Game 3: Celtics vs. Raptors: The World According to Smart

Jed Zeppelin

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Definitely not second guesssing it, but I wonder if the Cs, or any teams, ever practice that if you get a last second play like theis had to float it instead of dunk it in to use a little more time.
A layup wins it there but higher risk of rushing and missing. No way of knowing the clock.

But that’s why the play there is usually a pull-up or something else guaranteed to be the last shot by someone who can see the clock running.
 

scottyno

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A layup wins it there but higher risk of rushing and missing. No way of knowing the clock.

But that’s why the play there is usually a pull-up or something else guaranteed to be the last shot by someone who can see the clock running.
Well yeah, because other teams don't usually give up an uncontested shot at the rim in the final seconds and your shot creator creates a mediocre look, not because they prefer that to the uncontested shot at the rim.
 

BaseballJones

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They got a frigging DUNK with 0.5 seconds left. You really cannot do much better than that from an offense point of view.
 

k-factory

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I’m betting they blow out the raptors next game. This team is really really good. When they cut down on their dumb mistakes you can just see the raw talent and fire.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Still fucking annoyed about entire endgame. The Kemba look from three was good and would have sealed it, but they were having a ton of success getting to the rim and making smart passes while Toronto overhelped. The two Tatum possessions late were brutal.
 

bankshot1

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I've now watched that play about a 10-15 times and I don't see who to blame on D.

Brown had to stay with Siakim and then Gasol after the switch or Gasol walks in alone.

Tatum could not chase OG as that would have opened the near corner for an open 3 for FVV

shit happens.
 

RedOctober3829

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They were in zone. Theis was there. JB in zone cant' have both feet in the middle of the paint with Gasol between him and a 3pt shooter. You can't ignore half the court, and thats what happened
The picture below is where Theis starts. The picture above is where Theis ends up after following FVV just as the ball is about to get thrown in. Brown has to play the whole left side of the floor by himself. You’d want him to take the higher percentage play. Theis has to stay home and let Tatum pick up FVV. That way JB can sag a bit to take away that pass or at least make it harder for Lowry.

54676DA4-8DCB-41A5-B22C-0A2CCFBC7DB3.jpegD2909CC4-8B7B-4BCC-AB32-54FB3B330BB8.jpeg
 

Light-Tower-Power

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I've now watched that play about a 10-15 times and I don't see who to blame on D.

Brown had to stay with Siakim and then Gasol after the switch or Gasol walks in alone.

Tatum could not chase OG as that would have opened the near corner for an open 3 for FVV

shit happens.
Yeah I’m kind of in the acceptance stage now. It took a perfect pass and Lowry got it to him in the chest. Tip your cap....I guess.
 

djbayko

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That’s not what happened at all though. He started the play on Siakim. When Siakim went to the top of the key, Brown stayed at the foul line because they were in zone. Tatum left OG to double FVV with Theis which ended up being a decoy by Nurse because he curled out of the play. OG is now in the corner by himself. So now you have 2 players guarding no one. The ball gets thrown in and it starts to go long. Theis notices this and comes back to Gasol while Brown rushes to the corner to close out on OG.

If Tatum had just stuck with OG, he would not have been so wide open. Brown had to stay with Gasol because no one was there. Brad played the percentages on Toronto not being able to do what they did.
Okay, so the reason for Brown being in the paint is different. But the fact remains that someone (apparently Brown) owns that zone of the court and you cannot leave it completely open.
 

luqin

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re: Tacko. IMO in that situation you want 5 guys on the court who not only know what they're doing, but have a pretty good idea of what each other are going to do too. Instead they had 4 of those guys, and 1 rookie who is ultra raw. They had a major breakdown defending that play, and Lowry threw a dime over Tacko anyway, so like I said I don't think bringing him in did them any favors.
 

BigSoxFan

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re: Tacko. IMO in that situation you want 5 guys on the court who not only know what they're doing, but have a pretty good idea of what each other are going to do too. Instead they had 4 of those guys, and 1 rookie who is ultra raw. They had a major breakdown defending that play, and Lowry threw a dime over Tacko anyway, so like I said I don't think bringing him in did them any favors.
It made the pass more difficult so it was worth it. If you replace him with TL, nothing changes. The other 4 guys needed to execute and they didn’t. Just sucks to have mental breakdown at the absolutely worst time. That happens at end of 2nd quarter, you shake your head and move on.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Zone just looks worse every time you look at it. If Theis is getting lost covering nobody and Jaylen is stuck essentially covering two men and half the floor including the only player on the Raptors in position for a quick standing catch and shoot, it’s not a good scheme. There are two shots you can’t allow—open alley-oop for easy tie or wide open three for the win. Defended too hard against shots you can live with, like a runner on the move or a Gasol jumper, or hell, the near-side three which becomes an extremely tough shot for a RH shot at that passing angle with .5 left. Such a fuckup, perfect execution by a Toronto or not.

They were probably not going to sweep from the beginning but losing one like this obviously feels like it has an outsized impact. Clearly it has such an impact on my mental health right now.
 

scottyno

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re: Tacko. IMO in that situation you want 5 guys on the court who not only know what they're doing, but have a pretty good idea of what each other are going to do too. Instead they had 4 of those guys, and 1 rookie who is ultra raw. They had a major breakdown defending that play, and Lowry threw a dime over Tacko anyway, so like I said I don't think bringing him in did them any favors.
Tacko had 1 job and he did it, there was nothing he could have done to help any of the other 4 guys so it didn't matter if he knew what they were going to do
 

mikeford

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Why not Timelord instead of Theis

Get the guy who's actually long and athletic in the fucking game.

I'm still so pissed about losing this game.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Why not Timelord instead of Theis

Get the guy who's actually long and athletic in the fucking game.

I'm still so pissed about losing this game.
Timelord still gets lost too often on defense, I'll take the less athletic but more seasoned team defender there.
 

RedOctober3829

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re: Tacko. IMO in that situation you want 5 guys on the court who not only know what they're doing, but have a pretty good idea of what each other are going to do too. Instead they had 4 of those guys, and 1 rookie who is ultra raw. They had a major breakdown defending that play, and Lowry threw a dime over Tacko anyway, so like I said I don't think bringing him in did them any favors.
Tacko and Lowry cancel each other out so it’s 4 on 4. Putting a big on the ball happens all the time. Boban came in earlier in the playoffs for that reason.
 

scottyno

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Cs have also had Tacko do that before at least once in a real game, it might have been summer league, not sure. And there's no way they haven't practiced that before.
 

BigSoxFan

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Just got home after watching the game. Feeling super down about the whole thing. Until I saw this:

View: https://twitter.com/BDCCeltics/status/1301696806343110658


Edit: it was actually this tweet:

View: https://twitter.com/BrianTRobb/status/1301695669875417092?s=19


I have full confidence in this team. It took a perfect play to stave off a 3-0 hole, and there are a ton of areas where they can regress to the mean.
Yup. End of the day, this loss doesn’t really matter. If they can’t manage a split of next 4 games against a team they’ve demonstrated to be better than, they don’t deserve to move on. Really sucks to blow such a big opportunity but that’s sports.

This is a great test. We’ll know a lot about this team in Game 4.
 

radsoxfan

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Kemba made a great play but not getting the last shot is also pretty unforgivable in that situation. Under no circumstances should the other team get a shot in that situation ever.
I'm going to have to see some data that it's better to take a contested fall away at the buzzer than to be up 2 points with 0.5 seconds left in the game.

I feel the general idea that in a tie game, you want to take the last shot whenever possible. But sometimes you can't choose when a play opens up, and a dunk with less than a second left feels like an awfully good result.

Gotta be a 90+% winner at that point, no? I'd rather that outcome than a very low percentage shot when a miss equals overtime.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I'm going to have to see some data that it's better to take a contested fall away at the buzzer than to be up 2 points with 0.5 seconds left in the game.

I feel the general idea that in a tie game, you want to take the last shot whenever possible. But sometimes you can't choose when a play opens up, and a dunk with less than a second left feels like an awfully good result.

Gotta be a 90+% winner at that point, no? I'd rather that outcome than a very low percentage shot when a miss equals overtime.
I actually used the exact 90+% figure in a later post. At a certain point I am basically just thinking in terms of the psychology of it all which is not really going to adhere to the exceedingly high win probability of that situation.

Edit: Someone above mentioned the dumbest rule in sports. So true, have always hated it. In no other sport can you advance the ball for free. Senseless.
 

BigSoxFan

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I actually used the exact 90+% figure in a later post. At a certain point I am basically just thinking in terms of the psychology of it all which is not really going to adhere to the exceedingly high win probability of that situation.

Edit: Someone above mentioned the dumbest rule in sports. So true, have always hated it. In no other sport can you advance the ball for free. Senseless.
NBA wants exactly what happened - exciting game winners. I do hate the rule. If you give up a game losing shot with 0.5 seconds in your end, you don’t deserve to get to half court for free where the odds dramatically improve.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Zone just looks worse every time you look at it. If Theis is getting lost covering nobody and Jaylen is stuck essentially covering two men and half the floor including the only player on the Raptors in position for a quick standing catch and shoot, it’s not a good scheme. There are two shots you can’t allow—open alley-oop for easy tie or wide open three for the win. Defended too hard against shots you can live with, like a runner on the move or a Gasol jumper, or hell, the near-side three which becomes an extremely tough shot for a RH shot at that passing angle with .5 left. Such a fuckup, perfect execution by a Toronto or not.

They were probably not going to sweep from the beginning but losing one like this obviously feels like it has an outsized impact. Clearly it has such an impact on my mental health right now.
Man is typically way worse than zone for OOB plays (particularly beneath the basket but that wasn't the case here) - which is why the Cs always play the diamond.

With M2M, there are way too many different ways to rub, screen, pick, or otherwise confuse defenders to get an open shot. Brad knows a lot of them.

The only reason Brad goes man here is if he thinks it's completely the element of surprise, but that's too clever by half IMO.
 

StuckOnYouk

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Scal pointed out on the postgame that Tacko should have been waiving his hands in front of Lowry rather than keeping them wide like field goal posts.
He and perk both talked about how KG was great at defending the inbound and never would let someone get a clean look.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Kliq

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I can handle the loss, because at the end of the day I still feel really good about the Celtics' chances of winning this series, they are clearly the better team. As a fan that has watched this team closely all season, two things bother me about the loss:

1. Kemba had an amazing game and made a brilliant play that should have been the game winner. Not panicking, patiently beating the double team, and then unselfishly throwing a sick pass to get a dunk for a teammate that 99% of the time leads to victory. Sucks that won't be the defining play of the game.

2. Tacko has brought me an immeasurable amount of joy in what has been a pretty crappy year. I've been an advocate since day one for having your 12th man for this exact situation, and I was legitimately just as excited to see him subbed in as I was for Theis' dunk the play before. It sucks that he didn't end up being a factor in the play, even though he did his job and Lowry just made a crazy good pass.
 

benhogan

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Zone just looks worse every time you look at it. If Theis is getting lost covering nobody and Jaylen is stuck essentially covering two men and half the floor including the only player on the Raptors in position for a quick standing catch and shoot, it’s not a good scheme. There are two shots you can’t allow—open alley-oop for easy tie or wide open three for the win. Defended too hard against shots you can live with, like a runner on the move or a Gasol jumper, or hell, the near-side three which becomes an extremely tough shot for a RH shot at that passing angle with .5 left. Such a fuckup, perfect execution by a Toronto or not.

They were probably not going to sweep from the beginning but losing one like this obviously feels like it has an outsized impact. Clearly it has such an impact on my mental health right now.
It was a fantastic play by Toronto. Really good look for OG, step in 3pt shot. Zone looks bad in hindsight, but its the right call.

JB should not be fronting Gasol in the middle of the lane, 25 feet away from OG. That's not how zone works. You play an area, JB's responsibility was that side of the floor, not denying Gasol (Theis could have done a better job also, he drifted w/ FVV).

Smart clearly was yelling/pointing to JB to be aware of OG before the ball was even inbounded. Tatum pointed at OG for JB to pick him up as OG was moving over there. Once the ball leaves Lowry's hands JB's reaction was to turn all the way around and try to get around Gasol. Theis foot was touching the lane and Smart was at the 3pt line, 10 ft away from Gasol, he wasn't a huge threat. Lowry wouldn't have been able to get the ball into MG's hands with Smart 10ft away.

Brown has struggled in the zone before and probably why Smart/Tatum made him aware of the backside.

JB pretty much admitted his error postgame.

Character builder. This team will buckle down and win this series in 5

Below, go to 1:54 to 1:59 , before ball is even thrown in. See Smart telling Brown, twice, to get out of the middle of the lane. After it goes in look at Smarts reaction

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0aLmBCXoqA
 
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Kliq

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It's also an amazing contrast the Houston/OKC disaster last night with both teams tonight pulling off flawless plays in the final 30 seconds.
 

tbb345

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The picture below is where Theis starts. The picture above is where Theis ends up after following FVV just as the ball is about to get thrown in. Brown has to play the whole left side of the floor by himself. You’d want him to take the higher percentage play. Theis has to stay home and let Tatum pick up FVV. That way JB can sag a bit to take away that pass or at least make it harder for Lowry.

View attachment 33942View attachment 33943
This is my read as well. Theis slid up and followed FVV for too long, that made Brown have to stay with Gasol for too long and allowed OG time to get the shot off.
 

BigSoxFan

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My dislike of the Nurse/Lowry combo has officially reached unhealthy levels. And I woke up a little annoyed this morning.

Welcome back, sports.
 

joe dokes

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No but neither did Gronk. In the bubble there is so much more room on the sidelines and baselines. Dudes are inbounding from 3-5 feet behind the line. Negates a lot of the reach Tacko gives you there.
Tacko's job was to be tall. Something he's very good at and did quite well on that play. Gronk's job was to play DB, something he isn't and didn't. Lowry threw a perfect pass to the only spot that Tacko's reach allowed. The other guys are on the varsity, too. There may be a dozen reasons why the defense failed. Tacko being in the game was number 82 on the list of 12.

I grew up hearing Marv Albert's call "....and Holtzman inserts Phil Jackson for the windmill effect on the inbounds...."
 
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benhogan

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This is my read as well. Theis slid up and followed FVV for too long, that made Brown have to stay with Gasol for too long and allowed OG time to get the shot off.
Thats right, but Brown should not be fronting Gasol there, in the middle of the lane.

In man defense, you deny the ball to your man. In zone you play an area and tag the man

Theis was 10ft away from Gasol.
Brown was 25ft away from OG

The ball would have not got to Gasol if Brown played Gasol's backside. Fronting him was the mistake. Gasol immediately sealed him, as Dejesus says above.

Go back to the film second by second. By the time the ball was in the air Theis was already back to the other side of the lane, past the rim. Gasol was not a threat if Brown had been in proper zone defense
 
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Jed Zeppelin

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Thats right, but Brown should not be fronting Gasol there, in the middle of the lane.

In man defense, you deny the ball to your man. In zone you play an area and tag the man

Theis was 10ft away from Gasol.
Brown was 25ft away from OG

The ball would have not got to Gasol if Brown played Gasol's backside. Fronting him was the mistake. Gasol immediately sealed him, as Dejesus says above.

Go back to the film second by second. By the time the ball was in the air Theis was already back to the other side of the lane, past the rim. Gasol was not a threat if Brown had been in proper zone defense
Half a second is so quick I doubt even a wide open old man Gasol could have gotten a real shot off in time having to catch a pass from the right and turn toward the hoop. Forcing him to speed up a release from the FT is arguably the last shot on the entire floor they should have been specifically guarding against. Ugh, just win the next one and make this travesty a distant memory.
 

benhogan

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Half a second is so quick I doubt even a wide open old man Gasol could have gotten a real shot off in time having to catch a pass from the right and turn toward the hoop. Forcing him to speed up a release from the FT is arguably the last shot on the entire floor they should have been specifically guarding against. Ugh, just win the next one and make this travesty a distant memory.
Gasol isn't a threat if Brown tags him from behind.

Just keep himself between Gasol and the side he was supposed to cover in zone

Oh well, I think a young JB learns from this and gets better. It's part of the growth process.

Celtics in 5 instead of 4
 

Captaincoop

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So in the interest of being fair and trying to set aside my biases, I watched this about five or six times. Brown got too deep into Gasol but Marc clearly grabs him. Maybe my eyes are fooling me but I see Jaylen closing out much faster unfettered.

Edit: maybe I am Zaprudering this but that is some superior grift by Gasol.

View: https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/1301690870006272000?s=19
I don't see any holding at all. Brown lost track of where he was supposed to be and was late getting there.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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My dislike of the Nurse/Lowry combo has officially reached unhealthy levels. And I woke up a little annoyed this morning.

Welcome back, sports.
I also woke up kinda annoyed then I read this and realized how welcome a feeling that actually is. Welcome back sports, indeed.
 

boxosII

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this game make waiting for the next game even harder. let's go

Welcome back Celtics
 

osori

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If we somehow end up losing this series this game will forever give me nightmares.