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 .

Cornboy14

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Really good article on how BOS's defense took DAL out of several actions it wanted to do. Also breaks down a SLOB play by referenncing the Reddick/LBJ pod: https://www.sbnation.com/2024/6/18/24180716/nba-finals-game-5-celtics-mavericks-luka-doncic-kyrie-jaylen-brown

From that article (video from June 10 so not including all of the games):
PJ Washington, Derrick Jones Jr., Josh Green, and Maxi Kleber
First 3 rounds: • 63/148 (42.6%) on corner 3s (8.7 attempts per game) • 27/85 (31.8%) on ATB 3s (5.0 attempts per game)
Finals: • 1/6 (16.7%) on corner 3s (2 attempts per game) • 2/13 (15.4%) on ATB 3s (6.5 attempts per game)
Celtics have been sending extra bodies to act as gap/nail help in order to clog driving lanes, having their centers guard poor ATB shooters and sag off to contain side PnRs, and staying home on the corners and funneling passes ATB.
I ran the numbers for the series
Corner
Washington 1-7
Jones 1-4
Green 4-6
Kleber 1-1
7-18 38.9% - 3.6 attempts per game

ATB
Washington 5-15
Jones 2-8
Green 2-5
Kleber 0-5
9-33 27.3% - 6.6 attempts per game.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I ran the numbers for the series
Corner
Washington 1-7
Jones 1-4
Green 4-6
Kleber 1-1
7-18 38.9% - 3.6 attempts per game

ATB
Washington 5-15
Jones 2-8
Green 2-5
Kleber 0-5
9-33 27.3% - 6.6 attempts per game.
Thanks for doing that. So by my calculations, DAL came into the series averaging 15.9 points per game from those 4 on corner and ATB 3Ps. In the BOS series, they averaged 9.6 (I would presume it would be even lower if G4 were taken out).

6 points per game fewer is a lot in a NBA game. These are the margins that CJM talks about.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Thinking Basketball comes out with their podcast - a paean to the Cs as a team. Using its BPM metric, the TB guys found that the difference in top to bottom starter BPM for BOS this year was the lowest ever. The previous two lows were 2004 DET and 2014 SAS.

(2020 LAL had the highest difference.)

Also discusses some of the adjustments BOS made in G5. But most notably, had segments for JT, JB, Jrue, and White that are incredible to watch.

View: https://youtu.be/vh8IrVs6lto?si=rQUKXG77P5wQZHKv
 

benhogan

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Thinking Basketball comes out with their podcast - a paean to the Cs as a team. Using its BPM metric, the TB guys found that the difference in top to bottom starter BPM for BOS this year was the lowest ever. The previous two lows were 2004 DET and 2014 SAS.

(2020 LAL had the highest difference.)

Also discusses some of the adjustments BOS made in G5. But most notably, had segments for JT, JB, Jrue, and White that are incredible to watch.

View: https://youtu.be/vh8IrVs6lto?si=rQUKXG77P5wQZHKv
Celtic porn.

This team is repeating with decent health.

Now that Tatum can guard lithe 5s, I'd like to see CJM experiment with a small-ball lineup of JAYs/Jrue/White + Hauser more than he did this past season
 

lovegtm

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Celtic porn.

This team is repeating with decent health.

Now that Tatum can guard lithe 5s, I'd like to see CJM experiment with a small-ball lineup of JAYs/Jrue/White + Hauser more than he did this past season
Based on how much the Celtics like to play true bigs, even playing 2bigz when not necessary, I think there's a really strong internal philosophy that having real big men on the floor is impactful.

They're clearly open-minded: they went to Tatum-at-the-5 some in the playoffs, and the appeal is clear. There's something about size/bulk that moves the needle though.
 

lovegtm

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The 2004 Pistons were a true ensemble champion, with no top 10 players, and only two players who ever won all-NBA honors but no first team selections.

This video starts out by saying Boston isn’t led by a superstar. Jayson Tatum is a three time first team all-NBA superstar. Claiming that this team doesn’t have a superstar is ridiculous. Jaylen Brown is a season removed from being a second team all-NBA player.

I’m not arguing that there isn’t a great ensemble cast around the Jays. I just think this claim that Boston isn’t led by a superstar is insulting to Tatum.
If people just thought of Tatum as a 6-9 elite PG who guarded anyone on D, everything would make sense. Similarly, they should think of Brown as an elite playmaking wing in the PG/Kawhi/Butler archetype, who can raise his defense to (almost, not quite) Kawhi-type levels in 16-game settings. He's already a better passer than Kawhi ever was, and people aren't pricing in how soon he'll be ahead of PG and Jimmy.

Tatum-as-PG makes everything make sense. You stop dinging him for having good teammates, and start to appreciate how he sets everything up for them on and off ball.
 

chrisfont9

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It had bothered me that the Cs defensive potential (when fully engaged) Received too little attention under the onslaught of a national media obsessed with scoring stars. Our own fans often gave into this thinking. But this shit is real, and now everyone sees it. So when the next Damian Lillard is offered as trade bait, maybe we can ridicule the team that takes the bait. Horst really deserves a playoff share for that one.
 

benhogan

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If people just thought of Tatum as a 6-9 elite PG who guarded anyone on D, everything would make sense. Similarly, they should think of Brown as an elite playmaking wing in the PG/Kawhi/Butler archetype, who can raise his defense to (almost, not quite) Kawhi-type levels in 16-game settings. He's already a better passer than Kawhi ever was, and people aren't pricing in how soon he'll be ahead of PG and Jimmy.

Tatum-as-PG makes everything make sense. You stop dinging him for having good teammates, and start to appreciate how he sets everything up for them on and off ball.
JT is clearly thought of as a superstar. 3X First Team All-NBA, starting All-Star games, Olympic Team, DARKO, MVP voting, etc tells us how the media/analytics/public view him.

The Thinking Basketball guys are great and love the entire Celtic cast. I'm sure Corey considers Tatum a superstar

Any Tatum criticism starts & ends with his 3pt shooting (28.3% over 19 games) in the playoffs this year.
He did 10 other things on a very high level so he's still a superstar.

Folks are being a little too sensitive about Tatum's standing
 

benhogan

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So when the next Damian Lillard is offered as trade bait, maybe we can ridicule the team that takes the bait. Horst really deserves a playoff share for that one.
Ha. Preach

Watching Luka get relentlessly hunted in the FINALS was obscene. I'm sure 28 other NBA teams took notes. If Fat Luka reappears next Fall, teams will go after him even more than the C's did.

Your defense is only as strong as your weakest link.
 

Euclis20

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Ha. Preach

Watching Luka get relentlessly hunted in the FINALS was obscene. I'm sure 28 other NBA teams took notes. If Fat Luka reappears next Fall, teams will go after him even more than the C's did.

Your defense is only as strong as your weakest link.
I think people kind of knew this, but the recent success of Steph and Jokic made people think you could still win a title with a below average defender as your star. What a lot don't realize is that Steph and Jokic are both about average defensively (and are very smart, and their teams know how to hide their weaknesses), while calling Luka below average would be a tremendous compliment, and it's baffling that as smart as he is offensively, he is one of the dumbest (and laziest) defenders out there. Dallas needed Luka to be closer to the Steph/Jokic scale of defender, instead he's been solidly in the Young/Lillard/Haliburton level.
 

joe dokes

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Jeez. That's no way for a grown man to talk to his own brother.

Apologies if this has been posted already but I took a glance through and didnt see it. I just came across Grande's call of the final 90 seconds or so and it was damned good:
View: https://twitter.com/Celtics_Junkies/status/1803109349843214845
Thank goodness for radio. He was great all series. That he saved me from the ABC crew was the added bonus.
 

koufax32

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In an alternate universe where I discover a diamond mine and could afford front row seats to that game, I, along with my court side friends,would have come dressed in full matador costume complete with red cape. Any time someone got by Luka, we’d let out a lusty “ole’!” and swing the cape around with a flourish.

I’ll be glad to do this next season when Dallas comes back or chip in a few bucks to a GoFundMe for a SoSHer to do this.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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This team is repeating with decent health.

Now that Tatum can guard lithe 5s, I'd like to see CJM experiment with a small-ball lineup of JAYs/Jrue/White + Hauser more than he did this past season
I'd do the TL thing with KP - shut him down until the All-Star break and ramp him up slowly so that he's ready for the playoffs. No need to play him 1st half of the season.

The JT at the 5 lineup got smoked by DAL in G5. -6 in 1.6 minutes, good for a NetRtg of -150.0. :)
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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It had bothered me that the Cs defensive potential (when fully engaged) Received too little attention under the onslaught of a national media obsessed with scoring stars. Our own fans often gave into this thinking. But this shit is real, and now everyone sees it. So when the next Damian Lillard is offered as trade bait, maybe we can ridicule the team that takes the bait. Horst really deserves a playoff share for that one.
I said before the series that i hoped BOS would show people how important defense is. After all, I've been hearing a lot of "good offense beats good defense". Well, BOS v DAL played out pretty much like I thought they would but no one is talking about defense.

For all the talk about the "greatest offensive backcourt in NBA history" no one was talking about how BOS has pretty much the ideal defensive roster for the current era.

Great defense doesn't have to "beat" great offense. It just has to slow the offense down.
 

Spelunker

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I'd do the TL thing with KP - shut him down until the All-Star break and ramp him up slowly so that he's ready for the playoffs. No need to play him 1st half of the season.

The JT at the 5 lineup got smoked by DAL in G5. -6 in 1.6 minutes, good for a NetRtg of -150.0. :)
Well, it wasn't really JT at the 5 right? It was JT at the 5 and *not* another big at the 4.

That setup clearly didn't work
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Yeah, that's what I mean. Tatum played a lot of 5 over the series, and it was key to killing their lob offense. It just failed when we didn't have another big out there.
Oh I get it. I guess I was confused because I don't really see JT switching on to 5s the same as playing the 5 but that's just terminology.

It was really in reference to benhogan's suggestion that BOS play lineups with JT as the biggest player - specifically the three Jays, DW, and Hauser.

As Love said upthread, I don't think the Cs will play it a lot. CJM loves his bigs for some reason (someone should ask him at some point).
 

benhogan

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Oh I get it. I guess I was confused because I don't really see JT switching on to 5s the same as playing the 5 but that's just terminology.

It was really in reference to benhogan's suggestion that BOS play lineups with JT as the biggest player - specifically the three Jays, DW, and Hauser.

As Love said upthread, I don't think the Cs will play it a lot. CJM loves his bigs for some reason (someone should ask him at some point).
Yea, I know they like to run 2BIGs with KP, Al, & Luke, etc AND I'm certainly not suggesting JAYs/DW/JH/SH should be a main package.

BUT CJM used that small ball lineup for less than 20 minutes during the regular season.

It may be a good idea to practice it before expecting production during the playoffs.

I don't care that much about the regular season to shy away from it over short minutes
 

benhogan

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I'd do the TL thing with KP - shut him down until the All-Star break and ramp him up slowly so that he's ready for the playoffs. No need to play him 1st half of the season.
Agree. I'm the shrink-wrap guy.

KP will get surgery and they should handle him & Horford with kid gloves again (they severely cut back Al's mpg).

They can live with major Luke or Tillman or Queta minutes
 

chrisfont9

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I said before the series that i hoped BOS would show people how important defense is. After all, I've been hearing a lot of "good offense beats good defense". Well, BOS v DAL played out pretty much like I thought they would but no one is talking about defense.

For all the talk about the "greatest offensive backcourt in NBA history" no one was talking about how BOS has pretty much the ideal defensive roster for the current era.

Great defense doesn't have to "beat" great offense. It just has to slow the offense down.
Fuck em, we'll beat them all a second time!
 

Euclis20

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All you need is two All NBA, 2-way wings under the age of 27.
and two do-everything guards who are three-level scorers.
Two all-NBA 2-way wings, two all defense guards that can score at all three levels, and a couple of centers who are above average defenders that can shoot 40% on open 3s. It's easier than drafting or signing the next Lebron, I guess.
 

Jakarta

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Oh I get it. I guess I was confused because I don't really see JT switching on to 5s the same as playing the 5 but that's just terminology.

It was really in reference to benhogan's suggestion that BOS play lineups with JT as the biggest player - specifically the three Jays, DW, and Hauser.

As Love said upthread, I don't think the Cs will play it a lot. CJM loves his bigs for some reason (someone should ask him at some point).
I think it just shows how much they value rim protection. The other main defensive principals - limiting penetration, contesting 3s - can be done with almost any lineup. But rim protection is harder to find, and also allows for better rotations to the 3 point line knowing there is a big guy back there, which leads to a strong desire to always have someone on the floor who does that somewhat well.
 

m0ckduck

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Just watched the 4th Q and it often feels like Luka's only on the court when the Mavs have the ball and not even there on the other end. Half the Wolves possessions, he's camped out in the paint, sucking air and not connected to his defensive assignment at all. I'm far from the first person to mention this, but how can the Wolves give him so many possessions off? Half the time, they're running P-n-Rs to get Edwards switched onto Gafford instead of onto Doncic. I don't understand it, but I will certainly go insane if the C's don't hunt him more.
This was me in the Mavs-Wolves series, going nuts watching the Wolves fail to hunt Luka effectively. I just heard in that Thinking Basketball video that the Celtics put him in 17 pick-and-roll actions per game through the Finals, double what Minnesota did. (Marv Albert voice: ) Yes!
 

lars10

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This was me in the Mavs-Wolves series, going nuts watching the Wolves fail to hunt Luka effectively. I just heard in that Thinking Basketball video that the Celtics put him in 17 pick-and-roll actions per game through the Finals, double what Minnesota did. (Marv Albert voice: ) Yes!
The subtle changes that Boston made every game and every series were amazing. Thinking Basketball goes through the changes they made between games 4 and 5 and they made such a huge difference on offense. Incredible that they can make those subtle shifts in two days and change...with part of that being traveling.
 

m0ckduck

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After all, I've been hearing a lot of "good offense beats good defense".
I mean, there is kernel of truth to "good offense beats good defense." It just gets taken way out of hand. A team of five guys with great offense and no defense would beat a team of five players equally slanted in the opposite direction. This is because defense can be schemed more than offense (for example, the all-offense-no-defense team can play zone to reduce their exposure) so you can better coach your way into something approximating acceptable D. But the balance between the two is something like 60-40 or 65-35, whereas— you're right— the public discussion tends to treat defense as a footnote outside of blockzz and stealzz.
 
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lovegtm

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The subtle changes that Boston made every game and every series were amazing. Thinking Basketball goes through the changes they made between games 4 and 5 and they made such a huge difference on offense. Incredible that they can make those subtle shifts in two days and change...with part of that being traveling.
As I've said a lot now, Mazzulla's combination of scheme, buy-in and player implementation is really underrated. It's not just Xs and Os: it's more like running a company well.
 

lars10

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As I've said a lot now, Mazzulla's combination of scheme, buy-in and player implementation is really underrated. It's not just Xs and Os: it's more like running a company well.
Joe does jiu jitsu.. correct? Or some sort of martial art? Game 5 was basically using Dallas’ aggressiveness against them. Moving Horford through the lane to the corner forced their bigs to follow and clear the lane. Basically took their momentum and forced them to do things they don’t want to do.
 

Saints Rest

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I think it just shows how much they value rim protection. The other main defensive principals - limiting penetration, contesting 3s - can be done with almost any lineup. But rim protection is harder to find, and also allows for better rotations to the 3 point line knowing there is a big guy back there, which leads to a strong desire to always have someone on the floor who does that somewhat well.
Wasn't there talk on here when Tillman was acquired about how, despite his size, he was an excellent rim-protector?
 

Red Right Ankle

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Jimbodandy

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Wasn't there talk on here when Tillman was acquired about how, despite his size, he was an excellent rim-protector?
He's absolutely here for his defense for sure. He's a very good defender. I wouldn't say "excellent rim-protector", but he absolutely plays much better than his height. His wingspan is 7'2", with a standing reach of 8'10". For a guy his height, that's pretty damn good.

If he could even approach Marcus level of 3PT accuracy, he'd be a poor man's Al. If he comes back, I'd hope that Brad has him working on that.
 

InstaFace

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He's absolutely here for his defense for sure. He's a very good defender. I wouldn't say "excellent rim-protector", but he absolutely plays much better than his height. His wingspan is 7'2", with a standing reach of 8'10". For a guy his height, that's pretty damn good.

If he could even approach Marcus level of 3PT accuracy, he'd be a poor man's Al. If he comes back, I'd hope that Brad has him working on that.
Yeah I think part of his appeal defensively is that he can guard wings and can kinda even guard guards, without being a Kornet-like traffic cone. He gives some of that back on things like Lively lobs, as we saw, but that strength of his fits how we want to play as a team, with zero weak perimeter defenders (KP is big, but he's got a TimeLord type sense of how to reach the perimeter in 1-2 steps, while maintaining balance, so that his guy isn't just left open - so he's great for our perimeter D).

The other thing about Tillman is that he's got Greg Oden Face, he looks like he's 40 but he's actually only 25. There's some improvement you could bet on him making yet, whereas Kornet will only be tinkering around the edges imo.
 

NomarsFool

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Yeah I think part of his appeal defensively is that he can guard wings and can kinda even guard guards, without being a Kornet-like traffic cone. He gives some of that back on things like Lively lobs, as we saw, but that strength of his fits how we want to play as a team, with zero weak perimeter defenders (KP is big, but he's got a TimeLord type sense of how to reach the perimeter in 1-2 steps, while maintaining balance, so that his guy isn't just left open - so he's great for our perimeter D).

The other thing about Tillman is that he's got Greg Oden Face, he looks like he's 40 but he's actually only 25. There's some improvement you could bet on him making yet, whereas Kornet will only be tinkering around the edges imo.
Tillman always reminds me of some ‘red shirt’ in an action or sci-fi movie. Or maybe not quite red shirt, but just one of the characters that gets killed off relatively early.
 

Eric Fernsten's Disco Mustache

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He's absolutely here for his defense for sure... If he could even approach Marcus level of 3PT accuracy, he'd be a poor man's Al
Yeah I think part of his appeal defensively is that he can guard wings and can kinda even guard guards, without being a Kornet-like traffic cone
the outside shooting from Tillman is key for him getting sustained minutes in our offense

I saw a stat somewhere (and I don't remember where or I'd give credit) that the single biggest drop-off in shooting % from regular season to the playoffs is by big men who play under the rim. That's Tillman if he's trying to create looks in the paint.

But he's a good passer, a good weak-side cutter, and if he can hit catch-and-shoot threes for a high enough % that defender don't sag off of him than he's absolutely playable as part of the rotation.

That last-- plus just having an off season and training camp and October-to-December to get instinctive in how we play at both ends of the court are the two keys to his potential upside for Boston