The 2017/2018 Boston Celtics Regular season thread

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nighthob

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Yeah, this is the old "We have guys that are dinged and we're playing the Tank Battle 2018! leaders" break.
 

JCizzle

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Yeah, this is the old "We have guys that are dinged and we're playing the Tank Battle 2018! leaders" break.
Perfect time for it too, five games (including yesterday) in seven days is ridiculous. This London trip is so so dumb
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Perfect time for it too, five games (including yesterday) in seven days is ridiculous. This London trip is so so dumb
Yep, this is modern NBA 101. Third game in four nights on the road with two more games on Wednesday and Friday. Letting the bruised get some rest.
 

lovegtm

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Perfect time for it too, five games (including yesterday) in seven days is ridiculous. This London trip is so so dumb
On the plus side, they have a ton of wins banked, and the rest schedule is a lot better post-London iirc.

One of the biggest benefits of their play to this point is that they can rest Kyrie and Al in Bulls games.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Sounds suspiciously like scheduled rest against a bad team.
This.

Brad is going all Pop on us tonight I see. First time facing Kris Dunn as a starter and he's turned himself into a nice little 15/8/5/2 guy while shooting over 41% from 3 on the year. He's been cutting his turnovers down of late but will face a big test against our backcourt pressure of Rozier/Smart/Larkin tonight.
 

DJnVa

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I want him to go full Devin Booker.
Yeah--in preseason I said that Tatum was going to have X number of games scoring 25 points and people didn't think that would happen. I'll admit I thought it would happen because he would get some run in blowouts and have a few big nights. I didn't think he would be *this*--contributing to the starting 5 every night, which limits some of his shots.

But tonight? Tonight? Lock and load baby.
 

BigSoxFan

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Yeah--in preseason I said that Tatum was going to have X number of games scoring 25 points and people didn't think that would happen. I'll admit I thought it would happen because he would get some run in blowouts and have a few big nights. I didn't think he would be *this*--contributing to the starting 5 every night, which limits some of his shots.

But tonight? Tonight? Lock and load baby.
We're all going to be so disappointed when Smart takes 25 shots tonight.
 

HomeRunBaker

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We're all going to be so disappointed when Smart takes 25 shots tonight.
...................in the first half.

This is his contract year game. Don't think for a second he isn't the one locked and loaded to jack up everything.
 

lovegtm

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...................in the first half.

This is his contract year game. Don't think for a second he isn't the one locked and loaded to jack up everything.
Does he not realize that each shot he takes lowers his next contract by a mil? The league is completely convinced now that he will never be a shooter.
 

Koufax

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I'm getting this surprise feeling that Terry is not an awful shooter. He's made a ton of 3s in the last few games. His recent success will give him plenty of confidence to chuck it up tonight as well. Let's see how he does.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Kyrie Irving's last 12 games: 27.9 points, 4.2 assists, 2.8 rebounds, .9 steals on .567/.508/.875 shooting. He's up to .492/.397/.878. Way too early, but I wonder if he has a chance for the rare .500/.400/.900 club.

Re Rozier, he's been hitting the 3 consistently all year. Too bad he can't finish near the rim but I'm not worried about his 3 point shot. I think he'll finish close to league average in that regard.

Also find it interesting Al Horford leads the Celtics in assists, with Marcus Smart 2nd.
 

Cesar Crespo

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The others have had days off.
If Jaylen played all 28 games, Tatum would fall to 3rd in points, 3s made and rebounds. He'd have 14 less points, 6 less rebounds and 1 less three than Jaylen. He'd fall in minutes played quite a bit though.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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This is good news I think? Come back healthy in early February. The injury was clearly bugging him...it just sucks he won't be around for the inevitable scuffle/fight with the wizards.
And hopefully Tatum calls his own number a little more when he's out with the second unit.
 

Manzivino

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This is good news I think? Come back healthy in early February. The injury was clearly bugging him...it just sucks he won't be around for the inevitable scuffle/fight with the wizards.
It’s good news because he’s been pretty disappointing overall (his on-off is a brutal -10.1 points per 100 possessions) and there’s hope that the lingering knee issues are contributing to that.
 

Imbricus

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I thought people here might find this interesting. I was crunching some numbers to confirm a hunch. Basically the NBA's top six teams by winning % right now are:

1. Houston .840
2. Boston .793
3. Golden State .786
4. San Antonio .704
4. Cleveland .704
6. Toronto .680

But what if we looked at, eh, "Stomp Factor" (or come up with your own name)? Basically, it's the ability of a team to show how strong it is with a dominant win (here, I'm defining dominant win as beating an opponent by 15 points or more). What percent of total games played did the team win in a dominant fashion? Using that criterion, the order gets reshuffled to this:

1. Houston .520
2. Golden State .393
3. Toronto .240
4. San Antonio .185
5. Boston .138
6. Cleveland .111

In other words, for more than half of the games it has played (52%), Houston has not only won, but won "big" (by 15 points or more). But for Boston, such dominant wins occur only a little more than one game in eight (13.8%). I know some of those who post here will argue that's just because Brad is smarter about using his resources, and getting the subs in quicker when it's a runaway game. But the argument could also be made that Boston's a bit of a paper tiger right now that's been rather lucky and rather well-coached, finding ways to win. I know I'm not the first to propose that, but I thought this way of looking at it was interesting.

Edit: Fixed mistake in Cleveland's % for dominant wins. Should have been .111, which is lower than Boston. Also here's the list if you look at % of games won by at least 10 points (not 15). The order settles down quite a lot -- so, to be fair, Boston has won a decent amount of games by 10 to 14 points:

1. Houston .640
2. Golden State .500
3. Boston .379
4. Toronto .360
5. San Antonio .333
6. Cleveland .259
 
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Devizier

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During the 85-86 season, Manute Bol blocked 397 shots, which would have ranked him 14th among NBA teams last season.
 

Imbricus

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Actually I count only 11 not 12 right? That's an interesting question, though the more you reduce the differential, the more it's going to spring back to something closer to the winning percentages. I'll take a look though.
 

tims4wins

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I was just eyeballing quickly I might be wrong. 10 points is obviously still an arbitrary cutoff but still usually indicates the winning team was in control

Edit: another way to look at it would be pythag, or point differential. Celts are 4th at +5.9, which is way below the Dubs and Rockets at +11.0. But it is also significantly better than Cleveland's +3.3
 

bowiac

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I was just eyeballing quickly I might be wrong. 10 points is obviously still an arbitrary cutoff but still usually indicates the winning team was in control

Edit: another way to look at it would be pythag, or point differential. Celts are 4th at +5.9, which is way below the Dubs and Rockets at +11.0. But it is also significantly better than Cleveland's +3.3
Yeah, this is effectively just capturing the difference between W% and pythagorean W%.

I would expect the Celtics to outperform their pythagorean record, although probably by not as much as they've actually done so.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Not sure why an arbitrary point cutoff indicating a "dominant win" (whether 15 pts, 10 pts, etc.) would be more descriptive or predictive than just total point differential (i.e. Pythag record). Seems like a recipe for getting as much noise as signal, especially in samples as small as 25-28 games.

Edit: what others said.

I like B-Ref's SRS in that it factors in both point differential and strength of schedule.

https://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2018.html
 

tims4wins

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One thing about the pythag though: the Celts are +171 through their 29 games for the +5.9 average. But last night they rested a bunch of guys and lost by 23. So last night's loss dropped their margin from +6.9 to +5.9.
 

nighthob

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But for Boston, such dominant wins occur only a little more than one game in eight (13.8%). I know some of those who post here will argue that's just because Brad is smarter about using his resources, and getting the subs in quicker when it's a runaway game. But the argument could also be made that Boston's a bit of a paper tiger right now that's been rather lucky and rather well-coached, finding ways to win. I know I'm not the first to propose that, but I thought this way of looking at it was interesting.
One thing that your look doesn't capture is that unlike the rest of the teams in that last, Boston is playing a traditional schedule full of back to backs and four in sixes while the rest of NBA (except Philly, of course) is playing an easier schedule.
 

bowiac

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One thing that your look doesn't capture is that unlike the rest of the teams in that last, Boston is playing a traditional schedule full of back to backs and four in sixes while the rest of NBA (except Philly, of course) is playing an easier schedule.
Is this true? I don't track 4 in 6 nights, but the Celtics have actually not had a particularly bad schedule with respect to back-to-backs (they have had 4 - the NBA average to this point is 4.5).
 

nighthob

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Well they do lead the NBA in games played (29) so far. But glancing at the totals Philly's schedule apparently hasn't been as bad as they're at 26 games like nearly the entire NBA. Golden State and Orlando have each played 28 games, so they have a near equal claim to Boston on the busy front. But Boston's still played more than anyone else.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Well they do lead the NBA in games played (29) so far. But glancing at the totals Philly's schedule apparently hasn't been as bad as they're at 26 games like nearly the entire NBA. Golden State and Orlando have each played 28 games, so they have a near equal claim to Boston on the busy front. But Boston's still played more than anyone else.
And are in the midst of their busiest stretch of the season. It's amazing how one London trip affects the rest of their schedule. They really overcompensated for travel on this one.
 

DJnVa

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If you have access to ESPNU Radio, Brad Stevens is about to be on with Coach K.
 

Imbricus

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Nice little article about Shane Larkin. I thought during the first half of the disastrous Chicago game (the only half I watched) that he was the only one out there really hustling; everyone else seemed to be playing in a fog.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Nice little article about Shane Larkin. I thought during the first half of the disastrous Chicago game (the only half I watched) that he was the only one out there really hustling; everyone else seemed to be playing in a fog.
The articles mentioned "disappointing" stints in Den, NY and BRK but I felt Larkin improved each year and was pretty good as a rotation guard in a tough situation with the Nets. He was a FA and had teams interested in him then when nothing got early in the process fired his agent and changed representation smack dad in the middle of the short FA period which doomed him. Like many reserve FA he got squeezed but there is little doubt imo that Larkin is at the very least a backend Top-11 rotation guy on most teams.
 

lovegtm

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The articles mentioned "disappointing" stints in Den, NY and BRK but I felt Larkin improved each year and was pretty good as a rotation guard in a tough situation with the Nets. He was a FA and had teams interested in him then when nothing got early in the process fired his agent and changed representation smack dad in the middle of the short FA period which doomed him. Like many reserve FA he got squeezed but there is little doubt imo that Larkin is at the very least a backend Top-11 rotation guy on most teams.
Yeah, isn't Larkin the exact player the Wizards have been looking for the past few years for a 2nd unit PG?
 

reggiecleveland

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EJ posted this in the general NBA thread but thought I'd cross-post it here; tremendous article on evolution of Kyrie here: https://www.boston.com/sports/boston-celtics/2017/12/15/how-kyrie-irving-has-evolved-with-the-celtics

Kyrie's 2016-17 shot chart:



Kyrie's 2015-16 shot chart:



Kyrie's current year shot chart:



Which one of these is not like the others?
That is really interesting. With my high school team I have tried to eliminate all shots inside of 3, outside the paint. I have two talented guards, and when they shoot from "between" we get brutal efficiency, when they get "deep" one step into the paint our efficiency goes through the roof, partly because of the offensive boards even misses generate

It was hard for me to board with this, since as old school guy I myself had a midrange game, but that was then.

The really hard thing for me to accept has been how wide open 3, has efficiency built in because transition d is better.

This is the game today, get in the paint, create for teammates, hit 3s.
 

HomeRunBaker

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That is really interesting. With my high school team I have tried to eliminate all shots inside of 3, outside the paint. I have two talented guards, and when they shoot from "between" we get brutal efficiency, when they get "deep" one step into the paint our efficiency goes through the roof, partly because of the offensive boards even misses generate

It was hard for me to board with this, since as old school guy I myself had a midrange game, but that was then.

The really hard thing for me to accept has been how wide open 3, has efficiency built in because transition d is better.

This is the game today, get in the paint, create for teammates, hit 3s.
Rick Pitino was the first guy I ever heard of with his system at Providence when he led them to the Final Four. I know his name isn't welcome here but he was THE innovator for the 3-point or layup offense back in the 80's coupled with his non-stop defensive pressure.

EJ posted this in the general NBA thread but thought I'd cross-post it here; tremendous article on evolution of Kyrie here: https://www.boston.com/sports/bosto...how-kyrie-irving-has-evolved-with-the-celtics
Is this really Kyrie's evolution or him simply getting away from the taking turns iso or pick-n-roll offense that he had been in with the Cavs? This is what myself and others were expecting away from LeBron and Lue because he's played this way in the past at Duke, with USA basketball, and even in a showcase event such as the All-Star game. Same player imo.
 
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