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2020 NBA Playoffs Thread - Haters arguing that it took Lebron 10 Finals to win 4 titles

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9 hours ago, Ghost Rider said:

Hasn't that been said about the Celtics for like 3-4 years now? 

Tough crowd. They have been to 3 eastern conference finals in the past 4 years. And made a semi-finals appearance the other year. And their two best players are 22, and 23 years old. 

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3 minutes ago, dawgtrails said:

Tough crowd. They have been to 3 eastern conference finals in the past 4 years. And made a semi-finals appearance the other year. And their two best players are 22, and 23 years old. 

I hear ya, but are they going to get over the hump at some point or are they going to be the mid 2000's Phoenix Suns? 

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2 minutes ago, Ghost Rider said:

I hear ya, but are they going to get over the hump at some point or are they going to be the mid 2000's Phoenix Suns

Most exciting team to watch during that timeframe. Loved those teams :)

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46 minutes ago, trader jake said:

With talented teams like Golden State and Brooklyn out of the running, this may have been the best shot for a lot of teams to win a title.  That certainly includes the Heat and probably the Lakers as well.

 

 

This is what Bill Simmons was saying last week. Even though Tatum and Brown are so young, the East is about to get a lot tougher. Brooklyn next year. Giannis getting better. Miami not going away. This year may have been their best shot. Or, at least, their easiest shot.

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13 minutes ago, dawgtrails said:

Tough crowd. They have been to 3 eastern conference finals in the past 4 years. And made a semi-finals appearance the other year. And their two best players are 22, and 23 years old. 

Jayson Tatum is younger today than all the Celtics players that went on to become a HOFer. NONE of those guys had played in a  single NBA game at the age Tatum is right now. And he's already played in 45 playoff games. (That will change when Kevin Garnett gets inducted . . . but the point still stands that Tatum is a youngster in terms of his NBA career.)

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46 minutes ago, dawgtrails said:

Tough crowd. They have been to 3 eastern conference finals in the past 4 years. And made a semi-finals appearance the other year. And their two best players are 22, and 23 years old. 

Their playoff record under Brad Stevens is 37-36.  They have basically been a 0.500 team in the playoff over the past several years.   That's the problem with them.  Talent alone will win you regular season games and you'll have marginal to decent success in the playoffs--but until they develop an identity or established system--they'll get get a few rounds into the playoffs and end up fizzling out when it counts the most.  The Celtics should have won last night but when the Heat made that run against them late in the fourth--it derailed them.  They didn't have a system to get them back on track.  The Heat made a run and then each Celtic took turns trying to launch three's to somehow bring them back through hero ball.  They went from being in the lead to losing the game easily in like a 3-4 minute span.  

On one end of the court--you have Miami understanding that their biggest advantage is Bam--so they get him the ball and he'd either attack the hoop or force the defense to collapse on him to where he'd make the right pass.  When that wasn't happening--you'd see Duncan Robinson moving around without the ball and teammates setting screens and back picks for him to free up.   The players on their team (from the superstars all the way down) were all aware of what their advantages over Boston were and they imposed that on the game.  Boston did nothing like that.  You'd see Kemba play isolation ball, and then Tatum do it, and then Brown do it. Even in the last game that Boston won--it wasn't because they imposed their will on the game.  It was because Miami played out of character and didn't feed the ball to Bam and work around that.   If somebody were to ask you what Bostons profile/style as a team was this year--what would you say?    Aside from saying they are "talented"--there is no real good way to clearly identify what their fundamental style is. 

Edited by jvdesigns2002

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there are many variables to predicting how the East and the league will go the next several years, but Tatum and Brown are still 23 and 22, are already all-star level players, have improved meaningfully pretty much every year, and are wings.  That is a hell of a place to be.

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I very much like where the Celtics are but also realize they need to grow to get over the hump...reading some of the critiques on them I don't think they truly take into account that Tatum is 22 and Jaylen Brown is 23...while these guys still have a lot of maturing to do they are also not close to their upside...to think that they have hit their ceiling makes no sense.  While the C's had their faults exposed during the playoffs (the loss of leads was brutal) there is no doubt that when they were playing their best they can blow most teams off the court.  Outside of Tatum and Brown continuing to improve a few things have to happen:

*A better and more mature bench...this team is very top heavy...they need some of those Eddie House/James Posey veterans who can help the second unit while also adding some veteran leadership...this should not be overly difficult, they do not have to add stars and these type of players usually like to play for a contender...they also have 3 first round picks so hopefully they can facilitate something thru those.

*More fundamentally sound basketball...too often this team went off the rails and it was ugly...I will cut them slack this year since they are young but Stevens really needs to reign this nonsense in next year...you can't make things easy for your opponent...it is a big year for Stevens next year...he has done an excellent job helping with this rebuild/reload thru a few different iterations but he needs to prove he can get this team to the next level and a lot of it is mental.

*THEY NEED MORE SIZE!!!  I get the position-less basketball to a point but they can get exposed with their lack of size...I love Theis but they ask him to do more then they should...it is also time to figure out what Robert Williams is...it will be year 3 next year and it is time to figure out what his role is, he can not continue to be a project next year...with Embiid and Bam around they need another body that can play with those guys.

The good news is the toughest part about being a championship contender (high-end talent) is not an issue...if Tatum and Brown (and Stevens in reality) can continue their ascent and they can add some quality bench pieces (including size) while developing Robert and Grant Williams and Romeo Langford there is no reason to believe they will not be right back in the spot they were in this year with the chance to get over the hump for many years to come.

Edited by Boston

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2 minutes ago, Boston said:

I very much like where the Celtics are but also realize they need to grow to get over the hump...reading some of the critiques on them I don't think they truly take into account that Tatum is 22 and Jaylen Brown is 23...while these guys still have a lot of maturing to do they are also not close to their upside...to think that they have hit their ceiling makes no sense.  While the C's had their faults exposed during the playoffs (the loss of leads was brutal) there is no doubt that when they were playing their best they can blow most teams off the court.  Outside of Tatum and Brown continuing to improve a few things have to happen:

*A better and more mature bench...this team is very top heavy...they need some of those Eddie House/James Posey veterans who can help the second unit while also adding some veteran leadership...this should not be overly difficult, they do not have to add stars and these type of players usually like to play for a contender...they also have 3 first round picks so hopefully they can facilitate something thru those.

*More fundamentally sound basketball...too often this team went off the rails and it was ugly...I will cut them slack this year since they are young but Stevens really needs to reign this nonsense in next year...you can't make things easy for your opponent...it is a big year for Stevens next year...he has done an excellent job helping with this rebuild/reload thru a few different iterations but he needs to prove he can get this team to the next level and a lot of it is mental.

*THEY NEED MORE SIZE!!!  I get the position-less basketball to a point but they can get exposed with their lack of size...I love Theis but they ask him to do more then they should...it is also time to figure out what Robert Williams is...it will be year 3 next year and it is time to figure out what his role is, he can not continue to be a project next year...with Embiid and Bam around thet need another body that can play with those guys.

The good news is the toughest part about being a championship contender (high-end talent) is not an issue...if Tatum and Brown (and Stevens in reality) can continue their ascent and they can add some quality bench pieces (including size) while developing Robert and Grant Williams and Romeo Langford there is no reason to believe they will not be right back in the spot they were in this year with the chance to get over the hump for many years to come.

They just signed Stevens to a contract extension in August, so he is likely here for several years at a minimum. It does not appear the organization sees Stevens as a problem and it appears they hold him in high regard. I don't think he is going anywhere.

As I posted earlier this morning, in the regular season, their three "bigs" were their most efficient players (RWilliams, Theis, and Kanter). Over 100 possessions, they averaged a net +36, +25, and +19 points per 100 possessions respectively. (All those are great numbers . . . LeBrown was at +10 this year,  Anthony Davis at +19, Giannis at + 19, and Kawhi at +13.) The Celtics three bigs were at the top of the class on the team in win shares per 48 minutes (.253, .201, .214). By comparison, here were the other main contributors (Tatum .146, Brown .123, Kemba .162, Smart .112, Hayward .158).

So say what you want about them needing more size, a real big, etc. . . . they did fine with the guys they had. RWilliams biggest problem has been frequently being dinged up. He didn't play in half the games this season (he was banged up a lot, so hard to tell what he would have done or how much he would have played if healthy). I was not a huge fan of Grant Williams. He seemed slow and out of shape with limited mobility. At 6'6", he really isn't suited to cover someone bigger and more skilled. He didn't bring much to the table in the playoffs as far as I was concerned. They would have been better off playing the other Williams or Kanter more.

The numbers will bear out that playing their small ball lineup of Tatum, Brown, Smart, Walker, and Hayward WAS NOT their best option. They fared much better with one of their bigs in. They may get a little more offense with that small ball grouping, but they won't get enough defense or rebounds from that combination.

I have always found that in both basketball and football that going conservative at the end of the game to try to burn clock usually is a net negative. It generally takes away chances to score and actually helps opponents catch up. If the Celts kept the peddle to the medal and tried to score in transition, if they tried to run their offense, if they tried to get shots in the paint with 10 seconds still on the shot clock, if they tried to draw fouls, they would probably still be playing. That should be an easy coaching fix, yet they didn't seem to change that throughout the playoffs so maybe it is harder than it looks.

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3 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

They just signed Stevens to a contract extension in August, so he is likely here for several years at a minimum. It does not appear the organization sees Stevens as a problem and it appears they hold him in high regard. I don't think he is going anywhere.

As I posted earlier this morning, in the regular season, their three "bigs" were their most efficient players (RWilliams, Theis, and Kanter). Over 100 possessions, they averaged a net +36, +25, and +19 points per 100 possessions respectively. (All those are great numbers . . . LeBrown was at +10 this year,  Anthony Davis at +19, Giannis at + 19, and Kawhi at +13.) The Celtics three bigs were at the top of the class on the team in win shares per 48 minutes (.253, .201, .214). By comparison, here were the other main contributors (Tatum .146, Brown .123, Kemba .162, Smart .112, Hayward .158).

So say what you want about them needing more size, a real big, etc. . . . they did fine with the guys they had. RWilliams biggest problem has been frequently being dinged up. He didn't play in half the games this season (he was banged up a lot, so hard to tell what he would have done or how much he would have played if healthy). I was not a huge fan of Grant Williams. He seemed slow and out of shape with limited mobility. At 6'6", he really isn't suited to cover someone bigger and more skilled. He didn't bring much to the table in the playoffs as far as I was concerned. They would have been better off playing the other Williams or Kanter more.

The numbers will bear out that playing their small ball lineup of Tatum, Brown, Smart, Walker, and Hayward WAS NOT their best option. They fared much better with one of their bigs in. They may get a little more offense with that small ball grouping, but they won't get enough defense or rebounds from that combination.

I have always found that in both basketball and football that going conservative at the end of the game to try to burn clock usually is a net negative. It generally takes away chances to score and actually helps opponents catch up. If the Celts kept the peddle to the medal and tried to score in transition, if they tried to run their offense, if they tried to get shots in the paint with 10 seconds still on the shot clock, if they tried to draw fouls, they would probably still be playing. That should be an easy coaching fix, yet they didn't seem to change that throughout the playoffs so maybe it is harder than it looks.

I did not say Stevens was on the hot seat nor should he be as he is a very good young Coach...what I said is he needs to reign in these stretches of wildly fundamentally unsound basketball, that is part of the coach's responsibility as is what you wrote in your last paragraph which I agree with 100%...you can throw every analytic in the book at me but my eyes say they need another big man especially since Kantner is such a defensive liability and I get very nervous about relying on Williams.

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1 minute ago, Boston said:

I did not say Stevens was on the hot seat nor should he be as he is a very good young Coach...what I said is he needs to reign in these stretches of wildly fundamentally unsound basketball, that is part of the coach's responsibility as is what you wrote in your last paragraph which I agree with 100%...you can throw every analytic in the book at me but my eyes say they need another big man especially since Kantner is such a defensive liability and I get very nervous about relying on Williams.

Some of the sky-is-falling sports media types in town have grumbled that Stevens and Ainge are a big part of the problem and that either or both should be in a lot more hot water than they are. The talking heads basically feel that if the pieces the Celtics have are as great as people say they are, they would have advanced farther than they have. That may be the Boston is for winners mentality form the past couple of decades and anything but a title is a bad season talking.

I do agree with you that against specific teams, they won't have a good answer for a legit big and will have matchup problems. They could probably get away with finding someone that is a defensive specialist against the Giannis / Embiid / Davis / Adebayo types, but again, if it were so easy to defend those guys the rest of the league would have figured it out by now. IMO, one of the big issues is Walker on the defensive end. He is too small and can't handle someone like Butler. Boston can't put someone else on Kemba's guy or they will get killed by three point shooters. And if Kemba has to switch and ends up on someone even better, that possession is all but over.

This season has been anything but normal, so the bubble version of the playoffs likely gave some teams more of a chance then if they had to play in hostile arenas. No home court advantage, no fans, and no travel definitely leveled the playing field. It will be interesting to see if a team like Miami can play as well next year not in the bubble or if they just got hot at the right time. The Heat certainly played light years better in the bubble than they did away from it (while Milwaukee went the opposite direction).

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11 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

Some of the sky-is-falling sports media types in town have grumbled that Stevens and Ainge are a big part of the problem and that either or both should be in a lot more hot water than they are. The talking heads basically feel that if the pieces the Celtics have are as great as people say they are, they would have advanced farther than they have. That may be the Boston is for winners mentality form the past couple of decades and anything but a title is a bad season talking.

I do agree with you that against specific teams, they won't have a good answer for a legit big and will have matchup problems. They could probably get away with finding someone that is a defensive specialist against the Giannis / Embiid / Davis / Adebayo types, but again, if it were so easy to defend those guys the rest of the league would have figured it out by now. IMO, one of the big issues is Walker on the defensive end. He is too small and can't handle someone like Butler. Boston can't put someone else on Kemba's guy or they will get killed by three point shooters. And if Kemba has to switch and ends up on someone even better, that possession is all but over.

This season has been anything but normal, so the bubble version of the playoffs likely gave some teams more of a chance then if they had to play in hostile arenas. No home court advantage, no fans, and no travel definitely leveled the playing field. It will be interesting to see if a team like Miami can play as well next year not in the bubble or if they just got hot at the right time. The Heat certainly played light years better in the bubble than they did away from it (while Milwaukee went the opposite direction).

Many of those media-types are beyond doom and gloomers...anything other then an undefeated season and a championship (for all four teams) is looked at as a bad season and they would find a way to complain about a championship as well...the second guessing and how often they are wrong is comical...Stevens/Ainge have done an amazing job putting this together (people forget that the Jaylen Brown pick was met with thumbs down by a lot of people) while not tanking...when you think about it this is like the third iteration of this rebuild...you had Isiah, then Kyrie now this team...I think they are poised for a big time run of contention but they need to show they can get over the hump and I do believe they have the horses to do it...really looking forward to seeing what they do this offseason. 

Edited by Boston

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2 hours ago, Anarchy99 said:

The C's suffered from completely getting out of their offense in crunch time, chucking up too many threes, not getting back on defense, and committing too many fouls. To me, it seemed like they got one offensive foul called on opponents for every 12 times they tried to draw a charge. Just play defense instead of trying to get a call. 

This is a very interesting point.  I don't watch a lot of NBA but have watched a decent amount of the C's game this postseason and this was something that jumped out at me.  They seem to love to take/try to take charges.  That may be Stevens influence, Smart who seems to me to be the guy in the league that tries to take the most, Tatum coming from the Duke program, Hayward - somewhat similar at Butler (IMO).  Now, I'm not saying it's bad or good but if your observation is correct then it seems like something they could correct and get accurate analytics on it - whether they do it more than others, how often it works out and whether it becomes a good idea.  People love charges as it's "good defense" - but it's a high risk play, especially in the NBA where the refs have usually been averse to calling them.  I'd be interested on the detailed analysis of this and whether it's really had any impact.

And I also agree that the C's played a lot of 1-on-1 and not team basketball on the offensive end - at least during crunch time.

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1 hour ago, Boston said:

Many of those media-types are beyond doom and gloomers...anything other then an undefeated season and a championship (for all four teams) is looked at as a bad season and they would find a way to complain about a championship as well...the second guessing and how often they are wrong is comical...Stevens/Ainge have done an amazing job putting this together (people forget that the Jaylen Brown pick was met with thumbs down by a lot of people) while not tanking...when you think about it this is like the third iteration of this rebuild...you had Isiah, then Kyrie now this team...I think they are poised for a big time run of contention but they need to show they can get over the hump and I do believe they have the horses to do it...really looking forward to seeing what they do this offseason. 

I hope that I'm not coming across as a "doom and gloomer" because I think the Celtics have a lot of the tools required to have championship aspirations. They have plenty of talent, they have lots of youth--but they have no identity. Not one person in here after I made my post about them has stepped up and said what kind of team the Celtics are fundamentally. When they go into each game--what is the style of basketball that they want to impose on the game to give them the best chance to win? Talent alone doesn't win championships--it can take you moderately deep in the playoffs.    

If talent wins a championship--the Clippers would have swept their way through the playoffs.  Part of the reason why the Nuggets outperformed their playoff expectations and talent is because they were successful in imposing their style of ball in a lot of their games.  Fundamentally their goal is to run an offense through a two man game between Jokic and Murray.  They sometimes have Jokic bring the ball up the court and run Murray off the ball to create "pick and roll/pick and pop" situations where they force defenders to switch (thus creating matchup issues in the Nuggets advantage), or they force the defenders to work through the pick to where either Jokic or Murray could then gauge whether it's best to take a jumper or to get the benefit of a first step towards the basket to where they can set up a layup for themselves or set up a teammate.  They run that play so much and do it so well that they can outexecute talent advantages that their opponents have against them.   If you look at the Warriors--it's not that curry, klay and kd would just run the ball up the court and shoot it.   Kerr implemented a system where he actually tracks the number of passes they make per game, and tracks how many shots were made relative to the number of assists that the team has.   He wants most of the shots to come off of ball movement--because the ball can move faster than the best of defenses.

 I'm not saying that the Celtics cannot win with the personnel they have now.  They probably could--but for that to happen--they need to figure out what they want their identity to be as a collective.  Right now they are just a group of young, talented  basketball players with really high upside that just cant seem to push through to the finals.   To maximize this upside and to push to the next level--they need to establish an identity.   Maybe they need a veteran player with a jimmy butler type of attitude that preaches accountabitly and responsibilty.   Maybe the team in general is too calm outside of Smart and Brown.   Maybe Stevens needs to show a bit more fire and passion to get more out of his players.  The first thing that they need to do is establish what they want their basketball identity to be and to build upon that.   If they don't do this--I do think they will be in a cycle of losing in the second round or conference finals for the next few years.  

Edited by jvdesigns2002

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19 minutes ago, jvdesigns2002 said:

When they go into each game--what is the style of basketball that they want to impose on the game to give them the best chance to win? 

Like most good teams, that depends on their opponent. 

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4 minutes ago, dawgtrails said:

Like most good teams, that depends on their opponent. 

Okay--I'll bite. What was their plan against the Heat? What was their fundamental style of play that they were going to execute to win that series?

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1 hour ago, jvdesigns2002 said:

I hope that I'm not coming across as a "doom and gloomer" because I think the Celtics have a lot of the tools required to have championship aspirations. They have plenty of talent, they have lots of youth--but they have no identity. Not one person in here after I made my post about them has stepped up and said what kind of team the Celtics are fundamentally. When they go into each game--what is the style of basketball that they want to impose on the game to give them the best chance to win? Talent alone doesn't win championships--it can take you moderately deep in the playoffs.    

If talent wins a championship--the Clippers would have swept their way through the playoffs.  Part of the reason why the Nuggets outperformed their playoff expectations and talent is because they were successful in imposing their style of ball in a lot of their games.  Fundamentally their goal is to run an offense through a two man game between Jokic and Murray.  They sometimes have Jokic bring the ball up the court and run Murray off the ball to create "pick and roll/pick and pop" situations where they force defenders to switch (thus creating matchup issues in the Nuggets advantage), or they force the defenders to work through the pick to where either Jokic or Murray could then gauge whether it's best to take a jumper or to get the benefit of a first step towards the basket to where they can set up a layup for themselves or set up a teammate.  They run that play so much and do it so well that they can outexecute talent advantages that their opponents have against them.   If you look at the Warriors--it's not that curry, klay and kd would just run the ball up the court and shoot it.   Kerr implemented a system where he actually tracks the number of passes they make per game, and tracks how many shots were made relative to the number of assists that the team has.   He wants most of the shots to come off of ball movement--because the ball can move faster than the best of defenses.

 I'm not saying that the Celtics cannot win with the personnel they have now.  They probably could--but for that to happen--they need to figure out what they want their identity to be as a collective.  Right now they are just a group of young, talented  basketball players with really high upside that just cant seem to push through to the finals.   To maximize this upside and to push to the next level--they need to establish an identity.   Maybe they need a veteran player with a jimmy butler type of attitude that preaches accountabitly and responsibilty.   Maybe the team in general is too calm outside of Smart and Brown.   Maybe Stevens needs to show a bit more fire and passion to get more out of his players.  The first thing that they need to do is establish what they want their basketball identity to be and to build upon that.   If they don't do this--I do think they will be in a cycle of losing in the second round or conference finals for the next few years.  

Not to dodge your question, but Tatum is 22 and Brown 23. If we use Golden State as the recent gold standard of teams, Steph was 26 when they first won the title and Klay 24. Then they added a 28 year old KD to the mix a few years later.

As I mentioned earlier, I think Boston hoped Walker would be the guy that brought everything together, and in some ways he did in the locker room (not a cancer like Kyrie was) but not as much on the floor. He wasn't as consistent as expected and did not close games out like they needed. He was a defensive liability and had issues with zone defenses (and had some issues with injuries).

Had Hayward been healthy, I think we would have seen Boston as a more functional and consistent offense instead of the uninspired offensive mess they were at the end of some games. The Celtics brand that you keep wanting them to have is running an efficient offense getting the ball in the paint and then either getting easy baskets or kicking the ball out for open threes. Defensively, they generally are solid and force a lot of turnovers. That worked in the first round, worked in the second round (series should have been over way earlier except for the miracle 0.5 second shot), and worked against the Heat (Boston was in position to win every game and had the lead in the 4th quarter in all of them). They just didn't play well or consistently in the last few minutes.

So their identity is playing three wings, a point guard, and someone in the middle on offense. And they usually play very disruptive defense. That's who they are, whether that counts as "an identity" or not.

I heard this morning that Boston played 31 of their last 35 games against playoff teams (between the end of the regular season and playoffs) and was in the lead and in contention in all of them in the last few minutes. They were not blown out by anyone in that time (although some games they faded at the end like last night). So you may disagree that they have an identity, but whatever they were doing was working (and Hayward getting hurt mucked that up). Who knows if their plan would have worked in the regular playoffs, but it was working well enough for them to win. They just played 43 minutes of a 48 minute game.

Maybe they can coach that away. Maybe they can mature and play better. Maybe they can take the next step. Maybe they are a couple of pieces that fit better away. But a lot of teams and players don't win right out of the gate. Some go on to further develop, others don't. Way too soon to know what will become of the current Celtics.

Edited by Anarchy99
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1 hour ago, jvdesigns2002 said:

I hope that I'm not coming across as a "doom and gloomer" because I think the Celtics have a lot of the tools required to have championship aspirations. They have plenty of talent, they have lots of youth--but they have no identity. Not one person in here after I made my post about them has stepped up and said what kind of team the Celtics are fundamentally. When they go into each game--what is the style of basketball that they want to impose on the game to give them the best chance to win? Talent alone doesn't win championships--it can take you moderately deep in the playoffs.    

If talent wins a championship--the Clippers would have swept their way through the playoffs.  Part of the reason why the Nuggets outperformed their playoff expectations and talent is because they were successful in imposing their style of ball in a lot of their games.  Fundamentally their goal is to run an offense through a two man game between Jokic and Murray.  They sometimes have Jokic bring the ball up the court and run Murray off the ball to create "pick and roll/pick and pop" situations where they force defenders to switch (thus creating matchup issues in the Nuggets advantage), or they force the defenders to work through the pick to where either Jokic or Murray could then gauge whether it's best to take a jumper or to get the benefit of a first step towards the basket to where they can set up a layup for themselves or set up a teammate.  They run that play so much and do it so well that they can outexecute talent advantages that their opponents have against them.   If you look at the Warriors--it's not that curry, klay and kd would just run the ball up the court and shoot it.   Kerr implemented a system where he actually tracks the number of passes they make per game, and tracks how many shots were made relative to the number of assists that the team has.   He wants most of the shots to come off of ball movement--because the ball can move faster than the best of defenses.

 I'm not saying that the Celtics cannot win with the personnel they have now.  They probably could--but for that to happen--they need to figure out what they want their identity to be as a collective.  Right now they are just a group of young, talented  basketball players with really high upside that just cant seem to push through to the finals.   To maximize this upside and to push to the next level--they need to establish an identity.   Maybe they need a veteran player with a jimmy butler type of attitude that preaches accountabitly and responsibilty.   Maybe the team in general is too calm outside of Smart and Brown.   Maybe Stevens needs to show a bit more fire and passion to get more out of his players.  The first thing that they need to do is establish what they want their basketball identity to be and to build upon that.   If they don't do this--I do think they will be in a cycle of losing in the second round or conference finals for the next few years.  

I totally agree that they need an identity outside of being very talented but where we differ is I feel like you are treating them like this core has been around for 5-6 years...right now Tatum and Brown are just blossoming, Kemba was in year 1 (and I do think he is banged up) and Hayward’s Celtic’s career has been full of stops and starts right from the first game...due to that it does not surprise me they don’t have an established identity...Anarchy touched on a bunch of this so I won’t rehash too much but how could they really have an identity this year when you were coming off the Kyrie debacle and really did not know exactly what you had in Tatum and Brown...now that you do know they should be ready to establish that identity...if they do they can win a championship and if not they will be one of those teams that is always there but not quite there.

Edited by Boston

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MIA is a very good team. I don't think BOS losing to them is anything that requires a complete overhaul of the team and/or their strategy. BOS actually outscored MIA in the series 675-674. A few made shots here, or a few misses there, and the series is a BOS 4-2 win. 

I am certainly may be in the minority, but I don't view seasons as failure if you beat the defending champs, and lose by the slimmest of margins in the conference finals. Expecially considering how young the team is and how much the injury to Hayward really screwed with them.

I will be rooting for MIA though.

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4 hours ago, AAABatteries said:

People love charges as it's "good defense" - but it's a high risk play, especially in the NBA where the refs have usually been averse to calling them.  I'd be interested on the detailed analysis of this and whether it's really had any impact.

Basketball fans that like charges tend to also be fans of the college game where try hard, gritty type players constantly get rewarded for borderline cheap slides and the undercutting of offensive players.  The defensive charge attempts feel like they've gone up in the NBA as much as three-pointers.  Why?

One athlete attacks the hoop and goes airborne to score / make a play.  The other player typically slides late under that player to draw a charge.  Which side of that play do we want to discourage?

49 minutes ago, dawgtrails said:

I am certainly may be in the minority, but I don't view seasons as failure if you beat the defending champs, and lose by the slimmest of margins in the conference finals. Expecially considering how young the team is and how much the injury to Hayward really screwed with them.

Agreed.  Teams must now consider the immediate pressure players feel to win it all or push for a change of scenery.  This is a constant chirp in their worlds now and can't be ignored.  It only makes the job of most GMs that much more difficult.

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Per Woj 

Doc Rivers is not expected to be back with the Clippers 

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5 minutes ago, DJackson10 said:

Per Woj 

Doc Rivers is not expected to be back with the Clippers 

There have been 13 teams that have blown 3 games to 1 leads in NBA playoff history. Doc Rivers coached three of them . . .

2019-20 Clippers (lost to Nuggets)
2014-15 Clippers (lost to Rockets)
2002-03 Magic (lost to Pistons)

No other coach has lost more than one series with a 3-1 lead.
 

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6 hours ago, dawgtrails said:

MIA is a very good team. I don't think BOS losing to them is anything that requires a complete overhaul of the team and/or their strategy. BOS actually outscored MIA in the series 675-674. A few made shots here, or a few misses there, and the series is a BOS 4-2 win. 

I am certainly may be in the minority, but I don't view seasons as failure if you beat the defending champs, and lose by the slimmest of margins in the conference finals. Expecially considering how young the team is and how much the injury to Hayward really screwed with them.

I will be rooting for MIA though.

It was a very successful season (even though they had a great opportunity to do more) but Miami deserves a ton of credit because they were the more composed team...Toronto was a huge playoff win, they removed the stench of Kyrie very quickly (remember last offseason the sky was falling), we now have a very good idea of what Tatum and Brown are and once they give Tatum the max the two of them are tied-up for at least the next four years...I will take where they are right now but there is no doubt work needs to be done to get to the next level.

Edited by Boston

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24 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

There have been 13 teams that have blown 3 games to 1 leads in NBA playoff history. Doc Rivers coached three of them . . .

2019-20 Clippers (lost to Nuggets)
2014-15 Clippers (lost to Rockets)
2002-03 Magic (lost to Pistons)

No other coach has lost more than one series with a 3-1 lead.
 

I saw that last week.  Amazing.

Doc seems like a good guy by all accounts, but his teams underachieve way too often.  Even the year he won it in Boston, they struggled to beat the 8 seed in the 1st round despite having a bunch of future Hall of Famers.

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5 minutes ago, Ghost Rider said:

I saw that last week.  Amazing.

Doc seems like a good guy by all accounts, but his teams underachieve way too often.  Even the year he won it in Boston, they struggled to beat the 8 seed in the 1st round despite having a bunch of future Hall of Famers.

I remember it well. Their first two series they won every home game and lost every road game . . . 8-0 at home, 0-6 on the road. Garnett, Pierce, and Allen as HOFers and playoff Rondo (who some people feel is a borderline HOF candidate). They had a scoring differential in the regular season of +10.2 points per game, went 31-10 on the road, and shouldn't have needed 7 games to beat the Hawks or Cavs (even with a young LeBron).

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3 hours ago, Anarchy99 said:

There have been 13 teams that have blown 3 games to 1 leads in NBA playoff history. Doc Rivers coached three of them . . .

2019-20 Clippers (lost to Nuggets)
2014-15 Clippers (lost to Rockets)
2002-03 Magic (lost to Pistons)

No other coach has lost more than one series with a 3-1 lead.
 

Doc Rivers only won 1 title and that was with a stacked Super Team when Super Teams were actually Cool. Probably should've won about 2 or 3 with that group 

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7 hours ago, Juxtatarot said:

Doc should take a year off and do the TV thing. Recharge.

And get paid $12MM on his existing contract in the meantime. 

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Coming as a surprise to no one, Boston talk radio has started to narrow their focus on someone to blame for the Celtics untimely exit from the playoffs. They have zeroed in on Marcus Smart and insist he needs to go. Some of the trades they are proposing . . .

- PG Marcus Smart, C Robert Williams, and the #30 pick in the 2020 draft to the Pacers for C Myles Turner.
- PG Marcus Smart to the Suns for PG Ricky Rubio.
- PG Marcus Smart, PF Grant Williams, C Robert Williams, picks #14 and #26 in the 2020 draft to the Hawks for PF John Collins and C Dwayne Dedmon.

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4 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

Coming as a surprise to no one, Boston talk radio has started to narrow their focus on someone to blame for the Celtics untimely exit from the playoffs. They have zeroed in on Marcus Smart and insist he needs to go. Some of the trades they are proposing . . .

- PG Marcus Smart, C Robert Williams, and the #30 pick in the 2020 draft to the Pacers for C Myles Turner.
- PG Marcus Smart to the Suns for PG Ricky Rubio.
- PG Marcus Smart, PF Grant Williams, C Robert Williams, picks #14 and #26 in the 2020 draft to the Hawks for PF John Collins and C Dwayne Dedmon.

Not a Celtics homer but from the what I've seen, I'd rather get rid of Kemba and/or Hayward given their output and salaries.

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35 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

Coming as a surprise to no one, Boston talk radio has started to narrow their focus on someone to blame for the Celtics untimely exit from the playoffs. They have zeroed in on Marcus Smart and insist he needs to go. Some of the trades they are proposing . . .

- PG Marcus Smart, C Robert Williams, and the #30 pick in the 2020 draft to the Pacers for C Myles Turner.
- PG Marcus Smart to the Suns for PG Ricky Rubio.
- PG Marcus Smart, PF Grant Williams, C Robert Williams, picks #14 and #26 in the 2020 draft to the Hawks for PF John Collins and C Dwayne Dedmon.

first one is interesting.

second one makes no sense to me.

third one is giving up way too much.

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Suns aren't dealing Rubio. Wound up being an excellent fit 

Unless it's a move to get a superstar, I don't see the suns making any major moves with the way they ended season (sans Oubre)

Edited by Craig_MiamiFL

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41 minutes ago, Craig_MiamiFL said:

Suns aren't dealing Rubio. Wound up being an excellent fit 

He did make a good fit, but they would be fools to not trade him for Marcus Smart

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6 minutes ago, dawgtrails said:

He did make a good fit, but they would be fools to not trade him for Marcus Smart

I don't see Boston trading Smart or anyone else. Smart for $13 million a year is a steal. No one is going to take on Kemba for $34M / $36M / $37M over the next three years. And as already mentioned, I don't see teams fighting to trade for Gordon Hayward for one year at $34M (plus a 15% trade kicker). Boston is a projected $26M over the salary cap and already scheduled to be into the luxury tax for 2020-21, so they will have to add small pieces or role players. Maybe they will get lucky and Hayward will opt out (highly doubtful, but stranger things have happened).

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18 hours ago, DJackson10 said:

Doc Rivers only won 1 title and that was with a stacked Super Team when Super Teams were actually Cool. Probably should've won about 2 or 3 with that group 

I think there was an undercurrent of "well, I couldn't shoot for them" and Kawhi/Paul weren't going to own it.  Someone had to go.  Always easiest to let the coach go.  Now those 2 can have a say in the coach and be more likely to stay

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They won't have a problem trading Kemba if they wanted to. Question is would the return be worthwhile. Having Kemba as third banana isn't the worst thing in the world.

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Don't ever underestimate the ability to trade bad contracts in a bad contract league.  Now, that doesn't mean you can trade your bad contract for a ton of #1 picks (unless you are Sam Presti genius level) but you can always trade your bad contract for someone else's bad contract if it makes sense.

 

Acquired the Nuggets’ 2020 first-round pick (top-10 protected) from the Nuggets in exchange for Jerami Grant.

Acquired Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Heat’s 2021 first-round pick (unprotected), the Clippers’ 2022 first-round pick (unprotected), the Heat’s 2023 first round pick (top-14 protected), the Clippers’ 2024 first-round pick (unprotected), the Clippers’ 2026 first-round pick (unprotected), and the right to swap first-round picks with the Clippers in both 2023 and 2025 from the Clippers in exchange for Paul George.

Acquired Chris Paul, the Rockets’ 2024 first-round pick (top-four protected), the Rockets’ 2026 first-round pick (top-four protected), the right to swap 2021 first-round picks (top-four protected), the right to swap 2025 first-round picks (top-10 protected), and conditional cash ($1MM) from the Rockets in exchange for Russell Westbrook.

Note: The Rockets would only owe the Thunder $1MM (and a 2026 second-round pick) if the 2026 first-round pick falls in the top four.

Edited by flranger
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7 hours ago, flranger said:

Don't ever underestimate the ability to trade bad contracts in a bad contract league.  

In general I agree with this.  Then again, the China issues and Covid are really going to do a number on the cap next season and add a big element of the unknown into the equation this off-season.  Add in a number of teams looking for the off-season after that and the big free agents possibly out there...and I believe that moving those big contracts will be as difficult as ever.

I'd guess this off-season is just moderate compared to the craziness we typically see.  Many, many teams may end up in a holding pattern early, but we could see the teams make a ton of moves before the trade deadline once the haves and the have nots have been determined.

Edited by trader jake
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 Agree we'll see teams in a holding pattern. 

I do however see big contracts for big contracts being swapped. There's so many of them. Isn't going to be the greatest of offseasons to be a free agent IMO. The Toby Harris's/Al Horford's of the world are gonna be happy they got their bag last year. 

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Down to Rivers, D'Antoni, and Lue for the Sixers job.  Decision next week. 

Which is the lesser of the three evils?

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44 minutes ago, Deamon said:

Down to Rivers, D'Antoni, and Lue for the Sixers job.  Decision next week. 

Which is the lesser of the three evils?

I’d pick Rivers.

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12 minutes ago, Juxtatarot said:

I’d pick Rivers.

Me too - and I was beating him up pretty good after the Clips lost.  Question is - would his heart be in it?  I think the answer would have been yes if he could have gone home to Chicago.

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There's no energy from the Lakers. It's like they forgot the series started tonight.

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Huge Heat fan but quickly feeling my 2nd fav team laying the wood to them tonight, not surprised, the Heat are young mostly. Would like them to make a Series but this is ripe for LeBron to collect another title. 

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Heat are one big body short so far.  

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57 minutes ago, Chris B. said:

There's no energy from the Lakers. It's like they forgot the series started tonight.

Just wanted to give them a head start.

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