What is your top concern for NBA Finals (For Celtics Fans)?

What is your single greatest concern about the NBA Final series with Dallas?

  • Porzingis' health and overall effectiveness

    Votes: 88 36.1%
  • Containing Luka and Kyrie

    Votes: 25 10.2%
  • Celtics 3 point shooting variance

    Votes: 61 25.0%
  • Joe Mazzulla's coaching ability

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Celtics' end-of-game offensive execution

    Votes: 19 7.8%
  • Effectiveness of Celtics' bench

    Votes: 5 2.0%
  • Containing Mavericks' role players

    Votes: 6 2.5%
  • Biased or incompetent officiating

    Votes: 15 6.1%
  • No concern greater than any other (or zero concerns)

    Votes: 18 7.4%
  • Other (Please Specify)

    Votes: 7 2.9%

  • Total voters
    244

BigSoxFan

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Lots to chew on here. So, what singular item has you most concerned about this upcoming series? For me, it's probably Porzingis' calf.
 

Justthetippett

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Aug 9, 2015
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I'm going with shooting variance. I think they'll get a lot of open looks. If they shoot like OKC did, they will have a tough time. This is also the issue that might be affected most by the layoff. I'd also worry about the Mavs coming out hot and the Celts pressing on their own 3s in G1, losing home court and it being tough from there.
 

lars10

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I'm going with shooting variance. I think they'll get a lot of open looks. If they shoot like OKC did, they will have a tough time. This is also the issue that might be affected most by the layoff. I'd also worry about the Mavs coming out hot and the Celts pressing on their own 3s in G1, losing home court and it being tough from there.
Why wouldn't the layoff effect Dallas? Also.. are the Celts suddenly going to stop winning on the road?
 

lars10

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Lots to chew on here. So, what singular item has you most concerned about this upcoming series? For me, it's probably Porzingis' calf.
We should have another thread like this for why should the Mavs be worried?
 

The Mort Report

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I picked other, because a JT or JB injury is really the only thing that will kill this for me in the "what could have been" way. If the Mavs beat us with both teams relatively at full health so be it. An injury to either of those two is my only concern
 

brendan f

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Of course, KP. But...

My top worry is that Finals Luka might be a new level of dominance. He scares the crap out of me.
 

Steve Dillard

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Oct 7, 2003
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Tatum trying to make up for 2022 and playing hero ball rather than his effective distribution to date.
 

Curtis Pride

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The most obvious concern for me is Porzingis' health and effectiveness. A lesser concern is an injury to Tatum. They probably could win without him, but it would be much harder.

Luka going off would be a problem, but the way the Celtics play, Luka could score 45 points, get a triple-double, and lose because the Celtics scored more points than the Mavs.

The Mavs will see the same situation as the Pacers did: score 110 points and lose because they can't keep the Celtics from scoring more. They'll have to go for over 120 to win.
 

m0ckduck

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Jul 20, 2005
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"Will the series ever start?" is up there for me.

Tatum trying to make up for 2022 and playing hero ball rather than his effective distribution to date.
Applying this more broadly to the team: playing within themselves and the system, even if they fall behind early in the series, is a point of concern for me. I don't think Dallas can beat them 4 games out of 7 if they continue to be the team we've seen this whole season. But there's a lot of pressure on this group, so I worry a bit about staying the course. Then again, they've been strong coming off losses for years now, so they have that going for them.

Edit: Porzingis is the real answer though. Rewatch the Mar 1 game and you can see how fluidly the C's offense hums along when he's in. Al had a decent game, too, but you can immediately feel the gears grinding more when he comes in and KP goes to the bench.
 
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tbrown_01923

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Sep 29, 2006
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Toughest poll ever. I went with 3pt variance, they have been unstoppable when the three is falling. Bench only really offers the "3" thus over emphasizing the variance. No high flying rim runners or disruptive defenders (or maybe al counts, I guess).

Maybe number two is officiating.

Number three is containg the supporting crew, I am worried about a focus on shutting down their alphas leaves others open, but that hasn't been this teams MO, so not a huge worry. Let Luca and kyrie get hard buckets. Nothing easy.
 

Mooch

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It's got to be Porzinigis. If he's healthy and effective, this series isn't close. He's that much of an X-factor and unlocks a major weapon that can completely unravel pretty much any defense. Without him, this is a dogfight.
 

Jakarta

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3 point shooting variance because I think they will generate a ton of good looks and hope the pressure of the finals (or a cold shooting night) doesn’t cause them to miss a disproportionate amount. Particularly concerned KP and Al struggle from 3.

Conversely, I’m optimistic Tatum and Hanlen have used these 9 days to sort out his mechanics and think he may have a big series shooting the 3.
 

bankshot1

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I think a healthy Celts beat the Mavs. So in that regard KP's effectiveness is probably concern#1. I think they should beat the Mavs w/o KP but the margin of error gets slimmer.

IMO we have the guards/wings to deal reasonably with the greatest closers since the invention of the zipper, but a set of KP+Al+Kornet would be nice for rim protection, spreading the floor and neutering D's bigs.
 

NomarsFool

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I think in a situation where it is very close, and it's a possession vs. possession, iso type situation, the Mavs win that game 6 times out of 10. Luka is just better at that than Tatum. That said, I think we only get into that situation if the Celtics are really cold from three. In most games, I expect the Celtics to have a double digit lead by the end of the game.
 

ObstructedView

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3-point shooting variance and - assuming KP is healthy - some growing pains as they try to work him back into the flow of the offense. This team occasionally seems to have an embarrassment-of-riches problem; there are only so many shots to go around. First-world problem for sure.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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IMO we have the guards/wings to deal reasonably with the greatest closers since the invention of the zipper, but a set of KP+Al+Kornet would be nice for rim protection, spreading the floor and neutering D's bigs.
I'm old enough to remember when this guy named Nicola Jokic was the greatest closer on earth and all DEN needed to do was find a way to keep it close and then they would win it down the stretch.

It's been such a long time since we've seen a talent like that.
 

Humphrey

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1. Zinger's status
2. If the game comes down to JB having to make free throws. I trust him for everything else.
 

Tudor Fever

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I’m concerned about the possibility of one or more significant injuries to players other than KP. Otherwise, I’m pretty confident.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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To me, it's a given that Kyrie and Luka are going to do some damage. So I think that you guard them the best you can, mitigate the points that they'll score and let the other Mavs try to beat you. But what really worries me is if the other Mavs players start draining shots and you now have other players to key in on and you're spread a bit thinner.

Put it this way, stopping Luka and Kyrie is going to be tough (but doable). If another player starts dropping points on you, that's going to ramp the difficulty up. I hope that the Celts aren't looking past the "supporting cast".
 

Boston Brawler

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It’s Porzingis for me. Keep him healthy and split minutes with Al at first (while he gets back in real game rhythm). I don’t want to see a second of Kornet or Tillman until it’s true garbage time.
 

Cellar-Door

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Injuries in general, the Celtics are the better team, but no team is all that deep and the wrong injuries will tank any team.
 

Diamond Don Aase

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Tony Brothers, Marc Davis, and Scott Foster all officiating in the Finals is gross. That trio is slimier than Zach Zarba’s hair. Tatum was probably already assessed a technical while I was writing this.
 

JCizzle

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Tony Brothers, Marc Davis, and Scott Foster all officiating in the Finals is gross. That trio is slimier than Zach Zarba’s hair. Tatum was probably already assessed a technical while I was writing this.
If anyone on the Celtics gets a technical in a series that features Luka, I may lose it.
 

NomarsFool

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I really hope the NBA sits the refs down and tells them that millions of people are watching to see the stars and unless one of the stars literally punches them in the mouth they need to turn the other cheek and just walk away. I’m so sick of this ref stuff where they toss somebody from 50 feet away because they glared at them and raised an eyebrow. The refs are not the show.
 

Reverend

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I’m with the people who said injuries in general. The game’s the game, and I’m with the people who see 3 point shot variance as a fancy way of saying they’re missing their shots, etc.

The thing that would be intolerable would be to see, like, Tatum turning his ankle in the first few minutes like in game 7 ECF last year. If they lose, it will suck, but please not that.
 

dhellers

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If the Celtics maintain discipline (commitment, connection, communication) for 48 minutes, no one beats them.
Letting it slide for lengthy stretches is what I worry about.

I think they understand that, so the biggest concern is random injuries.
 

Erik Hanson's Hook

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That it's going to turn into lob city with their young frontcourt players, and we will suddenly be arguing over how obvious it was that we were old and thin there, as Al helplessly watches another one fly over his head.
 

riboflav

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To me, it's a given that Kyrie and Luka are going to do some damage. So I think that you guard them the best you can, mitigate the points that they'll score and let the other Mavs try to beat you. But what really worries me is if the other Mavs players start draining shots and you now have other players to key in on and you're spread a bit thinner.

Put it this way, stopping Luka and Kyrie is going to be tough (but doable). If another player starts dropping points on you, that's going to ramp the difficulty up. I hope that the Celts aren't looking past the "supporting cast".
I'd go the other way. Make Luka a scorer and less a playmaker. Tighten up on everyone else. Can one man beat you with his elite scoring, yes. Can he do it four times with little help from his friends, no. And, the Celtics have the personnel to guard Luka so that he only scores 40 instead of 50. If you sell out to stop or severely slow down Luka (BB style), he will kill you with his decision-making and passing.

EDIT: This is also why you are pushing pace and making him work hard defensively. If you do these things successfully, you can make him perhaps a 35-point scorer while limiting his ability to make his teammates great.
 
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LynnRice75

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Jul 15, 2005
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I’m actually worried about a key Mav getting hurt and the Celts winning (like we would have anyway) with no one giving them any credit for doing so.
Not that I’d care cause we’d have the championship.
But I worry I’d go insane with the whining of non Boston fans.
 

riboflav

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I’m actually worried about a key Mav getting hurt and the Celts winning (like we would have anyway) with no one giving them any credit for doing so.
Not that I’d care cause we’d have the championship.
But I worry I’d go insane with the whining of non Boston fans.
I want to beat Dallas at their best. If this were to happen, wtf ever. You lost. We won. Fuck the narrative.
 

Al Zarilla

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I’m actually worried about a key Mav getting hurt and the Celts winning (like we would have anyway) with no one giving them any credit for doing so.
Not that I’d care cause we’d have the championship.
But I worry I’d go insane with the whining of non Boston fans.
I never heard any member of the ‘75 Reds apologize about winning the World Series over the Rice-less Red Sox. Or any sports press doing it either. Your name tag reminded me of that one.
 

tims4wins

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So after thinking about this for a week, I think my top concern is seemlessly re-integrating KP. During the season he played what, 40 something games when the Celts had their full roster playing, so it’s not like they don’t have the experience. But if his minutes are down vs the regular season (and I expect them to be), or if he is rusty and can’t play crunch time, or whatever the situation is, I have some concern about the effect on rotations and whatnot.

My biggest concern from the Mavs perspective is the Celts loading up too much to stop Luka and then giving good open looks to role players (corner 3s!). But if that happens in a game early in the series, I would think the Celts would adjust. Like I have a hard time seeing the Celtics continue with that strategy if it’s not working.
 

Justthetippett

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Aug 9, 2015
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So after thinking about this for a week, I think my top concern is seemlessly re-integrating KP. During the season he played what, 40 something games when the Celts had their full roster playing, so it’s not like they don’t have the experience. But if his minutes are down vs the regular season (and I expect them to be), or if he is rusty and can’t play crunch time, or whatever the situation is, I have some concern about the effect on rotations and whatnot.

My biggest concern from the Mavs perspective is the Celts loading up too much to stop Luka and then giving good open looks to role players (corner 3s!). But if that happens in a game early in the series, I would think the Celts would adjust. Like I have a hard time seeing the Celtics continue with that strategy if it’s not working.
I am comforted on the second aspect by some of CJMs past comments and approaches to the math game. I think he'll let Luka try to get 60 on contested 2s before he gives up open corner threes or lobs. KPs rim protection would also be huge, if it's near his regular season levels.
 

Justthetippett

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Aug 9, 2015
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I’m actually worried about a key Mav getting hurt and the Celts winning (like we would have anyway) with no one giving them any credit for doing so.
Not that I’d care cause we’d have the championship.
But I worry I’d go insane with the whining of non Boston fans.
This would be a real rich man's problem. I'll take it! And maybe it serves as even more motivation for the repeat.
 

tims4wins

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I am comforted on the second aspect by some of CJMs past comments and approaches to the math game. I think he'll let Luka try to get 60 on contested 2s before he gives up open corner threes or lobs. KPs rim protection would also be huge, if it's near his regular season levels.
Yes, I agree.
 

Smokey Joe

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I’m actually worried about a key Mav getting hurt and the Celts winning (like we would have anyway) with no one giving them any credit for doing so.
Not that I’d care cause we’d have the championship.
But I worry I’d go insane with the whining of non Boston fans.
I don’t think you have to worry about this. Whether a key Mav gets hurt or not, if the Celtics win the narrative will shift to “Well they didn’t beat the best team in the West”. They won’t get any credit because they didn’t beat Denver.
 

riboflav

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I'd go the other way. Make Luka a scorer and less a playmaker. Tighten up on everyone else. Can one man beat you with his elite scoring, yes. Can he do it four times with little help from his friends, no. And, the Celtics have the personnel to guard Luka so that he only scores 40 instead of 50. If you sell out to stop or severely slow down Luka (BB style), he will kill you with his decision-making and passing.

EDIT: This is also why you are pushing pace and making him work hard defensively. If you do these things successfully, you can make him perhaps a 35-point scorer while limiting his ability to make his teammates great.
Ahem.
 

mwonow

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Sep 4, 2005
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I think what I'm most worried about is Kyrie. The narrative - 0-11. 0-3 point land last night - has him at rock bottom. I don't want to see him bob back up as a disruptive player. I want to see him continue to weird out until 18 is hanging from the rafters.