Celtics vs Heat ECF Redux Discussion Thread

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Nov 17, 2010
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I have no idea who to blame. That said, I've spent a decade trying to not jump to conclusions after a SSS. But something is wrong with this team.

I don't know what it is, but it's rotten. In short bursts they can forget the moment. Hit a 3 or a game winner. But when things start to crumble over a few minutes, they collapse and choke. I've never seen a team fall apart EVERY time they're beating a good team.

They aren't fun to follow, they deserve to lose, and I have NO idea why I find them so despicable.
As true now as it was after game 2.

Disgusting.
 

osori

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I hope Jokic can get a ring.

Truly disappointing from the team. Is there a way for them to get better next year?
 

jsinger121

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I’d be on the phone with Portland asap to flip Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart for Dame.
 

Euclis20

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I hope Jokic can get a ring.

Truly disappointing from the team. Is there a way for them to get better next year?
If they run it back, it's hard to really see how. Maybe Grant/Tatum/Brown can take small steps forward, but they are likely to be cancelled out by decline from Horford/Smart/Brogdon. They caught a real break with injuries, it's hard to imagine them being any luckier in that regard next year (although the state of Jaylen's hand is still kind of a mystery). The biggest spot to improve is likely on the bench, be it with better assistants, improvement from the youngest coach in the league, or wholesale change.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts way less than 18% useful shit
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Nov 17, 2010
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I hope Jokic can get a ring.

Truly disappointing from the team. Is there a way for them to get better next year?
No.

The team can't be fixed with talent. They have plenty. Whatevers wrong with them is between their ears.
 

Eddie Jurak

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If they run it back, it's hard to really see how. Maybe Grant/Tatum/Brown can take small steps forward, but they are likely to be cancelled out by decline from Horford/Smart/Brogdon. They caught a real break with injuries, it's hard to imagine them being any luckier in that regard next year (although the state of Jaylen's hand is still kind of a mystery). The biggest spot to improve is likely on the bench, be it with better assistants, improvement from the youngest coach in the league, or wholesale change.
Well, the problem they are having has nothing to do with on court talent. They are poorly coached, aren't mentally tough (and don't have an on court leader who will bring that out of them), and cannot execute plays under pressure.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
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If they run it back, it's hard to really see how. Maybe Grant/Tatum/Brown can take small steps forward, but they are likely to be cancelled out by decline from Horford/Smart/Brogdon. They caught a real break with injuries, it's hard to imagine them being any luckier in that regard next year (although the state of Jaylen's hand is still kind of a mystery). The biggest spot to improve is likely on the bench, be it with better assistants, improvement from the youngest coach in the league, or wholesale change.
I'm done with the run it back train. Clearly the Smart/Jaylen/Jayson trio is simply not good enough to win a title.
 

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
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They need a real coach. I don’t know what ime did but it was probably really fucked up.But this guy ain’t a real head coach
 

Jed Zeppelin

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The good news is that Tatum + anyone is a playoff team and probably a damn good one. So it is a lot less to figure out than it would be without the mega elite piece. And they don’t have any immovable contracts really. It will take some doing but this can be reworked and revived.

I’d like to see them quicker at guard, a little bigger inside, and more wing depth. The ball-handling has just been torn apart the last two seasons and we lack the quickness/ball-handling combo to beat an aggressive D. Jaylen is our only guy with an explosive first step but he can’t handle doubles/hands in the lane and nobody cares enough to do it in the regular season so it only gets badly exposed here. And all three guards we have that just isn’t their game.

And the defense, I don’t know, it shouldn’t be this bad. There are some real motor problems and IQ problems but is there a scheme issue? If you don’t have last season’s buy-in maybe the scheme is just not going to work. But they have played WAY less aggressively on D this season so maybe it’s just the players have been shit at it. Has felt like they could use some pesky Avery Bradley type energy all season, they just haven’t made anyone uncomfortable on D the way they did last year.

I don’t think anyone but Tatum should be off the table and pray that he isn’t already back channeling his way out of what will be an increasingly toxic environment if they can’t bring home a title before his next contract comes due.
 

Auger34

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I don’t think anyone but Tatum should be off the table and pray that he isn’t already back channeling his way out of what will be an increasingly toxic environment if they can’t bring home a title before his next contract comes due.
They’ve kind of already kowtowed to him no? The post game conferences seemingly make it clear that Mazzulla is HIS guy. No one else sticks up for Joe with nearly the same vigor (that goes both ways, Mazzulla has pretty obviously indicated that Tatum is his guy too)
 

Jed Zeppelin

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They’ve kind of already kowtowed to him no? The post game conferences seemingly make it clear that Mazzulla is HIS guy. No one else sticks up for Joe with nearly the same vigor (that goes both ways, Mazzulla has pretty obviously indicated that Tatum is his guy too)
Guys say what needs to be said in the press conference. I have no idea what the truth is.

Of course Tatum is Joe’s guy. He would be the guy for any coach.
 

Auger34

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Guys say what needs to be said in the press conference. I have no idea what the truth is.

Of course Tatum is Joe’s guy. He would be the guy for any coach.
I never got the sense from Ime that Jayson was his guy over the other players. In fact, Joe is the only coach I ever remember thinking that about
 

Ed Hillel

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Not to get anyone’s hopes up, but…

This series has started out almost exactly like the 2004 ALCS…
 

nighthob

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I’d be on the phone with Portland asap to flip Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart for Dame.
And what happens when Dame falls off the cliff? That's a hard bullet to swallow. (And I'd much rather have Sharpe, Grant, and #3.)
 

kazuneko

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That’s a quick hang up from Portland. Unless, Timelord is in it too.
Only because they wouldn’t want Brown when there would be serious doubts about him resigning with a non-competitive Blazers team in a year. Lillard will be 33 in July and is a small, defensively challenged guard who is signed to a max contact through his age 36 season. Brown is more valuable than Dame, but only for a team who thinks they can sign him long-term.
 

SoxFanInPdx

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Whats an offer thats even close to Brown and Smart? Honestly I wouldn’t even put Smart in there. What’sa better offer than Brown?
Well, this all conjecture to begin with. Living here and the sources I know of - for the Blazers to entertain the thought, it would take a lot. Mind you, I think the Blazers should trade him. See my post in the NBA Thread.

Realistically, they are hunting for youth for a complete reset. With Brown, who knows what the number he’s looking for. And with the ownership in flux - hard to tell. My guess would be Brown, White, Timelord, Pritchard or a pick.

Teams will be lining up for Lillard.
 

nighthob

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Only because they wouldn’t want Brown when there would be serious doubts about him resigning with a non-competitive Blazers team in a year. Lillard will be 33 in July and is a small, defensively challenged guard who is signed to a max contact through his age 36 season. Brown is more valuable than Dame, but only for a team who thinks they can sign him long-term.
If Boston elects to move Jaylen, it would be after he signs his Designated Veteran extension this summer. At that point that's the second most valuable contract in the NBA (the first being Tatum when he signs his extension next summer.)
 

jablo1312

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can we save the offseason talk for another thread plz? Thx

Offensive process in the 3rd seemed slightly better at least tn. Issues from what I can see:

-Turnovers aside, not generating solid looks in the half court vs the zone tn. Meanwhile, Miami is running on pretty much everything- make, miss, steal, especially when 1+ Celtic is down on the ground. They got a bunch of 5 on 4's tonight, tough to stop that. Don't have much to add here besides stop falling down and get back on defense if you haven't fallen down.

-Defensively you pretty much have to live with some of the 3's they made (not wide open corner ones). But the Heat got a bunch of stuff going to the rim, even in the half court. Not sure the Celtic's generated 1 solid half court interior look vs the Heat in the first 3 quarters tonight. Basiclaly like starting the game down 16-0.

-So many Heat pump fakes, Between Lowry and Butler 70% of the defense is resisting the urge to jump at pumps. Doing so completley broke the integrity of the defense like 4x tn (jump at pump, guy dribbles by you, kick out 3). And when Butler would get into the lane the lane felt like 3 guys were collapsing on him, and he started the passing sequences to kill them almost every time.

-Low-resistance switches. Just letting Butler pick who he want to go against (usually D-White). White hasn't been able to bother him this series.

I don't have any answers and tonight was horrible but this team also had double digit leads in both of the first two games. I guess they kinda showed some fight in the 3rd but 1) they couldn't hit the ocean from a boat shooting and 2) too many easy points for miami off turnovers and tilted floors. I won't rule out a win in game 4 but they have to play harder and smarter (feel like we've all been saying that for a week).

edit: rewatched the 2q. Jaylen was so bad on both ends- couldn't keep up with D-Rob coming around screens, falling for Vincent pump fake from 30 feet, driving into the lane multiple times and make an awful read when a wide open guy was the easiest pass away, jogging back on D, airballed a 3 by like several feet, shooting w/ 9 seconds left in the half. Just insanely brutal. They need him to at least hit open 3's to compete in this series.
 
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Auger34

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Well, this all conjecture to begin with. Living here and the sources I know of - for the Blazers to entertain the thought, it would take a lot. Mind you, I think the Blazers should trade him. See my post in the NBA Thread.

Realistically, they are hunting for youth for a complete reset. With Brown, who knows what the number he’s looking for. And with the ownership in flux - hard to tell. My guess would be Brown, White, Timelord, Pritchard or a pick.

Teams will be lining up for Lillard.
I really enjoy thinking of fake trades so I actually looked at possible Lillard offers. There aren’t a lot of good ones and there aren’t a lot of teams that can fit what Dame wants. I can promise you that Brown, Whit, TL and PP is miles ahead of other offers. If you can, I’d love for you to take a look at the trade machine and come up with one that’s close to the Celtica offer
 

Cellar-Door

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If Boston elects to move Jaylen, it would be after he signs his Designated Veteran extension this summer. At that point that's the second most valuable contract in the NBA (the first being Tatum when he signs his extension next summer.)
CBA prevents trading a player on a designated extension for 1 year, so if they trade him this summer it's because he wouldn't sign, if he does sign he's here at least 1 more year.
I really enjoy thinking of fake trades so I actually looked at possible Lillard offers. There aren’t a lot of good ones and there aren’t a lot of teams that can fit what Dame wants. I can promise you that Brown, Whit, TL and PP is miles ahead of other offers. If you can, I’d love for you to take a look at the trade machine and come up with one that’s close to the Celtica offer
Jaylen is more than enough if POR was rational, they aren't, because they have a rare thing in the NBA, a fanbase that would rather lose with their franchise guy than try to win by trading him, that's a goldmine to exploit, there are no expectations except that Dame plays.
 

kazuneko

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Well, this all conjecture to begin with. Living here and the sources I know of - for the Blazers to entertain the thought, it would take a lot. Mind you, I think the Blazers should trade him. See my post in the NBA Thread.

Realistically, they are hunting for youth for a complete reset. With Brown, who knows what the number he’s looking for. And with the ownership in flux - hard to tell. My guess would be Brown, White, Timelord, Pritchard or a pick.

Teams will be lining up for Lillard.
I really think you overrate Dame. He’s old and expensive. He missed 25 games last year and 50 games the year before. The Cs would be insane to consider what you are suggesting.
I know everyone feels down on Brown right now, but at this stage of their respective careers JB is far more valuable then Damian Lillard.
 

8slim

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can we save the offseason talk for another thread plz? Thx

Offensive process in the 3rd seemed slightly better at least tn. Issues from what I can see:

-Turnovers aside, not generating solid looks in the half court vs the zone tn. Meanwhile, Miami is running on pretty much everything- make, miss, steal, especially when 1+ Celtic is down on the ground. They got a bunch of 5 on 4's tonight, tough to stop that. Don't have much to add here besides stop falling down and get back on defense if you haven't fallen down.

-Defensively you pretty much have to live with some of the 3's they made (not wide open corner ones). But the Heat got a bunch of stuff going to the rim, even in the half court. Not sure the Celtic's generated 1 solid half court interior look vs the Heat in the first 3 quarters tonight. Basiclaly like starting the game down 16-0.

-So many Heat pump fakes, Between Lowry and Butler 70% of the defense is resisting the urge to jump at pumps. Doing so completley broke the integrity of the defense like 4x tn (jump at pump, guy dribbles by you, kick out 3). And when Butler would get into the lane the lane felt like 3 guys were collapsing on him, and he started the passing sequences to kill them almost every time.

-Low-resistance switches. Just letting Butler pick who he want to go against (usually D-White). White hasn't been able to bother him this series.

I don't have any answers and tonight was horrible but this team also had double digit leads in both of the first two games. I guess they kinda showed some fight in the 3rd but 1) they couldn't hit the ocean from a boat shooting and 2) too many easy points for miami off turnovers and tilted floors. I won't rule out a win in game 4 but they have to play harder and smarter (feel like we've all been saying that for a week).
Great post. The 5 on 4s while our guys complained about missed calls were particularly frustrating for a couple reasons.
 

SoxFanInPdx

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I really think you overrate Dame. He’s old and expensive. He missed 25 games last year and 50 games the year before. The Cs would be insane to consider what you are suggesting.
I know everyone feels down on Brown right now, but at this stage of their respective careers JB is far more valuable then Damian Lillard.
I have no dog in this. Just sharing what I have heard is all. And I understand your point .Thing is, a Lillard/Tatum combo would probably be enough to hoist another banner. Brown has been bad this series and I like Brown a lot. Loved the pick when the C’s selected him. Saw him at Cal.

Lillard is a killer. We’ve all seen it. Doesn’t hesitate and shy away from big moments. I’d counter and say that Brown is overrated. His ball handling leaves a lot to be desired. With Lillard, that’s not even a cause for concern.

Edit: I would love to discuss more in the appropriate thread as mentioned above
 

CaptainLaddie

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where the darn libs live
can we save the offseason talk for another thread plz? Thx

Offensive process in the 3rd seemed slightly better at least tn. Issues from what I can see:

-Turnovers aside, not generating solid looks in the half court vs the zone tn. Meanwhile, Miami is running on pretty much everything- make, miss, steal, especially when 1+ Celtic is down on the ground. They got a bunch of 5 on 4's tonight, tough to stop that. Don't have much to add here besides stop falling down and get back on defense if you haven't fallen down.

-Defensively you pretty much have to live with some of the 3's they made (not wide open corner ones). But the Heat got a bunch of stuff going to the rim, even in the half court. Not sure the Celtic's generated 1 solid half court interior look vs the Heat in the first 3 quarters tonight. Basiclaly like starting the game down 16-0.

-So many Heat pump fakes, Between Lowry and Butler 70% of the defense is resisting the urge to jump at pumps. Doing so completley broke the integrity of the defense like 4x tn (jump at pump, guy dribbles by you, kick out 3). And when Butler would get into the lane the lane felt like 3 guys were collapsing on him, and he started the passing sequences to kill them almost every time.

-Low-resistance switches. Just letting Butler pick who he want to go against (usually D-White). White hasn't been able to bother him this series.

I don't have any answers and tonight was horrible but this team also had double digit leads in both of the first two games. I guess they kinda showed some fight in the 3rd but 1) they couldn't hit the ocean from a boat shooting and 2) too many easy points for miami off turnovers and tilted floors. I won't rule out a win in game 4 but they have to play harder and smarter (feel like we've all been saying that for a week).
I've got nothing to add, but this is a really interesting and insightful post. Thank you!
 

HereComesthePizza

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Mar 29, 2023
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Over the back no longer gets called (serously when is the last time you saw this call in a game?). Boxing out is not a valid tactic in a lot of situations because of how officiating has evolved.
The rationale is that players should turn to the basket and focus on tracking/grabbing the ball over finding an offensive player to body up. With the size/leaping ability of guys, you’re more likely to get the rebound by being first to the ball. Obviously if you’re already on someone then you should protect your position but focus on leaping for the ball. Can’t seem to find some of the stuff I’ve read on it in the past but this quote about Rodman summarizes the idea:

“Rodman devotes less than two pages to explaining his rebounding prowess. He states that while traditional coaching theory extols the virtues of boxing out he rarely if ever did so because he was a 6-foot-6, 220-pound player going against much taller and bigger opponents; he felt that if he attempted to box out Shaquille O’Neal or other behemoths that they would just reach right over his head and get the ball before he could do anything.”

“Over the back” isn’t actually a foul unless illegal contact occurs.

For the first 10 minutes of the game, it did seem like they were better on the boards. They only gave up 1 offensive rebound for the entire game but I don’t think anyone would argue that’s a success.
 

jon abbey

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The Heat are playing unbelievably, keep in mind that Butler sat out game 2 of the NY series and if he doesn’t, good chance they sweep that and are 11-1 combined so far against MIL/NY/BOS. They play every game like it’s a NCAA tournament elimination game, it’s like watching prime Princeton led by two superstars.
 

Nick Kaufman

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A Lost Time
Not to get anyone’s hopes up, but…

This series has started out almost exactly like the 2004 ALCS…
Even if you get people's hopes up, chances are they will end pretty soon.

My feeling is that they 've played with fire far too many times and at some point, you stop pulling a rabbit out of your hat.

I am at a loss. My knee jerk reaction is that Mazoulla isn't the right man for the job and that there's something off about this group of players. Having said that, there may be a hidden injury or just the worse negative variance at the worst possible time. There are so many factors that can be at play here, that we all need to approach this with a healthy dose of humility.
 

NomarsFool

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I’m just perplexed that Miami is able to splash three and three after three. Some of that can be random variance, but it’s getting hard to keep explaining it that way. Are the Celtics just slower on close outs than they have been? Is there something in their defensive scheme that makes them more susceptible to the three or unable to recover? Because Miami is not a great 3P team. In the playoffs, it seems like everyone is killing them from behind the arc. We talk about limiting Miami’s offensive boards but that’s not hard to do when they don’t miss.

Also, is it just me or does it seem like Miami is often shooting with the Celtics’ hands not even up?
 

Humphrey

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The good news is that Tatum + anyone is a playoff team and probably a damn good one. So it is a lot less to figure out than it would be without the mega elite piece. And they don’t have any immovable contracts really. It will take some doing but this can be reworked and revived.

I’d like to see them quicker at guard, a little bigger inside, and more wing depth. The ball-handling has just been torn apart the last two seasons and we lack the quickness/ball-handling combo to beat an aggressive D. Jaylen is our only guy with an explosive first step but he can’t handle doubles/hands in the lane and nobody cares enough to do it in the regular season so it only gets badly exposed here. And all three guards we have that just isn’t their game.

And the defense, I don’t know, it shouldn’t be this bad. There are some real motor problems and IQ problems but is there a scheme issue? If you don’t have last season’s buy-in maybe the scheme is just not going to work. But they have played WAY less aggressively on D this season so maybe it’s just the players have been shit at it. Has felt like they could use some pesky Avery Bradley type energy all season, they just haven’t made anyone uncomfortable on D the way they did last year.

I don’t think anyone but Tatum should be off the table and pray that he isn’t already back channeling his way out of what will be an increasingly toxic environment if they can’t bring home a title before his next contract comes due.
We've seen that in 3 series now, good smaller guys torching them.
 

Jakarta

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If they aren’t going to get stops, they should play PP and Hauser and at least try to hit 3s and give JT some room to drive. Can’t be any worse than the outcome of the first 3 games.
 

Batman Likes The Sox

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I’ve watched just about every minute of Celtics basketball this year and last night was obviously the lowest moment in 22-23. Maybe the lowest moment in a decade.

I don’t understand why, often like a light switch, this team turns on and off their discipline to fundamental things that work for them:
-aggressive defense and getting off the ground and sprinting back when once again they don’t give you the call on offense
-fast paced offense with a primary focus on passing
-Jason and as a backup Marcus taking the ball up
-Jaylen never ever shooting when no one else has touched the ball
-Shoot all open 3’s

This doesn’t seem complicated. They do it, then they don’t.

I don’t post in this forum often but this has been frustrating so I’ll post it. If they turn the switch on tomorrow and keep it on, they could be the second coming of the ‘04 idiots. But it’s anyone’s guess if they hit that switch.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I’m just perplexed that Miami is able to splash three and three after three. Some of that can be random variance, but it’s getting hard to keep explaining it that way. Are the Celtics just slower on close outs than they have been? Is there something in their defensive scheme that makes them more susceptible to the three or unable to recover? Because Miami is not a great 3P team. In the playoffs, it seems like everyone is killing them from behind the arc. We talk about limiting Miami’s offensive boards but that’s not hard to do when they don’t miss.

Also, is it just me or does it seem like Miami is often shooting with the Celtics’ hands not even up?
Last year when they were basically looking like an all-time great defense and torching everybody by 20+, they were still switching everything but doing so AGGRESSIVELY. So everybody covered everybody, picked up guys beyond the 3pt line, and they didn’t yield an inch, and if the first man got beat TL was there with help and they recovered out to the perimeter in a flash. Very high energy high commitment D. That’s just totally gone now. They yield the 3pt line to everyone (they started off these playoffs going under screens for Trae and Harden I mean come on). At least with Jimmy he is not a shooter but backing off is still an open invitation to the paint where he is most dangerous. Then when he is there they overcollapse and he has his pick of wide open shooter.

Shit, last night they couldn’t keep DUNCAN ROBINSON out of the paint on a drive and it led to a wide open three when 2-3 guys totally collapsed. They are inviting open looks as if to say “it will even out eventually). Miami’s “toughest” looks are probably those coming off screens on the move but even those have still been pretty clean.

Sometimes with these heavy help/switch-style defenses, it is easy for the players to get lazy because they think “well when the screen comes or the guy gets by me, the D is designed to have someone else pick him up, so it’s fine.” But if you aren’t working your ass off at the point of attack, and the 4 other guys are ball-watching and/or also not working their ass off, it all falls apart. Soooo many buckets these playoffs from an off-ball defender being in position to either help on a penetration or jump out on a shooter, doing neither, and allowing a clean look. I don’t blame the scheme—the execution and effort has been terrible outside of random stretches of a few minutes here and there. That said, the scheme seems no longer suited to the team. I don’t understand, for example, Tatum relentlessly switching off of Butler in situations where Bam or whoever is only flashing a screen but ends up slipping it. It’s like we just go through the motions, “here comes a screen guess I have to switch.”
 

kfoss99

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Two semi-related comments/observations:
1. The Celtics perimeter defense looked like it was designed to crush this Heat team. Smart, White, Brogdon, Brown, Tatum seemed like they'd smother shooters. That just didn't happen. One problem that has happened for years, is they overhelp to the paint and leave open shooters.
2. If Tatum is going to win a championship, he has to perfect the post fadeaway. Butler has it. Nearly every best player on a championship team has had elite post scoring, probably through the entire history of the NBA. Teams can't rely on the variance that comes with three-point shooting. Brown actually had a few in the first quarter, yesterday, then everything fell apart.
 

PedrosRedGlove

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I’m just perplexed that Miami is able to splash three and three after three. Some of that can be random variance, but it’s getting hard to keep explaining it that way. Are the Celtics just slower on close outs than they have been? Is there something in their defensive scheme that makes them more susceptible to the three or unable to recover? Because Miami is not a great 3P team. In the playoffs, it seems like everyone is killing them from behind the arc. We talk about limiting Miami’s offensive boards but that’s not hard to do when they don’t miss.

Also, is it just me or does it seem like Miami is often shooting with the Celtics’ hands not even up?
No, this was happening yesterday, a lot. Spiraling in a must win game for your season and they were unorganized with switches then would give token close outs like it was a December game. It was the main thing that has me thinking this may be the players quitting on the coach.

I've been a huge Mazzulla supporter for the most part but the signs he's overmatched are getting hard to ignore. Marcus Smart throwing shade at him while taking credit for the 2 Bigs adjustment against Philly... And then Horford leading huddles as the season teetered on the brink yesterday? This isn't normal but I think the players are frustrated with him. He's not able to make timely adjustments in a playoff atmosphere.

Sidetrack: Saw a Garnett clip the other day talking about Jokic, and how he would defend him. His main point was that you couldn't just do it one way; Jokic is a high level, smart player, and whatever strategy you use to defend him, he'll adapt and counter punch on the next possession. So whatever you decide to do, you'll also need to mix it up or he'll just pick you apart. Contrast that with this. Where it seems the C's can't decide if they want to double Butler or take away the shooters, and whichever they go with, they stick with it until Jimmy picks it apart. It's sad to see the players wilting like this, but the coaching disparity is obvious.
 
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