The best shape of their lives: Celtics training camp

Eddie Jurak

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Keeping Horford healthy/available is going to be huge for this team. He really doesn't look much different from when he was here last. Thank you, OKC for shrink-wrapping him last season. If we can get his past Celtic production, obviously in less mpg, that would be huge for the Jays.

It appears like Ime will play the 2-BIGs lineup, still not a fan of using Al/TL's precious minutes that way.
Am I wrong that Al has reworked his 3-point shot since he left? It seems like the release is quicker, where he used to shoot it slower and almost as a set shot. Or maybe it is just my imagination.
 

Red Right Ankle

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Am I wrong that Al has reworked his 3-point shot since he left? It seems like the release is quicker, where he used to shoot it slower and almost as a set shot. Or maybe it is just my imagination.
It looks that way to me as well. Of course, a lot of the shots in that TOR reel are with a man almost in his face, whereas my memories from when he was here last are of a lot of wide open shots from the top of the arc, so maybe just a difference in situation driving that.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Cavs aiming for a top 3 finish

most of their CAP is dedicated to Love, Markkenanen, Allen, Mobley. do they have any choice?
Apparently it worked pretty well for them last night against a CHI team that has been killing people: https://www.cleveland.com/cavs/2021/10/cleveland-cavaliers-unconventional-jumbo-lineup-effective-again-in-102-101-loss-to-chicago-bulls.html.

One would think that Markkanen can guard on the perimeter and if so, he, Mobley, and Allen should be able to work. Also, he's going to a match-up problem on the other end for most teams. In 26 minutes last night, Markkanen scored a team-high 18 points on 8-of-14 from the field and 2-of-5 from 3-point range to go with four rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals in 26 minutes. And this is against a CHI team that last year Brad noted how long they were and how their length and athleticism gave BOS fits. (Good thing BOS is longer this year too.)

Note also that Rubio called the lineup with Markkanen at the 3 "the best defensive lineup" he's ever played with.

Of course it is preseason . . . .
 

benhogan

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Apparently it worked pretty well for them last night against a CHI team that has been killing people: https://www.cleveland.com/cavs/2021/10/cleveland-cavaliers-unconventional-jumbo-lineup-effective-again-in-102-101-loss-to-chicago-bulls.html.

One would think that Markkanen can guard on the perimeter and if so, he, Mobley, and Allen should be able to work. Also, he's going to a match-up problem on the other end for most teams. In 26 minutes last night, Markkanen scored a team-high 18 points on 8-of-14 from the field and 2-of-5 from 3-point range to go with four rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals in 26 minutes. And this is against a CHI team that last year Brad noted how long they were and how their length and athleticism gave BOS fits. (Good thing BOS is longer this year too.)

Note also that Rubio called the lineup with Markkanen at the 3 "the best defensive lineup" he's ever played with.

Of course it is preseason . . . .
Calling Markkenan a Center/5 is strictly due to his measured height, he averaged 5.3 reb/gm and .3 blocks/gm last season.

He has zero paint presence, he's a long/slow swing that can hit 3s. He has more in common with Duncan Robinson than Allen or Mobley
 

benhogan

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Am I wrong that Al has reworked his 3-point shot since he left? It seems like the release is quicker, where he used to shoot it slower and almost as a set shot. Or maybe it is just my imagination.
it does look quicker and Al has more confidence shooting the 3

from the Athletic this morning:

Horford also shot 4-for-4 from 3-point range, then said he is a “much better” outside shooter than he was during his previous stint with the Celtics. He has looked spry on both ends of the court during the first two exhibition games. If Horford can still play power forward, as the Celtics think he can, Udoka should have plenty of lineup versatility this season. The early evidence might not mean much — it came in the preseason, after all — but it was promising nonetheless.

“He’s as valuable whether he’s starting at the four or sliding over to the five,” Udoka said. “It just gives us a different look there. Obviously his shooting, playmaking, IQ, passing, all the things I’ve talked about from Day 1 that we knew he was going to bring.”

https://theathletic.com/2879322/2021/10/10/romeo-langfords-strides-and-juancho-hernangomezs-slide-taking-stock-of-the-celtics/?source=dailyemail&campaign=601983
 

chilidawg

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Here's more of the "much better shooter" quote:

I think I am a much better shooter. When I was here last time, shooting it was something that was kind of new. My three-point shooting came in different ways than it comes now. I've really made sure that I work on shooting off the pass quickly. Not only off the pick-and-roll, movement shooting if I have to, I do feel that I am a much better shooter now than I was then. But that's the way the league has gone, so it's forced me to work on that more

From Celtics blog,

https://www.celticsblog.com/2021/10/10/22719061/al-horfords-influence-and-play-style-helps-lead-boston-celtics-over-toronto-raptors
 

Eddie Jurak

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Next game is going to be interesting:
View: https://twitter.com/RedsArmy_John/status/1448031895011344384?s=20

John Karalis: Full injury report for tomorrow night vs. Orlando:
Jaylen Brown - Health & Safety Protocols - OUT
Al Horford - Health & Safety Protocols - OUT
Josh Richardson - Rest - OUT
Dennis Schroder - Rest - OUT
Marcus Smart - Rest - OUT
Jayson Tatum - Rest - OUT
Nice opportunity for Pritchard. No backup PG, and no ballhandling wings, really. A good opportunity for everyone in the battle for those last bench spots and the second 2-way deal.
 

DJnVa

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Nice opportunity for Pritchard. No backup PG, and no ballhandling wings, really.
Not sure I agree. We know what Pritchard can do when he's got carte blanche to shoot and run the game. I think the best think for Pritchard would be playing with the guys he's going to have to play with all season.

Pritchard going 5-9 from deep tomorrow and scoring 28 points simply because there are no other options isn't really what will help him.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Not sure I agree. We know what Pritchard can do when he's got carte blanche to shoot and run the game. I think the best think for Pritchard would be playing with the guys he's going to have to play with all season.

Pritchard going 5-9 from deep tomorrow and scoring 28 points simply because there are no other options isn't really what will help him.
I actually think Pritchard is almost to a known-quantity role player. He's going to get some minutes off the bench, he's going to take threes, including long threes, and he's going to hit them at a high enough percentage to justify his minutes.

A more open question is whether he has any upside beyond that, getting a whole preseaon game at the point may help him there. (Though probably not, for now I am skeptical about his updside).
 

Eddie Jurak

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The first 3 quarters of this "everyone hurt" preseason game have been interesting.

Pritchard had 10 points in the first half, 2-5 from three, and was aggressively pushing the ball every time. He got hit in the face at the end of the first half and did not return.

Nesmith was hitting from 3 (4-8) and from 2 (4-8). Flashed a Jaylenesque drive-pivot-fade jumper. He added 4 assists.

Langford didn't shoot well (5-13, 0-3 from 3) but was OK. Was driving more.

Rob has 8 points, 8 rebounds, and a pair of steals. Tracked down a loose ball and made a great pass to a cutting Nesmith for an easy 2.

Grant didn't shoot well (4 points on 1 of 5) but did a little of everything else: 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and a block.

Jabari Parker came in with backups (Kanter, Juancho, Mathews, Arcidiacono) and dropped 10 points in the second quarter vs Orlando scrubs.

Apparently the 5th string camp point guard is Theo Pinson.

Sam Hauser has a good 3 point shot but the rest of his game needs a little work.

Edit: One other thing - Juancho got only 7 minutes and shot 0-3, though he had a couple of assists. Only 7 minutes means something - either he’s fallen behind Grant and the other guys battling for a spot in the rotation or Udoka likes him so much he’s rather look at other guys. I’d bet on the former. Langford, Nesmith, Grant all ahead of Juancho on the depth chart.
 
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Romeo and Aaron looked damn good tonight, albeit at very different things.

Couldn't stop watching Hampton though. Don't remember who was in love with that kid (nighthob iirc), but he looks better than Romeo already at only 20. Similar play style but more swaggy. If his head is right, he's a solid starter in this league imo.

Bamba has improved physically and seems to have improved his shot and likes hunting blocks. Man he dogs possessions though. I'd be scared to death of dropping a big extension on him, even if he buries volume 3s this year.

I am 100% convinced that multiple guys here have played against dudes better than 51. I'm not going to butcher his name, but he had me pining for Tre Waters. I can't believe that he has 200 games in the league.
 

chilidawg

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Theo Pinson has that old guy at the Y game too. I just watched the highlights, but good looking efforts from Pritchard and Nesmith especially. Jabari Parker can still get buckets. Kind of a poor man's Carmelo, seems to have added the 3 also.
 

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Romeo and Aaron looked damn good tonight, albeit at very different things.

Couldn't stop watching Hampton though. Don't remember who was in love with that kid (nighthob iirc), but he looks better than Romeo already at only 20. Similar play style but more swaggy. If his head is right, he's a solid starter in this league imo.

Bamba has improved physically and seems to have improved his shot and likes hunting blocks. Man he dogs possessions though. I'd be scared to death of dropping a big extension on him, even if he buries volume 3s this year.

I am 100% convinced that multiple guys here have played against dudes better than 51. I'm not going to butcher his name, but he had me pining for Tre Waters. I can't believe that he has 200 games in the league.
Wasn’t someone saying Romeo wouldn’t even be competing for monitors the other day? I’m having trouble seeing how you can keep him out of the rotation but as I said I’m the other thread I don’t trust Ime from what I’ve seen so far. Yeah, I got some push back a month ago for saying Arcidiocono was not close to being NBA timber but I’ve watched more of him than I’d like to admit when he was a Bull……and I have no idea how they kept giving him opportunities. He’s in way over his head in this league.
 

lovegtm

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Wasn’t someone saying Romeo wouldn’t even be competing for monitors the other day? I’m having trouble seeing how you can keep him out of the rotation but as I said I’m the other thread I don’t trust Ime from what I’ve seen so far. Yeah, I got some push back a month ago for saying Arcidiocono was not close to being NBA timber but I’ve watched more of him than I’d like to admit when he was a Bull……and I have no idea how they kept giving him opportunities. He’s in way over his head in this league.
Ime has given Romeo a lot of run after hiding him a bit in game 1. Playing young guys who are improving rapidly is usually an easy decision for a coach.

The Celtics young guys (Danny's last 3 years of drafts) looked quite good relative to the vets behind them on the bench. Not world-beaters, but they all have clear paths to being useful role players, which is nice.
 

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Theo Pinson has that old guy at the Y game too. I just watched the highlights, but good looking efforts from Pritchard and Nesmith especially. Jabari Parker can still get buckets. Kind of a poor man's Carmelo, seems to have added the 3 also.
I never thought of Pinson as a point guard, but that's what he played last nite, and he looked worlds better than Archie, who struggled to make basic passes. Pinson reminds me a little of Wanamaker, though he doesn't have Brad's 3-point shot.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The top 5 1/2/3 types are basically set: Smart, Brown, Tatum, Schroder, Richardson. After them, Pritchard, Nesmith, Langford, though there won't be regular minutes for all three of them. Langford plays if Udoka is looking for defense, the other 2 play if he is looking for offense.

Things are a little muddier in terms of the bigs. The top 2 are obviously Williams (Rob) and Horford. After them, Kanter, Grant, and Juancho. Kanter has only situational value. Kanter can deliver rebounding and post offense but not defend. That profile may work as a bench option against some teams.

Tatum will get some minutes at the 4, creating more time for wings. Since the backup smalls are generally better than the backup bigs, I's like to see Tatum getting more time at the 4 rather than less.
 

benhogan

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Wasn’t someone saying Romeo wouldn’t even be competing for monitors the other day? I’m having trouble seeing how you can keep him out of the rotation but as I said I’m the other thread I don’t trust Ime from what I’ve seen so far. Yeah, I got some push back a month ago for saying Arcidiocono was not close to being NBA timber but I’ve watched more of him than I’d like to admit when he was a Bull……and I have no idea how they kept giving him opportunities. He’s in way over his head in this league.
Romeo, Nesmith, Grant will all be battling for wing/bench minutes. The idea of Ime starting Horford/TL and then playing PP with Denis/Kanter has me less than thrilled.

Arcidiocono is Maine fodder, don't recall anyone saying he was part of the 15
I like Mathews on a 2-way with Hauser and Jabari Parker as #15

The minutes/rotations crunch silliness has gone by the wayside 3 games into the preseason:
After taking an inadvertent elbow from Magic wing Iggy Brazdeikis during the second quarter, Pritchard likely broke his nose, Udoka said. The Celtics planned for Pritchard to undergo an examination in Orlando before the team flight to Miami for Friday night’s preseason finale. Udoka said Pritchard will miss at least that game.

The Celtics already had two players in self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. Udoka said Brown should be able to play in the Oct. 20 regular-season opener in New York but noted the timeline for Horford to make it back by then will be “tight.” Based on Udoka’s indications that Horford tested positive early this week, a 10-day self-isolation period could sideline the big man past the regular-season opener.

“Obviously, it’s a 10-day timeline off the top,” Udoka said, “and then it’s going to be close based on the amount of days it’s been since he tested positive. And then from there, you’ve got to have your two (negative) results, a similar situation that I went through before training camp. Timeline-wise, it’s going to be very close. We’ll see what happens with that, but we should definitely have Jaylen back by then.”


https://theathletic.com/2888564/2021/10/14/celtics-stock-up-stock-down-payton-pritchards-creation-players-health-more-observations-from-loss-to-magic/?source=dailyemail&campaign=601983
 

TripleOT

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PP, Nesmith, Romeo, and Grant all look minutesworthy. If Richardson can’t make shots, he might become an $11 million towel waver.
 

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3 exhibition games in and we’re already shorthanded. What is it with this team? Lol
Hey, solves the whole "who makes the rotation" puzzle...Al and TL are gonna miss time due to old age and fragility. Jaylen is good for a couple of stints off due to tweaks. Add in covid and normal injury luck, and minutes for everyone!

Upside I guess is that RL, AN, and PP probably deserve minutes and won't be gifted developmental shifts that they didn't earn.
 

Fishy1

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PP, Nesmith, Romeo, and Grant all look minutesworthy. If Richardson can’t make shots, he might become an $11 million towel waver.
They looked fine against a terrible Orlando Magic team. I'm happy that Nesmith, Romeo and Grant can plug in if needed, but I still wouldn't be excited by the prospect of them getting a boatload of minutes.

EDIT: If I'm being fair, Richardson has had a couple of really mediocre years of outside shooting in a row. But he's one of the better defenders on the team, and I think it's likely his shooting improves from last year. He's going to get a ton of minutes.
 
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Koufax

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Much as I loved PP when he first showed up on the scene, I think he's going to get lost on the bench this year. Other than outside shooting, he doesn't do much very well.
 

Fishy1

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Much as I loved PP when he first showed up on the scene, I think he's going to get lost on the bench this year. Other than outside shooting, he doesn't do much very well.
Might be a bit of a battle between him and Nesmith for bench shooting. Nesmith seems to offer more at the rim and on hustle, but Pritchard is still the better sniper. We'll see.

And if Pritchard can improve his playmaking, that might be another consideration -- but with Schroder and Richardson on the bench, there might not be a whole lot of need for playmaking.
 

CreightonGubanich

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I'm torn on what I'd like to see in the starting lineup. I love the idea of playing with one big (and don't particularly care if it's Horford or Timelord), and Smart/Richardson in the backcourt. That lineup can defend across the board and switch virtually every pick and roll. It has playmakers at every spot, and theoretically, everyone can shoot enough to keep the defense honest (obviously not Williams if it's him at the 5).

The problem is that leaves you with a second unit featuring Schroder in the backcourt along with Pritchard, if Pritchard is going to get regular minutes. And I think he is. That may be defensively untenable. It does minimize the Kanter minutes though, which I think is a good thing. Second unit would be something like Schroder-Pritchard-Nesmith-Juancho-Horford/TL. Sets up nicely for Schroder doing his drive-and-kick to shooters thing, it just might be horrible defensively. Swapping Nesmith in the starting lineup for Richardson is an option.

If they go with two bigs in the starting lineup, there's a real minutes crunch at the wing in the second unit. Schroder, Pritchard, Nesmith, Romeo and Richardson all coming off the bench, fighting for three spots. Plus guaranteed minutes for Kanter most nights. I continue to believe that this is a terrible idea, but it looks increasingly likely to happen.
 

Fishy1

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I'm torn on what I'd like to see in the starting lineup. I love the idea of playing with one big (and don't particularly care if it's Horford or Timelord), and Smart/Richardson in the backcourt. That lineup can defend across the board and switch virtually every pick and roll. It has playmakers at every spot, and theoretically, everyone can shoot enough to keep the defense honest (obviously not Williams if it's him at the 5).

The problem is that leaves you with a second unit featuring Schroder in the backcourt along with Pritchard, if Pritchard is going to get regular minutes. And I think he is. That may be defensively untenable. It does minimize the Kanter minutes though, which I think is a good thing. Second unit would be something like Schroder-Pritchard-Nesmith-Juancho-Horford/TL. Sets up nicely for Schroder doing his drive-and-kick to shooters thing, it just might be horrible defensively. Swapping Nesmith in the starting lineup for Richardson is an option.

If they go with two bigs in the starting lineup, there's a real minutes crunch at the wing in the second unit. Schroder, Pritchard, Nesmith, Romeo and Richardson all coming off the bench, fighting for three spots. Plus guaranteed minutes for Kanter most nights. I continue to believe that this is a terrible idea, but it looks increasingly likely to happen.
Keep in mind the second unit will only feature all-second-unit types for short stretches. One of Horford, Jaylen, Tatum, Smart, Schroder, or Richardson will probably be out there no matter what. They'll make a concentrated effort to make sure they stagger minutes. It's actually the thing I'm worried about the least: this team has a ton of above-average talent to throw at second-units... unlike last year, where we had to watch Granite, Ojeleye, and whatever other schlock I've repressed give the 1000 yard stare whenever the ball was passed to them.
 

CreightonGubanich

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Keep in mind the second unit will only feature all-second-unit types for short stretches. One of Horford, Jaylen, Tatum, Smart, Schroder, or Richardson will probably be out there no matter what. They'll make a concentrated effort to make sure they stagger minutes. It's actually the thing I'm worried about the least: this team has a ton of above-average talent to throw at second-units... unlike last year, where we had to watch Granite, Ojeleye, and whatever other schlock I've repressed give the 1000 yard stare whenever the ball was passed to them.
I think that's right; I would think Udoka would try to go ten deep each night to take advantage of their depth, but it's unlikely that we see many minutes with a complete second unit on the floor, Jim O'Brien style. That's the reason I would lean towards maximizing the starting lineup, which to me means playing with one big and making sure whoever plays the guard spots are switchable defensively. Theoretically, that means Smart and Richardson, but we'll see. If bad-shooting Richardson shows up, that lineup is going to have spacing issues.
 

Fishy1

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I think that's right; I would think Udoka would try to go ten deep each night to take advantage of their depth, but it's unlikely that we see many minutes with a complete second unit on the floor, Jim O'Brien style. That's the reason I would lean towards maximizing the starting lineup, which to me means playing with one big and making sure whoever plays the guard spots are switchable defensively. Theoretically, that means Smart and Richardson, but we'll see. If bad-shooting Richardson shows up, that lineup is going to have spacing issues.
I hope we start one big too, but who knows. Hopefully last year was Richardson's nadir as a shooter.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Welcome to Boston……errrrr, Maine…..Chris Clemons, ex-Raleigh and Campbell Camel legend. He’s like a baby Isaiah with serious hops!
 

Eddie Jurak

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If Horford starts alongside Time Lord, I’d expect him to be the first guy subbed out, followed by him coming back in for Tine Lord when the full bench gets out there.

I could see a bench unit that features Schroder, Horford (familiar with Schroder from ATL days), and Richardson (defense). Maybe Pritchard as a spot up shooter.
 

HomeRunBaker

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If Horford starts alongside Time Lord, I’d expect him to be the first guy subbed out, followed by him coming back in for Tine Lord when the full bench gets out there.

I could see a bench unit that features Schroder, Horford (familiar with Schroder from ATL days), and Richardson (defense). Maybe Pritchard as a spot up shooter.
That sounds great on paper but not realistic with any consistency. What happens when Horford comes out 5 min in then TL picks up his 2nd fouls a minute later? Now we have Kanter going up against 1st unit bigs with you’ll need to sub in someone to avoid a Kanter/Tatum 4/5 while still against opp 1st units. Staggering bigs like this puts too many players in awkward situations and takes them out of a regular rotation……and it’s still the 1Q! It’s flat out dumb when you have as many options, most if not all better, as Ime will have access to this year. It’s creating issues that aren’t there.
 

lovegtm

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That sounds great on paper but not realistic with any consistency. What happens when Horford comes out 5 min in then TL picks up his 2nd fouls a minute later? Now we have Kanter going up against 1st unit bigs with you’ll need to sub in someone to avoid a Kanter/Tatum 4/5 while still against opp 1st units. Staggering bigs like this puts too many players in awkward situations and takes them out of a regular rotation……and it’s still the 1Q! It’s flat out dumb when you have as many options, most if not all better, as Ime will have access to this year. It’s creating issues that aren’t there.
Especially when the team looks deep at the 2-4 positions--it's so weird.

I get it against a few teams that you want to put size against and aren't fast enough to punish it, like Milwaukee. But in most cases, you're neutering your biggest strength and emphasizing biggest weakness (Kanter's D).

Hopefully JRich, Nesmith and Langford (and to some degree Grant) force themselves into minutes, since that would make Ime's decision easy.
 

JakeRae

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Especially when the team looks deep at the 2-4 positions--it's so weird.

I get it against a few teams that you want to put size against and aren't fast enough to punish it, like Milwaukee. But in most cases, you're neutering your biggest strength and emphasizing biggest weakness (Kanter's D).

Hopefully JRich, Nesmith and Langford (and to some degree Grant) force themselves into minutes, since that would make Ime's decision easy.
Kanter, right now, is a clearly better player than Nesmith, Langford, and Grant. I agree, the best case scenario is one or two of those guys force the issue and make us play smaller, but that’s more about the fact that if they are doing that they’ve established themselves as above average players.

Where I disagree here is that Kanter’s defense is a problem. I don’t disagree directionally. He’s not a good defensive player. But he isn’t that bad in a regular season role where he isn’t being aggressively schemed for and he does have real positive value on offense and the glass. I’m not at all convinced that we are deeper on the wing than we are when it comes to bigs, particularly from a regular season perspective where Kanter is a perfectly good option in a bench role.

I suspect that’s part of what Ime is thinking. Our roster has 8 proven NBA rotation players. It also has 4 interesting young players and Juancho. Injuries and performance will dictate playing time over the course of the season, but starting with a rotation structure that uses all 8 proven vets makes sense.
 

lovegtm

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Kanter, right now, is a clearly better player than Nesmith, Langford, and Grant.
Nesmith and Langford have looked far superior to Kanter in the preseason. That matters in evaluating young players coming off their first healthy offseasons.

The best way to make wrong NBA predictions/evaluations is to ignore when young guys are putting things together because the numbers don't yet support it.
 

luckiestman

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I have not been paying as much attention as I would like too. Given that, the 3 guys I am most interested in once the season starts are:

1. Richardson: can he get his swagger back
2. Romeo: it is time to see if we have something
3. Hauser: can he get his shot off against real players (I think it is unlikely but if he can it would be big for us).
 

benhogan

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Kanter, right now, is a clearly better player than Nesmith, Langford, and Grant. I agree, the best case scenario is one or two of those guys force the issue and make us play smaller, but that’s more about the fact that if they are doing that they’ve established themselves as above average players.

Where I disagree here is that Kanter’s defense is a problem. I don’t disagree directionally. He’s not a good defensive player. But he isn’t that bad in a regular season role where he isn’t being aggressively schemed for and he does have real positive value on offense and the glass. I’m not at all convinced that we are deeper on the wing than we are when it comes to bigs, particularly from a regular season perspective where Kanter is a perfectly good option in a bench role.

I suspect that’s part of what Ime is thinking. Our roster has 8 proven NBA rotation players. It also has 4 interesting young players and Juancho. Injuries and performance will dictate playing time over the course of the season, but starting with a rotation structure that uses all 8 proven vets makes sense.
If Ime wants to hang this team's hat on defense/being switchy then Kanter needs match-up minutes., EK's situational minutes can be very positive so I'm not looking down on Enes, he'll have a role. Just limited.

Ime needs to see which of Grant, Langford, Nesmith has put in the Summer work and has taken a leap. Seeing if they can add value is critical to this team's future success. Early season Oct/Nov/Dec minutes are built for that.
 

128

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Was there a game last season--preseason, regular season or playoff--when the C's had every player available? I think the answer is no, but my memory is far from flawless.
 

JakeRae

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Nesmith and Langford have looked far superior to Kanter in the preseason. That matters in evaluating young players coming off their first healthy offseasons.

The best way to make wrong NBA predictions/evaluations is to ignore when young guys are putting things together because the numbers don't yet support it.
I don’t think you can read too much into preseason, particularly for established vets. I’m also not foreclosing the possibility that either or both pass Kanter on the depth chart and I think, if that happens, the rotation will obviously need to be shuffled to accommodate that and my post you responded to expressly indicated that would be the case. There’s definitely going to be stretches this season where Horford or Timelord aren’t playing for health reasons, and those will also present opportunities for the young players to prove that a different rotation is necessary. We don’t need to start the season with the rotation that will be optimal at the end of the season. There’s also locker room management value in starting the season with the vets all having clear and stable spots in the rotation so that if they lose those spots it’s because of the young players clearly stepping up and taking them. Langford and Nesmith are showing a lot of progress, but neither is playing in a way that demands a core rotation spot yet. If Kanter gets played out of the rotation, that will be a really good thing, but I think people here are trying to force it to happen instead of waiting and hoping it will happen. I may be in the minority, but I’m glad that Ime seems to prefer the latter approach.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Miami beat the Celtics by 21 points tonight, but that doesn't tell the whole story. The Heat ran with their usual starting lineup, and the Celtics played without Horford, Rob WIlliams, Brown, and Smart. And the Celtics led after one and hung in the game until late in the third.

Tatum led all Celtics in scoring with 23 points in 31 minutes, but also 6 turnovers - a lot of this was because he was often the only player of note on the floor for the C''s and the Heat swarmed him.

The guy who looked the best of everyone else was Langford. 18 points in 28 minutes including 4-6 from three. He was more of a presence in this game than I've ever seen him. There's a real player here, and I don't think he'll be the guy stapled to the bench or sent to Maine.

Schroder was a mixed bag. 6-11 from the field for 13 points and 6 assists and 3 steals, but also 3 turnovers. The Heat went on a big second quarter run after Jimmy Butler stepped on Schroder's foot and left his foot there until Schroder kicked him and got a flagrant.

Grant started both halves, but he got himself benched in the 3rd quarter by getting called for an offensive foul and bitching at the refs whiie his man ran the floor and dunked at the other end.

Jabari Parker is the oldest 26 year old player in the league - I don't think he makes the cut.

Richardson had 12 points on 4-9 shooting. Stands out more on defense. He's a rotation guy but I think Langford and Nesmith will get some of his minutes.

Hernangomez played 19 minutes, missed 2 shots and didn't score. I don;t think he's going to be a rotation player.

Nesmith did not have it going like last night. Five points on 2-5 shooting.

I like Sam Hauser as a 2-way project. He's 6'8" and has a good shot and maybe flashes some other skills. In 12 minutes he had 5 points on 2-6 shooting, which isn;t great, but his shot looks like it is eventually going to fall. In some ways, if you took Gordon Hayward and degraded his talent down to the level of a fringe NBA player, you might have something like Hauser. I'm sure he's ticketed to spend a lot of time in Maine this year, it will be interesting to see how he does there.
 

luckiestman

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I like Sam Hauser as a 2-way project. He's 6'8" and has a good shot and maybe flashes some other skills. In 12 minutes he had 5 points on 2-6 shooting, which isn;t great, but his shot looks like it is eventually going to fall. In some ways, if you took Gordon Hayward and degraded his talent down to the level of a fringe NBA player, you might have something like Hauser. I'm sure he's ticketed to spend a lot of time in Maine this year, it will be interesting to see how he does there.
I only have seen Doogie in short spurts but I don’t see any Gordo comp at all. Hayward could play above the rim when he was younger, he could do it all really. Sam strikes me as playing that Kyle Korver pure shooter game