The Heat is on, ECF here we come!

HomeRunBaker

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Giving up a bunch of easy 2’s would be a relief at this point given all the easy 3’s they gave up. I’m just irritated today. Hate losing to Riley and hate giving games away like that.
I edited to include open 3’s in my prior response. Kanter cannot defend out there at all and isn’t going to even be a consideration for this reason. You can barely get away with TL but at least he can protect against dribble drives.

Spo would have wet dreams of attacking Kemba and Kanter in a playoff game. This is a series where we really need Gordo back to get Kemba off the floor. Hopefully he can do for us what Rondo has done for the Lakers.
 

Imbricus

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Isn't the solution here getting Kemba to pass the damn ball earlier?
Yeah that ball should be swinging around faster than a chunk of radioactive uranium. Late in the game they got really stagnant on offense. The problem is, and we've seen this before, when a player isn't doing well, or the team isn't doing well, the big dogs (Tatum, Walker) tend to go into ISO mode. I think Kemba was pressing too hard, trying to pull out some of the old magic and make up for a bad game in just a couple of minutes.
 

BigSoxFan

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I edited to include open 3’s in my prior response. Kanter cannot defend out there at all and isn’t going to even be a consideration for this reason. You can barely get away with TL but at least he can protect against dribble drives.

Spo would have wet dreams of attacking Kemba and Kanter in a playoff game. This is a series where we really need Gordo back to get Kemba off the floor. Hopefully he can do for us what Rondo has done for the Lakers.
Yup. Don’t disagree. Gordo is 100% needed. This may simply be a case where we just don’t have the horses.

I would kill to see a lineup or Theis, Tatum, Brown, Gordo, Smart right about now.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Yup. Don’t disagree. Gordo is 100% needed. This may simply be a case where we just don’t have the horses.

I would kill to see a lineup or Theis, Tatum, Brown, Gordo, Smart right about now.
On the optimistic side, we were a running lunging Herro 3 away from being up 1-0.
 

128

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Kanter would be a nightmare on the floor for us. If you think that the Heat were targeting Kemba in the paint on switches now they would have another easy 2 or an open 3 virtually every time down the floor.
As I mentioned in the game thread, the C's should probably cut ties with Kanter this offseason, no matter how great he is in the locker room. When a key member of your regular-season rotation is unplayable against many/most playoff opponents, that's a major issue.
 

slamminsammya

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As I mentioned in the game thread, the C's should probably cut ties with Kanter this offseason, no matter how great he is in the locker room. When a key member of your regular-season rotation is unplayable against many/most playoff opponents, that's a major issue.
Is it a major issue? He's not that expensive. Also very common to totally drop regular season guys in the playoffs.
 

HomeRunBaker

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As I mentioned in the game thread, the C's should probably cut ties with Kanter this offseason, no matter how great he is in the locker room. When a key member of your regular-season rotation is unplayable against many/most playoff opponents, that's a major issue.
Someone loses minutes off that second unit in the playoffs when the rotations go from 10-11 down to 8-9. I don’t expect Kanter to return anyway with TL seemingly ready to take on that 16-18 mph second unit big role but just as Miami dropped Meyers Leonard and Derrick Jones from there rotation, a big and a wing was being dropped from ours.
 

128

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Is it a major issue? He's not that expensive. Also very common to totally drop regular season guys in the playoffs.
Financially, it's not a big deal. But when your No. 2 center is unplayable, that hurts competitively. To be fair, Time Lord's improvement has made Kanter expendable, but the situation is still less than ideal.
 

slamminsammya

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Financially, it's not a big deal. But when your No. 2 center is unplayable, that hurts competitively. To be fair, Time Lord's improvement has made Kanter expendable, but the situation is still less than ideal.
Does it hurt competitively? Williams and Theis seem like a pretty good platoon.
 

CreightonGubanich

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I guess I'm feeling more optimistic than most here, even after the devastating ending. Miami is really, really good, and that game was basically decided on a coin flip. Both teams had chances at it, Miami made more plays, the Bam block in particular. I thought overall, the Celtics were fine. It wasn't a great defensive game for them; they contained Butler for the most part, but gave up way too many open threes to Crowder and Robinson (the latter of whom couldn't get a rhythm going, but if he keeps getting those looks, it's going to be bad for Boston).

The result came down to a failure of late game execution on Boston's part. Tatum in particular really faded down the stretch. But they've typically handled these types of situations well - they've won more than there share of games that were close late. And they should, because they have two elite offensive weapons in Kemba and Tatum. Kemba's performance was concerning, but to me it looked mental rather than physical. He still roasted guys for his stepback when he had to, but he was also making terrible decisions with the ball and seemingly couldn't decide whether he wanted to shoot the jumper or drive.

Either way, I think Miami's trapping of Walker is something Boston can adjust to. If Kemba's going to draw that much attention, the Celtics just have too many other weapons to go at Miami's scrambling defense. Last night, Miami gambled that they could trap and recover, but sooner or later that approach is going to fall apart as Boston adjusts to getting it out of Kemba's hands quicker. This defense, in particular, is where they really miss Hayward's playmaking ability.

I also think they need to put Marcus Smart on Dragic from the jump. They started the game with Smart on Robinson and Kemba guarding Dragic. Later in the game, when Herro replaced Robinson, they moved Kemba to Herro and put Smart on Dragic. Maybe Brad thought Robinson's height was just too much for Kemba. But I think they've got to put Smart on Dragic to slow him down, it really affects Miami's entire half court offense. Kemba can guard Crowder or Robinson.

It's 1-0. I don't expect Boston to execute that poorly offensively again, and I think there's some easy defensive corrections that can be made. Boston also has the best player in this series, and it's not close. Celts in 7.
 

128

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Does it hurt competitively? Williams and Theis seem like a pretty good platoon.
Look, you win. I just think having a No. 2 center who could contribute in the playoffs is preferable to having one who can't be trusted to play even the tiniest of roles against most opponents.

In the end, Kanter won't be the difference between winning or losing for the C's, but every little asset helps, and right now he adds no value. That makes what was already a weak bench even weaker.
 
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HowBoutDemSox

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Look, you win. I just think having a No. 2 center who could contribute in the playoffs is preferable to having one who can't be trusted to play even the tiniest of roles against most opponents.

In the end, Kanter won't be the difference between winning or losing for the C's, but every little asset helps, and right now he adds no value. That makes what was already a weak bench even weaker.
What if we kept him, but just called him the No. 3 center, would that work? It a matchup league a lot of the time and the guy who can bang in the post with Embiid isn’t necessarily the guy you want chasing guards around on switches against Toronto or Miami. It’s good to have situational players off the bench and so long as they’re not busting the cap or complaining in the locker room, a situational third string center seems like a fine use of a roster spot to me.
 

the moops

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Miami is the better team here, no question. Something needs to change for the Celtics to even extend this to 7. If the Celtics had anything off the be nch it might be different. From the start of the 4th, the Celtics basically had nothing left and just struggling to hang on. They either get a productive Gordon Hayward back or stick a fork in them.
Wow. They lose by 3 points in overtime in game 1 and they are done? I don't know how anyone comes to that conclusion.
 

128

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What if we kept him, but just called him the No. 3 center, would that work? It a matchup league a lot of the time and the guy who can bang in the post with Embiid isn’t necessarily the guy you want chasing guards around on switches against Toronto or Miami. It’s good to have situational players off the bench and so long as they’re not busting the cap or complaining in the locker room, a situational third string center seems like a fine use of a roster spot to me.
If Kanter is content with that role, that would be good for both parties. Not sure that's how he sees himself, but he may not have any better options. The game is changing quickly, and he's something of a dinosaur.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Look, you win. I just think having a No. 2 center who could contribute in the playoffs is preferable to having one who can't be trusted to play even the tiniest of roles against most opponents.

In the end, Kanter won't be the difference between winning or losing for the C's, but every little asset helps, and right now he adds no value. That makes what was already a weak bench even weaker.
To be fair, Miami is saying the same about Meyers Leonard. Rotations get shortened in the playoffs and you don’t need a second 5 against most.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Last night, Miami gambled that they could trap and recover, but sooner or later that approach is going to fall apart as Boston adjusts to getting it out of Kemba's hands quicker.
This has been happening since at least game 3 versus Toronto. If they haven't made the adjustments by now, I'm pessimistic they will going forward.
 

128

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To be fair, Miami is saying the same about Meyers Leonard. Rotations get shortened in the playoffs and you don’t need a second 5 against most.
Leonard is shooting 41 percent from 3-point range. That's a nice luxury to have in deep reserve. Same is true for Olynyk, who's also shooting 41 percent from 3.
 

NomarsFool

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Not sure I can complain about the bench too much. I'm a frequent BW critic, but he had 5 steals last night. While he's no longer on the bench, we also got a monster game from Marcus Smart. The big problem is that Kemba (and to a lesser extent Tatum) really didn't shoot very well. Tatum obviously had a huge game on the defensive end and contributed in other ways.
 

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Wow. They lose by 3 points in overtime in game 1 and they are done? I don't know how anyone comes to that conclusion.
If they continue to play the way they have over the past 6 games, they are done - they won’t even get to a game 7. I’m not sure what the problem is: weak bench leading to excessive minutes for the starters, lack of physical/mental toughness, Kemba playing through an injury.

This is a team that plays well in spurts, but sits Back with a lead and waits for the clock to run out. It is a team that abandons any kind of team play at the end of close games and focuses on having 4 guys watch the 5th attempt some individual heroics. Sometimes it works (Toronto game 7) but more often than not it fails (Toronto games 3, 4, 6 andMiami game 1).

They aren’t winning this series playing like this. Will they, can they, change? They have been talking the talk since they started losing games in the Toronto series, but are they going to walk the walk?
 

NickEsasky

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let's not forget the other shot that went down was a Butler semi (not Semi)-contested corner 3 which I think most of us would have taken before this series started.
He was also fouled on that play (perhaps prior to the shot) with the shirt grab so it easily could have been a 4 point play there.
 

The Napkin

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Can I ask an ignorant question as someone who doesn't watch much NBA?

Was the block on Tatum goal tending? The ball's over the cylinder right? IS there something else about it that makes it not?

(best overhead picture I could find)

 

HomeRunBaker

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let's not forget the other shot that went down was a Butler semi (not Semi)-contested corner 3 which I think most of us would have taken before this series started.
Don’t bait me on Butler’s 3-point bubble shooting now. ;)


They aren’t winning this series playing like this. Will they, can they, change? They have been talking the talk since they started losing games in the Toronto series, but are they going to walk the walk?
At the risk of beating a dead horse, the Celtics have a clear familiarity advantage as this series progresses. We need to become comfortable with their ball movement and where the shooters are rotating off that movement and off penetration. This is easier to do through repetition than it is for Miami to adjust to our offensive athleticism. Basically, this is on Brad and the team to figure out.
 

RedOctober3829

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Yep. I didn't wake up feeling particularly optimistic either. Miami is just going to keep playing zone and, like against Toronto, the Celtics have no answer for it with a Kemba who is getting trapped so easily. I said it in the GT and maybe it's crazy, but I'd absolutely try Kanter off the bench tomorrow. Rob Williams wasn't effective, the small-ball lineups weren't effective, and Miami has nobody who can check Kanter inside.
They shot 50% from 3 against the Miami zone in the first half and Miami didn't even play that much zone.
 

Tony C

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Can I ask an ignorant question as someone who doesn't watch much NBA?

Was the block on Tatum goal tending? The ball's over the cylinder right? IS there something else about it that makes it not?

(best overhead picture I could find)

ball never left Tatum's hand, he was touching it the whole way, so not a goaltend. It did occur to me that if Tatum had gone for a layup from above the rim there's a good chance it would have been a goaltend (not that he should have done so -- gotta go for the sure slam. (well, the "sure" slam).
 

NickEsasky

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Can I ask an ignorant question as someone who doesn't watch much NBA?

Was the block on Tatum goal tending? The ball's over the cylinder right? IS there something else about it that makes it not?

(best overhead picture I could find)

I don't believe it can be because the ball technically never left Tatum's hand. The only way to really goaltend a dunk is if the defender comes up through the rim I think.
 

lexrageorge

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Can I ask an ignorant question as someone who doesn't watch much NBA?

Was the block on Tatum goal tending? The ball's over the cylinder right? IS there something else about it that makes it not?

(best overhead picture I could find)

n/m. Answered above.
 

The Napkin

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gotcha, that's the part I was missing. thanks. I mean I kind of assumed /someone/ would have pointed it out. But...
 

HomeRunBaker

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What's the knock on Leonard? Can't defend?
Can’t defend in Miami’s system as he kills them outside of the paint as most second units go smaller and play faster. As a starter he pushes Bam to the 4 which then eliminates one of Herro, Robinson or Crowder from the starting unit. So yeah, pretty similar situation as Kanter as their lack of defensive versatility makes them pretty much unplayable in the playoffs.
 

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Game 2 is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Thursday. Any idea why, with no Western game to follow, the NBA didn't opt for 8 or 8:30 p.m.?

Not that I'm complaining, but you'd think the NBA would want to try to attract some of the West Coast market.
 

Captaincoop

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On the optimistic side, we were a running lunging Herro 3 away from being up 1-0.
I don't understand the despair. They were up 14 points in the fourth quarter and even after flopping down the stretch they had multiple chances to win. They didn't look like a demonstrably weaker team to me, Miami made the plays down the stretch that the C's didn't. The Butler three and drive and the Bam block were massive plays that win games. The Celtics need to come back and make some of those in game 2.
 

jmcc5400

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I don't understand the despair.
They wasted great offensive games from Smart and Wanamaker and there is creeping suspicion that what Kemba is going through is not a slump but a recurrence of the knee issues that plagued him earlier in the year. Now they have to win 4 of 6. That's a steep hill even if it's a coin toss series.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I'm surprised people are pessimistic after that game. Heat's 3pt advantage is likely not that large, the FT disparity may continue but also may not (Heat are great at drawing fouls, but Celtics were the more active team in the paint and that will tend to even out), and Celtics played a bad game offensively and still should have won.

To me, the game proved what we likely expected: it's a close series, and the team who executes better will win most games. And, across the "starter" minutes, the Celtics have a better team. So this comes down to three things: can Celts bench hang around (not great results last night, especially in first half); who executes better (terrible results last night for Boston); what does Hayward contribute (TBD).

I guess I can get pessimism around Kemba and worrying that execution is not fixable. For me, Celts had three very strong games against Toronto on that front and I'm willing to have some faith.
 

BigSoxFan

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They wasted great offensive games from Smart and Wanamaker and there is creeping suspicion that what Kemba is going through is not a slump but a recurrence of the knee issues that plagued him earlier in the year. Now they have to win 4 of 6. That's a steep hill even if it's a coin toss series.
Yeah. It’s not despair but the Celtics likely need 1 of 2 things to happen to win this series:

1. Kemba unfucks himself, which may not be possible due to his knee

2. Hayward comes back by Game 3 and makes immediate impact

All of my pessimism is centered on Kemba. I think he’s absolutely cooked, at least for this year.
 

DGreenwood

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I keep reading that Kemba's knee must be really bothering him. I understand the logic in that premise because he looks slow and is having trouble keeping his footing a lot of the time. But if he was hurt, would Brad be running so much iso for him?

It almost looks like Brad knows he needs to play better and is trying to get him going. If he was hurt I'd think they'd change the way they use him to hide his weaknesses.
 

Kliq

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One thing getting Hayward back should help, even if he isn't close to 100%, is that he is an excellent reader of the defense and makes quick decisions with the ball. Part of the problem against the zone has been that the Celtics are slow to move the ball around and punish the zone by finding the open man once penetration takes place. Even Tatum struggles with making the quick and easy pass to the open shooter. Hayward, even if he can't jump very high or explode off the dribble, is great at getting the ball and making the right pass quickly. I expect that to really help punish the Heat if they overcommitt in the zone.
 

the moops

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Yeah. It’s not despair but the Celtics likely need 1 of 2 things to happen to win this series:

1. Kemba unfucks himself, which may not be possible due to his knee

2. Hayward comes back by Game 3 and makes immediate impact
Or they just make one more shot or MIA misses one shot. There is almost nothing that needs to change for them to win the series
 

RedOctober3829

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Game 2 is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Thursday. Any idea why, with no Western game to follow, the NBA didn't opt for 8 or 8:30 p.m.?

Not that I'm complaining, but you'd think the NBA would want to try to attract some of the West Coast market.
They don't want to go right up against the Thursday night NFL game that starts at 8:20.
 

OurF'ingCity

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If they continue to play the way they have over the past 6 games, they are done - they won’t even get to a game 7. I’m not sure what the problem is: weak bench leading to excessive minutes for the starters, lack of physical/mental toughness, Kemba playing through an injury.

This is a team that plays well in spurts, but sits Back with a lead and waits for the clock to run out. It is a team that abandons any kind of team play at the end of close games and focuses on having 4 guys watch the 5th attempt some individual heroics. Sometimes it works (Toronto game 7) but more often than not it fails (Toronto games 3, 4, 6 andMiami game 1).

They aren’t winning this series playing like this. Will they, can they, change? They have been talking the talk since they started losing games in the Toronto series, but are they going to walk the walk?
Sure, but that's like saying Philly and Toronto needed to improve their play after going down 2 games to none in the prior series. Toronto did and forced a Game 7 they easily could have won if a few things went their way. Philly didn't and got swept.

Ultimately, although you never want to lose Game 1, it's not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things. We all know that the Cs beat Milwaukee in Game 1 (in convincing fashion) and then proceeded to be humiliated from there. And just in this playoffs we've seen Milwaukee lose Game 1 to the Magic and the Lakers lose Game 1 to the Blazers (and then the Houston) before dominating the rest of those series, the Nuggets losing Game 1 to the Clips before ultimately prevailing, and a bunch of other teams (Toronto, Utah, OKC) losing Game 1 before ultimately forcing a Game 7 that was tight the entire game and could easily have gone the other way.

Even if the Celtics go down 0-2 I won't be panicking - just in this playoffs alone we've seen I think 4 teams come back from being down two games in a series to at minimum force a game 7 (granted two of those are the same Denver team in consecutive series).
 

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Or they just make one more shot or MIA misses one shot. There is almost nothing that needs to change for them to win the series
Of course when the game goes to OT and the final margin is 3 points you can say that, but Smart went 6-13 from 3 and scored 26 points. Like it or not that will 100% change so they'll need Kemba/Hayward to pick up that production.
 

BigSoxFan

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They lost in OT by 3 points. If BOS made one more shot at the end of regulation, or MIA missed, who do you think wins that game?
But they didn’t make one more shot so now they have to win 4 games in 6 tries with a shit Kemba against a team that is peaking and is a tough matchup. I don’t think they can do it unless Kemba improves or Hayward provides some production upon his return. Again, I’m fine disagreeing on this point.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Of course when the game goes to OT and the final margin is 3 points you can say that, but Smart went 6-13 from 3 and scored 26 points. Like it or not that will 100% change so they'll need Kemba/Hayward to pick up that production.
That isn't true if their defense improves. Overall this postseason the Cs have held teams to 41% shooting and the Heat shot something like 47% in Game 1 so even just improving their defense slightly (scheming to keep Dragic out of the lane, not leaving Crowder routinely open on corner 3s, etc.) could be enough even if Kemba continues to play like dogshit and Smart's shooting regresses.