Celtics vs. Warriors, NBA Finals

Who you got?

  • Celtics in 4

    Votes: 6 1.5%
  • Celtics in 5

    Votes: 18 4.6%
  • Celtics in 6

    Votes: 146 37.2%
  • Celtics in 7

    Votes: 127 32.4%
  • Warriors in 4

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • Warriors in 5

    Votes: 23 5.9%
  • Warriors in 6

    Votes: 56 14.3%
  • Warriors in 7

    Votes: 15 3.8%

  • Total voters
    392
  • Poll closed .

Return of the Dewey

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Presumably the stinger/nerve issue is still bugging him since he has been grabbing his shoulder occasionally all series.

Wouldn't be surprised if something like that is messing with his shooting touch. Not a great injury for a basketball player.
Yeah, I think that he is hurt. Also, it’s easy to forget how young he (and JB) are. The ability to change your game when you are banged up is something that usually comes with more experience (as it tends to start happening more as one ages). He seems to be trying to adjust with more drives instead of jumpers, but it looks like he also needs to adjust how he finishes. I also think the reason why they tend to play better after a loss is that they have 1-3 days to watch film and talk to coaches as to how to adjust. Again, in the coming years, we should expect him to be able to do that on his own and during the game.

I think that we will see a better JT in next game.
 

BaseballJones

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A real problem for Boston is that some of GS's non-elite guys are playing well.

Wiggins had 17 points and 16 rebounds.
Looney had 6 points and 11 rebounds.
Poole had 14 points.

And obviously Steph going nuclear was huge for them. He's more than capable of that again, but I have to hope these other guys don't play quite as well, and that Boston's ancillary guys step it up. (and it would be nice if Tatum went nuclear one time this series)
 

tbb345

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I thought that the Cs were a better but one of the things that JVG said worries me. JT, JB, and Marcus are all much better when they are going to their right than left. After JVG pointed this out, it did look like GSW was making a concerted effort to prevent this. I didn't watch for this in the other series but if GSW has figured out a way to take this away from JB and JT especially, it would explain BOS's putrid shooting from 2P land. I hope so e twitter poster picks up on this and tries to break it down.
I’m very confident that this wasn’t some new knowledge the Warriors picked up at half time. I would guess that that’s been their plan the entire series they just executed better than they had been in the 2nd half last night
 

HomeRunBaker

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Yes... but if they hit a couple more 3s then they are shooting ~45% from 3 and that's not really sustainable or expected. On a whole 3pt accuracy wasn't their problem (40% last night)

It was the normal culprits: 15 turnovers, -13 on the boards, stagnant offense, and containing a smoking hot, magnet in Steph Curry.
The stagnant offense thing is BS imo and an excuse for missed shots. We went through the same in the Miami G6 when we lost the lead when we ran Tatum ISO’s……that creates open shot after open shot. We did same in 4Q of G3 and made the shots so all was well in the world. We saw the issues we had early in rhe game when Smart and White struggled against 1H ball pressure……they simply cannot be trusted to run a set against 4Q pressure which Ime had identified last series. Tatum is being asked to be our PG, our scorer, and our end of shot clock creator. He’s basically playing the prime-Jordan, LeBron, Steph role…….and doing a pretty awesome job considering he isn’t them.
 

tbb345

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A real problem for Boston is that some of GS's non-elite guys are playing well.

Wiggins had 17 points and 16 rebounds.
Looney had 6 points and 11 rebounds.
Poole had 14 points.

And obviously Steph going nuclear was huge for them. He's more than capable of that again, but I have to hope these other guys don't play quite as well, and that Boston's ancillary guys step it up. (and it would be nice if Tatum went nuclear one time this series)
Who do you consider the elite GSW players to be? Based off of the way you phrased this and who you highlighted I am guessing you’re saying that it’s Curry-Klay-Draymond.
Not only is Draymond not elite, I’d argue he’s been their worst rotation player this series

It’s pretty clear that Wiggins is their 2nd best player and that’s been true at least throughout these playoffs.

The only elite player (even close to elite honestly) is Curry.
 

saintnick912

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I was worried in the first half after a run of missed free throws, like an early missed extra point in football you hope it won't make a difference later.

Also, in game 3 they positively undressed Bielica in his few minutes, but they didn't take advantage as well in game 4.

Those two factors were more than enough.
 

tbb345

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I was worried in the first half after a run of missed free throws, like an early missed extra point in football you hope it won't make a difference later.

Also, in game 3 they positively undressed Bielica in his few minutes, but they didn't take advantage as well in game 4.

Those two factors were more than enough.
Good point on Bjelica. Jackson and JVG were really harping on Bjelica guarding Tatum and Tatum’s inability to get downhill with that match up
 

Captaincoop

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I still can't really understand how the Celtics got dominated on the glass by that team last night. That was almost the whole story and I'm not hearing a lot of talk about it.

There's no scenario where they should be outrebounded by double digits in a game by the Warriors.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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I still can't really understand how the Celtics got dominated on the glass by that team last night. That was almost the whole story and I'm not hearing a lot of talk about it.

There's no scenario where they should be outrebounded by double digits in a game by the Warriors.
I think Rob and Al having nothing in the tank, plus GS doing a better job gang rebounding had a lot to do with it. I'm glad it's every other day from here on out. Hopefully we'll have more spry Rob and Al going forward.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Good point on Bjelica. Jackson and JVG were really harping on Bjelica guarding Tatum and Tatum’s inability to get downhill with that match up
Bjelica was really really good defensively last night. Not only in thwarting Tatum’s ability to go downhill but on Jaylen too. The play at midcourt where he strips Jaylen was a big play that iirc resulted in a 3-pointer the other way following Jaylen’s recovery block. It is also another example of Jaylen handle being exposed in these playoffs……”Stripped by Bjelica!” isn’t something you want to have on one’s resume.
 

Beale13

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I tell myself that if we won last night we’d be losing Monday, but by losing last night we‘ll now win Monday, making it a wash. Obviously that only works if we win Monday, but along with this team‘s incredible bounce back resilience, at this point in the run it’s going to make an enormous difference to have the extended rest between the remainder of the games. With the deeper roster the Warriors have plus their cupcake playoff run entering this series, along with the trial by fire we endured to get here, the extra day of rest helps us vastly more than it does them.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Bjelica was really really good defensively last night. Not only in thwarting Tatum’s ability to go downhill but on Jaylen too. The play at midcourt where he strips Jaylen was a big play that iirc resulted in a 3-pointer the other way following Jaylen’s recovery block. It is also another example of Jaylen handle being exposed in these playoffs……”Stripped by Bjelica!” isn’t something you want to have on one’s resume.
JB wasn't stripped; he dribbled off his foot; but your point about JB's ball-handling this year stands.
 

reggiecleveland

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I still can't really understand how the Celtics got dominated on the glass by that team last night. That was almost the whole story and I'm not hearing a lot of talk about it.

There's no scenario where they should be outrebounded by double digits in a game by the Warriors.
It about the D getting broken down and guys out of position. They need to get so many guys up on Curry, and Poole yesterday, they got caught in rotations, in x outs, and guys are loose on the board. JVG madea point about how Tatum and Brown, even when they miss on tough drives the they turn TL loose. Rob, Al are not really good rebounders in traffic. Tatum is probably the best on the team, but he has huge responsibilities on the 3pt line on d.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I’m very confident that this wasn’t some new knowledge the Warriors picked up at half time. I would guess that that’s been their plan the entire series they just executed better than they had been in the 2nd half last night
Not saying it's a new scouting report but my imprrfect memory tells me that GSW was doing a much better job not allowing them to get to their right hands so maybe it was an adjustment or defensive wrinkle.

It could also be game-to-game variance; I honestly don't know but hope someone looks into it.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Bjelica was really really good defensively last night. Not only in thwarting Tatum’s ability to go downhill but on Jaylen too. The play at midcourt where he strips Jaylen was a big play that iirc resulted in a 3-pointer the other way following Jaylen’s recovery block. It is also another example of Jaylen handle being exposed in these playoffs……”Stripped by Bjelica!” isn’t something you want to have on one’s resume.
Bjelica was surprisingly effective against the Cs early on but they started attacking him, getting him on White and Kerr pulled him. My guess is that if the Cs will go at him earlier going forward if Kerr goes back to him.

They really do need to win these match-ups going forward. Its hard to prevail if you aren't realizing your advantages.
 

bigq

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I still can't really understand how the Celtics got dominated on the glass by that team last night. That was almost the whole story and I'm not hearing a lot of talk about it.

There's no scenario where they should be outrebounded by double digits in a game by the Warriors.
The Warriors team rebounds by game in these finals has been 39, 42, 31, 55. The Celtics killed the Warriors on the boards in Game 3. Last night Kerr made a strategic adjustment including emphasis on crashing the boards which he mentioned in his pre-game press conference. He had Looney in the game for an additional 11 minutes relative to Game 3. Wiggins was a beast on the boards collecting 16 boards (his previous career high was 11). Draymond and Steph rebuounded well also. So I think a lot of it was deliberate emphasis at the coaching and player level but it seems like random variance was a factor as well.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Bjelica was surprisingly effective against the Cs early on but they started attacking him, getting him on White and Kerr pulled him. My guess is that if the Cs will go at him earlier going forward if Kerr goes back to him.

They really do need to win these match-ups going forward. Its hard to prevail if you aren't realizing your advantages.
Yes one thing you see more in these playoffs is quick recognition by each coaching staff. The Pritchard minutes are becoming more and more painful as the gameplanning increases with the familiarity.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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Yeah, I think that he is hurt. Also, it’s easy to forget how young he (and JB) are. The ability to change your game when you are banged up is something that usually comes with more experience (as it tends to start happening more as one ages). He seems to be trying to adjust with more drives instead of jumpers, but it looks like he also needs to adjust how he finishes. I also think the reason why they tend to play better after a loss is that they have 1-3 days to watch film and talk to coaches as to how to adjust. Again, in the coming years, we should expect him to be able to do that on his own and during the game.

I think that we will see a better JT in next game.
When Curry was Tatum’s age he was averaging 14.7 PPG and missing the playoffs. Maybe our expectations of Tatum putting forward an MVP performance and outdueling one of the greatest players of this generation in the biggest moments were a bit unfair. How many 24 year olds have that crunch time killer instinct in their game?
 
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Humphrey

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I was worried in the first half after a run of missed free throws, like an early missed extra point in football you hope it won't make a difference later.

Also, in game 3 they positively undressed Bielica in his few minutes, but they didn't take advantage as well in game 4.

Those two factors were more than enough.
And many of the 10 turnovers led directly to successful 3 point shots. One or two less of them and two or three made free throws...
 

NomarsFool

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I think there really is quite a bit of random variance in rebounding - not saying that excuses all of the difference, by no means. But, we've all seen those possessions where the offense is forced into a bad shot and it happens to wildly carom back to the same team.
 

benhogan

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But you can‘t really say “hey, they were due to miss based on how well they shot up until that point.” That’s classic Gambler’s Fallacy illogic. The fact is that the Celtics missed some open threes down the stretch that they usually make in those situations and Curry hit heavily contested shots that almost nobody ever makes at that rate.

I still like our chances in this series because the Celtics are the better team.
My point is if you are expecting them to win games by shooting 50% from 3 you're going to be disappointed. Overall they shot 40% from 3, that's good. Mean regression is a bitch when you're riding a hot hand early.

Limit the TOs OR win the boards OR hope Curry returns to being human all have much better odds of happening ...YMMV

The stagnant offense thing is BS imo and an excuse for missed shots.
Go listen to the post-game pressers and see what IME/Celtic players said. They all blamed little movement, stagnation, and lots of watching on offense... ie ISO ball
 

benhogan

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I think there really is quite a bit of random variance in rebounding - not saying that excuses all of the difference, by no means. But, we've all seen those possessions where the offense is forced into a bad shot and it happens to wildly carom back to the same team.
The word "physicality" has been used a zillion times in these playoffs. It's basically a reference to defense, screen setting and rebounding. Wiggins, Dray and Looney all upped their "physicality" and the Celtics didn't match that. Thats reflected in the box score by the large rebounding difference
 

chilidawg

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When Curry was Tatum’s age he was averaging 14.7 PPG and missing the playoffs. Maybe our expectations of Tatum putting forward an MVP performance and outdueling one of the greatest players of this generation in the biggest moments were a bit unfair. How many 24 year olds have that crunch time killer instinct in their game?
Maybe it's not so much that we expect it, but that it needs to happen if they're going to win. Or I guess Jaylen having one or two of those type games would do it. But you need play at that level to win a championship.
 

lars10

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I think there really is quite a bit of random variance in rebounding - not saying that excuses all of the difference, by no means. But, we've all seen those possessions where the offense is forced into a bad shot and it happens to wildly carom back to the same team.
I think there's especially a lot of variance with rebounding 3 point shots. Rebounds are usually a lot longer and a lot harder to predict. What the C's need to do is find a man and box him out and then get the rebound. A bit easier said than done.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I think there's especially a lot of variance with rebounding 3 point shots. Rebounds are usually a lot longer and a lot harder to predict. What the C's need to do is find a man and box him out and then get the rebound. A bit easier said than done.
It's particularly difficult because of the Cs switching - they are often ending up with guards trying to box out Wiggins/Looney.
 

HomeRunBaker

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My point is if you are expecting them to win games by shooting 50% from 3 you're going to be disappointed. Overall they shot 40% from 3, that's good. Mean regression is a bitch when you're riding a hot hand early.

Limit the TOs OR win the boards OR hope Curry returns to being human all have much better odds of happening ...YMMV


Go listen to the post-game pressers and see what IME/Celtic players said. They all blamed little movement, stagnation, and lots of watching on offense... ie ISO ball
Sure they blamed it bc they have to blame something when it doesn’t work. Funny how they weren’t blaming it the game prior. It’s being results oriented. The reason we are going to that in the 4Q is bc of our options which are few when you don’t have a PG who can initiate a set against defensive playoff pressure. I posted about it here in the 2Q when we could see the adjustment that had to be made.
 

benhogan

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Sure they blamed it bc they have to blame something when it doesn’t work. Funny how they weren’t blaming it the game prior. It’s being results oriented. The reason we are going to that in the 4Q is bc of our options which are few when you don’t have a PG who can initiate a set against defensive playoff pressure. I posted about it here in the 2Q when we could see the adjustment that had to be made.
I haven't had the stomach to go back and re-watch the game so going off memory (which is always a bad idea). The stagnation is when Smart/Tatum go into slow motion bringing the ball up and dribbling 40' away from the hoop for the first 16-18 seconds of the shot clock looking to isolate 1-1 and waving off any screening action. I gave their 4th quarter defense/rebounding credit for winning Game3 not ISO ball.

IME wants them setting screens and moving the ball on offense, that's what I took away from their post-game comments in regards to stagnation.

REWATCHED Q4; After going back and rewatching you're right, they weren't really weren't stagnant at all on offense. They just missed shots (also didn't def rebound and got rinsed by Klay/Steph). I'm also surprised the Ref Patrol didn't come out in force, lost a handful of 50/50 calls but nothing too egregious.
 
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schillzilla

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I haven't had the stomach to go back and re-watch the game so going off memory (which is always a bad idea). The stagnation is when Smart/Tatum go into slow motion bringing the ball up and dribbling 40' away from the hoop for the first 16-18 seconds of the shot clock looking to isolate 1-1 and waving off any screening action. I gave their 4th quarter defense/rebounding credit for winning Game3 not ISO ball.

IME wants them setting screens and moving the ball on offense, that's what I took away from their post-game comments in regards to stagnation.

REWATCHED Q4; After going back and rewatching you're right, they weren't really weren't stagnant at all on offense. They just missed shots (also didn't def rebound and got rinsed by Klay/Steph)
ha! I rewatched it as well this morning. I felt more than anything they were a touch impatient. A one pass ATB 3 to Jaylen that had a decent contest. A quick spin kickout from JT in the paint (thought he could have attacked instead) that resulted in a ATB 3 from Marcus. An offensive rebound that resulted in another quick 3 from Marcus. A contested straight on 3 from JT, and a similar one from Horford. Many of those threes there was still time on the shot clock to work the D. Only the Marcus 3s were really wide open (for a reason), others were decently contested. Warriors defended pretty well honestly, and some shots were just missed, but I felt like the Cs made it a little easier for GS with their quick trigger.
 

128

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ha! I rewatched it as well this morning. I felt more than anything they were a touch impatient. A one pass ATB 3 to Jaylen that had a decent contest. A quick spin kickout from JT in the paint (thought he could have attacked instead) that resulted in a ATB 3 from Marcus. An offensive rebound that resulted in another quick 3 from Marcus. A contested straight on 3 from JT, and a similar one from Horford. Many of those threes there was still time on the shot clock to work the D. Only the Marcus 3s were really wide open (for a reason), others were decently contested. Warriors defended pretty well honestly, and some shots were just missed, but I felt like the Cs made it a little easier for GS with their quick trigger.
Forgive my ignorance, but what is an ATB 3?
 

Joe D Reid

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Forgive my ignorance, but what is an ATB 3?
"Above the break" meaning taken from behind the arced part of the 3-point line instead of the cutoff/straight portion in the corners.
 

benhogan

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ha! I rewatched it as well this morning. I felt more than anything they were a touch impatient. A one pass ATB 3 to Jaylen that had a decent contest. A quick spin kickout from JT in the paint (thought he could have attacked instead) that resulted in a ATB 3 from Marcus. An offensive rebound that resulted in another quick 3 from Marcus. A contested straight on 3 from JT, and a similar one from Horford. Many of those threes there was still time on the shot clock to work the D. Only the Marcus 3s were really wide open (for a reason), others were decently contested. Warriors defended pretty well honestly, and some shots were just missed, but I felt like the Cs made it a little easier for GS with their quick trigger.
With the Celtics' size advantage they can't get killed on the boards as they did. 55-42 is crushing.
 

Cellar-Door

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I get the "just missed shots" argument.... BUT... they missed shots that GS was surrendering.. like longish 2s, and 3s from Smart and White.

You can get open shots and still not be running ideal offense, we gave the Heat and Bucks shots that way too.

The problem to me is that going to the rim hard with Brown was working great, and we surrendered it. It was ISO, 1 drive max then kick, instead of the drive, kick, re-drive actions, or mis-match posting, all of which lead to great offense in this series. It was tired legs offense, and tired legs offense leads to tired legs jumpers, often from your worst shooters, and those aren't good shots.
 

benhogan

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I get the "just missed shots" argument.... BUT... they missed shots that GS was surrendering.. like longish 2s, and 3s from Smart and White.

You can get open shots and still not be running ideal offense, we gave the Heat and Bucks shots that way too.

The problem to me is that going to the rim hard with Brown was working great, and we surrendered it. It was ISO, 1 drive max then kick, instead of the drive, kick, re-drive actions, or mis-match posting, all of which lead to great offense in this series. It was tired legs offense, and tired legs offense leads to tired legs jumpers, often from your worst shooters, and those aren't good shots.
Yea that was exactly Timpf's assessment (above)

Timpf goes into some interesting stats around transition off/def for both teams
and
Pull-up vs catch/shoot shots for Boston

SSS and all but those issues are very correctable IMO
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Cs were 3-4 against Poole in G4. As Simmons/Wos/Mahoney noted on their post game pod, the Celtics should and likely will attack him aggressively in G5 but there are reasons they go away from it.

Also, if Kerr works Bjelica into his rotation on Monday, you would expect Udoka to try to get him in matchups versus faster players like White. His D isn't terrible but you can see why Tatum and Brown think they can take him. It hasn't worked though so they will likely try another counter.

Finally, when Curry is going like Friday, each possession is critical for the other team. Based on their post game comments, they are well aware of this and will try to clean up their terrible execution down the stretch. Its hard to see him shooting ~ 54% from the field three games in a row. But given that its Steph, its entirely possible.
 
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Eddie Jurak

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Karalis has an article arguing that Tatum's problem has been that he has reverted to an old bad habit of trying to avoid contact on drives. The way this looks is that instead of driving to the hoop, he drives past it and tries to use his reach to lay it in. However, this leaves his susceptble to being bumped (messing up his shot) in ways that don't register to the refs as fouls.

https://www.bostonsportsjournal.com/2022/06/11/video-breakdown-jayson-tatum-needs-to-get-back-to-basics-when-attacking-the-rim

When Tatum is at his best, he’s an elite finisher at the rim. In March, he shot 76.5% in the restricted area. In April, that jumped to 81%.

It’s 56.5% in the playoffs.
Poor finishing at the rim is an old problem for Tatum. He struggled early in his career, but has improved marketly since. But we are seeing the early career Tatum again.

At his worst, Tatum drives past the rim and tries to score from the side of the basket. In these instances, he glides and tries to avoid the contact.

The issue here is that he doesn’t avoid the contact at all, but because it comes from behind as Gary Payton II gets him with the body, it does nothing to change his momentum in any way.

Tatum is going to his right, gliding through the air, and the extra bump from Payton’s body doesn’t appear to impact Tatum in any way. Officials, especially in the Finals, are looking for contact that changes a player’s trajectory; that somehow clearly disadvantages the player and prevents him from finishing the play.

That doesn’t outwardly appear to be the case.
Tatum has talked about having to play off two feet more often in the past, and that has to be a focus again over these last two or three games.

Playing off two feet gives a player power and control when going up. For example, against Wiggins, Tatum has an opportunity when driving left to get into the lane in a more straight line and off two feet.
This all requires a different level of aggression from Tatum. He needs to play with a little more ferocity attacking the rim. The gliding is fine from time to time, but he has to be more forceful on his attacks, create some space by initiating some of the contact, and then finishing through defenders after doing so.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Karalis has an article arguing that Tatum's problem has been that he has reverted to an old bad habit of trying to avoid contact on drives. The way this looks is that instead of driving to the hoop, he drives past it and tries to use his reach to lay it in. However, this leaves his susceptble to being bumped (messing up his shot) in ways that don't register to the refs as fouls.

https://www.bostonsportsjournal.com/2022/06/11/video-breakdown-jayson-tatum-needs-to-get-back-to-basics-when-attacking-the-rim

Poor finishing at the rim is an old problem for Tatum. He struggled early in his career, but has improved marketly since. But we are seeing the early career Tatum again.
Could be his shoulder. I was surprised that when he went back door at the end of G4, he didn't just dunk the ball.
 

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Eddie Jurak

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Could be his shoulder. I was surprised that when he went back door at the end of G4, he didn't just dunk the ball.
Cautiously good news on TL here: https://hedgeout.net/2022/06/12/celtics-hc-ime-udoka-optimistic-robert-williams-will-be-available-for-gm5/

Forsberg reporting that "Robert Williams isn’t sure if he tweaked his knee jumping or landing late in Game 4 but says he’s feeling better now. He’s relieved to have more of his usual explosion the past couple games and feels more himself."

View: https://twitter.com/ChrisForsberg_/status/1536087670186684416?cxt=HHwWgMCt1Z7mo9EqAAAA
Injury is definitely the biggest concern, with both Tatum and Rob. (And maybe Smart, too).

But... Karalis is not the only person who thinks Tatum should play off 2 feet more:
View: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1536088540777422848?s=20&t=Xh19tx5S_G5WwUow9zZ_Gg

Keith Smith: Jayson Tatum says he's looking to play more off two feet and less driving looking for fouls. Tatum added, as Ime Udoka said, that looking for fouls isn't working. Said he needs to "attack angles more instead of initiating contact and things like that."
 

HomeRunBaker

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Karalis has an article arguing that Tatum's problem has been that he has reverted to an old bad habit of trying to avoid contact on drives. The way this looks is that instead of driving to the hoop, he drives past it and tries to use his reach to lay it in. However, this leaves his susceptble to being bumped (messing up his shot) in ways that don't register to the refs as fouls.

https://www.bostonsportsjournal.com/2022/06/11/video-breakdown-jayson-tatum-needs-to-get-back-to-basics-when-attacking-the-rim

Poor finishing at the rim is an old problem for Tatum. He struggled early in his career, but has improved marketly since. But we are seeing the early career Tatum again.
I’ve been pointing out Tatum’s avoidance of contact as a reason why he doesn’t get the so-called “superstar calls.” Karalis is correct. I don’t see anything different in Tatum only that this isn’t the regular season and there are more defensive challenges in these last couple series than you’ll ever see in the regular season. I still don’t understand all the slack Tatum has been getting as I feel he’s playing as well as he ever has while being forced to play out of position as the defacto PG.
 

BigSoxFan

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I’ve been pointing out Tatum’s avoidance of contact as a reason why he doesn’t get the so-called “superstar calls.” Karalis is correct. I don’t see anything different in Tatum only that this isn’t the regular season and there are more defensive challenges in these last couple series than you’ll ever see in the regular season. I still don’t understand all the slack Tatum has been getting as I feel he’s playing as well as he ever has while being forced to play out of position as the defacto PG.
He’s shooting 34% in an NBA Finals series while averaging 22 PPG. The passing has been very nice but you’re simply not beating Curry and his 50% shooting 34 PPG if Tatum is shooting/scoring like that. He needs to do more.

So, he’s going to rightfully catch some slack if it continues and they lose. Doesn’t mean that there aren’t other reasons but if you’re “the guy” and you shoot like shit in a series, you’re going to catch some heat. Of course, he’s also probably playing injured so there is some discounting needed.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Again, there have been multiple media and fan anecdotes about Tatum using resistance bands during TOs on his shoulder this series. I know we have members here who insist that Tatum was faking his injury but if you take the production along with the reports, either he is pulling a long con or he is legit dealing with a shoulder situation that affects his shooting.

I am not here to convince anyone else but is it really that far fetched that he is dealing with something physical versus him being "soft", a "choker" or "not an alpha"?
 

BigSoxFan

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Again, there have been multiple media and fan anecdotes about Tatum using resistance bands during TOs on his shoulder this series. I know we have members here who insist that Tatum was faking his injury but if you take the production along with the reports, either he is pulling a long con or he is legit dealing with a shoulder situation that affects his shooting.

I am not here to convince anyone else but is it really that far fetched that he is dealing with something physical versus him being "soft", a "choker" or "not an alpha"?
I’m not interested in attaching any of these labels to Tatum but his scoring production hasn’t been good, for whatever reason. We have no idea how injured he is but it’s quite possible that he’s dealing with a significant injury and is being Brady-esque about it. Or, maybe it’s relatively minor in nature and he is just struggling.

I will say that he’s shooting 45% from 3pt line this series so it’s hard for me to believe he has a major injury. He’s missing a ton of 2 point shots. Hard to know if the shoulder is leading him to miss some of those that he’d normally make (i.e., by trying to avoid contact too much).

Who knows. End of the day, the root cause doesn’t really matter. If Tatum doesn’t shoot well, the Celtics are likely doomed here.

But I’ll also say that sometimes you just get beat. Curry has been absolutely ridiculous and if the Dubs win, it’d be more about Curry going off vs. Tatum struggling. If Curry has 1 B- type game in the first 4, Celtics would likely be sitting here up 3-1. Here’s to hoping that Curry has a dud or two in him.
 

Eddie Jurak

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He’s shooting 34% in an NBA Finals series while averaging 22 PPG. The passing has been very nice but you’re simply not beating Curry and his 50% shooting 34 PPG if Tatum is shooting/scoring like that. He needs to do more.

So, he’s going to rightfully catch some slack if it continues and they lose. Doesn’t mean that there aren’t other reasons but if you’re “the guy” and you shoot like shit in a series, you’re going to catch some heat. Of course, he’s also probably playing injured so there is some discounting needed.
I think he's the Celtic finals MVP by default right now. Warts and all, he is simply doing more to carry the team than anyone else.
Again, there have been multiple media and fan anecdotes about Tatum using resistance bands during TOs on his shoulder this series. I know we have members here who insist that Tatum was faking his injury but if you take the production along with the reports, either he is pulling a long con or he is legit dealing with a shoulder situation that affects his shooting.

I am not here to convince anyone else but is it really that far fetched that he is dealing with something physical versus him being "soft", a "choker" or "not an alpha"?
Maybe. In an 'arc of career' sense, Tatum is playing with house money. As had been noted, many of the greatest players the NBA has ever seen weren't taking their teams to title wins at 24. If he's not an alpha, he's probably just not one yet. But think the Celtics do need more from him over these next 3 if they are to win.
 

BigSoxFan

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I think he's the Celtic finals MVP by default right now. Warts and all, he is simply doing more to carry the team than anyone else.
Sure. But it doesn’t really matter. You shoot 34% in the NBA Finals as a star player, you’re catching some flak, fair or unfair. He’s probably playing with an injury so some of that is unfair. But he’s missed quite a few 2’s so I bet some of the criticism is fair.

Here’s to hoping he finishes really strongly and nobody remembers these shooting issues.
 

tims4wins

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Sure. But it doesn’t really matter. You shoot 34% in the NBA Finals as a star player, you’re catching some flak, fair or unfair. He’s probably playing with an injury so some of that is unfair. But he’s missed quite a few 2’s so I bet some of the criticism is fair.

Here’s to hoping he finishes really strongly and nobody remembers these shooting issues.
Painful example, but Kobe shot 40.5% in the 2010 Finals and was of course the MVP