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 .

lars10

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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)?
Boston is cheating to help on Luka and Kyrie.. they’re just only giving up above the break threes to bad shooters. They’ve taken away lobs and corner threes which were the things Dallas was best at outside of L and K
 

mostman

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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).

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Love that first shot of Tatum playing the 5, denying the lob while staying close enough to the paint to get the board if Luka misses. Thats a great game plan against Luka. Al is sort of in the same setup on the right side. But he’s building out more to defend the 3.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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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)?
It's not weird, it's personnel. DAL has had to play this way because if they didn't, teams would be getting layup after dunk after layup. So DAL has had to make things difficult at the rim and their entire defense has been premised on rim protection (I posted the stats on FG% on drives by DAL opponents throughout the playoffs). DAL has been willing to give up 3Ps to other teams because they have been playing teams like RWB (23.5% from 3P), Amir Coffey (27.3% from 3P in 112 minutes), Zubac (no 3P), Giddy, Chet, and Aaron Wiggins (18.8%, 22.2%, and 28.6% from 3P, respectively), and NAW, Anderson, and KAT (18.8%, 28.6%, and 24.2% from 3P).

At the end of the day, DAL basically gambled that the FG% of the shots they were willing to give up would be lower than the FG% of the shots Luka was able to generate.

But BOS turns this math on its head by getting guys into rotation and getting great shots - rim looks or open 3Ps and daring Luka to try to match that for 48 minutes.

As HRB has said, teams get to the Finals based on systems they've incorporated over the course of the year. It is unlikely to me that DAL could start staying at home on shooters and not help at the rim. But even if they did that, the shots JT and JB would generate against Luka and Kryie would be wildly better than shots Luka and Kryie are generating against our 4 potential all-defense guards and wings.

One corollary question that you didn't raise but is much more interesting to me - why didn't Chris Finch or Daignault basically do to DAL what BOS is? I mean both of those teams could hide their big guys on a non-shooter, play Luka 1 on 1, take away the corner 3Ps and the lobs (although OKC being so small probably would have a harder time doing that). Both of those teams lost because they sold out trying to stop Luka.

It will be interesting if BOS changes the way the entire league plays DAL next year.
 

Eddie Jurak

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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%)
Huh. Kyrie is a 12-minute man and Luka is a 36-minute man.
 

benhogan

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But I was told that LD/KI were the best closers in NBA history!
They probably are when they get to float around in the paint and not guard anyone on D (like Gobert)

I’ll save my Brad and Joe flowers for parade week.
Joe goes from "let them figure it out on their own" to "playing the right way throughout". His immediate use of the timeout shows tremendous growth as an HC.

Plus it must be nice to have a staff that isn't completely checked out.
 

Eric Fernsten's Disco Mustache

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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...
Boston is cheating to help on Luka and Kyrie..
I can't really keep up with the volume of stuff that's posted around here, so apologize if this point has been made and I should be crediting / quoting someone

In games 1 and 2 I think it's significant that Boston has only been bringing the second defender to the ball to hassle Luka when we're well into the third quarter and he's already somewhat gassed. IIRC, in game one we didn't start bringing a second defender to the ball until there were about four minutes left in the third. Luka would engineer switches until he got to take Hauser off the dribble. Hauser would then try to run Luka off his line without creating a lot of contact, and whoever the closest help defender was on Luka's blind side (away from the drive) would collapse from the rear to harass the dribble.

If game 2 we did the same thing when Pritchard was in the game at the start of the 4th.

In both cases it felt like we didn't want to gamble when Luka was fresh. But once he got tired, and his peripheral awareness/reaction times maybe slowed down a little, Joe and company decided to start throwing wrinkles at him


It will be interesting if BOS changes the way the entire league plays DAL next year.
It's a good point. It's a copycat league
 

Euclis20

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It will be interesting if BOS changes the way the entire league plays DAL next year.
It's a good point. It's a copycat league
Boston definitely has a gameplan that others could use, but without the personnel, I don't think it changes much, especially in the regular season. Attacking Luka and Kyrie this aggressively on offense doesn't work as well if you don't have the personnel to go to a true five out (and multiple guys that can effectively drive and kick). The Celtics can credibly guard Luka and Kyrie straight up with 2-3 guys, plus Tatum can guard the 5 and completely negate their desired pick and roll. How many other teams have Boston's personnel defensively? Offensively? Both?

This is a terrible matchup for Dallas.
 

NomarsFool

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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.
It’s funny when you talk to someone outside of your market who might only watch the YouTube highlights which only shows the shots the players make. It leads to a very different perception. Somebody who goes 10-30 with half of those makes highlight reel worthy looks like a really good player if you just watch on YouTube, but obviously going 10-30 is hurting your team.
 

Auger34

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Boston definitely has a gameplan that others could use, but without the personnel, I don't think it changes much, especially in the regular season. Attacking Luka and Kyrie this aggressively on offense doesn't work as well if you don't have the personnel to go to a true five out (and multiple guys that can effectively drive and kick). The Celtics can credibly guard Luka and Kyrie straight up with 2-3 guys, plus Tatum can guard the 5 and completely negate their desired pick and roll. How many other teams have Boston's personnel defensively? Offensively? Both?

This is a terrible matchup for Dallas.
Exactly. It's like trying to copy the Giants plan against the Patriots back in the day.

Yes, it's the best way to play them but you have to have a handful of really good pass rushers and most teams don't have that
 

lovegtm

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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.
The Mavs D has been repeatedly exploited in this series in the half-court, so I don't think it's just a transition thing. If the Celtics' open 3s were falling, the narrative would be even worse for Dallas.
 

slamminsammya

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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.
You’ve really been stuck on this narrative but it’s not what we are seeing. Luka is hobbled yes but he’s a complete sieve in the half court. their half court d cannot stop us and the only reason it hasn’t looked so bad statistically is we’ve missed open 3s. I don’t think a healthy Luka is giving much more on defense either. “he’s a positional defender” doesn’t matter much when they concede a switch to put him on the ball nearly every play.
 

lovegtm

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You’ve really been stuck on this narrative but it’s not what we are seeing. Luka is hobbled yes but he’s a complete sieve in the half court. their half court d cannot stop us and the only reason it hasn’t looked so bad statistically is we’ve missed open 3s. I don’t think a healthy Luka is giving much more on defense either. “he’s a positional defender” doesn’t matter much when they concede a switch to put him on the ball nearly every play.
Yeah, it's a cute narrative, but it doesn't match what we're seeing on the floor.

They were able to survive it in previous rounds, because those teams either had guys to help off (MIN, OKC sometimes), or aren't consistently great against closeouts/rotating defense (LAC, OKC sometimes). In those cases, you can absolutely work around Luka's limitations.

Claiming that a) he doesn't have significant limitations and b) the Celtics need transition to exploit him, is afactual.
 

Jimbodandy

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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.
Partly, but as HRB said well, transition and secondary transition D looks worse. It looks worse for any defense than when they can set first, but Dallas is particularly bad at it. Not a surprise that they didn't quite have any idea in that shot.

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.
It still kinda is the same. Most good defenses focus on stopping the ball in transition, especially when they're facing teams with elite transition guys like Giannis and Jaylen (Build the Wall), even Jayson. But you still need to have discipline to the corners and the rim, especially to the corner.
 

RorschachsMask

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Great video on this topic: Joe is telling them that, if it's not transition, they need to do the work to essentially turn the halfcourt into a transition situation. Particularly good at the end, when he's telling them not to "hit a homerun on the first drive." Textbook MazzullaBall:

View: https://twitter.com/TheHoopHerald/status/1800164284854669509
People always assume playing with pace means playing fast and running up and down the court, but it’s really not that.
 

InstaFace

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I didn't read / post in the game thread live, but upon reading it now, I'm pleased by the number of people who saw the first half and were saying things like "the offense looks fine, we're getting good looks, they're just not going in", emphasizing process over results even in the moment. Obviously some of the turnovers were sloppy and drew annoyance, as did the officiating (which I thought was equally bad both ways), but the fact that we're at least watching shot quality and movement level and not merely "ball go in?"-level appreciation of the offense is real nice.

They’re getting great looks, just can’t hit the open shots.
Shots aren't falling but they're getting looks and playing strong defense. Keep doing it.
The Celts managed to find a lot of hard rim couldn't get a bounce and took the Mavs punch and theyre up 3. Could be way worse.
As well as the usual quality content...
The Celtics swept the Mavs, here’s why that’s bad for Jayson Tatum’s legacy.
every time they show Shaq he's expressionless in the same position completely still. Someone should check on him
Weekend at Paul Pierce's!
 

lovegtm

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I didn't read / post in the game thread live, but upon reading it now, I'm pleased by the number of people who saw the first half and were saying things like "the offense looks fine, we're getting good looks, they're just not going in", emphasizing process over results even in the moment. Obviously some of the turnovers were sloppy and drew annoyance, as did the officiating (which I thought was equally bad both ways), but the fact that we're at least watching shot quality and movement level and not merely "ball go in?"-level appreciation of the offense is real nice.
The quality of MBPC discourse has really improved as people have learned what to watch for in the Celtics' offense (and defense, but offense in particular). There are reasonable differences of opinion, but I'm happy that the debates being had are of a much higher level than what I see elsewhere, and that the remedial basics of "how to watch the Celtics" have been covered.
 

Jimbodandy

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The quality of MBPC discourse has really improved as people have learned what to watch for in the Celtics' offense (and defense, but offense in particular). There are reasonable differences of opinion, but I'm happy that the debates being had are of a much higher level than what I see elsewhere, and that the remedial basics of "how to watch the Celtics" have been covered.
Word.

I'd say that we've all gotten past some of the stereotypes and old narratives around individual players as well. That's part of the frustration with some of the media, particularly the national media, who can't be bothered watching the games closely and doing some basic analysis. A number of players on this roster aren't the same guys that they were last year, the year before. The new players are part of unlocking that, but the carryover players have evolved in good ways through their own hard work and growth curves. Same for the coaches really. It's lazy to bring up shit from two years ago, when that stuff isn't happening now.
 

joe dokes

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People always assume playing with pace means playing fast and running up and down the court, but it’s really not that.
The "creating the 2-on-1s *in* the halfcourt even starting 5 v5" reminds me of hockey. Football, too, in a way. A lot of plays are designed to make a DB choose a receiver, or a depth, and then pass to the one not chosen. And soccer, of course. It's no wonder Pep Guardiola is his coaching guru.
 

ragnarok725

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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)?
It does seem like a weird inversion. But it makes sense in the match-up.

On the Mavs defense, I found this visual breakdown helpful. It demonstrates what was effective for their D in the Clippers and Thunder match-up, and why it doesn't work against the Celtics.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jz6FMilruM
 

lars10

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I can't really keep up with the volume of stuff that's posted around here, so apologize if this point has been made and I should be crediting / quoting someone

In games 1 and 2 I think it's significant that Boston has only been bringing the second defender to the ball to hassle Luka when we're well into the third quarter and he's already somewhat gassed. IIRC, in game one we didn't start bringing a second defender to the ball until there were about four minutes left in the third. Luka would engineer switches until he got to take Hauser off the dribble. Hauser would then try to run Luka off his line without creating a lot of contact, and whoever the closest help defender was on Luka's blind side (away from the drive) would collapse from the rear to harass the dribble.

If game 2 we did the same thing when Pritchard was in the game at the start of the 4th.

In both cases it felt like we didn't want to gamble when Luka was fresh. But once he got tired, and his peripheral awareness/reaction times maybe slowed down a little, Joe and company decided to start throwing wrinkles at him




It's a good point. It's a copycat league
What I meant.. more than Boston is cheating regularly.. there have been 5-10? maybe more, wide open threes for the Mavs because the defender has basically left them wide open to take it. The Marcus Smart defense..where you leave the player hoping he'll shoot until he proves he can make it. So far I think Dallas has made one of these threes from above the break? By contrast I can't really think of any uncontested threes from the corner.

I wonder if Dallas has an answer to that.. because their best 3 point shooter in the post season has been really only shooting amazing from the corners and has been mediocre elsewhere. Is Dallas going to set more picks? Their offense is sort of anti-movement.. it's a lot of Luka and Kyrie iso in the middle with everyone else either looking to shoot from three or come in for a lob.

Their offense didn't look good against Minn except when Luka went off. Wonder what they'll do to try and generate some easy buckets.
 

HomeRunBaker

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The Mavs D has been repeatedly exploited in this series in the half-court, so I don't think it's just a transition thing. If the Celtics' open 3s were falling, the narrative would be even worse for Dallas.
Right and I’ve also spoke endlessly about how even their half court defense is a terrible matchup against the Celtics due to us having weapons all over the floor.
 

shoelace

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Right and I’ve also spoke endlessly about how even their half court defense is a terrible matchup against the Celtics due to us having weapons all over the floor.
Do you think Luka has played good defense in this series? I'm genuinely asking. From where I am sitting, his defense has been bad, and almost scheme destroying for the Mavericks because he can't contain anyone off the dribble. It feels like they can get what they want when he is defending any Celtics ballhandler. Maybe the "Luka is actually solid in certain contexts" thing is true under some heavily prescribed circumstances, but he's been very bad in this series, and it seems like other coaching staffs just failed to exploit this huge weakness in his game.

It's interesting to watch Tatum take shit, some of it deserved (not shooting well, definitely had some issues with poor shot selection due to frustration in this game, etc), while hearing endless praise for Luka who has a negative assist to turnover ratio in the series and has been targeted relentlessly on D. He is incredible offensively, timing, court vision and body control, I agree with all that. But, I don't really see him impacting the game when the ball isn't in his hands and is often actively harming his team.
 

lovegtm

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The whole team is forcing him into tough shots, 1 on 1. Yeah he’s hitting a lot of them, but it’s mostly in the first half, and not consistently enough to have to aggressively collapse on him.
Yeah, unless you think Luka is an 80% shooter on contested fadeaways, those were not high-quality shots. I'd be shocked if his actual percentage on that range and contest level were over 45%, and probably closer to 37-40.
 

RorschachsMask

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I do know what the initial question was about lol, and yes Luka has scored when Tatum has been on him, which hasn’t been much. But it’s the same gameplan, just force him into a tough shot in isolation.

Luka is one of the best tough shot makers ever, that’s his thing.
 

lovegtm

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I do know what the initial question was about lol, and yes Luka has scored when Tatum has been on him, which hasn’t been much. But it’s the same gameplan, just force him into a tough shot in isolation.

Luka is one of the best tough shot makers ever, that’s his thing.
Yup, but it's not quality offense.

If your offense is based around tough shots, even for an all-time great, and that's not putting the defense into rotation, the team scoring is going to be awful.

Not to mention that the star will be more tired on D, can't do it every possession on O, and will wear down as the game goes along.
 

RorschachsMask

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Yup, but it's not quality offense.

If your offense is based around tough shots, even for an all-time great, and that's not putting the defense into rotation, the team scoring is going to be awful.

Not to mention that the star will be more tired on D, can't do it every possession on O, and will wear down as the game goes along.
You know where I stand on this.

Has been a gameplan masterclass.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Can someone find me Luka's stats when Tatum is his primary defender so far in this series?
P.S. I was wrong. If you go to team stats on NBA.com, you can select the "Matchups" drop down and while the filters are pretty rudimentary, they do aggregate the playoff rounds.

Luka v. BOS defenders in the Finals below.

83991

And just for fun, here's BOS versus Luka (note: I presume some of this is "lying with statistics" because once a BOS player has zoomed by Luka, he's no longer the closest defender and a bucket wouldn't count against him. Plus, you know, BOS moves the ball).

83992
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Obviously, I'm not arguing that Luka is a GOOD on-ball defender, but some of these blow-bys are so easy it looks to me like the Mavs know he can't stay in front of anyone and so they're funneling the driver into the middle of the lane and collapsing, hoping that JT or JB tries to finish over three guys and defending the corners so that the kickouts have to go at weird angles out above the break, then trying to rotate back to the corners and force the Cs to attack the close out along the baseline, which can lead to some hard shots.

Which I think is just rephrasing what a lot of people have said, but to me that's a coherent plan to puts a lot of pressure on Tatum/Brown and is a lot more defendable than just "Luka can't cover anyone." That might be true, but I'm not sure he's always TRYING to cover people.
 

TomRicardo

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It will be interesting if BOS changes the way the entire league plays DAL next year.
Those that could did. The Pacers absolutely wiped the floor with the Mavs. Golden State did this. The Nuggets lost by 2. That whole end the send run was more a product of their schedule than anything else. Outside the Nuggets, Sacramento was the only pure playoff team they beat after losing to the Celtics. They beat Miami twice and lost to GSW. Their back end schedule was a cake walk.

The Mavs got no Kawhi and got Westbrook, and OKC had Dort.

Minnesota is not set up to beat the Mavs.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Obviously, I'm not arguing that Luka is a GOOD on-ball defender, but some of these blow-bys are so easy it looks to me like the Mavs know he can't stay in front of anyone and so they're funneling the driver into the middle of the lane and collapsing, hoping that JT or JB tries to finish over three guys and defending the corners so that the kickouts have to go at weird angles out above the break, then trying to rotate back to the corners and force the Cs to attack the close out along the baseline, which can lead to some hard shots.

Which I think is just rephrasing what a lot of people have said, but to me that's a coherent plan to puts a lot of pressure on Tatum/Brown and is a lot more defendable than just "Luka can't cover anyone." That might be true, but I'm not sure he's always TRYING to cover people.
One small thing I just thought about so maybe it’s not true, but with regard to the bolded, it seems that the Cs are driving from the shot, which makes the kick-out to ATB shooters a better angle as opposed to drives from the top of the key. Would be neat if that was a coaching thing.
 

Jimbodandy

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One small thing I just thought about so maybe it’s not true, but with regard to the bolded, it seems that the Cs are driving from the shot, which makes the kick-out to ATB shooters a better angle as opposed to drives from the top of the key. Would be neat if that was a coaching thing.
The whole approach gets fubared anyway when the guy helping at the rim after the blow-by is leaving Jrue or Derrick at the dunker's spot for a layup.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Do you think Luka has played good defense in this series? I'm genuinely asking. From where I am sitting, his defense has been bad, and almost scheme destroying for the Mavericks because he can't contain anyone off the dribble. It feels like they can get what they want when he is defending any Celtics ballhandler. Maybe the "Luka is actually solid in certain contexts" thing is true under some heavily prescribed circumstances, but he's been very bad in this series, and it seems like other coaching staffs just failed to exploit this huge weakness in his game.

It's interesting to watch Tatum take shit, some of it deserved (not shooting well, definitely had some issues with poor shot selection due to frustration in this game, etc), while hearing endless praise for Luka who has a negative assist to turnover ratio in the series and has been targeted relentlessly on D. He is incredible offensively, timing, court vision and body control, I agree with all that. But, I don't really see him impacting the game when the ball isn't in his hands and is often actively harming his team.
It’s been awful no doubt but it’s been awful primarily due to our offensive personnel and schemes with his injuries clearly limiting him. Add all this to the offensive load he’s needing to carry and this is what we have.

We’ve been talking about this being a bad matchup for him (and Dallas) but the way JT and JB get him in space within the halfcourt and slice into the lane to avoid help has been brilliant and something that we clearly worked on in film. We’ve taken all of Doncic’s defensive strengths, his size instincts and ability to jump passing lanes, and eliminated them….while exploiting the Mavs team defense by being prepared for where the help is coming from and beating them to their spot.
 

RedOctober3829

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SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
55,995
deep inside Guido territory
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.
Friday night at 11 if they’re ending it my night is just getting started!