Round 2: Celtics vs. Bucks

Who wins?


  • Total voters
    126
  • Poll closed .

benhogan

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Baynes would end up taking a lot of threes. As Jay King said on Twitter,I think you consider starting Hayward (or Morris) with this group.

Some interesting tweets (click for threads/more)




death. taxes. hogan defending Baynes.

Baynes can hit the open 3. He did in the playoffs last season (48%) and he has shot 35% from 3 this season (Hayward 34% this season). Aron won't take many but will keep Milwaukee honest. On offense, Baynes will mostly set physical screens for Ky, Brown, Tatum and Horford - leaving one of those four with an open 3 (Baynes rolling to the rim for the reb/tip out). On defense, the "Lopez sitting on the perimeter narrative" is true when a BIG guards him. If we get cute with Brook and put Hayward on him, Lopez will post for an easy 2 or feed a cutting Giannis for a slam.

Baynes ankle will be better with a week of rest, he'll be more active then he was with Indiana and gum up the middle. Close the games by going "small" (AH/KI/JT/JB/GH) but Brad should start the 1st and 3rd Quarters with Baynes on Lopez.

As far as Jay King's thoughts or the rest of the media, most of them think Marcus Morris Sr was the "most consistent Celtic" this season. I'd be more inclined to listen to Scalabrine's or Tommy's take before anyone else in the media. If they think Gordon will work with the starting 5, I may change my tune.
 
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HomeRunBaker

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Unless I am misunderstanding what HRB was saying in the other thread, Milwaukee isn't very efficient from deep. They were second in 3PA during the season but 15th in 3P%. Brogdon and Middleton are good outside shooters as is Snell in limited run. The rest of their cast includes Lopez who had uneven three point shooting and may have been a bit lucky/streaky from deep this season as well as role players. Ilyasova, Dellavedova and Brown are all decent but as anyone can recall, Ersan is a bit of a liability on defense (he looks half calcified on any given sequence).

If the C's can slow Giannis a bit and contain Middleton on defense while Boston's bigs take advantage of the tendencies you've described, they have a decent shot. Interestingly (at least to me) the Celtics were seventh in 3PA and seventh in 3P%. Consistency!
What I was saying is that the Bucks are the ultimate pace and space team. They allow a ton of open 3’s due to this style of play but it plays right into their hands offensively.

They fool you into thinking their offense isn’t “efficient” because they don’t shoot a super high pct of 3’s but they don’t have to as they move the ball so well to create angles that on dribble penetration they are virtually unstoppable. Defensively, they also allow a ton of threes however on close outs they force dribble penetration but have two elite rim protectors which is where they gain an enormous advantage compared to when Giannis is attacking the rim.

In short, the Bucks want to play fast and space on both ends of the floor with the 3-point shooting a wash but the dribble penetration with Giannis and Bledsoe attacking opponents bigs (or mediums as their pace forces teams to play smaller) being much greater advantage than the opponents wings attacking the rim against Giannis and Lopez.
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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Unless I am misunderstanding what HRB was saying in the other thread, Milwaukee isn't very efficient from deep. They were second in 3PA during the season but 15th in 3P%. Brogdon and Middleton are good outside shooters as is Snell in limited run. The rest of their cast includes Lopez who had uneven three point shooting and may have been a bit lucky/streaky from deep this season as well as role players. Ilyasova, Dellavedova and Brown are all decent but as anyone can recall, Ersan is a bit of a liability on defense (he looks half calcified on any given sequence).

If the C's can slow Giannis a bit and contain Middleton on defense while Boston's bigs take advantage of the tendencies you've described, they have a decent shot. Interestingly (at least to me) the Celtics were seventh in 3PA and seventh in 3P%. Consistency!
Most of the stuff I am seeing has Lopez as one of the biggest keys to unlocking Giannis this year. See, e.g., http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/26495696/a-star-built-giannis-best-basketball-player-alive - which also has some great Giannis stats. Lopez took and made more 3Ps than any other C in history and was third among Cs in 3P% at .365 (behind KAT and Dedmon).

It's interesting because MIL has seemingly turned the new NBA math on its head. The current math is that if a team shoots 50% on 2P shots, the other team just has to shoot better than 33.3% on 3P shots to do better. MIL is shooting something like 55.5% on 2P shots (mostly because Giannis is unstoppable at the rim). To measure up, teams have to shoot 37% on 3Ps.

Will be interesting to see what Brad and his staff cook up.
 

Imbricus

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Any thoughts on bringing in Time Lord for short stretches, to try to wear down Giannis? I would be tempted to try something like that, especially if they're having trouble containing him, with the reservation that Time Lord's shot-blocking prowess seems to translate better to guys who are up-and-down shooters, and Giannis is more slippery, sliding around defenders. Knowing Brad, I think the chances of this being part of his strategy are low, but I think it'd be worth trying.
 

benhogan

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Any thoughts on bringing in Time Lord for short stretches, to try to wear down Giannis? I would be tempted to try something like that, especially if they're having trouble containing him, with the reservation that Time Lord's shot-blocking prowess seems to translate better to guys who are up-and-down shooters, and Giannis is more slippery, sliding around defenders. Knowing Brad, I think the chances of this being part of his strategy are low, but I think it'd be worth trying.
While I like the thought process of throwing different things at Giannis, TL's lack of PT during the regular season means the Celtics can't really be trying him out in the playoffs. I suspect you won't see TL until next season (unless its a blowout either way).

The "wear him down" guy is Semi Ojeleye. Brad started Semi in the playoffs against the Bucks last season. And Semi started 2 of the 3 games they played against the Bucks this season, to try and get physical/slow Giannis down. TL was a DNP in 2 of those games and only saw 8 mins in the blowout loss when Horford, Baynes, & MaMo were out.

I think you'll see Horford primarily guard Giannis, Semi will get ~10mpg.
 

Jimbodandy

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I think that you have to mix it up on defense with Giannis. He single-mindedly attacks a weakness and will ruthlessness exploit anything that's working. We can't let him burn in a groove against any player or scheme. We also don't want guys in foul trouble early. Rotate guys at him, keep him and the whole team guessing. Don't let him settle in. He's smart and experienced, but he's still a young guy. And everyone can be thrown off balance.
 

moondog80

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21% seems about right. The Bucks are really good, best point diff in the NBA by a huge margin, but the Celtics have a real, non-remote chance of winning.
 

bigq

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Giannis will get to the free throw line about a billion times in this series. Celtics in seven.
 

benhogan

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I think people are underrating the Bucks. I see them in 6, unfortunately.
the best record in NBA
the only team with a top 5 offense/top 5 defense in NBA
MVP favorite in Giannis
All-Star in Middleton
Veteran bench
Excellent head coach
Vegas has Milwaukee as the favorite

A huge challenge for the Celtics for sure.
BUT Brogdon is a key guy for them, and his availability is questionable.
Celtics are getting better/healthier (Hayward, Horford, Baynes all trending in that direction).
Many in the media are saying Bucks in 5, has anyone from the national media taken the Celtics?
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Celtics will rain down threes and as we saw in the Pacers series have the defense to slow down Milwaukee. Celtics in 6 as they march to the Finals. Might have to get tickets to a game in this series because facing Giannis and Drew will have the Garden fired up.
 

DrewDawg

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I think people are underrating the Bucks. I see them in 6, unfortunately.
Are people here really saying they think it's a Celtics win, no problem?

I see people talking about how the Celtics can beat them, but I don't see the talk I did before the Pacers series.
 

lovegtm

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Interesting take.

I would think he'd be undersized for the task.....but given what a force Giannis is for "any" defender --- I'm willing to try it out.
Giannis is exactly the worst type of matchup for Brown imo. He is becoming really good at getting up into big perimeter guys, but has a tough time holding position down low. Giannis would eat him alive imo, and the Celtics havent willingly gone to that matchup iirc.
 

DrewDawg

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Giannis doesn't strike me as the type of guy that you simply lean on and beat up all game and series like you might with Embiid and just wear him down. It'll be interesting to see what Stevens does. They had a good recipe last year, wonder what they try this time.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Are people here really saying they think it's a Celtics win, no problem?

I see people talking about how the Celtics can beat them, but I don't see the talk I did before the Pacers series.
I feel like everyone on the board agrees that MIL should be favored but personally I think the 21% odds implied by the line is a bit low for the Cs because I think the Cs are going to force MIL to stop playing the PnR coverage they have played all year and it will be interesting to see how MIL adjusts.

BTW, if people are interested, here's a podcast from someone who covers the Timberwolves that breaks down the series and has some interesting statistical information: https://zonecoverage.com/2019/timberwolves/dane-moore-nba-podcast-looking-ahead-to-bucks-celtics-second-round-matchup/, some of which has already been mentioned in this thread.
 

the moops

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If we get cute with Brook and put Hayward on him, Lopez will post for an easy 2 or feed a cutting Giannis for a slam.
This isn't really in Lopez game these days though. He rarely posts up. And honestly, if it disrupts what MIL is trying to do, I think we could live with a few Lopez post ups on a smaller Hayward
 

benhogan

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This isn't really in Lopez game these days though. He rarely posts up. And honestly, if it disrupts what MIL is trying to do, I think we could live with a few Lopez post ups on a smaller Hayward
I noticed in the Detroit series that when a small was on Lopez he started backing him down. I'm not terribly worried about Brook Lopez, he wasn't a huge factor when we played them this season. Baynes is quick enough to get out on him, more importantly, I want Aron part of that WALL that slows Giannis down in the lane.
 
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Jimbodandy

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This isn't really in Lopez game these days though. He rarely posts up. And honestly, if it disrupts what MIL is trying to do, I think we could live with a few Lopez post ups on a smaller Hayward
Damn right.

I do wonder if backend defense will be in play as part of slowing Giannis down (so maybe more Baynes). But if Lopez parks at the 3pt line high right or left, may as well have GH out on him instead.

Depends on where Lopez parks imo. If it's the corners, then Baynes can help better.
 

Captaincoop

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When the really good Celtics teams from a decade ago played against young Lebron, I always thought what mattered more than who was guarding Lebron was the presence of Perkins in the middle, waiting to make Lebron hurt, or at least think about hurting, whenever he put it on the deck and tried to bully his way to the rim.

Baynes is our Perkins now, and I can see him playing an important role in the same way against Giannis.
 

RedOctober3829

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Giannis is exactly the worst type of matchup for Brown imo. He is becoming really good at getting up into big perimeter guys, but has a tough time holding position down low. Giannis would eat him alive imo, and the Celtics havent willingly gone to that matchup iirc.
If Giannis posts Brown up, they'll have to double him. No one in the league can hold their own down low with Giannis outside of LeBron or Embiid. But Brown has the ability to stick with him on the perimeter and not let him bully his way into the paint. He's not as good as Semi at bodying him up, but I'm not starting Semi. Their best chance at containing Giannis is to have Brown on him and Baynes shading toward him at all times. Horford is a nice option too, but can't have him picking up fouls early guarding him. He's too important of a piece.
 

benhogan

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I feel like everyone on the board agrees that MIL should be favored but personally I think the 21% odds implied by the line is a bit low for the Cs because I think the Cs are going to force MIL to stop playing the PnR coverage they have played all year and it will be interesting to see how MIL adjusts.

BTW, if people are interested, here's a podcast from someone who covers the Timberwolves that breaks down the series and has some interesting statistical information: https://zonecoverage.com/2019/timberwolves/dane-moore-nba-podcast-looking-ahead-to-bucks-celtics-second-round-matchup/, some of which has already been mentioned in this thread.
Wade, great post, thanks.

Good podcast for anyone that wants an analytical, independent, non-bias view of the Celtic/Bucks series.

a few interesting takeaways from the podcast:
1. Milwaukee's offensive production drops massively when replacing Sterling Brown for Brogdon in the starting unit
2. Giannis ate Jaylen Brown alive earlier this year, Al Horford is the most efficient defender on Giannis
3. Giannis shoots 29% outside the restricted area
4. Celtics are bad at short, corner 3s (esp. MaMo 22%)
5. They question what Hayward and Tatum will bring
6. They have the Bucks winning this series between 70-85%
 

RedOctober3829

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Wade, great post, thanks.

Good podcast for anyone that wants an analytical, independent, non-bias view of the Celtic/Bucks series.

a few interesting takeaways from the podcast:
1. Milwaukee's offensive production drops massively when replacing Sterling Brown for Brogdon in the starting unit
2. Giannis ate Jaylen Brown alive earlier this year, Al Horford is the most efficient defender on Giannis
3. Giannis shoots 29% outside the restricted area
4. Celtics are bad at short, corner 3s (esp. MaMo 22%)
5. They question what Hayward and Tatum will bring
6. They have the Bucks winning this series between 70-85%
I'm just not in agreement that Horford can afford to be on Giannis all game. Is it worth it for Horford to be in early foul trouble? I agree with Horford being the best option, but I think only in key situations. I'd just end up doubling him and making others make shots.
 

luckiestman

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I'm just not in agreement that Horford can afford to be on Giannis all game. Is it worth it for Horford to be in early foul trouble? I agree with Horford being the best option, but I think only in key situations. I'd just end up doubling him and making others make shots.

I need to see Semi foul out against Giannis.

If Hayward can score we can afford to play Semi. I think we have to see if Semi still has the footwork to stay in front of Giannis and slow him down enough to protect Al.
 

DrewDawg

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Yahoo's preview today is saying Brogdon could possibly miss entire series.

Of note: Irving shot only 36% against Bledsoe this year, but Boston scored 1.3 points/possession in those situations, so Irving was distributing the ball effectively.
 

joe dokes

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It's often said that one way to slow down a prolific offensive player is to make him play defense. How do the Celtics do that? Run him? Drive at him? And a more basic question for those more in the know about defensive stats -- is Giannis a good defender (splashy blocks aside)?
 

Euclis20

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It's often said that one way to slow down a prolific offensive player is to make him play defense. How do the Celtics do that? Run him? Drive at him? And a more basic question for those more in the know about defensive stats -- is Giannis a good defender (splashy blocks aside)?
He's terrific. He'll make 1st team all defense is on the short list for DPOY. Per Bref he's 2nd in defensive rating (only behind Whiteside), 3rd in defensive win shares (behind Gobert and Drummond) and tied for 1st in defensive box plus minus (with Gobert). ESPN's real plus minus isn't quite so favorable, but he's still 12th in the league. He's also the most versatile defensive player in the league. There isn't a player in the league that he doesn't match up well with on defense. Think prime Lebron, subtract a bit of speed and power, add length and 100% hustle at all times, and you've got Giannis on D.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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It's often said that one way to slow down a prolific offensive player is to make him play defense. How do the Celtics do that? Run him? Drive at him? And a more basic question for those more in the know about defensive stats -- is Giannis a good defender (splashy blocks aside)?
He's pretty amazing. One website put it this way: Giannis may be the only player in the history of the NBA who could credibly guard all 450-odd players in the league (admittedly hyperbole and there have been others like Giannis who might be able to lay the claim - e.g., KG and McHale in his prime but the point stands).

Here's some commentary on his defense - plus video on MIL's drop coverage vs. PnRs: https://2for1hoops.com/2019/04/12/giannis-antetokounmpo-mvp-and-dpoy/
 

teddykgb

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He's pretty amazing. One website put it this way: Giannis may be the only player in the history of the NBA who could credibly guard all 450-odd players in the league (admittedly hyperbole and there have been others like Giannis who might be able to lay the claim - e.g., KG and McHale in his prime but the point stands).

Here's some commentary on his defense - plus video on MIL's drop coverage vs. PnRs: https://2for1hoops.com/2019/04/12/giannis-antetokounmpo-mvp-and-dpoy/
Kyrie will need to be really disciplined about choosing spots to drive and hopefully his shot is on because his ability to hit the 3 they are conceding with the defense sagging will be critical. I am sure I’m going to be incredibly frustrated with the number of low ball movement possessions with early Kyrie hoists but the PnR with Kyrie is such an important play for us that it’s really important that we are able to generate points with it when we need to
 

lovegtm

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Kyrie will need to be really disciplined about choosing spots to drive and hopefully his shot is on because his ability to hit the 3 they are conceding with the defense sagging will be critical. I am sure I’m going to be incredibly frustrated with the number of low ball movement possessions with early Kyrie hoists but the PnR with Kyrie is such an important play for us that it’s really important that we are able to generate points with it when we need to
Particularly if they’re going to play Baynes: Lopez will sag a lot, and Kyrie will need to take the handoff and hit that 3.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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In the first game when BOS hit 24-55 3Ps,

KI = 6-12;
Al = 4-11;
JT = 2-3;
GH = 3-5;
Semi = 2-4;
TRoz = 1-4;
MaMo = 5-8;
Baynes = 1-5; and
Smart = 0-3.
 

amarshal2

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As far as Jay King's thoughts or the rest of the media, most of them think Marcus Morris Sr was the "most consistent Celtic" this season. I'd be more inclined to listen to Scalabrine's or Tommy's take before anyone else in the media. If they think Gordon will work with the starting 5, I may change my tune.
King isn’t talk radio or the shit-stirring globe dweebs like Dan S. or Volin. He and several others are the hard working beat guys who take their analysis seriously and aren’t just hot takes.

Starting is kind of irrelevant but I think Hayward getting lots of minutes with KI/Al/Brown/Tatum while matching up on Lopez is a real interesting play for the Celtics.

This may be the series where you’re underdogs and you can’t beat the favorites at their own game (the Celtics cannot abandon trying to score in the paint but they also cannot win the battle for points the paint) so you’ve gotta take what they give you and beat them that way. If that’s taking 45 threes a game then there should be some serious though to getting the best 3pt shooters taking those shots. The Celtics really could win this series with defense and 3 point shooting.

What I was saying is that the Bucks are the ultimate pace and space team. They allow a ton of open 3’s due to this style of play but it plays right into their hands offensively.

They fool you into thinking their offense isn’t “efficient” because they don’t shoot a super high pct of 3’s but they don’t have to as they move the ball so well to create angles that on dribble penetration they are virtually unstoppable. Defensively, they also allow a ton of threes however on close outs they force dribble penetration but have two elite rim protectors which is where they gain an enormous advantage compared to when Giannis is attacking the rim.

In short, the Bucks want to play fast and space on both ends of the floor with the 3-point shooting a wash but the dribble penetration with Giannis and Bledsoe attacking opponents bigs (or mediums as their pace forces teams to play smaller) being much greater advantage than the opponents wings attacking the rim against Giannis and Lopez.
This resonates with me, nice post.

How can the Celtics do a better job limiting the dribble penetration of the Bucks guards? I’ve often felt like that was their biggest advantage. I’d rather force them into shooting 3’s than allow those guys to break down the defense the way they have in the past.
 
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TripleOT

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In the early season Celtics win, in 36 minutes GA put up 33 points on 13-22 shooting, 7-11 FTs, 11 boards, 2 assists, 4 TOs, and a minus 4. 2 for 5 on midrange Js, 0-1 from three, 11-16 at the rim. The Bucks shot 31% from three, made 9 of 29 threeballs, and 57% from two, 32 for 56.

Game two Bucks win, 33 minutes GA put up 30 points on 8-13 shooting, 13-17 FTs, 8 boards, 5 assists, 4 TOs, and a plus 15. no midrange Js at all, 1-3 from three, 7-10 at the rim. The Bucks shot 40% from three, made 16 for 40 threeballs, and 62% from two, 25 for 40

Game 3 Bucks win , 37 minutes GA put up 30 points on 11-19 shooting, 7-10 FTs, 13 boards, 6 assists, 4 TOs, and a minus 10. 0 for 2 on midrange Js, 1-2 from three, 10-15 in the paint. The Bucks shot 36% from three and made 14of 39, and 47% from two, 23 for 47.

GA totals in three games. 106 minutes, 93 points on 54 shots!!!, 32-54 shooting, 59%, 28 for 41, 68% in close shots,
4 for 13 on perimeter jumpers, 2/6 from three, 2/7 midrange, 27-38 Fts, 71%. 13 assists to 12 turnovers.

On the bright side, his team was only a plus one point in the 106 minutes of him being on the court. Hopefully he will continue to miss one out of four free throws. Obviously, the Celtics need to wall him off and keep him off the rim. Foul him hard, make him into a passer, and try to get him to take jumpers. I'd rather have his teammates make 40% of their threes than him make 68% of his shots near the rim.
 

PedroKsBambino

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He's pretty amazing. One website put it this way: Giannis may be the only player in the history of the NBA who could credibly guard all 450-odd players in the league (admittedly hyperbole and there have been others like Giannis who might be able to lay the claim - e.g., KG and McHale in his prime but the point stands).

Here's some commentary on his defense - plus video on MIL's drop coverage vs. PnRs: https://2for1hoops.com/2019/04/12/giannis-antetokounmpo-mvp-and-dpoy/
Either Lowe or Simmons had this notion on their podcast too. For me, isn't Dennis Rodman the best example of a guy who could defend everyone? McHale and KG couldn't really defend quick PGs...not sure Giannis can either. Pippen could defend 4 positions, but not true post Bigs.
 

southshoresoxfan

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I think Brad handles Giannis much like he does Embiid. “Let” him get his and not over helping. Trust Horford and others to do enough to slow him and don’t let the shooters get hot from 3.

Milwaukee’s best offensive lineup and defensive lineup are not even close to one and the same, much like the 17-18 76ers. Need to attack Lopez, Hill, Gasoline and Ilysova relentlessly while they are out there.
 

JakeRae

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I think Brad handles Giannis much like he does Embiid. “Let” him get his and not over helping. Trust Horford and others to do enough to slow him and don’t let the shooters get hot from 3.

Milwaukee’s best offensive lineup and defensive lineup are not even close to one and the same, much like the 17-18 76ers. Need to attack Lopez, Hill, Gasoline and Ilysova relentlessly while they are out there.
I think this is the only reasonable way to approach him and it’s what they did in the regular season.

Also, Brown shouldn’t guard Giannis, he should guard Middleton, which plays far more to his strengths and might actually be the key defensive matchup. Lock down the rest of the team and force Giannis to win games on his own.

The Giannis assignment should probably largely go to a combination of Horford and Morris with possible spot minutes for Semi. Our other wings don’t have the size or strength for the role.
 

benhogan

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I think this is the only reasonable way to approach him and it’s what they did in the regular season.

Also, Brown shouldn’t guard Giannis, he should guard Middleton, which plays far more to his strengths and might actually be the key defensive matchup. Lock down the rest of the team and force Giannis to win games on his own.

The Giannis assignment should probably largely go to a combination of Horford and Morris with possible spot minutes for Semi. Our other wings don’t have the size or strength for the role.
Agreed, Jaylen matches up well with Middleton. He's a terrible matchup against Giannis, Brad has tried it numerous times and it hasn't worked.

I like MaMo to guard Lopez or Mirotic, not particularly quick guys. They want to stay on the perimeter and won't expose MaMo defensively around the rim.

If Giannis plays 36mins then 10 physical mins from Semi & 26 mins from Horford.