The Celtics Offseason

kazuneko

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I know the Cs are still in the playoffs but I think we all know that’s a technicality.
No team has ever come back from 0-3 and this team’s performance in game 3 does not suggest they will be the ones to buck this trend.
So what’s next? How does Brad respond to to this embarrassing finish to what had been a promising season?
Is Mazzulla done? I think most of us hope so.
What about the roster? Some have suggested that everyone other than Tatum should be made available. If so, who should the Cs target?
 

NomarsFool

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It’s frustrating. This is their time. Smart is in decline and he’s more valuable to the Celtics than anyone else, I think. I know JB is a big scapegoat here, but I really think his hand is bothering him and the Cs would be selling low on him. I have no idea how to evaluate Rob Williams at this point. He seems all over the place in more ways than one.
 

benhogan

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It’s frustrating. This is their time. Smart is in decline and he’s more valuable to the Celtics than anyone else, I think. I know JB is a big scapegoat here, but I really think his hand is bothering him and the Cs would be selling low on him. I have no idea how to evaluate Rob Williams at this point. He seems all over the place in more ways than one.
Jaylen Brown, 2nd team All-NBA, feels a tad high. BUT many may feel he would flourish outside of Tatum's shadow. There would be tons of demand for JB & I wouldn't move him straight up for Dame (those trade proposals were batshit crazy in some other thread). He's going to be the player everyone speculates on.

I suspect CJM stays and they hire experienced Asst Coaches (ie Stephen Silas, Frank Vogel, Brett Brown types).
The IME Situation really screwed this team up. I hope Joe is smarter/better than what he has done in these playoffs (he was a net negative in the ATL/76er series IMHO). If he gets fired I wouldn't be terribly upset (Wyc might be).

Trust in Brad, think he's been great & is the only one with no blood on his hands here. This was a Championship roster, the incredibly thin coaching staff got the least out of it. This team slowly got worse as the season moved on. We made excuses for it, but it was there.
 

NomarsFool

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If they get swept, I'm just not sure CJM's reputation can recover. Obviously, a 4 game stretch doesn't change everything about his abilities as a coach, I just think that they may all decide it's just not going to work out out if that happens. I'm still pulling for a '04 redux - and I actually think that could happen, so hopefully this is a moot point. It's just hard for me to see how CJM could recover from this. He can go hang out with Grady Little and commiserate.
 

DJnVa

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No team has ever come back from 0-3 and this team’s performance in game 3 does not suggest they will be the ones to buck this trend.
19-8!

But, I don't know--I think all they need to do is call out the home crowd again.

I trust PBS, but these playoffs have been tough to watch. It's one thing to learn on the fly as coach for a bad team. Learning on the fly for a team with these expectations? Oof.
 

Eddie Jurak

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My expectation going into the season was that with an additional year of age and maturity for our young stars, with the experience of advancing to the finals and coming 2 games away froma title, and with the key addition of Malcolm Brogdon, who seemed like the perfect solution to some of the team's problems, that this would be a team ready to take the next step.

Instead, the team regressed. Badly.

What is hard to figures is how that happened. Tatum and Brown performed largely as expected, both taking big steps forward in their individual games. Brogdon was as advertised. Derrick White, not necessarily counted on for it, took a big step forward himself. Smart, Horford, and Rob didn't, for various reasons, but net it all out and the Celtics were a considerably improved team on paper.

But you don't win games on paper.

Some of it is the coaching. Ime's teams were at least committed to defense leading to transition offense. Mazzulla's Celtics are rarely locked in on defense. It's not always an effort thing - sometimes the effort is there but misguided, such as when a player leaves a good spot up shooter to rush over to double the ballhandler.

At the end of the day, I would have thought that even if the Celtics' halfcourt offense could be shut down by a focused hardworking team with a good plan, they would still ride defense + transition offense to a win against an obviously lesser team. But not of the will to defend and the focus is there, and it has not been.

I don't for the life of me know how this is fixed.

Jayson Tatum unquestionably has the talent to be the best player on a championship team. I don't think there's even a debate to be had. He contributes in all phases of the game. But is he the vocal leader who demands excellence from the rest of the team? Not yet and maybe not ever. Maybe he is a Paul Pierce who needs his KG. Maybe he has additional room for growth, as a player and leader. All we can say is that through today he has not been that guy. I don't think looking to move Tatum makes any sense at all.

At the same time, I don't see how "run it back" makes any sense either. But, then, nor is it obvious what changes need to be made and can be made.

I'm basically at a loss. But I guess I'd say Tatum should be back but there need to be some major (and maybe unthinkable prior to now) moves made. I think the current core has been together for a l'ong time and taken us as far as it can. Something else needs to be tried, and I don't know what.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Well, this all conjecture to begin with. Living here and the sources I know of - for the Blazers to entertain the thought, it would take a lot. Mind you, I think the Blazers should trade him. See my post in the NBA Thread.

Realistically, they are hunting for youth for a complete reset. With Brown, who knows what the number he’s looking for. And with the ownership in flux - hard to tell. My guess would be Brown, White, Timelord, Pritchard or a pick.

Teams will be lining up for Lillard.
Just wanted to put this in the appropriate thread since Jaylen to Portland has been discussed a lot in the podcast/social media sphere.

My take is I am not interested in any trade that would not bring back Dame PLUS assets for Brown alone. I'm fully aware that probably won't get it done, but am thinking if teams are lining up for Dame no one thinks teams *wouldn't* be lining up for an available Jaylen? And if people think the Cs defense has been struggling lately with their second best player at 6'6", Dame at 8 inches shorter doesn't exactly shore that up. At best, the offensive upgrade balances out the defensive downgrade.
 

lovegtm

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The Dame stuff is nuts. Have we not learned anything about undersized guards on the wrong side of 30?
Not to mention that Jaylen probably wouldn't re-sign in Portland, so it's not happening.

Someone like Donovan Mitchell for Jaylen would make a lot more sense for both teams, but I doubt Jaylen would re-sign in Cleveland either.
 

Strike4

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I'm basically at a loss.
You're not alone, either as a fan or probably as Brad Stevens, CJM, and the players. Whatever seems to have been ailing this team in preventing it from getting over the hump seems to be so complex that it's stymied a great head coach who moved to GM, a rising star coach (who was then removed for other reasons), and now a young CJM. Not to mention the veterans among the players who are all star, near MVPs and defensive players of the year, but who together can't crack this nut. All those other nearly-been teams like the 90's Cavs etc. had issues you could point to, like Michael Jordan and the Bulls. This team is a mystery.
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

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If Jaylen goes to Portland, it's not going to be for Dame. He's going there to pair with Dame, so the return is likely the #3 pick plus whatever is needed for salary purposes.
 

Devizier

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What’s interesting to me is that if you’re a fan of another team you are practically salivating at the prospect of picking through the Celtics roster this off-season (Brown obviously, but Brad will be getting calls over Smart, Williams, Brogdon, and White, I’m sure). That doesn’t mean that the Celtics should or will sell but they won’t be at a lack for suitors.
 

jezza1918

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My expectation going into the season was that with an additional year of age and maturity for our young stars, with the experience of advancing to the finals and coming 2 games away froma title, and with the key addition of Malcolm Brogdon, who seemed like the perfect solution to some of the team's problems, that this would be a team ready to take the next step.

Instead, the team regressed. Badly.

What is hard to figures is how that happened. Tatum and Brown performed largely as expected, both taking big steps forward in their individual games. Brogdon was as advertised. Derrick White, not necessarily counted on for it, took a big step forward himself. Smart, Horford, and Rob didn't, for various reasons, but net it all out and the Celtics were a considerably improved team on paper.

But you don't win games on paper.

Some of it is the coaching. Ime's teams were at least committed to defense leading to transition offense. Mazzulla's Celtics are rarely locked in on defense. It's not always an effort thing - sometimes the effort is there but misguided, such as when a player leaves a good spot up shooter to rush over to double the ballhandler.

At the end of the day, I would have thought that even if the Celtics' halfcourt offense could be shut down by a focused hardworking team with a good plan, they would still ride defense + transition offense to a win against an obviously lesser team. But not of the will to defend and the focus is there, and it has not been.

I don't for the life of me know how this is fixed.

Jayson Tatum unquestionably has the talent to be the best player on a championship team. I don't think there's even a debate to be had. He contributes in all phases of the game. But is he the vocal leader who demands excellence from the rest of the team? Not yet and maybe not ever. Maybe he is a Paul Pierce who needs his KG. Maybe he has additional room for growth, as a player and leader. All we can say is that through today he has not been that guy. I don't think looking to move Tatum makes any sense at all.

At the same time, I don't see how "run it back" makes any sense either. But, then, nor is it obvious what changes need to be made and can be made.

I'm basically at a loss. But I guess I'd say Tatum should be back but there need to be some major (and maybe unthinkable prior to now) moves made. I think the current core has been together for a l'ong time and taken us as far as it can. Something else needs to be tried, and I don't know what.
Solid level headed stuff here. Have two related thoughts/questions that stem from it - I personally view this core as Tatum/Brown/Smart, and I view it as their team for the past 3 seasons dating back to the 20/21 AFTER the bubble (the bubble team featured 22 year old Tatum, 23 year old Jaylen...but it wasnt really their team yet due to age and presence of Kemba and Hayward). So, while 3 years as the leading trio isnt that long, I do think it's long enough and the core needs to change. So back to my questions - is moving Smart enough of that core change or no? Secondly, by removing Smart do we think that increases the chances of Tatum to step into more of that vocal leadership role you allude to in your paragraph about him?

edit: EJ - realizing now that my opening sentence may read as snarky, I promise no snark intended
 
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soxin6

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It’s frustrating. This is their time. Smart is in decline and he’s more valuable to the Celtics than anyone else, I think. I know JB is a big scapegoat here, but I really think his hand is bothering him and the Cs would be selling low on him. I have no idea how to evaluate Rob Williams at this point. He seems all over the place in more ways than one.
I agree that his hand is bothering him and one day maybe we will get the real story about what happened with it. The explanation of how he was cut towards the end of the regular season sounded like BS. Maybe it was true, but that was a severe cut and the fact that he was bleeding badly during game 1 means it is still an issue.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Margins are so razor thin in this league. Last year with a shallower roster they played big, long, and athletic at every position.

Al a year older, Rob competing but physically not what he was, Smart looking a step slower, etc, and they can’t even keep guys like Duncan Robinson from getting into the paint and blowing up the whole shape of the defense. They basically don’t do anything aggressively anymore unless you count the occasional overzealous double/triple-team which is bad in a different way. Is it all physical? All effort? Coaching? Clamps has barely been a word in our vocabulary this season after being our defining characteristic last season. They often look and play like a team that just expects good things to happen without working for it. Seems like a variety of issues all coming together at the worst time.

My 1A priority is more ballhandling quickness. They have enough to penetrate against regular season dgaf defense but have been massively bothered by aggressive defense the last two playoffs leading to huge TO counts and poor offense when they can’t do anything to move defenses around the way their offense is meant to be built on (all the soccer stuff we heard early in the year).

I guess fixing the defense is 1B but to me that is more about getting buy-in. Miami has multiple hunt-worthy guys in their rotation but they make it work.
 

Granite Sox

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Admittedly, I don't know jack about basketball, but I think this team is broken (not even a warm take). Additionally, I'm a JB guy, not a Tatum guy. I don't think the Celtics ever win a championship if Tatum has to be "the guy". He's clearly the most talented player, but I don't think he operates well as the team's leader, despite his channeling of Stuart Smalley. So if your most talented player doesn't have that je ne sais quoi (#BobRyan), how can the C's hope to reach the summit?

Regarding "moves", I don't think there's a scenario where you could get equal value for either Tatum or Brown but I think one has to go and JB is more marketable now. Brown clearly has affection for Udoka and went on record saying he would do whatever it takes to make sure a POC wouldn't fail as Celtics coach, so is there a scenario where #4, Jalen Green or Jabari Smith, plus more picks starts the conversation? Obviously would necessitate other exits, but I fear a major re-tool needs to be performed. A Scarecrow job for the coach, and a combined Tin Man/Cowardly Lion job on the roster.
 

mikeford

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I guess fixing the defense is 1B but to me that is more about getting buy-in. Miami has multiple hunt-worthy guys in their rotation but they make it work.
That's coaching and mentality. Jimmy and Bam won't let their guys slack and Spo sets them up for success. Tatum Smart and Brown do let them slack. And do slack themselves. And the less said about Mazulla the better, that guy should be in the G League trying to figure out how to use timeouts. Zero.
 

lexrageorge

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I categorically reject any argument that implies our core is still "young" and just needs time to mature. Tatum will be entering his 7th season in the fall, Brown his 8th, Smart his 9th. And they have Horford in the lineup and vets like Griffin on the bench. The team's roster is what it is, and it is currently being played off the floor by an Eastern Conference rival. Adding a new 6th or 7th man to the rotation in the offseason is not going to cut it, especially given the players that should be available.

At some point, Stevens needs to recognize that neither the roster talent nor the coaching is good enough. The evidence is there in front of us for all to see; they were not good enough to beat the Warriors last season, and they are not good enough to beat the Heat now. I'm with those that absolutely believe it is feasible to build a championship roster around Jayson Tatum, much like it was possible to do so around Paul Pierce. But like Pierce, he needs 2 more stars around him. Brown may or may not be OK as the #2, but Smart cannot be the 3rd best player on a championship team. His limitations are being badly exposed the entire playoffs, and we already have seen his best days. And if Smart doesn't want to be a potential 6th man, then he needs to be jettisoned this offseason, as the crunch time offense has been horrible the last few seasons under 3 different coaches.

I have been a big Joe Mazzulla supporter in these threads; he was placed in a shitty situation and was able to handle it about as well as can be expected. But there should be at least 5 better coaching candidates available this offseason, and I don't think this team is in a position to "settle" for a guy just because he got a contract extension.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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I think they move on from Joe asap. You just can't go into the next season with the main question being "Will the second-year head coach show improvement?" Would the guy even be on the back end of any team's lists to fill their HC vacancies? If you were a Vogel-type would you want to come and bolster the staff and work side by side for a guy who's quickly earned a reputation for being as stubborn as a mule?

As for the players, I think they'll run it back with the same group. Marcus is pretty clearly nursing multiple injuries and I believe that management will roll the dice that a healthier Smart equals a return to his DPOY status. Certainly a gamble, but one that makes sense.

At the end of the day, this might just be the curtain closing on this team's window. Good but not good enough and until they actually win it all the persistent narrative will be about the year's long problem of collapsing under pressure. Every single close game where the tide turns against them it'll be "Here they go again".
 

lexrageorge

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I think they move on from Joe asap. You just can't go into the next season with the main question being "Will the second-year head coach show improvement?" Would the guy even be on the back end of any team's lists to fill their HC vacancies? If you were a Vogel-type would you want to come and bolster the staff and work side by side for a guy who's quickly earned a reputation for being as stubborn as a mule?

As for the players, I think they'll run it back with the same group. Marcus is pretty clearly nursing multiple injuries and I believe that management will roll the dice that a healthier Smart equals a return to his DPOY status. Certainly a gamble, but one that makes sense.

At the end of the day, this might just be the curtain closing on this team's window. Good but not good enough and until they actually win it all the persistent narrative will be about the year's long problem of collapsing under pressure. Every single close game where the tide turns against them it'll be "Here they go again".
If the curtain is closing on this team's window, then they have no choice but to blow it up. Wyc's not paying big luxury tax bills for this team to win an Eastern Conference Finalist banner.
 

Strike4

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I love Horford but I wonder if this team also needs the proverbial "asshole veteran player who is past his prime but who commentators still ball-wash and who isn't afraid to throw his weight around". Like Draymond, CP3, PatBev, etc.

Just throwing stuff out there...
 

jezza1918

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I categorically reject any argument that implies our core is still "young" and just needs time to mature. Tatum will be entering his 7th season in the fall, Brown his 8th, Smart his 9th. And they have Horford in the lineup and vets like Griffin on the bench. The team's roster is what it is, and it is currently being played off the floor by an Eastern Conference rival. Adding a new 6th or 7th man to the rotation in the offseason is not going to cut it, especially given the players that should be available.

At some point, Stevens needs to recognize that neither the roster talent nor the coaching is good enough. The evidence is there in front of us for all to see; they were not good enough to beat the Warriors last season, and they are not good enough to beat the Heat now. I'm with those that absolutely believe it is feasible to build a championship roster around Jayson Tatum, much like it was possible to do so around Paul Pierce. But like Pierce, he needs 2 more stars around him. Brown may or may not be OK as the #2, but Smart cannot be the 3rd best player on a championship team. His limitations are being badly exposed the entire playoffs, and we already have seen his best days. And if Smart doesn't want to be a potential 6th man, then he needs to be jettisoned this offseason, as the crunch time offense has been horrible the last few seasons under 3 different coaches.

I have been a big Joe Mazzulla supporter in these threads; he was placed in a shitty situation and was able to handle it about as well as can be expected. But there should be at least 5 better coaching candidates available this offseason, and I don't think this team is in a position to "settle" for a guy just because he got a contract extension.
Simplifying it based on the bolded leaves you with one major question...Tatum can be the 1, Smart can't be the 3, Can Brown be the 2? Let's pretend Stevens and company don't think he can be. What are potential solutions?
 

Light-Tower-Power

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I think they move on from Joe asap. You just can't go into the next season with the main question being "Will the second-year head coach show improvement?" Would the guy even be on the back end of any team's lists to fill their HC vacancies? If you were a Vogel-type would you want to come and bolster the staff and work side by side for a guy who's quickly earned a reputation for being as stubborn as a mule?

As for the players, I think they'll run it back with the same group. Marcus is pretty clearly nursing multiple injuries and I believe that management will roll the dice that a healthier Smart equals a return to his DPOY status. Certainly a gamble, but one that makes sense.

At the end of the day, this might just be the curtain closing on this team's window. Good but not good enough and until they actually win it all the persistent narrative will be about the year's long problem of collapsing under pressure. Every single close game where the tide turns against them it'll be "Here they go again".
I'd be disappointed if Brad runs it back with Tatum, Brown, and Smart as the core three again. It's pretty clear that it isn't working. I've always been a big fan of Smart but he looks three steps slow, is approaching 30, and his reckless style of play doesn't project to age well. I wouldn't be opposed to moving him and handing the keys over to Derrick White as the main ballhandler. White hasn't been great in these last two series but I question if he has been put in a position to succeed.
 

Pxer

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What other team's roster would you rather have instead of this current Celtics team? The Nuggets?

Nobody would rather have the Lakers roster or the Heat or the Bucks or Suns, right? I want this team to figure it out, but I don't see any obvious player moves that maximize titles over the next 5 years. This team is so close and can come back from two near misses at a championship. It doesn't get much better from a talent perspective than this.
 
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mwonow

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It seems like change is on tap, patience is for teams on the rise, and this team has clearly regressed since last year. Overall, though, I really like this roster/approach to roster building, so hopefully, changes are more "like for like" than abandoning the current path.

I'm not at all sure that JB is the right person to move out, but if he's the one leaving, I'd like to see OG (or someone of that ilk) as the main piece coming back. Maybe it's just that Smart is hurt, but these guys seem to need someone else who can stifle shooters and pitch in on the O side rather than an O-first guy - more a Garnett than a Ray Allen, if that makes any sense.
 

Devizier

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Another thing to keep in mind is that a lot of binkies around the league get exposed in the playoffs. I have been a big Vanderbilt fan and thought he would be a great 4/5 defensive energy guy and was bummed when the Lakers got him. But then the Nuggets have just stuffed him into a locker over the last few games and he hasn't had any impact at all.
 

Kliq

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I have nothing really to add yet, but in general I think people are too resistant to the idea of just running something back and hoping the team plays better.
 

EvilEmpire

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If Miami closes the deal as expected, what Stevens will do is a good question.

I'm more curious what players will do, and if any of the key guys decide they want to move on and ask for a trade.

The players may be young, but at this point they're all veterans. The only young guy who I'd expect to take a big step forward from this learning experience is Mazzulla. I don't think he'll get the chance to do that with Boston.
 

RSN Diaspora

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If the curtain is closing on this team's window, then they have no choice but to blow it up. Wyc's not paying big luxury tax bills for this team to win an Eastern Conference Finalist banner.
But the curtain isn't closing. Jaylen's All-NBA selection means the team can offer him a max contract. To have two superstars in their mid-20s locked up would be huge--you blow up a duo like Pierce/Garnett when they're clearly on the downslope, not here.

I hate the idea of a fourth coach in four years, but you could make a very compelling case for a CJM replacement as being critical to bouncing back.
 

BaseballJones

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I'd be disappointed if Brad runs it back with Tatum, Brown, and Smart as the core three again. It's pretty clear that it isn't working. I've always been a big fan of Smart but he looks three steps slow, is approaching 30, and his reckless style of play doesn't project to age well. I wouldn't be opposed to moving him and handing the keys over to Derrick White as the main ballhandler. White hasn't been great in these last two series but I question if he has been put in a position to succeed.
“Isn’t working”? This core has been to the ECF or better four times. That’s like making the final four four times. They were two games from winning it all last year. It’s “working” great. They haven’t won it all (yet), and maybe they never will but they’ve had tons of success.

I’m not saying they should bring everyone back. To get to the next level something needs to change but the “next level” is NBA Champion, and only one team each year gets to be that. Things can be “working” without being the sole survivor.
 

lexrageorge

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But the curtain isn't closing. Jaylen's All-NBA selection means the team can offer him a max contract. To have two superstars in their mid-20s locked up would be huge--you blow up a duo like Pierce/Garnett when they're clearly on the downslope, not here.

I hate the idea of a fourth coach in four years, but you could make a very compelling case for a CJM replacement as being critical to bouncing back.
I agree that the curtain isn't closing; I was responding to a hypothetical posted upthread. But I do think the curtain on Marcus Smart may be closing; he's not young anymore and is unlikely to age well.

“Isn’t working”? This core has been to the ECF or better four times. That’s like making the final four four times. They were two games from winning it all last year. It’s “working” great. They haven’t won it all (yet), and maybe they never will but they’ve had tons of success.

I’m not saying they should bring everyone back. To get to the next level something needs to change but the “next level” is NBA Champion, and only one team each year gets to be that. Things can be “working” without being the sole survivor.
Wyc isn't going to go deep into the luxury tax just so the team can hope to participate in the conference finals. So there is some urgency to get to the next step. Doesn't mean blowing it up, but I don't believe settling for the ECF is what this team, including its players, has in mind.
 

Jakarta

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Feels gross to say this, but this team could desperately use Draymond. He has the championship pedigree, would hold guys accountable, and seems to be friendly with JT, but also might be able to push him to reach another level. A new veteran voice, and one who has actually won a championship seems to be needed. It would really make the Cs the villains but up until this week, they seemed to play their best with their backs against the wall.

There was a lot of talk about this being the Last Dance with the Warriors so I assumed that meant Draymond was gone, but there seem to be some recent articles/blogs that indicate he is likely to resign. There probably isn’t a reasonable way to sign or trade for him anyways.
 

tims4wins

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“Isn’t working”? This core has been to the ECF or better four times. That’s like making the final four four times. They were two games from winning it all last year. It’s “working” great. They haven’t won it all (yet), and maybe they never will but they’ve had tons of success.

I’m not saying they should bring everyone back. To get to the next level something needs to change but the “next level” is NBA Champion, and only one team each year gets to be that. Things can be “working” without being the sole survivor.
Similar situation to the 2003-2005 Colts, no? They did get over the hump (albeit luckily). But they could just be the Harden-Durant-Westbrook Thunder too.
 

4 6 3 DP

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40 years ago, the Celtics were coming off of a 4 game sweep to an inferior team, led by a 26YO superstar, a 25 and 27 YO forward and 29 YP center, all of whom were in or entering their prime years, with a declining PG (34 YO) and emerging 2 guard. Their coach had won a title with them 3 years earlier but clearly was being checked out on by the core of the team. That team had just blown a game 7 at home a year earlier and then were annihilated by Milwaukee in the 82-83 sweep.

That GM made two moves - fired Bill Fitch and brought in KC Jones, and swindled Phoenix for Dennis Johnson (for the immortal Rick Robey). This rocketed that group to 4 straight finals, 2 titles, etc.

I think the parallels are really similar here. They need the right coach, and they need the right PG to control the ball in crunch time and get it to the right place and right person.

Getting all-NBA players is too hard in this league without top picks. I am not a very big JB fan, but I wouldn't deal him unless I got a similar player back, which is just unlikely.

I don't see how Smart fetches much in return, I see him as the Cedric Maxwell of the earlier version - likely to become an issue as his role declines.

The ideal is a strong coach comes in and they can get a ball handling guard who's strong defensively and can become the alpha on the floor in crunch time.
 

Murderer's Crow

Dragon Wangler 216
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Jul 15, 2005
23,864
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Re: Offseason hot takes as a result of the Heat series - I watched this happen with the Knicks. It looks like the Heat are prepared to make the perfect pass to the perfect player during almost all plays. They never go on a scoring drought because everyone can sink 3s at an alarming clip. If there was a sticky stuff type equivalent in basketball, I'd tell the refs to check all the heats finger tips, it's crazy how good they are. Watching both the Knicks and Rangers this postseason was infuriating - you see the other teams making sweet looking passes, never in a panic, and always ready for the ball. They were, as the C's are, outcoaches by a wide margin. I think Thibs did a great job with what he had but the C's have a couple fellas just like Randle who seem to have extreme confidence when they are on a heater and are mostly useless and emotionally charged when things aren't going their way.

Still, I think this has a lot more to do with the Heat than it does the Celtics. The Heat beat the Bucks, a strong Knicks team, and potentially are going to beat the favorites in the Celtics. You don't mold your offseason around reactions to how you lost to an "inferior team" who can't be beat at the moment. Just iterate and get better. And get a better coach.
 

Bigdogx

New Member
Jul 21, 2020
184
If Miami closes the deal as expected, what Stevens will do is a good question.

I'm more curious what players will do, and if any of the key guys decide they want to move on and ask for a trade.

The players may be young, but at this point they're all veterans. The only young guy who I'd expect to take a big step forward from this learning experience is Mazzulla. I don't think he'll get the chance to do that with Boston.
Christ i hope not, this team needs a real coach!
 

Mooch

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4,751
I have nothing really to add yet, but in general I think people are too resistant to the idea of just running something back and hoping the team plays better.
There's some truth to this line of thinking, particularly next season when the East might look pretty cakewalk-y. There's a really good chance that Philly and Milwaukee are weaker due to offseason decisions they face. I think this Celtics team with a tweak or two and a whole new coaching staff might be the favorite in the conference.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
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There's some truth to this line of thinking, particularly next season when the East might look pretty cakewalk-y. There's a really good chance that Philly and Milwaukee are weaker due to offseason decisions they face. I think this Celtics team with a tweak or two and a whole new coaching staff might be the favorite in the conference.
It's cakewalky this year too, but your overall point is true.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
25,284
Wyc isn't going to go deep into the luxury tax just so the team can hope to participate in the conference finals. So there is some urgency to get to the next step. Doesn't mean blowing it up, but I don't believe settling for the ECF is what this team, including its players, has in mind.

I’m not suggesting they settle. The NBA championship is - and should be - the goal. But they’ve absolutely been one of the most successful teams in the league the last 5-6 years. It’s “working” great. Just not…NBA championship great.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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Similar situation to the 2003-2005 Colts, no? They did get over the hump (albeit luckily). But they could just be the Harden-Durant-Westbrook Thunder too.
Yes I’m not going to suggest that I have any future insight as to what this core can or will do. I’m just saying the idea that it “isn’t working” is crazy.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
18,511
Yes I’m not going to suggest that I have any future insight as to what this core can or will do. I’m just saying the idea that it “isn’t working” is crazy.
But what if Tatum and/or Brown don’t feel it’s “working” because they don’t see a path to a title?
 

Light-Tower-Power

ask me about My Pillow
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“Isn’t working”? This core has been to the ECF or better four times. That’s like making the final four four times. They were two games from winning it all last year. It’s “working” great. They haven’t won it all (yet), and maybe they never will but they’ve had tons of success.

I’m not saying they should bring everyone back. To get to the next level something needs to change but the “next level” is NBA Champion, and only one team each year gets to be that. Things can be “working” without being the sole survivor.
That's fair, though I think it's safe to say that they've regressed this year despite getting better (on paper) over the summer and being mostly healthy throughout the playoffs. For a team with championship level talent and aspirations, that's not working. Making the ECF is an excellent accomplishment for the "just happy to be here" teams like the 2017 IT4 Celtics and the 2018 hospital Celtics. Getting swept out of the ECF this year (or losing in 5 or 6, whatever it happens to be) is nothing less than a major disappointment and indicative that something isn't working.
 

8slim

has trust issues
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I have nothing really to add yet, but in general I think people are too resistant to the idea of just running something back and hoping the team plays better.
I think this is most likely what they do. Mazzulla is probably a goner. And they'll thinker around the edges.

My concern is that I don't think Tatum and Brown are mature enough to commit to what is necessary to win a title. Unless there's Garnet somewhere out there to bring in, this team seems to me to be the Bucks or Sonics of the 80s. Really good, not good enough.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Jan 13, 2021
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I’m not suggesting they settle. The NBA championship is - and should be - the goal. But they’ve absolutely been one of the most successful teams in the league the last 5-6 years. It’s “working” great. Just not…NBA championship great.
I think this is right. Winning a championship is hard. There’s nothing they can do that is going to guarantee one. They could be really good and still never win one with this team. Lots of great teams never get over the hump.
 

bosockboy

Member
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Jul 15, 2005
20,610
St. Louis, MO
That's fair, though I think it's safe to say that they've regressed this year despite getting better (on paper) over the summer and being mostly healthy throughout the playoffs. For a team with championship level talent and aspirations, that's not working. Making the ECF is an excellent accomplishment for the "just happy to be here" teams like the 2017 IT4 Celtics and the 2018 hospital Celtics. Getting swept out of the ECF this year (or losing in 5 or 6, whatever it happens to be) is nothing less than a major disappointment and indicative that something isn't working.
Yep. They have the best roster in the league and have played poorly the entire postseason and are getting ran off the floor by undrafted guys who play harder and want it more. It’s certainly not working for 2023 expectations.
 

8slim

has trust issues
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25,658
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40 years ago, the Celtics were coming off of a 4 game sweep to an inferior team, led by a 26YO superstar, a 25 and 27 YO forward and 29 YP center, all of whom were in or entering their prime years, with a declining PG (34 YO) and emerging 2 guard. Their coach had won a title with them 3 years earlier but clearly was being checked out on by the core of the team. That team had just blown a game 7 at home a year earlier and then were annihilated by Milwaukee in the 82-83 sweep.

That GM made two moves - fired Bill Fitch and brought in KC Jones, and swindled Phoenix for Dennis Johnson (for the immortal Rick Robey). This rocketed that group to 4 straight finals, 2 titles, etc.

I think the parallels are really similar here. They need the right coach, and they need the right PG to control the ball in crunch time and get it to the right place and right person.

Getting all-NBA players is too hard in this league without top picks. I am not a very big JB fan, but I wouldn't deal him unless I got a similar player back, which is just unlikely.

I don't see how Smart fetches much in return, I see him as the Cedric Maxwell of the earlier version - likely to become an issue as his role declines.

The ideal is a strong coach comes in and they can get a ball handling guard who's strong defensively and can become the alpha on the floor in crunch time.
I get the analogy, but that core had already won a title. We knew they were capable. This team... has not... and we don't. I'm not sure it's as simple as just replacing the coach. But I agree that I doubt they'll want to jettison Brown (and I don't care for him either).
 

dhellers

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Oct 31, 2005
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I have nothing really to add yet, but in general I think people are too resistant to the idea of just running something back and hoping the team plays better.
I am leaning this way. It may be a risky to keep the core together but any big-shakeup has its own risks.

For example: imagine you could trade for "Dame -- a great oft injured guard on the wrong side of 30 --to solve your offensive droughts". Kemba reminds us of that risk.

And do we want to start a "process" -- ditch everyone except Tatum for a bunch of picks & gambles. You think Tatum sticks around for a rebuild?

The theory behind keeping it together would be the prospect for improvement of existing players. In particular: improvement in cohesion.
It is narrativey, but the article in the Athletic about "anti-super teams" (Nuggets and Heat) reminded me of what I liked about this Celtics squad for the last few years.
Is it possible to bring back the collective spirit of the earlier Brad Stevens team (or spring 2022), with the peak-skills of the current team?

https://theathletic.com/4538645/2023/05/21/nuggets-heat-lakers-celtics-nba-anti-superteams/?source=pulsenewsletter&campaign=6862390

Does the past tell us anything? I am old enough to remember (and be a SRO viewer ) of 1983 and 1984.
Being swept in 1983 (with most games decided by 10+) in round 2 by a very-good-but-not-great Bucks . And 10+ points in the 83s meant more than 10+ in the 23s!
In 1984 add one piece (DJ), and a new coach (KC Jones): win championship (and win again in 1986).

There are similarities -- the 1983 team had a flat feeling, too often lacking in energy.
Alas, what are the odds of finding a "Phoenix" who will trade a disgruntled Dennis Johnson for a Rick Robey?
And who would be KC? Doc Rivers in the prodigal son role?


Note: was writing this while '4 6 4 DP' posted! And 8Slim makes a good point, but similarities -- 83 celts underperformed-- exist

(The underperformance partly because they were thin, with TIny Archibald getting old).

And since hope is cheap, why not us (to come back down 3-0)!
 
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bosockboy

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I am leaning this way. It may be a risky to keep the core together but any big-shakeup has its own risks.

For example: imagine you could trade for "Dame -- a great oft injured guard on the wrong side of 30 --to solve your offensive droughts". Kemba reminds us of that risk.

And do we want to start a "process" -- ditch everyone except Tatum for a bunch of picks & gambles. You think Tatum sticks around for a rebuild?

The theory behind keeping it together would be the prospect for improvement of existing players. In particular: improvement in cohesion.
It is narrativey, but the article in the Athletic about "anti-super teams" (Nuggets and Heat) reminded me of what I liked about this Celtics squad for the last few years.
Is it possible to bring back the collective spirit of the earlier Brad Stevens team (or spring 2022), with the peak-skills of the current team?

https://theathletic.com/4538645/2023/05/21/nuggets-heat-lakers-celtics-nba-anti-superteams/?source=pulsenewsletter&campaign=6862390

Does the past tell us anything? I am old enough to remember (and be a SRO viewer ) of 1983 and 1984.
Being swept in 1983 (with most games decided by 10+) in round 2 by a very-good-but-not-great Bucks . And 10+ points in the 83s meant more than 10+ in the 23s!
In 1984 add one piece (DJ), and a new coach (KC Jones): win championship (and win again in 1986).

There are similarities -- the 1983 team had a flat feeling, too often lacking in energy.
Alas, what are the odds of finding a "Phoenix" who will trade a disgruntled Dennis Johnson for a Rick Robey?
And who would be KC? Doc Rivers in the prodigal son role?
Wonder if Eddie House has any coaching chops.
 

Pilgrim

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Mar 24, 2006
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I have nothing really to add yet, but in general I think people are too resistant to the idea of just running something back and hoping the team plays better.
It’s more or less what Denver did, and their stars were older with a less impressive playoff resume than our guys. Miami pretty much ran it back too.
 

NomarsFool

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Dec 21, 2001
8,589
I can't remember as much from CBS' early days with the Celtics, but generally, wasn't her perceived as being a great defensive coach? It's interesting that, at least initially, he was able to catch the ear of the players and get them to execute his system (which ironically, this current roster probably has better personell to execute Brad's defensive scheme than some of the teams that he had) despite the fact that he wouldn't strike you as the type of coach that would be able to do that - not a former NBA player, etc.