Celtics vs. Heat, Round 3 Discussion

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Jimbodandy

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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.
Ok fine, one of these football-spiking posts at the end of an intense series, while probably extraneous, is forgivable.


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
This one has no place here. Please cut the shit going forward.
 

lovegtm

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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.
Wasn't there the call in there too where Oladipo pulled Tatum down on the rebound, the refs missed it, and then Tatum fouled Oladipo?

A lot of stuff went wrong in a short period, but the process was good, and they won.
 

geoduck no quahog

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What about Lowry's timeout call at 8:56 (to avoid a jump ball)?

That left the Heat with a single TO the remainder of the game.

They took it after the Smart's free throws.

Lowry hasn't gottten enough heat for that.
 

Euclis20

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What about Lowry's timeout call at 8:56 (to avoid a jump ball)?

That left the Heat with a single TO the remainder of the game.

They took it after the Smart's free throws.

Lowry hasn't gottten enough heat for that.
Old, injured, fat Lowry was awful for the Heat in this series. 80% (conservatively) of his game was flopping, and while he hit a couple of timely jump shots, he ended up shooting .286/.267/.786 for the series. He just murdered the Heat, and the timeout was the latest part of it. The game (and the Heat) would have been far better off if he missed the entire series.
 

NomarsFool

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I'm a little surprised Smart's play is getting so much love today, because I was worried as heck in the last few minutes that they were going to throw it away and if so - Smart would have been public enemy #1. To me, the last few minutes looked like some of the worst habits the Celtics have had, slow walking, trying to kill the clock, being rushed into a low % Smart triple.

BTW, is it just me, or are players 11-15 on the current Celtics roster some of the most forgettable we've had in recent years? I can't tell you how many times they pan to the bench and I see some player and I'm like "I have absolutely no idea who that is".
 

benhogan

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I'm trying my hardest to embrace the purple Kobe armband. I have a feeling it's not the last time we see it.

Maybe somehow it tweaks Laker Nation, if we make light of it

Celtic's 1-0 while wearing Laker Purple!
 

NomarsFool

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Old, injured, fat Lowry was awful for the Heat in this series. 80% (conservatively) of his game was flopping, and while he hit a couple of timely jump shots, he ended up shooting .286/.267/.786 for the series. He just murdered the Heat, and the timeout was the latest part of it. The game (and the Heat) would have been far better off if he missed the entire series.
Just to dump on Lowry a bit more, it seems like he's got to be the shortest player in the NBA with his body type I can remember in recent memory. At least one that is at least moderately successful.
 

Euclis20

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I'm a little surprised Smart's play is getting so much love today, because I was worried as heck in the last few minutes that they were going to throw it away and if so - Smart would have been public enemy #1. To me, the last few minutes looked like some of the worst habits the Celtics have had, slow walking, trying to kill the clock, being rushed into a low % Smart triple.

BTW, is it just me, or are players 11-15 on the current Celtics roster some of the most forgettable we've had in recent years? I can't tell you how many times they pan to the bench and I see some player and I'm like "I have absolutely no idea who that is".
On the first, everyone hates the kill the clock offense the Celtics use, but the shots Smart was getting were good, he just wasn't hitting them. You're probably right that we'd go through another offseason of wondering if Smart could play point guard after the Celtics blew games 6 and 7 with him leading the team in shot attempts, but thankfully we don't have to have that conversation.

On the second, I agree. In part because they seem like normal sized NBA players, no freakishly tall (Tacko) or short (Edwards, Waters) guys to draw the eye, and in part because the top 10 guys are so locked into their roles. When healthy, the Celtics have a VERY clearly defined starting lineup, top 7 (White and Williams), top 8 (Pritchard), top 9 (Theis) and top 10 (Nesmith). Absent multiple injuries and awful foul trouble, the guys below that have no shot at breaking into the rotation, so we don't have to pay attention.
 

joe dokes

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BTW, is it just me, or are players 11-15 on the current Celtics roster some of the most forgettable we've had in recent years? I can't tell you how many times they pan to the bench and I see some player and I'm like "I have absolutely no idea who that is".
It could be because they never, ever play, which relates directly to the success of the top 8 or so.
 

Euclis20

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Just to dump on Lowry a bit more, it seems like he's got to be the shortest player in the NBA with his body type I can remember in recent memory. At least one that is at least moderately successful.
Raymond Felton? Not quite as good as Lowry, but he started 8 seasons worth of games averaging 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds. Not bad from another short fat point guard.
 

Jimbodandy

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BTW, is it just me, or are players 11-15 on the current Celtics roster some of the most forgettable we've had in recent years? I can't tell you how many times they pan to the bench and I see some player and I'm like "I have absolutely no idea who that is".
Yeah, you're not alone there. The post-deadline activity this year was unusual because we traded out 7 guys (IIRC) and brought back 2. So PBS was left to fill out the roster with street guys. You need practice bodies and garbage time participants. If we're even in the situation in the playoffs where the quality of guys 11-15 matter, we're already beyond fucked. But it does feel weird to see guys celebrating that you don't know anything about.
 

bosockboy

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Yeah, you're not alone there. The post-deadline activity this year was unusual because we traded out 7 guys (IIRC) and brought back 2. So PBS was left to fill out the roster with street guys. You need practice bodies and garbage time participants. If we're even in the situation in the playoffs where the quality of guys 11-15 matter, we're already beyond fucked. But it does feel weird to see guys celebrating that you don't know anything about.
I think the plan was to add a piece or two in the buyout market, and it never really developed. Gary Harris would’ve been a huge upgrade over Pritchard but didn’t want out of Orlando.
 

NomarsFool

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It’s also just a little bit funny to see some of these guys going nuts over winning the ECF. Last year, all those end of the bench players contributed something over the course of the season. This year, really not so much. And I realize that is because the top 10 were better this year, it’s just interesting.
 

Spelunker

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It’s also just a little bit funny to see some of these guys going nuts over winning the ECF. Last year, all those end of the bench players contributed something over the course of the season. This year, really not so much. And I realize that is because the top 10 were better this year, it’s just interesting.
Plus we don't really have a human victory cigar that everyone goes wild over.

After years of the cult popularity of Scal and Tacko adding personality to the end of the bench, it's weird to have them be so vanilla. That role always shortened the deep bench, from an anonymity standpoint.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Love that from Ime.

Spent the weekend blissfully without internet access, but was able to watch the games. Gotta look back through this thread, but did people wonder why we never saw TimeLord again in Game 6? He was at the table, then never came in, then it really seemed like they could have used him in there as it all fell apart.

But then he didn't exactly set the world on fire in game 7.

Two points in the last 3:30 last night was rough on the old ticker, but I don't fault those Smart shots. Usually he hits one of those. Wide open and have to take it.

And I like the Butler 3. The world is better for him taking that. Sometimes you miss.
 

djbayko

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I'm a little surprised Smart's play is getting so much love today, because I was worried as heck in the last few minutes that they were going to throw it away and if so - Smart would have been public enemy #1. To me, the last few minutes looked like some of the worst habits the Celtics have had, slow walking, trying to kill the clock, being rushed into a low % Smart triple.

BTW, is it just me, or are players 11-15 on the current Celtics roster some of the most forgettable we've had in recent years? I can't tell you how many times they pan to the bench and I see some player and I'm like "I have absolutely no idea who that is".
If we had lost the game, I'm sure Smart would be getting killed. My opinion wouldn't have really changed though. I wouldn't even call them "being rushed into a low % Smart triple". They were solid, wide open shots. We've seen Smart make 3 of those in a row in clutch situations before. We (and Smart) were just unlucky last night.
 

nighthob

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Just to dump on Lowry a bit more, it seems like he's got to be the shortest player in the NBA with his body type I can remember in recent memory. At least one that is at least moderately successful.
I've always called him John Bagley v2.0. If Bags could have shot like Lowry, he'd've been an all star. But when you're a candlepin bowling ball in a ten pin world...
 

Coachster

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I've always called him John Bagley v2.0. If Bags could have shot like Lowry, he'd've been an all star. But when you're a candlepin bowling ball in a ten pin world...
If this guy had decided to play basketball instead of baseball, he would have been about the same size as Lowry.

 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Love that from Ime.

Spent the weekend blissfully without internet access, but was able to watch the games. Gotta look back through this thread, but did people wonder why we never saw TimeLord again in Game 6? He was at the table, then never came in, then it really seemed like they could have used him in there as it all fell apart.
Simmons said on his podcast that according to Simmons' Dad, TL was in the locker room at the end of the 4Q of G6. I've not been able to confirm this.
 

benhogan

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Yeah, you're not alone there. The post-deadline activity this year was unusual because we traded out 7 guys (IIRC) and brought back 2. So PBS was left to fill out the roster with street guys. You need practice bodies and garbage time participants. If we're even in the situation in the playoffs where the quality of guys 11-15 matter, we're already beyond fucked. But it does feel weird to see guys celebrating that you don't know anything about.
It's pretty humorous considering how much board ink we splash on 11-15 in August. Guess we'll have Begarin, Hauser, Madar, 2nd rounder to kick around this summer ;)
 

Jimbodandy

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It's pretty humorous considering how much board ink we splash on 11-15 in August. Guess we'll have Begarin, Hauser, Madar, 2nd rounder to kick around this summer ;)
Ha I know. But in August, it's like we're looking for prom dates. In late Feb/early March, it's 2AM last call, and ain't nobody left is a prom queen.
 

joe dokes

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If we had lost the game, I'm sure Smart would be getting killed. My opinion wouldn't have really changed though. I wouldn't even call them "being rushed into a low % Smart triple". They were solid, wide open shots. We've seen Smart make 3 of those in a row in clutch situations before. We (and Smart) were just unlucky last night.
They *won* the game and sometimes it's hard to tell.
 

Van Everyman

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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.
Not to beat this discussion into the ground but has Ime discussed their struggles when they slow the pace? JVG has been saying since at least Game 5 against Milwaukee that he thinks it takes the Celtics out of their rhythm and wouldn’t do it.

I have to imagine Ime has been asked and answered this but I haven’t seen anything that I know of.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Ha I know. But in August, it's like we're looking for prom dates. In late Feb/early March, it's 2AM last call, and ain't nobody left is a prom queen.
This is great! Nik Stauskas is the very definition of a 2am last call date.

Also, 100% agree with those not calling Smart’s open looks “bad shot.” We accomplished everything we sought on those possessions. Burn 22 seconds of our enemy and get a clean look.
 

lovegtm

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This is great! Nik Stauskas is the very definition of a 2am last call date.

Also, 100% agree with those not calling Smart’s open looks “bad shot.” We accomplished everything we sought on those possessions. Burn 22 seconds of our enemy and get a clean look.
In many universes, he makes a couple of those, the Heat miss a couple shots, and we think of it as another game 7 blowout where the opponent ran out of gas at the end, like Milwaukee.

We live in the timeline where things got too interesting, but screw it, we're in the Finals. After the injuries we've been through, I'm fine to have luck be on our side for once.
 

128

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This is great! Nik Stauskas is the very definition of a 2am last call date.

Also, 100% agree with those not calling Smart’s open looks “bad shot.” We accomplished everything we sought on those possessions. Burn 22 seconds of our enemy and get a clean look.
Another play that added to the unnecessary late-game anxiety was Jaylen's offensive foul. If he gets to the line there (and makes one or two free throws), we're not sweating out the final 30 seconds of the game.
 

benhogan

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Also, 100% agree with those not calling Smart’s open looks “bad shot.” We accomplished everything we sought on those possessions. Burn 22 seconds of our enemy and get a clean look.
We like open 3pt looks but the bolded isn't really accurate. Granted Miami hit some amazing shots ie Strus JAM and 3 o_O but the Celtics clock mgmt/approach was not good. This team has been bad late/tight all season, the entire league knows it. Unfortunately, it's this team's Achilles Heel. 2003 Bullpen by committee hives

Here are the nitpicks/facts:
1. 98-89 2:23 left - Smart misses 3 - 8 secs left on the shot clock
Horford rebounded miss - Smart misses 3 with 4 secs left on shot clock - fine clock mgmt
2. 98-89 1:31 left - Grant turnover - 3 secs left on shot clock - dude has to be stronger with the ball in that situation
3. 98-91 1:11 left - Smart misses 3 - 12 secs left on the shot clock
4. 98-93 :53 left - Jaylen drives into traffic, off-balance miss Offensive foul - 15 secs left on the shot clock

Grant/Brown/Smart meh

The good news: Tatum was strong with the ball and made the right play/pass every time down the floor

Here is the video evidence:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZtYWL-56aw
 

lovegtm

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We like open 3pt looks but the bolded isn't really accurate. Granted Miami hit some amazing shots ie Strus JAM and 3 o_O but the Celtics clock mgmt/approach was not good. This team has been bad late/tight all season, the entire league knows it. Unfortunately, it's this team's Achilles Heel. 2003 Bullpen by committee hives

Here are the nitpicks/facts:
1. 98-89 2:23 left - Smart misses 3 - 8 secs left on the shot clock
Horford rebounded miss - Smart misses 3 with 4 secs left on shot clock - fine clock mgmt
2. 98-89 1:31 left - Grant turnover - 3 secs left on shot clock - dude has to be stronger with the ball in that situation
3. 98-91 1:11 left - Smart misses 3 - 12 secs left on the shot clock
4. 98-93 :53 left - Jaylen drives into traffic, off-balance miss Offensive foul - 15 secs left on the shot clock

Grant/Brown/Smart meh

The good news: Tatum was strong with the ball and made the right play/pass every time down the floor

Here is the video evidence:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZtYWL-56aw
All of that seems fine except for the Jaylen drive. Criticizing an open 3 with 8 seconds left at 2:23 is really, really nitpicking. Arguably, that's exactly what you want them to be doing up 9 with that much time: getting quality shots while taking a decent amount of time off.

The 1:11 is a bit more questionable, but even then, shooting the open 3 is probably barely -EV if it's negative at all.
 

NomarsFool

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Also, 100% agree with those not calling Smart’s open looks “bad shot.” We accomplished everything we sought on those possessions. Burn 22 seconds of our enemy and get a clean look.
With 3 and a half minutes to go, the next 6 of the Celtics' 8 possessions ended with Smart taking a shot (the other two were a strip on Grant and Brown's offensive foul). I just don't think that's what the Celtics should be doing in crunch time, and I hope we don't see that again.
 

benhogan

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All of that seems fine except for the Jaylen drive. Criticizing an open 3 with 8 seconds left at 2:23 is really, really nitpicking. Arguably, that's exactly what you want them to be doing up 9 with that much time: getting quality shots while taking a decent amount of time off.

The 1:11 is a bit more questionable, but even then, shooting the open 3 is probably barely -EV if it's negative at all.
My memory was agreeing with HRB but then I went back and looked at the video. Just want to keep it accurate.

Smart made two separate shot clock blunders. He also missed a wide-open Horford underneath the hoop at 2:23 with 8 seconds left on the shot clock.

Marcus had a great game but made a couple of bad decisions at the end. I'm fine with the shots, even his missed layup at the end. The good thing (other than Tatum's end of game decisions) is IME & Co will examine it over the next few days and correct.
 

lovegtm

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My memory was agreeing with HRB but then I went back and looked at the video. Just want to keep it accurate.

Smart made two separate shot clock blunders. He also missed a wide-open Horford underneath the hoop at 2:23 with 8 seconds left on the shot clock.

Marcus had a great game but made a couple of bad decisions at the end. I'm fine with the shots, even his missed layup at the end. The good thing (other than Tatum's end of game decisions) is IME & Co will examine it over the next few days and correct.
I guess my overall point is that the late-game process is far improved from early this season, even if it could be better. If they had hit a bottom 10% scenario and not a bottom 1% scenario, no one would really be discussing it now.

There's always stuff to improve; a lot of the time in the playoffs, you just have to be happy you were the side that survived. Many such championship cases.
 

slamminsammya

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The Jaylen drive had me upset in the moment. He had, what, 11 seconds on the shot clock, and going up on Adebayo at the rim is not an easy proposition. He saw an opening in front of him and probably figured any basket is a knockout punch, but holding the ball in that situation is almost just as good, in my opinion.
 

Strike4

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All of that seems fine except for the Jaylen drive. Criticizing an open 3 with 8 seconds left at 2:23 is really, really nitpicking.
The idea that you can ask basketball players - in a Game 7 against a really tough opponent - to not only move the ball and find a great shot but to perfectly time it so that the whole thing takes 23.9 seconds is not realistic.

Edit - and do it on multiple possessions while playing great defense at the other end.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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We like open 3pt looks but the bolded isn't really accurate. Granted Miami hit some amazing shots ie Strus JAM and 3 o_O but the Celtics clock mgmt/approach was not good. This team has been bad late/tight all season, the entire league knows it. Unfortunately, it's this team's Achilles Heel. 2003 Bullpen by committee hives

Here are the nitpicks/facts:
1. 98-89 2:23 left - Smart misses 3 - 8 secs left on the shot clock
Horford rebounded miss - Smart misses 3 with 4 secs left on shot clock - fine clock mgmt
2. 98-89 1:31 left - Grant turnover - 3 secs left on shot clock - dude has to be stronger with the ball in that situation
3. 98-91 1:11 left - Smart misses 3 - 12 secs left on the shot clock
4. 98-93 :53 left - Jaylen drives into traffic, off-balance miss Offensive foul - 15 secs left on the shot clock

Grant/Brown/Smart meh
Let's go a bit deeper.
  • Smart hits two FTs to put them up 13.
  • Lowry hits a semi-contested step back from the top of the key at 3:24. Tough shot.
  • Smart walks the dog (Mark Jones still doesn't know why he would do this); Smart gets the ball to JT at the 3:00 mark but with 14 seconds left on the shot clock. JT makes an almost immediate move; he's basically double-teamed; throws it back to Smart who drives into the lane and takes a pretty much uncontested 12 footer that was just long at 2:52 and 8 seconds left on the clock. Smart makes these more often than Lowry hits the step-back, but I think this is a good possession.
  • Strus had his follow dunk.
  • JT walks the ball up the court. He makes a not-aggressive move without 15 seconds left on the clock (2:30) and gets doubled. He gets the ball to Grant on the right side way above the 3P line and for some reason, MIA has two defenders there (Strus and Butler). Strus realizes he's out of position but GW sees Smart. Smart takes his wide-open 3P with 8 seconds left on the clock (2:23). There is no one within 10 feet of him. I mean Olapido is still in the key when Smart starts his shot. He has to take that.
  • Horford gets the rebound at 2:20 and gets the ball to GW, who gets the ball to JT (GW heads to the dunker spot). JT dribbles for a moment and then drives the right side. Bam is in front of him; Strus is to his side; Olapido is trailing. (Note that GW is not providing any spacing being in the dunker spot.) JT leaps and gets the ball to Smart with 4.1 on the shot clock (2:09) in exactly the same spot. Lowry is closest defender - maybe four feet closer than Oladipo on the last shot). Clang.
  • Bam gets the rebound and goes coast-to-coast. Horford contests and Bam misses the layup but ball apparently goes out of bounds off Brown (he and Lowry were both reaching.) This is at 1:59. No reply. Ime thought about challenging this but did not.
  • Oladipo tried a floater from 12 feet. Long.
  • Cs have the ball with 1:53 left. JT gets the ball at the top guarded by Oladipo. JT makes his move with 7 seconds left. Bam comes to double. JT leaps. Strus cheats towards JB. JT passes behind him to a cutting GW. This was a freaking great pass. GW could have gone straight up as he was only guarded by Lowry. He also could have thrown a lob or pass to an unguarded Horford for an easy layup. Instead, GW did the one thing he probably shouldn't have done and dribbled. Oh well. But this was a great play by Tatum.
  • Oladipo makes a layup with 1:23 left. 7 point game.
  • JT gets the ball moving across half court with 1:18 left. MIA immediately traps him with Lowry and Oladipo. JT correctly gets the ball out of his hands to GW just inside the 3P line. GW moves the ball to JB on the left baseline. JB drives and moves the ball to Horford, who then moves the ball to a wide-open Smart. Smart starts to shoot with 12 seconds left on the clock (1:12). He is so wide-open that Butler, the closest defender, doesn't even both jumping. He's got to take that shot. I've posted a picture of the floor right after he shot. Because Smart was so wide open, MIA managed to get back to the other Cs and because Butler didn't contest the shot, it's doubtful that the Cs would have gotten anything better. I think this is another very good possession.
  • Lowry takes GW off the dribble and scores with 1:00 left. GW doesn't play good defense and does slap down on the ball. He's kind of lucky he didn't get a foul called on him.
  • JT gets the ball with 20 seconds left on the shot clock; crosses the center line with 18-19 seconds on the shot clock; and has Lowry swiping at the ball and Butler ahead of him. JB gets the ball and doesn't see anyone between him and the hoop. I'm sure JB figures when he gets the ball, he's going to end it - either with a basket or a foul. He didn't and turned the ball over at 51.3.
  • Strus hits his three with 45.8.
  • JT crosses the center line with 17 seconds left on the shot clock; runs the shot clock down to 8 seconds (28.4). Smart gets the ball with 6 on the shot clock. He has Horford open in the corner but Butler is sprinting to get to Al. So Smart drives. There are a couple of problems with this play. (1) JT moves when Smart starts to drive but JB doesn't so they are about three feet away from each other. Poor spacing. (2) GW was in his corner office when JT started his move but when Smart drove, GW walked in. Not sure why he walked in - maybe to rebound? - but because he did, there was one more defender in the paint. So Smart drives, comes to a jump stop with 4.4 on the shot clock; there are four Heat defenders in the paint and Smart thinks a pump fake and then a layup over Bam is the shot to take. But that's better than a live-ball TO.
  • And then Butler.
So my conclusion is that BOS played good - not great - but got good shots that didn't go down, You can argue that Brown shouldn't have taken it to the hole and maybe you are correct but I'm sure Brown thought he was ending the game there. And finally, on the last possession, the Cs spacing wasn't great so that was maybe the worst possession of them all. But this was a far cry from the games in November / December / January where the Cs wouldn't be able to get even decent shots during crunch time.
 

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DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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The idea that you can ask basketball players - in a Game 7 against a really tough opponent - to not only move the ball and find a great shot but to perfectly time it so that the whole thing takes 23.9 seconds is not realistic.

Edit - and do it on multiple possessions while playing great defense at the other end.
I find that those who hold players to standards of always making the right decision and always executing perfectly struggle the most with these games/series.

These games are so fundamentally different than the regular season. Aesthetics and flowing basketball are the exception in these mucked up affairs - they are played along the lines of whatever works, pretty or not (and its more often the latter).

It seems unrealistic to expect players to consistently make great decisions when the opposing team is doing everything in their power to create discomfort all the way up the court. What is amazing is that they are often able to execute at a high level regardless.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
48,291
The L2M Report from Game 7 reveals 2 missed calls, both favoring Miami, both consequential.

L2M Report (nba.com)

Lowry (MIA) pins the ball to his hip as his gather and takes three steps.
Lowry scored to make it 98-93. Should have been Celtics ball, up 7, with 1:01 remaining.

Butler (MIA) is in the paint for longer than three seconds without imminently actively guarding an opponent.
Butler then got the rebound and missed the three-pointer at the other end. Should have been Celtics free throw, then ball out of bounds, with 14 seconds on shot clock.
 
Aug 9, 2015
462
The Jaylen drive had me upset in the moment. He had, what, 11 seconds on the shot clock, and going up on Adebayo at the rim is not an easy proposition. He saw an opening in front of him and probably figured any basket is a knockout punch, but holding the ball in that situation is almost just as good, in my opinion.
I think he thought he’d get at at least a foul call, which maybe he should have. Defenders sticking their faces into normal shooting motions is becoming a problem for the league.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
15,340
Santa Monica
Let's go a bit deeper.
  • Smart hits two FTs to put them up 13.
  • Lowry hits a semi-contested step back from the top of the key at 3:24. Tough shot.
  • Smart walks the dog (Mark Jones still doesn't know why he would do this); Smart gets the ball to JT at the 3:00 mark but with 14 seconds left on the shot clock. JT makes an almost immediate move; he's basically double-teamed; throws it back to Smart who drives into the lane and takes a pretty much uncontested 12 footer that was just long at 2:52 and 8 seconds left on the clock. Smart makes these more often than Lowry hits the step-back, but I think this is a good possession.
  • Strus had his follow dunk.
  • JT walks the ball up the court. He makes a not-aggressive move without 15 seconds left on the clock (2:30) and gets doubled. He gets the ball to Grant on the right side way above the 3P line and for some reason, MIA has two defenders there (Strus and Butler). Strus realizes he's out of position but GW sees Smart. Smart takes his wide-open 3P with 8 seconds left on the clock (2:23). There is no one within 10 feet of him. I mean Olapido is still in the key when Smart starts his shot. He has to take that.
  • Horford gets the rebound at 2:20 and gets the ball to GW, who gets the ball to JT (GW heads to the dunker spot). JT dribbles for a moment and then drives the right side. Bam is in front of him; Strus is to his side; Olapido is trailing. (Note that GW is not providing any spacing being in the dunker spot.) JT leaps and gets the ball to Smart with 4.1 on the shot clock (2:09) in exactly the same spot. Lowry is closest defender - maybe four feet closer than Oladipo on the last shot). Clang.
  • Bam gets the rebound and goes coast-to-coast. Horford contests and Bam misses the layup but ball apparently goes out of bounds off Brown (he and Lowry were both reaching.) This is at 1:59. No reply. Ime thought about challenging this but did not.
  • Oladipo tried a floater from 12 feet. Long.
  • Cs have the ball with 1:53 left. JT gets the ball at the top guarded by Oladipo. JT makes his move with 7 seconds left. Bam comes to double. JT leaps. Strus cheats towards JB. JT passes behind him to a cutting GW. This was a freaking great pass. GW could have gone straight up as he was only guarded by Lowry. He also could have thrown a lob or pass to an unguarded Horford for an easy layup. Instead, GW did the one thing he probably shouldn't have done and dribbled. Oh well. But this was a great play by Tatum.
  • Oladipo makes a layup with 1:23 left. 7 point game.
  • JT gets the ball moving across half court with 1:18 left. MIA immediately traps him with Lowry and Oladipo. JT correctly gets the ball out of his hands to GW just inside the 3P line. GW moves the ball to JB on the left baseline. JB drives and moves the ball to Horford, who then moves the ball to a wide-open Smart. Smart starts to shoot with 12 seconds left on the clock (1:12). He is so wide-open that Butler, the closest defender, doesn't even both jumping. He's got to take that shot. I've posted a picture of the floor right after he shot. Because Smart was so wide open, MIA managed to get back to the other Cs and because Butler didn't contest the shot, it's doubtful that the Cs would have gotten anything better. I think this is another very good possession.
  • Lowry takes GW off the dribble and scores with 1:00 left. GW doesn't play good defense and does slap down on the ball. He's kind of lucky he didn't get a foul called on him.
  • JT gets the ball with 20 seconds left on the shot clock; crosses the center line with 18-19 seconds on the shot clock; and has Lowry swiping at the ball and Butler ahead of him. JB gets the ball and doesn't see anyone between him and the hoop. I'm sure JB figures when he gets the ball, he's going to end it - either with a basket or a foul. He didn't and turned the ball over at 51.3.
  • Strus hits his three with 45.8.
  • JT crosses the center line with 17 seconds left on the shot clock; runs the shot clock down to 8 seconds (28.4). Smart gets the ball with 6 on the shot clock. He has Horford open in the corner but Butler is sprinting to get to Al. So Smart drives. There are a couple of problems with this play. (1) JT moves when Smart starts to drive but JB doesn't so they are about three feet away from each other. Poor spacing. (2) GW was in his corner office when JT started his move but when Smart drove, GW walked in. Not sure why he walked in - maybe to rebound? - but because he did, there was one more defender in the paint. So Smart drives, comes to a jump stop with 4.4 on the shot clock; there are four Heat defenders in the paint and Smart thinks a pump fake and then a layup over Bam is the shot to take. But that's better than a live-ball TO.
  • And then Butler.
So my conclusion is that BOS played good - not great - but got good shots that didn't go down, You can argue that Brown shouldn't have taken it to the hole and maybe you are correct but I'm sure Brown thought he was ending the game there. And finally, on the last possession, the Cs spacing wasn't great so that was maybe the worst possession of them all. But this was a far cry from the games in November / December / January where the Cs wouldn't be able to get even decent shots during crunch time.
Good shots, BUT at that point the clock is more important. Have they improved from earlier this season, YES.
Is there room for improvement... absolutely. Are we expecting perfection??? nope

It's questionable clock mgmt. Taking 3 shots with 8, 12, 15 seconds left on the shot clock when the floor is spread, running ISO while rotating Miami. They could have easily burned more time.

The fact is they never once ran a shot clock down 22 seconds with an open 3, which is what I pushed back on and why I posted the video.
 
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Rheal With Cheese

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 8, 2004
108
The funniest 4th Q moment (aside from the Lowry wasted timeout move)

is at 3 plus minute
Marcus actually made a good decision on walking the dog as it burnt 5 seconds of the GAME clock whilethe shot clock stayed at 24 setting up the Celtics to burn potentially 29 seconds.

the Mark Jones announcing was so off. The game clock was literally running and he’s like “why would you do that if the clock is not running”

The announcer narrative even took on a life of its own, as I think somebody, maybe Ryen Russillo, used this to criticize Marcus post game

it was the one undeniably smart Smart play in the 4th.
 

the moops

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 19, 2016
3,535
Saint Paul, MN
The L2M Report from Game 7 reveals 2 missed calls, both favoring Miami, both consequential.

L2M Report (nba.com)



Lowry scored to make it 98-93. Should have been Celtics ball, up 7, with 1:01 remaining.



Butler then got the rebound and missed the three-pointer at the other end. Should have been Celtics free throw, then ball out of bounds, with 14 seconds on shot clock.
These are really ticky tack calls if made. Never would expect a defensive 3 second or travel on either of those plays
 

the moops

Member
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Jan 19, 2016
3,535
Saint Paul, MN
Good shots, BUT at that point the clock is more important. Have they improved from earlier this season, YES.
Is there room for improvement... absolutely. Are we expecting perfection??? nope

It's questionable clock mgmt. Taking 3 shots with 8, 12, 15 seconds left on the shot clock when the floor is spread, running ISO while rotating Miami. They could have easily burned more time.

The fact is they never once ran a shot clock down 22 seconds with an open 3, which is what I pushed back on and why I posted the video.
I tend to agree with this take, but he have half the posters in here telling us that they slowed it down too much. They can't win
 

Strike4

Member
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Jul 19, 2005
2,762
Portland, Maine
I tend to agree with this take, but he have half the posters in here telling us that they slowed it down too much. They can't win
But it's a fluid situation and if Smart hits any of those three 3s, the clock is instantly rendered meaningless. And I think it could very easily be argued that hitting one three pointer over 2+ minutes is much easier than executing a complicated clock-draining scheme for most of that time.