Joe Mazzulla, come on down.

RorschachsMask

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That’s what happens to star players in OT games when you have a soft scheduling stretch. LeBron played 44. We won…..and have the next 3 days off.
Players playing the entire 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and OT isn’t some that happens often in the regular season, star players or not. And that’s the second time he’s done it in a five game span.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Players playing the entire 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and OT isn’t some that happens often in the regular season, star players or not. And that’s the second time he’s done it in a five game span.
Neither is having the next 3 days off and he had a 5-day stretch last week with only one game in it (the game he played 48 min which wasn’t a coincidence). The rotation was extremely short tonight for that very reason as well. The OT skews the number as well since he’s obviously going to be on the floor. Big to-do about nothing imo….he’s 24 years old.

It seems so weird to complain about this after a game that we needed every possession to get to OT and then to win in OT. Sometimes I think people would prefer he played 36 min today and we lose so he’s fresh this week to play with Duece all day.
 

Euclis20

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Neither is having the next 3 days off and he had a 5-day stretch last week with only one game in it (the game he played 48 min which wasn’t a coincidence). The rotation was extremely short tonight for that very reason as well. The OT skews the number as well since he’s obviously going to be on the floor. Big to-do about nothing imo….he’s 24 years old.
I'm not so worried about overuse or injury, just that he flat out wasn't effective in the last 15 minutes of the game (more turnovers than baskets in the 4th quarter and OT, despite the Lakers shrimpy lineup providing mismatches everywhere). If Jaylen hadn't caught fire late it would have been a lot more noticeable (when was the last time Tatum took just one shot in OT?). Maybe a few extra minutes of rest in the 2nd half changes things for him, but he doesn't seem to do that well when he spends that much time on the court without a break (almost no one does, other than peak Lebron).
 

Jimbodandy

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Neither is having the next 3 days off and he had a 5-day stretch last week with only one game in it (the game he played 48 min which wasn’t a coincidence). The rotation was extremely short tonight for that very reason as well. The OT skews the number as well since he’s obviously going to be on the floor. Big to-do about nothing imo….he’s 24 years old.
Usually I'm on the caution side of this conversation, but after dropping three in a row, it was nice seeing them finish this one the right way against a lot of experienced pros. There's value in a team learning how to close once in a while. As you noted, Lebron played a shitload of minutes too, and Tatum is closer to his kid's age than his.
 

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Neither is having the next 3 days off and he had a 5-day stretch last week with only one game in it (the game he played 48 min which wasn’t a coincidence). The rotation was extremely short tonight for that very reason as well. The OT skews the number as well since he’s obviously going to be on the floor. Big to-do about nothing imo….he’s 24 years old.

It seems so weird to complain about this after a game that we needed every possession to get to OT and then to win in OT. Sometimes I think people would prefer he played 36 min today and we lose so he’s fresh this week to play with Duece all day.
He’s clearly a worse player when he’s playing all these quarters without rest. I’d prefer he get at least 90 game seconds a quarter. 40 minutes is perfectly fine. Especially since Brogdon is on the team now.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I'm not so worried about overuse or injury, just that he flat out wasn't effective in the last 15 minutes of the game (more turnovers than baskets in the 4th quarter and OT, despite the Lakers shrimpy lineup providing mismatches everywhere). If Jaylen hadn't caught fire late it would have been a lot more noticeable (when was the last time Tatum took just one shot in OT?). Maybe a few extra minutes of rest in the 2nd half changes things for him, but he doesn't seem to do that well when he spends that much time on the court without a break (almost no one does, other than peak Lebron).
I’m sure in a perfect world Joe would have loved that but we are on a 3-game losing streak and weren’t getting anything from our bench so he rode his best player. This wasn’t a typical regular season game between the losing streak, the bench giving zero, and not having another game until Wednesday.
 

benhogan

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At the very least we are getting to see what Tatum looks like with excessive/continuous use. He's a lot less effective after guarding LeBron and being the offensive focus for how many consecutive minutes? Because we don't want to see that version of JT in late/close. Maybe he shouldn't go more than 18 minutes straight without 2-3 minutes off? Brown seemed to have his legs at the end with forced bench time due to fouls.

One thing I came away with is how much more effective this team is with Brogdon initiating from the top in the half-court.

Give me more Kornet, his size seemed to gum up Laker rim runs. Luke also worked in the Los Angeles road game. Have Horford guard down. Nubbing Horford with 38 minutes at the 5 also makes me queasy, even with 3-days off.

Hopefully, CJM has found out what Tatum's limits are because increasing that sample size would be sub-optimal for a long playoff run.
 

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Tatum is #4 in the league in minutes, #2 in minutes per game, and on a pace to smash his previous highs for minutes and minutes per game.

So the Celtics have the best team in the league and their plan is to take a guy who played a ton of minutes last year and was subpar in the finals, and ramp up his wokrload, in pursuit of the best regular season record.

I will just say that if the Celtics don't win it this year and Tatum is off his game in the series they lose, I won't be shocked by it.
 

lexrageorge

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Missing 2 starters also impacted Tatum's minutes. I assume we would all agree it makes no sense to rush Smart or RWilliams back just to give Tatum less minutes.

Tatum's minutes last 6 Celtics game: 48 (OT), DNP, 38, 40, 43, 47 (OT). But I'll note that Smart missed all of the last 4 games, and RW missed 2 of them. And here are Tatum's minutes the prior 5 games leading up to Gold State: DNP, 36, 38, 37, 40. The 40 minute game was the one where Tatum went off for 51.

I'm not at all convinced 37mpg is a problem for 24 y/o Tatum; that's well in line with the minutes played by most true alpha starters. Kyrie is averaging the same workload; Durant is averaging only 1 minute less; Harden is only a fraction of a minute behind Tatum; it's also right in line with Luka's usage.

I do think it's a fair criticism of Mazzulla that he should try to find some substitution pattern for Tatum that gives him 2-3 minutes on the bench in the 2nd half of a game like the Lakers or Warriors game. While no coach can know in the 3rd that the game will go into OT, it could still be helpful if Tatum perhaps had fresher legs late in the game. Tactically, it could improve the team's chances of winning the game if Tatum is fresher. But that improvement assumes some contribution from the bench, which wasn't there at all last night.

Looking ahead in the stretch of 8 games prior to the All Star break, 3 are against likely ECF playoff competition, and 2 more are against West contenders, and one of the games against a non-contender (Detroit) comes 24 hours after a road appointment w/ Giannis. So I think it did make sense for Coach Joe to go for the win last night, especially given the team was on a 3 game skid that has tightened the ECF seeding race considerably.
 

lovegtm

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I'm less worried about Tatum being worn down, and more worried about him being ineffective in individual games when he does these long stints. As many others said above, he just looks gassed at the end of these stretches.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Missing 2 starters also impacted Tatum's minutes. I assume we would all agree it makes no sense to rush Smart or RWilliams back just to give Tatum less minutes.
Completely irrelevant. There will always be an excuse to play the stars more game to game. There should still be a plan for the season that involves positioning the team to win the finals, which is morimportanrt than any single game or strentch of games.

There's also a legit question about whether playing Tatum 41 straight minutes is counterproductive because it affects his late game performance.

Tatum in Q4+OT: 17 minutes played 7 points on 2 of 8 from the field (3 of 3 from the line), 5 rebounds, an assist, and 3 turnovers. Maybe the reason this game even went to OT is because Tatum shot 1 of 7 in the 4th, scoring only 2 points.

Meanwhile, this is what our other star did in Q4+OT: 20 points on 7 of 10 from the field (4 of 4 from the line), 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover in 12.5 minutes.

Tatum has also struggled with late game turnovers, and when he does he looks quite similar to the guy who had a poor finals last season.

Tatum's minutes last 6 Celtics game: 48 (OT), DNP, 38, 40, 43, 47 (OT). But I'll note that Smart missed all of the last 4 games, and RW missed 2 of them. And here are Tatum's minutes the prior 5 games leading up to Gold State: DNP, 36, 38, 37, 40. The 40 minute game was the one where Tatum went off for 51.

I'm not at all convinced 37mpg is a problem for 24 y/o Tatum; that's well in line with the minutes played by most true alpha starters. Kyrie is averaging the same workload; Durant is averaging only 1 minute less; Harden is only a fraction of a minute behind Tatum; it's also right in line with Luka's usage.
Tatum is #4 in the league in total minutes and #2 in minutes per game. Heavier usage than the vast majority of the star pl;ayers in the league. I think, at most, he should be playing comparable minutes to other stars, not more minutes than them. But arguably he should play less because he had a reduced offseason after heavy playoff usage in which he wore down at the end.
 

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Completely irrelevant. There will always be an excuse to play the stars more game to game. There should still be a plan for the season that involves positioning the team to win the finals, which is morimportanrt than any single game or strentch of games.
How is it completely irrelevant that we were missing 2 starters? That seems incredibly relevant to me.

That Kornet gets impactful minutes and Hauser and PP do not tells me exactly where we need to upgrade. Can't count on immaculate health through the playoffs.
 

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How is it completely irrelevant that we were missing 2 starters? That seems incredibly relevant to me.

That Kornet gets impactful minutes and Hauser and PP do not tells me exactly where we need to upgrade. Can't count on immaculate health through the playoffs.
It is relevant to single game usage. But the problem here is the long term trend. No player has played more minutes than Tatum over the past calendar year, it didn;t work for us last June, and the trend has been to ramp up his usage despite his reduced effectiveness at the end of some of those games.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Tatum is #4 in the league in minutes, #2 in minutes per game, and on a pace to smash his previous highs for minutes and minutes per game.

So the Celtics have the best team in the league and their plan is to take a guy who played a ton of minutes last year and was subpar in the finals, and ramp up his wokrload, in pursuit of the best regular season record.

I will just say that if the Celtics don't win it this year and Tatum is off his game in the series they lose, I won't be shocked by it.
You continue to assume that Tatum was subpar in The Finals due to fatigue, despite all the extra rest days in between games and prior to The Finals beginning, rather than facing one of his tougher matchups while being forced to play defacto PG.

I don’t believe that to be the case at all or it would have shown earlier in the playoffs with a more condensed schedule. Tatum begin more fatigue once he’s begins getting more rest doesn’t fit your narrative of him being gassed in the playoffs due to prior usage.
 

benhogan

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You continue to assume that Tatum was subpar in The Finals due to fatigue, despite all the extra rest days in between games and prior to The Finals beginning, rather than facing one of his tougher matchups while being forced to play defacto PG.

I don’t believe that to be the case at all or it would have shown earlier in the playoffs with a more condensed schedule. Tatum begin more fatigue once he’s begins getting more rest doesn’t fit your narrative of him being gassed in the playoffs due to prior usage.
IMO its a collection of things on why TATUM struggled in the FINALS:
injured wrist, role as a primary initiator at the top, consecutive minutes played in big games, first FINALS, Wiggins stepping up, the pace of play in the playoffs, Steph daggers, lack of bench options, minutes, previous 7-game series wear-n-tear.

Those probably impacted JT's FINALs play more than IME overplaying him in a regular-season game, which I think is your point.

Fewer consecutive minutes for Tatum could be addressed in the trade market with the addition of a better BIG than Luke or start playing Luke more now to get him up to speed. This would let Horford play the 4 more and give Tatum 2-3 minutes of rest at the ends of Q1/Q3 in a playoff game

The bigger thing we learned yesterday was Brogdon's play on both sides of the ball. The dude needs to be in the closing lineup, initiating the offense from the top.
 

radsoxfan

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You continue to assume that Tatum was subpar in The Finals due to fatigue, despite all the extra rest days in between games and prior to The Finals beginning, rather than facing one of his tougher matchups while being forced to play defacto PG.

I don’t believe that to be the case at all or it would have shown earlier in the playoffs with a more condensed schedule. Tatum begin more fatigue once he’s begins getting more rest doesn’t fit your narrative of him being gassed in the playoffs due to prior usage.
Tatum admitted he was tired and frankly he looked tired in the finals. Hard to know for sure, but seems like this is a pretty likely contributing factor to his play.

Regardless, I agree with you he's young and big minutes in a few January games isn't that big of a deal.... but it does feel like his in-game effectiveness is also compromised without any sort of break.

If we can't afford giving Tatum a 3 minute break in the 2nd half against the Lakers, we have big problems. I don't see any reason that playing him that much helps the individual game outcome or the long term goals of the team.
 
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PedrosRedGlove

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Tatum admitted he was tired and frankly he looked tired in the finals. Hard to know for sure, but seems like this is a pretty likely contributing factor to his play.

Regardless, I agree with you he's young and big minutes in a few January games isn't that big of a deal.... buu it does feel like his in-game effectiveness is compromised without any sort of break.

If we can't afford giving Tatum a 3 minute break in the 2nd half against the Lakers, we have big problems. I don't see any reason that playing him that much helps the individual game outcome or the long term goals of the team.
I think this might be something intentional on Mazzulla/the team's part. I agree that it's something to be monitored as the season progresses, hopefully we won't see Tatum being used like this as much in April.

But if one of the issues last year was Tatum's endurance, is there any better way to improve game intensity endurance than playing outlier heavy minutes at times? It's definitely a very delicate balance between developing elite stamina and wearing him down, but that's where we are in Tatum's development at this point.
 

Euclis20

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I think this might be something intentional on Mazzulla/the team's part. I agree that it's something to be monitored as the season progresses, hopefully we won't see Tatum being used like this as much in April.

But if one of the issues last year was Tatum's endurance, is there any better way to improve game intensity endurance than playing outlier heavy minutes at times? It's definitely a very delicate balance between developing elite stamina and wearing him down, but that's where we are in Tatum's development at this point.
At some point though, it's blood from a stone. No amount of practice or prep is going to keep Tatum effective near the end of a stretch in which he goes 40+ minutes of game time without a break. Just because Lebron. (and occasionally Durant) have done it in the past few years doesn't mean anyone can. The only answer here is his teammates playing better, either in the form of wings doing well enough to give him a breather now and then (Hauser) or other players stepping up offensively (Brown and Brogdon) to give him a few easier possessions offensively. The latter worked well enough last night.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Tatum admitted he was tired and frankly he looked tired in the finals. Hard to know for sure, but seems like this is a pretty likely contributing factor to his play.

Regardless, I agree with you he's young and big minutes in a few January games isn't that big of a deal.... but it does feel like his in-game effectiveness is also compromised without any sort of break.

If we can't afford giving Tatum a 3 minute break in the 2nd half against the Lakers, we have big problems. I don't see any reason that playing him that much helps the individual game outcome or the long term goals of the team.
Of course he was tired in June…..every regular playing in June had just endured a long season. I still maintain his poor Finals was due to not having a pure ballhandler and the matchup more than fatigue hitting him following a rest after winning the EC. The timing of this fatigue would have to perfectly align with the start of The Finals which seems to be overthinking things.

I don’t disagree that we would like to find some rest for Tatum in a game that we approached like a playoff with the schedule. I think this speaks more to Jaylen being in foul trouble picking up his 4th foul to start 2H and his 5th at start of 4Q along with the upcoming rest days than any preconceived plan to play Tatum the entire 2H. It’s a tight game in the 4Q and everyone wants to see our offense with Tatum/Jaylen on the bench? Really? Again, I disagree based on the game flow yesterday and scheduling this week.
 

radsoxfan

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Of course he was tired in June…..every regular playing in June had just endured a long season. I still maintain his poor Finals was due to not having a pure ballhandler and the matchup more than fatigue hitting him following a rest after winning the EC. The timing of this fatigue would have to perfectly align with the start of The Finals which seems to be overthinking things.

I don’t disagree that we would like to find some rest for Tatum in a game that we approached like a playoff with the schedule. I think this speaks more to Jaylen being in foul trouble picking up his 4th foul to start 2H and his 5th at start of 4Q along with the upcoming rest days than any preconceived plan to play Tatum the entire 2H. It’s a tight game in the 4Q and everyone wants to see our offense with Tatum/Jaylen on the bench? Really? Again, I disagree based on the game flow yesterday and scheduling this week.
I think it’s defensible given Smart/Rob hurt, Jaylen foul trouble, long break after the game, etc, like you said.

I have no stats to back it up, but anecdotally Tatum seems to play worse on these super long stretches without a break for an entire half+ (of course he also didn’t play well in the 1st half last night so it’s not that simple).

But if that’s the case, trying to get an extra 3 minutes out of someone else (even if they are a big drop off), might still make some sense.
 

128

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I think it’s defensible given Smart/Rob hurt, Jaylen foul trouble, long break after the game, etc, like you said.

I have no stats to back it up, but anecdotally Tatum seems to play worse on these super long stretches without a break for an entire half+ (of course he also didn’t play well in the 1st half last night so it’s not that simple).

But if that’s the case, trying to get an extra 3 minutes out of someone else (even if they are a big drop off), might still make some sense.
Tatum also usually gets his first break at a point in the game—midway through the first quarter—when he's probably not especially tired.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Tatum also usually gets his first break at a point in the game—midway through the first quarter—when he's probably not especially tired.
Yes this is a way to stagger him and Jaylen so he returns with the second unit to have one of them on the floor at most/all times.
 

radsoxfan

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Tatum also usually gets his first break at a point in the game—midway through the first quarter—when he's probably not especially tired.
From my limited personal experience (“good” high school basketball player at a small school), felt to me like there was some value of routine and a quick mental re-set as well.

If I had to play entire halves without a break, it felt harder to be sharp and make the right read, even if physical fatigue wasn’t a major issue.

Maybe these guys are so much better and have played so much more basketball it’s an entirely useless comparison, I don’t know.
 

128

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Yes this is a way to stagger him and Jaylen so he returns with the second unit to have one of them on the floor at most/all times.
Yeah, I get that. But it also means that Tatum is resting during a stretch when he may not actually be tired, as opposed to the fourth quarter, when he's sometimes noticeably winded.

There's no perfect solution, if the goal is to keep Tatum or Brown, if not both, on the floor most of the time.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Do people really believe that the Celtics as well as the people who are in the players camps don't monitor minutes pretty closely?

Jeez, how many people in this thread can rattle off their average daily steps, per-mile run times or Peloton stats off the top of their head? Maybe none here at SoSH but a lot of active everyday folks now track their efforts in an accurate fashion.

Meanwhile the players are essentially stand alone businesses who depend on health to make money and for the teams, they are assets who yield best when in peak form. It strikes me that both the team and Tatum are aligned on keeping him healthy. I will certainly rethink that position if we see evidence that he wears down again this year.

Last year was a sprint of sorts given their start. I will give all parties the benefit of the doubt at present because they continue to earn it.
 

kieckeredinthehead

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You are correct but people did literally question the number of minutes Tatum is playing of late, the concern being that Mazzulla will grind him down before the playoffs. Its effectively implied.

I don't understand your point.
That it’s possible to disagree with a team’s strategy without assuming some weird malpractice on their part?
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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That it’s possible to disagree with a team’s strategy without assuming some weird malpractice on their part?
People are allowed to express any views they want here subject to our community standards.

People don't like when they cite harms that *might* happen and its pointed out that it isn't a problem and may well never be one. There is a distinction.
 

lexrageorge

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Not sure I follow these last few posts, but I do think there is a reasonable debate to be had as to whether Mazzulla should try harder to find the opportunity to sit Tatum down for 2-3 minutes sometime in the 2nd half of close games. At the very least, I do hope he's at least having that discussion with his assistants and/or Brad Stevens.
 

kieckeredinthehead

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People are allowed to express any views they want here subject to our community standards.

People don't like when they cite harms that *might* happen and its pointed out that it isn't a problem and may well never be one. There is a distinction.
People also don’t like when their arguments are reflected disingenuously. Nobody said the Celtics don’t realize how hard they’re working Tatum.
 

lars10

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Do people really believe that the Celtics as well as the people who are in the players camps don't monitor minutes pretty closely?

Jeez, how many people in this thread can rattle off their average daily steps, per-mile run times or Peloton stats off the top of their head? Maybe none here at SoSH but a lot of active everyday folks now track their efforts in an accurate fashion.

Meanwhile the players are essentially stand alone businesses who depend on health to make money and for the teams, they are assets who yield best when in peak form. It strikes me that both the team and Tatum are aligned on keeping him healthy. I will certainly rethink that position if we see evidence that he wears down again this year.

Last year was a sprint of sorts given their start. I will give all parties the benefit of the doubt at present because they continue to earn it.
How many NBA teams play there stars for entire second halves? For 40+ minutes a game..

Tatum is second in MPG..and he's played 7 more games than the player in the number 1 position.

The team this year probably has the deepest bench it's had in a while.. there's reasons Tatum needs to play a lot of minutes when multiple guys are out.. but Joe is often playing Tatum a ton of minutes in games where he's not shooting well and looks tired. Possibly there's a strategy there, but it's not like it's an obvious one... Joe isn't making a ton of coaching moves on a day to day basis.. if anything he quite often shortens his bench to an almost playoff level which doesn't seem ideal midway through a long NBA season.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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If there is a problem that is resulting from Tatum playing too many minutes - and there may well be - is asking for evidence too much? Where is the harm?

Maybe some people here are rest and recovery experts - I am totally open to someone showing that Tatum's workload this week puts him at increased risk of breaking down or something entirely different. What data or information informs the view that Mazzulla is risking Tatum's health? If people have it, please share.
 

lars10

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If there is a problem that is resulting from Tatum playing too many minutes - and there may well be - is asking for evidence too much? Where is the harm?

Maybe some people here are rest and recovery experts - I am totally open to someone showing that Tatum's workload this week puts him at increased risk of breaking down or something entirely different. What data or information informs the view that Mazzulla is risking Tatum's health? If people have it, please share.
Seems it would be fairly hard to quantify.. but there’s a reason players don’t play almost 40 minutes a night. And we have Tatum talking about how he was worn out in the finals just last year. And load management has been a thing for a while so there must be something to back that up as well.

but maybe it’s not a problem.. I just don’t see the evidence the other way that him playing more minutes is some kind of new strategy.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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In the interest of clarity, if Tatum continues a string of heavy minutes I may well join the chorus of those who are getting anxious. Until then I trust the Celtics and Tatum's folks to make sure that he is getting adequate rest and recovery. But criticism of Mazzulla for something that is a possibility seems a bit much.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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You played this same dumb card last month and I spent four hours coding every single play from last season to show that players’ shooting percentages decrease every additional minute they play, particularly in OT. You had zero response to that. And now you’re back here again doing the “teams have perfect knowledge and we can never comprehend their decision making ability” bullshit. You want to prove being one of the most heavily used players doesn’t result in decreased effectiveness? Why don’t you share the data that shows it doesn’t?
Your issue is not with me. I am just describing what is.

Players across the NBA routinely play well beyond the minutes point at which you might find diminishing returns.
 

kieckeredinthehead

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The last time a player finished first or second in minutes per game and won a championship was 1994. The time before that was 1967.

In 2011-2012, LeBron ranked 10th in the league in minutes played. That is the highest ranking any player on a championship team has achieved since the first round moved to seven games in 2003.
 
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benhogan

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The last time a player finished first or second in minutes per game and won a championship was 1994. The time before that was 1967.

In 2011-2012, LeBron ranked 10th in the league in minutes played. That is the highest ranking any player on a championship team has achieved since the first round moved to seven games in 2003.
Interesting. It's almost like Pop knew what he was doing with load mgmt all those Championship seasons.

Some people might want to use Tatum's 37.5MPG stat as Exhibit 1A for the need to add a WING. Still believe adding a Center and letting Horford guard down would help lessen the Tatum & Horford (5yr high in MPG) nubbing.

Speaking of which, CJM needs to start using Luke more, especially when Rob is out. Luke was effective against the Lakers to help protect the rim last month. Then used situationally for defense on Saturday.

Noticed Coach Joe opted to not use Luke for half-court defense with 4 seconds left when LeBron made that final rim run.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Do people really believe that the Celtics as well as the people who are in the players camps don't monitor minutes pretty closely?
Do you think that the Celtics know something about player usage that more or less the whole entirety of the rest of the NBA does not know? #4 in the NBA in minutes, #2 in minutes per game.

How does his usage compare to his peers? I'm defining 'peers' here as fellow All-Star starters or 1st/2nd/3rd team All NBA guys from last year. There are 17 players on that list including Tatum. Tatum is by far the most heavily used player on the list, with really only two other guys in the same general vicinity.

Minutes:
1. Tatum, 1,798 (#4)
2. Doncic, 1,655 (#15)
3. Trae, 1,607 (#25)
4. Siakam, 1,544 (#35)
5. Mitchell, 1,483 (#44)
6. LeBron, 1,453 (#53)
7 Jokic, 1,441 (#56)
8. Irving, 1,408 (#64)
9. Durant, 1,403 (#67)
10. Morant, 1,329 (#89)
11. Giannis, 1,271 (#100)
12. Embiid, 1,255 (#105)
13. Steph, 1,175 (#130)
14. Booker, 1,002 (#166)
15. Zion, 956 (#174)
16. C.Paul, 951 (#177)
17. Towns, 721 (#235)

Now I realize that the response to this is going to point out that a number of these guys are working back from injuries, followed by a bunch of other special pleading about why Tatum can be counted on to no what literally no one else in the league can (even though there are better players). But I think it speaks volumes that what the Celtics are doing with Tatum this year has literally no comp in the entire NBA.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Do you think that the Celtics know something about player usage that more or less the whole entirety of the rest of the NBA does not know? #4 in the NBA in minutes, #2 in minutes per game.

How does his usage compare to his peers? I'm defining 'peers' here as fellow All-Star starters or 1st/2nd/3rd team All NBA guys from last year. There are 17 players on that list including Tatum. Tatum is by far the most heavily used player on the list, with really only two other guys in the same general vicinity.

Minutes:
1. Tatum, 1,798 (#4)
2. Doncic, 1,655 (#15)
3. Trae, 1,607 (#25)
4. Siakam, 1,544 (#35)
5. Mitchell, 1,483 (#44)
6. LeBron, 1,453 (#53)
7 Jokic, 1,441 (#56)
8. Irving, 1,408 (#64)
9. Durant, 1,403 (#67)
10. Morant, 1,329 (#89)
11. Giannis, 1,271 (#100)
12. Embiid, 1,255 (#105)
13. Steph, 1,175 (#130)
14. Booker, 1,002 (#166)
15. Zion, 956 (#174)
16. C.Paul, 951 (#177)
17. Towns, 721 (#235)

Now I realize that the response to this is going to point out that a number of these guys are working back from injuries, followed by a bunch of other special pleading about why Tatum can be counted on to no what literally no one else in the league can (even though there are better players). But I think it speaks volumes that what the Celtics are doing with Tatum this year has literally no comp in the entire NBA.
I think the Celtics are aware of Tatum's minutes per game, overall, versus his teammates, his peers, how he does with X amount of rest, Y amount of days off etc etc. I assume they have the ability to slice data very finely and determine the optimal re-entry times in games etc. I also think the nature of the game, Tatum's age/conditioning etc also are considered.

Those of you concerned about minutes may well be right - but while everyone is describing something that may or may not be bad - Tatum's minutes - nobody is showing harm.

Forgive me if I am not a as concerned about something I am assuming more than a few people get paid to monitor. I look at incentives and team and player seem aligned in their approach. I also think its ok to wait for the thing people are criticizing Mazzulla (and it is more likely a bunch of people are informing player usage given Joe's interim status) for to actually happen. Again, at present there is no problem.
 

Saints Rest

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It seems to me that there is a fundamental difference in opinion about how best to ready oneself for a high workload. Is it better to get regular rest so that one's overall state of being is well-rested or is it better to ramp up the intensity and duration of one's workouts in preparation for the higher demand?

After Super Bowl LI (Pats/Falcons), there was a lot of talk about how the Pats were able to overpower the Falcons in the second half because of all the hills that Belichick had them running in the weeks leading up to the SB. That would suggest that the latter approach is better. I think Udoka even commented on this approach last year when he said that he wanted to ramp up the minutes of the key players late in the season to ready them for the playoffs.

I'm not an endurance runner -- never have been -- but I do seem to recall reading that the conventional wisdom for readying for a marathon is to increase the length of training up to a few days before the race at which point, one shifts to a rest regime.

Perhaps the Celtics are taking this approach with Tatum. And perhaps we'll see some extra load-management days in the last week or so of the regular season.
 

kieckeredinthehead

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The last time a player finished first or second in minutes per game and won a championship was 1994. The time before that was 1967.

In 2011-2012, LeBron ranked 10th in the league in minutes played. That is the highest ranking any player on a championship team has achieved since the first round moved to seven games in 2003.
This is describing what is.


I think the Celtics are aware of Tatum's minutes per game, overall, versus his teammates, his peers, how he does with X amount of rest, Y amount of days off etc etc. I assume they have the ability to slice data very finely and determine the optimal re-entry times in games etc. I also think the nature of the game, Tatum's age/conditioning etc also are considered.

Those of you concerned about minutes may well be right - but while everyone is describing something that may or may not be bad - Tatum's minutes - nobody is showing harm.

Forgive me if I am not a as concerned about something I am assuming more than a few people get paid to monitor. I look at incentives and team and player seem aligned in their approach. I also think its ok to wait for the thing people are criticizing Mazzulla (and it is more likely a bunch of people are informing player usage given Joe's interim status) for to actually happen. Again, at present there is no problem.
This is a post with the word “think” and “assume” five times, and no data or evidence to support it.
 

chilidawg

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It seems to me that there is a fundamental difference in opinion about how best to ready oneself for a high workload. Is it better to get regular rest so that one's overall state of being is well-rested or is it better to ramp up the intensity and duration of one's workouts in preparation for the higher demand?

After Super Bowl LI (Pats/Falcons), there was a lot of talk about how the Pats were able to overpower the Falcons in the second half because of all the hills that Belichick had them running in the weeks leading up to the SB. That would suggest that the latter approach is better. I think Udoka even commented on this approach last year when he said that he wanted to ramp up the minutes of the key players late in the season to ready them for the playoffs.

I'm not an endurance runner -- never have been -- but I do seem to recall reading that the conventional wisdom for readying for a marathon is to increase the length of training up to a few days before the race at which point, one shifts to a rest regime.

Perhaps the Celtics are taking this approach with Tatum. And perhaps we'll see some extra load-management days in the last week or so of the regular season.
Endurance athletes usually will start to taper training a couple weeks before a long event.
https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-taper-before-a-marathon-2911069#:~:text=Take at least one or,work out last-minute nerves.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Wow checking back in a day later. I don’t disagree with the long-term points being made by one-side or the “In Brad/Joe We Trust” side really. In the two games where he played 48 min w high usage they were followed with a load management day that resulted in him having 3 days off and the other night with a scheduled 3 days off. This shows that Brad isn’t going Dusty Baker on his Kerry Wood but I’d like to see more LM days with him (and Jaylen) brought down close to the 33-34 min mark.

My initial post to this was pointing out the Why in him playing 47 min in an OT game due to the extra 5 min and Jaylen being in foul trouble on with shorthanded lineup and 1H bench giving you nothing messing with the 2H rotation…..which I still have no issue with based on the scheduling. Eddie and Mark also make points I agree with as we move forward.

Situationally, we have been in some tough spots in regards to Tatum’s minutes like the Miami game last weeks 40 on the back end of a B2B. We are shorthanded with no Jaylen, Horford or Brogdon. Even Hauser had to play 26 min (shooting 0-6) and Justin Jackson 14. Maybe this was a game we should have punted as it’s in Miami so your home fans aren’t getting the shaft. I wouldn’t have had a problem with doing so in that spot.

I expect Brad to add a couple pieces rather soon. Hauser needs to be dropped down into a wing version of Pritchard’s role rather than a rotation guy and of course adding a big would also be helpful. Two players added to this roster and Tatum’s load should be significantly reduced when we come across these shorthanded spots.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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This is describing what is.




This is a post with the word “think” and “assume” five times, and no data or evidence to support it.
You are correct that I don't know for sure that the Celtics are doing these things. I have no data to provide - the Cs don't make this stuff public to my knowledge - and I am not even sure why my stance matters to you. You have labeled my posts "dumb", "disingenuous" and "bullshit" simply because I don't agree with your conclusions.

I appreciate your efforts and you may well be on to something with your research. However its not definitive and more to the point, the Celtics are not an outlier in terms of player minutes. Yet you and others seem fairly concerned that they are harming Tatum or his production by the amount he plays. And now the burden is on me to demonstrate that there is no harm?


Maybe your data set or conclusions need to be adjusted. Or maybe NBA teams agree with you that players production declines after a certain point but also know that even at x% of their production, they are still better than available alternatives. Also, its important to note that your findings had more to do with output than health iirc. Many here are worried about injuries too and that may entail an entirely different conversation about usage etc. Its ok to disagree and its ok to assume that billion dollar businesses are taking care of their best assets. Its also fine not to take those things as a given.
 
Last edited:

benhogan

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Nov 2, 2007
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Do you think that the Celtics know something about player usage that more or less the whole entirety of the rest of the NBA does not know? #4 in the NBA in minutes, #2 in minutes per game.

How does his usage compare to his peers? I'm defining 'peers' here as fellow All-Star starters or 1st/2nd/3rd team All NBA guys from last year. There are 17 players on that list including Tatum. Tatum is by far the most heavily used player on the list, with really only two other guys in the same general vicinity.

Minutes:
1. Tatum, 1,798 (#4)
2. Doncic, 1,655 (#15)
3. Trae, 1,607 (#25)
4. Siakam, 1,544 (#35)
5. Mitchell, 1,483 (#44)
6. LeBron, 1,453 (#53)
7 Jokic, 1,441 (#56)
8. Irving, 1,408 (#64)
9. Durant, 1,403 (#67)
10. Morant, 1,329 (#89)
11. Giannis, 1,271 (#100)
12. Embiid, 1,255 (#105)
13. Steph, 1,175 (#130)
14. Booker, 1,002 (#166)
15. Zion, 956 (#174)
16. C.Paul, 951 (#177)
17. Towns, 721 (#235)

Now I realize that the response to this is going to point out that a number of these guys are working back from injuries, followed by a bunch of other special pleading about why Tatum can be counted on to no what literally no one else in the league can (even though there are better players). But I think it speaks volumes that what the Celtics are doing with Tatum this year has literally no comp in the entire NBA.
At 1619 minutes played, Jaylen Brown is about to join that list right behind Doncic at #3
 

chilidawg

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Jan 22, 2015
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Cultural hub of the universe
Keith Smith points out some interesting defensive wrinkles against the Lakers:

Mazzulla chose to start a lot of possession with Malcolm Brogdon guarding Davis, while keeping some size (Grant Williams, Al Horford or Jayson Tatum) on LeBron James. Initially, it seemed like a pre-switch for James-Davis pick-and-roll actions. However, the Lakers chose to not run many Davis-for-James screens. That left Brogdon in a spot where he had to hold up 1-on-1 against the much bigger Davis.

Brogdon holding up against the bigger player was huge for two reasons. The first is simple: He didn’t get overwhelmed 1-on-1. The second is a bit more complex: it took the Lakers out of their regular offense. Los Angeles wants to run James-Davis actions. They are two of the best players in the league, so it makes sense to spam those actions. The Celtics were regularly able to bait the Lakers into going directly at Brogdon. That took James out of the play and put the Lakers in a spot where they didn’t seem comfortable as a team on offense.

For those who think Joe Mazzulla just chomps gum and occasionally substitutes, this is an example of the coach and his staff having a gameplan and the players executing it. Outside of maybe getting a little cute with offense-defense subs with Derrick White and Luke Kornet late, Mazzulla coached one heck of a game. This defensive gameplan is one example, along with a few key timeouts and some great play-calls for baskets throughout the game.

https://www.celticsblog.com/2023/1/29/23576511/jaylen-brown-kept-his-promise-to-be-better-10-takeaways-from-boston-celtics-los-angeles-lakers
 

Eddie Jurak

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Dec 12, 2002
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I think the Celtics are aware of Tatum's minutes per game, overall, versus his teammates, his peers, how he does with X amount of rest, Y amount of days off etc etc. I assume they have the ability to slice data very finely and determine the optimal re-entry times in games etc. I also think the nature of the game, Tatum's age/conditioning etc also are considered.

Those of you concerned about minutes may well be right - but while everyone is describing something that may or may not be bad - Tatum's minutes - nobody is showing harm.

Forgive me if I am not a as concerned about something I am assuming more than a few people get paid to monitor. I look at incentives and team and player seem aligned in their approach. I also think its ok to wait for the thing people are criticizing Mazzulla (and it is more likely a bunch of people are informing player usage given Joe's interim status) for to actually happen. Again, at present there is no problem.
My sole point is that Tatum's usage is being managed very differently than virtually all of his peers around the league. The why of it is not clear. I just don't really accept "the Celtics are doing it, so it must be fine" as a justification. That's a possibility, but there are other possiblities as well.

My concern is that the Celtics are playing to maximize regular season wins in a way that other teams are not, and that there could be a price to be paid for that in the postseason.