Celtics-Raptors 2nd Round--Dethrone the Champs

Imbricus

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Celts showed in the end they were the better team. If you look back at the 7 games, the Celts won two in dominant fashion, the Raptors won one where they looked better (but not dominant), and the other 4 (which they split), the teams looked fairly evenly matched.
 

Imbricus

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Since the series is over, I thought I'd post these selected comments from the Toronto Raptors fans on Game 7. It's always fascinating to me -- in a Star Trek episode kind of way -- to see what the other team's diehard fan base is posting in its game thread. Some of this is quite funny. This is from "Comments from the Other Side."

I love that both fanbases are convinced Scott Foster will be "out to get them" - says a lot about the public's trust of NBA officiating.

Hope they put Kanter on the court today

Siakam is this generation’s Antoine Walker... [response:] Walker could shoot last I recall.. more like Shawn Marion

smart doing everything siakam is supposed to be doing

Daniel theis is probably one of the scariest low key players on the Celtics

if Boston wins the championship, they gotta give Pascal a ring.....cause he helped the cause

Lowry should guard Tatum More often hes good at selling them offensive fouls he does on every move

Kemba may not be scoring well for them but their offfens is so much better with him on the floor

Pascal looks like Bambi on ice. It's actually unbelievable how terrible he's been in this series.

It’s a miracle we got it this far. It was smoke and mirrors the whole series. Celts have been the better team

Nurse should have handed the coach of the year trophy to Stevens at the end of the game. What a fraud. Stevens coached circles around him this series.

Both teams were extremely close and raptors literally lost the series by a couple inches. The Celtic's stars are both 6'8", raptors stars are 6'0". Thats the difference.
 

JakeRae

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The two things that stood out the most in that video to me are: (1) Smart, he was everywhere, doing everything, making all the plays, and was always looked in on individual assignments too—he was probably the MVP of the game for the Celtics; (2) Brown gets beat a lot for a Celtics highlight tape, he had some great plays too, but he was frequently getting put out of position, and several of the highlights are Theis or Tatum or Smart recovering and making plays after Brown failed his individual assignment. Brown getting beat also stands out because basically no one else on the team ever did.

Overall, Smart followed by Tatum and Theis are the heart of this defense and are a trio that should terrify opposing offenses. The rest of the defense is solid, and both Williams’ flash the ability to build this out into a true defensive juggernaut next year, but those primary three guys are always in position and always seem to be making the right play, helping at the right time, disrupting, etc. while still covering and controlling their assignments.
 

HomeRunBaker

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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
Toronto was 32-4 with a healthy FVV and when Siakam was an NBA player and they could comfortably reach triple digits. The team we played was not that same Raptor team. My point was about the Heat offense being far better than this Raptor one that we just played. I’m surprised to hear anyone actually disagree with that especially after seeing what the Heat have been doing in the bubble.
 

nighthob

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No, it was the same Raptor team, Boston was just a buzzsaw on transition defense and took away the Raptors strength. Toronto managed to reduce most of the series to junkyard brawls. I'm not sure Miami can.
 

HomeRunBaker

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No, it was the same Raptor team, Boston was just a buzzsaw on transition defense and took away the Raptors strength. Toronto managed to reduce most of the series to junkyard brawls. I'm not sure Miami can.
Siakam used to be able to convert at the rim against Grant Williams and Theis while hitting uncontested jumpers. The bubble appeared to be the last place he wanted to be the past month.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I don't know what Toronto team that was but all the time and events leading up to these playoffs has affected almost everyone playing in some way. Boston had continued to evolve while Toronto felt like they kind of stalled out after being a regular season juggernaut.

Its not any one thing either. If you look at Miami's regular season numbers, they don't look that imposing but having an integrated and locked in Crowder as well as Iguodala during the playoffs makes them much more imposing.
 

nighthob

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Siakam used to be able to convert at the rim against Grant Williams and Theis while hitting uncontested jumpers. The bubble appeared to be the last place he wanted to be the past month.
Siakam has never been very good at creating his own shot. Now, once he's in the open court with a head of steam, no one can stop him. So Boston took that away from him. He's never been an alpha scorer. I'd argue that Lowry's being banged up was a bigger problem for Toronto when Boston reduced this to a halfcourt series.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Toronto was 32-4 with a healthy FVV and when Siakam was an NBA player and they could comfortably reach triple digits. The team we played was not that same Raptor team. My point was about the Heat offense being far better than this Raptor one that we just played. I’m surprised to hear anyone actually disagree with that especially after seeing what the Heat have been doing in the bubble.
Yes Heat's offense is better than TOR and they do have a guy who can create his own offense but Heat's defense isn't as good as TOR either M2M or zone IMO. Brad is going to be attacking Robinson, Herro, and KO every chance he gets and their defensive guys - AI, Crowder, Jones - don't threaten offensively.

I said awhile back that MIA would be a more difficult matchup than TOR but I still think BOS is a better team but will be very interested in seeing how Spoelstra navigates the series. He's a good coach and has a lot of different buttons he can push.
 

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I was surprised at how solid Theis was. He seemed to get better as the series went on. He also seemed to get a little more respect from the refs, game 7 foul out notwithstanding (and that last foul was a cheapie).
 

chilidawg

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Toronto was 32-4 with a healthy FVV and when Siakam was an NBA player and they could comfortably reach triple digits. The team we played was not that same Raptor team. My point was about the Heat offense being far better than this Raptor one that we just played. I’m surprised to hear anyone actually disagree with that especially after seeing what the Heat have been doing in the bubble.
The Raptors were what, 12-1 in the bubble coming into the C's series? That you're surprised that other people don't see your point of view is hardly surprising.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Yes Heat's offense is better than TOR and they do have a guy who can create his own offense but Heat's defense isn't as good as TOR either M2M or zone IMO. Brad is going to be attacking Robinson, Herro, and KO every chance he gets and their defensive guys - AI, Crowder, Jones - don't threaten offensively.

I said awhile back that MIA would be a more difficult matchup than TOR but I still think BOS is a better team but will be very interested in seeing how Spoelstra navigates the series. He's a good coach and has a lot of different buttons he can push.
Ae Crowder is shooting 40% from three in the playoffs on over eight attempts per game. Right now he is a threat.
 

JakeRae

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Ae Crowder is shooting 40% from three in the playoffs on over eight attempts per game. Right now he is a threat.
He will be forced to take much tougher shots against the Celtics. If you watch video of the Bucks series, you’ll see a very high percentage of his shots are either entirely uncontested or against late closeouts. That space is going to disappear against the Celtics.
 

slamminsammya

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The bucks defense was designed to give up exactly the shots that killed them. The Celtics defense is quite a bit more flexible, since it isn't dependent on such a specialized but limited defender like Lopez.
 

HomeRunBaker

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The Raptors were what, 12-1 in the bubble coming into the C's series? That you're surprised that other people don't see your point of view is hardly surprising.
This was all prior to the injuries though which is why we were favored in the last 4 games of the series. FVV wasn’t himself, Lowry was banged up good, and something obv wasn’t right with Siakam.

Anyway, I’m referring solely to the massive disparity between the Raptor offense and the Heats 3-pt threats from all over the floor. Do you disagree with this? The Celtics ended the series being 4-pt favorites in G7 and 1-pt now in G1 of the Miami series after they almost swept the Bucks.
 

benhogan

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Toronto was 32-4 with a healthy FVV and when Siakam was an NBA player and they could comfortably reach triple digits. The team we played was not that same Raptor team. My point was about the Heat offense being far better than this Raptor one that we just played. I’m surprised to hear anyone actually disagree with that especially after seeing what the Heat have been doing in the bubble.
when the Heat face the Celtics playoff D, life won't be so bubblicious for the powder blue and Fuschia

Yes. I know Miami put up 112pts in a foul-fest a month ago....regular-season vs playoffs is 2 different animals
 

HomeRunBaker

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when the Heat face the Celtics playoff D, life won't be so bubblicious for the powder blue and Fuschia

Yes. I know Miami put up 112pts in a foul-fest a month ago....regular-season vs playoffs is 2 different animals
Did the Heat not just put up 115+ in 4 out of 5 versus the #1 DefRat team in the Bucks......in the playoffs? Their offense is > compared to the Raptors < how is this not obvious to even the biggest Celtics fans?
 

128

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Did the Heat not just put up 115+ in 4 out of 5 versus the #1 DefRat team in the Bucks......in the playoffs? Their offense is > compared to the Raptors < how is this not obvious to even the biggest Celtics fans?
Yeah, Miami has shooters everywhere you turn.
 

Euclis20

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Did the Heat not just put up 115+ in 4 out of 5 versus the #1 DefRat team in the Bucks......in the playoffs? Their offense is > compared to the Raptors < how is this not obvious to even the biggest Celtics fans?
The Heat have better 3P shooters than Toronto no doubt, but you're being weirdly dismissive of what Boston just did to Toronto. The Raptors ended the season with a winning streak of 15 games against non-Boston teams, to brush off the Raptors poor shooting as a result of an injury to Vanvleet and Siakam playing badly is just odd.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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He will be forced to take much tougher shots against the Celtics. If you watch video of the Bucks series, you’ll see a very high percentage of his shots are either entirely uncontested or against late closeouts. That space is going to disappear against the Celtics.
Absolutely, but he is still dangerous. I think people are incorrect in assuming the next round will be easier for Boston. I really see this as a toss up given the Heats's experience and coaching. Boston is more talented but the Heat have a lot more savvy.
 

ManicCompression

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Did the Heat not just put up 115+ in 4 out of 5 versus the #1 DefRat team in the Bucks......in the playoffs? Their offense is > compared to the Raptors < how is this not obvious to even the biggest Celtics fans?
It's a bit disingenuous to to include two games where Giannis, the DPOY, was injured in that stat.

Also, matchups matter. The Celtics aren't going to drop their big men in the paint and dare Miami to shoot above the break threes like Milwaukee did. The Celtics matchup better across the board because they have the athletic bodies to chase Robinson and Herro around the floor and to go one-on-one against Butler. The Heat are not going to get the same kind of looks they did because the Celtics have a versatile defensive philosophy (and Milwaukee clearly doesn't). They rendered Brooke Lopez unplayable and when he's the cog of the defense, that's kind of an issue.

It's not going to be a walk in the park, but the Celtics don't have the same amount of weak spots the Bucks do and the gap between Celtics O and Miami's O is less than the gap between Celtics D and Miami's D.
 

Jimbodandy

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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.
This. Toronto was absolutely gassed at the end. Lowry and FVV in particular. The long G6 minutes took a bigger toll on them than on our young guys.
 

dhellers

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Absolutely, but he is still dangerous. I think people are incorrect in assuming the next round will be easier for Boston. I really see this as a toss up given the Heats's experience and coaching. Boston is more talented but the Heat have a lot more savvy.
DJ, your insights are always worth considering.... but do the Heat really have more experience and savvy?

Its a grossly rough measure, and doesn't consider playing time etc etc, but consider playoff games played, and conference+ finals games played.

Summary:
Take away the Iggy and Haslem factors, and Boston has much more conference finals experience -- and most of the Miami conference final playoff experience is Crowder and Olynck!
Boston also has more total playoff games.

Add in Iggy and Haslem and the numbers move to favor Miami. Do they really matter? Should Spoelstra's experience matter?
If so, should we count phone calls and visits, from Tommy H and the Cooz and Mr Russell and the Truth etc etc ...


BOSTON
Smart. 56 games. 12 ECF. I forgot he was hurt for the first 7 (of 9) games last year!
Brown. 55 games. 12 ECF.
Tatum. 39 games. 7 ECF
Kanter. 49 games. 11 WCF (4 in 2018, and 7 in 2016 with okc)
Walker. 22 games
Hayward: 25 games
Ojleye: 33. 7 ECF.
Theis. 18. I still believe that if Theis (or Larkin) is healthy in 2017 they would of beaten cleveland!

First timers!
Grant Williams
RG Williams
Langford

MIAMI

Iggy -- 145 games! 22 WCf and 23 Finals
Haslem. 147 games! 24 ECF and 21 Finals

Butler 61 playoff starts, never gotten past 2nd round.
Dragic. 28 games. 4 WCF (2010, ~14 minutes per game)
Leonard: 26. 4 in wcf in 2018
Crowder: 39 starts.5 ECF with boston in 2017!
Olynyk: 38 games.. 5 ECF with boston in 2017!

First timers!
Abedayo
Herro
Robinson
Nunn:
 

chilidawg

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Absolutely Miami is a better offensive team, I don't think anyone is arguing that. And I think absolutely Toronto is a better defensive team. Which one is a tougher matchup, I sure don't know. We did seem to have Toronto's number relative to what they were doing to the rest of the league.

Siakam, Lowry and VV were all injured? Guess I wasn't paying good attention to the injury reports.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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DJ, your insights are always worth considering.... but do the Heat really have more experience and savvy?

Its a grossly rough measure, and doesn't consider playing time etc etc, but consider playoff games played, and conference+ finals games played.

Summary:
Take away the Iggy and Haslem factors, and Boston has much more conference finals experience -- and most of the Miami conference final playoff experience is Crowder and Olynck!
Boston also has more total playoff games.

Add in Iggy and Haslem and the numbers move to favor Miami. Do they really matter? Should Spoelstra's experience matter?
If so, should we count phone calls and visits, from Tommy H and the Cooz and Mr Russell and the Truth etc etc ...


BOSTON
Smart. 56 games. 12 ECF. I forgot he was hurt for the first 7 (of 9) games last year!
Brown. 55 games. 12 ECF.
Tatum. 39 games. 7 ECF
Kanter. 49 games. 11 WCF (4 in 2018, and 7 in 2016 with okc)
Walker. 22 games
Hayward: 25 games
Ojleye: 33. 7 ECF.
Theis. 18. I still believe that if Theis (or Larkin) is healthy in 2017 they would of beaten cleveland!

First timers!
Grant Williams
RG Williams
Langford

MIAMI

Iggy -- 145 games! 22 WCf and 23 Finals
Haslem. 147 games! 24 ECF and 21 Finals

Butler 61 playoff starts, never gotten past 2nd round.
Dragic. 28 games. 4 WCF (2010, ~14 minutes per game)
Leonard: 26. 4 in wcf in 2018
Crowder: 39 starts.5 ECF with boston in 2017!
Olynyk: 38 games.. 5 ECF with boston in 2017!

First timers!
Abedayo
Herro
Robinson
Nunn:
Apologies - should have been clearer. I am more referring to their overall experience. Butler is one thing and Iguodala is almost a unicorn given how many playoffs he has been a part of but Crowder as well as Olynyk have been around long enough to know how to take advantage of certain situations.

I also want to be clear that I don't think that Miami is a juggernaut or anything. But experience counts for something. The veterans as well as Spoelstra will likely be ready to seize anything Boston gives them.
 

nighthob

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Absolutely Miami is a better offensive team, I don't think anyone is arguing that. And I think absolutely Toronto is a better defensive team. Which one is a tougher matchup, I sure don't know. We did seem to have Toronto's number relative to what they were doing to the rest of the league.

Siakam, Lowry and VV were all injured? Guess I wasn't paying good attention to the injury reports.
Lowry had an injury, the other two were just banged up in the same way that everyone is this time of the year. HRB just likes being the turd in the punch bowl.