Round 2: Celtics vs. Bucks

Who wins?


  • Total voters
    126
  • Poll closed .

HomeRunBaker

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People are massively over-reacting to a 21 year-old having a bad series in a toxic situation.
I was referring to his performance over 82 games plus playoffs. My original take of this was around 2 months ago.

The Rudy Gay/Jeff Green comparison is so on point...and it hurts.
And the Gay thing isn’t necessarily bad if his expectations weren’t set as a perennial All-Star here.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Re: Tatum. It's tough to be dominant when there's a ball-dominant player on your team like Kyrie. Last year during the playoffs, here were his averages (when we all thought he was incredible):

35.9 min, 13.7 fga, 47.1% fg, 32.4% 3ptfg, 4.4 reb, 2.7 ast, 1.2 stl, 18.5 pts

His stats for these playoffs:

33.6 min, 12.8 fga, 45.1% fg, 32.1% 3ptfg, 6.8 reb, 1.9 ast, 1.3 stl, 15.4 pts

So it comes down to taking one more FG, shooting a tick higher, and then he'd be averaging almost the same stat line as last year.

The first series he averaged:
35.5 min, 14.3 fga, 50.9% fg, 53.3% 3ptfg, 5.5 reb, 1.5 ast, 1.3 stl, 19.3 pts

He had a bad first two games of this series, but they split on the road, so no harm, no foul. Then the last two games he's averaged:

36.1 min, 14.0 fga, 46.4% fg, 10.0% 3ptfg, 10.5 reb, 3.5 ast, 1.5 stl, 18.5 pts

So I don't really think Tatum is the problem here. The problem has been Kyrie and Hayward mostly. Rozier as well.
On a championship level team aren’t we always going to have more aggressive ball dominant players on the floor with Tatum? God I hope so. Again this isn’t a knock it’s an evaluation as well as recognizing that to acquire Davis, the players you mention are either FA or have a potentially bad contract moving forward.
 

Captaincoop

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I was referring to his performance over 82 games plus playoffs. My original take of this was around 2 months ago.


And the Gay thing isn’t necessarily bad if his expectations weren’t set as a perennial All-Star here.
After last year I thought he had MVP upside.

It's hard to tell how much Kyrie and the karmic shitshow he has wrought has impacted Tatum's development.

Still holding out hope that there's middle ground for him between MVP and Rudy Gay.
 

tbb345

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I talked to someone connected in the NBA today and he said basically the same thing.
Can you expand on this? Specifically the "teammates will help him pack" portion. Do you have any inside stories or anything more to add about the dysfunction?
 

tbb345

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You actually think Jalen is just spewing stuff on the air to get clicks? I don't think that's his MO. A lot of other people on that network do that, but I don't think Jalen is going to throw stuff like that at the wall.
I think Jalen normally has good NBA sources/connections but.....yeah Jalen would definitely do that. His job is to get clicks.

I am guessing that he has a pretty good source who said "It looks like Kyrie is gone". Jalen takes that, expands it to definitely, and then adds in the teammates will help him pack to make it more interesting.

This formula is used all over at ESPN but especially on the morning programming
 

BaseballJones

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On a championship level team aren’t we always going to have more aggressive ball dominant players on the floor with Tatum? God I hope so. Again this isn’t a knock it’s an evaluation as well as recognizing that to acquire Davis, the players you mention are either FA or have a potentially bad contract moving forward.
Yeah, and maybe Tatum's upside is perennial all-star but not top-five NBA kind of player. Nothing at all wrong with that. Plus...the kid is barely 21 years old. Tons of room for growth.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Hayward has seemed to completely lose confidence in his shot which is kind of crazy given how good he looked shooting the ball over the last month of the season and in the first 5 playoff games. He has completely abandoned the midrange leaners that were basically automatic over the last month and now every time he has the ball he bulls into the paint, realizes he can't create a shot, and kicks it out.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Can you expand on this? Specifically the "teammates will help him pack" portion. Do you have any inside stories or anything more to add about the dysfunction?
I heard Jerry Bembry (formerly of ESPN, now at Undefeated) on a radio show this morning and while talking about the game last night, he had a short comment that Kyrie was gone. What was amazing about it is that he said in a completely matter-of-fact matter, like everyone knew it was true and wasn't really worthy about any further discussion. FWIW.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Hayward has seemed to completely lose confidence in his shot which is kind of crazy given how good he looked shooting the ball over the last month of the season and in the first 5 playoff games. He has completely abandoned the midrange leaners that were basically automatic over the last month and now every time he has the ball he bulls into the paint, realizes he can't create a shot, and kicks it out.
It's one thing to hit midrange leaners over Thad Young and even Sabonis. It's quite another to try it against Giannis, Lopez, etc. MIL's length is really bothering GH since he doesn't have his explosiveness back all the way.
 

Devizier

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I think Jeff Green is an unreasonably pessimistic / trolling comparison. Rudy Gay doesn't fit either.

There aren't good comparisons, to be honest. Very few players have played as much as Tatum has in their age 19-20 seasons. Those players were typically exceptional (Bryant, Garnett, McGrady). Many of the other guys who have played that much at their age were unready/unable players forced into bad situations.

Most teams bring in their young guys slowly. The guy who is currently killing the Celtics is a good example. Tatum has a long way to mature. I think we can write off a Tracy McGrady-like outcome but that could never have been a reasonable expectation to begin with.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The fundamental problem is that there is a significant talent gap between the two teams. You cannot deny the fact that the Bucks had the best record in the NBA this season, the league's best D-rating, and put a player on the floor that is head and shoulders above anyone the Celtics can put out there, including Kyrie. What's disappointing is that the Bucks seem to also have the 3rd, 4th, and 5th best players on the floor as well.
It's not that MIL has the 3rd, 4th, and 5th best players on the floor - it's that MIL's best player is opening up so much space for the rest of the team that the role players have an ability to concentrate on what they do best and perform.

Kyrie has gravity but not nearly as much as Giannis even on his best day and even less so when his shot is off.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Can you expand on this? Specifically the "teammates will help him pack" portion. Do you have any inside stories or anything more to add about the dysfunction?
Yeah, especially since around 2/3's of the roster are FA in another couple of days.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think Jeff Green is an unreasonably pessimistic / trolling comparison. Rudy Gay doesn't fit either.
I'm referring primarily to their lack of "It".....or aggression or lack of toughness in comparison with others. To reach the level Tatum showed as a rookie he had the potential to climb you can't have these flaws in your game. I wasn't saying that Tatum is Jeff Green as an overall player only that he has some of Jeff Green's traits......the same ones that have prevented Green from reaching his potential.

I think Jeff Green is an unreasonably pessimistic / trolling comparison. Rudy Gay doesn't fit either.

There aren't good comparisons, to be honest. Very few players have played as much as Tatum has in their age 19-20 seasons. Those players were typically exceptional (Bryant, Garnett, McGrady). Many of the other guys who have played that much at their age were unready/unable players forced into bad situations.

Most teams bring in their young guys slowly. The guy who is currently killing the Celtics is a good example. Tatum has a long way to mature. I think we can write off a Tracy McGrady-like outcome but that could never have been a reasonable expectation to begin with.

Nobody was bringing Tatum along slowly though.....he's been starting all year and 2nd on the team in both Minutes and Usage. The greatest opportunity for a player to make a leap is in his second season so yes this has been a disappointing year for Tatum and his upside. I can't use his teammates as an excuse because if he's soft enough to not fight through that how is he ever going to get to the next level? Why was Jaylen able to find his niche with the same group of players this year? That to me is simply an excuse and why I am lowering his ceiling for my evaluation purposes.
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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I think Jeff Green is an unreasonably pessimistic / trolling comparison. Rudy Gay doesn't fit either.

There aren't good comparisons, to be honest. Very few players have played as much as Tatum has in their age 19-20 seasons. Those players were typically exceptional (Bryant, Garnett, McGrady). Many of the other guys who have played that much at their age were unready/unable players forced into bad situations.

Most teams bring in their young guys slowly. The guy who is currently killing the Celtics is a good example. Tatum has a long way to mature. I think we can write off a Tracy McGrady-like outcome but that could never have been a reasonable expectation to begin with.
Correct. After all the hype of young players in their rookie seasons, people forget how hard it is to be good in the NBA playoffs at a young age.

Other than JB and JT, how many guys 22 or younger have even played over 20 minutes in the Conference Semi-Finals this year?

4: Beasley, Murray, Zach Collins (only once), and Simmons. http://bkref.com/tiny/2XcSy
 

NomarsFool

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Re: the "Kyrie gone" talk, unless he heard it directly from Kyrie, I think it means absolutely nothing. I'm sure there are Celtics players who are wondering all the time whether he is leaving, looking for clues, etc. - but it is still completely speculation. Even if Kyrie flat out told them he was leaving, it still doesn't mean he definitely is.

Right now, it looks like a sad ending to what - at times - has been an enjoyable team. Frankly, I'm very disappointed in how Kyrie and Hayward - the two most important cogs in this machine - played this series. So, it wouldn't surprise me at all if both of them are gone next season, but it also wouldn't surprise me if they are both here.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Re: the "Kyrie gone" talk, unless he heard it directly from Kyrie, I think it means absolutely nothing. I'm sure there are Celtics players who are wondering all the time whether he is leaving, looking for clues, etc. - but it is still completely speculation. Even if Kyrie flat out told them he was leaving, it still doesn't mean he definitely is.

Right now, it looks like a sad ending to what - at times - has been an enjoyable team. Frankly, I'm very disappointed in how Kyrie and Hayward - the two most important cogs in this machine - played this series. So, it wouldn't surprise me at all if both of them are gone next season, but it also wouldn't surprise me if they are both here.
How would Hayward be gone? With the trade value of Tatum/Jaylen in a potential Davis deal along with the Player Options that Horford and Baynes will surely decline, I have Hayward followed by Smart as the two most likely to be in a Celtics uniform next season.
 

nighthob

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People are massively over-reacting to a 21 year-old having a bad series in a toxic situation.
I can just imagine what Paul Mokeski's Wine Cellar looked like when Giannis underperformed his regular season during the 2015 playoffs.
 

lexrageorge

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Re: the "Kyrie gone" talk, unless he heard it directly from Kyrie, I think it means absolutely nothing. I'm sure there are Celtics players who are wondering all the time whether he is leaving, looking for clues, etc. - but it is still completely speculation. Even if Kyrie flat out told them he was leaving, it still doesn't mean he definitely is.

Right now, it looks like a sad ending to what - at times - has been an enjoyable team. Frankly, I'm very disappointed in how Kyrie and Hayward - the two most important cogs in this machine - played this series. So, it wouldn't surprise me at all if both of them are gone next season, but it also wouldn't surprise me if they are both here.
I'm sure Jalen had at least one source that was willing to say during the heat of the moment following a disappointing loss that he would pack Kyrie's bags for him. Whether that source will be on the team next year (as HRB noted) is an open question; Marcus Morris' opinion means nothing.

Really, there are only 3 people whose opinion matters when it comes to Kyrie's destination next season: Ainge, Irving, and Jeff Wechsler. And none of them will be speaking to Jalen Rose about the topic, especially as there is still at least one more game left in the Celtics' season.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I can just imagine what Paul Mokeski's Wine Cellar looked like when Giannis underperformed his regular season during the 2015 playoffs.
Tatum didn't underperform his regular season though......he underperformed expectations of his rookie year in many areas over the course of the entire season while showing less than optimistic traits to his game.
 

InstaFace

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Well, I think WE all thought they were better than they actually were. This team just never got it together this year. It's not over yet - they still have to be knocked out and that hasn't happened yet - but man it's definitely one of the more disappointing seasons in recent memory, given the expectations.
If the Bruins win the title, for which they are the favorite, it's going to be hysterical someday to come back to this miraculous 12-month period and think "man, that all-star-laden group of underachievers only made the quarterfinals of their sport! Slackers!" Like, the Celtics losing in the Eastern Conference Semis might well be the worst thing to happen to us sports-wise the entire year.
 
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BaseballJones

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If the Bruins win the title, for which they are the favorite, it's going to be hysterical someday to come back to this miraculous 12-month period and think "man, that all-star-laden group of underachievers only made the quarterfinals of their sport! slackers!". Like, the Celtics losing in the Eastern Conference Semis might well be the worst thing to happen to us sports-wise the entire year.
I know, right? We are............totally spoiled.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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Interesting point here. Starters are winning, it is only when bench players come in that stuff falls apart. And the starters barely play together.
 

Eddie Jurak

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They actually had good ball movement last night and still missed the open shots. How many open 3's were missed by Horford and others at key moments? A lot.
Good ball movement? Thread (full thread in italics):


David Locke: Just finished Boston v. Milwaukee - Some Thoughts Milwaukee does some interesting things defensively where their rotations are short and they get to the shooters. The key maybe they have decided which shots they are allowing and from whom.

Boston's offense from 7:00 to 2:30 was reprehensible. Brad Stevens never got this team to listen to him. It stunning how bad and selfish they were at such a vital moment. No system, no teamwork, no structure.

  • 7:00 Kyrie no pass possession drive and gets block
  • 6:33 Kyrie outlet to Tatum takes quick contested 3 no front court passes
  • 6:07 Brown goes 1 on 1 drives and gets blocked at rim. No passes
  • 5:48 Kyrie 1 on 1 makes layup no passes
  • 5:22 ok possession. Kyrie/Horford pick and pop for open 3 missed by Horford - 1 pass
  • 4:49 Kyrie gets handoff from Morris jacks deep three misses.
THEY ARE STILL WITHIN 8 OVER THE LAST 2:30 THEY HAVE THROWN 1 PASS AND HAD 1 HANDOFF !!!! It continues - Out of a timeout down 10 4:13 left

  • 4:11 Jaylen Brown goes 1 on 1 on Giannis for a fall-away 10 footer. With Hayward and Tatum wide open in corners.
  • 3:51 Kyrie drives 1 on 1 kicks to Brown for 3 he makes it.
  • 3:11 Morris brings ball up and walk into three misses
This was incredible for 5 minutes of basketball the Celtics never had a possession where more than 2 people touched the ball. They threw 3 passes and had 1 handoff in a 5-minute span with their season on the line.

I think, for it to be "good ball movement", you need more than 3 passes and a handoff every 5 minutes.
 

RedOctober3829

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I had remembered the amount of open shots they had in the 4th quarter they missed. The Pick and pop had gotten Al open multiple times for 3s and he missed. Reading that thread is pretty sobering. Of course they also overshared the ball at times which resulted in quick shots at the end of the shot clock.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I had remembered the amount of open shots they had in the 4th quarter they missed. The Pick and pop had gotten Al open multiple times for 3s and he missed. Reading that thread is pretty sobering. Of course they also overshared the ball at times which resulted in quick shots at the end of the shot clock.
To be fair to you, they did have good movement at various points but when the Bucks started to make their run, the C's completely devolved. Much as it pains me to say, some of that is on Stevens, especially with the younger players. Once again, there are some inescapable chemistry issues with this team that probably aren't fixable until the roster is retooled.

That said, Boston can win game five in Milwaukee if they avoid the mad scramble that characterized the second half of the last two games. Its not likely but also not impossible. And if they win the next game, this series is going seven.
 

mcpickl

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I think Jeff Green is an unreasonably pessimistic / trolling comparison. Rudy Gay doesn't fit either.

There aren't good comparisons, to be honest. Very few players have played as much as Tatum has in their age 19-20 seasons. Those players were typically exceptional (Bryant, Garnett, McGrady). Many of the other guys who have played that much at their age were unready/unable players forced into bad situations.

Most teams bring in their young guys slowly. The guy who is currently killing the Celtics is a good example. Tatum has a long way to mature. I think we can write off a Tracy McGrady-like outcome but that could never have been a reasonable expectation to begin with.
I'd be OK with Tatum working out with Jeff Green this summer to learn shot selection from him.

Green only took 15% of his shots from mid-range this season, Tatum an absurd 27%.

Quit working with Kobe JT, look up Uncle Jeff.
 

Red Averages

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That said, Boston can win game five in Milwaukee if they avoid the mad scramble that characterized the second half of the last two games. Its not likely but also not impossible. And if they win the next game, this series is going seven.
This is where I’m at. It won’t be an easy game, but the Celtics know how they can get it done. They just need to execute.

“Don’t let us win tonight”
 

j-man

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what boston needs is
1 let kyile go
2 keep AL
3 trade taulm or brown but not both the clipers couild be a good tradeing parter they have a lot of good role guys esp beaelrv
4 sign a pg in FA
5 trade 2 of 3 of your 2019 draft picks for 2020 or 2021 picks
 

lexrageorge

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what boston needs is
1 let kyile go
2 keep AL
3 trade taulm or brown but not both the clipers couild be a good tradeing parter they have a lot of good role guys esp beaelrv
4 sign a pg in FA
5 trade 2 of 3 of your 2019 draft picks for 2020 or 2021 picks
I don't see #3 happening. If Brown or Tatum are getting traded, it's not for Beverley.

EDIT: I should add that if Kyrie leaves, just about anything could happen, so, you never know.

EDIT 2: Go Nuggets!!
 
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mcpickl

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I don't see #3 happening. If Brown or Tatum are getting traded, it's not for Beverley.

EDIT: I should add that if Kyrie leaves, just about anything could happen, so, you never know.
And Beverley is a free agent.
 

benhogan

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what boston needs is
1 let kyile go
2 keep AL
3 trade taulm or brown but not both the clipers couild be a good tradeing parter they have a lot of good role guys esp beaelrv
4 sign a pg in FA
5 trade 2 of 3 of your 2019 draft picks for 2020 or 2021 picks
Sounds like a good plan j-man

Must keep Al Horford!
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Interesting point here. Starters are winning, it is only when bench players come in that stuff falls apart. And the starters barely play together.
It's funny because I was going to post about how most teams shorten their bench during the playoffs and that's exactly what Brad has done. In game 4, Rozier played 10:27 and Smart played 14:39 and that was it for the bench, except . . . .

GH played 26:37.

I get that GH stays quiet and everyone is rooting for him but from the article you posted: "The Celtics have a -16.2 net rating with Hayward on the floor in this series and a +17.7 when he is off of it. Stevens has been loyal to Hayward all season, and it seemed to pay off when the forward surged down the stretch. But Hayward has regressed tremendously against the Bucks."

Hopefully GH will figure something out tonight and going forward. That would really help.
 

Captaincoop

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It's funny because I was going to post about how most teams shorten their bench during the playoffs and that's exactly what Brad has done. In game 4, Rozier played 10:27 and Smart played 14:39 and that was it for the bench, except . . . .

GH played 26:37.

I get that GH stays quiet and everyone is rooting for him but from the article you posted: "The Celtics have a -16.2 net rating with Hayward on the floor in this series and a +17.7 when he is off of it. Stevens has been loyal to Hayward all season, and it seemed to pay off when the forward surged down the stretch. But Hayward has regressed tremendously against the Bucks."

Hopefully GH will figure something out tonight and going forward. That would really help.
I'm not a huge believer in the value of plus/minus as a stat, but wow.
 

BaseballJones

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I'm not a huge believer in the value of plus/minus as a stat, but wow.
I am over the course of a long period of time, but in small sample sizes no. But in this case I think it's indicative of the fact that Hayward is really giving them nothing right now. He's a shell of himself and I'm not positive why that is. I think it has to be between the ears. So I'd happily staple him to the bench right now and roll with this group as much as possible:

Horford, Kyrie, Brown, Tatum, and one of Baynes/Smart/Morris (depending on whether they want to go big or small, or are looking for offense or defense.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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He's a shell of himself and I'm not positive why that is. I think it has to be between the ears.
It's not between the ears.

GH likes to get in the lane where he can use his size to either make shots, get to the foul line, or dish it out for passes. However, the problem is that this MIL defense is dedicated to making life miserable for other teams in the lane. Particularly when they decided to sit Sterling Brown. MIL is not just long in the starting lineup, they stay long when Giannis goes off the floor.

GH is uncomfortable because they've not played any other team with MIL's length and given his physical limitations, he's not sure what he can do to impact the game. Which is a problem given his role on the team.
 

BaseballJones

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It's not between the ears.

GH likes to get in the lane where he can use his size to either make shots, get to the foul line, or dish it out for passes. However, the problem is that this MIL defense is dedicated to making life miserable for other teams in the lane. Particularly when they decided to sit Sterling Brown. MIL is not just long in the starting lineup, they stay long when Giannis goes off the floor.

GH is uncomfortable because they've not played any other team with MIL's length and given his physical limitations, he's not sure what he can do to impact the game. Which is a problem given his role on the team.
The reason I suggest that it's between the ears is because it's very common for athletes to play at 80% or so of their athletic capability coming off an injury. Very common. It's not intentional. It's subconscious. It takes a long time for some athletes to fully trust their healed body part. Hayward is a superb athlete but he doesn't look explosive out there. He looks tentative. Maybe it's Milwaukee's defense, but honestly, this has been true for Hayward all year long. Two years ago he averaged four more shots and nearly double the free throws (not to mention 7 more points) per 36 minutes as he has this year. Meaning that he isn't as aggressive this year as he was before his injury. I think that's a normal progression coming off a devastating injury, and it's one reason I expect him to be much better next year - just more time for him to realize deep down that his body is FINE. (assuming, of course, that it actually IS fine)

But I could be wrong. Maybe mentally he's just fine and it's all the defense of the Bucks that's stopping him. If so, they're REALLY stopping him, and they shouldn't be able to completely shut down an all-star caliber player like this. I mean, we're talking about a guy who, when normal, is an all-star player. And in the last three games he's averaged 30.2 minutes played, but has only shot 4-18 (and just 6 FTs taken). 18 shots (and 17 points) in 90+ minutes of action, for an all-star caliber player, is just atrocious. Milwaukee is defending Kyrie and Jaylen Brown and Tatum in the paint as well, but they're at least doing SOMETHING. Hayward isn't. So I don't attribute it strictly to Milwaukee's defense on him, because they sure don't seem to be focusing on him. He's just been....really really bad.
 

HomeRunBaker

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It's not between the ears.

GH likes to get in the lane where he can use his size to either make shots, get to the foul line, or dish it out for passes. However, the problem is that this MIL defense is dedicated to making life miserable for other teams in the lane. Particularly when they decided to sit Sterling Brown. MIL is not just long in the starting lineup, they stay long when Giannis goes off the floor.

GH is uncomfortable because they've not played any other team with MIL's length and given his physical limitations, he's not sure what he can do to impact the game. Which is a problem given his role on the team.
100% bingo right here.


Two years ago he averaged four more shots and nearly double the free throws (not to mention 7 more points) per 36 minutes as he has this year. Meaning that he isn't as aggressive this year as he was before his injury. I think that's a normal progression coming off a devastating injury, and it's one reason I expect him to be much better next year - just more time for him to realize deep down that his body is FINE. (assuming, of course, that it actually IS fine)
The Utah offense ran everything through him the past couple of years. Even without last years injury his offensive numbers were going to take a hit with the ball in Kyrie's hands and so many other offensive-minded players on the Celtics compared to his Utah days when George Hill was 2nd on the team in FGA, followed by Rodney Hood and Derrick Favors.

But I could be wrong. Maybe mentally he's just fine and it's all the defense of the Bucks that's stopping him. If so, they're REALLY stopping him, and they shouldn't be able to completely shut down an all-star caliber player like this. I mean, we're talking about a guy who, when normal, is an all-star player. And in the last three games he's averaged 30.2 minutes played, but has only shot 4-18 (and just 6 FTs taken). 18 shots (and 17 points) in 90+ minutes of action, for an all-star caliber player, is just atrocious. Milwaukee is defending Kyrie and Jaylen Brown and Tatum in the paint as well, but they're at least doing SOMETHING. Hayward isn't. So I don't attribute it strictly to Milwaukee's defense on him, because they sure don't seem to be focusing on him. He's just been....really really bad.
I warned of the high expectations for Hayward two summers ago and while of course he has had the injury so many repeated that "All-Star" phrase as if he was a perennial 7x participant in the ASG......Hayward went to ONE All-Star game, in a contract year, with an entire offense geared toward him. Obviously he was a really good player in Utah and a nice #2 guy or really good #3 on a Championship level team but he was never going to live up to Celtics fans expectations even without the injury.
 

RedOctober3829

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100% bingo right here.



The Utah offense ran everything through him the past couple of years. Even without last years injury his offensive numbers were going to take a hit with the ball in Kyrie's hands and so many other offensive-minded players on the Celtics compared to his Utah days when George Hill was 2nd on the team in FGA, followed by Rodney Hood and Derrick Favors.


I warned of the high expectations for Hayward two summers ago and while of course he has had the injury so many repeated that "All-Star" phrase as if he was a perennial 7x participant in the ASG......Hayward went to ONE All-Star game, in a contract year, with an entire offense geared toward him. Obviously he was a really good player in Utah and a nice #2 guy or really good #3 on a Championship level team but he was never going to live up to Celtics fans expectations even without the injury.
It's not really fair to try to claim that you were right about Hayward when we never saw the pre-injury Hayward with this group.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Jan 15, 2004
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It's not really fair to try to claim that you were right about Hayward when we never saw the pre-injury Hayward with this group.
We saw him in Utah for many years though. He wasn't going to be used in the same manner in this offense was my point. I'm sure he'd have been better fully healthy, I'm not disputing that, only reiterating that the poor kid had no chance to live up to the expectations that this fanbase set......many of whom (not necessarily on this board of League Pass junkies) saw him play twice a year and only read the hype of him being an All-Star that winter.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
5,259
100% bingo right here.



The Utah offense ran everything through him the past couple of years. Even without last years injury his offensive numbers were going to take a hit with the ball in Kyrie's hands and so many other offensive-minded players on the Celtics compared to his Utah days when George Hill was 2nd on the team in FGA, followed by Rodney Hood and Derrick Favors.


I warned of the high expectations for Hayward two summers ago and while of course he has had the injury so many repeated that "All-Star" phrase as if he was a perennial 7x participant in the ASG......Hayward went to ONE All-Star game, in a contract year, with an entire offense geared toward him. Obviously he was a really good player in Utah and a nice #2 guy or really good #3 on a Championship level team but he was never going to live up to Celtics fans expectations even without the injury.
I was fully expecting that his numbers wouldn't look the same here in Boston. But this season hasn't really been close to what he's capable of, and it would be foolish, I believe, to try to argue otherwise. We aren't seeing the same player. I attribute that to his injury and not being fully back. And since I think he's back physically, I attribute it to him not having full confidence and playing at 80-90% of what he's capable of.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Mar 26, 2005
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The reason I suggest that it's between the ears is because it's very common for athletes to play at 80% or so of their athletic capability coming off an injury. Very common. It's not intentional. It's subconscious. It takes a long time for some athletes to fully trust their healed body part. Hayward is a superb athlete but he doesn't look explosive out there. He looks tentative. Maybe it's Milwaukee's defense, but honestly, this has been true for Hayward all year long. Two years ago he averaged four more shots and nearly double the free throws (not to mention 7 more points) per 36 minutes as he has this year. Meaning that he isn't as aggressive this year as he was before his injury. I think that's a normal progression coming off a devastating injury, and it's one reason I expect him to be much better next year - just more time for him to realize deep down that his body is FINE. (assuming, of course, that it actually IS fine)

But I could be wrong. Maybe mentally he's just fine and it's all the defense of the Bucks that's stopping him. If so, they're REALLY stopping him, and they shouldn't be able to completely shut down an all-star caliber player like this. I mean, we're talking about a guy who, when normal, is an all-star player. And in the last three games he's averaged 30.2 minutes played, but has only shot 4-18 (and just 6 FTs taken). 18 shots (and 17 points) in 90+ minutes of action, for an all-star caliber player, is just atrocious. Milwaukee is defending Kyrie and Jaylen Brown and Tatum in the paint as well, but they're at least doing SOMETHING. Hayward isn't. So I don't attribute it strictly to Milwaukee's defense on him, because they sure don't seem to be focusing on him. He's just been....really really bad.
I don't think you are wrong, at least not in the high level process. I think we can all agree that there is a mental component, a physical component, and a specific component that has to do with MIL's defense. I just think the physical portion (I mean he's what, 80% of where he was in UT) and MIL's defense are the largest share of his struggles. Just my take.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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I don't think you are wrong, at least not in the high level process. I think we can all agree that there is a mental component, a physical component, and a specific component that has to do with MIL's defense. I just think the physical portion (I mean he's what, 80% of where he was in UT) and MIL's defense are the largest share of his struggles. Just my take.
For sure Milwaukee's defense has been tremendous. They were the #1 defensive team in the NBA for a reason. I'm really hoping that GH's leg has actually fully healed physically - that they wouldn't have him out there all year long on a bum leg. And so I think a big part of it is that he's experiencing what many, many athletes go through: a long period of mental adjustment, learning to trust his body again, stretching it to its maximum capacity - and we know he's athletically capable (when healthy) of a lot more explosion than he's shown this year. If it's purely physical, then he's damaged goods and that's a real problem. If it's mental, it will just take time is all. Which is why I think we'll see a much better GH next year with more distance between him and that gruesome injury.
 

JCizzle

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Dec 11, 2006
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I think most Celtics fans did see Hayward as a complementary #2 piece. First it was next to IT, then Kyrie post-trade. In any case, we knew the team had a ball dominant scorer and skilled passing big man, but lacked a seasoned wing option who would consistently hit open shots facilitated by IT/Kyrie/Horford and switch all over the place on defense. If people actually thought he was going to be a player like Durant, then I don't know what to say.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Jan 15, 2004
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I was fully expecting that his numbers wouldn't look the same here in Boston. But this season hasn't really been close to what he's capable of, and it would be foolish, I believe, to try to argue otherwise. We aren't seeing the same player. I attribute that to his injury and not being fully back. And since I think he's back physically, I attribute it to him not having full confidence and playing at 80-90% of what he's capable of.
I'm sure the reality is somewhere in between our two positions but Hayward was never a great shooter despite being touted as such.....he's a career 36% behind the arc propped up by his contract year numbers. If you polled your typical Celtics fan whose only exposure to the Celtics is the Globe and Felger/Mazz they would tell you he's an All-Star player and a great shooter based on the hype.....that's all I heard two summers ago both by some here, the radio, and out in the street. I mean even Chris Kaman made one All-Star game. A healthy Hayward may or may not have backed into one of the final slots in the East but I'd guess no.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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I think most Celtics did see Hayward as a complementary #2 piece. First it was next to IT, then Kyrie post-trade. In any case, we knew the team had a ball dominant scorer and skilled passing big man, but lacked a seasoned wing option who would consistently hit open shots facilitated by IT/Kyrie/Horford and switch all over the place on defense. If people actually thought he was going to be a player like Durant, then I don't know what to say.
Maybe I missed something....but where did anyone say (in SoSH, in the national media, on Boston talk radio, among your friend group...anywhere) that they thought Hayward was going to be like Durant?