Romeo Langford - Pick #14

Jimbodandy

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If Tatum and Brown are truly franchised in, then Romeo will have to wait until Hayward leaves or agrees to a reduced workload but that is years of development from now.
Fwiw, I expect them to test Romeo out as a Smartian combo guard over time. If you caught some Maine games, he occasionally was initiating offense there. It's obviously a ways away before he could do that at the NBA level, but I could see that as a way that he can share minutes with Tatum and Brown. Smart really lacked the handle and vision for it, but learned. I think that Romeo could too, and has the wheels to stay in front of most smalls and the explosion to get in the lane himself. Fwiw.
 

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We should temper our enthusiasm considering how terrible this ATL team is.
He turned 20 at the end of October, and had 16 on 11, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks, and a steal with zero turnovers in and NBA game with no garbage time. Yeah the Hawks suck, especially without Trae, but that's a fine game regardless. I'm keeping mine.
 

BigSoxFan

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Love the tried and true SoSH tradition of the wet blanket post every time someone has the audacity to say something positive about a rookie.
 

lovegtm

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We should temper our enthusiasm considering how terrible this ATL team is.
I actually agree with you if we’re talking about his offense. I’m not excited there one way or another, other than he’s always looked strong going to the rim.

However, the defensive stuff he did well wasn’t opponent-specific, if that makes sense. He was playing the scheme really well and making the right play off-ball over and over, which is rare to see with 20 year-olds. With his physical talent, that is seriously promising.
 

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Awesome game for him, he was a legitimately good NBA wing tonight. So encouraging. Paying him and Grant a combine 7 mil, on average, for the next four years is gonna be huge.
my frustration towards Sacramento for being way too good last year and bombing our pick all the way down to #14 is going to be significantly lessened if there was nobody better that we could have had in the 5 next-highest picks, 9-13. Would you trade Langford for Rui Hachimura? Probably. You'd certainly trade him for #8 Jaxson Hayes, given our needs at center. Would you trade him for Tyler Herro or Cam Reddish? Probably not, right? (especially after what we saw the other night from Herro). Nor Cameron Johnson (MIN) or PJ Washington (Charlotte), as we're loaded at power forward. And below Langford, Brandon Clarke and Matisse Thybulle would be the only ones who'd really give you pause (and the latter was semi-promised to Philly).
 
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DannyDarwinism

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my frustration towards Sacramento for being way too good last year and bombing our pick all the way down to #14 is going to be significantly lessened if there was nobody better that we could have had in the 5 next-highest picks, 9-13. Would you trade Langford for Rui Hachimura? Probably. You'd certainly trade him for #8 Jaxson Hayes, given our needs at center. Would you trade him for Tyler Herro or Cam Reddish? Probably not, right? (especially after what we saw the other night from Herro). Nor Cameron Johnson (MIN) or PJ Washington (Charlotte), as we're loaded at power forward. And below Langford, Brandon Clarke and Matisse Thybulle would be the only ones who'd really give you pause (and the latter was semi-promised to Philly).
I’d take Hayes and Clarke. Probably Washington. I’d have to think more on Herro, but it’s close. Probably not Thybulle. Definitely not anyone else, but I’m still lower on Reddish and Hachimura than consensus. Oddly, I don’t think my preferences have changed since draft night about those guys, maybe with the exception of moving Herro up a bit.
 

lovegtm

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Seems early to make many evaluations: all these guys are pretty bunched. It’s encouraging that Langford has gotten himself back into the conversation.

If we’re speaking purely positionally, “long athletic wing who can play team defense and create off the dribble” is always going to be at the top of the list. But obviously the differences between the specific players matter.
 

benhogan

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I’d take Hayes and Clarke. Probably Washington. I’d have to think more on Herro, but it’s close. Probably not Thybulle. Definitely not anyone else, but I’m still lower on Reddish and Hachimura than consensus. Oddly, I don’t think my preferences have changed since draft night about those guys, maybe with the exception of moving Herro up a bit.
yea, agree with a lot of this.

I liked PJ Washington a lot on draft night and that hasn't changed. Still think he flies under the radar on that Bobcat team
 

NomarsFool

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Well, Sekou is 10 months younger than Langford - so I still would have preferred him as he also represents more of a position of need. His play has been all over the place this year. But again, he's learning on the fly in the NBA so I'm not sure the comparison is fair.

But, Romeo is who they drafted, so I hope they let him develop.
 

lovegtm

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Well, Sekou is 10 months younger than Langford - so I still would have preferred him as he also represents more of a position of need. His play has been all over the place this year. But again, he's learning on the fly in the NBA so I'm not sure the comparison is fair.

But, Romeo is who they drafted, so I hope they let him develop.
The Celtics clearly have an organizational philosophy that you can never have too many 6-4 to 6-8 defensive-minded guys who can handle the ball.

It makes a lot of sense: guys like JB/JT/Smart/Romeo can basically defend 1-4 (once they add strength) and play some combination of 1-4 on offense (as they add playmaking).

Whereas if you draft a big, even a promising one like Hayes, you have a 5. “Competent 5” is the easiest position to find in FA cheaply, especially if your offense is based around infinite playmaking wings. So even if you hit big by getting a pretty good 5 in the draft and developing him, your value delta isn’t as high.

The value of the Celtics strategy is showing this year, as center on the cheap hasn’t been a weakness, and their big wings have co-existed just fine, while giving a size+speed advantage in their matchups, even though an observer who doesn’t understand modern basketball would predict they’d be “redundant.”
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The Celtics clearly have an organizational philosophy that you can never have too many 6-4 to 6-8 defensive-minded guys who can handle the ball AND SCORE.
theory being that our wings are going to be either too big or too quick for your guys to guard, while on the other end being either quick or big enough to give your guys problems. It's working well this year, much better than last year when it seemed like the other teams were exploiting our wings for mismatches, rather than the other way around.

Romeo is going to be a problem for other teams next year, particularly if he progresses to be a primary initiator on the second unit.
 

lovegtm

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theory being that our wings are going to be either too big or too quick for your guys to guard, while on the other end being either quick or big enough to give your guys problems. It's working well this year, much better than last year when it seemed like the other teams were exploiting our wings for mismatches, rather than the other way around.

Romeo is going to be a problem for other teams next year, particularly if he progresses to be a primary initiator on the second unit.
Yeah exactly--on defense, the theory is basically that 2 > 1: we don't care if you have a guy or two who is bigger, because 2 6-6 guys can overwhelm any 7-footer, and we're fast/long enough to rotate and zone up the weak side.

The length+speed part is critical in this formula, and it's why I'm starting to think Tatum has "defensive system by himself" potential. Romeo has similar physical potential, and his early work as a help defender is pretty far ahead of JB as a rookie (possibly JB now tbh: JB low-key sucks in help, relative to his on-ball skill.)

Houston is actually the team taking all these theories to their logical conclusion, but I still think having a couple solid bigs is preferable, just because 5 6-5 guys flying around is too tiring for 82 games. Houston was forced into it because Westbrook is a non-shooter, and their offense wouldn't really work otherwise.
 

benhogan

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The Celtics clearly have an organizational philosophy that you can never have too many 6-4 to 6-8 defensive-minded guys who can handle the ball.

It makes a lot of sense: guys like JB/JT/Smart/Romeo can basically defend 1-4 (once they add strength) and play some combination of 1-4 on offense (as they add playmaking).

Whereas if you draft a big, even a promising one like Hayes, you have a 5. “Competent 5” is the easiest position to find in FA cheaply, especially if your offense is based around infinite playmaking wings. So even if you hit big by getting a pretty good 5 in the draft and developing him, your value delta isn’t as high.

The value of the Celtics strategy is showing this year, as center on the cheap hasn’t been a weakness, and their big wings have co-existed just fine, while giving a size+speed advantage in their matchups, even though an observer who doesn’t understand modern basketball would predict they’d be “redundant.”
Very true, this basically lays out the Celtic/modern NBA roster construction. More chicken wings, please.

Actually losing Horford, and not signing him to a Philly 4yr deal, opened up all kinds of possibilities for Danny/Brad. It even has me questioning if Myles Turner's contract is all that cheap? With more teams filling out their roster with versatile wings, the glut of perfectly fine 5s will be hitting free agency this summer. The basic Law of Supply/Demand is going to continue to drive their prices down and is why Drummond fetched jetsam & flotsam in the trade market & WCS (15/10 last night), at $2MM/yr, only cost a late 2nd rounder.

If anything Danny should be hesitant to draft a center in round 1 (Memphis pick) and have to guarantee them money. The C's will easily be able to find multiple, experienced 5s on the cheap/short deals this summer if they want (PLUS they have Theis, VP, TL already signed - Tacko option)
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Yeah exactly--on defense, the theory is basically that 2 > 1: we don't care if you have a guy or two who is bigger, because 2 6-6 guys can overwhelm any 7-footer, and we're fast/long enough to rotate and zone up the weak side.

The length+speed part is critical in this formula, and it's why I'm starting to think Tatum has "defensive system by himself" potential. Romeo has similar physical potential, and his early work as a help defender is pretty far ahead of JB as a rookie (possibly JB now tbh: JB low-key sucks in help, relative to his on-ball skill.)

Houston is actually the team taking all these theories to their logical conclusion, but I still think having a couple solid bigs is preferable, just because 5 6-5 guys flying around is too tiring for 82 games. Houston was forced into it because Westbrook is a non-shooter, and their offense wouldn't really work otherwise.
Hey thanks for breaking down RLs 2nd half v ATL. Very neat.

One thing I just learned from this article - https://www.celticsblog.com/2020/2/8/21129387/romeo-langford-is-earning-his-time-on-the-defensive-end-boston-celtics-atlanta-hawks - Romeo allowed "just 0.409 points per isolation possession in college (good for the 93rd percentile)".

Article also notes that his left hand block on DeAndre Hunter was carbon copy of his block on Fournier.
 

amarshal2

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Sure 5’s who defend one position are dime a dozen. But 5’s who defend the 5 well and can step up on the perimeter are a bit rare. Theis can defend small ball 5’s and hold his own on the perimeter, but left alone on an Ayton and maybe a Sabonis he’s going to struggle. Kanter can defend big 5’s but can’t do anything on the perimeter. This is what makes Al and Gobert special.

Add in those who can do all that and space the floor on offense and you’re talking a unicorn. Al is the #1 reason they made it to game 7 ECF two years ago.
 

benhogan

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Hey thanks for breaking down RLs 2nd half v ATL. Very neat.

One thing I just learned from this article - https://www.celticsblog.com/2020/2/8/21129387/romeo-langford-is-earning-his-time-on-the-defensive-end-boston-celtics-atlanta-hawks - Romeo allowed "just 0.409 points per isolation possession in college (good for the 93rd percentile)".

Article also notes that his left hand block on DeAndre Hunter was carbon copy of his block on Fournier.
He really did check a lot of Danny's draft boxes.
 

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Give credit to the moops, as both of the rooks struggled a bit tonight, especially Romeo. Still very high on the kid, but he was put in the blender and sat.
 

benhogan

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Give credit to the moops, as both of the rooks struggled a bit tonight, especially Romeo. Still very high on the kid, but he was put in the blender and sat.
Schroder and Paul have been doing numbers on lots of good NBA players this season, not sure anyone (besides Tatum/Smart) covered themselves in glory guarding them...some ref-ball was in play with the rookies...also not a great match-up for Granite and Romeo. Adams/Gallinari extra-large....CP3/DS extra small/quick
 

Jimbodandy

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Schroder and Paul have been doing numbers on lots of good NBA players this season, not sure anyone (besides Tatum/Smart) covered themselves in glory guarding them...some ref-ball was in play with the rookies
All of that is true. Just thought that a hat tip was in order.
 

lovegtm

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Give credit to the moops, as both of the rooks struggled a bit tonight, especially Romeo. Still very high on the kid, but he was put in the blender and sat.
They did a good job attacking him directly: takes away the impact of the good stuff he does off-ball, and also rook'd him a lot with pumpfakes. Those are the kinds of things that you really just need game experience for--my guess is his off-ball stuff was helped just by having to be on the bench and watch film for the first time in his life, rather than playing.
 

NomarsFool

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I'm kind of glad he had a bad game. It should motivate him to keep working on getting better. Unfortunately, I think the only way to keep developing this kid is to keep giving him regular minutes at the NBA level so he can apply what he is (hopefully) learning with coaches working outside of games.
 

lovegtm

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I'm kind of glad he had a bad game. It should motivate him to keep working on getting better. Unfortunately, I think the only way to keep developing this kid is to keep giving him regular minutes at the NBA level so he can apply what he is (hopefully) learning with coaches working outside of games.
Yeah, this. He's way too good defensively for the G-League, and way too inexperienced to lean on in big NBA games.
 

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I'm kind of glad he had a bad game. It should motivate him to keep working on getting better. Unfortunately, I think the only way to keep developing this kid is to keep giving him regular minutes at the NBA level so he can apply what he is (hopefully) learning with coaches working outside of games.
Langford shouldn’t be given anything if he defends like he did two nights ago especially when defense is your calling card. We aren’t a developmental team we are competing for seeding in the playoffs. I expect to see a lot of Romeo tonight for matchup purposes against the Rockets and his performance will go a long way toward determining whether Brad can trust him on the floor post-ASB.
 

lexrageorge

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Langford shouldn’t be given anything if he defends like he did two nights ago especially when defense is your calling card. We aren’t a developmental team we are competing for seeding in the playoffs. I expect to see a lot of Romeo tonight for matchup purposes against the Rockets and his performance will go a long way toward determining whether Brad can trust him on the floor post-ASB.
+1.

Playoff seeding does matter to Brad and Danny than it matters to message board posters. Playing the Nets or Magic in the first round with home court is far more advantageous than opening on the road in Philly, and both scenarios are still definitely in play. Letting Langford play mop-up duty and as periodic "load management" fill in against lesser opponents is not going to kill his development. Between a full offseason, summer league, and training camp, he will have plenty of developmental time.
 

HomeRunBaker

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+1.

Playoff seeding does matter to Brad and Danny than it matters to message board posters. Playing the Nets or Magic in the first round with home court is far more advantageous than opening on the road in Philly, and both scenarios are still definitely in play. Letting Langford play mop-up duty and as periodic "load management" fill in against lesser opponents is not going to kill his development. Between a full offseason, summer league, and training camp, he will have plenty of developmental time.
The other thing, which some of us have repeated ad nauseum over the years, is that when players see a coach "giving" minutes to an undeserving young player for developmental purposes rather than seeing a coach compete to win every night the standard internal (and sometimes external) response is to say "If the coach isn't going all out to win why should I?" This is how you lose a team. Brad isn't going to do that. This is different than giving a kid an opportunity for second unit minutes at some point in the season......what the player does with this opportunity is up to them but this is typically not a long leash. Langford, being a lottery pick, is naturally going to receive more opportunity given the investment in him than a random 2nd round pick or UFA. He still needs to do his job when out on the floor.

When you see the clip above he appears completely overmatched against Gallinari and my initial thought was that Brad did not put the player in a position to succeed. Then I caught myself and recognized that if Langford isn't able to switch and compete defensively against someone like Gallo he shouldn't be on the floor. Tonight is the biggest game of his career to show he's capable of contributing by matching up defensively against playoff caliber teams. I'm not expecting him to perform well but maybe he will surprise......that is what opportunities are all about.
 
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benhogan

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The other thing, which some of us have repeated ad nauseum over the years, is that when players see a coach "giving" minutes to an undeserving young player for developmental purposes rather than seeing a coach compete to win every night the standard internal (and sometimes external) response is to say "If the coach isn't going all out to win why should I?" This is how you lose a team. Brad isn't going to do that. This is different than giving a kid an opportunity for second unit minutes at some point in the season......what the player does with this opportunity is up to them but this is typically not a long leash. Langford, being a lottery pick, is naturally going to receive more opportunity given the investment in him than a random 2nd round pick or UFA. He still needs to do his job when out on the floor.

When you see the clip above he appears completely overmatched against Gallinari and my initial thought was that Brad did not put the player in a position to succeed. Then I caught myself and recognized that if Langford isn't able to switch and compete defensively against someone like Gallo he shouldn't be on the floor. Tonight is the biggest game of his career to show he's capable of contributing by matching up defensively against playoff caliber teams. I'm not expecting him to perform well but maybe he will surprise......that is what opportunities are all about.
Agree with this. Every player must earn their minutes, which seems obvious enough. AND that's been Brad's approach (other than last season's dysfunction).

SSS aside, Romeo got defensively rinsed by 3 different veteran OKC players in his short minutes. So while he put up 16pts four nights ago, we need to pump the brakes on expecting anything from Romeo in important games this season. I doubt he's part of their 8-9 man playoff rotation at the moment, the C's have wing depth. If he forces his way into the conversation, great. The rookie that is more important for THIS season is Granite. He could have a bench role if TL can't make it back/stay on the court.
 

lovegtm

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I'm expecting rookie playoff JB, who got some spot minutes in favorable matchups. Langford will get way less than that because the Celtics are loaded at wing, but that's the rough idea.
 

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Romeo is a 6'4" 2-guard with real good acceleration, I see him as depth for the Guards just as much or more than at Wing. If Wanamaker can't be Early Season Wanamaker in his role as the 3rd guard, Romeo has a chance to take his job.

That said, HRB is right - if Chris Paul was too much quickness and athleticism for Langford on drives to the hoop on Sunday, he's not going to enjoy being on the court with Harden and Westbrook. Few do.

 

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I would call it more craft and savy than quickness and athleticism that allowed CP to toy with Langford
Yeah, that steal by CP at the end on Tatum was the same craftiness. Tatum has him by a foot and ten years, but dude just followed him down the court masterfully and poked it out.
 

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Romeo with only a couple token minutes tonight. It seems as though Brad had seen enough after the OKC debacle.
 

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Romeo with only a couple token minutes tonight. It seems as though Brad had seen enough after the OKC debacle.
Brad was playing his "let's see how it would look against a tough team in the playoffs" rotation tonight. Only Smart and Wannamaker got double digit minutes off the bench, even more reliable guys like Semi, Grant, Kanter (who was clearly not 100%, to be fair) got pretty limited run. Green didn't even see the floor, so Langford at least remains above him in the rotation for now. Was kinda surprised Romeo even saw the floor before garbage time, honestly.
 

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Brad was playing his "let's see how it would look against a tough team in the playoffs" rotation tonight. Only Smart and Wannamaker got double digit minutes off the bench, even more reliable guys like Semi, Grant, Kanter (who was clearly not 100%, to be fair) got pretty limited run. Green didn't even see the floor, so Langford at least remains above him in the rotation for now. Was kinda surprised Romeo even saw the floor before garbage time, honestly.
It didn’t surprise me not to see Semi, Grant or Kanter based on the matchups with Houston which is why I expected to see Romeo tonight. I did think we’d see Green and Romeo but with only one more game on Thursday before the break Brad wasn’t saving anything for the weekend.
 

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I thought they might have had a chance to use Kanter to their advantage - the Rockets should have nobody that could stop him in the post. But, it wasn't effective early (that stupid offensive foul) and Kanter was not doing so hot on the other end, so he went away from it.
 

lovegtm

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the brakes are also getting pumped on Doumbouya

Love the Casey quote:
"I’m very concerned with Sekou. Im very concerned with the fact he’s a young kid, his outlook, his demeanor, he should be having the most fun of anybody! Have all the girls, and fun, and whatever you wanna do... enjoy life, play basketball, you play in the NBA."

Danny was playing 4-D chess: he knows Romeo is so constantly high that he's always enjoying it, on the court and off.
 

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Love the Casey quote:
"I’m very concerned with Sekou. Im very concerned with the fact he’s a young kid, his outlook, his demeanor, he should be having the most fun of anybody! Have all the girls, and fun, and whatever you wanna do... enjoy life, play basketball, you play in the NBA."

Danny was playing 4-D chess: he knows Romeo is so constantly high that he's always enjoying it, on the court and off.
28 games in is not "the wall." Not every teenager thrown into the NBA lifestyle is going to thrive or even survive. The reason we don't have more about those who have succumbed to the lifestyle is that they simply fade away and out of the league. It sounds like the issues are mental. It sounds like a 19-year old kid, new to this country, had the world given to him both on the court and off of it........and he doesn't know how to responsibly respond to it. Shocking, I know.
 

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