Tatum got the bag(5 years, $195 million)

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
12,338
I watched both the McHale 58 point game and the Bird 60 a few games after it. It’s tough to top the Bird performance in style points, because he was making shots from all over the court (to the famous reaction of the Hawks’ bench), but it was done in a game where the Celtics ran out to a lead early, and held it all game. Looking at the box score, the Celts had 44 assists on 52 buckets with DJ tallying 17 and Ainge 13. KC Jones’ load management game wasn’t strong, with three starters going 40 minutes, two going 38.

Tatum’s 60 came in an epic comeback, and will be remembered that way. The way he scores so effortlessly, the way points can be accumulated so quickly with threeballs, and the way he can draw fouls, Tatum will score 50+ points quite often, and I won’t be surprised when he goes over 60.
The bolded was typical of the 1984-85 Celtics. Cedric Maxwell, after a strong 1984 season in which he played a key role in the Celtics win Game 7 of the Finals, missed training camp in a contract dispute. And while he didn't miss any regular season games, he was badly out of shape to start the season. However, he worked his way back and was a key part of the Celtics rotation, starting most games but usually ceding minutes to Kevin McHale when The Lanky One came off the bench. Red Auerbach, who came from an era during which there was no free agency, never truly forgave Maxwell for holding out, and would hold it against him later.

The Celtics were still a bit thin in the back court. Gerald Henderson, a key contributor to the 1984 championship, was traded to Seattle before the season for the draft pick that would tragically become Len Bias. Quinn Buckner was essentially useless by that point. Carlos Clark and Rick Carlisle were Geeno-time players before there was a Geeno-time. In a hope to shore up the back court, the Celtics signed free agent Ray Williams from the Knicks in February for the price of 2 second rounders. Williams would, however, need some time to get into shape and find his way into the rotation. Williams did contribute some reasonably solid bench minutes late in the regular season and in the early playoff rounds, but was a non-factor in the Finals against the Lakers. Unfortunately, there was a sad coda to Williams' career, as he was highlighted in a Boston Globe story in 2010 that showed the homeless former player living out of his car, and 3 years later he passed away from colon cancer at the too young age of 58.

A big issue for that team was Maxwell, who tweaked his knee in a game against the Jazz in December. He played through it for 2 months, which was not unusual for a player that missed all of 24 games in his 7 prior seasons, 10 of which were DNP-CD's in his rookie year. But after a loss to the Lakers in February, he told Red and KC that he could not play through it any longer and wanted to get it scoped. For whatever reason, Red was skeptical of the injury, and that skepticism inexplicably continued when the procedure showed some cartilage damage that was repaired. For whatever reason, Red and the Celtics training staff made the procedure to be minor and could not understand it at all when Maxwell would miss 5 weeks. With time running out on the regular season, Maxwell returned, but was only was a shell of his former self. Max was never the same player after that, IIRC he blamed the fact that he rushed back to play. His absence really killed the team's depth; the only other forwards were Scott Wedman, a shooting specialist who could not be counted on for anything resembling defense, and 34 year old ML Carr, who's main purpose at that point was to wave towels.

When the Celtics played the Hawks in New Orleans, Maxwell was out. The first 2 players off the bench were Wedman (20 minutes) and Williams (15), a reasonable amount given that Williams was still working his way back into game shape at the time. The other players available were Buckner, Carr, Clark, Carlisle, and, of course, Greg Kite. The Celtics won by 11, and were certainly in control most of the game, but it wasn't like KC could take his foot off the gas at any point during the game. And there was no way he was going to sit Bird in the 4th quarter once it became apparent that a record was in sight.

The lack of depth eventually caught up to the 1985 Celtics. Bird (+1.2), McHale (+2.2), Parish (+0.3), Dennis Johnson (+3.9) all played more minutes than they did the prior season (as did Ainge, but he came off the bench in 1983-84). But the chickens really came home to roost in the playoffs: Parish (+0.4), DJ (+3.7), McHale (+9.4) and Wedman (+3.3) all played more playoff minutes, with only Bird playing fewer (-1.0, but still 40.8 mpg). And Bird, DJ, and McHale all averaged over 40 mpg in the Finals against the Lakers, with Parish (37.2) and Ainge (33.8) not far behind. Wedman averaged 17.5, while no other player averaged more than 9 (Maxwell). Meanwhile the Lakers had 7 players average at least 22 minutes (Kareem, Worthy, Magic, Byron Scott, Bob McAdoo, and Kurt Rambis), with Mitch Kupchak throwing in another 14. And no Laker averaged more than Worthy's and Magic's 39.2 minutes.

Maxwell being a non-factor in the Finals led to his acrimonious departure, as Red basically threw him under the bus for the loss, and would send Max packing to the LA Clippers. Of course, the return was one Bill Walton. But that's another story.

EDIT: I personally would give the edge to Tatum's performance. Leading a comeback from being 32 points down, and scoring 31 of those 60 in the 4th quarter and OT with literally zero margin for error, while not turning the ball over once should absolutely go down as one of the most remarkable single-game performances in franchise history.
 
Last edited:

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
11,515
Santa Monica
The bolded was typical of the 1984-85 Celtics. Cedric Maxwell, after a strong 1984 season in which he played a key role in the Celtics win Game 7 of the Finals, missed training camp in a contract dispute. And while he didn't miss any regular season games, he was badly out of shape to start the season. However, he worked his way back and was a key part of the Celtics rotation, starting most games but usually ceding minutes to Kevin McHale when The Lanky One came off the bench. Red Auerbach, who came from an era during which there was no free agency, never truly forgave Maxwell for holding out, and would hold it against him later.

The Celtics were still a bit thin in the back court. Gerald Henderson, a key contributor to the 1984 championship, was traded to Seattle before the season for the draft pick that would tragically become Len Bias. Quinn Buckner was essentially useless by that point. Carlos Clark and Rick Carlisle were Geeno-time players before there was a Geeno-time. In a hope to shore up the back court, the Celtics signed free agent Ray Williams from the Knicks in February for the price of 2 second rounders. Williams would, however, need some time to get into shape and find his way into the rotation. Williams did contribute some reasonably solid bench minutes late in the regular season and in the early playoff rounds, but was a non-factor in the Finals against the Lakers. Unfortunately, there was a sad coda to Williams' career, as he was highlighted in a Boston Globe story in 2010 that showed the homeless former player living out of his car, and 3 years later he passed away from colon cancer at the too young age of 58.

A big issue for that team was Maxwell, who tweaked his knee in a game against the Jazz in December. He played through it for 2 months, which was not unusual for a player that missed all of 24 games in his 7 prior seasons, 10 of which were DNP-CD's in his rookie year. But after a loss to the Lakers in February, he told Red and KC that he could not play through it any longer and wanted to get it scoped. For whatever reason, Red was skeptical of the injury, and that skepticism inexplicably continued when the procedure showed some cartilage damage that was repaired. For whatever reason, Red and the Celtics training staff made the procedure to be minor and could not understand it at all when Maxwell would miss 5 weeks. With time running out on the regular season, Maxwell returned, but was only was a shell of his former self. Max was never the same player after that, IIRC he blamed the fact that he rushed back to play. His absence really killed the team's depth; the only other forwards were Scott Wedman, a shooting specialist who could not be counted on for anything resembling defense, and 34 year old ML Carr, who's main purpose at that point was to wave towels.

When the Celtics played the Hawks in New Orleans, Maxwell was out. The first 2 players off the bench were Wedman (20 minutes) and Williams (15), a reasonable amount given that Williams was still working his way back into game shape at the time. The other players available were Buckner, Carr, Clark, Carlisle, and, of course, Greg Kite. The Celtics won by 11, and were certainly in control most of the game, but it wasn't like KC could take his foot off the gas at any point during the game. And there was no way he was going to sit Bird in the 4th quarter once it became apparent that a record was in sight.

The lack of depth eventually caught up to the 1985 Celtics. Bird (+1.2), McHale (+2.2), Parish (+0.3), Dennis Johnson (+3.9) all played more minutes than they did the prior season (as did Ainge, but he came off the bench in 1983-84). But the chickens really came home to roost in the playoffs: Parish (+0.4), DJ (+3.7), McHale (+9.4) and Wedman (+3.3) all played more playoff minutes, with only Bird playing fewer (-1.0, but still 40.8 mpg). And Bird, DJ, and McHale all averaged over 40 mpg in the Finals against the Lakers, with Parish (37.2) and Ainge (33.8) not far behind. Wedman averaged 17.5, while no other player averaged more than 9 (Maxwell). Meanwhile the Lakers had 7 players average at least 22 minutes (Kareem, Worthy, Magic, Byron Scott, Bob McAdoo, and Kurt Rambis), with Mitch Kupchak throwing in another 14. And no Laker averaged more than Worthy's and Magic's 39.2 minutes.

Maxwell being a non-factor in the Finals led to his acrimonious departure, as Red basically threw him under the bus for the loss, and would send Max packing to the LA Clippers. Of course, the return was one Bill Walton. But that's another story.

EDIT: I personally would give the edge to Tatum's performance. Leading a comeback from being 32 points down, and scoring 31 of those 60 in the 4th quarter and OT with literally zero margin for error, while not turning the ball over once should absolutely go down as one of the most remarkable single-game performances in franchise history.
great recap, thanks for that!
 

amarshal2

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 25, 2005
4,875
The story for Tatum this season remains his improvement in two areas: finishing around the rim and passing.

Around the rim he’s finishing his shots at the following rate: this season / career
0-3 ft: .726 / .658
3-10 ft: .420 / .366

And his % of shots taken at those distances:
0-3: .186 / .248
3-10: .216 / .157

His finishing at the rim seems to be driven by both just improved finishing and being more selective. You’ll likely recall last year when he really tried to strip out his mid range game/wasn’t passing and repeatedly forced wild layups he couldn’t make. He’s trading out some wild layups for near mid range shots, which he’s taking at a much higher rate than his career and getting a decent % on the shots he takes. I think he’ll continue to improve in this area as he gets more consistent with his floaters and has teammate he can rely on to create for.

His improvements in passing are well covered in this thread but need to be pointed out. His assist rate is at 20.5% vs 14.5% last year and 10.0% the year before. He’s still got a ways to go to be an elite playmaker and considered a top 5 or even 10 offensive player but he’s making progress.

edit for context: KD is at .735% 0-3 and .445 3-10 for his career. Like Tatum he started slower and now in his prime he’s averaged closer to .800 and near .500 the past few seasons.
 
Last edited:

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
4,424
The story for Tatum this season remains his improvement in two areas: finishing around the rim and passing.

Around the rim he’s finishing his shots at the following rate: this season / career
0-3 ft: .726 / .658
3-10 ft: .420 / .366

And his % of shots taken at those distances:
0-3: .186 / .248
3-10: .216 / .157

His finishing at the rim seems to be driven by both just improved finishing and being more selective. You’ll likely recall last year when he really tried to strip out his mid range game/wasn’t passing and repeatedly forced wild layups he couldn’t make. He’s trading out some wild layups for near mid range shots, which he’s taking at a much higher rate than his career and getting close to a decent % on the shots he takes. I think he’ll continue to improve in this area as he gets more consistent with his floaters and has teammate he can rely on to create for.

His improvements in passing are well covered in this thread but need to be pointed out. His assist rate is at 20.5% vs 14.5% last year and 10.0% the year before. He’s still got a ways to go to be an elite playmaker and considered a top 5 or even 10 offensive player but he’s making progress.
Tatum has expanded the type of close to the basket shots this season. He uses his length to get to the other side of the rim often. He throws up 3-5 foot mini-floaters off odd angles while shouldering defenders. He’s also strong enough now to straight bogart defenders trying to stop him when standing straight up, hands up. He even threw up a nice finger roll recently.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
12,338
Just trying to spell out who the locks are for the forward positions, now that King James has returned:

LeBron, Jokic, Giannis, Kawhi, and Embiid seem obvious. Leaves 4 slots for Tatum, Zion, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Gobert, and Randle. Too few games for AD or KD to be given consideration.

Backcourt is similarly jammed: Luka and Steph are the locks. But that leaves Lillard, Beal, Harden, Kyrie, Mitchell and Chris Paul to battle over the remaining 4 spots.

Did I miss anyone?
 

DGreenwood

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 2, 2003
1,651
Seattle
Just trying to spell out who the locks are for the forward positions, now that King James has returned:

LeBron, Jokic, Giannis, Kawhi, and Embiid seem obvious. Leaves 4 slots for Tatum, Zion, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Gobert, and Randle. Too few games for AD or KD to be given consideration.

Backcourt is similarly jammed: Luka and Steph are the locks. But that leaves Lillard, Beal, Harden, Kyrie, Mitchell and Chris Paul to battle over the remaining 4 spots.

Did I miss anyone?
They don't lump centers and forwards together do they? I think there will be three centers (probably Jokic, Embiid, Gobert) and six forwards. Those six will probably be some combo of Giannis, Lebron, Randle, PG, Kawhi, Zion, and Tatum.
 
Last edited:

mcpickl

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2007
3,668
They don't lump centers and forwards together do they? I think there will be three centers (probably Jokic, Embiid, Gobert) and six forwards. Those six will probably be some combo of Giannis, Lebron, Randle, PG, Kawhi, Zion, and Tatum.
They don't.

Jokic, Embiid, and Gobert are locks for the three centers
Giannis, Kawhi, Randle, George and Lebron I think are locks or near locks for forwards. (George could qualify as a guard, but that's just as deep as forward)

I think Tatum is fighting for the last spot with Zion and Jimmy Butler.

I'd guess Zion gets it, unless Tatum has a few more monster games and moves the Celtics up to the 4/5 seeds, same for Butler.
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
30,658
Melrose, MA
He told McHale during the game to get as many as he could, because he was going to score 60.
There's one other thing I remember about Bird, McHale, and McHale's 56 point game.

Bird was originally recruited to Indiana by Bobby Knight. It was a poor fit for him, and he quickly bailed out and quit. The following year he was recruited to Indiana State, where he excelled, leading to the weird situation where Red Auerback drfted him a year early because his original class had graduated.

During his brief stay at Indy, though, some of Indy's veteran players, including one Kent Benson, shat all over him and he never forgot.

And Kent Benson was the Detroit Piston who drew the unfortunate assignment of trying to guard Kevin McHale in his 56 point game. Bird was happy to let McHale destroy his old tormentor.
Mike Gorman is an incredible class act. I love hearing him talk about the Celtic history he has seen.
 

Devizier

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2000
14,486
Somewhere
And Kent Benson was the Detroit Piston who drew the unfortunate assignment of trying to guard Kevin McHale in his 56 point game. Bird was happy to let McHale destroy his old tormentor.
I love this stories. Love them.

Unfortunately, it looks like Kent Benson has fallen on hard times.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
11,515
Santa Monica
The story for Tatum this season remains his improvement in two areas: finishing around the rim and passing.

Around the rim he’s finishing his shots at the following rate: this season / career
0-3 ft: .726 / .658
3-10 ft: .420 / .366

And his % of shots taken at those distances:
0-3: .186 / .248
3-10: .216 / .157

His finishing at the rim seems to be driven by both just improved finishing and being more selective. You’ll likely recall last year when he really tried to strip out his mid range game/wasn’t passing and repeatedly forced wild layups he couldn’t make. He’s trading out some wild layups for near mid range shots, which he’s taking at a much higher rate than his career and getting a decent % on the shots he takes. I think he’ll continue to improve in this area as he gets more consistent with his floaters and has teammate he can rely on to create for.

His improvements in passing are well covered in this thread but need to be pointed out. His assist rate is at 20.5% vs 14.5% last year and 10.0% the year before. He’s still got a ways to go to be an elite playmaker and considered a top 5 or even 10 offensive player but he’s making progress.

edit for context: KD is at .735% 0-3 and .445 3-10 for his career. Like Tatum he started slower and now in his prime he’s averaged closer to .800 and near .500 the past few seasons.
Nice research. thanks

We saw Tatum go through (and draw) on a beefy BIG (Poeltl) around the hoop a few times. That's HUGE. It feels like he is emerging out of his COVID haze. A summer of adding some muscle/strength will turn him into foul drawing machine. Still plenty of offensive upside here
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
15,517
Nice research. thanks

We saw Tatum go through (and draw) on a beefy BIG (Poeltl) around the hoop a few times. That's HUGE. It feels like he is emerging out of his COVID haze. A summer of adding some muscle/strength will turn him into foul drawing machine. Still plenty of offensive upside here
Been drawing for awhile. Last 11 games, 8.8 FTA/G. First 46, 4.4 FGA/G.
 

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2004
24,092
Saskatoon Canada
His scoring is really reminding me of Bird. I am not saying he is the all around player Bird was, but as a scorer he is right there. He has been doing for a month what Bird did for years, but he is younger. Tatum is an incredible scorer.

To me he is more Bird than Pierce. I mean he is just getting to a spot and shooting over people, because he is bigger, and can make shots with guys all over him. He isn't telling X before the timeout, but there are many of the same type of shots. Like Bird he doesn't blow by people with absurd athleticism, but because they have to play him so tight. But he is closer to the top athletes of his era than Bird was so can power drive and dunk it too. Bird was nuts with his reverses, floaters, in tight bank shots etc, but I think it's wash with Tatum's vertical game.

If he never gets the insane confidence Bird had at the end of games, that is like saying pitcher didn't acquire Pedro's changeup. Probably not seeing that again in our lifetime.

To me this means they need to design plays like they ran for Larry at the end of games, wing cathes, insceens, etc, rather than the Iso off the ballscreen.
 

slamminsammya

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
5,083
Palo Alto
His scoring is really reminding me of Bird. I am not saying he is the all around player Bird was, but as a scorer he is right there. He has been doing for a month what Bird did for years, but he is younger. Tatum is an incredible scorer.

To me he is more Bird than Pierce. I mean he is just getting to a spot and shooting over people, because he is bigger, and can make shots with guys all over him. He isn't telling X before the timeout, but there are many of the same type of shots. Like Bird he doesn't blow by people with absurd athleticism, but because they have to play him so tight. But he is closer to the top athletes of his era than Bird was so can power drive and dunk it too. Bird was nuts with his reverses, floaters, in tight bank shots etc, but I think it's wash with Tatum's vertical game.

If he never gets the insane confidence Bird had at the end of games, that is like saying pitcher didn't acquire Pedro's changeup. Probably not seeing that again in our lifetime.

To me this means they need to design plays like they ran for Larry at the end of games, wing cathes, insceens, etc, rather than the Iso off the ballscreen.
Do you think the difference in defenses over the years will make those actions as effective as they were for Larry?
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
30,658
Melrose, MA
His scoring is really reminding me of Bird. I am not saying he is the all around player Bird was, but as a scorer he is right there. He has been doing for a month what Bird did for years, but he is younger. Tatum is an incredible scorer.

To me he is more Bird than Pierce. I mean he is just getting to a spot and shooting over people, because he is bigger, and can make shots with guys all over him. He isn't telling X before the timeout, but there are many of the same type of shots. Like Bird he doesn't blow by people with absurd athleticism, but because they have to play him so tight. But he is closer to the top athletes of his era than Bird was so can power drive and dunk it too. Bird was nuts with his reverses, floaters, in tight bank shots etc, but I think it's wash with Tatum's vertical game.

If he never gets the insane confidence Bird had at the end of games, that is like saying pitcher didn't acquire Pedro's changeup. Probably not seeing that again in our lifetime.

To me this means they need to design plays like they ran for Larry at the end of games, wing cathes, insceens, etc, rather than the Iso off the ballscreen.
He's certainly the closest thing we have seen to Bird in the past 29 years. A great shooter who can score is a variety of different ways and a well-rounded player not just a pure shooter/scorer.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
15,517
A great shooter who can score is a variety of different ways and a well-rounded player not just a pure shooter/scorer.
Ain't that The Truth. I'm here all week.

edit: it was either Tommy or Mike who said Pierce was possibly the best scorer on the C's of all time.
 

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2004
24,092
Saskatoon Canada
Do you think the difference in defenses over the years will make those actions as effective as they were for Larry?
A month ago I would have said, Bird wasn't walking, you know the rest, but now..
They won't be the same, where Bird knows a guy has to respect McHale, or Parish in the low ost (or both at once to be honest) but him catching the ball rather than initiating off the dribble.
I would have said no, except tTtum is taking and making the same kind of shots. I have had the out of town feed for most games I get to watch, and not that color guys are always the best, but I think they parrot the coaches they interview, and most like Scal are former players. They have been saying Tatum takes the contested turnarounds, midrange shots that are usually considered bad shots today, but makes them well enough to be dangerous. They say that with his 3 point game make him scary. They were saying the book was to make him dribble, start crossing over, but that the smaller guys that used to make him do that, he simply, gets to mid post and shoots over them, and bigs guys that chased him off the three, he gets into the paint and gets fouled, but the Birdlike thing is he is making these 15-17 foot fades over 6'8+ 3 and D guys.
 

Jimbodandy

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
5,146
around the way
His scoring is really reminding me of Bird. I am not saying he is the all around player Bird was, but as a scorer he is right there. He has been doing for a month what Bird did for years, but he is younger. Tatum is an incredible scorer.

To me he is more Bird than Pierce. I mean he is just getting to a spot and shooting over people, because he is bigger, and can make shots with guys all over him. He isn't telling X before the timeout, but there are many of the same type of shots. Like Bird he doesn't blow by people with absurd athleticism, but because they have to play him so tight. But he is closer to the top athletes of his era than Bird was so can power drive and dunk it too. Bird was nuts with his reverses, floaters, in tight bank shots etc, but I think it's wash with Tatum's vertical game.

If he never gets the insane confidence Bird had at the end of games, that is like saying pitcher didn't acquire Pedro's changeup. Probably not seeing that again in our lifetime.

To me this means they need to design plays like they ran for Larry at the end of games, wing cathes, insceens, etc, rather than the Iso off the ballscreen.
I love everything about this post.

I see much more Bird in his game also. They'd stick smaller guys on Bird to make his life harder (ball deny, staying in front/off his hip), and he'd just shoot right over those guys. Tatum not only does that but also can sidestep and shoot over the 7-footers too.

He has most of what Pierce has too, but the high release and better outside threat makes his profile way more Bird. He's as much Dirk as Pierce, if you want a guy from the same draft.

edit: "as much" rather than "more"
 
Last edited:

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
41,678
Not sure exactly when the turnaround happened but he has committed to keeping his dribble in the paint in a way that allows him more options for scoring easily or drawing a foul. He's simply getting closer to the rim before going up with his shots. More up and unders, etc. He went through this to some degree as a rookie to when he would do that loooong swoop layup until defenses caught on. This is a little bit more herky jerky, but also aggressive and more intentional. His footwork is so good and he's so damn long that getting that much closer to the rim makes it so much easier for him.

It's the difference between getting a pretty good look and an unmissable look.
 
Last edited:

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2004
24,092
Saskatoon Canada
Not sure exactly when the turnaround happened but he has committed to keeping his dribble in the paint in a way that allows him more options for scoring easily or drawing a foul. He's simply getting closer to the rim before going up with his shots. More up and unders, etc. He went through this to some degree as a rookie to when he would do that loooong swoop layup until defenses caught on. This is a little bit more herky jerky, but also aggressive and more intentional. His footwork is so good and he's so damn long that getting that much closer to the rim makes it so much easier for him.

It's the difference between getting a pretty good look and an unmissable look.
Great observation. He realizes how much respect his turnaround has so the shot fake is deadly now.
 

slamminsammya

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
5,083
Palo Alto
I just think its remarkable what his upside is when you consider that he is having a fantastic season despite:

1) Being one of the highest iso usage players in the league while also
2) being one of the least efficient iso players in the league.

How much better does he get when he starts converting even a few of those turnaround mid range shots into fouls or passes to teammates? Or just makes more of them?
 

RorschachsMask

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2011
1,724
Lynn
I just think its remarkable what his upside is when you consider that he is having a fantastic season despite:

1) Being one of the highest iso usage players in the league while also
2) being one of the least efficient iso players in the league.

How much better does he get when he starts converting even a few of those turnaround mid range shots into fouls or passes to teammates? Or just makes more of them?
Especially because last year he showed that he can be a dangerous ISO player, was in the 76th percentile with 16% ISO frequency, as opposed to the 39th percentile on 18.4% frequency this season.

Once he picks his ISO spots better, combined with the rapidly improving ability to get to the line, and finding others when he has 2-3 defenders shadowing him? Good lord he’s going to a terrifying player. While I have always been extremely bullish on him, I thought he’d be more of a top 4-8 player at his peak. But if him getting to the line like this is for real? I don’t think there’s anything stopping him from hitting that top tier, once he’s in his prime.

Small side comment, him and Nesmith look like they’re developing fantastic chemistry out there.
 
Last edited:

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
12,338
But I don't think a single player can take up 2 spots. So, while Embiid can be eligible for both, he will get in only as a C or F, not both. But I could see a scenario that somehow KAT, AD or, worse, Bam gets one of the 3 C slots and some downstream affects from there. For example, C's are Jokic, Gobert, and KAT, with the voters placing Embiid placing one of the F spots as a result (or some other permutation).
 

Euclis20

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
3,997
Imaginationland
Considering how many quality players there are, it's going to be ugly when one of the regulars (Lebron, Kawhi, etc) make an all-NBA team despite missing a third of the season or more.
 

mcpickl

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2007
3,668
But I don't think a single player can take up 2 spots. So, while Embiid can be eligible for both, he will get in only as a C or F, not both. But I could see a scenario that somehow KAT, AD or, worse, Bam gets one of the 3 C slots and some downstream affects from there. For example, C's are Jokic, Gobert, and KAT, with the voters placing Embiid placing one of the F spots as a result (or some other permutation).
Right.

But if they weren't eligible at both spots, the three centers would be locked in as Jokic, Embiid and Rudy, leaving six forward spots open.

I think it's very possible with dual eligibilty, Jokic and Embiid both make first team. That bumps Rudy up as 2nd team center and a third guy, probably Adebayo, that would've had no shot as 3rd team center. Then only five forwards spots are open since they would be giving one to a center in this scenario.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
12,338
Right.

But if they weren't eligible at both spots, the three centers would be locked in as Jokic, Embiid and Rudy, leaving six forward spots open.

I think it's very possible with dual eligibilty, Jokic and Embiid both make first team. That bumps Rudy up as 2nd team center and a third guy, probably Adebayo, that would've had no shot as 3rd team center. Then only five forwards spots are open since they would be giving one to a center in this scenario.
I realize they play different positions, but for Bam Adebayo to get an All-NBA slot ahead of Tatum would be somewhere between a mockery and a travesty.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
15,227
How on earth are Jokic/Embiid forwards? All those Jokic/Isaiah Hartenstein minutes?
 

mcpickl

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2007
3,668
I realize they play different positions, but for Bam Adebayo to get an All-NBA slot ahead of Tatum would be somewhere between a mockery and a travesty.
I agree.

But if one of the centers gets shoved to forward, there will be an extra center that has to make third team.
 

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2004
24,092
Saskatoon Canada
The bolded was typical of the 1984-85 Celtics. Cedric Maxwell, after a strong 1984 season in which he played a key role in the Celtics win Game 7 of the Finals, missed training camp in a contract dispute. And while he didn't miss any regular season games, he was badly out of shape to start the season. However, he worked his way back and was a key part of the Celtics rotation, starting most games but usually ceding minutes to Kevin McHale when The Lanky One came off the bench. Red Auerbach, who came from an era during which there was no free agency, never truly forgave Maxwell for holding out, and would hold it against him later.

The Celtics were still a bit thin in the back court. Gerald Henderson, a key contributor to the 1984 championship, was traded to Seattle before the season for the draft pick that would tragically become Len Bias. Quinn Buckner was essentially useless by that point. Carlos Clark and Rick Carlisle were Geeno-time players before there was a Geeno-time. In a hope to shore up the back court, the Celtics signed free agent Ray Williams from the Knicks in February for the price of 2 second rounders. Williams would, however, need some time to get into shape and find his way into the rotation. Williams did contribute some reasonably solid bench minutes late in the regular season and in the early playoff rounds, but was a non-factor in the Finals against the Lakers. Unfortunately, there was a sad coda to Williams' career, as he was highlighted in a Boston Globe story in 2010 that showed the homeless former player living out of his car, and 3 years later he passed away from colon cancer at the too young age of 58.

A big issue for that team was Maxwell, who tweaked his knee in a game against the Jazz in December. He played through it for 2 months, which was not unusual for a player that missed all of 24 games in his 7 prior seasons, 10 of which were DNP-CD's in his rookie year. But after a loss to the Lakers in February, he told Red and KC that he could not play through it any longer and wanted to get it scoped. For whatever reason, Red was skeptical of the injury, and that skepticism inexplicably continued when the procedure showed some cartilage damage that was repaired. For whatever reason, Red and the Celtics training staff made the procedure to be minor and could not understand it at all when Maxwell would miss 5 weeks. With time running out on the regular season, Maxwell returned, but was only was a shell of his former self. Max was never the same player after that, IIRC he blamed the fact that he rushed back to play. His absence really killed the team's depth; the only other forwards were Scott Wedman, a shooting specialist who could not be counted on for anything resembling defense, and 34 year old ML Carr, who's main purpose at that point was to wave towels.

When the Celtics played the Hawks in New Orleans, Maxwell was out. The first 2 players off the bench were Wedman (20 minutes) and Williams (15), a reasonable amount given that Williams was still working his way back into game shape at the time. The other players available were Buckner, Carr, Clark, Carlisle, and, of course, Greg Kite. The Celtics won by 11, and were certainly in control most of the game, but it wasn't like KC could take his foot off the gas at any point during the game. And there was no way he was going to sit Bird in the 4th quarter once it became apparent that a record was in sight.

The lack of depth eventually caught up to the 1985 Celtics. Bird (+1.2), McHale (+2.2), Parish (+0.3), Dennis Johnson (+3.9) all played more minutes than they did the prior season (as did Ainge, but he came off the bench in 1983-84). But the chickens really came home to roost in the playoffs: Parish (+0.4), DJ (+3.7), McHale (+9.4) and Wedman (+3.3) all played more playoff minutes, with only Bird playing fewer (-1.0, but still 40.8 mpg). And Bird, DJ, and McHale all averaged over 40 mpg in the Finals against the Lakers, with Parish (37.2) and Ainge (33.8) not far behind. Wedman averaged 17.5, while no other player averaged more than 9 (Maxwell). Meanwhile the Lakers had 7 players average at least 22 minutes (Kareem, Worthy, Magic, Byron Scott, Bob McAdoo, and Kurt Rambis), with Mitch Kupchak throwing in another 14. And no Laker averaged more than Worthy's and Magic's 39.2 minutes.

Maxwell being a non-factor in the Finals led to his acrimonious departure, as Red basically threw him under the bus for the loss, and would send Max packing to the LA Clippers. Of course, the return was one Bill Walton. But that's another story.

EDIT: I personally would give the edge to Tatum's performance. Leading a comeback from being 32 points down, and scoring 31 of those 60 in the 4th quarter and OT with literally zero margin for error, while not turning the ball over once should absolutely go down as one of the most remarkable single-game performances in franchise history.
Along with Bird's driveway, Bias, the lack of depth killed that dynasty. I know I defend the past eras, but the 80s Cs had at least two non NBA level guys at all times.
 

Euclis20

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
3,997
Imaginationland
Right.

But if they weren't eligible at both spots, the three centers would be locked in as Jokic, Embiid and Rudy, leaving six forward spots open.

I think it's very possible with dual eligibilty, Jokic and Embiid both make first team. That bumps Rudy up as 2nd team center and a third guy, probably Adebayo, that would've had no shot as 3rd team center. Then only five forwards spots are open since they would be giving one to a center in this scenario.
I agree that it's possible, but it's fucking dumb that a guy who missed more than a quarter of the season would make 1st team. He's good enough (and the competition at the center spot weak enough) that Embiid should for sure make 2nd (or at worst 3rd) team, but the fact that he could make 1st team at a position he doesn't even play in a year when he'll have about 50 games played is awful.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
12,338
Along with Bird's driveway, Bias, the lack of depth killed that dynasty. I know I defend the past eras, but the 80s Cs had at least two non NBA level guys at all times.
You can add McHale's foot. And drafting Michael Bleepin' Smith over Tim Hardaway.
 

bakahump

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 8, 2001
6,792
Maine
On some personal level it would have to piss off the players against OTHER PLAYERS as well. Sure we all know that its not Bams fault he plays well enough to get all NBA and its not his fault he has a "Center" label.

But when it comes to money rarely are people, especially ultra competitve ones rational.
"Can you believe friggin Embiid beat me out for all NBA AT FORWARD in '21?! That cost me about 25 million."

Wily of the owners to tie it to ALL NBA.
 

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
10,199
Actually it has turned out to be counterproductive as you see a lot of guys play for counting numbers in their fourth year. The owners should have just bit the bullet and given themselves the ability to designate players from the getgo without respect to their All NBA status.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
23,026
And drafting Michael Bleepin' Smith over Tim Hardaway.
Or just taking one of two local products - Dana Barros or Clifford Robinson.

After Michael Smith was taken, it went Hardaway, Todd Lichti, Dana Barros, Shawn Kemp, and BJ Armstrong. And LAL got Divac.

BTW, that was the Frank Kornet, the original Green Kornet, draft year too.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
12,338
Or just taking one of two local products - Dana Barros or Clifford Robinson.

After Michael Smith was taken, it went Hardaway, Todd Lichti, Dana Barros, Shawn Kemp, and BJ Armstrong. And LAL got Divac.

BTW, that was the Frank Kornet, the original Green Kornet, draft year too.
It was also the year the Celtics drafted a future Basketball Hall of Famer in the 2nd round. So I guess it wasn't all bad ;)
 

Jakarta

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 18, 2020
30
Actually it has turned out to be counterproductive as you see a lot of guys play for counting numbers in their fourth year. The owners should have just bit the bullet and given themselves the ability to designate players from the getgo without respect to their All NBA status.
Hasn’t it also been counter-productive in that guys who have already gotten their second contract either end up with massive, over market contracts from desperate teams (Wall, Westbrook), which makes it nearly impossible to build a competitive team around, or the players realize this and don’t value the extra money, and force their way to their preferred destination. Is there an example of a third contract super max that has worked out for the team that signed the contract?
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
30,658
Melrose, MA
Oddly, Tatum's 50 yesterday came in a game that is considered neither a playoff game nor a regular season game.

Still, it is his 3rd 50+ game in 38 days. No Celtic had done that before.

Here are all of the Celtics 50+ games, regular season or... postseason.

1T. Larry Bird, 60, 3/12/1985
1T. Jayson Tatum, 60, 4/30/2021
3. Kevin McHale, 56, 3/3/1985
4. John Havlicek, 54, 4/1/1973 (playoffs)
5T. Bird, 53, 3/30/1983
5T. Isaiah Thomas, 53, 5/2/2017 (playoffs)
5T. Tatum, 53, 4/9/2021
8. Thomas, 52, 12/30/2016
9T. Sam Jones, 51, 10/29/1965
9T. Jones, 51, 3/28/1967 (playoffs)
9T. Ray Allen, 51, 4/30/2009 (playoffs)
12T. Bob Cousy, 3/21/1953 (playoffs)
12T. Bird, 50, 3/10/1986
12T. Bird, 50, 11/10/1989
12T. Paul Pierce, 50, 2/15/2006
12T. Tatum, 50, 5/18/2021 (play in game)

Only 2 Celtics have done it more than twice: Bird (4) and Tatum (3). Only 9 Celtics have scored 50+ more than once. And IT is the only other guy to do it twice in one season before Tatum. Sam Jones is the youngest Celtic to go for 50, but Tatum is the youngest to do it more than once.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
12,338
Good list, as it shows why the only question Danny should be asking going forward is "How do I build a contending team around Tatum?".
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
4,424
He’s gotten some heat locally and nationally this season, but the Tatum consternation is lacking some perspective. JT is the purest scorer the Celtics have had since Bird (and Bird was picking up trash and playing for free in a shitty conference at age 20-22).

Of course, we didn’t micro-analyze basketball, tweet, and talk about the NBA 24-7 on sports networks when Bird played, or for most of Pierce’s Celtics career.

Tatum’s career path is of a historically great player. If he goes 5-15 for “only” 19 first half points, or has only one assist in a half, that’s not uncommon for the Jordans, Kobes, etc. The play in game 50 piece was the most workmanlike 50 point game I’ve witnessed. He’s a preternatural scorer, like a Durant.

Seeing his work ethic, his season to season improvement, and his playoff resume (at such a young age), I have 100% faith in Tatum ascending to the top of the league in the next few seasons.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
4,424
Good list, as it shows why the only question Danny should be asking going forward is "How do I build a contending team around Tatum?".
I think the question should be “How do I build around Tatum and Jaylen Brown?”

1) Big PG who can make threes. Tatum and Brown can guard 1-4, and even body some 5s on switches. Having a big PG allows total switchability. It also makes it easier to enter the ball on post ups.

2) An athletic rim protector/rim runner who can help offensive flow, which they have in Robert Williams

3) Wing players comfortable with being complementary pieces, who can spot up from three and slash against closeouts (Fournier? Nesmith?) One should ideally be a tough guy.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
12,740
When they're playing well, with Fournier doing his thing and Nesmith hustling and knocking down shots, and Rob Williams defending and passing and catching lob passes, they look like they're world beaters. When Tatum is shooting 3-12 and Nesmith isn't doing anything and Fournier is forcing shots, and Rob Williams looks lost, they get pummeled by crappy teams.

But they have the ability to be fantastic. The key is figuring out how to get them to more consistently play at the level they're capable of. Because we know it's THERE.
 

Sam Ray Not

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
7,668
NYC
At some point in the next 4-5 years JT is gonna be better than Durant. Might as well be pro-active and start now?