a reason.”

 

lovegtm

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Team executive on Williams’ development: “We knew he was a project when we drafted him, but a worthy one. Sometimes a project gets tossed early, but Robert is a guy we’ll go the distance with. Word of warning: Don’t put too much on this kid too early. We signed a lot of bigs for a reason.”

That indicates to me that the team thinks it was a mistake to keep him on the bench last year, and not playing a lot in Maine.
 

lovegtm

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The other two quotes that really stood out to me in that article, where they all but say "Kyrie Irving":

Opposing executive on Stevens’ struggles last year: “Struggled all the way to 48 (actually 49) wins. We should all have such hardship. Stevens isn’t someone you are drafting over 100 players, but no coach is. That was all so silly. But he’s a great coach. And he owns all of it. I don’t know if he has a shred of ego. That team didn’t live up to expectations because the roster crumbled under the weight of their own expectations and the egos in that locker room. The playoffs were a joke, because you could see Stevens call a set and some of the guys flat ignore it. Maybe he should have pulled guys, but he tried all the way to end to get buy-in. Now he can’t coach? Give me a break.”
· Celtics coach on working for Stevens and last season: “Best boss I’ve had in basketball. He makes you work, but he gives you responsibility. Sometimes I think he misses being a lesser-known guy. He loves the work. Loves being in the gym with the guys. Last season was a mess. It’s hard when you have guys who don’t want to listen and don’t want to sacrifice. And when those same guys are telling everyone they need to listen and sacrifice, you’re kind of lost. Brad isn’t, wasn’t, and will never be the problem.
The first one is the most interesting, because it mirrors on offense what Lowe already saw Kyrie doing on defense in the Milwaukee series. At least KD and Kawhi actually played out their contracts when they knew they were gone. Really glad for that whole saga to be over.
 

HomeRunBaker

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The Paul-Griffin-Reddick-DJ Clippers were a really good team. I don’t think there’s any way the Jazz get through them with Mitchell in place of Hayward.

I get that people are frustrated with last year, but the whole “X player is a fraud because he’s on the Celtics and I don’t want to be a homer” thing is getting a bit ridiculous. Gordon Hayward was a really good player pre-injury, probably top-15 given positional scarcity and versatility. It sucks that things haven’t worked out, but he was a great get in FA at the time.
Meh. I had Gordo with one year as a borderline Top 20 guy and a couple others borderline Top 30-35. He was 26, more jacked and explosive then he’d ever shown while playing in a system geared around him. I never thought he was a fraud but from the day he signed I wanted about people overrating him. Of course that was pre-injury.

I kinda feel similar about Kemba where his flaws weren’t exposed in Charlotte. He’s already talked about “fitting in” here which scares the living shit out of me. The last freakin thing I want my scorer who I just inked to a max deal is to openly talk about dialing it back.
 

lexrageorge

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Meh. I had Gordo with one year as a borderline Top 20 guy and a couple others borderline Top 30-35. He was 26, more jacked and explosive then he’d ever shown while playing in a system geared around him. I never thought he was a fraud but from the day he signed I wanted about people overrating him. Of course that was pre-injury.

I kinda feel similar about Kemba where his flaws weren’t exposed in Charlotte. He’s already talked about “fitting in” here which scares the living shit out of me. The last freakin thing I want my scorer who I just inked to a max deal is to openly talk about dialing it back.
It's the first time Kemba has switched teams. His talk about "fitting in" has nothing to do with dialing it back. And everyone in the world knows that Kemba is not going to be taking as many shots on the Celtics as he did in his final year at Charlotte, nor should he.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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The other two quotes that really stood out to me in that article, where they all but say "Kyrie Irving":





The first one is the most interesting, because it mirrors on offense what Lowe already saw Kyrie doing on defense in the Milwaukee series. At least KD and Kawhi actually played out their contracts when they knew they were gone. Really glad for that whole saga to be over.
I know that you aren't making the case that Irving is the only reason that the team "underperformed" this past season, however there are now questions about Stevens ability to coach at this level, or at least a veteran/contending team. And that is aside from the widespread complaints about his rotations, clock management and unwillingness to work the refs.

I don't agree with the latter criticisms of Stevens because while some of the complaints were just standard gamethreading that didn't really contemplate context or how meaningful a particular game was, he is privy to a bunch of information (player health, matchup specific data etc.) that we don't have here.

That said, if a person complained about those things or simply his handle on the locker room, which is a perfectly legitimate concern, and are now forecasting the Celtics to win as much or more games than last year, I don't get it. It suggests that everything bad was a function of one or two players. That seems overly simplistic.

Irving, Morris and Rozier may be gone but passive Brad Stevens who doesn't know when to call timeouts or what the best rotations are or simply struggles getting veteran players to follow his lead is still coaching the Celtics.

I am not arguing that he is a bad coach or that he won't continue to learn/improve. But if you are a critic of him in any capacity, the questions are still there even if the bad actors may be gone.
 

pjheff

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That indicates to me that the team thinks it was a mistake to keep him on the bench last year, and not playing a lot in Maine.
Last year, this team thought it was a legitimate contender and had injuries to Horford (68 games played), Baynes (51), and Theis (66). While Williams only got into 32 games, and averaged just 8.8 minutes, I don’t think I’d call keeping a fourth big on the roster a “mistake.” If anything, it was an unfortunate byproduct of circumstances.
 

lovegtm

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I know that you aren't making the case that Irving is the only reason that the team "underperformed" this past season, however there are now questions about Stevens ability to coach at this level, or at least a veteran/contending team. And that is aside from the widespread complaints about his rotations, clock management and unwillingness to work the refs.

I don't agree with the latter criticisms of Stevens because while some of the complaints were just standard gamethreading that didn't really contemplate context or how meaningful a particular game was, he is privy to a bunch of information (player health, matchup specific data etc.) that we don't have here.

That said, if a person complained about those things or simply his handle on the locker room, which is a perfectly legitimate concern, and are now forecasting the Celtics to win as much or more games than last year, I don't get it. It suggests that everything bad was a function of one or two players. That seems overly simplistic.

Irving, Morris and Rozier may be gone but passive Brad Stevens who doesn't know when to call timeouts or what the best rotations are or simply struggles getting veteran players to follow his lead is still coaching the Celtics.

I am not arguing that he is a bad coach or that he won't continue to learn/improve. But if you are a critic of him in any capacity, the questions are still there even if the bad actors may be gone.
Yeah, I’m not saying the questions around him are gone. I’m saying that it’s interesting that the problems with Kyrie were so pronounced that multiple non-affiliated observers are willing to publicly note them.

Is that a function of Brad Stevens not being able to handle vets? Maybe. Kyrie is the only player in his career that it’s happened with to that degree, so my money is on the flat earth guy being a weird anomaly.

We’ll find out one way or another fairly quickly this season I think.
 

lexrageorge

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I know that you aren't making the case that Irving is the only reason that the team "underperformed" this past season, however there are now questions about Stevens ability to coach at this level, or at least a veteran/contending team. And that is aside from the widespread complaints about his rotations, clock management and unwillingness to work the refs.

I don't agree with the latter criticisms of Stevens because while some of the complaints were just standard gamethreading that didn't really contemplate context or how meaningful a particular game was, he is privy to a bunch of information (player health, matchup specific data etc.) that we don't have here.

That said, if a person complained about those things or simply his handle on the locker room, which is a perfectly legitimate concern, and are now forecasting the Celtics to win as much or more games than last year, I don't get it. It suggests that everything bad was a function of one or two players. That seems overly simplistic.

Irving, Morris and Rozier may be gone but passive Brad Stevens who doesn't know when to call timeouts or what the best rotations are or simply struggles getting veteran players to follow his lead is still coaching the Celtics.

I am not arguing that he is a bad coach or that he won't continue to learn/improve. But if you are a critic of him in any capacity, the questions are still there even if the bad actors may be gone.
Stevens coached the Celtics for 5 seasons before last one, and for each of those he wasn't anywhere close to the bolded. The bolded wasn't even true the prior season when the Celtics won 55 games with many of the same players.

Maybe the questions are still there, but let's not succumb to recency bias to the exclusion of all else when projecting next year's Celtics team. And Kyrie's track record speaks for itself when it comes to wearing out welcomes.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I kinda feel similar about Kemba where his flaws weren’t exposed in Charlotte. He’s already talked about “fitting in” here which scares the living shit out of me. The last freakin thing I want my scorer who I just inked to a max deal is to openly talk about dialing it back.
Have you seen the way Boston PGs have played for the past 4+ years? I don't think "fitting in" means low usage. I think it means they want to get him some off-ball looks, kinda like they did with their PG on this day. Which I gather is more a part of his game than Kyrie's, anyway.
 

Big John

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Yeah, I’m not saying the questions around him are gone. I’m saying that it’s interesting that the problems with Kyrie were so pronounced that multiple non-affiliated observers are willing to publicly note them.
Is that a function of Brad Stevens not being able to handle vets?
It's a function of Stevens not being able to handle Kyrie. Stevens had no trouble handling other vets-- Horford, IT, Amir Johnson, Gerald Green... not to mention resurrecting Evan Turner's career.
 

Jimbodandy

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If the blogosphere wants to shade Stevens for struggling with three walk year big minutes guys going off script, let them have at it. There is no point in arguing with that, since Brad himself admitted that he had a rough year.

That said, I wouldn't bet my house that he sucks now. Belichick and Pete Carroll had a bum year here and there too. What matters is his learning from it and adapting. Getting a better balanced roster from his boss won't hurt either.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Team executive on Williams’ development: “We knew he was a project when we drafted him, but a worthy one. Sometimes a project gets tossed early, but Robert is a guy we’ll go the distance with. Word of warning: Don’t put too much on this kid too early. We signed a lot of bigs for a reason.”

Great article. One thing that stood out to me was this:
Team executive on the big additions: “(Enes) Kanter can score and rebound. We’ll get the most out of that. We think he can even stretch his range out a bit. We’ll see. (Vincent) Poirier is a guy we’ve had eyes for a while. He was at Summer League a couple of years back and caught our eye with the way he moved for his size. He’s got the potential to be a big time defender and rebounder. We’ll be different than with Al (Horford), but still good.”
I'm skeptical, but if he can contribute some defense from the center position, that will be huge for this team.
 

tbrown_01923

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Have you seen the way Boston PGs have played for the past 4+ years? I don't think "fitting in" means low usage. I think it means they want to get him some off-ball looks, kinda like they did with their PG on this day. Which I gather is more a part of his game than Kyrie's, anyway.
This is how I read that too. Maybe we are wishcasting - but I would expect Brad and Danny to have that conversation with Kemba before signing him. Even forthcoming about the teams issues last year regarding buy-in.
 

benhogan

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Stevens coached the Celtics for 5 seasons before last one, and for each of those he wasn't anywhere close to the bolded. The bolded wasn't even true the prior season when the Celtics won 55 games with many of the same players.

Maybe the questions are still there, but let's not succumb to recency bias to the exclusion of all else when projecting next year's Celtics team. And Kyrie's track record speaks for itself when it comes to wearing out welcomes.
Agreed.
Brad Stevens had a bad season last year. With player rotations and the clubhouse. The first one in his career. He admitted it.

The Celtics also had a flawed roster and that's on Danny. He has offered his mea culpa.

Kyrie has had many seasons being difficult, but I doubt he is mature enough to recognize his shortcomings.

I'd expect Bill Simmons to be screaming Ewing Theory from the highest mountain tops
 

Jimbodandy

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Agreed.
Brad Stevens had a bad season last year. With player rotations and the clubhouse. The first one in his career. He admitted it.

The Celtics also had a flawed roster and that's on Danny. He has offered his mea culpa.

Kyrie has had many seasons being difficult, but I doubt he is mature enough to recognize his shortcomings.

I'd expect Bill Simmons to be screaming Ewing Theory from the highest mountain tops
Ewing theory is all fine and good, but Kyrie wasn't the only guy last year not with the program.
 

DrewDawg

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Ewing theory is all fine and good, but Kyrie wasn't the only guy last year not with the program.
I think at this point we all know that.

Most of us have worked in a department where you have 1 person that joins and makes shit worse even if that person is pretty good at their job. And it affects everyone. The boss seems to let shit go, your coworkers, who you know can do good work, see their work quality decline, everyone's attitude is a bit worse, etc. Then that person moves on and things recover. Of course it's fair to say everyone wasn't with the program, and everyone still could/should have done a better job, but sometimes when things go sour, everyone suffers.
 

Sprowl

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Ewing theory is all fine and good, but Kyrie wasn't the only guy last year not with the program.
Who else was on flat earth? I can't recall many player comments, except for Terry Rozier and "too much talent". Brown and Hayward both took their demotions from the starting lineup without complaint and did eventually raise their games. I don't recall Tatum saying much of anything (which is probably very wise of him).
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think at this point we all know that.

Most of us have worked in a department where you have 1 person that joins and makes shit worse even if that person is pretty good at their job. And it affects everyone. The boss seems to let shit go, your coworkers, who you know can do good work, see their work quality decline, everyone's attitude is a bit worse, etc. Then that person moves on and things recover. Of course it's fair to say everyone wasn't with the program, and everyone still could/should have done a better job, but sometimes when things go sour, everyone suffers.
There is good reason to believe that this person hasn’t moved on and that it’s Gordo.

It seems like there was a ton of resentment for Brad favoring his pet over other more deserving players much of the year. Even after everyone knew Kyrie was leaving Horford seemingly couldn’t wait to bolt and even was recently quoted as saying things didn’t work out. This sure doesn’t sound like it was a Kyrie thing or at least “only” a Kyrie thing.
 

benhogan

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Who else was on flat earth? I can't recall many player comments, except for Terry Rozier and "too much talent". Brown and Hayward both took their demotions from the starting lineup without complaint and did eventually raise their games. I don't recall Tatum saying much of anything (which is probably very wise of him).
Good point. We didn't hear a negative word from Big Al all season and he clearly wasn't happy with how he was being used. Even after the tire fire of last season, Baynes was willing to come back on the cheap.

We can go through the roster...
 

DrewDawg

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I love you HRB but you see 95% of things affecting the Celtics in the worst possible light and 95% of things affecting other teams in the best possible light. I appreciate the differing POVs, but I'm willing to bet the team's attitude is a lot better this year with Hayward still here and the guy that needed to escape 2 winning teams gone.
 

Big John

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O, I definitely think it was a Kyrie+Hayward thing. Kyrie freelanced. Other guys saw that, and thought, if Kyrie can do it, so can I. The Hayward thing may iron itself out because one of Hayward, Brown or Tatum will have to spend a fair number of minutes at power forward with Horford gone. They will be on the floor together rather than one of them coming off the bench. It will also help if Hayward returns to form and performs like a guy who deserves 35 minutes, not one who is being handed minutes he doesn't deserve.
 

nighthob

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Team executive on Williams’ development: “We knew he was a project when we drafted him, but a worthy one. Sometimes a project gets tossed early, but Robert is a guy we’ll go the distance with. Word of warning: Don’t put too much on this kid too early. We signed a lot of bigs for a reason.”

I think the best part of the article was the quote from a rival executive about how highly Boston values Brown. This keeps alive my dream of them drafting Jalen Johnson in ‘21 and creating the new Jay Crew.
 

Jimbodandy

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Yeah people's biases are coming through in their posts bigtime.

When the boss is telling people to row in one direction and a couple of guys are rowing in a different direction, the boat goes nowhere and everyone points fingers.

Sure Brad played Al at the 5 too much, and Gordo too much (optimistically trying to get him ready for playoffs. Please with the "pet" horseshit). That stuff is secondary to the best player on the team checking out before the all star break and doing his own rowing. Rozier and Morris being walk year guys and needing to get theirs made it worse.

Ultimately, Brad shit the bed. Seemingly the first "multiple walk year plus disgruntled actual star" was more than his half dozen pro years experience could handle the first time. Add to that some community relations around Gordon's minutes and Al's pounding, and hopefully it was a good learning experience for him.

Now I'm inclined to give HRB some benefit of the doubt for having predicted some roster redundancy and walk year problems and will be doing some voodoo witchcraft of some sort that Brown doesn't feel the need to try to force shit this year with RFA looming. Other than that, it seems that a lot of the redundancy and "I need mine" and general discontent should be mitigated relative to last year.

Yes, Brad sucked. That doesn't mean that he sucks. Predictions of a sub 40 win season for this team are the oddest kind of wishcasting.
 

Joe Sixpack

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Who is predicting a sub 40 win season? I'm not seeing that in any of the discussion here.

0 people selected 41 or fewer in the poll in the other thread.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I love you HRB but you see 95% of things affecting the Celtics in the worst possible light and 95% of things affecting other teams in the best possible light. I appreciate the differing POVs, but I'm willing to bet the team's attitude is a lot better this year with Hayward still here and the guy that needed to escape 2 winning teams gone.
I’m not doubting the teams attutude will be better but attitude alone isn’t going to replace Horford, MaMo, and Baynes. Our frontcourt is extremely thin/untested, defense is an issue. and there will still be the iso-ball problems with Kemba replacing Kyrie but with less talent.

I’m not calling for the end of the world here as my win prediction is only a few games below the Vegas total. I don’t think any of this is unreasonable.
 

lovegtm

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I’m not doubting the teams attutude will be better but attitude alone isn’t going to replace Horford, MaMo, and Baynes. Our frontcourt is extremely thin/untested, defense is an issue. and there will still be the iso-ball problems with Kemba replacing Kyrie but with less talent.

I’m not calling for the end of the world here as my win prediction is only a few games below the Vegas total. I don’t think any of this is unreasonable.
This is reasonable. I like to think of it as: if the Celtics overperform, what does that look like? And conversely, if they underperform, what does that look like?

Overperform:
1. Kanter plays Brook Lopez drop defense over and over, the Celtics long wing defenders help aggressively, and it works against all but the teams with most elite off-the-dribble guys.
2. Kemba is more IT than Kyrie: more 3 pointers (already the case) which makes the floor bigger, and commanding more attention off-ball.
3. Hayward is healthier
4. The Jays make a leap
5. Kanter adds an outside shot
6. An strong defensive (and playable offensive) center becomes available for a price like MEM+salary
Any combination of those things increases the win total. The Eastern Conference also has some weirdly good matchups for a team with Kanter playing a lot. Philly and Milwaukee, in particular, could be ok-ish for him.

Underperform
1. Injuries, obviously
2. Kemba needs the ball to be effective, and that makes the other guys into static pieces while the defense loads up for Kemba.
3. The other guys aren't dynamic enough on-ball to make Kemba's off-ball threat useful.
4. The Jays stay about the same, or improve minorly
5. Hayward is the 35 year-old Manu that he was last year.
6. The league keeps getting better at shooting off the dribble, and makes Kanter unplayable, especially when he's put into PnRs and the other defender is Kemba.

I think that on the whole, the team described in "Underperform" (minus injuries) is an Eastern Conference low playoff team still, so I'd go closer to a bit above the Vegas total than a bit below.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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There is good reason to believe that this person hasn’t moved on and that it’s Gordo.

It seems like there was a ton of resentment for Brad favoring his pet over other more deserving players much of the year. Even after everyone knew Kyrie was leaving Horford seemingly couldn’t wait to bolt and even was recently quoted as saying things didn’t work out. This sure doesn’t sound like it was a Kyrie thing or at least “only” a Kyrie thing.
I think you are insinuating something here that should either be stated or just left out.

As for Horford, I don't have the quotes handy - BenHogan should have them for you - but it seems pretty likely that Al wanted to play the 5 more and win a title. When Kyrie bolted, Al didn't want to play the 5 for a 45 win team.

There was also some talk about Al wanting to come back once Kemba signed but the Cs not willing to go 4/$109 (or $100 or whatever it would have taken) plus do all the player moves it would have taken to get that to happen.

So with regards to Al, I don't think it has anything to do with GH.

And as for "favoring his pet," GH was tied for 6th on the team in mpg at 25.9. Rozier, the third or fourth guard depending on where you put JB, got 22.7. Baynes got 16.1. How few minutes do you think GH should have played? I don't think there's a coach in the NBA who wouldn't have played GH at least 20 mpg. I mean you have to do that if you have any hope of having him at his best for the playoffs?

So would have 5.9 mpg really made a huge difference?

Maybe Brad shouldn't have started GH at the beginning of the season but maybe Brad was also hopeful that the team would be so good that they could hide GH for a bit.
 

lovegtm

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I have no doubt that there was some resentment of Hayward. However, the fairly simple conclusion is that Kyrie checked out on the team sometime in December, everyone knew on his team (and in the league) it, and that led to a lot of ripple effects that brought out the worst tendencies in everyone involved.

The falsifiable prediction here is that I expect to see much better effort/attitude on the defensive and offensive ends, even if the performance on defense is a bit worse because of the massive liabilities at the big spot.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I have no doubt that there was some resentment of Hayward. However, the fairly simple conclusion is that Kyrie checked out on the team sometime in December, everyone knew on his team (and in the league) it, and that led to a lot of ripple effects that brought out the worst tendencies in everyone involved.

The falsifiable prediction here is that I expect to see much better effort/attitude on the defensive and offensive ends, even if the performance on defense is a bit worse because of the massive liabilities at the big spot.
How does a player “check out” while having arguably the best regular season of his career on the way to being named 2nd Team All-League? He surpassed his career averages across the board......scoring, shooting, rebounding, assists, steals, etc.
 

benhogan

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This is reasonable. I like to think of it as: if the Celtics overperform, what does that look like? And conversely, if they underperform, what does that look like?

Overperform:
1. Kanter plays Brook Lopez drop defense over and over, the Celtics long wing defenders help aggressively, and it works against all but the teams with most elite off-the-dribble guys.
2. Kemba is more IT than Kyrie: more 3 pointers (already the case) which makes the floor bigger, and commanding more attention off-ball.
3. Hayward is healthier
4. The Jays make a leap
5. Kanter adds an outside shot
6. An strong defensive (and playable offensive) center becomes available for a price like MEM+salary
Any combination of those things increases the win total. The Eastern Conference also has some weirdly good matchups for a team with Kanter playing a lot. Philly and Milwaukee, in particular, could be ok-ish for him.

Underperform
1. Injuries, obviously
2. Kemba needs the ball to be effective, and that makes the other guys into static pieces while the defense loads up for Kemba.
3. The other guys aren't dynamic enough on-ball to make Kemba's off-ball threat useful.
4. The Jays stay about the same, or improve minorly
5. Hayward is the 35 year-old Manu that he was last year.
6. The league keeps getting better at shooting off the dribble, and makes Kanter unplayable, especially when he's put into PnRs and the other defender is Kemba.

I think that on the whole, the team described in "Underperform" (minus injuries) is an Eastern Conference low playoff team still, so I'd go closer to a bit above the Vegas total than a bit below.
A really good upside/downside analysis.

I'd add to the "upside ledger" one of the other centers: Theis, Poirier, TL surprising to the upside. It feels like little to nothing is expected from them.
My breakout candidate (~20mpg) is Daniel Theis. I like his jump from year 1 to 2. The culling of the frontcourt (Al, AB, MaMo) creates a huge opportunity. Hopefully, he is working on his 3pt shot this Summer.
 

Big John

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Rozier put his finger on the problem last year in an interview with Mike Greenberg as reported below. You could see it game after game. The 2017-18 team that went to the 7th game of the EC finals looked like the Spurs on their good days. The 2018-19 team looked disorganized, with their only real offensive weapon being the Kyrie-Horford pick and pop. The rest of the "set offense" was 90% ISOs.

"He's a great guy. Great leader. You just have to adjust to his style," "Whatever Kyrie wants done, he's gonna show it. That's what he wants done. And you have to adjust to his style of play and how he goes about every game every day." Rozier said he believed his teammates got used to Irving's leadership style by the end of the season. But in Rozier's eyes, there still was an on-court disconnect between how the Celtics practiced with Irving and how they played. "We would come in the game and it would be a different game plan than what we kind of expected and kind of went through in practice, so it was different," Rozier admitted. "We had the first five and then we had the second five (in practice). And when we go out there, I feel like a lot of guys would be mixed up. It wouldn't be the first five and the second five.
So, what we'd be talking about in practice is not what we went through in the game. It was like, all right, we're going to keep Kyrie out there and put the other guys out there with him, and we're going to figure it out."

Well, they never did "figure it out" and Rozier was one of the biggest culprits, although there were others--including Kyrie, who wanted to run the show all by himself. John Wooden's mantra was "you play like you practice." The Celtics didn't do that.
 

lovegtm

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A really good upside/downside analysis.

I'd add to the "upside ledger" one of the other centers: Theis, Poirier, TL surprising to the upside. It feels like little to nothing is expected from them.
My breakout candidate (~20mpg) is Daniel Theis. I like his jump from year 1 to 2. The culling of the frontcourt (Al, AB, MaMo) creates a huge opportunity. Hopefully, he is working on his 3pt shot this Summer.
I like Theis, I just worry that a) he lost athleticism after the knee surgery (he was a plus athlete prior) and b) he’s a bit small to play 5, and not skilled enough to play the wing offensively. Defensively he’s fine.

Theis is fine against smaller 5s obv. The problem with playing him as the 4, however, is that he’s not skilled with the ball, and his 3 point release is slow. If he had a quicker release, he’d be fine as a spacer, but most modern 4s are fast enough to close down his shot attempts, which lets them cheat off harder. I think in some 2nd unit contexts it can still work, I’m just not sure I’d want him taking those minutes at the 4 from someone like GWill.

(Incidentally, I think Indy will have similar offensive issues when they try to play Sabonis and Turner together, although their D will be fine. I’d definitely be following that situation closely as the Celtics. )
 

pjheff

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I like Theis, I just worry that a) he lost athleticism after the knee surgery (he was a plus athlete prior) and b) he’s a bit small to play 5, and not skilled enough to play the wing offensively. Defensively he’s fine.

Theis is fine against smaller 5s obv.
Might we see a ~25/15/8 breakdown at the 5 where Kanter gets consistent starter’s minutes while the backup roles are based on matchups, with Theis deployed against smaller bigs and Poirier utilized more versus larger opponents?
 

Eddie Jurak

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Might we see a ~25/15/8 breakdown at the 5 where Kanter gets consistent starter’s minutes while the backup roles are based on matchups, with Theis deployed against smaller bigs and Poirier utilized more versus larger opponents?
Something like that but fewer minutes for Kanter. I think Theis’ minites will vary widely game to game because sometimes there are good matchups for him and sometimes not. I think they will try to get consistent minutes out of Poirier.
 

benhogan

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I like Theis, I just worry that a) he lost athleticism after the knee surgery (he was a plus athlete prior) and b) he’s a bit small to play 5, and not skilled enough to play the wing offensively. Defensively he’s fine.

Theis is fine against smaller 5s obv. The problem with playing him as the 4, however, is that he’s not skilled with the ball, and his 3 point release is slow. If he had a quicker release, he’d be fine as a spacer, but most modern 4s are fast enough to close down his shot attempts, which lets them cheat off harder. I think in some 2nd unit contexts it can still work, I’m just not sure I’d want him taking those minutes at the 4 from someone like GWill.

(Incidentally, I think Indy will have similar offensive issues when they try to play Sabonis and Turner together, although their D will be fine. I’d definitely be following that situation closely as the Celtics. )
Theis is a 5, and I wouldn't expect otherwise. He's short but has bounce, plays hard/aggressive and didn't really get pushed around that badly. He played 2 mins with Baynes and 23 mins with Horford all of last season, so I wouldn't expect to see him play the 4. If teams go double BIG (like Indy, Phila, Tor, Orlando or Mil) there is an outside chance we see him on the floor with TL? I really have no idea how Brad is going to thwart/address that?

Theis shot 75% on FTs and 39% on 3s in limited minutes. IMO He always played a hair tentative since a quick hook awaited any errors. A little rope may serve him well.

For what it's worth, his advanced numbers were very good in limited play (14mpg) last season. He had a positive OBPM, DBPM, VORP, ON/OFF, ORtg/DRtg.
Play him 20mpg and let's see what we have, if he sucks throw him in the filler pile after Dec 15

 

HomeRunBaker

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Theis’ problem in earning more minutes is that he struggles against many matchups defensively. His +/- numbers don’t fully account for putting the opponent in an early bonus at the start do the 2nd and 4th quarters.

Even in his good matchups he doesn’t defend without fouling which is why he can’t be relied up for anything more than 9th man minutes at the back end of the rotation.

If I had to guess we’d begin the year with a 3-headed “monster” of Kanter (24), Theis (14), and Poirier (10) on a typical night.
 

Big John

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Theis is a good player (especially absent the dumb fouls) but to me the real wildcards are Poirier and TL. If one of those guys shows that he is a competent NBA defender and rebounder, the team's outlook changes considerably.
 

benhogan

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Theis’ problem in earning more minutes is that he struggles against many matchups defensively. His +/- numbers don’t fully account for putting the opponent in an early bonus at the start do the 2nd and 4th quarters.

Even in his good matchups he doesn’t defend without fouling which is why he can’t be relied up for anything more than 9th man minutes at the back end of the rotation.

If I had to guess we’d begin the year with a 3-headed “monster” of Kanter (24), Theis (14), and Poirier (10) on a typical night.
# of fouls doesn't equate to bad defense (that's like saying # of errors equals good/bad defense in baseball). If it did Kris Dunn would be one of the worst defensive guards in the NBA for several years now.

Some of the most aggressive/best defenders in the NBA lead the league in fouls

I doubt your thesis has any basis, unless you can show me that DT's foul differential led to a higher number of bonus FTs.
 
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pjheff

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If I had to guess we’d begin the year with a 3-headed “monster” of Kanter (24), Theis (14), and Poirier (10) on a typical night.
Any thoughts on the rest of the rotation “on a typical night?”

Tatum (32) G.Williams (16)

Hayward (32)

Brown (32) Smart (32)

Walker (32) Edwards (16)
 

thehitcat

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I think we have to find 10-15 a night for Time Lord unless we think the Front Office Exec was essentially signalling that he was going to be in Portland all year.
 

HomeRunBaker

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# of fouls doesn't equate to bad defense (that's like saying # of errors equals good/bad defense in baseball). If it did Kris Dunn would be one of the worst defensive guards in the NBA for several years now.

Some of the most aggressive/best defenders in the NBA lead the league in fouls

I doubt your thesis has any basis, unless you can show me that DT's foul differential led to a higher number of bonus FTs.
Being able to defend without fouling has been one of the (several) issues holding Dunn back. If Theis were a great defender that would be a different conversation. I’m not sure it is rocket science to recognize that more personal fouls to start a quarter leads to a team being in the bonus earlier.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think we have to find 10-15 a night for Time Lord unless we think the Front Office Exec was essentially signalling that he was going to be in Portland all year.
Those minutes will be won by Poirier or TL. I used Poirier by default based on what I’ve seen out of TL thus far. To be clear, those minutes are available.
 

benhogan

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Being able to defend without fouling has been one of the (several) issues holding Dunn back. If Theis were a great defender that would be a different conversation. I’m not sure it is rocket science to recognize that more personal fouls to start a quarter leads to a team being in the bonus earlier.
well he didn't start many 1st and 3rd quarters off as a starter, right? He started 2 games out of 82 last season. His impact on others plus/minus with extra foul shots when he isn't on the floor is probably a rounding error.

Other foul leaders in the NBA: Mitchell Robinson, Ed Davis and Nerlens Noel. Pat Beverly was up there for Guards. Not exactly a list of bad defensive players.
 
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HomeRunBaker

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Any thoughts on the rest of the rotation “on a typical night?”

Tatum (32) G.Williams (16)

Hayward (32)

Brown (32) Smart (32)

Walker (32) Edwards (16)
I would expect Langford to get most of those minutes you have allocated to Edwards. This is another reason I don’t have this team in the 50’s.....people are underestimating how little depth we really have.

Over the course of the season players will miss games. Last year we could easily replace someone with a quality young veteran in the lineup......this year we don’t have that luxury without Rozier and MaMo.
 

DrewDawg

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I think we have to find 10-15 a night for Time Lord unless we think the Front Office Exec was essentially signalling that he was going to be in Portland all year.
FO guy said while they have plans for TL it might not be right off the bat...