Joe Mazzulla, come on down.

Saints Rest

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The Celtics have 4 games in the last 9 days of the regular season. It is entirely possible that they might have secured the #1 seed before those games start -- or certainly by the time they play the Sizers on 4/4.

The earliest they would play Game 1 of the playoffs (I think it is safe to say they won't be in the play-in) will be Saturday 4/15.

So that's 4 games in the 14 days before the playoffs start, some of which might not have anything at stake.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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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.
To me, JT's tiredness in the Finals had more to do with not beating MIL in G5 when they had that double-digit lead late in 4Q than anything else.

Also, when people say that JT is second in the league in minutes per game, they are correct, but the rest of the top 10 are all within 80 seconds a game of him. I mean 900 YO LeBron is playing just 72 seconds per game less than JT. Top 10:

37.7 mpg = Siakam
37.5 mpg = JT
37.1 mpg = Kyrie
36.9 mpg = VanVleet
36.8 mpg = Luka
36.6 mpg = Dejuante Murray
36.5 mpg = Mikal Bridges + Anthony Edwards
36.3 mpg = LBJ
36.2 mpg = DeRozen
36.0 mpg = JB
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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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.
Fair enough even if I don't agree with your concerns. As I noted upthread, I reserve the right to get anxious if Tatum continues to log heavy minutes.

Like others here I expect the Cs to add at the deadline so hopefully they will have more or different bodies in the rotation in a few weeks. If they stick with a tight rotation and high minutes down the stretch, its probably not ideal. We aren't there yet.
 

Jimbodandy

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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.
This is a great way of putting it.

I don't take issue with any one game, like this Lakers game, where they ride a guy or two for crazy minutes in order to accomplish a value objective of some kind (stopping a losing streak, spackling over a patchwork rotation hit with injuries, testing the team's mettle against a top foe, etc.). One game, Tatum or Brown for 40+ minutes, NBD. But...the numbers overall don't lie. Why IS Tatum at the top of MPG and total minutes again? It'd be like having an ace pitcher with more starts and more IP than everyone else. But also if this ace pitcher clearly ran out of gas in last year's world series with a hint of deadarm.
 

shoelace

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So that's 4 games in the 14 days before the playoffs start, some of which might not have anything at stake.
This is a fair point, and two of their final four games are against Toronto, who may sell at the deadline and be actively trying to tank at that point.

I can't track it down, but I remember Ime the former Celtics coach talking about how they were less concerned with MPG (like throttling Tatum down to 32 MPG or something and messing with rotations) and thought it was better to give players full games off. I can understand that logic, and I'm assuming they have some data to back that up at an organizational level. But I do think we need to see them give key guys more full games off in the 2nd half of the season.

They really should sit Tatum on 2/6 or 2/15 against Detroit (leads into the All-Star break, this would give him a long rest), @Houston on 3/15, against the Spurs on 3/25, either 4/5 or 4/7 against Toronto, etc. They're 2-1 without Tatum this season, and I feel like they often play down to the level of weak competition, so they could still win these games without him.

That said, part of this is Tatum's choice. Hopefully they can convince Tatum that it's in his best interests to sit out a few more games than he did in the first half of the season.
 
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Leon Trotsky

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I wonder if Tatum was 11th in MPG instead of 2nd (exactly 90 seconds difference) if people would still be complaining, or would be complaining he was playing too little, and if he only played 60 seconds more per game, they would have won some games they lost.
 

Smokey Joe

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Pardon me. I was walking by and saw an altercation break out, so I went over to Basketball Reference and pulled some stats.

J Tatum age 24 season 48 Games, 37.5 mpg
L James age 24 81 Games 37.7 mpg
K Durant 24 81 38.5
Magic 24 67 38.3
Bird 24 82 39.5
S Curry 24 78 38.2
and my favorite
K A Jabbar 24 81 44.2

I hope this helps.

Carry on.
 

HomeRunBaker

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But also if this ace pitcher clearly ran out of gas in last year's world series with a hint of deadarm.
All else I agree with except this part that keeps being repeated. If Tatum clearly ran out of gas in The Finals why wasn’t this evident at all in the previous series when playing every other day but suddenly showing up in The Finals after 3 days off prior to start of it with two days off between all but one game?

This is the part that doesn’t pass the smell test especially when you factor in the additional adrenaline of that stage. I am pretty sure the eyes got fooled here with the Warriors speed/quickness making it appear Tatum was out of gas……especially when he appears a step slow when we play the Warriors during the regular season as well.
 

shoelace

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All else I agree with except this part that keeps being repeated. If Tatum clearly ran out of gas in The Finals why wasn’t this evident at all in the previous series when playing every other day but suddenly showing up in The Finals after 3 days off prior to start of it with two days off between all but one game? This is the part that doesn’t pass the smell test especially when you factor in the additional adrenaline of that stage.
Paul Pierce played more minutes in his age-30 season across the regular season and playoffs than Tatum did last year.

Pierce 07-08 Regular Season: 2874
Pierce 08 Playoffs: 990

Tatum 2021-2022 Regular Season: 2731
Tatum Playoffs 2022: 982

Pierce was 28th in minutes played in 07-08, Kobe was 6th and played 4055 minutes between regular season and playoffs, lol. Tatum was 4th last year, which suggests that teams have learned lessons from even the recent past with respect to resting players and managing minutes. Not sure I really buy the fatigue argument.

They should give their high minute and health concern guys nights off against tanking/bad teams as a matter of routine, but I do think being the number 1 seed and having home court advantage is useful and could contribute to them eliminating other teams more quickly in the playoffs this time around. That was also a big driver of playoff fatigue last year.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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All else I agree with except this part that keeps being repeated. If Tatum clearly ran out of gas in The Finals why wasn’t this evident at all in the previous series when playing every other day but suddenly showing up in The Finals after 3 days off prior to start of it with two days off between all but one game?

This is the part that doesn’t pass the smell test especially when you factor in the additional adrenaline of that stage. I am pretty sure the eyes got fooled here with the Warriors speed/quickness making it appear Tatum was out of gas……especially when he appears a step slow when we play the Warriors during the regular season as well.
Setting aside whether the Cs/Tatum were gassed last year, unless they completely collapse they won't have to grind like they did last year when they were making up ground.

There is simply no reason why we should expect heavy minutes down the stretch unless the Cs really do look at R&R different than other teams.
 
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Jimbodandy

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All else I agree with except this part that keeps being repeated. If Tatum clearly ran out of gas in The Finals why wasn’t this evident at all in the previous series when playing every other day but suddenly showing up in The Finals after 3 days off prior to start of it with two days off between all but one game?

This is the part that doesn’t pass the smell test especially when you factor in the additional adrenaline of that stage. I am pretty sure the eyes got fooled here with the Warriors speed/quickness making it appear Tatum was out of gas……especially when he appears a step slow when we play the Warriors during the regular season as well.
No doubt the Warriors length and defensive chops wore on him. But I'm stunned that you're writing off as impossible the idea that the fucking absurd number of minutes that he played finally caught up with him. If the accumulation of minutes was going to get him, it wouldn't be in game 60. It would be at the end.

There's no point comparing our basketball experiences to his with fatigue (definitely not mine), but there's a science in weightlifting around how many days off you need to rebuild based on how many reps and sets you've done and at what percent of one rep max. Folks have studied it down to the rep and fine tune the weights to quarter pounds over hundreds of kilos to get it perfect. The fact that Tatum lapped the field in minutes and then was a dead fish by game 6 could be a coincidence, sure. To be fair, I'd put the burden of proof in this case on those advocating for lapping the field...again.
 

HomeRunBaker

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No doubt the Warriors length and defensive chops wore on him. But I'm stunned that you're writing off as impossible the idea that the fucking absurd number of minutes that he played finally caught up with him. If the accumulation of minutes was going to get him, it wouldn't be in game 60. It would be at the end.
My point is that if it was going to get to him at the end……why didn’t it get to him prior to The Finals under more difficult scheduling and rest circumstances? Why wasn’t he running on fumes in Games 93 & 94 against Miami on 1-day rest and travel on the off days but suddenly after 3 days off he’s gassed against Golden St and continues to be so with 2-days off in between all but one of The Finals games?

To recap, one week he’s fine with one day off between each one of 7 games but the next week, with 3 days off before it begins, he’s worn down with 2-days off between games. This is what I mean when I saw it doesn’t pass the smell test?

Now I will say that the Miami series on its own with that brutal schedule could have affected him some against Golden State……but that is different than an extra 5-mpg in Dec/Jan affecting him long term. If anything it would have him better prepared to have the stamina to keep going strong through the end of games as he did in the Miami series.
 

Jakarta

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My point is that if it was going to get to him at the end……why didn’t it get to him prior to The Finals under more difficult scheduling and rest circumstances? Why wasn’t he running on fumes in Games 93 & 94 against Miami on 1-day rest and travel on the off days but suddenly after 3 days off he’s gassed against Golden St and continues to be so with 2-days off in between all but one of The Finals games?

To recap, one week he’s fine with one day off between each one of 7 games but the next week, with 3 days off before it begins, he’s worn down with 2-days off between games. This is what I mean when I saw it doesn’t pass the smell test?

Now I will say that the Miami series on its own with that brutal schedule could have affected him some against Golden State……but that is different than an extra 5-mpg in Dec/Jan affecting him long term. If anything it would have him better prepared to have the stamina to keep going strong through the end of games as he did in the Miami series.
Fatigue is likely to show up gradually and I think the argument could be made that he began to show these signs in game 3 of the ECF. Playoff series are always subject to SSS problems, but in the last 5 games of the ECF he shot 43%, including 33% from 3. He averaged 45 mpg the last 3 games of that series, which was the end of a period where he played 14 games in 29 nights, with the last 12 of those all with only 1 day off between, and a total of 8 flights in a 20 day span. This was all prior to the start of the finals.

It’s not inconceivable that even with the extra rest days during the finals that he wasn’t able to sufficiently recover.

I’m not sure how extra minutes during the regular season would impact this (further fatigue vs improved conditioning), but it wasn’t like he only suddenly started playing poorly in the finals.
 

Eddie Jurak

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No doubt the Warriors length and defensive chops wore on him. But I'm stunned that you're writing off as impossible the idea that the fucking absurd number of minutes that he played finally caught up with him. If the accumulation of minutes was going to get him, it wouldn't be in game 60. It would be at the end.
I do give the Warriors credit for being a quality team, one that matched up well with the Celtics, and for playing well in the series and attacking the Celtics team and player weaknesses relentlessly. I just thinmk fatigue could have been in the mex as to why Tatum didn't have more of a response to that. Great players find ways to get it done and in that series Tatum did not.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Fatigue is likely to show up gradually and I think the argument could be made that he began to show these signs in game 3 of the ECF. Playoff series are always subject to SSS problems, but in the last 5 games of the ECF he shot 43%, including 33% from 3. He averaged 45 mpg the last 3 games of that series, which was the end of a period where he played 14 games in 29 nights, with the last 12 of those all with only 1 day off between, and a total of 8 flights in a 20 day span. This was all prior to the start of the finals.

It’s not inconceivable that even with the extra rest days during the finals that he wasn’t able to sufficiently recover.

I’m not sure how extra minutes during the regular season would impact this (further fatigue vs improved conditioning), but it wasn’t like he only suddenly started playing poorly in the finals.
Tatum played poorly in the Miami series??
Using playoff shooting % to prove fatigue can fit the fatigue narrative for most players as these numbers are down across all years every year in the post season for a number of reasons. Increased defensive intensity, more halfcourt possession/fewer breaks or delayed breaks, teams familiarity with offensive sets in a series, most focused scouting reports/game plans, etc.
 

benhogan

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I see tremendous growth from Coach Joe so far this season. He is wisely using timeouts throughout games now. Substituting/rotating players in to match up. Combining players that make sense. Using the entire roster. Emphasizing ball security.

Brad addressed minutes and Tatum specifically yesterday (below)

I could care less about the in-game sideline reporter (I find it gimmicky/distracting). If we want to find out what the HC wants to emphasize stick a camera in the huddle during a TO. Sorry Abby or Cassidy but the TV Directors/Producers need to find a new angle and stop bothering the HC in the game.

The post-game questions from the media are flat-out pathetic. I thought Joe was pretty straightforward: Turnovers + lack of execution when they had a large lead

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsAsZOAWm_I&t=5s
 

bankshot1

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There's been a noticeable change in his in-game approach over the past couple of weeks. CJM has been more proactive in his use of TO to manage those annoying bumpy stretches that, if left ignored, can determine game outcomes.

Whether he took it upon himself or took some advice is not known, but his ability to modify his approach is a good sign.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Ime who?

Is anyone pining away for Udoka?
Clearly we’ve moved on but I can’t imagine another Coach leap frogs him as the top coaching candidate available this offseason. Where he lands will be interesting to see but he should be able to secure a good situation for himself.
 

lovegtm

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Clearly we’ve moved on but I can’t imagine another Coach leap frogs him as the top coaching candidate available this offseason. Where he lands will be interesting to see but he should be able to secure a good situation for himself.
Maybe, although the Nets seemed pretty freaked by whatever came up in their due diligence after agreeing to hire him.
 

Euclis20

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Maybe, although the Nets seemed pretty freaked by whatever came up in their due diligence after agreeing to hire him.
I was under the impression it was more of the public backlash (hiring Udoka would've essentially meant his suspension only ended up being around 10 games) than anything they discovered, but who knows.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Based on the reporting at the time, it felt like the Nets backed away from Udoka as a result of both league involvement as well as additional due diligence. Who knows though? Maybe we'll get that story some day.

As a side note, the other day I saw someone reference Will Hardy as the one that got away. I am reasonably certain people stating that have no clue if Hardy calls more efficient timeouts or whether or not he would ride his theoretical 24 year MVP candidate (of course he doesn't have one) heavy minutes-wise or how his rotations look.

I am also reasonably certain that Hardy, whom Stevens reportedly let go in lieu of keeping Mazzulla (unless that's just spin) would get the same level of criticism.

The reality for Mazzulla is that the pressure is building now. It seems unfair but absent some other factors like injuries to key pieces, he is already expected to win a championship by some segment of the NBA viewing population. That's a lot for any first year coach. For the emergency coach...

Joe may not be a media darling but he seems to be doing fairly well thus far given expectations.
 

bankshot1

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I think the fact Ime was still under contract to the Celtics presented some real issues that the NBA would rather avoid and not set a nasty precedent. So, IMO Silver put it on hold.
 

joe dokes

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Based on the reporting at the time, it felt like the Nets backed away from Udoka as a result of both league involvement as well as additional due diligence. Who knows though? Maybe we'll get that story some day.

As a side note, the other day I saw someone reference Will Hardy as the one that got away. I am reasonably certain people stating that have no clue if Hardy calls more efficient timeouts or whether or not he would ride his theoretical 24 year MVP candidate (of course he doesn't have one) heavy minutes-wise or how his rotations look.

I am also reasonably certain that Hardy, whom Stevens reportedly let go in lieu of keeping Mazzulla (unless that's just spin) would get the same level of criticism.

The reality for Mazzulla is that the pressure is building now. It seems unfair but absent some other factors like injuries to key pieces, he is already expected to win a championship by some segment of the NBA viewing population. That's a lot for any first year coach. For the emergency coach...

Joe may not be a media darling but he seems to be doing fairly well thus far given expectations.
While part of the reason Mazzula gets "title or bust" pressure is last years success, a big part is also their blazing start.
Udoka got a ton of credit just for getting there, given the teams start. While he deserved some, he was also the coach for those first 40 games.