The Heat is on, ECF here we come!

Eddie Jurak

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Well, that was a gross way to end a series where they played a lot of terrible basketball. Stevens' coaching was also poor, most notably stuck with the Kanter experiment for a very long time after it was obviously not working. Went to Grant only because Theis got into foul trouble and Grant almost brought them back. At the end, when it was getting away from them but there was still time to string a couple of stops together and be back in it, instead of trying to execute on offense they settled for the first early clock three opportunity that presented itself.

This is a team that would have been in the finals already if they had the first clue how to win. Instead, they gave us one legitimately great half, some other scattered good moments, and a ton of listless uninspired play.

I hope they learn something from this, because opportunities to win it all don't come along all that often and they just pissed one away here.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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It sure would be nice if someone would closeout on Iguodala. Theis was admiring Iggys release like a kid opening presents on Christmas.
They wanted AI to shoot.

I hope people remember that if wasn't for Iguodala's miracle shooting performance, Cs win going away. As Mark Jackson said, he wasn't even making 4 in a row in warm-ups.
 

Imbricus

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I love Marcus Smart, but I always cringe when he makes a couple of three-pointers early, because I know it's going to be one of those games. Sure enough, he was 4 for 13 from three yesterday. He shot almost twice as many threes as Duncan Robinson, who put up the most for the Heat (and who made one more of those than Smart).

I don't know if (a) Smart has to have an epiphany (b) Brad needs to talk to him, but I don't see Marcus taking 13 three-point shots in a game as a good strategy for this team.
 

128

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I love Marcus Smart, but I always cringe when he makes a couple of three-pointers early, because I know it's going to be one of those games. Sure enough, he was 4 for 13 from three yesterday. He shot almost twice as many threes as Duncan Robinson, who put up the most for the Heat (and who made one more of those than Smart).

I don't know if (a) Smart has to have an epiphany (b) Brad needs to talk to him, but I don't see Marcus taking 13 three-point shots in a game as a good strategy for this team.
I'd love to know if Stevens has had those discussions with Smart, who's ignoring his coach's instructions, or if Smart has free rein to do as he pleases on the court. Much of the time it looks like the latter.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I'd love to know if Stevens has had those discussions with Smart, who's ignoring his coach's instructions, or if Smart has free rein to do as he pleases on the court. Much of the time it looks like the latter.
No open shot is a bad shot for Brad Stevens, it has always been this way.
 

128

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From Jay King's story in The Athletic:

Fourth quarters ruined the Celtics all series. They led by 14 points early in the fourth quarter of Game 1. They held a five-point advantage with 4:25 left in Game 2 – even after getting outscored by 20 points in the third quarter of that contest. They surged ahead early in the fourth quarter of Game 4 with a chance to tie the series. The Celtics lost all those games. They outscored Miami by 22 points over non-fourth-quarter minutes throughout the course of the series, but still couldn’t push the series to a seventh game.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I leave this series feeling good about the team's progress and prospects, but also recognizing some things need to be different for them to take the next step. In my mind..

1) most importantly, they need a different plan/mindset/approach to the last 5 minutes of games. It's a big gap, and they need to figure it out.
2) they need to clarify roles around the 5...if they commit to more smallball with Grant, stick to it. If they believe TW is on balance impactful, give him the run to work that through and validate (or invalidate) the hypothesis. If Kanter is back be clear what he is and is not. The versatile 5 worked well overall this year but failed vs Bam
3) Tatum and Brown need to trend higher on usage and shots, with Smart and Walker trending lower over time
4) a sniper off the bench would be helpful for the second unit
5) a vet who has 'been there' would make a big difference in 1) above, i suspect. Igoudala is an example; later-career Perkins is another. I haven't perused who is out there, but imagine there's a few guys who could help here and even if you need an assistant coach to play that role as a recently retired player it's worthwhile

All in all, the future is bright and they are, talent-wise, right there with anyone. Now they just have to continue to improve on execcution
 

Light-Tower-Power

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From Jay King's story in The Athletic:

Fourth quarters ruined the Celtics all series. They led by 14 points early in the fourth quarter of Game 1. They held a five-point advantage with 4:25 left in Game 2 – even after getting outscored by 20 points in the third quarter of that contest. They surged ahead early in the fourth quarter of Game 4 with a chance to tie the series. The Celtics lost all those games. They outscored Miami by 22 points over non-fourth-quarter minutes throughout the course of the series, but still couldn’t push the series to a seventh game.
This is what annoys me the most. There wasn't one game in this series where the Celtics were outclassed from the jump and Miami cruised to an easy win. All six of these games were winnable games. They were just horrendous in crunch time. Everything that worked for them to build leads in every game went completely out the window when it was close and late. It was all turnovers and hero ball. Hopefully that gets better with maturity and maybe some stabilizing veterans off the bench, but still I think it's fair to assign some blame to the coaching staff. This team lost every single coinflip game other than G7 against Toronto. They didn't seem prepared for the end of games.
 

HomeRunBaker

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They wanted AI to shoot.

I hope people remember that if wasn't for Iguodala's miracle shooting performance, Cs win going away. As Mark Jackson said, he wasn't even making 4 in a row in warm-ups.
Uncontested 3’s by a 36% bubble 3-pt shooter are about as far from a miracle as the NBA can produce.

No open shot is a bad shot for Brad Stevens, it has always been this way.
Open 3’s in rhythm is nearly always a good shot in today’s game for most players. Our issue the entire series was the same that the Pacers and Bucks had.....we couldn’t stop Miami from creating matchups advantages and open looks. They have been a scoring machine for 3 straight series now.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Uncontested 3’s by a 36% bubble 3-pt shooter are about as far from a miracle as the NBA can produce.


Open 3’s in rhythm is nearly always a good shot in today’s game for most players. Our issue the entire series was the same that the Pacers and Bucks had.....we couldn’t stop Miami from creating matchups advantages and open looks. They have been a scoring machine for 3 straight series now.
Agreed, and just to highlight why it's hard: you can go small and do better on the perimeter chasing and threes with Grant....but then you get bullied inside by Bam and (to a lesser degree) Butler. You can go athletic at C with TW, but he gets exposed with all the actions and motion outside. You can play it halfway with Theis, but he isn't great defensively on the move or wtih Bam and the foul trouble (most of which is on him, some of which is on pretty consistently poor officiating as to his defense) limits the minutes he is an answer.

Celtics never really figured out a sustainable solution to this conundrum and neither did Bucks or Pacers. I don't know whether Lakers will---they have a C who can man up Bam, at least. But they have much weaker perimeter defenders to start with than Celtics and less overall switchability.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I do think letting Iggy take shots was a choice by Celtics, and one they were likely to win overall. But also one that Iggy beat them on yesterday.

The strategy problem that creates the need to let him take those shots is what I alluded to above---they have to either give up perimeter looks to someone or let Bam bully them inside. They never solved that riddle.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Not sure how you are getting that # but BBRef has AI at 21.7% bubble pre-playoffs (5-23) and 25.9% during the bubble playoffs (7-27). So for the entire time in the bubble, he was 12-50.
Regardless of the exact numbers you are allowing an NBA player to shoot uncontested jumpers. I shared the story years ago when I was in a gym in Raleigh with Chris Wilcox and watched him knock down 60 FT’s in a row. The only thing that prevents a perimeter player from looking like Steph Curry in 2020 is closeouts especially after he’s hit one, then two, then three, then four.......

If you look back on each shot these weren’t choices to let him shoot they were slow closeouts on, yet again.....mismatches. Theis lost him once and didn’t close out on another. The others were on ball movement when the defense was playing catch up.
 

Euclis20

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160 playoff games, that was the most 3s Iguodala had ever hit without missing (he took four or more 3s in 62 of those games). Sometimes, it just isn't your night.
 

chilidawg

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160 playoff games, that was the most 3s Iguodala had ever hit without missing (he took four or more 3s in 62 of those games). Sometimes, it just isn't your night.
But to HRB's point, how many of those times were all of those shots wide open, completely uncontested shots?

I thought the C's were actually good on Herro, Robinson and Dragic for the most part, having a hand in the face with regularity. Those guys made some shots anyway, but all shot below their season averages. Crowder had a number of open looks, but shot poorly anyway. The Heat as a team shot 32% from 3 in the series, so credit the C's defense there. Igoudala obviously killed them in game 6.

Statistically the only place Miami had an edge is in turnovers. C's had a decisive edge in rebounding, OReb% was 5 points better than the Heat. Shooting overall was very close. 4th Q execution was the difference, but we all know that.
 

Euclis20

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But to HRB's point, how many of those times were all of those shots wide open, completely uncontested shots?
Many. He just finished playing 6 years in GS alongside some of the best shooters in history. He saw a lot of wide open, completely uncontested shots.