Celtics-Raptors 2nd Round--Dethrone the Champs

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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That's a great video.

It also could be talking about the Milwaukee Bucks, couldn't it? Giannis, to some degree, is not quite a one-trick pony but once you build the wall he's not an apex guy anymore. And a bunch of the supporting guys are closer to one-trick ponies.
Absolutely. I think the key take-away for fans is that the frustration they are feeling when a normally awesome superstar shooter or even a proficient scorer sucks in these games pales to what that actual person is feeling themselves. Teams are essentially taking away every work routine a person has - we have real life examples of how efficiency can suffer when you ask people to adapt on the fly.

In this series in particular, its an almost certainty that coaching staffs like Toronto and Boston aren't discussing how to slow guys like Tatum and Lowry. That is canon. Now its a function of dividing up real estate. Game seven is essentially the final battle in a land war.
 

reggiecleveland

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Officiating aside, there are lots of complaints about how certain players aren't "showing up" or that coaches aren't making adjustments. This quick two minute video by Bob Myers should address some of those complaints.

View: https://twitter.com/MrMichaelLee/status/1304454215125872641?s=20
This is one reason the ref thing is minor to me. Most of this series Lowry has stepped up and adjusted, while Kemba, and Tatum (yeah I know he is young, relax) have had trouble. Siakam, also has seemed a "regular season" guy. Now I will brace for the abuse for criticizing Tatum.
 

DJnVa

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This is one reason the ref thing is minor to me. Most of this series Lowry has stepped up and adjusted, while Kemba, and Tatum (yeah I know he is young, relax) have had trouble. Siakam, also has seemed a "regular season" guy. Now I will brace for the abuse for criticizing Tatum.
And while Kemba isn't young, he hasn't been on this stage in the NBA before.

I don't think that's a criticism of Tatum. He's young. He has to learn. MJ had to. Lebron had to.
 

NomarsFool

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I think we have seen Tatum adjust to the pressure/focus that Toronto is putting on him by becoming better at passing. He's had career high(s) in assists. What I absolutely do NOT want to see is Tatum (or Kemba) to decide that what is needed is more hero ball. The Celtics are at their best when they distribute the ball. I'm sometimes a Smart critic, but he has done an incredible job at resisting the hero ball urge and has been playing amazingly as a distributor.
 

joe dokes

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I think we have seen Tatum adjust to the pressure/focus that Toronto is putting on him by becoming better at passing. He's had career high(s) in assists. What I absolutely do NOT want to see is Tatum (or Kemba) to decide that what is needed is more hero ball. The Celtics are at their best when they distribute the ball. I'm sometimes a Smart critic, but he has done an incredible job at resisting the hero ball urge and has been playing amazingly as a distributor.
I think Kemba gets that. The entire Toronto defense seems geared at him. They box-and-1 him not Tatum, for example. I think Smart's skills have come through because he is doing more of that work. Kemba might be able to drive when the Celtics pull the defense out. But otherwise, I think his scoring will remain down unless they run more off the ball screens to get him open jumpers. At some level, I'm not concerned. I think the focus on Kemba was one reason Theis was able to get 18 points. The fact that Kemba only took 11 shots reflects his understanding that he can't try to go hero and force it.
 

nighthob

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If a scenario happens like that last Nurse/Jaylen screencap in post #439 and Jaylen does not have the ball, I'd love to see an exaggerated step back to Nurse's ankle to start his sprint towards the basket to crash the boards. Players do that step back out of bounds with the ball all the time, so he has some defense for contacting the coach.
Or let Marcus shoot a corner three, and as he lands in front of Nurse, hit the deck grabbing his leg and yelling at the refs about Nurse's being on the court.
 

reggiecleveland

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I think we have seen Tatum adjust to the pressure/focus that Toronto is putting on him by becoming better at passing. He's had career high(s) in assists. What I absolutely do NOT want to see is Tatum (or Kemba) to decide that what is needed is more hero ball. The Celtics are at their best when they distribute the ball. I'm sometimes a Smart critic, but he has done an incredible job at resisting the hero ball urge and has been playing amazingly as a distributor.
I agree. I would love to see then just run motion for last shot instead of the iso. I would even consider Marcus startin with it while running an action for Tatum, and Theis where maybe a lob to Theis is the counter to keying on Tatum. then all of Brown, Tatum, Walker have a chance at a catch and shoot or 1 dribble move. I think there is a chance Marcus finds somebody for something easy, and he probably doesn't turn it over. Yes the horror show of Marcus having to create may unfold.
 

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As frustrating as Wednesday was, I don't particularly like complaining about the refs. Can people clear something up for me? When there are complaints about the refs, or Scott Foster reffing a game, or the game being slanted, or anything like that, do people believe either:

A) The league or the referees themselves are purposefully calling a game to one team's advantage in order to generate a certain outcome (such as the league wanting a series to go seven games, favoring a certain team to advance for marketing reasons, or referees being paid off/working with gamblers to ensure a certain team wins).

or

B) The referees are just generally incompetent and any perceived maliciousness against a particular team is just an effect of the refs not being able to do their job properly.
A
 

RedOctober3829

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I agree. I would love to see then just run motion for last shot instead of the iso. I would even consider Marcus startin with it while running an action for Tatum, and Theis where maybe a lob to Theis is the counter to keying on Tatum. then all of Brown, Tatum, Walker have a chance at a catch and shoot or 1 dribble move. I think there is a chance Marcus finds somebody for something easy, and he probably doesn't turn it over. Yes the horror show of Marcus having to create may unfold.
I just think they have to move the ball quicker no matter what. Getting Tatum switched onto smaller guards in the mid post bogs down the offense. They’ll just double him and he’ll either have to make a quick pass or he’ll force up a wild turnaround. If they’re playing zone, make Toronto move as much as possible and get into the gaps. That way the outside will open up easier. If they’re in man, run motion offense and don’t play as much pick and pop which invites blitzes.
 

SaucerBoy

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Long time reader, first time poster. I've enjoyed the level of analysis offered here. Thanks to everyone for making it a good place.

When Toronto was holding for the last shot I kept wondering why Brad didn't substitute Wanamaker for Kemba to avoid the Lowry/whoever on Kemba iso. Is BW not considered an upgrade defensively in that situation? If Hayward were available would we expect to see Smart out with the regular starters in similar situations?

Edit: apologies if these are rudimentary questions. With a young child at home i mostly catch highlights and boxscores during the regular season so I haven't had a chance to see how they handle these situations as much.
 

bosockboy

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Long time reader, first time poster. I've enjoyed the level of analysis offered here. Thanks to everyone for making it a good place.

When Toronto was holding for the last shot I kept wondering why Brad didn't substitute Wanamaker for Kemba to avoid the Lowry/whoever on Kemba iso. Is BW not considered an upgrade defensively in that situation? If Hayward were available would we expect to see Smart out with the regular starters in similar situations?

Edit: apologies if these are rudimentary questions. With a young child at home i mostly catch highlights and boxscores during the regular season so I haven't had a chance to see how they handle these situations as much.
Great first post. Welcome aboard.
 

bigq

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When Toronto was holding for the last shot I kept wondering why Brad didn't substitute Wanamaker for Kemba to avoid the Lowry/whoever on Kemba iso.
I had similar thoughts. Welcome aboard. Is it 9:00 yet?
 

Euclis20

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Long time reader, first time poster. I've enjoyed the level of analysis offered here. Thanks to everyone for making it a good place.

When Toronto was holding for the last shot I kept wondering why Brad didn't substitute Wanamaker for Kemba to avoid the Lowry/whoever on Kemba iso. Is BW not considered an upgrade defensively in that situation? If Hayward were available would we expect to see Smart out with the regular starters in similar situations?

Edit: apologies if these are rudimentary questions. With a young child at home i mostly catch highlights and boxscores during the regular season so I haven't had a chance to see how they handle these situations as much.
I assume you mean at the end of the 1st OT? I thought the same, but I believe the thought process was that [primarily] Brad didn't want to put in an ice cold Wanamaker, and [secondarily] if the Celtics did get a rebound with time on the clock, Kemba would be much better at pushing up the court quickly than Wanamaker. Wanamaker hadn't played since the 3rd quarter, which must have been close to an hour in real time by that point. Honestly the more baffling decision on the final play at that time was the Raptors running clock to run an ISO for Powell, just to jack up a step back 3. How the ball wasn't in Lowry's hands was beyond me, and if Toronto had lost in the 2nd OT Nurse would have been skewered for giving up a chance to win. Powell's numbers look pretty good for the game, but that's mostly because he scored 10 points in the 2nd OT. In regulation and the 1st OT (33 minutes) he had 13 points. That's fine, but Powell was probably their 4th best offensive player on the floor.

I honestly don't know what happens there if Hayward was available at the end. I wondered out loud to a friend a couple of times in the 4th quarter and OT if Hayward would have been in for Kemba. Kemba made some nice passes and didn't embarrass himself on D, but if he's not scoring Hayward is better in pretty much every way.
 
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benhogan

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Game 7 shooting re-cap:

FT%: 57% (13-23)
3pt%: 24% (9-38)
Fg% : 41% (35-86)

That has to be some of the worst shooting and still victorious in a Game 7.

Really reinforces the old axiom 'defense wins'
 

scottyno

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I was really worried that having to play so many minutes in game 6 and having a minimal bench would hurt them more than the raps in game 7. Luckily the Cs starters massively outplayed the Raptors starters tonight.
 

bigq

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Game 7 shooting re-cap:

FT%: 57% (13-23)
3pt%: 24% (9-38)
Fg% : 41% (35-86)

That has to be some of the worst shooting and still victorious in a Game 7.

Really reinforces the old axiom 'defense wins'
Right and Toronto was not much better except for FT% where they shot 90%. The primary meaningful difference was turnovers where the Celtics had a 10 to 18 edge which was probably the difference between winning and losing the game. And it further supports your point about defense wins.
 

joe dokes

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Game 7 shooting re-cap:

FT%: 57% (13-23)
3pt%: 24% (9-38)
Fg% : 41% (35-86)

That has to be some of the worst shooting and still victorious in a Game 7.

Really reinforces the old axiom 'defense wins'
From the late 60s early 70s knicks, I think I remember willis reed or walt frazier saying something like it's easier to will yourself into playing hard defense than it is to play offense when you're gassed. Along the lines of you can keep telling yourself to move your feet on defense, but you can't get new legs under a jump shot.
 

lovegtm

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Man, that performance was gutty as hell. That felt in a lot of ways, with lower stakes, like Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, where both teams knew everything the other did, everyone was beat up, and you just slug it out at max intensity.

Game 7 shooting re-cap:

FT%: 57% (13-23)
3pt%: 24% (9-38)
Fg% : 41% (35-86)

That has to be some of the worst shooting and still victorious in a Game 7.

Really reinforces the old axiom 'defense wins'
Huge credit to the Celtics for giving a crazy level of defensive intensity even when good looks weren't falling. Man, that is some good experience right there.
 

lovegtm

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Officiating aside, there are lots of complaints about how certain players aren't "showing up" or that coaches aren't making adjustments. This quick two minute video by Bob Myers should address some of those complaints.

View: https://twitter.com/MrMichaelLee/status/1304454215125872641?s=20
This, 1000x. It frustrates me to no end when people mix up 82 game player vs 16 game player evaluations. It's a big reason I had the Celtics coming into this series: Siakam is an 82-game player.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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lovegtm

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Its insane how clamps they were. The number of amazing plays by Tatum alone including that board is jaw dropping. Then you factor in the work put in by Theis, Brown, Semi, TimeLord and Granite/General (insane how good he was despite the missed FTs). And then there is Smart - he was a menace all series. Brilliant.
I always thought this season that the playoffs would be good for the Celtics defense, since their scheme requires so much energy, but has such high upside when they execute it, and that’s easier to do when you can see light at the end of each tunnel.

Definitely played out in this series, and bodes well against the remaining opponents. This team can be really really scary on that end.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Again, they took away most easy looks. Both Williams' development defensively has given them even more versatility. They really are loaded defensively. They are learning to win rock fights in the process too which is hugely valuable for these young players.
 

Imbricus

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Missed the game last night (had to get up early today). But if you had told me the Celtics would shoot 23.7% from three and 56.5% from the foul line, I would not have predicted a win. Hats off, especially with Kemba having another subpar game, it appears.

Meanwhile, if you want to find a real Celtics homer, check out 538. I like their odds of the Celtics winning the title, even if I'm not quite that optimistic. :)
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I was really worried that having to play so many minutes in game 6 and having a minimal bench would hurt them more than the raps in game 7. Luckily the Cs starters massively outplayed the Raptors starters tonight.
I thought TOR was more affected by the 2X OT. There were times I thought TOR's energy lagged, particularly trying to transition after TOs.

edit: after watching compilation video, the play where MS outran KL and FVV to a deflection made me think TOR was gassed from G6.
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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Again, they took away most easy looks. Both Williams' development defensively has given them even more versatility. They really are loaded defensively. They are learning to win rock fights in the process too which is hugely valuable for these young players.
Not to mention that Romeo may be the Cs best on-ball defender of small guards.

When the Cs are locked in on defense, it's such a joy to watch.
 

lexrageorge

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Great to see this team win one of these gut-check games. The series had 2 wrenching losses, but that happens in the NBA. It was great to see them overcome those losses and being a player short to pull out the win.

Time for #NoLetDown against the Heat.
 

benhogan

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This, 1000x. It frustrates me to no end when people mix up 82 game player vs 16 game player evaluations. It's a big reason I had the Celtics coming into this series: Siakam is an 82-game player.
Brown deserves a bunch of credit on Siakam. The only player worse then Siakem in this series for Toronto was Gasol. Man that guy is cooked. Another BIG that will see a substantial pay cut this offseason
 
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Devizier

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I was stunned by how limited Siakam’s offensive repertoire was against the Celtics. Transition defense killed him and he wasn’t much of a threat to make contested shots. Kudos to Jaylen for staying in front of his man.
 

benhogan

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Again, they took away most easy looks. Both Williams' development defensively has given them even more versatility. They really are loaded defensively. They are learning to win rock fights in the process too which is hugely valuable for these young players.
Good point, lost in all the shuffle is TL/Granite's development in a big game/series.

Granite is turning into our "PJ Tucker" right before our eyes. For a young man, he's got tons of savvy Old Man game.

TLs eye-opening 4 regular season bubble games came just in the nick of time. Gave Brad the green light to play TL big minutes all series long. I have to admit, before the bubble, I didn't see TL having any kind of role until next season.
 

bigq

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Granite is turning into our "PJ Tucker" right before our eyes. For a young man, he's got tons of savvy Old Man game.
He was huge last night however the two missed FTs with 35 seconds left in the game and the Celtics up by just two scared the hell out of me. I’m guessing he will be putting in extra time to correct that. He shot 72% from the charity stripe for the season and I was surprised he missed them both. That said, it was great to see him with such a big role in a close Game 7. I’m confident he will continue to grow and have more big moments where he shines going forward.
 

joe dokes

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Good point, lost in all the shuffle is TL/Granite's development in a big game/series.

Granite is turning into our "PJ Tucker" right before our eyes. For a young man, he's got tons of savvy Old Man game.

TLs eye-opening 4 regular season bubble games came just in the nick of time. Gave Brad the green light to play TL big minutes all series long. I have to admit, before the bubble, I didn't see TL having any kind of role until next season.
And those two came from opposite directions. It was always obvious that Grant *knew* what to do far beyond his experience would suggest. But he's limited physically and had to figure out how to play with size disadvantages. But I always had confidence when he came into the game that he wouldn't screw up a play because he was in the wrong place, even if it didn't always work out. And anyone that could go from 0-25 3pt shooting to being confident and acceptable in a tight playoff series has what it takes.

I agree on TL. Never thought he's "get it" in time to contribute in a playoff series where every deficiency gets exploited. And early on, the surprise was that his offense has improved more than his defense (it had a longer way to go, of course). He's not a great offensive player, but he is usually confident and keeps things moving, which is the basic necessity from a limited-skill player. Kind of reminds me of Scalabrine in a way. He didn't score much when he got meaningful minutes with the Celtics, but he clearly understood the offense, and didn't prevent it from functioning by being indecisive or stupid.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Had to listen to the game on ESPN radio last night. PJ Carlisimo is a very good color commentator. He deserves a TV slot. The play by play guy was painfully in the bag for the Raptors. Went ape shit calling Marcus a flopper and begrudgingly ate crow on viewing the replay. He was super bummed when Toronto lost steam at the end of the game.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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I agree on TL. Never thought he's "get it" in time to contribute in a playoff series where every deficiency gets exploited. And early on, the surprise was that his offense has improved more than his defense (it had a longer way to go, of course). He's not a great offensive player, but he is usually confident and keeps things moving, which is the basic necessity from a limited-skill player. Kind of reminds me of Scalabrine in a way. He didn't score much when he got meaningful minutes with the Celtics, but he clearly understood the offense, and didn't prevent it from functioning by being indecisive or stupid.
He’s a very willing passer as a big man, which is a nice attribute. When he gets the ball he either has an easy basket or he gives it up quick. Doesn’t feel the need to try out some extended post moves to create a shot. That helps keep the offense flowing and the defense honest.
 

joe dokes

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He’s a very willing passer as a big man, which is a nice attribute. When he gets the ball he either has an easy basket or he gives it up quick. Doesn’t feel the need to try out some extended post moves to create a shot. That helps keep the offense flowing and the defense honest.
Right. But he doesn't treat the ball like a live grenade either. His passes have a purpose other than just getting rid of the ball.
 

The Social Chair

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Was Ibaka on a minutes restriction this series? He was wildly effective but never played down the stretch in any game.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Was Ibaka on a minutes restriction this series? He was wildly effective but never played down the stretch in any game.
I was also wondering about Nurse going small in crunch time. He did the same thing in game 6 to limit the Celtics picking on Ibaka in the pick and roll and to get Powell out there as an extra shooter:

But Ibaka was generally a net positive for them and was shooting really well anyways, I wonder if he out-thought himself there, especially once Theis fouled out.
 

mwonow

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And those two came from opposite directions. It was always obvious that Grant *knew* what to do far beyond his experience would suggest. But he's limited physically and had to figure out how to play with size disadvantages. But I always had confidence when he came into the game that he wouldn't screw up a play because he was in the wrong place, even if it didn't always work out. And anyone that could go from 0-25 3pt shooting to being confident and acceptable in a tight playoff series has what it takes.

I agree on TL. Never thought he's "get it" in time to contribute in a playoff series where every deficiency gets exploited. And early on, the surprise was that his offense has improved more than his defense (it had a longer way to go, of course). He's not a great offensive player, but he is usually confident and keeps things moving, which is the basic necessity from a limited-skill player. Kind of reminds me of Scalabrine in a way. He didn't score much when he got meaningful minutes with the Celtics, but he clearly understood the offense, and didn't prevent it from functioning by being indecisive or stupid.
I loved the sequence that starts around 1:35 in the video where he just eats Siakem. No other Celts even hanging around, just TL and Siakem, with Siakem eventually just giving up and hoisting a no-hoper
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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He was huge last night however the two missed FTs with 35 seconds left in the game and the Celtics up by just two scared the hell out of me. I’m guessing he will be putting in extra time to correct that. He shot 72% from the charity stripe for the season and I was surprised he missed them both. That said, it was great to see him with such a big role in a close Game 7. I’m confident he will continue to grow and have more big moments where he shines going forward.
Not worried about GW's FT shooting. He shot 82% from the line in his last year in college and he was 7-8 in the playoffs before last night. I'm sure it was just the adrenaline. He'll learn and he'll get 'em down next time.
 

bigq

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Not worried about GW's FT shooting. He shot 82% from the line in his last year in college and he was 7-8 in the playoffs before last night. I'm sure it was just the adrenaline. He'll learn and he'll get 'em down next time.
Agree. I don’t think it will be a problem going forward and thankfully last night it didn’t matter.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I was also wondering about Nurse going small in crunch time. He did the same thing in game 6 to limit the Celtics picking on Ibaka in the pick and roll and to get Powell out there as an extra shooter:

But Ibaka was generally a net positive for them and was shooting really well anyways, I wonder if he out-thought himself there, especially once Theis fouled out.
I wasn't really looking at Ibaka and generally thought he did okay but turns out he was -10 in both of the first two games playing 26 minutes and then his minutes decreased to 22, 22, 19, 21, and 20, and he was -4, 0, 0, and -9. He was +6 in the last game though.

Ibaka and shoot and block a couple of shots but I'm not sure what else he gives TOR. Certainly, he's going to be roasted in any 1 v 1 situation.
 

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Not worried about GW's FT shooting. He shot 82% from the line in his last year in college and he was 7-8 in the playoffs before last night. I'm sure it was just the adrenaline. He'll learn and he'll get 'em down next time.
No doubt. High stress situation, and a time out to ice him. I told my friend that he needed to hit the first, or he'd probably miss both.
He's a smart guy and will learn how to deal with the pressure/adrenaline.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Game 7 shooting re-cap:

FT%: 57% (13-23)
3pt%: 24% (9-38)
Fg% : 41% (35-86)

That has to be some of the worst shooting and still victorious in a Game 7.

Really reinforces the old axiom 'defense wins'
We better not rely on the Heat to shoot 3’s as poorly as the Raptors or we will quickly find ourselves down in this series. Winning these first two games will be a challenge.....if we can split until familiarity sets in I’ll be happy.
 

benhogan

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We better not rely on the Heat to shoot 3’s as poorly as the Raptors or we will quickly find ourselves down in this series. Winning these first two games will be a challenge.....if we can split until familiarity sets in I’ll be happy.
as Luckiest mentions above, Toronto was 32-4 (ex Celtics) over their last 44 NBA games. Raptors are better than the Heat, especially defensively.

Nurse threw numerous defensive wrinkles at the Cs, Miami should be easier to exploit. The C's (esp Jaylen) would be better served going to the rim instead of hoisting high volume 3s
 

bankshot1

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We better not rely on the Heat to shoot 3’s as poorly as the Raptors or we will quickly find ourselves down in this series. Winning these first two games will be a challenge.....if we can split until familiarity sets in I’ll be happy.
Totally agree. i think the Celts are the better team , but I fear a 3 pt shooting contest with the Heat.