2022-2023 General Celtics thread

TripleOT

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He's 3-12 over his last 4 games, and just as important his +/- over that stretch (when his team was 3-1) was -18 in just over 50 minutes played. It's a very minor cold stretch but it is indeed a cold stretch.
Brodgon missed the Toronto game, and had only one assist in 47 minutes over two games against Miami. Hauser only got three shots in 17 minutes in the BK game, when Brogdon had 8 assists, hitting one. MB had been searching out Hauser frequently with drive and kick passes, but defenders are now hugging up on Hauser.
 

koufax32

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Brodgon missed the Toronto game, and had only one assist in 47 minutes over two games against Miami. Hauser only got three shots in 17 minutes in the BK game, when Brogdon had 8 assists, hitting one. MB had been searching out Hauser frequently with drive and kick passes, but defenders are now hugging up on Hauser.
Brogdon will get 20 per game if no help comes when he drives the lane. Choose your poison with two players who, for all intents and purposes, weren’t on last year’s team. Well done POBOBS.
 

Euclis20

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Minor quibble - Wade was not a wing.
He was a 2 for most of his career, including all four Lebron years. If the league is divided into point guards, wings and bigs, Wade was definitely a wing (Mario Chalmers was a full-time starter for all of Lebron's Miami career).

Lebron, interestingly enough, could really be any of the three. The skill of a point guard, the athleticism of a wing and the size of a big.
 

DavidTai

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Yeah that’s right. I knew it was something funky and out of the norm about the workout.
From what I recall, Josh Jackson had a promise from then-GM of the Suns, Ryan McDonough, who then proceeded to try and screw Danny Ainge from ever meeting with him.

Here's something from that period: https://thespun.com/nba/phoenix-suns/phoenix-suns-josh-jackson-boston-celtics

I wonder what McDonough thinks nowdays from wherever he is.

*Edit* and topper here:

https://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2020/5/11/21255171/jayson-tatum-dead-set-phoenix-suns-2017-nba-draft
 
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HomeRunBaker

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nighthob

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Yeah, Tatum was Boston's target and there's no way they trade him for Josh Jackson in 2017. Their (rational) fear was obviously LA drafting Tatum and then having to choose between Lonzo Ball and JJ. Luckily it never came to that.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I think that Hauser is generally getting slightly worse looks as the offense bogged down lately. I'm not sure if it's his openness or whether it's a flow thing, but I suspect the latter. When the offense is flowing, everyone is getting looks in rhythm. There has been less of that lately. Also book is out that Hauser can shoot, so he's getting picked up within 5 feet of the line. Before he was drifting around with less attention.
I'm not an expert on this, but what I have noticed is that teams are paying more attention to him and he is working on getting his shot off faster, without the same success as when he has all day. I also notice more examples of him not just standing and waiting for the pass but running to the spot where he gets the pass and shooting immediately. He hit one three I remember where he came around a pick as he received the pass. So, I think defenders are focusing on him more and he is working on being able to be more than just a wide-open catch and shoot guy, but it is a work in progress.

A reason to be optimistic about is that, as a general matter, he seems to have decent skills beyond shooting threes. He's played 25 games, 417 minutes, and attempted only 15 2-point shots all season (hitting 12). But he had an outstanding drive of a closeout, upfake, and reverse layup in traffic. He has figured out how to contribute on defense. He seems to have enough general basketball ability that I think we can have some optimisim about his ability to become a better shooter. (I don't mean shoot at a higher percentage, I mean be able to get his shot off - and hit - in more situations despite defensive attention).
 

joe dokes

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Can't imagine a better veteran pick-up:
Blake Griffin understands his role with the Celtics, and he’s playing it perfectly - The Boston Globe

Griffin said he has accepted his role in Boston, which is whatever coach Joe Mazzulla asks. There are going to be nights when Griffin contributes to a win and others when he doesn’t leave the bench. He’s at peace with that.
“It’s great to be out there,” he said. “But my role here is to do exactly what is asked. Just be ready. It’s always great to be out there. I always want to be out there. We have the luxury of having so many great players and guys on the bench who could play a lot of minutes for other teams. But sometimes you sacrifice things to be on a team like this.”
Griffin admitted he reported to the Celtics in good physical shape but not in premium basketball shape. He’s worked the past six weeks to improve his endurance and the results have been flashes of athleticism from his past.
“It took me a couple of weeks, maybe a month to get my legs back under me,” he said. “When I came in here, I was working out, but nothing gets you in shape like really ramping up, playing 5-on-5. I hadn’t done anything of that. I’ve felt great for the past month or so.”
Mazzulla said he has no hesitation playing Griffin in key stretches.
“He works every day so I know he’s getting better every day,” Mazzulla said. “He works. He’s in shape. Guys love him. He communicates. He’s physical. I thought he was very good on the defensive end and did a good job maintaining our spacing on the offensive end.”
Mazzulla said he understood Griffin’s resume as a former All-Star but also a player who played sparingly over the past few years with the Brooklyn Nets. Griffin is proving he has more to offer than perhaps he was allowed to show with the Nets.
“I just had to learn about him as a player as I had to do with all the guys that I coach every day,” Mazzulla said. “He’s just always ready and I trust him and we’re very grateful to have a deep bench like that. When it’s not your night you understand and when it is, you deliver like that. He was great.”
Griffin said he does not need more clarity on his role. He understands there are younger players in front of him, so his time will be limited.
“I just tell him if he needs me to play, I’ll play at the end of games,” Griffin said. “We discussed my role for sure but I also told him I don’t always need an explanation. He can focus on coaching. He doesn’t have to explain to me why he’s doing this or that. It’s not going to change how I prepare or how I feel about this team or what I give to this team.
 

HomeRunBaker

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This is a great example of why contenders fill their deep bench with older players as opposed to those in their 20’s who are “looking to get theirs” to elevate their status and get that next contract. For a team focused on winning just imagine the comfort of having a couple guys like this at the end of the bench rather than some kids whining about playing time, etc.
 

the moops

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Minor quibble - Wade was not a wing.
If you are going with the Wade played the two because he only played with one other guard thing, then we would have to consider Jordan not a wing either.

And if that's the case, what do we do with Jaylen whenever the Celtics played two bigs and Tatum?
 

benhogan

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If you are going with the Wade played the two because he only played with one other guard thing, then we would have to consider Jordan not a wing either.

And if that's the case, what do we do with Jaylen whenever the Celtics played two bigs and Tatum?
SG, SF, PF (2,3,4) are all WINGs
 

benhogan

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I agree. So what is the argument against Wade being a wing?
Wade is definitely a WING along with MJ. Both of those rosters were littered with PGs.

It will be fun watching the JAYs get even better and have a 4-5yr Championship contention run (50/50 chance JB gets All-NBA hence Super Max)


MJ/Pippen
Bron/Wade
I guess people could argue which duo is 1 and 2?

eFG% and the power of the 3 may eventually help the JAY argument
 
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HomeRunBaker

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Minor quibble - Wade was not a wing.
What else would you consider him?

SG, SF, PF (2,3,4) are all WINGs
In todays game a 4 can be a wing in many cases but when Wade played that wasn’t considered the case.

Pre-Wade was the traditional 5 positions…..PG, SG, SF, PF and C. Over time this transitions to PG (1), Wings (2/3) and Bigs (4/5). Only recently have we blended most 4’s into the wing category. Anyway…..I don’t know how one could consider Wade anything but a wing regardless of any of these timeframes. He was a 2 in college and as pure of a 2-guard the league had at that time.
 

Koufax

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I think of it as a function of the style of play and thought of Wade as more of a pure guard, whereas I think of forwards (or unusually tall guards) as wings. Its not an argument I want to have. I defer to your judgment.
 

Jimbodandy

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Fantastic numbers. Love the Hauser data, but Tatum--that's all-defense stuff right there. For a guy who's true shooting .624 and has a usage of 33, we have to think that the Tatum is knocking on the door of the best player in the world conversation right now even if MVP voters will keep oogling at the PPG guys.

p.s. Guys with a higher TS% than Tatum with a >30 usage rate: Curry, Durant, Mitchell, Embiid. Now add the defense.
 

lovegtm

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Don't look now, but the Celtics have the #6 defense on cleaningtheglass. Kornet and Griffin both seem very playable defensively at the 5, against most opponents.
 
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lexrageorge

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Impressive road win against the team with the best record in the WC given that the Celtics could have fallen into the trap of looking ahead to Saturday's matchup against the Warriors.
 

Reverend

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He was in health and safety protocols against Phoenix.
Oh, right. Wrong code book. Thanks.

That said, they just thrashed the Suns without him, and it would be awesome to have fully rested on Saturday. And also, like, I hope he’s not sick and stufd.
 

chilidawg

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Best thing about that game was that they weren't even shooting lights out. 7-21 from three at the half yet they're up 27. 3rd Q they went 6-12 and really just crushed the Suns spirit. Defense was dominant for the 3rd straight game.
 

the moops

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Kornet and Griffin both seem very playable defensively at the 5, against most opponents.
I am waiting for the Griffin experiment to implode, but you are right, that he looks very playable against most.

I am starting to think that Kornet is not only playable, but actually a very good player in this league. He has great defensive instincts (that block on CP3's attempted alley-oop last night as a perfect example), is way more nimble around the hoop on the offensive end than we think (grabs some bad passes and throws them down), is a decent screener, and doesn't freak out with the ball if the first read isn't there.

And he is a big goof which is always enjoyable. Was that a unicorn symbol he flashed last night?
 

lovegtm

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I am waiting for the Griffin experiment to implode, but you are right, that he looks very playable against most.

I am starting to think that Kornet is not only playable, but actually a very good player in this league. He has great defensive instincts (that block on CP3's attempted alley-oop last night as a perfect example), is way more nimble around the hoop on the offensive end than we think (grabs some bad passes and throws them down), is a decent screener, and doesn't freak out with the ball if the first read isn't there.

And he is a big goof which is always enjoyable. Was that a unicorn symbol he flashed last night?
Agree re Kornet. He's been consistently making tricky finishes as a roller now; very impressive. The list of available centers who would be an upgrade on him is very, very short.

Does Blake look more athletic now than he did at the start of the season or in Brooklyn? He seems to not be a mismatch on defense and is getting to a lot of rebounds. Being frozen in carbonite and then thawed out to play every 5 games seems to be good for his body.
 

Fishy1

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Agree re Kornet. He's been consistently making tricky finishes as a roller now; very impressive. The list of available centers who would be an upgrade on him is very, very short.

Does Blake look more athletic now than he did at the start of the season or in Brooklyn? He seems to not be a mismatch on defense and is getting to a lot of rebounds. Being frozen in carbonite and then thawed out to play every 5 games seems to be good for his body.
And given how little we're paying Kornet, seems like an easy decision to just keep him as 3rd center. He's unselfish, does all the little things, and provides great rim protection for a second or third-string center.

I'd add that if he can rediscover his three-point stroke, it gives the bench another look. For now, though, he should just keep rolling rolling rolling...
 

lovegtm

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And given how little we're paying Kornet, seems like an easy decision to just keep him as 3rd center. He's unselfish, does all the little things, and provides great rim protection for a second or third-string center.

I'd add that if he can rediscover his three-point stroke, it gives the bench another look. For now, though, he should just keep rolling rolling rolling...
I bet they've decided that, even if Kornet were shooting like his first 2 years in the league (36% on high volume), it makes more sense for him to roll or pass almost all the time.

Guys are laying off deadly floater threats like Brogdon and Jaylen to stop Kornet lobs, and when you combine their shooting % with Kornet's offensive rebound equity, it's probably hard to justify Kornet shooting.

This is one area where he's a big upgrade on Theis: Theis just wasn't big enough to finish tons inside, so he needed to shoot that mediocre 3 against some teams to make the offense work.
 

Fishy1

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I bet they've decided that, even if Kornet were shooting like his first 2 years in the league (36% on high volume), it makes more sense for him to roll or pass almost all the time.

Guys are laying off deadly floater threats like Brogdon and Jaylen to stop Kornet lobs, and when you combine their shooting % with Kornet's offensive rebound equity, it's probably hard to justify Kornet shooting.

This is one area where he's a big upgrade on Theis: Theis just wasn't big enough to finish tons inside, so he needed to shoot that mediocre 3 against some teams to make the offense work.
Yeah, I definitely hear you and I think you're right. I mean he's finishing 2's at 75% this year, so he would have to shoot an insane percentage on threes to make the pick and pop really worth it. I think one or two of those a game would really frustrate second units; on the other hand, he was shooting miserably even in the G league last year and he's become a rim roll monster... so why bother?

It's bizarre to think about how miscast he was. This is a guy who shot 45% and 41% inside the arc his first couple years in the league. Like, what the hell. His screens are absolutely monstrous too.

I will add, it must be awesome to be him right now. Basically out of the league, playing in the GLeague, and the Celtics come to you and say not only do we believe in you, but we'd like to transform your game? Pretty cool. I'm sure a lot of his minutes will disappear when Rob comes back, but he should get a nice little payday in a couple of years.
 
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DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I am starting to think that Kornet is not only playable, but actually a very good player in this league. He has great defensive instincts (that block on CP3's attempted alley-oop last night as a perfect example), is way more nimble around the hoop on the offensive end than we think (grabs some bad passes and throws them down), is a decent screener, and doesn't freak out with the ball if the first read isn't there.

And he is a big goof which is always enjoyable. Was that a unicorn symbol he flashed last night?
This and his positioning are what stand out most. Kornet rarely seems lost out there and its huge.

Hopefully he continues playing like this and the Cs don't have to deal draft assets for another backup big.
 

Kliq

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The Celtics are absurdly, disgustingly good right now. Usually during the slog of the regular season in the NBA, it's easy to tune out a lot of the games. Many of them are on random weeknights and you know you can catch the highlights later. After all, chances are you will see guys on tired legs, or star players resting, and it just isn't always must-see, even if a team is pretty good.

The Celtics are must-see every time they are playing. This is the best basketball team I've ever had the pleasure to root for, even better than the start of the 2007-2008 season, which was equally dominant. The humming of the offense is incredible to watch. Shooters everywhere, Brown and Tatum going up a level AGAIN to become unstoppable forces on offense, a switchable defense where everyone busts their ass, and likeable players up-and-down the roster playing with a level of comradery and swagger that has been missing from this franchise for a decade.

Brown is averaging 27 ppg. I repeat, Jaylen Brown, who couldn't dribble and had a broken jumper and averaged 6 ppg his rookie year, is now averaging 27 ppg. And he's shooting almost 50% from the field, despite having a below-average three point percentage, which he is due for some positive regression on. His handle and his shot have continued to improve, and now he is a legitimate #1 option in the NBA, and has proven it during times when Tatum has either sat, or when Tatum has just been bad. He still turns the ball over too much, but other than that he has improved again after making a big leap last year, and the year before that. He has this confidence and swagger that is infectious; he was the main man responsible for burying the Suns last night, not just with his skill and athleticism, but his will to win. This is in the middle of a long road trip, playing a top team in the West, and Brown was bullying them off the floor in the second quarter, out muscling guys at the basket and abusing Devin Booker, giving him four fouls before halftime and closing the book on Phoenix before the game was even half over.

Tatum has become a complete killing machine. He's always been a smooth, skilled player with great length. He's added everything else you would want out of him. He's filled out his body and now feels like he has a physical advantage against nearly every defender that tries to stop him. Those wide shoulders give him a Kawhi-like ability to separate from even good defenders, and he has a lot better footwork and a much more natural jumper than Kawhi has. His ability to take the ball of the dribble, to split a screen or to swing by a guy on the baseline, and then finish with either hand from any angle, is incredible. I think he might be the smoothest guy I've ever seen when it comes to finishing around the basket at his size. Durant is the gold standard for that, but even Durant I associate more with silky jumpers than these artistic finishes around the basket. Tatum is more like Kyrie, except he's 6'9" and 235lbs, and can yam it on you if you give him the space.

He's also playing great defense and stands out as the hardest working player on the court, which is something that is very impressive when you are sharing the court with Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. He comes across as more focused, more motivated since coming up small in the Finals, and as long as he stays healthy, it doesn't seem like anyone can stop him from getting back there and hoisting the trophy. Not with the kind of supporting cast he has around him.

And what a cast it is. Think about the Celtics roster this year so far...is there anybody who has been worse than expected? I think almost every single man on this team has been BETTER than what most fans expected out of them, with maybe the exception of Smart, who is merely just consistent with his past play, which is more than acceptable for this team. And Smart has thrived more as a natural PG, averaging a career high in APG and differing a lot to the other playmakers on the team, while also bringing his world class defense, hustle and grit to the team on a nightly basis.

Brogdon, Smart and White are just a three-headed monster at the guard position. What would you want out of the guards on this team? You want guys who can handle the ball, make smart decisions, shoot well from outside and be able to play strong defense. Having just one guy that could that reliably would be what most teams could hope for. The Celtics have three, interchangeable guys for that role. They can switch everything on defense, and have the length and strength to guard bigger players and avoid being weak-links on that end. Smart could be shooting a little bit better, but White and Brogdan are just stroking it right now. White is at 42% from three and Brogdan is at fucking 50%!

Last season in the Finals it was clear the Celtics needed more steady creation from non-Tatum players. Smart hadn't fully adjusted to the PG role, Brown was still struggling with turnovers and White hadn't been on the team that long. Now they have improved that greatly, and White and Brogdan have been the main reason for that. On offense both guys can get to the basket and finish around the rim, can run the pick and roll with any player (especially Tatum, who is a very willing screener and something he doesn't get enough credit for), can shoot the ball from three and can drive-and-kick to one of our many great shooters.

I said this last night in the gamethread, but the improvements Grant Williams have been made on offense have been so great, you almost forget that he is a defense-first player, who cut his teeth in the league due to his intelligence and amoebas body-type. He's remained a knock-down shooter, showing that last year was not a fluke. And as we all know, he's shown more and more ability as a playmaker, someone that can attack close-outs and either finish at the rim, or kick the ball out to an open shooter when the defense rotates. This has also made him an excellent screener, as he can fade out to the three point line and remain a threat, or roll to the basket and make a play after the catch, similar to Draymond. Last season, teams dared Grant to beat them with his shooting. This season they are scrambling to stop them, and he is making them pay.

Hauser and Kornet are legitimate rotation pieces which are found gold. Even if both guys are ultimately not consistent playoff rotation players, they have already served their part as guys who can soak up regular season minutes and keep things afloat while our more valuable players rest. The difference between Hauser and other guys who are just good catch-and-shoot guys but never make it in the league is that he is also a passable defender, and can shoot off of movement. He can make shots while running off screens and can square up quickly, something only the best shooters can really do.

Al Horford is Al Horford. His intelligence on defense and his playmaking on offense from the 5 are critical to the teams success, and everyone is aware that they need to keep him healthy for the post-season. Blake coming in and being a dependable 5 who plays hard (if infrequently) has been a very pleasant surprise, and Blake is a REALLY talented basketball player. He is a very good passer, smart roller to the basket, has improved greatly as a shooter since he came into the league, and hustles his ass off and takes charges like a motherfucker. He can't play 82 games, but he isn't nearly as calcified as one would of presumed after seeing him in Brooklyn.

And oh yeah, we are getting back one of the best defenders in the NBA, a dominant paint presence who anihilates shots at the rim and can contest shots from anywhere on the floor.

The Celtics are the balls.
 

lovegtm

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Brown is averaging 27 ppg. I repeat, Jaylen Brown, who couldn't dribble and had a broken jumper and averaged 6 ppg his rookie year, is now averaging 27 ppg. And he's shooting almost 50% from the field, despite having a below-average three point percentage, which he is due for some positive regression on. His handle and his shot have continued to improve, and now he is a legitimate #1 option in the NBA, and has proven it during times when Tatum has either sat, or when Tatum has just been bad. He still turns the ball over too much, but other than that he has improved again after making a big leap last year, and the year before that. He has this confidence and swagger that is infectious; he was the main man responsible for burying the Suns last night, not just with his skill and athleticism, but his will to win. This is in the middle of a long road trip, playing a top team in the West, and Brown was bullying them off the floor in the second quarter, out muscling guys at the basket and abusing Devin Booker, giving him four fouls before halftime and closing the book on Phoenix before the game was even half over.
Before the season, Jaylen said that Mazzulla "doesn't see any limits to my game." Rather than hiding Jaylen from ball-handling to limit turnovers, they've been giving him more on-ball responsibility as the season has gone on, giving him a chance to level up what he can do further, even if it's ugly sometimes.

Really exciting stuff, and good use of the regular season.
 

Kliq

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Before the season, Jaylen said that Mazzulla "doesn't see any limits to my game." Rather than hiding Jaylen from ball-handling to limit turnovers, they've been giving him more on-ball responsibility as the season has gone on, giving him a chance to level up what he can do further, even if it's ugly sometimes.

Really exciting stuff, and good use of the regular season.
Jaylen is really streaky, which has been a good thing because he can anchor stretches where Tatum is sitting, or Tatum is just off. A big thing is that his jumper starts falling and he can just rain them down on opponents when he gets going. He is shooting 64% from 10-16 feet and 50% from 16 feet to the three point line. His three point shooting (34%) is slightly poor, but he has more than made up for that with his efficiency from mid-range.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Agree re Kornet. He's been consistently making tricky finishes as a roller now; very impressive. The list of available centers who would be an upgrade on him is very, very short.

Does Blake look more athletic now than he did at the start of the season or in Brooklyn? He seems to not be a mismatch on defense and is getting to a lot of rebounds. Being frozen in carbonite and then thawed out to play every 5 games seems to be good for his body.
Blake should continue to look better the more he plays. Injured veteran bigs spend the offseason resting and not grinding so it generally takes them time to play into shape. We saw this with Embiid to start the year and there are many other examples….even Horford to a degree. So I’m looking for some improvement rather than an implosion.

Kornet…..man. We’ve got that team option robbery for next year but if he remains healthy and continues to improve this man is going to get paid by someone in two summers.
 

Deathofthebambino

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In the three games since the Miami back to back, when Jaylen had 10 assists and 11 turnovers (and I noted at the time, at least a couple of those were offensive fouls which were good takes in the moment), he's had 13 assists and 1 turnover in 3 games.

His defense has gone up another level too, it was just as good last night as it was against Toronto, which I thought may have have been one of the best defensive games he's ever played.
 

joe dokes

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Kornet…..man. We’ve got that team option robbery for next year but if he remains healthy and continues to improve this man is going to get paid by someone in two summers.
It sounds trite or "no kidding Captain Obvious" or something, but solid instincts and even some mild athleticism goes a long way when you're a legit 7'2". We generally say its significant when a 6'3" - 6'5" guard matches up with one who is 6'1". Kornet has that height advantage over almost everyone he plays against.