Celtics vs. Heat, Round 3 Discussion

Who you got?


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Van Everyman

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The Smart looks at the end we’re good, but at some point do you decide you have to do something else rather than have Tatum and Brown watch the team lose as Smart Brock’s threes. Maybe yes - it worked for them here.
Which is why he drove on the last one. And that didn’t go in either. Sometimes you just have to credit the other team for their defense, which was smothering Tatum and Jaylen on those possessions.
 

Euclis20

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Jimmy Butler got a vote for MVP, which is a bit nuts. He had 3 amazing games, 1 good game, and 3 absolute stinkers. For the series, he outscored Tatum by a whopping 4 points for the series (and just 10 more than Brown). He brought the Heat as far as he was able, but pretending he's Jerry West is too much.
 

JCizzle

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Jimmy Butler got a vote for MVP, which is a bit nuts. He had 3 amazing games, 1 good game, and 3 absolute stinkers. For the series, he outscored Tatum by a whopping 4 points for the series (and just 10 more than Brown). He brought the Heat as far as he was able, but pretending he's Jerry West is too much.
Yes. Somehow the media forgot that he scored 8, 6, and 13 over three consecutive games (then was magically healthy enough to play 48 min/game). Spare me the MVP vote. That was not an all-time performance in a losing effort. He was very good in games 6 & 7, but maybe he should've played better before that.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Jimmy Butler got a vote for MVP, which is a bit nuts. He had 3 amazing games, 1 good game, and 3 absolute stinkers. For the series, he outscored Tatum by a whopping 4 points for the series (and just 10 more than Brown). He brought the Heat as far as he was able, but pretending he's Jerry West is too much.
I don’t mind that vote. Without Butler this series ends in 4.
 

riboflav

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The Celtics are now 12-1 following a loss since mid January yet we are subjected on this forum to glass jaw theories by a poster who cannot articulate any Xs and Os and just assumes his supposed favorite team doesn’t play hard.
 

Van Everyman

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The Celtics are now 12-1 following a loss since mid January yet we are subjected on this forum to glass jaw theories by a poster who cannot articulate any Xs and Os and just assumes his supposed favorite team doesn’t play hard.
We should give @Eddie Jurak a mulligan for the glass jaw thing and move on. His game summaries are great and perfectly capture the momentum swings that make up the deciding moments of most Celtics games. X’s and O’s or not, his contributions to this forum are really valuable.

Plus, our favorite basketball team is going to the Finals now and we should all be running around naked in celebration.
 

Beale13

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6-0 after a loss.
3-0 in elimination games, two of them road wins.
7-2 on the road.

Golden State might have home court, but it ain‘t no advantage.

This team is such a strange mix of being so amazing when things are down and so ineffectual when things are up, within a series and within the games themselves.
 

Royal Reader

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We should give @Eddie Jurak a mulligan for the glass jaw thing and move on. His game summaries are great and perfectly capture the momentum swings that make up the deciding moments of most Celtics games. X’s and O’s or not, his contributions to this forum are really valuable.

Plus, our favorite basketball team is going to the Finals now and we should all be running around naked in celebration.
Honestly, the glass jaw thing became a punchline (and it was inapt at the time, given their record after a loss) but it felt, reading the actual posts, like he was describing a real thing with a bad choice of words. Like, their ability to lose focus and stack horrible turnovers on top of each other for 5-8 minutes at a time. I've been trying to think of the right sports analogy. Maybe a pitcher who just loses the strike zone for a batter or two? An otherwise excellent tennis player prone to double faulting on break points? Peyton Manning against the Chargers?
 

Jimbodandy

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I mean they almost coughed up the furball again tonight, so I'm note sure where the extraneous "glass jaw, my ass" enthusiasm is coming from.

But hey, they didn't. They hit tough shot after tough shot and got enough stops. This was another mentally tough team that wasn't going away lightly. Good character win.

LFG
 

scottyno

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Yes. Somehow the media forgot that he scored 8, 6, and 13 over three consecutive games (then was magically healthy enough to play 48 min/game). Spare me the MVP vote. That was not an all-time performance in a losing effort. He was very good in games 6 & 7, but maybe he should've played better before that.
The media didn't, just one clown who wanted to get his name out on sports talk tomorrow. Butler was really good, Tatum was just as good, and Tatum won.
 

m0ckduck

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Jimmy Butler got a vote for MVP, which is a bit nuts. He had 3 amazing games, 1 good game, and 3 absolute stinkers. For the series, he outscored Tatum by a whopping 4 points for the series (and just 10 more than Brown). He brought the Heat as far as he was able, but pretending he's Jerry West is too much.
What's the adage about scriptwriting, where if you have a dynamite opening and also stick the ending, viewers will forgive a lot of mediocre material in the middle?

I agree that he didn't really deserve the vote. But I generally wish there was more consideration of losing-team players in these series MVP awards when they put up deserving efforts, so I'll take this as a sign of progress.
 

riboflav

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We should give @Eddie Jurak a mulligan for the glass jaw thing and move on. His game summaries are great and perfectly capture the momentum swings that make up the deciding moments of most Celtics games. X’s and O’s or not, his contributions to this forum are really valuable.

Plus, our favorite basketball team is going to the Finals now and we should all be running around naked in celebration.
I think this would be fair if said poster acknowledged his shortcomings in posting here. It’s become a joke in large part because he has stuck to this narrative to this day. This team is nothing but the very definition of resilient and yet he posts summaries that boil down to the very opposite without much analysis of why the games go the way they do. He concludes the Celtics are soft, the glass jaw. Not a good look for a team playing in the Finals. Again, he could be like wow my bad but he won’t. And so when the Celtics are down 2-1 in the finals we’ll get the glass jaw analysis again
 

NomarsFool

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Super exciting. I wholeheartedly disagree with some of the commentators about Tatum not doing enough. He has really, really grown as a playmaker. Some of his passes last night were phenomenal and led to extremely easy buckets. There were also a few bunnies the Celtics missed, can’t recall if those were on passes from Tatum or not. IMHO, I felt like he was consistently making the right decision to pass when he was blitzed and doubled. Basketball is a team game, it’s not about taking turns playing one on one.

On the flip side, what is going on with the Williams brothers? Rob was so dominant early in the series and just seemed to disappear. The knee is an obvious excuse, but it doesn’t all seem physical. After playing some awesome defense against the Bucks and early in this series, Grant has become a foul machine. Mostly it seems from just being consistently late on the help and ending up in the restricted area with his hands up and not really contesting the shot. I don’t know what is different with the way the Celtics are running their offense but he doesn’t seem to be in the corner much lately.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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On the flip side, what is going on with the Williams brothers? Rob was so dominant early in the series and just seemed to disappear. The knee is an obvious excuse, but it doesn’t all seem physical. After playing some awesome defense against the Bucks and early in this series, Grant has become a foul machine. Mostly it seems from just being consistently late on the help and ending up in the restricted area with his hands up and not really contesting the shot. I don’t know what is different with the way the Celtics are running their offense but he doesn’t seem to be in the corner much lately.
TL has swelling in the knee and was limited in movement (both vertical and side-by-side). He looked about 50% of him last night.

GW was okay. Butler is a super hard matchup for him but he did better than, say, Derrick White. Oladipo tried to take GW a few times in the fourth but couldn't get past him. MIA didn't give him any open looks; he had some nice inside buckets but also blew a couple more. Will be interesting to see him against GSW. I'm sure he's going to be tested early and often against Curry/Poole/Klay etc.
 

Eddie Jurak

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All year long the emphasis has been on making the extra pass and running good offense. They stuck with it there which I think is actually encouraging .
Up 9 with 2 min left, if Smart turns down wide open threes he should be cut and sued for fraud to reclaim his contract.
Which is why he drove on the last one. And that didn’t go in either. Sometimes you just have to credit the other team for their defense, which was smothering Tatum and Jaylen on those possessions.
So here is the possible counterargument against what the Celtics were doing during that run. It's not a knock on Smart for his shooting decisions, which were correct based on what the team was doing. The Celtics were focused, not on getting a basket, but on runnig the clock. SO they pass it around a bit and Smart kept being the guy who got it, open, and had to take it. Is there a point in an 11-0 run against that cuts the lead to 2 with seconds left where... you abandon the clock strategy and try to run something for Tatum or Brown? What the Celtics did worked, if barely, so it isn't obvious to me whether what they did was the best approach or not. It was good enough.
The Celtics are now 12-1 following a loss since mid January yet we are subjected on this forum to glass jaw theories by a poster who cannot articulate any Xs and Os and just assumes his supposed favorite team doesn’t play hard.
I think this would be fair if said poster acknowledged his shortcomings in posting here. It’s become a joke in large part because he has stuck to this narrative to this day. This team is nothing but the very definition of resilient and yet he posts summaries that boil down to the very opposite without much analysis of why the games go the way they do. He concludes the Celtics are soft, the glass jaw. Not a good look for a team playing in the Finals. Again, he could be like wow my bad but he won’t. And so when the Celtics are down 2-1 in the finals we’ll get the glass jaw analysis again
When questioned on things I write, I respond, to defend my argument or not, depending on the specifics. For some that isn't enough, they would rather criticize me personally and misrepresent thongs I wrote as part of that. So be it, I guess. We're in the finals either way.

- and so be it.
 

Strike4

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My (hopefully) final post for this thread is to toss my handful of dirt on the grave of the Miami Heat, and more specifically the their style of "play". It's one thing to deploy a defensive strategy like zone defense or a press or whatever - what the Heat were doing was exploiting the way fouls are called to gain an advantage in a non-basketball way. Yes, Spolestra is a great coach and it takes disciplined players to pull it off, but the amount of clutching, grabbing, swiping, etc., that became normalized in this series for the Heat was outrageous and created a terrible basketball product. And people are like "it's great defense". No, it's not. If you think the Heat have somehow mastered the technique of stripping the ball and other teams don't know how to do this, you're wrong. Reach ins are called all the time in the regular season - I can't remember any getting called this series. And if the refs are going to call it this way, fine, but you can't turn around and call the Celtics for that shit Lowry et al pull.

You hardly see it on replays but there were two that stand out from last night: a Bam loose ball foul on Smart where he openly grabs him as he did all game, but it was called because Marcus went flying; and a Tatum drive where he was manhandled by Vincent for an and-one layup and the announcers are calling it ticky-tacky.

Anyways, looking forward to The Finals and some awesome, free-flowing basketball.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Is there a point in an 11-0 run against that cuts the lead to 2 with seconds left where... you abandon the clock strategy and try to run something for Tatum or Brown?
They were running things for JT. It was just when JT started his move, MIA was sending a 2nd guy in his direction. It wasn't a trap; it was just an extra defender in his ision. JT correctly got the ball out of his hands, which lead to WIDE-open shots for Marcus.

My only question is if starting the offense with more time on the court makes sense as BOS tries to pass the ball around to find the best shot. But that goes against what I think every coach is taight so that's probably not happening.

Someone should do a study on the most efficient way to play in the 4Q with a lead.
 

Steve Dillard

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The Celtics were focused, not on getting a basket, but on runnig the clock. SO they pass it around a bit and Smart kept being the guy who got it, open, and had to take it. Is there a point in an 11-0 run against that cuts the lead to 2 with seconds left where... you abandon the clock strategy and try to run something
Whether intentional or not, at the end of the first half they had a one second differential, but rather than running down to the end, ran a play with 10 seconds left and got a bucket, then played D for 7 seconds stopping Lowrey and did "win" the trade.
 

NomarsFool

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The flopping is just ridiculous, from an entertainment value, sportsmanship, in every facet except for trying to win. Every time they were touched, the Heat dove to the ground. I remember one play where I think Horford accidentally grabbed Bam and Bam went to the ground like he was tackled. Bam is a big guy. It would take very intentional exertion to throw him to the ground.

I also really don’t like basketball moves where there is really no intent to try and put the ball in the basket. That is the objective of the game and yes, if you get fouled while trying to do that you should get free throws. But the game is not called “get fouled ball” because no one would enjoy watching that.

Smart is a perpetrator of this as well, but Lowry, Tucker, Butler - seems like their whole game plan.
 

Eddie Jurak

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As to the flopping, the Celtics were told by an official in the Milwaukee series, "If you don't go down I'm not calling it." That was the Giannis rules, but, still.
 

Eddie Jurak

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On the night he received the Larry Bird trophy, Tatum posted a line that looked almost exactly like Bird's career line. Tatum had 26 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists on the night. Regular season Bird was 24.3/10.0/6.3; playoff Bird was 23.8/10.3/6.5. I'm not making any player comparisons, except to say that, for better or worse, Tatum is our Bird now.

Tatum had only 2 turnovers last night and neither was the kind of live ball turnover that has bedeviled the Celtics in this series. One was dead-ball (offensive foul), the other was Tatum getting tied up by Strus and then losing the jump ball (or winning it and getting it stolen - not sure how those plays get scored). He needed to cut down on those for the team to win, and he did. Tatum hit a key 4th quarter jumper that was much like one he hit in Milwaukee game 6: Celtics were inbounding with under 3 seconds on the shot clock and they got it to Tatum who hit a contsested jumper from the right baseline.

Tatum and Smart led the Celtics in 4th quarter scoring (7 and 6 points respectively), and missing the open-late clock threes aside, Smart did some good offensive work in this quarter. Great play to draw a foul (and nearly hit the layup) to push the lead up to 13, and he hit the free throws to ice it. Also, in the third, Smart kind of figured out that Milwaukee was so focused on Tatum/Brown that there were openings for him to get into the paint. He led the Celtics with 9 points in the quarter, including a pair of threes.

Brown took only one shot in the fourth. I think it is fair to ding the Celtics a bit for not finding a way to involve him. Brown did have 3 turnovers in the 4th, but none were live ball. Two offensive fouls and a travel on a soft pass that crossed him up.

Grant had one basket in the 4th and it was a weird one: With the shot clock running down, Horford took a contested three from the corner that just barely (but absolutely) grazed the rim as the 24 second buzzer sounded, Grant hauled in the miss and put it back. The officials reviewed whether the ball touched the rim (it most definitely did) and awared the basket to the Celtics, putting them up 80-70. Had it missed the rim, it would have been a 24 second violation.
 

tbb345

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I spend way too much time here to not know what all this gas jaw talk is about.
Eddie Jurak has said the Celtics have glass jaws in a lot of his game summaries. Including recently in the playoffs when it was clear they didn’t
 

tbb345

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The flopping is just ridiculous, from an entertainment value, sportsmanship, in every facet except for trying to win. Every time they were touched, the Heat dove to the ground. I remember one play where I think Horford accidentally grabbed Bam and Bam went to the ground like he was tackled. Bam is a big guy. It would take very intentional exertion to throw him to the ground.

I also really don’t like basketball moves where there is really no intent to try and put the ball in the basket. That is the objective of the game and yes, if you get fouled while trying to do that you should get free throws. But the game is not called “get fouled ball” because no one would enjoy watching that.

Smart is a perpetrator of this as well, but Lowry, Tucker, Butler - seems like their whole game plan.
This is going to be kind of hard to articulate but the only player who I think is an actual problem with this is Lowry.

To me, players like Butler and Smart are actually skilled at flopping and have made if somewhat of an art form (it pisses me off like crazy during the game for Butler but I have to give credit). It’s like how a poster described the screens Al sets. They’re moving but at least it looks like they arent.

Lowry’s an entirely different story. It was honestly pretty disgusting to watch him flop around out there and pretend he got hit in the face for the 10,000th time this series. He seems like he’s actually a dirty player, on the same level as someone like Pat Bev.
 

Mr Jums

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This is going to be kind of hard to articulate but the only player who I think is an actual problem with this is Lowry.

To me, players like Butler and Smart are actually skilled at flopping and have made if somewhat of an art form (it pisses me off like crazy during the game for Butler but I have to give credit). It’s like how a poster described the screens Al sets. They’re moving but at least it looks like they arent.

Lowry’s an entirely different story. It was honestly pretty disgusting to watch him flop around out there and pretend he got hit in the face for the 10,000th time this series. He seems like he’s actually a dirty player, on the same level as someone like Pat Bev.
This articulates the frustration I have with someone like Lowry. There was a game sometime during the playoffs (I think it was against Miami but unsure) where Marcus took an offensive foul and the announcer pointed out exactly how he had done it. Whoever had the ball (Bam, I think) bumped him, Smart held his ground, then the guy bumped into him again assuming he would get the same resistance and Marcus fell down and drew the foul. I don't know why that tactical aspect of it or the embellishing contact vs completing fabricating contact AND acting as if you were hit in the face matters to me but they do.

Edit: I think JZ said it better than I did
 

Jed Zeppelin

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This is going to be kind of hard to articulate but the only player who I think is an actual problem with this is Lowry.

To me, players like Butler and Smart are actually skilled at flopping and have made if somewhat of an art form (it pisses me off like crazy during the game for Butler but I have to give credit). It’s like how a poster described the screens Al sets. They’re moving but at least it looks like they arent.

Lowry’s an entirely different story. It was honestly pretty disgusting to watch him flop around out there and pretend he got hit in the face for the 10,000th time this series. He seems like he’s actually a dirty player, on the same level as someone like Pat Bev.
It is a subtle difference sometimes but manipulating your defender to draw contact and drawing a whistle off of that is worlds different that manipulating your body in wholly unnatural ways to simulate contact to draw that same whistle.

The former, manipulating defenders, is a huge and legitimate part of the game because there are things you can do to avoid being put off-balance, whether it’s better help D, moving your own feet faster, playing more straight up, etc. The latter just leaves you at the whim of whether or not the ref was duped and should have no place in the game.

Every player should start the season with a pool of sniper headshot reactions. Each time you do it, you lose one from the pool unless the opponent is called for a flagrant foul for contact to the head. When the pool runs out you start facing Ts and suspensions. Let’s get creative NBA.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Lowry's actual basketball skills have fallen off a cliff so all he has left is gaming the system. In the end, it's loserball because you end up on your chunky ass and have to burn a crucial timeout. $66 mil. over the next two years is a chunky, chunky meatball.
 

djbayko

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So here is the possible counterargument against what the Celtics were doing during that run. It's not a knock on Smart for his shooting decisions, which were correct based on what the team was doing. The Celtics were focused, not on getting a basket, but on runnig the clock. SO they pass it around a bit and Smart kept being the guy who got it, open, and had to take it. Is there a point in an 11-0 run against that cuts the lead to 2 with seconds left where... you abandon the clock strategy and try to run something for Tatum or Brown? What the Celtics did worked, if barely, so it isn't obvious to me whether what they did was the best approach or not. It was good enough.When questioned on things I write, I respond, to defend my argument or not, depending on the specifics. For some that isn't enough, they would rather criticize me personally and misrepresent thongs I wrote as part of that. So be it, I guess. We're in the finals either way.

- and so be it.
My problem with the Celtics' milk the clock strategy has never been that they employ it, but rather the extreme to which they do. When they get into trouble, it's because they run the clock down to like 5 seconds before they make a move. When you do that, you're forced to take shitty shots most of the time. Absolutely, use the clock, but not at the expense of getting good looks. Give yourself an opportunity to make a pass or two in case your first attempt gets stopped. I'd much rather score and leave 5+ seconds of game clock on the table than use all of the 24 and end up with the opponents in transition going the other way.

There was one game during the Bucks series where I thought they did a much better job of leaving themselves with a ample time to get something going and they got much better looks as a result (and it worked - the Celtics scored with more consistency, and the Bucks did not stage a near comeback).
 

Ed Hillel

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Watching the end again…on that last Celtics possession, Tatum has the ball and Strus one on one, dribbles nowhere off to his right, and kicks it back to Smart at the top of the key with 6 left on the shot clock. I love Tatum the facilitator, but Jayson you gotta be the man in that situation. He put Smart in a bad spot and everyone’s yelling at Smart.
 
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mostman

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Does anyone have videos of the trophy hand outs? I was watching about 20 minutes behind and my recording didn’t get them.
 

Strike4

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I'd much rather score and leave 5+ seconds of game clock on the table than use all of the 24 and end up with the opponents in transition going the other way.
Of course, because if you're scoring then you don't have to worry about the clock.

But I think every team gets in end of game situations where they are so desperately hanging on that they have to deploy the "prevent offense". It's never a great solution but sometimes it's all they can do.
 

BaseballJones

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Watching the end again…on that last Celtics possession, Tatum has the ball and Strus one on one, dribbles nowhere off to his right, and kicks it back to Smart at the top of the key with 6 left on the shot clock. I love Tatum the facilitator, but Jayson you gotta be the man in that situation. He put Smart in a bad spot and everyone’s yelling at Smart.
If a player like Jayson Tatum ever gets a crunch time iso against a defender like Strus, he should absolutely be salivating.
 

djbayko

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Of course, because if you're scoring then you don't have to worry about the clock.

But I think every team gets in end of game situations where they are so desperately hanging on that they have to deploy the "prevent offense". It's never a great solution but sometimes it's all they can do.
Yes, of course. I don't expect them to score every possession, but I want them to better optimize their chances of scoring. I guess what I'm saying is that I wish they would find a better balance. Waiting until 5 secs on the clock seems like a surefire way to let the other team get back into it because you're usually getting shitty looks with the opponent really pressing on D. And a lot of those possessions turn into transition buckets.
 
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TripleOT

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Having Tatum kill clock 35+ feet from the basket, waiting until there are six seconds left in the shot clock, then facing a double team when he makes his move obviously relies on shaky shotmakers like Smart. Why not have the PG hold the ball, then run action with Tatum so he gets it on the move?

Also, if they are going to kill clock with Tatum in a 1-4 set, start an attack with more time left in a possession to draw the double team. If it comes, move the ball so the guy catching the ball can play four on three, and have the option to set up a teammate as well as shoot the open jumper
 

Eddie Jurak

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In a way, this was very much a "trust the system right down to the wire" type of game.

Once they went up 13, they tried to run the clock, move the ball, take open shots. Maybe they should have tried to work for better shots, but they decided that instead of hero ball, they were going to kill clock and shoot open looks. Also, protect the ball.

On the defensive side of the ball, the imperative was to bottle up Jimmy (35 points) and Bam (25 points) and control the glass. If they were going to lose, it was going to be Lowry, Strus, Oladipo beating them.

How did that work out?

Offense: Smart shot 0-5, including 3 threes, but basically open shots. He did hit his FTs at the end. Horford had one offensive rebound. Grant had a lost ball turnover that led to a layup, Brown had a dead ball tunrover (offensive foul).

Defense: Lowry shot 2-2 for 4 points and had a steal, Oladipo shot 1-3 for 2, Strus shot 2-4 for 5 points and had an offensive rebound, the team was credited with 2 offensive rebounds, Bam missed his only shot, and Butler missed his only shot (the would-be go ahead three).

The Celtics did turn it over a couple of times and allow Miami to crash the offensive boards, but they for the most part stuck to system on both ends. Just one live ball turnover and it wa sthe Miami role players, not Butler and Bam, who led their comeback.

Trust the system.
 

Strike4

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Offense: Smart shot 0-5, including 3 threes, but basically open shots. He did hit his FTs at the end. Horford had one offensive rebound. Grant had a lost ball turnover that led to a layup, Brown had a dead ball tunrover (offensive foul).
I just watched the last two minutes again and now that I'm not pooping in my pants, in hindsight I would take this layout anytime. Smart was just off on those three 3's that were excellent looks - normally he makes probably 2 of those and at least 1, either of which makes an enormous difference. They were also moving the ball really well and there was no sign of panic. On defense, Strus hit an acrobatic 3 that was pretty low percentage. So if you were playing the odds, you would basically project a 3 point cushion (at least) and that really changes the complexion of the Butler three attempt etc.
 

128

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I just watched the last two minutes again and now that I'm not pooping in my pants, in hindsight I would take this layout anytime. Smart was just off on those three 3's that were excellent looks - normally he makes probably 2 of those and at least 1, either of which makes an enormous difference. They were also moving the ball really well and there was no sign of panic. On defense, Strus hit an acrobatic 3 that was pretty low percentage. So if you were playing the odds, you would basically project a 3 point cushion (at least) and that really changes the complexion of the Butler three attempt etc.
Agreed. If Smart makes one of those 3-point attempts, which he typically would, the game is probably over. The Brown offensive foul was costly, too. If he gets to the line there and hits least one of two free throws, the game is probably all but over.

Survive and advance.