Round 1 Discussion: Celtics - Pacers

Jimbodandy

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In the running evaluation of the two guys everyone loves to hate, I'm quite happy with playoff Rozier so far. He's back to playing with the defensive energy that made him so useful last year in the playoffs (pre Cleveland attacking him on switches), and he's doing more positive things on offense.

As for Morris--I don't care so much about the missed shots, but more the amount of touches he's getting in a non-secondary role. Brad really needs to scheme to get Hayward the ball more, especially in 2-man games with Kyrie. Hayward looked fine/good physically last night, and they just weren't running anything for him, ever.

Finally, the original starting 5 looked really, really good closing out the game. I expect to see them closing games from here on out.
Agree completely, especially regarding Rozier's defense. I've been livid all year over his dogshit effort on that end, but playoff Terry has been damn good. Also not forcing.

Morris is Morris. Most of yesterday's atrocious shooting was on decent looks. No major complaints there either.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Anyone else find it curious that when GH and JB were on the floor, GH was guarding Bogdanovich?

This Ringer article asks the question I'm sure is on everyone's mind: while the Cs are certainly playing more together and appear to be making an effort to stay in their role, will this work against anyone else other than the Pacers?

I find it unfathomable that a team with this much offensive talent can go through prolonged 6 or 7 or 8 minute scoring droughts. Even with Kyrie on the floor.
 

Jimbodandy

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Anyone else find it curious that when GH and JB were on the floor, GH was guarding Bogdanovich?

This Ringer article asks the question I'm sure is on everyone's mind: while the Cs are certainly playing more together and appear to be making an effort to stay in their role, will this work against anyone else other than the Pacers?

I find it unfathomable that a team with this much offensive talent can go through prolonged 6 or 7 or 8 minute scoring droughts. Even with Kyrie on the floor.
Addressing your first question, I think that they were trying to keep JB out of foul trouble. He has been frustrating the shit out of BB, but he got a couple of ticky tack fouls and had to be managed.
 

lovegtm

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Anyone else find it curious that when GH and JB were on the floor, GH was guarding Bogdanovich?

This Ringer article asks the question I'm sure is on everyone's mind: while the Cs are certainly playing more together and appear to be making an effort to stay in their role, will this work against anyone else other than the Pacers?

I find it unfathomable that a team with this much offensive talent can go through prolonged 6 or 7 or 8 minute scoring droughts. Even with Kyrie on the floor.
They go through the droughts because they don't make a concerted effort to run the offense through Kyrie. Lesser players will get the ball over and over, and they'll have long stretches in which Kyrie doesn't touch it enough.

Contrast that with Houston: Harden is getting the ball, and then everything else keys off that. I don't think that the Celtics have done enough to fully build an offensive system around Kyrie in a way that consistently stresses the weak points of defenses.
 

Jimbodandy

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They go through the droughts because they don't make a concerted effort to run the offense through Kyrie. Lesser players will get the ball over and over, and they'll have long stretches in which Kyrie doesn't touch it enough.

Contrast that with Houston: Harden is getting the ball, and then everything else keys off that. I don't think that the Celtics have done enough to fully build an offensive system around Kyrie in a way that consistently stresses the weak points of defenses.
It requires an adjustment in balance perhaps, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to go full D'Antoni either.
 
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CoffeeNerdness

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I find it unfathomable that a team with this much offensive talent can go through prolonged 6 or 7 or 8 minute scoring droughts. Even with Kyrie on the floor.
Totally anecdotal but it seems like some of the droughts get kicked off by a couple of Kyrie misses. Last night it was a missed three and a layup after which the pressure gets ratcheted up and the others feel like they need to step up because the guy who carries them and hits improbable shot after improbable shot has gone cold, so then you see Morris taking a tough fade away, Tatum taking a step back two, or Al taking a long two as the shot clock expires. When they get in this type of funk it's the perfect time to get Hayward involved because he's fantastic at getting to the line. A few freebies from the charity stripe can go a long way to staunching a cold streak. Kyrie could be that guy to, but it seems the refs are content to let him get bodied all night and he just doesn't get that kind of love.
 

lovegtm

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Its requires an adjustment in balance perhaps, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to go full D'Antoni either.
Yes, hopefully I don't have to state the obvious: I don't think the Celtics should exactly the Rockets. I'm just giving an example of a system that's more geared around maximizing its best players and forcing the defense to consistently execute and make tough decisions.

There were possessions last night, with Kyrie on the floor, where Mook and Rozier both dribbled without looking to pass and took tough, contested shots. That should simply never happen, ever, and it's a failure of coaching that it does.
 

Jimbodandy

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Yes, hopefully I don't have to state the obvious: I don't think the Celtics should exactly the Rockets. I'm just giving an example of a system that's more geared around maximizing its best players and forcing the defense to consistently execute and make tough decisions.

There were possessions last night, with Kyrie on the floor, where Mook and Rozier both dribbled without looking to pass and took tough, contested shots. That should simply never happen, ever, and it's a failure of coaching that it does.
Agreed. I didn't mean to be Capt Obvious there. Just saying that there's a line. What you described shouldn't happen more than once or twice a game while Kyrie catches his breath briefly or shakes off a knee he just took (uncalled by refs of course). Otherwise, using his strengths on or off the ball should be the priority.

But there is downside to putting too much emphasis on the top dog. The other guys can become spectators. You see it in Houston sometimes, although many don't want to admit it. I'm sure that Brad is trying to avoid that also. Morris's 20 foot bricks are bad, but having your kids wasting away in the corners is also bad.
 

Bleedred

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My main problem with Marcus Morris isn't so much his terrible defense or his shitty shooting. Rather, he never, ever, thinks to move the basketball or make the next pass. He's an offensive black hole who unfortunately can't score with any consistency. It would be one thing if he was the M. Morris of the 6 weeks of the season when he was shooting well. But now, he's atrocious and he's made no adjustment whatsoever. If he touches the ball, and there is even a semblance of an open look, he shoots. If Brad is going to play him these meaningful minutes, then MM cannot be blamed for taking wide open shots (even if he sucks at making them). What he can be blamed for is forcing up shots in the face of pressure and not having a clue that he sucks from the field and that maybe he should move the basketball.
 

teddykgb

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I think you guys have it slightly wrong. When Kyrie gets going his teammates don’t get in a rhythm. They’re scorers with scorer mindsets though so after a few minutes without pulling they get antsy and take turns all getting one or two up. But shooters need rhythm so they miss and the next guy takes until it gets back to Kyrie. I think this is why they’ve generally been better when a player has been injured. A few more shots for everyone gets them more touches and more shots so they can find it a bit more. Other teams like the Rockets just let Harden shoot until he finds it and keep shooting then.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Totally anecdotal but it seems like some of the droughts get kicked off by a couple of Kyrie misses. Last night it was a missed three and a layup after which the pressure gets ratcheted up and the others feel like they need to step up because the guy who carries them and hits improbable shot after improbable shot has gone cold, so then you see Morris taking a tough fade away, Tatum taking a step back two, or Al taking a long two as the shot clock expires. When they get in this type of funk it's the perfect time to get Hayward involved because he's fantastic at getting to the line. A few freebies from the charity stripe can go a long way to staunching a cold streak. Kyrie could be that guy to, but it seems the refs are content to let him get bodied all night and he just doesn't get that kind of love.
I think this is correct and I also agree with your point that when other teams are going on runs, it would be great if they made a concerted effort to run their offense and get to the line instead relying on ISOs. It's like a golfer who tries to hit the ball harder - sometimes you can't stop digging a hole until you put down the shovel.

There was one Al possession in the third (I think it's the one you reference but it may not be) where he had the ball at the top of the key and was pounding it and no one else on the Cs literally moved while he was pounding it. Al kept dribbling; everybody kept standing still; and Al missed the long mid-range shot he was forced to take.

I hope Brad shows that to the team every day for the rest of the playoffs.
 

DrewDawg

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The Celtics seem like the only team out there, when their best player goes off, I see articles that say that’s a weakness. “The Celtics needed Irving’s 37 points to rescue...” and things like that. When other teams get those outputs it’s “Sixers led by Butler’s 37...”

Maybe it’s just me.
 

RedOctober3829

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The Celtics seem like the only team out there, when their best player goes off, I see articles that say that’s a weakness. “The Celtics needed Irving’s 37 points to rescue...” and things like that. When other teams get those outputs it’s “Sixers led by Butler’s 37...”

Maybe it’s just me.
The negative narratives about the Celtics are already set and won't change at this point. Just have to keep winning and proving people wrong.
 

joe dokes

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There were possessions last night, with Kyrie on the floor, where Mook and Rozier both dribbled without looking to pass and took tough, contested shots. That should simply never happen, ever, and it's a failure of coaching that it does.
Are there any teams where what should "never ever happen" actually "never ever happens"?
 

lovegtm

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Are there any teams where what should "never ever happen" actually "never ever happens"?
Of course not, but there are definitely some that have it more under control.

I’d actually like to see the young guys and Hayward get more touches. The team did a good job in last year’s playoffs of designing sets for Tatum, and I’d love to see more of that for him and Hayward. Even that play to start the game where he screened for Kyrie was pretty—that’s how you get some diversity in the offense while still leveraging Kyrie’s gravity.
 

bosox79

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The Celtics seem like the only team out there, when their best player goes off, I see articles that say that’s a weakness. “The Celtics needed Irving’s 37 points to rescue...” and things like that. When other teams get those outputs it’s “Sixers led by Butler’s 37...”

Maybe it’s just me.

Might be because they were down 11 heading into the 4th quarter after being outscored 29-16 in the 3rd.
 

nighthob

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There were possessions last night, with Kyrie on the floor, where Mook and Rozier both dribbled without looking to pass and took tough, contested shots. That should simply never happen, ever, and it's a failure of coaching that it does.
This has been Morris' and Rozier's careers, though. Sometimes old habits just won't die. Especially in Rozier's case as he still (apparently) has dreams of a max deal and wants to put points on the board in the playoffs.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think you guys have it slightly wrong. When Kyrie gets going his teammates don’t get in a rhythm. They’re scorers with scorer mindsets though so after a few minutes without pulling they get antsy and take turns all getting one or two up. But shooters need rhythm so they miss and the next guy takes until it gets back to Kyrie. I think this is why they’ve generally been better when a player has been injured. A few more shots for everyone gets them more touches and more shots so they can find it a bit more. Other teams like the Rockets just let Harden shoot until he finds it and keep shooting then.
Exactly and I’ve been preaching this all year of us having non-role players with role playing assignments. Tucker and Capela don’t need offensive touches to remain engaged in all aspects of the game. Tatum, Jaylen, Gordon, Morris, Rozier......they all do.
 

DrewDawg

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Might be because they were down 11 heading into the 4th quarter after being outscored 29-16 in the 3rd.
This isn't based on just the last game. I've posted about this before, I just saw it again yesterday.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Totally anecdotal but it seems like some of the droughts get kicked off by a couple of Kyrie misses. Last night it was a missed three and a layup after which the pressure gets ratcheted up and the others feel like they need to step up because the guy who carries them and hits improbable shot after improbable shot has gone cold, so then you see Morris taking a tough fade away, Tatum taking a step back two, or Al taking a long two as the shot clock expires. When they get in this type of funk it's the perfect time to get Hayward involved because he's fantastic at getting to the line. A few freebies from the charity stripe can go a long way to staunching a cold streak. Kyrie could be that guy to, but it seems the refs are content to let him get bodied all night and he just doesn't get that kind of love.
Isn’t this how all teams begin their droughts and why the NBA has been dubbed “a game of runs” which generally occurs when one team is in an offensive rhythm while the other isn’t?
 

Jimbodandy

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This isn't based on just the last game. I've posted about this before, I just saw it again yesterday.
The cool guy baskeball board groupthink has Kyrie as the only plus player on the Celtics. Everyone else is meh to junk because 20ppg uber alles. So "Celtics can't win unless Kyrie goes bonkers" is known fact.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Isn’t this how all teams begin their droughts and why the NBA has been dubbed “a game of runs” which generally occurs when one team is in an offensive rhythm while the other isn’t?
We expect wire to wire blowout leads and nothing less will do!

One other thing about the playoffs is that teams only have to focus on a single opponent. With the Cs, it means trying to take away Irving. That is far easier said than done but some of the droughts occur when the Pacers blitz, double and sometimes even triple Kyrie and he cant pass out. The thing is that Irving isn't just superb at breaking down a defense but is also a very good passer so when the Cs adjust they can make Indiana pay. And in each of the first two games, they have eventually paid.

That said, the Pacers were a top three defense this season so expecting smooth offense throughout the series probably isn't realistic.
 
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HomeRunBaker

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We expect wire to wire blowout leads and nothing less will do!

One other thing about the playoffs is that teams only have to focus on a single opponent. With the Cs, it means trying to take away Irving. That is far easier said than done but some of the droughts occur when the Pacers blitz, double and sometimes even triple Kyrie and he cant pass out. The thing is that Irving isn't just superb at breaking down a defense but is also a very good passer so when the Cs adjust they can make Indiana pay. And in each of the first two games, they have eventually paid.

That said, the Pacers were a top three defense this season so expecting smooth offense throughout the series probably isn't realistic.
It’s also the pace the Pacers dictate that leads to these sluggish performances offensively but the Celtics didn’t come out ready to compete with them last night. Too many sloppy and lazy turnovers coupled with slow defensive transition fueled the Pacers 1Q and 3Q spurts. Having said that I’m loving the high totals for these games with such slow pace.

The Pacers offensive deficiencies are masking how poorly we have played for too many minutes in these first two games. The entire 1H of G1 and 1Q/3Q of G2 has been awful. Playing essentiallly 48 of 96 uninspired minutes in two home playoff games doesn’t inspire much hope from my seat. I expect us to lose G3 and G4 won’t be any cakewalk either.
 

lovegtm

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It’s also the pace the Pacers dictate that leads to these sluggish performances offensively but the Celtics didn’t come out ready to compete with them last night. Too many sloppy and lazy turnovers coupled with slow defensive transition fueled the Pacers 1Q and 3Q spurts. Having said that I’m loving the high totals for these games with such slow pace.

The Pacers offensive deficiencies are masking how poorly we have played for too many minutes in these first two games. The entire 1H of G1 and 1Q/3Q of G2 has been awful. Playing essentiallly 48 of 96 uninspired minutes in two home playoff games doesn’t inspire much hope from my seat. I expect us to lose G3 and G4 won’t be any cakewalk either.
Agree, and what’s just as troubling is that they came out with decent defensive effort in the first couple minutes, and then stopped competing as hard on both ends when a few shots happened to go down for Indy.

At the same time, it’s the NBA playoffs. We’ve seen talented teams play like dogshit and then suddenly turn it on, or simply fail to and get bounced. I’m not super confident, but I don’t know that anyone outside of Milwaukee and Houston is feeling good about their team’s focus right now. A lot of basketball still to be played, and some talented teams that look bad now will figure things out. Hopefully the Celtics are one of them.
 

cardiacs

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Exactly and I’ve been preaching this all year of us having non-role players with role playing assignments. Tucker and Capela don’t need offensive touches to remain engaged in all aspects of the game. Tatum, Jaylen, Gordon, Morris, Rozier......they all do.
I agree with this too but from my sofa it seems Jaylen and Gordon don't need touches to become engaged, at least since December-Januaryish
 

benhogan

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It’s also the pace the Pacers dictate that leads to these sluggish performances offensively but the Celtics didn’t come out ready to compete with them last night. Too many sloppy and lazy turnovers coupled with slow defensive transition fueled the Pacers 1Q and 3Q spurts. Having said that I’m loving the high totals for these games with such slow pace.

The Pacers offensive deficiencies are masking how poorly we have played for too many minutes in these first two games. The entire 1H of G1 and 1Q/3Q of G2 has been awful. Playing essentiallly 48 of 96 uninspired minutes in two home playoff games doesn’t inspire much hope from my seat. I expect us to lose G3 and G4 won’t be any cakewalk either.
Two games in, but here are three reasons why:
1. Smart out - team adjusting to Brown in the starting unit
2. Al Horford ill last night - energy was low, shot was clearly off.
3. Baynes hobbled by ankle - not setting picks or active on defense makes him useless

Game 3 - edge to a desperate, hyped Pacers.
Game 4 - slight edge to the Celtics. Brown will be more comfortable with his role, Horford s/b healthy by then, Baynes healing (or Theis will replicate his lunchpail role)

agree with lovegtm, I think they will adjust/heal/figure this out
 
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lovegtm

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Two games in, but here are three reasons why:
1. Smart out - team adjusting to Brown in the starting unit
2. Al Horford ill last night - energy was low, shot was clearly off.
3. Baynes hobbled by ankle - not setting picks or active on defense makes him useless

Game 3 - edge to a desperate, hyped Pacers.
Game 4 - slight edge to the Celtics. Brown will be more comfortable with his role, Horford s/b healthy by then, Baynes healing (or Theis will replicate his lunchpail role)

agree with lovegtm, they will adjust/figure this out
Didn’t say they’ll figure it out: saying they have a shot too, primarily because of the reasons you mentioned.

It’s also possible they take 5-6 to beat the Pacers then get simply rolled by Milwaukee in 5.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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It’s also the pace the Pacers dictate that leads to these sluggish performances offensively but the Celtics didn’t come out ready to compete with them last night. Too many sloppy and lazy turnovers coupled with slow defensive transition fueled the Pacers 1Q and 3Q spurts. Having said that I’m loving the high totals for these games with such slow pace.

The Pacers offensive deficiencies are masking how poorly we have played for too many minutes in these first two games. The entire 1H of G1 and 1Q/3Q of G2 has been awful. Playing essentiallly 48 of 96 uninspired minutes in two home playoff games doesn’t inspire much hope from my seat. I expect us to lose G3 and G4 won’t be any cakewalk either.
The Pacers were third in steals this season behind OKC and Phoenix. There will be blood...er, turnovers.
 

benhogan

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Didn’t say they’ll figure it out: saying they have a shot too, primarily because of the reasons you mentioned.

It’s also possible they take 5-6 to beat the Pacers then get simply rolled by Milwaukee in 5.
I'm not ready to capitulate to the Bucks in 5 just yet. Feels like the natl sports media has them pegged getting beaten rather easily by the Bucks... I'm interested in seeing how the Celtics react to a hostile road game against the Pacers. I want to see what the Bucks have in Brogdon. And I want to see Gordon Hayward continue to evolve. I'm hoping we see Hayward take it up a notch in a higher stakes game. Maybe Brown embraces the starting spot, goes loco and shuts down Middleton. Celtics have a couple of wild cards/upside variables...
 
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CoffeeNerdness

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Isn’t this how all teams begin their droughts and why the NBA has been dubbed “a game of runs” which generally occurs when one team is in an offensive rhythm while the other isn’t?
I suppose it is, but I really only watch the home town squad and not the NBA at-large, thus my Celtics-centric observation.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Two games in, but here are three reasons why:
1. Smart out - team adjusting to Brown in the starting unit
2. Al Horford ill last night - energy was low, shot was clearly off.
3. Baynes hobbled by ankle - not setting picks or active on defense makes him useless

Game 3 - edge to a desperate, hyped Pacers.
Game 4 - slight edge to the Celtics. Brown will be more comfortable with his role, Horford s/b healthy by then, Baynes healing (or Theis will replicate his lunchpail role)

agree with lovegtm, I think they will adjust/heal/figure this out
Please for the love of god do not start cLling him "Low Energy Al". :)
 

NomarsFool

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One thing that really bothered me in Game 2 was the continued lazy passes that the Pacers would pick off. You could just see it coming, and this is after the Pacers did it a lot already in Game 1. Morris had a pretty bad example of that that led to an easy 2. I'm sure the coaches drilled into them before the game not to do that, but it was still there. Let's hope it's not there in Game 3.

Morris had a few open looks that didn't drop. I'd rather he have the ability to keep passing the ball so it ends up with GH or JB or just about anyone else taking an open look, but if an NBA player is open they almost always have to take a shot. What I really fault him for is bringing the ball up the floor and trying to create his own offense. He's not good at it. The coaches should flat out tell him not to do that. I find that extremely annoying. How does someone not named Kyrie have the bravado to come up the floor and say to themself "This is my possession to take a shot, I don't care what the defense does or who else may be open, this is MY TURN!" ?
 

Imbricus

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The Pacers were third in steals this season behind OKC and Phoenix. There will be blood...er, turnovers.
They definitely are a quick team. There were times in game one when I thought they were reading the minds of the Celtics, the way they'd jump out and intercept the pass. But it's also true adjustments can be made to that. Has it never occurred to any of these guys to fake a pass? Then you could advantage of their defender leaning the wrong way.
My main problem with Marcus Morris isn't so much his terrible defense or his shitty shooting. Rather, he never, ever, thinks to move the basketball or make the next pass. He's an offensive black hole who unfortunately can't score with any consistency.
Ironically, this wasn't Morris earlier in the season. When he was going well, he was passing a lot more. But now that he's not going well, he's reverted to the worst version of last-season Morris.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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The Pacers didn't fade more during the regular season after Oladipo went down because their players have bought in to playing great defense. Part of that is scouting and the C's have tendencies like any other team.

Boston, at 12.9 per game, had the third fewest turnovers in the league this season (behind San Antonio - surprise! - and Charlotte) but credit to Indiana for their advance work because they forced the Celtics into 17 TOs in game one and 14 in game two. Some of that may be the loss of Smart who had the fewest TOs since his second season but most of it is likely a function of how Indiana plans and plays.

Given how close these games are, it will be interesting to see if the C's continue to emphasize/excute "ball security" (I am assuming the three fewer TOs in game two are part of a deliberate change on Boston's part). If I were to look at the keys to winning game three, this stat would be at the top of my list.
 

NomarsFool

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Watching the Celtics this season, I feel like a pass in to someone on the post is almost always an adventure; in other words, they seem to do a lot of these lob in passes where the post man (usually Horford) detaches from his defender, moves towards the baseline, and jumps up to barely catch the pass. Has anyone else noticed that? My heart skips nearly every time as I think they are about to throw it away. Is there some different way that other teams play defense against the Celtics down low - fronting the big instead of standing between them and the basket?
 

NomarsFool

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Ironically, this wasn't Morris earlier in the season. When he was going well, he was passing a lot more. But now that he's not going well, he's reverted to the worst version of last-season Morris.
I can't remember. I spent all Fall telling one of my friends how great Morris was, that he was the most consistent player on the Celtics, always contributing 15 points a night on like 6 of 9 shooting, and he was shooting 90-50-40 at the time. My friend would always counter that Morris was a complete blackhole and that whenever he got the ball, especially on the wing, he was always letting it fly.

Time would tell that my friend was right, and I was wrong. Now I really can't stand his game.
 

Red Averages

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Celtics favored by 2.5 tomorrow. Indy was -3.5 heading into the game on Friday (closes at -2.5) so that’s a pretty big shift from Vegas. Clearly expecting a sweep.
 

benhogan

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Just caught the highlights on YouTube. Poor Hubie Brown sounded so despondent after every Celt's make.
The national hoops media with Jeff/Stan VanGundy, Mark Jackson, Breen, Hubie, Doris Burke, Kenny Smith, etc definitely has a Knick/NYC slant.

Year after year of watching Celtic playoff basketball has worn ole Hubie down to a nub.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Celtics favored by 2.5 tomorrow. Indy was -3.5 heading into the game on Friday (closes at -2.5) so that’s a pretty big shift from Vegas. Clearly expecting a sweep.
Yeah a team down 3-0 generally has trouble with resolve in one of the middle quarters against an opponents run. The G4 numbers usually reflect this. I recall last years Raptor/Cavs series.....G3 was a 2-point game as a 4-pt fav, then G4 was 6.5 or 7 as the Cavs won by 30 or so

If Houston wins G3 in Utah I’d expect the same type of shift maybe even greater.
 

lovegtm

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Yeah a team down 3-0 generally has trouble with resolve in one of the middle quarters against an opponents run. The G4 numbers usually reflect this. I recall last years Raptor/Cavs series.....G3 was a 2-point game as a 4-pt fav, then G4 was 6.5 or 7 as the Cavs won by 30 or so

If Houston wins G3 in Utah I’d expect the same type of shift maybe even greater.
Agree in general, but doesn't this Indy team seem the type that would hold its resolve together just to be pains in the ass? They're a very mentally tough, prideful group. Clearly Vegas doesn't agree with me though.
 

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bet squelcher
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Jan 15, 2004
17,667
Agree in general, but doesn't this Indy team seem the type that would hold its resolve together just to be pains in the ass? They're a very mentally tough, prideful group. Clearly Vegas doesn't agree with me though.
The problem for the Pacers is they aren’t very talented and don’t have a closer. G3 was their chance imo.
 

TripleOT

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Jul 4, 2007
1,839
The Celtics:

1) Showed Indy they can destroy them at the offensive end
2) Showed Indy that they can withstand a huge second quarter run like NBD and just go back to a business as usual defensive grind.
3) Used their top level talent in closing time, for the third game in a row.

If the Pacers get this series back to Boston, it will tell me more about the Celtics than the Pacers. I expect Indy to fight hard in every elimination game, but does Boston have the resolve to beat back a desperate team in their own building and close the door on this series? Considering they're going to be tangling with the one seed that should be coming off a sweep, the Celtics would really help their chances in round 2 by sweeping.

I expect the Cs to play game 4 like it's a game 7. One caveat. I've been wrong about this team's mental makeup consistently this season.

The Celtics team we've been seeing bears little resemblance to the regular season team. Everyone is engaged defensively all the time. The ball is moving and they're almost always searching out the best shot. They consistently play to their offensive strengths. They handle adversity well. Their actually playing together and revel in their shared, successful performance. When there is five minutes left, their closer takes over and actually closes.
 

amarshal2

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Oct 25, 2005
4,591

Eh. The thing is Stevens is closing the game with the original starting 5 from opening day and expressing confidence in them.


That means you could basically have Smart take both Rozier and Morris’s combined 30 minutes and play Tatum primarily at the 4. Cutting Morris and Rozier to near zero isn’t going to be popular with them but they’re both free agents and it could win a game or series.

It shouldn’t disrupt the flow as those two took 15 shots last game. Smart should be taking fewer shots than that and Brown/Hayward can up their involvement even more.
 
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lovegtm

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Apr 30, 2013
3,930
Lisbon, PT

Eh. The thing is Stevens is closing the game with the original starting 5 from opening day and expressing confidence in them.


That means you could basically have Smart take nearly all of both Rozier and Morris’s minutes and play Tatum primarily at the 4. Cutting MorriS and Rozier to near zero isn’t going to be popular with them but they’re both free agents and it could win a game or series.
Yeah, the problem is that Smart says he’s still a couple weeks from jogging. We’re going to see Rozier and Morris, because the alternative is Theis, which kills spacing without providing the benefits on offense that Baynes does with screening. And honestly, I’m totally fine with the Rozier part of that. He’s having a really solid postseason so far.

Fortunately, Milwaukee is a decent matchup for Morris. He can chill out on Lopez without being too tempting a post-up target, and if his shot is falling (big if, I know), pick and pop 3s are one of the proven weaknesses of Milwaukee‘s defense.

I know it’s fun to hate on Morris, but at this point in the year, you play the hand you’re dealt, and he’s definitely going to have a role to play.