National Celtics discourse

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Gotta say I don't love the "it's over vibe" right now. I get what history says, but still, let's finish the job first. I loved the Tatum mic drop but "win it again next year?" umm let's win it this year first.
100%. This series has an extremely high probability of being won by Boston. But it isn't over yet. Bury them tonight and make it official, please. No dinking around.
 

joe dokes

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If I remember correctly part (if not all) of that dribbling around was because of some super intense and incredible defense by Jrue. Once they got the switch, Kyrie went pretty quickly against Horford
Which, in turn, was helped along by the rest he got earlier in the quarter. No one can play defense like that for an entire game. (the rest was the correct move, his replacement, PP, was another story).
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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100%, as others have pointed out. I agree that Jrue's on-ball defense probably deserves more love than Kyrie does criticism. In rewatching that sequence, the Celts got really lucky PJW's corner three didn't go down with :50 left, that was a good look - and find by Kyrie.
Jrue had a pretty great close-out that made PJ reset.

Interestingly enough, PJ was 16-66 (24.2%) on left corner 3Ps on the season and 12-50 (24%) from right corner 3Ps. During the playoffs, hehas been 18-40 and 11-34. So maybe it was mean reversion. :)
 

8slim

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I get that saying the Celtics are really good and they look tough and almost unbeatable might be boring to 95% of the country, but good lord the amount of gymnastics that people do NOT to say that is amazing. If you have even the slightest amount of memory, it just makes people look really dumb.
What's funny is that the national media spent many years absolutely swooning over the unbeatable Warriors. And it's not like the Cs are a small market team, which is why the old Spurs were never media faves.

It's all very perplexing.
 

astrozombie

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Sep 12, 2022
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As much as I hate the VIBEZ argument, one reason I am high on this team is that they just feel different to me. They don't tense up and fall apart like last years. They don't stand around and watch JT try to do something like last year. The other team goes on runs, and the Cs take the punches, then respond in kind. JB goes into the paint and I don't expect him to fumble the ball away. There's no Smart (God love him) looking for an ill-advised flashy pass or taking irrationally confident shots. I watch them and rarely think "man, how are they going to counter what Dallas throws at them?" since I have confidence that CJM can put a plan in place, the players can execute it and if adjustments need to be made, they can. I expect DW and Jrue to continue to do the stuff that makes winning plays.
I know all of that sounds cocky and is wholly anecdotal. I am trying not to get ahead of myself thinking this series is over, sweep or otherwise. But given the confidence they are playing with, making the right decisions, weathering runs, not complaining about injuries, the Stay Ready Crew doing their thing... it's hard not to think they can do it this year.
 

Reverend

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And if they win more than one, the question pivots to: "Is the NBA as good as it used to be? Where are the superstars?"
If Tatum’s not an alpha, then how come all the all-stars in the league suck up to his kid?

I’m not sure a lot of people out there understand how this shit actually works.
 

bankshot1

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Gotta say I don't love the "it's over vibe" right now. I get what history says, but still, let's finish the job first. I loved the Tatum mic drop but "win it again next year?" umm let's win it this year first.
Exactly. I see people debating where this team belongs in NBA greatness. Win the fucking thing first, then quibble about relative rankings

Right now I got them slightly ahead of the '04 MFY.

One of the greatest Celtics teams I ever saw, and I've been a Celts fan since 1958, was the 1972-73 team. That team won 68 games was loaded with with HoF talent and HoF brains, but lost a crushing ECF to the Knicks mostly because Havlicek got crushed in a Dave D screen for Bradley. Those Celts are an asterisk on Knicks history.

Crush the Mavs tonight and then celebrate
 

BigSoxFan

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As much as I hate the VIBEZ argument, one reason I am high on this team is that they just feel different to me. They don't tense up and fall apart like last years. They don't stand around and watch JT try to do something like last year. The other team goes on runs, and the Cs take the punches, then respond in kind. JB goes into the paint and I don't expect him to fumble the ball away. There's no Smart (God love him) looking for an ill-advised flashy pass or taking irrationally confident shots. I watch them and rarely think "man, how are they going to counter what Dallas throws at them?" since I have confidence that CJM can put a plan in place, the players can execute it and if adjustments need to be made, they can. I expect DW and Jrue to continue to do the stuff that makes winning plays.
I know all of that sounds cocky and is wholly anecdotal. I am trying not to get ahead of myself thinking this series is over, sweep or otherwise. But given the confidence they are playing with, making the right decisions, weathering runs, not complaining about injuries, the Stay Ready Crew doing their thing... it's hard not to think they can do it this year.
It’s such a complete 180 from 2020-2023 where every close game worried me and they generally validated my fears.

Now? Against a team with 2 elite closers, I just feel confident. I really think it’s the Jrue effect. He has such a calming impact on the team. Best we may have seen since DJ.
 

Reverend

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What's funny is that the national media spent many years absolutely swooning over the unbeatable Warriors. And it's not like the Cs are a small market team, which is why the old Spurs were never media faves.

It's all very perplexing.
It occurred to me the other day that not so long ago when the NBA was worried about developing a “thug league” image that they would have killed to have this team be the face of the league. How they hell are they not marketing the hell out of this team?
 

Euclis20

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It occurred to me the other day that not so long ago when the NBA was worried about developing a “thug league” image that they would have killed to have this team be the face of the league. How they hell are they not marketing the hell out of this team?
While the media was confidently declaring that Tatum didn't have the skills or the Q rating to be the face of the league, he was 3rd in jersey sales this year, only behind Lebron and Curry. Whatever.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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If the Celtics win tonight, they will be the first team in NBA history to ever sweep both the conference finals and the finals

However, the narrative on this team will always be that they were lucky enough to face a bunch of teams in the playoffs that was missing their stars
I really don't think it will always be that. I think it will be short term, and by next season, there is a new story. In the end, flags fly forever, and everything else sort of disappears.
 

snowmanny

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If the Celtics win tonight, they will be the first team in NBA history to ever sweep both the conference finals and the finals

However, the narrative on this team will always be that they were lucky enough to face a bunch of teams in the playoffs that was missing their stars
Even though they really didn’t, except Butler. And Miami wasn’t winning that series either way and Butler isn’t their best player.

The Celtics faced a couple of teams whose top star didn’t miss games until after the Celtics were already up in the series. And I’m unconvinced the Pacers would have been better with Haliburton.

Giannis and Anunobe (and Porzingis) were probably the most impactful EC injuries, but no reason to think anything would have looked different in the end.
 

tims4wins

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It’s such a complete 180 from 2020-2023 where every close game worried me and they generally validated my fears.

Now? Against a team with 2 elite closers, I just feel confident. I really think it’s the Jrue effect. He has such a calming impact on the team. Best we may have seen since DJ.
I was thinking about this earlier. Jrue is so key. I can't think of a good comp for a Boston team where they brought in a guy who was the missing piece and totally helped solidify the culture. Maybe like Rodney Harrison. Different styles and roles, but similar impact.
 

bakahump

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Lets Pre-empt Dallas' parade plans tonight and go from there. At this point its one game, one quarter, one possession at a time. Try against all hope to keep Luka Donkych from 50 and keep Cryie Irvin under 35 and hope we can eek out a 86-85 defensive battle for once.
 

Ed Hillel

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Gotta say I don't love the "it's over vibe" right now. I get what history says, but still, let's finish the job first. I loved the Tatum mic drop but "win it again next year?" umm let's win it this year first.
He was asked "if you win this title..."
 

Red Right Ankle

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Even though they really didn’t, except Butler. And Miami wasn’t winning that series either way and Butler isn’t their best player.

The Celtics faced a couple of teams whose top star didn’t miss games until after the Celtics were already up in the series. And I’m unconvinced the Pacers would have been better with Haliburton.

Giannis and Anunobe (and Porzingis) were probably the most impactful EC injuries, but no reason to think anything would have looked different in the end.
The Cs broke their stars like Bane breaking the Bat or Luka breaking open a fridge to look for a Coors.
 

BigSoxFan

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I was thinking about this earlier. Jrue is so key. I can't think of a good comp for a Boston team where they brought in a guy who was the missing piece and totally helped solidify the culture. Maybe like Rodney Harrison. Different styles and roles, but similar impact.
No love for Gagne? Seriously though, I think Harrison is the closest comp for a guy who came in an elevated the team right away. Obviously, Pats had already won by the time Harrison got here but they had just missed the playoffs and needed more playmaking from the safeties after Milloy's infamous season where he had like no impact plays.

Harrison brought an edge to a team that needed it and, conversely, Holiday is bringing calmness and experience to a team that needs it. I'm so forever grateful for the Blazers for not caving to the Heat on Lillard, which would have shut down any chance of the Celtics getting Jrue.
 

NickEsasky

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He was asked "if you win this title..."
I am aware. It was just one example. It's more my nerves than anything, but we've seen what can happen when the Celtics take their foot off the gas.
 

astrozombie

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Sep 12, 2022
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The Cs broke their stars like Bane breaking the Bat or Luka breaking open a fridge to look for a Coors.
"Oh, you think the three-point shot is your ally. But you merely adopted the three-point shot; I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see a long two until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but blinding."
 

TripleOT

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Maybe I should have posted this separately.

If the Celtics win tonight, they will be the first team in the history of the NBA to sweep both the Conference Finals and the Finals.
 

Coachster

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I was thinking about this earlier. Jrue is so key. I can't think of a good comp for a Boston team where they brought in a guy who was the missing piece and totally helped solidify the culture. Maybe like Rodney Harrison. Different styles and roles, but similar impact.
Shane Victorino in '13?
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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One team always wins and one team always loses (and credit/blame is always apportioned about 50-50), but in this case, I credit the Celtics defense, rather than hit the Mavs offense, for failing to take advantage of the 2 for 1. Holiday picked up Kyrie full court and made him work for every step (it took 7 seconds to cross half court), and forcing a switch for Kyrie (their only shot creator) to be guarded by Horford (the Celtics worst on ball defender on the court vs quick guards) was absolutely the right move. Dallas got exactly what they wanted, it just took too long (credit Holiday for making it difficult) and Kyrie couldn't get a good look (credit Horford for incredible defense).

*edit - or exactly what WBCD said above.
Not that Kryie needs defending but this isn't really the way it went. True Kryie got the ball at 42 seconds, but he didn't just dribble aimlesly while burning the clock out.

Because the ball went out-of-bounds on the previous play, DAL was taking it on jus above the baseline. Not a great place to receive the pass plus Jrue was able to hound him from teh get go so he was trying bring the ball up without turning it over. He didn't get into the half-court set up until about 33 seconds remaining and Green didn't come up to set the pick with Horford on him until 30 seconds remaining. There was no way that anyone but KI should be taking that shot. He only took five seconds to get the shot up once he got Al on him. The shot was probably as good as any he was going to get given who was on the floor for DAL and BOS.
Fair points, and well taken!
 

lovegtm

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At the end of the day, while I complain about the discourse, I really enjoy rooting for the team with the
- nontraditional star
- illegible but elite offense
- completely psychotic coach
 

joe dokes

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I was thinking about this earlier. Jrue is so key. I can't think of a good comp for a Boston team where they brought in a guy who was the missing piece and totally helped solidify the culture. Maybe like Rodney Harrison. Different styles and roles, but similar impact.
Took a couple of years, but Chara?
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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As much as I hate the VIBEZ argument, one reason I am high on this team is that they just feel different to me. They don't tense up and fall apart like last years. They don't stand around and watch JT try to do something like last year. The other team goes on runs, and the Cs take the punches, then respond in kind. JB goes into the paint and I don't expect him to fumble the ball away. There's no Smart (God love him) looking for an ill-advised flashy pass or taking irrationally confident shots. I watch them and rarely think "man, how are they going to counter what Dallas throws at them?" since I have confidence that CJM can put a plan in place, the players can execute it and if adjustments need to be made, they can. I expect DW and Jrue to continue to do the stuff that makes winning plays.
I know all of that sounds cocky and is wholly anecdotal. I am trying not to get ahead of myself thinking this series is over, sweep or otherwise. But given the confidence they are playing with, making the right decisions, weathering runs, not complaining about injuries, the Stay Ready Crew doing their thing... it's hard not to think they can do it this year.
You know what really helps teams play better in the clutch?

Being better. The long and short of it is that this team is a lot better than the previous iterations and it shows.

I was thinking about this earlier. Jrue is so key. I can't think of a good comp for a Boston team where they brought in a guy who was the missing piece and totally helped solidify the culture. Maybe like Rodney Harrison. Different styles and roles, but similar impact.
O-Cab,
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I like the Rodney comparison. Garnett is an obvious "solidified the culture" guy, but the whole team was learning on the fly. What Revis did in his one year here as an elite corner was huge. Brandon Browner brought some culture with him when he came, too.

I dunno. What Jrue is doing is awesome.
 

BigSoxFan

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I like the Rodney comparison. Garnett is an obvious "solidified the culture" guy, but the whole team was learning on the fly. What Revis did in his one year here as an elite corner was huge. Brandon Browner brought some culture with him when he came, too.

I dunno. What Jrue is doing is awesome.
I didn’t even think of Revis but he’s another good one. They really needed a shutdown corner with Talib gone and he provided that and he exuded quiet confidence like Jrue.
 

Reverend

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At the end of the day, while I complain about the discourse, I really enjoy rooting for the team with the
- nontraditional star
- illegible but elite offense
- completely psychotic coach
Following this trend of things that make the tram awesome but not easily visible to most people, seems like need. description of the defensive wrinkle of a point center playing small by the rim even when the lineup hasn’t gone small. Or something.
 

bankshot1

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I was thinking about this earlier. Jrue is so key. I can't think of a good comp for a Boston team where they brought in a guy who was the missing piece and totally helped solidify the culture. Maybe like Rodney Harrison. Different styles and roles, but similar impact.
Paul Silas.

He was a brilliant defensive rebounding forward who made an art of O-boarding, and was the missing piece to the early 70s Celtics as they rebuilt from the Dynasty years and battled a really good Knick team. As Sanders and Nelson were becoming older he was critical in creating an (overlooked) juggernaut that won 2 titles and should have won a 3rd in his all too short 4 years in Boston. He is not in the HoF nor is his #s hanging in the rafters**, but theres a decent argument it should be. He was a great Celtic.

**35 was Reggie Lewis.
 
Last edited:

benhogan

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This article was looking at where Boston's TOP4 (with no KP) ranked in the playoffs all-time.

https://www.espn.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/40350725/nba-finals-2024-boston-celtics-ultimate-four-player-depth-team

Contrary to what Dallas coach Jason Kidd said after Game 1 of the Finals, Jayson Tatum has been Boston's best player by Estimated RAPTOR Wins Above Replacement during the playoffs, accumulating 2.4 WAR in 18 postseason games. But Kidd was onto something when he posited that someone other than Tatum might still at least plausibly be the top Celtic -- whether that be Jaylen Brown, or someone else. In this Finals, a different player led the team in scoring in each of its wins (Brown in Game 1, Jrue Holiday in Game 2 and Tatum in Game 3), while Derrick White scored at least 15 in all three of those games.

In other words, when it is clicking (like in Games 1 through 3), Boston is about an ensemble of stars rather than a singular superstar. If we compare the 2024 Celtics to every NBA champion since the 1976 ABA merger on the basis of playoff WAR per team game from their top player, Tatum and Boston would rank fifth lowest out of the 36 champs since 1977, despite potentially having one of the highest playoff net ratings of any champion in that span if they can close out the Mavs.

But a better way of understanding these Celtics is to grade their depth instead.

With that in mind, let's run through where Boston's top foursome of Tatum, Brown, White and Holiday would rank relative to the top four in playoff WAR per game on NBA champs since the merger, if they win. (With apologies to Kristaps Porzingis, who has only played six of Boston's 17 games this postseason and will probably miss the rest of the Finals with a leg injury.)

We'll also do it based on how good each team's fourth-best player was -- emphasizing how special it is to build a quartet of stars who can do so many different things



BOSTON
This year's core are a testament to the power of roster construction and strong coaching. When they're at their best, every player in Boston's top four can assume the role of scorer, shooter or passer, depending on what the defense presents and what the team needs at that moment. And on defense, all four can guard multiple positions while also disrupting opponents in help situations. It doesn't matter that Tatum -- statistically the best overall player on the team -- is shooting 29% in the clutch during the playoffs, because Brown, White and Holiday are shooting 58% in those situations.

One key lesson of this team is that your top player doesn't need to be your closer. Another is that a championship-caliber quartet can come together on the fly; while Boston drafted Brown and Tatum consecutively in 2016 and 2017, it acquired White at the 2022 trade deadline and added Holiday in October.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Paul Silas.

He was a brilliant defensive rebounding forward who made an art of O-boarding, and was the missing piece to the early 70s Celtics as they rebuilt from the Dynasty years and battled a really good Knick team. As Sanders and Nelson were becoming older he was critical in creating an (overlooked) juggernaut that won 2 titles and should have won a 3rd in his all too short 4 years in Boston. He is not in the HoF nor is his #s hanging in the rafters**, but theres a decent argument it should be. He was a great Celtic.

**35 was Reggie Lewis.
Great pull. Silas always jumped off the screen to me, even to young WBCD.
 

Al Zarilla

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Paul Silas.

He was a brilliant defensive rebounding forward who made an art of O-boarding, and was the missing piece to the early 70s Celtics as they rebuilt from the Dynasty years and battled a really good Knick team. As Sanders and Nelson were becoming older he was critical in creating an (overlooked) juggernaut that won 2 titles and should have won a 3rd in his all too short 4 years in Boston. He is not in the HoF nor is his #s hanging in the rafters**, but theres a decent argument it should be. He was a great Celtic.

**35 was Reggie Lewis.
Silas was also an all time Celtics madman, while playing and after. Can't think of another word for him.