The 2017/2018 Boston Celtics Regular season thread

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Jed Zeppelin

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When scoring 96 points or fewer, NBA teams other than BOS are 14-89 (.136).

The Cs are 5-0.

When shooting less than 43%, NBA teams other than BOS are 32-105 (.234).

The Cs are 8-2.


This is like the inverse of those Patriots stats where their record is so much better than everyone else when Brady throws 50+ times or the opponent scores >X points.
 

DourDoerr

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And along with that, here is today's defensive rating top 10 leaderboard from BRef:

1. Terry Rozier • BOS 96.6
2. Aron Baynes • BOS 96.8
3. Al Horford • BOS 96.8
4. Kyrie Irving • BOS 96.9
5. Marcus Smart • BOS 97.0
6. Jaylen Brown • BOS 97.2
7. Russell Westbrook • OKC 97.5
8. Jayson Tatum • BOS 97.7
9. Andre Drummond • DET 97.8
10. Paul George • OKC 98.5
And this is like the Bruins' plus/minus scores from their heyday a few years ago.
 

mt8thsw9th

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So I was just on the Celtics’ bbref page and noticed the franchise is at 3288-2288. Is that the first time 1000 games over .500?

Fake edit- exported, and after 1992-1993 they were at 2322-1319 and went downhill after that (obviously).
 

snowmanny

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Ha. At some point in the mid 1980's I figured out that the Celtics were at 1,999 wins (regular season and playoffs) and called their PR guy who said something like "What are you talking about? Who is this?" After the next game a little graphic popped up "Celtics are the first NBA team to win 2000 games" or something like that.
 

bosox79

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I mentioned this in the game thread, but prior to tonight's game, if Smart and Rozier were league average shooters, the Celtics would have scored 87 more points, or a little more than 5 points a game more this season. League averages this year on twos is .503, on threes .361.

9 more three pointers, 30 more twos. That is on 143 3PA and 164 2PA.

30 more two point field goals on 164 shots. Remarkable, since they've only actually made 52.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Celtics Stats

✔@celtics_stats


Boston hasn't been out rebounded in any of its last 14 contests (10/24 vs. NYK).

During the Celtics' 16-game winning streak, Boston has averaged 6.8 more rebounds than its opponent (-3.0 rpg through 1st 2 games of season)
 

reggiecleveland

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Celtics Stats

✔@celtics_stats


Boston hasn't been out rebounded in any of its last 14 contests (10/24 vs. NYK).

During the Celtics' 16-game winning streak, Boston has averaged 6.8 more rebounds than its opponent (-3.0 rpg through 1st 2 games of season)
This is the biggest difference from last year IMHO. It is one of those things how be incrementally better at almost every position turns a weakness into a strength.
Kyrie MVP is another good reason I suppose.
 

Cellar-Door

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How good is the Celtics defense so far....

Their Drtg of 97.6 is the lowest since the 2003-04 Spurs.
The difference between their Drtg and league average is 9 points. The last time a team had a Drtg 9 points or more below average was the 1965-65 Boston Celtics.

There is an argument to be made that we are watching the greatest team defensive performance of the last 50 years.
 

jasail

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They aren't as polished offensively as they were last year and I don't think the 2nd unit will be as productive on that end (even though they may not be as bad as they are now). However, additions of size and length have been key to their defensive and rebounding success this year.

IT: 5'10 with a 6' wingspan
Kyrie: 6'3 with a 6'4 wingspan

Avery: 6'3 with a 6'4 wingspan
Jaylen: 6'7" with a near 7' wingspan
Jason: 6'8 with a 6'11 wingspan

Morris: 6'9 with a 6'10 wingspan
Crowder: 6'7 with a 6'9 wingspan

Plus they were able to replace a totally cooked banger (Amir) with a guy who gets it done (Baynes) and a perimeter big (KO) with a high motor guy (Theis).

It seems like these additions have also helped Al's game. He doesn't have to play the traditional C role as much without IT, Amir and Kelly out there. I think the banging didn't play to his strengths and may have taken a toll on him physically. This year's roster seems to allow him to utilize his versatility on the defensive end and to roll down from the high post and perimeter to crash the boards with greater effectiveness than he could when he was tethered to the block.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Forsberg with 16 interesting nuggests from the Streak. My favorite (I'm biased) is the last one:

16. Brown: Star stopper: ESPN Stats & Information notes that Boston has faced 11 All-Stars from last season during its 16-game winning streak. Those players have combined for a 14.7 player efficiency rating, which is essentially worse than a league-average player (15 PER). That group features the likes of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Russell Westbrook, and Kemba Walker. Those players are averaging a mere 18.4 points per game on 42 percent shooting, per ESPN Stats & Information research. According to data from Second Spectrum, 21-year-old swingman Jaylen Brown has spent more time guarding All-Stars than anyone else on the team during the streak, and he has allowed just 88 points per 100 possessions in the half-court.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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benhogan

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Here is a weird scheduling stat:

7 of our last 8 opponents have had 2 days off prior to playing the Celtics (probably mentioned around here somewhere).

So while we have been travelling around (4 games on the road) with 1 day to rest/prepare/travel, sometimes without Kyrie/Al, our opponents have had an extra day of rest, practice and time to break down the Celtics weaknesses.

Makes the streak even more impressive.
 

lovegtm

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Really good article with video analysis on cleaningtheglass.com about the Celtics defense (paywall unfortunately).
https://cleaningtheglass.com/the-celtic-surprise/

The key points were:
* C's defense seems like it's getting a lot of jumpshooting luck from opponents, but actually when you adjust for defender distance, they've only been slightly lucky, and a regression to the mean would still have them at a 55ish win point differential.
* Team scheme emphasizes icing, forcing middle PNRs to weak hand, and helping constantly at the point of attack to force drivers to pick up dribble and waste attack advantages
* Players have executed above schemes really well
* one notable thing in clip after clip is how well Jaylen and Tatum execute the defensive concepts
* some good video of the rebounding differences that happen when IT/Avery are switched onto a big vs. Jaylen or Rozier
* Offense needs to seriously pick up for them to be a championship contender (losing your 2nd best offensive player tends to do that)

Anyway was a good look at the defense, and now I'll return to my normal routine of vomiting in my mouth whenever the 2nd unit starts shooting.
 

Sam Ray Not

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So you guys thought you were excited about the Celtics thanks to the brilliance of Brad Stevens, the team's phoenix-like rise following the gruesome Hayward injury, the precocious and exciting young'uns, the genius hoops IQ of Horford, the transcendent Kyrie, etc.?

Wrong. The Curly-Haired Boyfriend is here to remind you that the main reason is the boring Red Sox and "their choice to play and behave in the image of self-appointed leader David Price."

http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/celtics/2017/11/25/have-celtics-passed-red-sox-team-town/b6eegTLHtpjPsbceYBqK7N/story.html
 

Sam Ray Not

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Who cares about CHB?
Haha, no one, I hope? I'm just back in Boston over T-giving, reading the Globe, and marveling/chuckling at what a miserable creature he continues to be. It takes a special kind of talent to turn this amazing Celtics start into a negative. Sorrow of sorrows, who can remember the last time the Sox were #3 in Boston???
 

PedroKsBambino

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Haha, no one, I hope? I'm just back in Boston over T-giving, reading the Globe, and marveling/chuckling at what a miserable creature he continues to be. It takes a special kind of talent to turn this amazing Celtics start into a negative. Sorrow of sorrows, who can remember the last time the Sox were #3 in Boston???
Don't feed the troll by clicking on him! Though, if you read an already-purchased paper copy and are just reminding yoursefl what a waste CHB is, that's acceptable.
 

Cellar-Door

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So you guys thought you were excited about the Celtics thanks to the brilliance of Brad Stevens, the team's phoenix-like rise following the gruesome Hayward injury, the precocious and exciting young'uns, the genius hoops IQ of Horford, the transcendent Kyrie, etc.?

Wrong. The Curly-Haired Boyfriend is here to remind you that the main reason is the boring Red Sox and "their choice to play and behave in the image of self-appointed leader David Price."

http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/celtics/2017/11/25/have-celtics-passed-red-sox-team-town/b6eegTLHtpjPsbceYBqK7N/story.html
His transition from troll to "let me appeal to the racists, that's my base" troll is sad even by his standards.
 

Koufax

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Only on SOSH can a writer be bashed in a Celtics thread when he writes: "Winning 16 straight games behind the electric Kyrie Irving -- and boosted by rising stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum and star coach Brad Stevens -- the Celtics at this moment are a bigger deal than the Red Sox."

Racist? Hardly.
 

Koufax

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He also blames the falling popularity of baseball on games that are too long and stars that are too bland. There is an active thread right here about games being too long.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Only on SOSH can a writer be bashed in a Celtics thread when he writes: "Winning 16 straight games behind the electric Kyrie Irving -- and boosted by rising stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum and star coach Brad Stevens -- the Celtics at this moment are a bigger deal than the Red Sox."

Racist? Hardly.
Yeah, I thought about putting it in the media forum, but I never go in there so would have felt like a bit of an interloper. I thought it was basketball-related enough to merit a mention here.

And yes, I omitted CHB's perfunctory one sentence on the Celtics, but the mere fact that his Grinch-ian heart can only muster one sentence worth of mailed-in praise for the Cs in a late November column (the same number of sentences he devotes to David Price) bespeaks at minimum his deep and abiding anhedonia.

As far as the racist angle, I didn't mention it or even mean to imply it, but I kinda buy it. YMMV.

Edit: totally OT, but as a non-fan of either team, and not really a crazy baseball fan in general, I found this year's WS to be one of the most riveting ever. If he can watch the play of Betts, Beni, Altuve, Correa, Springer, Lindor et al. or the pitching of Sale, Kluber, Kershaw et al. and reflexively think "bland" he's way past curmudgeon and into "miserable POS who probably shouldn't be writing about stuff he hates."
 
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mt8thsw9th

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As far as the racist angle, I didn't mention it or even mean to imply it, but I kinda buy it. YMMV.
CHB uses a ton of dog whistles. Whether or not he's racist himself isn't really relevant as he is, like most sports media "personalities", aiming at the lowest common denominator anyway. Given most racists in the Boston area read the Herald rather than the Globe, it's an odd choice of tack, but he gets plenty of play in the local media outlets so it works for him. For a newspaper that is far and away the best in the region for other news, investigative reporting, etc., it's a real shame that the sports department is such rubbish. I think that speaks more to the median IQ of the sports fan, though, and what sells to the mouth breathers.
 

NoXInNixon

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And yet, the Red Sox are far more likely to win a championship in 2018 than the Celtics are.
 

richgedman'sghost

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Could someone move the CHB stuff into the Media Forum? It does not brlong in a game thread. Sam Ray Not, don't be afraid to go into the Media Section...the guys don't bite there. LOL
 

lexrageorge

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And yet, the Red Sox are far more likely to win a championship in 2018 than the Celtics are.
And yet Vegas has the Celtics at 8:1 and the Red Sox at 10:1.
I would agree with the Vegas sharps here. In baseball, just getting into the playoffs is difficult (33% chance vs. 53% chance in NBA), and 4 of the baseball playoff qualifiers have to play in a 1-game playoff round. Also, baseball playoff success is more random. Sure, the Astros were the AL's most powerful team last year, but they still had to win two 7-game series to claim the trophy. A hot pitcher or a random bounce (recall Tony Clark's ground rule double in 2004) can have a significant impact on the outcome of a series.

Basketball is far more predictable in the early rounds; the teams with the best records often win during the first 2 rounds. The best NBA teams (by regular season record) are more likely to make the Final 4 than the best MLB teams. The Celtics currently have the best record in the NBA. While many don't expect that to hold up throughout the entire season, the fact remains that the C's are in first with a quarter of the season gone. The Cavs look vulnerable, and the Celtics have played the Warriors tougher than just about any other team over the last couple of seasons. And, if the Celtics go deep in the playoffs, there is a chance (very small but not necessarily zero) that Hayward could return.

The Sox, meanwhile, were not the best team in 2017, and it's not clear if they will be able to improve the roster very much this offseason. And they will have tough competition from the Yankees for the division title. Neither team can be considered a favorite for the championship, but those Vegas odds seem about right.
 

NoXInNixon

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And yet Vegas has the Celtics at 8:1 and the Red Sox at 10:1.
Seriously? That's insane. No way do the Celtics win a title this year 10% of the time. 5% maybe, and a significant part of that 5% includes Hayward miraculously playing this season at close to 100%.
 

nighthob

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Eight to one odds of being the eventual title winner does not mean that the Vegas oddsmaker believes that the Celtics will win the title ten percent of the time.
 

lovegtm

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Injury uncertainty is probably the main thing depressing GS's odds. That's the only explanation I can think of.
That always has to be factored in though: it torpedoed OKC's title chances 3 years in a row iirc.

The odds that one of their big 4 gets hurt aren't super high, but they're still a substantial portion of everyone else's championship equity.

If Durant were hurt, I think a GSW-BOS series would be very, very close.
 

Imbricus

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I know why the Celts had to trade Bradley, but after watching him last night, I sure wish Danny could have found a way to keep him (I know, he's only got one year left on his contract ...). He really knows how to bother ball handlers. Very quick. The shot is not elite, but he has some pretty good games.
 

the moops

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I know why the Celts had to trade Bradley, but after watching him last night, I sure wish Danny could have found a way to keep him (I know, he's only got one year left on his contract ...). He really knows how to bother ball handlers. Very quick. The shot is not elite, but he has some pretty good games.
They could have kept Bradley, but it would have involved moving Smart for a rumored not much in return. So, the question is would you prefer Smart + Morris, or Bradley + 2nd round pick?
 

JCizzle

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This is the last two consecutive days of rest the C's have until December 29-30. They have four back to backs during this same period.
 
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Eddie Jurak

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This is the last two consecutive days of rest the C's have until December 29-30. They have four back to backs during this same period.
They are in the middle of a stretch of 40 games in 74 days that ends right before their London trip.

They play January 3rd, 5th, and 6th. Then they are off from the 6th to 10th, leading into the London game on the 11th. Then they are off from the 12th to the15th before playing again on the 16th.

The schedule is lighter for the rest of the season, with 38 games in 86 days starting on the day of the first post London game.
 

nighthob

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They could have kept Bradley, but it would have involved moving Smart for a rumored not much in return. So, the question is would you prefer Smart + Morris, or Bradley + 2nd round pick?
And it would have been a one year only thing as Bradley's an unrestricted free agent next summer and he's exactly the type of player that the Philadelphias and Brooklyns will be looking to sign. So it would have been one year of Bradley plus a random draft pick vs. Smart and Morris.
 

lovegtm

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They are in the middle of a stretch of 40 games in 74 days that ends right before their London trip.

They play January 3rd, 5th, and 6th. Then they are off from the 6th to 10th, leading into the London game on the 11th. Then they are off from the 12th to the15th before playing again on the 16th.

The schedule is lighter for the rest of the season, with 38 games in 86 days starting on the day of the first post London game.
It's really good they banked these early wins, because there will definitely be a few schedule losses before mid-January. Even the Pistons game last night felt like the defensive intensity and sharpness wasn't quite there, which is understandable.
 

DrewDawg

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Celtics are only 1-1 when Smart shoots well!! Careful what you wish for.

They seemed a little off all night, weird vibe in that one. And yet they still were in it. Earlier in the run they would've dropped a 31-19 3rd quarter on the opponent. They just couldn't put it together last night.
 

BillMuellerFanClub

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ESPN reporting that J. Okafor's asking price is now a 2nd round pick.

I gotta say, as someone who wanted nothing to do with the guy even just a few weeks ago, I'd be more than cool with Danny making this move. I'm not sure if they can make the salaries work, or if they would have to use the DPE. If the latter, I'd probably still stay clear and wait for a buyout. However, if the former, I'd be all over this. Okafor has handled this entire situation like a professional, and after seeing what Brad has done with bringing around the defensive effort with Tatum and Kyrie, am really intrigued by the idea of exploiting Philadelphia's mismanagement of his potential. Not to mention, even a net positive in Boston's favor would be the ultimate dick-punch to those uppity assholes from Pennsylvania.
 

Eddie Jurak

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ESPN reporting that J. Okafor's asking price is now a 2nd round pick.

I gotta say, as someone who wanted nothing to do with the guy even just a few weeks ago, I'd be more than cool with Danny making this move. I'm not sure if they can make the salaries work, or if they would have to use the DPE. If the latter, I'd probably still stay clear and wait for a buyout. However, if the former, I'd be all over this. Okafor has handled this entire situation like a professional, and after seeing what Brad has done with bringing around the defensive effort with Tatum and Kyrie, am really intrigued by the idea of exploiting Philadelphia's mismanagement of his potential. Not to mention, even a net positive in Boston's favor would be the ultimate dick-punch to those uppity assholes from Pennsylvania.
If the price is a second, then it is not a crazy idea. Especially since he has some ability to score and the Celtics bench unit, well, doesn't. A flyer on him wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

To do it without the DPE, they would need to send at least $3.92 million back. That's possible, but seems unwise.

They could send Morris ($5 MM), but that doesn't seem like a move that would help them. And Philly may not want to add Morris' contract for next year. They aren't sending Baynes (4.3 MM).

That leaves them combining salaries. But they aren't going to send Theis ($0.815 MM). Ojeleye ($1.29 MM), or Rozier ($1.99 MM) in an Okafor deal.

That leaves 3 players: Yabusele ($2.25), Larkin ($1.47 MM), and Nader ($1.17 MM). All 3 of them would have to be included in an Okafor deal, and that would bring them down to 11 healthy players. I suppose they could sign Jabari Bird and he might even be an improvement on Nader. And maybe if they can bring in a decent backup PG with the DPE deal, it would all work. But you are still dealing a 2nd, a useful deep bench role player, and a project type prospect for Okafor. Not sure it makes sense (or if Philly would even want Yabu et al).

But taking him in via the DPE would not be a bad idea at all. In effect, the $8.4 MM DPE is replaced by Okafor's $4.95 MM salary. But you get more than a flyer on a highly drafted player who has struggled - you also get the chance to ship him out in a deadline deal.

Package Okafor with Morris and draft pick(s) at the deadline, and they can take back $12.5 MM in salary. Throw in Larkin, Yabusele, and Nader, and they can take back $18.5 million in salary.

It's not crazy to think that if Okafor comes here and continues to be a bust (not unlikely), they can still get some value out of including him in a deal.
 

HomeRunBaker

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That leaves 3 players: Yabusele ($2.25), Larkin ($1.47 MM), and Nader ($1.17 MM). All 3 of them would have to be included in an Okafor deal, and that would bring them down to 11 healthy players. I suppose they could sign Jabari Bird and he might even be an improvement on Nader. And maybe if they can bring in a decent backup PG with the DPE deal, it would all work. But you are still dealing a 2nd, a useful deep bench role player, and a project type prospect for Okafor. Not sure it makes sense (or if Philly would even want Yabu et al)
The Celtics already signed Bird to a two-way contract for this season so can only be called up to the Celtics for a maximum of 45 days and he is ineligible for the playoffs.

An NBA team cannot promote a two-way player during the season as it is in most cases a one-year contract (although two-years is allowed but any agent who allows their client to sign a two-year two-way should be barred from representation) however they can demote a player prior to the start of the regular season provided has a one-year minimum contract that doesn't contain any bonuses and the player of course would have to agree to the two-way deal.
 

Eddie Jurak

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According to the CBA faq:

Any Two-Way contract can be converted to a standard NBA contract at the team’s option. A Two-Way contract can be converted from the start of the July Moratorium through the day of the team’s last regular season game in the last year of the Two-Way contract. Once converted, the contract becomes a standard NBA contract that is in effect for the remainder of the term of the Two-Way contract. The player’s salary becomes the NBA minimum salary based on his years of service (pro-rated based on when the contract is converted). If the contract contains an Exhibit 10 bonus, the bonus amount converts to a salary guarantee.

In lieu of converting a Two-Way contract to a standard NBA contract, teams and players are also free to negotiate and sign a standard NBA contract. If a new NBA contract is signed, the Two-Way contract becomes null and void.
 
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