NBA Finals: Celtics vs Mavs

Who wins?

  • Celtics in 4

    Votes: 22 5.0%
  • Celtics in 5

    Votes: 120 27.3%
  • Celtics in 6

    Votes: 222 50.6%
  • Celtics in 7

    Votes: 52 11.8%
  • Mavs in 4-5

    Votes: 3 0.7%
  • Mavs in 6-7

    Votes: 20 4.6%

  • Total voters
    439
  • Poll closed .

NJ_Sox_Fan

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I can’t see how this goes past 5 games at this point. Celtics shot (for them) horrifically from 3. Tatum’s shot was off. They had a few bad turnovers. All that, and really, did anyone really think they were in danger of losing last night? Maybe right before that White block which would have put them up only 3, but even as their 4Q lead was dwindling, it didn’t really feel like they were in any danger of losing.

Maybe the Mavs steal one in Dallas, but last night feels like the game they were going to lose if they were going to lose one.
 

lovegtm

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Not to derail the thread but I wonder if any PHI fans are thinking about how good PHI could have been if they hadn't traded Iggy and Holiday. I mean Iggy + Holiday + Turner + Vucevic + Lou Williams + Thad Young seems like a pretty good young core on which to build.

The problem is, where does the scoring come from? But you could probably roll with core and do an AllThePickz for somebody.

Fwiw, NBA execs have been moving in that direction the past 10 years. The Process was a pretty big anomaly.
 

TomRicardo

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Luka seems like such an odd player a bit, because he doesn't look like he should be as good as he is offensively. And, I don't mean his physical appearance, I mean if you watch his moves - they don't really look like anything impressive. He's not blowing by anybody, and he's not really hitting logo threes like Steph Curry. His turnaround fall away seems so slow and non-athletic, compared to like Jaylen Brown who elevates so much on his similar move. But, it certainly does work for him.
Luka is Greg Maddux, if after Maddux pitched the ball then he sat on the mound and refused to participate in fielding, Luka is the best player in using time and space on the offensive end of the court. His feel for disturbing defensive rhythms is the best I have ever seen. Other players try to use speed or their handle. Luka plays entirely on exploiting expectations and reflexes of a defender.

Him and Joker just live in space and time. They understand what defenders do, what they want to do, and what they react to.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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BTW, someone wondered out loud either upthread or in another thread whether we'd see DAL have all eyes on JT like they did in G1. Here are some examples (from the Mavs Moneyball article I posted earlier):

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PedroKsBambino

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So, you're Jason Kidd (or Rick Carlisle, or whoever :) )....

A few of the tweaks that we discussed here before game 2 remain options for game 3: you could use Hardaway more (accepting some defensive downgrade---how much isn't clear since DJJ/Green aren't winning anyway---for offensive juice; use Hardy more (same tradeoffs and questions); get a lot more physical on perimeter; try to throw some zone in to change things up. You could also just try to bait JT into shooting more - arguably what sat behind Kidd's comment about 'best player' before game 2. To my eyes, Kidd largely tried to just "do better" in game 2 and though results were better, process-wise and shot-quality wise I'm not sure it was all that much different than game 1. Is he really going to do that again? Ohter things that were thrown out, but largely dismissed by this group, include using Kleber as small-ball 5 to create your own 5-out offense (which goes against what they've done well much of second half and in playoffs), and using PJ more to initiate, hoping that disrupts Celtics discipline defensively.

He did try Exum off bench, presumably in hopes that might help contain penetration better as he is likely their best on-ball defender. Only 10 minutes and didn't work, but an option. I would try to juice the offense more than the defense as I simply don't see the defensive answer on their roster (just not enough perimeter defenders) but as always,I could be wrong.

Several of us have noted the Mavs have structural issues at both ends in the matchup vs Celtics - any new creative ideas on how they might address those? Note, it is not likely there are big answers here, but I know some of us like to try to think abotu what might be possible/tried....
 

gammoseditor

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It’s worth noting our very first offensive possession was a pass under the basket to a wide open Jrue Holiday. It was likely the game plan the whole time and something else Joe Mazzulla deserved credit for.
 

mostman

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It looked like they were waiting until a certain player got the ball before they fouled, but then realized that certain player wasn't one of the 5 on the court.
This is hilarious because it might be true.

Tatum legit got stopped at the rim or missed a layup after blowing by his initial defender 10 or so times last night. He’d kill them if they peel off. Despite the bad shooting night, he only took maybe 1-2 bad shots from range. His discipline has been excellent, outside his mini-obsession to get a poster in the final 4 minutes of last night’s game lol.
Both of those poster attempts he had an arm in his chest. I think he got pissed the first one didn’t get called so he figured, why not try again?

JB has been great, but I can't get there on saying Jrue has been better than Tatum when most of the looks he's getting are the result of attention paid to Tatum.

Like, Jrue's shot chart is just a big green circle under the basket. No way he gets those shots without Tatum (and Brown) consistently compromising the D and making good decisions.

Jrue is amazing at what he does and having an amazing series, but it's a totally different role.
Jrue admitted this himself post game.
 

PedroKsBambino

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It's amazing. DAL is basically treating Jrue Holiday like Josh Giddy or Rudy Gobert. I'm guessing that Jrue is feeling a little disrespected.
Athletic had an article today which basically said the Mavs defense has been premised on the idea that there's always one guy on the other team who you can leave open from three, and it's worked and enabled them to do what they want in terms of rotations while maintaining rim protection. And the challenge is that the Celtics don't have that guy anywhere in their top 8.

I do think that underplays the other challenge we've seen - if you can't stop the ball on the perimeter you are in rotation and in trouble almost every trip. These aren't unrelated, but I feel are distinct.
 

tbrown_01923

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It seems like eveyone is taking their turn on the Pointz. They need to all walk out with "He's the best player =>" t-shirts.

I keep thinking that the comparison betweena Luka and Tatum is silly. Luka is getting his against (mostly) single coverage. Tatumn is facing the entire team.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Athletic had an article today which basically said the Mavs defense has been premised on the idea that there's always one guy on the other team who you can leave open from three, and it's worked and enabled them to do what they want in terms of rotations while maintaining rim protection. And the challenge is that the Celtics don't have that guy anywhere in their top 8.

I do think that underplays the other challenge we've seen - if you can't stop the ball on the perimeter you are in rotation and in trouble almost every trip. These aren't unrelated, but I feel are distinct.
It's not really distinct. You can cover for a non-defender if you can double off a non-shooter or some guy who is going to struggle to make offensive plays. That's why DAl had the most problems with LAC but at the end of the day, LAC didn't have the defense BOS has.

I mean DAL is basically playing the same defense GSW played against BOS in 2022 and MIA played against BOS last year and when Marcus and an overworked Al are on the floor, it becomes impossible for drivers to do anything. Even Ant couldn't couldn't get anything going.

But when you have Jrue and DW and KP on the floor; well there's a reason the offense is historic. They are the best shooting starting 5 in the history of the game IMO and loading up the strong side just isn't going to work.
 

Ed Hillel

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Both of those poster attempts he had an arm in his chest. I think he got pissed the first one didn’t get called so he figured, why not try again?
I get it, but he's driving on a guy in position, so some contact is going to go uncalled. I would call those attempts aberrations from him making the right read, which he had done almost all of the night up until then. He stopped reading the D real time and made up his mind beforehand: He wanted a poster.
 

lovegtm

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Athletic had an article today which basically said the Mavs defense has been premised on the idea that there's always one guy on the other team who you can leave open from three, and it's worked and enabled them to do what they want in terms of rotations while maintaining rim protection. And the challenge is that the Celtics don't have that guy anywhere in their top 8.

I do think that underplays the other challenge we've seen - if you can't stop the ball on the perimeter you are in rotation and in trouble almost every trip. These aren't unrelated, but I feel are distinct.
Related, being "in rotation and in trouble almost every trip" is insanely tiring, mentally and physically.
 

Justthetippett

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So, you're Jason Kidd (or Rick Carlisle, or whoever :) )....

A few of the tweaks that we discussed here before game 2 remain options for game 3: you could use Hardaway more (accepting some defensive downgrade---how much isn't clear since DJJ/Green aren't winning anyway---for offensive juice; use Hardy more (same tradeoffs and questions); get a lot more physical on perimeter; try to throw some zone in to change things up. You could also just try to bait JT into shooting more - arguably what sat behind Kidd's comment about 'best player' before game 2. To my eyes, Kidd largely tried to just "do better" in game 2 and though results were better, process-wise and shot-quality wise I'm not sure it was all that much different than game 1. Is he really going to do that again? Ohter things that were thrown out, but largely dismissed by this group, include using Kleber as small-ball 5 to create your own 5-out offense (which goes against what they've done well much of second half and in playoffs), and using PJ more to initiate, hoping that disrupts Celtics discipline defensively.

He did try Exum off bench, presumably in hopes that might help contain penetration better as he is likely their best on-ball defender. Only 10 minutes and didn't work, but an option. I would try to juice the offense more than the defense as I simply don't see the defensive answer on their roster (just not enough perimeter defenders) but as always,I could be wrong.

Several of us have noted the Mavs have structural issues at both ends in the matchup vs Celtics - any new creative ideas on how they might address those? Note, it is not likely there are big answers here, but I know some of us like to try to think abotu what might be possible/tried....
What I hope is that he relies on the home crowd/whistle as his major adjustment. I think the Cs are due for a few more quarters like G1Q1 and they'll put that to bed real quick.

What I "fear", although I am sure the Cs have an answer, is that they use PJ Washington more in that initiator role you mention and he succeeds and also opens things up for others. I don't fear 5-out Kleber (who appears not to want to shoot with his shoulder injury, or Hardy/Hardaway). PJ is pretty clearly their best third option and he's been competitive and made good decisions on his drives thus far. If they can collapse things down inside with his penetration, maybe they can disrupt what has become a quote comfortable set of defensive principles for Boston.

I agree the Dallas issue is primarily on their offensive end. They are applying very little pressure there and Luka is working very hard to get his, to the point where he's gassed in the 4Q. He'd still be scary in an end of game situation, but significantly hindered from where he is earlier in the game.
 

Ed Hillel

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Related, being "in rotation and in trouble almost every trip" is insanely tiring, mentally and physically.
When I see all these takes about Doncic need apologies from all his teammates for this series, I honestly get a little bit mad on their behalf. It must be very difficult to play with him because of the constant ballwashing he gets, knowing full well he's a fucking sieve/flat out lazy half the game and your ass has to expend all its energy making up for it. The lack of effort must deep down gnaw at some guys who have half the talent, but put the work in at the gym and get no credit and all the blame.
 

mostman

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I get it, but he's driving on a guy in position, so some contact is going to go uncalled. I would call those attempts aberrations from him making the right read, which he had done almost all of the night up until then. He stopped reading the D real time and made up his mind beforehand: He wanted a poster.
He still has the flaw where he is matched against a weak defender and sometimes will just go alpha mode and try to destroy them. It happens less now, but it still happens. As you pointed out, back to back tries to pull down the backboard probably wasn’t what we needed.
 

Jimbodandy

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Athletic had an article today which basically said the Mavs defense has been premised on the idea that there's always one guy on the other team who you can leave open from three, and it's worked and enabled them to do what they want in terms of rotations while maintaining rim protection. And the challenge is that the Celtics don't have that guy anywhere in their top 8.

I do think that underplays the other challenge we've seen - if you can't stop the ball on the perimeter you are in rotation and in trouble almost every trip. These aren't unrelated, but I feel are distinct.
They're definitely related, if the team is helping so much that either 1) more than one guy is open from three, or 2) it's not the guy that you want to leave open. Also the premise is flawed, in that the Cs are happy with every guy in the top8 taking open threes, even above the break.
 

PedroKsBambino

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It's not really distinct. You can cover for a non-defender if you can double off a non-shooter or some guy who is going to struggle to make offensive plays. That's why DAl had the most problems with LAC but at the end of the day, LAC didn't have the defense BOS has.

I mean DAL is basically playing the same defense GSW played against BOS in 2022 and MIA played against BOS last year and when Marcus and an overworked Al are on the floor, it becomes impossible for drivers to do anything. Even Ant couldn't couldn't get anything going.

But when you have Jrue and DW and KP on the floor; well there's a reason the offense is historic. They are the best shooting starting 5 in the history of the game IMO and loading up the strong side just isn't going to work.
The way I'd put it is that what you say above is why I said they are related, but that even if (in a different set of players world) they could drop off of the center it still is a persistent issue if drivers are getting into the lane as consistently as Celts have. It'd be less bad if the rim protector was there, which I read as your point above, but it's still a real defensive issue to let guys get free into the paint most posesssions, as has happened these two games.

I believe both GSW and Miami did a lot better on the perimeter than Dallas has. They were able to funnel guys into the paint where they had help - but part of Dallas' problem is they aren't funnelling anyone anywhere, the drivers are getting wherever they want, and getting there quickly as well.
 

Ed Hillel

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He still has the flaw where he is matched against a weak defender and sometimes will just go alpha mode and try to destroy them. It happens less now, but it still happens. As you pointed out, back to back tries to pull down the backboard probably wasn’t what we needed.
He actually did it 3 times in the final 5 minutes. The good news is on one of them, I think he actually threw the ball off the rim right to an unopened Jrue, who found White for a 3 lol. I don't believe the ball was blocked, I just think Tatum was too far from the basket to dunk and the ball smashed iron.
 

BaseballJones

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We're talking here like other guys don't get the kind of attention that Tatum has gotten when he's driven. Here's Kyrie taking the ball in. Double teamed, with all five Celtic defenders looking at Kyrie and not their own guy.

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And here's Luka driving. He's being TRIPLE teamed, and the other two Celtic defenders are only looking at Luka.

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This is what happens when good players are trying to take the ball into the paint - defenses tend to focus their attention on them, which leaves other guys open. I don't know the actual data, but I don't think Tatum is being guarded by more than one guy any more than Kyrie, Brown, or Luka is. Whenever any of those guys gets the ball and takes it into the paint, unless there's some sort of total defensive breakdown, they're facing multiple defenders.
 

Ed Hillel

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This is what happens when good players are trying to take the ball into the paint - defenses tend to focus their attention on them, which leaves other guys open. I don't know the actual data, but I don't think Tatum is being guarded by more than one guy any more than Kyrie, Brown, or Luka is. Whenever any of those guys gets the ball and takes it into the paint, unless there's some sort of total defensive breakdown, they're facing multiple defenders.
Dallas parks 1-2 guys in the paint every possession and Boston does not, so yes he is seeing a lot more once he gets by his man than anyone on Dallas.
 

Jimbodandy

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That second picture, you can clearly see that White is hedging and already leaning back to return to covering Jones. If they rotate properly, KP can pick up Luka, and Brown can rotate back to the left for the OTB three. Both of those shots get off, but contested. Tatum has the lob covered, and Jrue is on Kyrie.

It's not like guys don't hedge and briefly double. There are differences in scale.
 

BaseballJones

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Dallas parks 1-2 guys in the paint every possession and Boston does not, so yes he is seeing a lot more once he gets by his man than anyone on Dallas.
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Tatum driving. Not a single guy in the paint for Dallas. Now they DID collapse on him, but initially, that's as wide open a lane as you're ever going to see in the NBA.

But look, you guys might be right. Maybe Tatum is getting double and triple teamed more than the other guys. I would just like to see the actual data on that.
 

Jimbodandy

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I mean, that's clearly secondary transition. There are only three Cs over halfcourt, and Holiday and Brown are getting into their spots, while Tatum is basically a blur. I'm not sure that tells much of a picture. If anything one could criticize Dallas for covering nobody with three of the five guys there. Take the other two shooters, swarm to stop the ball, then spread out when the rest of the Celtics show up.

Edit: I guess Brown is covered enough. But two Mavs are doing absolutely nothing in this picture.
 

tbrown_01923

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It did feel like more loading up against Luka last night than G1. I sense that Dallas is tuned to "tatum won't beat us with his shots" and boston is tuned more to "We will not sellout the team defense to load up on Luka" approaches. Every game there will be the opposite effects to observe (as you pointed out BaseballJones) - but the approach feels different (I don't have the time to do frame by frame and look for evidence)
 

Ed Hillel

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View attachment 83963

Tatum driving. Not a single guy in the paint for Dallas. Now they DID collapse on him, but initially, that's as wide open a lane as you're ever going to see in the NBA.

But look, you guys might be right. Maybe Tatum is getting double and triple teamed more than the other guys. I would just like to see the actual data on that.
That's in transition when they were slow to get back. Is someone in the corner there, btw? Because if not, I have no idea what Gafford is doing. Kleber is also about to close and leave his man wide open up top. I think that's JB.

Kind of a theme for Dallas btw. For whatever reason, they are prone to being very slow to get to their spots.
 

tims4wins

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Oddly, I think he had 3 "successful" drives just barely roll of the rim. He took 15 2-pointers. I dont know how to find it, but it *seemed* like most of them were drives that either went in or served to wreck the defense -- either on that possession or the next -- as Doncic's turnstil-ism became more obvious. You could see the Dallas D collectively wait for the next blow-by.
NBA box score is your friend. You can very easily watch all of JT’s FGAs in quick succession.
Just LOL'ing at the idea of Luka being "injured", given that Tatum was clearly hurt in the 2022 Finals, but any mention of it was met with yelling about "excuses!!!!".


BTW, I found both posts quoted above to be insightful and informative, so apologies in advance for just quoting segments. And both captured the same theme that one team has its best player giving it all on the offensive end, and the other has its best player giving it all on the defensive side.

However, one key difference is that there is a universe where Tatum's shooting percentage improves, perhaps significantly. He is getting clean shots off; just not hitting them. Much of Tatum's shooting slump is NBA equivalent of BABIP.

Hard to see how Luka's defense magically improves over the next 2 games.
As noted in many places he is also being defended differently. That matters.
Yup, Josh Hart made essentially this point in his post-game commentary. Dallas losing this game has to hurt them way more than dropping the first. This was the game that came almost within reach -- the game they "could have won" and thus the game they had to win. And they just couldn't take it.
There was a great shot of Lively on the bench late just looking totally dejected.
Hmm, with the way their best player has been shooting threes, the C's run has been most like the 6 innings of no-hit ball that Pedro threw to close out the 99 ACDS when he was hurt and had to lean almost entirely on his cut fastball. It's been similarly "masterful yet compromised" at the same time.
Fantastic comparison.
Dallas’ biggest problem imo offensively has been that their bench guys have absolutely caved to the pressure of the finals. Every non Luka and Kyrie open 3 feels like a win for our defense and some of the misses have been violently bad. They have no confidence and it’s allowing us to risk their shots by playing better help D. To that end, we might find those shots going in a bit more at home and need to suffer a bit more on that end but maybe it will end up a fatal problem for them. Certainly we are likely here up 2-0 because a guy like Jrue has been absolutely fucking nails when our guys like Hauser and Pritchard have largely turtled.

On defense I think maybe they could at least spend a quarter or a half testing us more against a zone to cut down on the penetration. Given where Hauser, PP, Tatum are right now shooting you might want to see if this team can still shoot through some zone concepts. We were far, far better against that this year but it’s weird how bad our best outside shooters are right now. Of course that might just get them a bunch of different looks and get them untracked but down 0-2 you probably need to do something. It’s strange because I don’t think the Celtics are playing offense the way we want to play in that it’s much more iso oriented with fewer ball swings than our best offense but we seem so intent on grinding Luka out (and for good reason) that we are actually adapting our offensive approach a bit. Ultimately Dallas is needing to Find a way to hide Luka defensively almost like we used to have to try to hide IT years back but we keep forcing him into the action and they keep bringing help to try to keep him from being embarrassed. They probably need to be open to some more radical things and try to steal a game by making it harder for Tatum and Jaylen to know how to start. I don’t know their roster well enough to know who their high energy defensive guys are but it’s very telling that they can’t seem to find someone who can stay in front of Tatum 1 v 1 as that’s not really his strong suit.

In regards to Tatum, while his inability to be a shot maker is interesting in the eternal top 5/10 player discussion where those fine margins matter I’m very happy to have him moving the ball and making others better. I think the consensus on here borders on the absurd in praising him for this but his shot isn’t falling and he’s keeping the ball moving and really letting Jaylen and others shine. We would be in worse shape right now if he let the chatter about his legacy get to his head and he started getting up more shots to prove his bonafides and missed a bunch of them. So I hope he just keeps doing what he’s doing until an adjustment becomes necessary.

Finally a word for me on Jaylen Brown. He’s a guy I’ve had a lot of criticism for but he’s taken his game to such a high level in these playoffs. He’s not turning the ball over, he’s attacking with purpose and finishing. I’m not even cringing when he dribbles which is nearly unbelievable given where he was. He cannot get enough credit for being able to step up here while Tatum has been a derivative version of his best. Probably the biggest difference between this finals and the last has been that when GS also got Tatum flustered Jaylen just couldn’t pick up that slack. This time he has not only picked it up he’s probably gone a level higher. Doing it defensively, too, just leaving it all out there.
Quoting this to echo your praise on JB. I’ve been a critic. No longer. He’s Batman.
Favorite part of video. Cowherd at around 13:34

“Boston is too good not to win one (championship) but they are too weird to be a dynasty. They lose at home, they don’t have an alpha”.

Ok buddy, whatever you say.
8-2 playoffs, 37-4 regular season, and they’ve also won 8 straight road playoff games. So, ok?
 

Ed Hillel

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8-2 playoffs, 37-4 regular season, and they’ve also won 8 straight road playoff games. So, ok?
Everyone keeps quoting the past 3 seasons for their home playoff record. Because it's the same team, ya'll. Jerseys still say "Celtics," am I right about that?
 

BaseballJones

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I mean, that's clearly secondary transition. There are only three Cs over halfcourt, and Holiday and Brown are getting into their spots, while Tatum is basically a blur. I'm not sure that tells much of a picture. If anything one could criticize Dallas for covering nobody with three of the five guys there. Take the other two shooters, swarm to stop the ball, then spread out when the rest of the Celtics show up.

Edit: I guess Brown is covered enough. But two Mavs are doing absolutely nothing in this picture.
If there are only three Celtics past half court, why the F are all the Mavericks defenders above the three point line? What's the guy in the lower left doing? Guarding empty space? If the Mavs pack the paint all the time when Tatum has the ball and Boston has shooters all around the perimeter, why is Dallas not packing the paint when Tatum has the ball and the Celtics are missing two of their guys in the front court?

Turns out, White was open in the lower left corner, and the only guy not in the play for Boston was Porzingis, who trailed the play. So why wasn't his man (Luka) standing out at the three point line instead of stepping in to help on Tatum? I feel like the screaming guy would have a field day with this play.

So we can maybe just chalk this up to Dallas playing sucky defense I guess.
 

lars10

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I get it, but he's driving on a guy in position, so some contact is going to go uncalled. I would call those attempts aberrations from him making the right read, which he had done almost all of the night up until then. He stopped reading the D real time and made up his mind beforehand: He wanted a poster.
I think he saw PJ Washington get foul call(s)? Going to the rim and figured, given the contact required for those fouls, he’d be able to get a foul call on at least one of them.
 

tims4wins

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Everyone keeps quoting the past 3 seasons for their home playoff record. Because it's the same team, ya'll. Jerseys still say "Celtics," am I right about that?
Yeah they should be more like Denver who - checks notes - lost their first two home games, as well as game 7. That’s what a dynasty looks like.
 

m0ckduck

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Favorite part of video. Cowherd at around 13:34

“Boston is too good not to win one (championship) but they are too weird to be a dynasty. They lose at home, they don’t have an alpha”.

Ok buddy, whatever you say.
I dunno, I kinda chuckled appreciatively at this. It's not a smart point and I don't want to stick my neck out defending it. But it's at least an attempt at... nuance and characterization or something?

Aside from the obvious counters (all teams lose at home and... I don't even want to get into refuting the alpha thing), I think the larger point that this perspective misses is that C's are a relatively young team that just added two starters, so they only look to only get better so long as Wyc can stomach paying the bills. Whatever choppy qualities that people perceive now (in spite of their historical greatness) are likely to get smoothed out as the team potentially continues to improve.

Edit: spelling
 

lars10

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I dunno, I kinda chuckled appreciatively at this. It's not a smart point and I don't want to stick my neck out defending it. But it's at least an attempt at... nuance and characterization or something?

Aside from the obvious counters (all teams lose at home and... I don't even want to get into refuting the alpha thing), I think the larger point that this perspective misses is that C's are a relatively young team that just added two starters, so they only look to only get better so long as Wyc can stomach paying for the bills. Whatever choppy qualities that people perceive now (in spite of their historical greatness) are likely to get smoothed out as the team potentially continues to improve.

Edit: spelling
I think it’s more of a changing of the goalposts.. I’m sure there’s a clip where he said they would never win for those exact same reasons. I haven’t heard Cowherd, intentionally, in years.. really nice to have omitted that blowhard from my brain.
 

lars10

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Is there any quote out there that tells us what Luka said to Al? I’d like to think it was something like.. “you’re the only one out here that I can fake out because you move slower than I do..”
 

tims4wins

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Jul 15, 2005
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I dunno, I kinda chuckled appreciatively at this. It's not a smart point and I don't want to stick my neck out defending it. But it's at least an attempt at... nuance and characterization or something?

Aside from the obvious counters (all teams lose at home and... I don't even want to get into refuting the alpha thing), I think the larger point that this perspective misses is that C's are a relatively young team that just added two starters, so they only look to only get better so long as Wyc can stomach paying the bills. Whatever choppy qualities that people perceive now (in spite of their historical greatness) are likely to get smoothed out as the team potentially continues to improve.

Edit: spelling
Actually, I do wonder how long this run will last from the perspective that they have the perfect team this year, but 1) Al is old and while signed next year, may retire; 2) Jrue is getting older; and 3) KP is fragile. The team could look a lot different in May 2025 than it does today. Which is ok, that's the NBA. But instead of the Celts being THE favorite, they'd only be a legit contender amongst a small handful of other teams.

However, that is for the offseason thread which we can start on Friday night around 11pm.
 

m0ckduck

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I think it’s more of a changing of the goalposts.. I’m sure there’s a clip where he said they would never win for those exact same reasons. I haven’t heard Cowherd, intentionally, in years.. really nice to have omitted that blowhard from my brain.
That's fair. I've literally never heard Cowherd before, except excerpted when people are complaining about him here.

I'd never really consumed Timpf before but his segments have been the only tolerable and informative analysis I've been able to find anywhere. (Edit: I should caveat that some of the really hardcore X's and O's content is good and unbiased but just not my thing personally.) He seems to be the one person who watching the same Finals series as I am. Everyone else, I can hardly even believe some of the takes I'm witnessing.
 

Saints Rest

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Luka is Greg Maddux, if after Maddux pitched the ball then he sat on the mound and refused to participate in fielding, Luka is the best player in using time and space on the offensive end of the court. His feel for disturbing defensive rhythms is the best I have ever seen. Other players try to use speed or their handle. Luka plays entirely on exploiting expectations and reflexes of a defender.

Him and Joker just live in space and time. They understand what defenders do, what they want to do, and what they react to.
Luka is Manny Ramirez if you want a baseball comp. Brilliant offensively, and completely uninterested/incapable on defense despite getting stats there (Luka gets steals, Manny got assists).
 

mostman

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That's fair. I've literally never heard Cowherd before, except excerpted when people are complaining about him here.

I'd never really consumed Timpf before but his segments have been the only tolerable and informative analysis I've been able to find anywhere. He seems to be the one person who watching the same Finals series as I am. Everyone else, I can hardly even believe some of the takes I'm witnessing.
Lots of people (including the media) are consuming these games on social media or things like YTTV key plays. You are watching the games from opening tip off to final horn and probably spending time watching off-ball action. That’s the difference.
 

BaseballJones

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Stats by quarter (games 1+2):

First Q
- Luka: 3-7, 5-7 = 8-14 (57.1%)
- Kyrie: 2-5, 4-5 = 6-10 (60.0%)
- Tatum: 1-2, 0-4 = 1-6 (16.7%)
- Brown: 1-3, 1-3 = 2-6 (33.3%)

Second Q
- Luka: 4-7, 4-6 = 8-13 (61.5%)
- Kyrie: 1-4, 1-5 = 2-9 (22.2%)
- Tatum: 2-6, 2-5 = 4-11 (36.4%)
- Brown: 4-4, 2-2 = 6-6 (100.0%)

Third Q
- Luka: 4-8, 2-2 = 6-10 (60.0%)
- Kyrie: 3-10, 0-3 = 3-13 (23.1%)
- Tatum: 2-3, 3-6 = 5-9 (55.6%)
- Brown: 1-4, 2-5 = 3-9 (33.3%)

Fourth Q
- Luka: 1-4, 1-6 = 2-10 (20.0%)
- Kyrie: 0-0, 2-5 = 2-5 (40.0%)
- Tatum: 1-5, 1-7 = 2-12 (16.7%)
- Brown: 1-1, 3-5 = 4-6 (66.7%)
 

lars10

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That's fair. I've literally never heard Cowherd before, except excerpted when people are complaining about him here.

I'd never really consumed Timpf before but his segments have been the only tolerable and informative analysis I've been able to find anywhere. (Edit: I should caveat that some of the really hardcore X's and O's content is good and unbiased but just not my thing personally.) He seems to be the one person who watching the same Finals series as I am. Everyone else, I can hardly even believe some of the takes I'm witnessing.
I listen to Timpf alone when he does his youtube videos..Reddick and LeBron have been very good.. Richard Jefferson has also been very good. He was on with Reddick at one point and was quite imciteful and pretty funny.. he also has a podcast with Perkins after game two that wasn’t bad (even though he’s rooting for Kidd and Kyrie because he played with them).
 

m0ckduck

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Lots of people (including the media) are consuming these games on social media or things like YTTV key plays. You are watching the games from opening tip off to final horn and probably spending time watching off-ball action. That’s the difference.
This is about to get very digressive, but: the prevalence of really dumb takes (e.g. everything involving Kyrie being a top NBA player) makes more sense the moment you spend a lot of time in a basketball place outside the US. Where I live (Berlin, Germany), basketball has a bigger and bigger footprint in terms of the number of kids who play, the infrastructure of the youth leagues, etc... and yet, when I talk to kids, most of them don't know much about the NBA. And, why should they? The games take place in the middle of the night and involve cities they have no association with. What they know is a few players, and their opinions are filtered through other people's opinions.

Of course, there's plenty of dumb home-grown opinions as well. But, as basketball expands globally, I do wonder if there will be an ever-widening gulf between the actual games (which take a real commitment to actually watch if you live overseas) and then the "packaged for export" market of clips and takes that are kinda NBA-adjacent but aren't really connected to winning team basketball.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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View attachment 83963

Tatum driving. Not a single guy in the paint for Dallas. Now they DID collapse on him, but initially, that's as wide open a lane as you're ever going to see in the NBA.

But look, you guys might be right. Maybe Tatum is getting double and triple teamed more than the other guys. I would just like to see the actual data on that.
Kryie is definitely attracting lots of attention (and I noted somewhere that the Cs are playing off of non-shooters like Green and DJJ) but if you want to be certain how BOS is playing Luka, NBA.com has clips of all 22 of Luka's shots. Here's his first attempt. Doncic drives and Jrue hedges so it looks like he's being doubled-team but at the end, everyone is staying at home on their man and Luka has a 1 v 1 against White that he makes. (See two pics below.)

I mean the defensive strategies are completely different. BOS is taking away corner 3Ps and lobs. DAL is taking away JT and hoping he forces up bad shots (which is why Kidd made the JB comment yesterday - he was trying to get JT to "prove" he was the best player on the floor).

83967

83968
 

bakahump

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This team is just awesome. Not just from a Basketball perspective but the fact they really seem like a family. Tito as some kind of Grandpa to Deuce and Ean, The kids high fiving everyone. All the players seemingly treating even the lowest staff (Hall monitor lady) with Fist pump respect. Jrue stopping everything to say basically you sonsabitches arent going to generate some kinda drama I love both JT and JB. Kornet being Kornet. CJM as some kind of hypercompetitive psychopath.

Its just fun with this whole team.
 

HomeRunBaker

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If there are only three Celtics past half court, why the F are all the Mavericks defenders above the three point line? What's the guy in the lower left doing? Guarding empty space? If the Mavs pack the paint all the time when Tatum has the ball and Boston has shooters all around the perimeter, why is Dallas not packing the paint when Tatum has the ball and the Celtics are missing two of their guys in the front court?

Turns out, White was open in the lower left corner, and the only guy not in the play for Boston was Porzingis, who trailed the play. So why wasn't his man (Luka) standing out at the three point line instead of stepping in to help on Tatum? I feel like the screaming guy would have a field day with this play.

So we can maybe just chalk this up to Dallas playing sucky defense I guess.
It’s more detailed than “Dallas playing sucky defense” as their defense has been elite for months now despite the Luka/Kyrie no-defense narrative. The Dallas defense IN TRANSITION however is downright awful but they have faced teams thus far in the playoffs who are unable to exploit this glaring hole. Even the Celtics have been neutralized somewhat in this area but on that particular play the Mavericks are retreating and on their heels…..so yeah they will not be positionally responsible with Tatum going downhill putting pressure on them.
 

BaseballJones

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Kryie is definitely attracting lots of attention (and I noted somewhere that the Cs are playing off of non-shooters like Green and DJJ) but if you want to be certain how BOS is playing Luka, NBA.com has clips of all 22 of Luka's shots. Here's his first attempt. Doncic drives and Jrue hedges so it looks like he's being doubled-team but at the end, everyone is staying at home on their man and Luka has a 1 v 1 against White that he makes. (See two pics below.)

I mean the defensive strategies are completely different. BOS is taking away corner 3Ps and lobs. DAL is taking away JT and hoping he forces up bad shots (which is why Kidd made the JB comment yesterday - he was trying to get JT to "prove" he was the best player on the floor).

View attachment 83967

View attachment 83968
It's so weird then. I mean, Dallas has two studs, but Boston is defending EVERYONE instead of focusing on the two studs. Meanwhile, Boston has a bunch of guys that can score a ton, and instead of guarding them all, Dallas is throwing waves of defenders at just one guy (Tatum)?
 

BaseballJones

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It’s more detailed than “Dallas playing sucky defense” as their defense has been elite for months now despite the Luka/Kyrie no-defense narrative. The Dallas defense IN TRANSITION however is downright awful but they have faced teams thus far in the playoffs who are unable to exploit this glaring hole. Even the Celtics have been neutralized somewhat in this area but on that particular play the Mavericks are retreating and on their heels…..so yeah they will not be positionally responsible with Tatum going downhill putting pressure on them.
I guess this is how the modern world is different from when I played. We were taught in transition D to run to the paint, defend the rim, and only then work out from there. Here it looks like Dallas' transition D is designed to take away the three and allow a drive into the paint. Different world for sure.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Mar 5, 2007
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Is JD Davison with the team, and if not, why not? (I understand why he's not playing, just was wondering whether he's along for the ride.)