Celtics vs. Heat, Round 3 Discussion

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Kenny F'ing Powers

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Yet another tedious post. Congratulations.. you win the internet bringing up an argument only you still care about.
You sure? Feels like I can find a dozen posts or so (in this and other threads) over the last 8ish hours where people specifically mention Celtics fans planning their victory parades too early.

YOU may not care, but I would love for you to pink me. Can't think of a single post I've made where I would miss seeing your response.

Seriously. Do it.
 

lars10

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You sure? Feels like I can find a dozen posts or so (in this and other threads) over the last 8ish hours where people specifically mention Celtics fans planning their victory parades too early.

YOU may not care, but I would love for you to pink me. Can't think of a single post I've made where I would miss seeing your response.

Seriously. Do it.
Like I said. You win
 

Eddie Jurak

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Miami just made some amazing shots. That doesn’t mean they wanted it more or “came to play” more or anything. There must have been a half dozen “I can’t believe that went in shots” on the Miami side. I’m sure Boston had some, too, but it sure didn’t feel like it. In a close game, that can be the difference.

I will say that the “Al just made a 3 so I won’t take him out” decision was just plain stupid. As a coach, your decisions need to be based on something other than what a player did in the last 20 seconds.

I was also pretty frustrated with Grant Williams.
It's true that they did make amazing shots, some akin to Tatum game 6 in Milwaukee. Miami making those shots is not what I found so frustrating about the Celtics performance yesterday.

You are right about the Horford thing. In Q3, Rob played 10 minutes, scored 10 points, mostly if not entirely as a lob option late in the quarter. With 5:30 in Q3, the Celtics were down 70-58. They outscored Miami 17-12 over the rest of the quarter to cut the lead to 7, and it was all Rob (10 points) and White (7 points). Rob never saw the floor again, though he was up at the scorer's table once and Ime called him back. And the lob option worked phenomenally well in the third, and as the Celtics' offense imploed in the 4th it was never an option. Maybe there were health reasons why Ime did not want to use Rob unless he has to, but that aside - and it seems doubtful at a glance - it was a costly coaching mistake.

To make shots, one must take them. Tatum and Brown took 7 shots combined in the second half, each had only one in the fourth quarter. Tatum had 2 made threes early in the third, then he missed a three at 8:14 of the third. From that point until the end of the game he had only one more shot from the field, despite being on the floor for the entire second half. In the 4th, he turned it over 4 times. That's not "top 5 player" work. Can't be a top 5 player AND be essentially a passnger for most of the second half of a key playoff game (even if the opposing D gets credit for the latter). He has a ways to go in his development - maybe it is too much to ask of player to figure this stuff out in the middle of a playoff run as opoosed to over the following offseason. Butler found ways to score at will.

Brown, who had a great second quarter (11 points and 3 steals), misse his only 3 shots of the second half and missed both FTs with the Celtics tied 99-99, right before the wheels fell off.

Rob Williams, whose career regular season FT% is 67%, has somehow morphed into the Celtics most reliable free throw shooter in the playoffs. He's 18 for 20 from the line in the playoffs, 15 of 16 in the Miami series, and has hit his last 10.
I truly hope Tatums reaction to this game is not that he needs to do more. I would say he played pretty well and didn’t try to beat 3-4 guys by playing hero ball. Unfortunately, the other players didn’t step up (White aside), we had some atrocious play by Smart, and some curious coaching decisions not to play more Rob W. Add that all together with some just amazing shots by Miami and you get a bone crushing loss.
I think they need more from Tatum than one shot from the field taken in the final 20 minutes. If that is not on Tatum it has to be on Ime or others on the team. Clearly, Spoelstra is winning the coaching battle in this series, though I suppose that is to be expected with a promising rookie going against one of the best in the league.
 
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jezza1918

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It's true that they did make amazing shots, some akin to Tatum game 6 in Milwaukee. Miami making those shots is not what I found so frustrating about the Celtics performance yesterday.

You are right about the Horford thing. In Q3, Rob played 10 minutes, scored 10 points, mostly if not entirely as a lob option late in the quarter. With 5:30 in Q3, the Celtics were down 70-58. They outscored Miami 17-12 over the rest of the quarter to cut the lead to 7, and it was all Rob (10 points) and White (7 points). Rob never saw the floor again, though he was up at the scorer's table once and Ime called him back. And the lob option worked phenomenally well in the third, and as the Celtics' offense imploed in the 4th it was never an option. Maybe there were health reasons why Ime did not want to use Rob unless he has to, but that aside - and it seems doubtful at a glance - it was a costly coaching mistake.

To make shots, one must take them. Tatum and Brown took 7 shots combined in the second half, each had only one in the fourth quarter. Tatum had 2 made threes early in the third, then he missed a three at 8:14 of the third. From that point until the end of the game he had only one more shot from the field, despite being on the floor for the entire second half. In the 4th, he turned it over 4 times. That's not "top 5 player" work. Can't be a top 5 player AND be essentially a passnger for most of the second half of a key playoff game (even if the opposing D gets credit for the latter). He has a ways to go in his development - maybe it is too much to ask of player to figure this stuff out in the middle of a playoff run as opoosed to over the following offseason. Butler found ways to score at will.

Brown, who had a great second quarter (11 points and 3 steals), misse his only 3 shots of the second half and missed both FTs with the Celtics tied 99-99, right before the wheels fell off.

Rob Williams, whose career regular season FT% is 67%, has somehow morphed into the Celtics most reliable free throw shooter in the playoffs. He's 18 for 20 from the line in the playoffs, 15 of 16 in the Miami series, and has hit his last 10.
I think they need more from Tatum than one shot from the field taken in the final 20 minutes. If that is not on Tatum it has to be on Ime or others on the team. Clearly, Spoelstra is winning the coaching battle in this series, though I suppose that is to be expected with a promising rookie going against one of the best in the league.
Not to take away from your larger point regarding Tatum and Brown because on whole I agree they were too passive in 2nd half. But besides Miami having something to do with that (as you mentioned), the refs did as well. Two of those Tatum turnovers you mentioned were offensive fouls, one of which took away a made bucket and probable made free throw. There was another play where Tucker was physical with him and stole it - and I didn’t mind the no call there to be honest until the Celts got called for a touch foul on the other end.
Again I’m not excusing it, but just think it’s worth mentioning that the refs played a role in it as well.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Not to take away from your larger point regarding Tatum and Brown because on whole I agree they were too passive in 2nd half. But besides Miami having something to do with that (as you mentioned), the refs did as well. Two of those Tatum turnovers you mentioned were offensive fouls, one of which took away a made bucket and probable made free throw. There was another play where Tucker was physical with him and stole it - and I didn’t mind the no call there to be honest until the Celts got called for a touch foul on the other end.
Again I’m not excusing it, but just think it’s worth mentioning that the refs played a role in it as well.
The officiating was terrible, I agree. That was an outstanding driving layup Tatum hit that the zebras took off the board with a bullshit call.
 

jezza1918

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The officiating was terrible, I agree. That was an outstanding driving layup Tatum hit that the zebras took off the board with a bullshit call.
Yup...I also wonder how a call like that affects someone the rest of the way. My gut tells me if affected Tatum more than we’d want it to, but that’s another growth step I have little doubt he will take (just hope it’s in the next couple weeks and not next year)
 

Eddie Jurak

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Yup...I also wonder how a call like that affects someone the rest of the way. My gut tells me if affected Tatum more than we’d want it to, but that’s another growth step I have little doubt he will take (just hope it’s in the next couple weeks and not next year)
Inability to stay focused despite bad officiating is an Achilles heel of this team, no doubt.
 

BaseballJones

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This is going to seem like a silly post but I can see tomorrow going one of two ways:

(1) Herro is back and hits some huge shots, Butler continues at a high level, Bam has a huge game, Miami comes out strong and just absolutely takes it to the Celtics.

or

(2) Those tough shots Miami was making don’t go in, Tatum has a great game, Smart and Al are strong, and a resilient Celtics team rebounds as they have all year long to break Miami’s hearts in the fourth quarter.

And honestly, I have no idea which of these scenarios is more likely.
 

Eddie Jurak

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This is going to seem like a silly post but I can see tomorrow going one of two ways:

(1) Herro is back and hits some huge shots, Butler continues at a high level, Bam has a huge game, Miami comes out strong and just absolutely takes it to the Celtics.

or

(2) Those tough shots Miami was making don’t go in, Tatum has a great game, Smart and Al are strong, and a resilient Celtics team rebounds as they have all year long to break Miami’s hearts in the fourth quarter.

And honestly, I have no idea which of these scenarios is more likely.
My gut feeling on Herro is that he's done, maybe even if the Heat advance. Coming back too soon after a groin injury is a big risk.

If the Celtics play 48 minutes with their primary focus on doing their jobs, it won't be a Miami blowout.
 

Curtis Pride

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Last night's game showed why the Heat are a formidable opponent. Their winning formula seems to be:

1. Force as many turnovers as they can by disrupting the passing lanes.
2. Shoot lights out from 3.
3. Jimmy Butler driving, scoring, and drawing fouls.

All three were on display last night. If they got only 2 of 3, the Heat would have lost.

They can do this again in Game 7, especially if Herro plays. However, if Horford and Smart play better, the Celtics still win.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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I've never seen a team be able to grab arms and get away with it so much and actually even be able to get the call going the other way like last night. Between the being on the court crap, Lowry's flopping antics, and the amount of mugging this goon squad does they are truly loathsome.

And forget about Scott Foster and Tony Brothers. Zack Zarba is the new sheriff in town. Neutral fans must be hating this series.
 

Marceline

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Some of the rotations were a bit perplexing. Has already been mentioned but really questioning no TL in the 4th.

Just checking in the box scores and I think the most he's played since coming back was 28min in game 1 of this series, and he was at 26 last night. So maybe an unofficial minutes limit for him even though they aren't saying so.
 

NomarsFool

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We don’t know exactly what he was thinking, of course, but it sure looked like Ime reacted to Horford hitting that 3 and didn’t put TL in. Not to make too much of a big deal about it, but I think that is bad coaching. At a minimum, I think there was a case to give Al a quick breather with TL. Rob is very disruptive, on both ends of the floor, and the Celtics need to give Miami some other looks.

The other curious thing was to give Smart so much rope when he was clearly not having a great game - at both ends of the floor, I’d say. Right now, White is playing better than Smart. I just wish White wasn’t so passive/could hit the 3 better. I know he made a few big ones, but there were at least one or two others where he passes up the shot and/or missed a wide open 3.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Some of the rotations were a bit perplexing. Has already been mentioned but really questioning no TL in the 4th.

Just checking in the box scores and I think the most he's played since coming back was 28min in game 1 of this series, and he was at 26 last night. So maybe an unofficial minutes limit for him even though they aren't saying so.
He was up and at the scorer's table with 5 or 6 minutes left. Then came a sequence where the Celtics D forced a shot clock violation, Horford hit a three assited by White, and then White hit a 3 assisted by Horford. Great plays by Horford on both. Slightly earlier in the quarter, Smart drove and dished to Horford in the corner, Horford drove the closeout and hit Smart under the basket for a layup. These were the only signs of offensive life Horford showed all game, but they must have convinced Ime to leave him out there, as Rob went back to the bench. During the rest of the game, Horford managed only a cvouple of rebounds, a couple of missed threes, and a shooting foul. No Rob at all in the 4th feels like a huge Ime error.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The other curious thing was to give Smart so much rope when he was clearly not having a great game - at both ends of the floor, I’d say. Right now, White is playing better than Smart. I just wish White wasn’t so passive/could hit the 3 better. I know he made a few big ones, but there were at least one or two others where he passes up the shot and/or missed a wide open 3.
Part of it has to be Ime not trusting Pritchard defensively with Butler going. Pritchard competes defensively, and can handle himself in 1-on-1 matchups better than one might think. But Butler could hunt him.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Some of the rotations were a bit perplexing. Has already been mentioned but really questioning no TL in the 4th.

Just checking in the box scores and I think the most he's played since coming back was 28min in game 1 of this series, and he was at 26 last night. So maybe an unofficial minutes limit for him even though they aren't saying so.
I mentioned it that I thought at times TL was wincing a bit so it may be health-related.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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I doubt it was health if he was set to check-in. I mean, he's obviously in a pain management situation, but I don't think that's why he didn't go back in.
 

sezwho

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I doubt it was health if he was set to check-in. I mean, he's obviously in a pain management situation, but I don't think that's why he didn't go back in.
I actually was leaning towards health in the moment fwiw, in that Ime may not have wanted to put limping Rob back in the game if Al was showing signs of life. Either way it struck me as odd in the moment. Ime may simply have seen a move from Spo that went under my notice, or could be nothing at all of course.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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I blame the black jerseys. Can we wear the traditional home whites just one time...
They were 3-1 in those jerseys. They wore them for luck.

Might explain why they didn't play very hard at first.

I have no feel for this team anymore. Tatum wants to be great, but he shies from the moment at the worst times. Brown is getting worse as the postseason goes along and I can't help but recall his putrid play against the Cavs in Game 7 a few years ago. He just may not have what it takes to win in this league. It seems, sometimes, that the higher the stakes, the more of a liability he seems to be. Horford probably shouldn't have played if he was grieving and especially should have been benched in the first half when it was clear he didn't have it, for whatever reason. Ime gets stuck in his patterns and refuses to deviate, even when the situation is screaming for it. And shut the fuck up about the non-calls. Winners get calls in this league. Superstars get calls. None of them are winners yet and only one is a borderline superstar, but keeps having games that make it clear he's not one yet. They aren't going to get the calls they want all the time and Ime needs to drill that into their heads over the next 36 hours. "Shut the fuck up and defend" should be the mantra after every offensive possession.

I want to say they win Sunday, but I really thought they would win last night. I don't like a rookie coach going up against Spoelstra in a Game 7 on the road with the best defensive players on the team not at 100% and with one of the two best offensive players having the world's longest nervous breakdown (unless he's hurt) and bricking free throws when he's not giving the other team extra possessions. If Butler and Lowry got a, ah, second wind in the last 48 hours and it doesn't go out of their systems by Sunday, I think this ends in a very ugly fashion and this team is right back where they were a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, and four years ago. Horford is probably on his last legs and this may be his last shot at a ring.

Ime may turn out to be an all-time great coach, but he gives the players on this team too much rope and it needs to stop ASAP. Pop wouldn't stand for this kind of play. Ime needs to channel his inner Pop, even if it means pissing off some of the players.
 

TheRooster

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Part of it has to be Ime not trusting Pritchard defensively with Butler going. Pritchard competes defensively, and can handle himself in 1-on-1 matchups better than one might think. But Butler could hunt him.
I'm sorry, but Butler had 47 points last night -- seems like he was hunting everyone
 

Eddie Jurak

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I'm sorry, but Butler had 47 points last night -- seems like he was hunting everyone
Yes.Yes he was. I don’t think putting Pritchard in is a neutral defensive move though. I think when Pritchard is in, the Celtics focus on trying to control his matchups and it takes away from other things they could do. Although when Butler was struggling, Pritchard was good against him.
 

radsoxfan

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Shot quality info for game 6, feels about right to me. Celtics win that game 83% of the time and the average score is 107-96 Celtics.

Give Miami credit for making them, but it was a pretty fluky win for them.

Just happens sometimes in the NBA, that's why they play best of 7.
 

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Just a bit outside

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The armchair psychology is driving me crazy. JB is not a great foul shooter and has loose handles. We all know this and it is not because he is soft or a loser or a choker. Are we going to relitigate if JD Drew cares enough? Do we want a team of David Ecksteins? They mostly lost because the Heat shot out of their minds. This team has been on a roll since January and shown the resilience to come back all playoffs. They might lose game 7 but I think they will adjust and win. I don’t question their desire at all, win or lose.
 

Imbricus

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I kind of wonder if Draymond Green pulled a sly one on us. Remember, he said, "We're going to be playing the Celtics" in the finals. The Heat players are saying that motivated them.

So what if Golden State would rather play Miami? What's the best way to help that outcome along? Maybe piss off Miami by saying you're going to face Boston? Then the Heat use your comments to get pumped for game 6, maybe pull out a win, and even if they don't go on to win game 7, you've prolonged the Miami-Boston slugfest at least.
 

chilidawg

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Shot quality info for game 6, feels about right to me. Celtics win that game 83% of the time and the average score is 107-96 Celtics.

Give Miami credit for making them, but it was a pretty fluky win for them.

Just happens sometimes in the NBA, that's why they play best of 7.
That seems about how I felt about the game. Miami made tough shots at key moments, tip your had, go get em tomorrow.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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If the Heat needed a player on a team that's already punched their ticket to give them motivation to win a potential elimination game, then I feel much better about Game 7.
 

NomarsFool

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I think questioning desire is silly. They want to win and they all try very, very hard. The Celtics play a brand of defense that is very high intensity.

I think where I would fault them is occasionally forgetting some of the basics, like boxing out, and making stupid fouls (which seems like a lot of NBA players do). I think they also lapse into some bad habits like walking the ball up the floor and settling for 3 pa without trying to find a better look (acknowledging that 3 pa sometimes are a good opportunity).

I am also still upset with Smart and that epic fail possession that resulted in his missed three. That just seemed dumb, dumb, dumb
 

mcpickl

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Shot quality info for game 6, feels about right to me. Celtics win that game 83% of the time and the average score is 107-96 Celtics.

Give Miami credit for making them, but it was a pretty fluky win for them.

Just happens sometimes in the NBA, that's why they play best of 7.
Mentioned in here too, one of the best free throw games you'll ever see from both sides.

Miami hit 24 of 25
Boston was 26 for 27 until Jaylen bricked both, and finished 28 for 31
 

Strike4

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That seems about how I felt about the game. Miami made tough shots at key moments, tip your had, go get em tomorrow.
Also, you had Horford, Smart and Williams all with pretty subpar games. If they got better games out of some combination there, they probably win a close one. In other games we point to turnovers or poor shooting but in this case we can point to the vessels of the stats. From there it's a cascading effect on the other players, too.
 

tbb345

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Also, you had Horford, Smart and Williams all with pretty subpar games. If they got better games out of some combination there, they probably win a close one. In other games we point to turnovers or poor shooting but in this case we can point to the vessels of the stats. From there it's a cascading effect on the other players, too.
Pretty subpar is generous. For Smart and Horford I think this was their worst game in the entire playoffs. (Grants a different story, he’s not at their level so I look at his contributions as a cherry on top)
 

Marceline

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I kind of wonder if Draymond Green pulled a sly one on us. Remember, he said, "We're going to be playing the Celtics" in the finals. The Heat players are saying that motivated them.

So what if Golden State would rather play Miami? What's the best way to help that outcome along? Maybe piss off Miami by saying you're going to face Boston? Then the Heat use your comments to get pumped for game 6, maybe pull out a win, and even if they don't go on to win game 7, you've prolonged the Miami-Boston slugfest at least.
I heard this too, but does anyone really think the Heat were just gonna roll over until they heard Draymond Green's comments? Draymond Green doesn't respect us, so I guess we'd better show up tonight instead of giving up. It's just one of those narratives that makes zero sense.
 

Imbricus

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I heard this too, but does anyone really think the Heat were just gonna roll over until they heard Draymond Green's comments?
Of course they weren't going to roll over. But everyone in the league knows about fodder for the bulletin board. That's exactly what the Nets gave the Celtics when Bruce Brown said before the series that, with Rob out, they could attack Theis and Horford in the paint. And Kevin Durant told Brown basically to shut up. Nobody wants to give an opponent that little bit of "I'll show you" edge.

Anyway, I just found it something interesting to ponder. Probably nothing to it, but got me wondering.
 

tbb345

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Of course they weren't going to roll over. But everyone in the league knows about fodder for the bulletin board. That's exactly what the Nets gave the Celtics when Bruce Brown said before the series that, with Rob out, they could attack Theis and Horford in the paint. And Kevin Durant told Brown basically to shut up. Nobody wants to give an opponent that little bit of "I'll show you" edge.

Anyway, I just found it something interesting to ponder. Probably nothing to it, but got me wondering.
Well, Jimmy Butler really did us all of a solid by guaranteeing a win tomorrow
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Shot quality info for game 6, feels about right to me. Celtics win that game 83% of the time and the average score is 107-96 Celtics.

Give Miami credit for making them, but it was a pretty fluky win for them.

Just happens sometimes in the NBA, that's why they play best of 7.
I mean, if you want to analyze these series in a bloodless manner, this is how you do it. They didn't execute well in game six. We know they are not only capable of doing so but that its also rare for this team to have two poor games in a row.

Furthermore, if this series continues trends, the loser of the prior game seems able to adjust pretty effectively. Given what we have seen of Udoka's staff to date, it feels very likely that they will counter Miami's subtle D adjustments and also get some bounce back performances from the likes of Smart, Horford and Grant.

Finally, its not like Miami doesn't have concerns. Their training staff has done some remarkable work but its clear they are hurting all around. Furthermore, they clearly need elite shot making to hang with Boston if the latter is running an efficient offense. Of course they can shoot lights out again but consistent scoring across games is not a characteristic of this Heat squad, especially with Herro out.
 

yecul

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Needs to be enforced in real time. Gsme consequence >>> a paltry fine.
 

Ed Hillel

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If they lean in or go on the court, Smart should flail into one and make a show of it.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I know he had a lot of turnovers, but only 12 shots for Tatum in 45 minutes - the last time he had fewer than that Kyrie's last game in Boston, over 3 years ago. That Smart possession was just brutal.

Celtics open game 7 as small favorites (-2.5), which feels right. A lot went right for Miami tonight, I don't think they can do it again unless Herro comes back. The good news is that Boston has really been exceptional on the road so far (6-2 in the playoffs).
Tatum was forced to play PG nearly the entire night and was swallowed up in the lane nearly every time he beat his man off the dribble. Smart has done a good job all year running the team but he simply isn’t good at initiating an offense against pressure.
Part of it has to be Ime not trusting Pritchard defensively with Butler going. Pritchard competes defensively, and can handle himself in 1-on-1 matchups better than one might think. But Butler could hunt him.
Yeah, when Butler is on I’d have to think Pritchard is close to unplayable aside from buying a handful of 1H minutes when he’s out of the game. All rotations shorten the longer a series go as Miami went small rather than playing Dedmon at all.
 

johnmd20

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Catching up on this thread, it's very good, except for that one guy. Who is just about as negative and nihilistic as you could be about a sports team. And then when people are like, "Bro, you suuuuuuck," he starts crying about being attacked. But the first rule of SoSH club is, "Don't suck." The second rule of SoSH club is, "Don't suck."

The Ghost of Red Auberbach, the parquet floor, the playoff teams of the 80s, Larry Bird, Michael Chiklis, Robert Parrish, cigars, Kevin Garnett, Paul Revere, and Bob Cousey are embarrassed by this cavalcade of reactionary negativity and sensitivity.