Boston Celtics Using Length for Positionless Basketball

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Boston Celtics Using Length for Positionless Basketball

Post by bobheckler on Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:51 am

Boston Celtics Using Length for Positionless Basketball

by Harry Bachrach

13 hours ago

The Boston Celtics are trending towards positionless basketball, but are looking for more length, similar to the Bucks

With pieces like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Semi Ojeleye, Jae Crowder, and Gordon Hayward, the Boston Celtics are evolving into a team without positions. Last season, we saw Avery Bradley become a top rebounder for the green team, Crowder played the 3 and the 4, and even Smart showcase some play in the post.

This year, we have a draft class stocked with versatile players who can do a little bit of everything. Based on summer league performances, Tatum and Ojeleye can score and rebound at the 3 or 4, with Ojeleye appearing to be more of a “3 and D” player. Of course, we can’t talk about next season without adding in the contributions Hayward will provide on both ends of the floor.

Headlining the move toward position-less basketball are teams like the Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks. The former being the ultimate position-less model with two championships in hand, and the latter rising through the NBA ranks as a matchup nightmare (read: Giannis Antetokounmpo).

Danny Ainge deserves praise for his decision to not try to mimic the champion Warriors, and instead following the Bucks model. It’s nearly impossible to find another Curry, Green, or Durant. However, it is possible to find skilled, versatile players with length like the Bucks have done.

To his credit, Ainge has certainly found skilled, versatile players with length. He has assembled a roster that should be taller (and more skilled) than the 2016 team.

With FiveThirtyEight measuring the 2016 Celtics as the shortest team in the league, and our two aforementioned opponents as the tallest, Ainge’s new acquisitions can only help the height problem.

The added length and versatility will help the Celtics more easily switch on defense and create matchup problems when they run their sets on offense. Envision Tatum playing the 2 during the upcoming season and hitting opposing guards with his turnaround fade-away at the top of the key. Deadly.

The Celtics aren’t shy about their plans to become a longer, more skilled team. Per CSNNE, Brad Stevens said, “the way I look at it, you’re a ball-handler, a wing, a guy that can play 3 or 4 or you’re a big. I don’t have five positions anymore.”

Minus Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics could start lineup of quality players all over the height of 6’4″, assuming Marcus Smart is the primary ball-handler. Furthermore, with Thomas as your starting primary ball-handler, we could see Brown at the 2 which would create a big, skilled, versatile lineup.

The comparison to the Bucks is only in terms of length. The Celtics should be able to beat the Bucks next season. Beating the Warriors will be much harder, though the Celtics have given the Warriors trouble in the past.

It is the Celtics matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers where the roster additions should help. Between the turmoil in their front office and lack of young players, it is only a matter a time before the Celtics take the torch as the class of the east.



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Re: Boston Celtics Using Length for Positionless Basketball

Post by gyso on Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:36 am

No more 3 guard lineups. I'm glad we are done with that.

Now we have one guard, 3 wings and a big in most of our combos on the floor. That should improve our defensive numbers significantly.



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