Now cometh the blame game.

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Now cometh the blame game.

Post by swish on Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:01 pm

Hopefully things will turn around real soon - but in the meantime I guess the blame game will be in full force - with a fair share of fingers pointing to Smart's absence over the last 10 games as being a major factor in the Celts tail spin. But bear in mind that in those last 10 games without Smart, the Celtics have won 6 and lost 4 (.600) ball. Since their great 18-2 start ended on 11-20-17, Smart played in 30 straight games before going out with his hand injury. During those 30 games the team won 18 and lost 12. That's .600 ball - the exact same percentage that the Celtics played at over the last 10 games without Smart. With or without Smart, a continuation of .600 ball dampens the outlook for the future. It's getting close to time to reassert that we are more than just another playoff team.

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by Phil Pressey on Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:48 am

swish wrote:Hopefully things will turn around real soon - but in the meantime I guess the blame game will be in full force - with a fair share of fingers pointing to Smart's absence over the last 10 games as being a major factor in the Celts tail spin. But bear in mind that in those last 10 games without Smart, the Celtics have won 6 and lost 4 (.600) ball.  Since their great 18-2 start ended on 11-20-17,  Smart played in 30 straight games before going out with his hand injury. During those 30 games the team won 18 and lost 12. That's .600 ball - the exact same percentage that the Celtics played at over the last 10 games without Smart.  With or without Smart, a continuation of .600 ball dampens the outlook for the future. It's getting close to time to reassert that we are more than just another playoff team.

 swish

I'm not ready to throw in the towel. The fourth overall seed and 2nd in the East still looks secured.

If the Celtics have trouble with the Clippers, then I might start to worry.

The blame game is okay. This is my pecking order for current blame:

Stevens
Smart
Morris
Kyrie
refs
all national t.v. announcers and talking heads

I refuse to back down in my opinion that the Celtics are going to be fine for the playoffs. It comes down to health and stamina. They've got some extra rest and the Clippers on Wednesday, then eight days off.

It won't be my fault if the season goes sour. The players get paid very well to absorb the fans' sour grapes. If they do well, all is good. If not, they and/or the coaches to blame should be exposed.

The C's remind me of when the Magic had Dwight Howard. It was him and four guys taking a lot of three pointers. When they dropped, Orlando looked unbeatable. I am starting to think excessive three point shooting is akin to going to the casino. You might hit some good cards, but eventually all the money will be lost.

So I put this slump on the coaching strategy for offense. It's as if Brad Stevens is allergic to a running game or showing respect to the sport by not just going for the laziest shots possible. They look so predictable. This is the first year one of Brad's teams has gotten worse as the season continued. There's still time. I'm not denying the trend has been towards mediocrity. I'm hoping it's just the dog days part of the season.
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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by kdp59 on Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:44 am

.600 ball is pretty damn good if you ask me.

we DID lose our Max salary free agent acquisition after only 5 minute this season after all.

I do think many of us have had too high expectations of this team considering that alone.

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by swish on Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:43 am

kdp59 wrote:.600 ball is pretty damn good if you ask me.

we DID lose our Max salary free agent acquisition after only 5 minute this season after all.

I do think many of us have had too high expectations of this team considering that alone.


   Since the 1979-80 season, 399 teams have gone into the playoffs with a winning percentage of under .650 - and in those 38 years only 2, the Rockets in 1994-95 and Heat in 2005-06,. have gone on to get a ring - that's 0.005%.

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by dboss on Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:14 am

We have praised a lot of signature wins.

This was a signature loss.  The blowout in Toronto was also a signature loss.

The Celtics threw up 38 three point attempts.  That's 38-89 or 42%.  They managed to make 10 of those shots or 26.3%.  The Cavs shots lights out.

Bill Russell once said that this game is about buckets.

I guess we can pick apart all the nuances that we find distasteful but this comes down to one thing.  The Celtics have been struggling all year long to score he basketball.  It has been said that the best defense is a good offense.  When Boston goes into a scoring funk like thy did beginning in the 2nd QTR yesterday things just seem to fall apart.

The Celtics offense looks pretty vanilla.  I can close my eyes and see them running the same things over and over again.  Teams have figured out how to defend what we do.  If Boston can get an open three pointer they are happy.  

The Celtics do not get to the line enough as they are 21st in league in attempts and 19th in makes. They do not consistently play with enough pace as they are 23rd in the league in FGA.  The Celtics do not fast break enough.  They are 25th in fast break points.  The Celtics are 20th in offensive rebounds which means they are not getting extra shots like other teams.

I do not believe there is a fix to these issues this year.  The Celtics are a team that averages around 103 PPG.  That is unlikely to change this year.  What I do expect is for the Celtics to come out and play hard every game.  I think that Brad Stevens may want to shorten his rotation to 8-9 players.  I think he shuffles too many players in and out of the lineup.  It more closely resembles a college basketball game.

I guess the pipe dream of winning 60 games this year was a great expectation.  The Celtics will be in the playoffs.  That is all that I expect this year.  There will not be a banner earned this year.  This team is good but not good enough.  Maybe next year with a healthy GH the offense will be more consistent.

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by 112288 on Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:16 am

I would discount those stat's as many games were huge comeback games which tells me............UP TO EACH GAME COMEBACK.........THEY PLAYED SH!T BASKETBALL TO BE DOWN BY SO MUCH! THIS HAS BEEN A REOCCURRING PROBLEM ALL YEAR.

And BTW that winning streak was fools gold!

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by worcester on Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:31 am

The Celts are second from last in FG% within 5 feet. And that is with Kyrie taking and making many drives to the basket. We simply do not penetrate enough nor do we fast break enough. Too much perimeter and not enough inside out in our game. Plus Jaylen gets forgotten too often, although now he has an ankle injury which kept him out most of the last 4th Q.

Brad needs to redesign his offense and insist on more running, fast breaking and scoring inside - and that does not mean we've suffered from lack of a big man. Also we do not need more scoring from an outside shooter. We are second in the NBA in 3 point shots attempted and made, if my stats are correct.
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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by swish on Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:53 am

dboss wrote:We have praised a lot of signature wins.

This was a signature loss.  The blowout in Toronto was also a signature loss.

The Celtics threw up 38 three point attempts.  That's 38-89 or 42%.  They managed to make 10 of those shots or 26.3%.  The Cavs shots lights out.

Bill Russell once said that this game is about buckets.

I guess we can pick apart all the nuances that we find distasteful but this comes down to one thing.  The Celtics have been struggling all year long to score he basketball.  It has been said that the best defense is a good offense.  When Boston goes into a scoring funk like thy did beginning in the 2nd QTR yesterday things just seem to fall apart.

The Celtics offense looks pretty vanilla.  I can close my eyes and see them running the same things over and over again.  Teams have figured out how to defend what we do.  If Boston can get an open three pointer they are happy.  

The Celtics do not get to the line enough as they are 21st in league in attempts and 19th in makes. They do not consistently play with enough pace as they are 23rd in the league in FGA.  The Celtics do not fast break enough.  They are 25th in fast break points.  The Celtics are 20th in offensive rebounds which means they are not getting extra shots like other teams.

I do not believe there is a fix to these issues this year.  The Celtics are a team that averages around 103 PPG.  That is unlikely to change this year.  What I do expect is for the Celtics to come out and play hard every game.  I think that Brad Stevens may want to shorten his rotation to 8-9 players.  I think he shuffles too many players in and out of the lineup.  It more closely resembles a college basketball game.

I guess the pipe dream of winning 60 games this year was a great expectation.  The Celtics will be in the playoffs.  That is all that I expect this year.  There will not be a banner earned this year.  This team is good but not good enough.  Maybe next year with a healthy GH the offense will be more consistent.


dboss

I just ran some numbers on the first 18 games vs the last 40. Surprise, surprise

First 18 games,,, Team average points = 102.9 per game------- last 40 games,,, team average points = 102.9 per game
First 18 games,,, Opponent average points = 94.8 per game------last 40 games,,, opponent average points = 101.5

Offense the same - Defense has really dropped off.

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by swish on Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:59 am

112288 wrote:I would discount those stat's as many games were huge comeback games which tells me............UP TO EACH GAME COMEBACK.........THEY PLAYED SH!T BASKETBALL TO BE DOWN BY SO MUCH!  THIS HAS BEEN A REOCCURRING PROBLEM ALL YEAR.  

And BTW that winning streak was fools gold!

112288

"And BTW that winning streak was fools gold!"

112288
Based on what has happened over the last 40 games - your right. Hopefully it will turn around.

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by 112288 on Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:37 am

Swish,

Hope so too! This is not Celtic basketball for sure!

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by rickdavisakaspike on Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:39 am


Most of the Celtics looked like a bunch of starry-eyed kids against the Cavs. I mean, what’s their average age? It would have been an exceedingly tough challenge, even if they had simply drawn the Cavs as opponents in the first game after the reshuffling.

To do it in the glare of Pierce’s retirement, with all the stories and associations that entails, chalk it up as a Learning Experience in the first degree.

The Celtics have a lot of retired numbers and a lot of championship banners hanging from those rafters. Any ordinary game, a rookie might be so focused on his assignments, he might not notice the glittering trophies of his legendary franchise. This game, with Pierce’s #34 being elevated to its well-deserved home, Boston’s young warriors can be forgiven being turned around and about.

Have no fear. Even now, Brad is figuring out ways tp use it to the team's advantage.

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by gyso on Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:44 am

I don't blame anyone for a loss, nor do I give credit to anyone for a win. They lose as a team and they win as a team.

That being said, we definitely miss Marcus Smart. We miss his defense and we miss his clutch play.

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by dboss on Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:17 pm

gyso wrote:I don't blame anyone for a loss, nor do I give credit to anyone for a win.  They lose as a team and they win as a team.

That being said, we definitely miss Marcus Smart.  We miss his defense and we miss his clutch play.

gyso
They most definitely miss Marcus.  He always makes a few plays every game usually on the defensive side of the ball that changes the flow in favor of Boston.

Who is making THOSE type of plays now?

Answer: No One

Overall the Celtics are going through a normal cycle in the life of a young team where at times there will be a period of ups and downs.   

Again as long as they put forth a solid effort, the result if they win or lose, there is little to complain about.

I believe that once this team has played together much longer we will see them play a lot better.
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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by swish on Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:00 pm

For what it's worth.

Celts have played 58 games

With Marcus they are averaging in 46 games.
On offense = 102.5 points per game
On defense = 98.6 points per game
Without Marcus they are averaging in 12 games
On offense = 104.3 points per game
On defense = 101.2 points per game

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by 112288 on Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:24 pm

swish wrote:For what it's worth.

    Celts have played 58 games

    With Marcus they are averaging in 46 games.
    On offense = 102.5 points per game
    On defense = 98.6 points per game
    Without Marcus they are averaging in 12 games
     On offense = 104.3 points per game
     On defense = 101.2 points per game

    swish

So the spread with Marcus is 3.9 and without is 3.1. Interesting stat Swish!

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by jrleftfoot on Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:59 pm

Sometimes numbers are just numbers. We are obviously missing Smart, according to MY  lying eyes, no matter what the numbers say AND we need a knockdown shooter. And yes, we need to finish better at the rim. Baynes is abysmal in that category. Brown and Tatum are inconsistent finishers. Brown gets too fancy sometimes. Throw the hammer down! Tatum gets outmuscled by defenders and seldom gets a foul call. This team is not, as presently constituted a championship caliber team except in our green dreams.
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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by swish on Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:26 pm

jrleftfoot wrote:Sometimes numbers are just numbers. We are obviously missing Smart, according to MY  lying eyes, no matter what the numbers say AND we need a knockdown shooter. And yes, we need to finish better at the rim. Baynes is abysmal in that category. Brown and Tatum are inconsistent finishers. Brown gets too fancy sometimes. Throw the hammer down! Tatum gets outmuscled by defenders and seldom gets a foul call. This team is not, as presently constituted a championship caliber team except in our green dreams.

jrleftfoot,

Your right - stats do sometimes lie - as do eyes - but I do feel a little better when I can back up my eyeball opinions with a fact or two.

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by dboss on Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:55 pm

swish wrote:For what it's worth.

    Celts have played 58 games

    With Marcus they are averaging in 46 games.
    On offense = 102.5 points per game
    On defense = 98.6 points per game
    Without Marcus they are averaging in 12 games
     On offense = 104.3 points per game
     On defense = 101.2 points per game

    swish

Swish based on these numbers it looks pretty much like a wash when comparing the point differentials with or without Smart.   But maybe that only tells a  part of the story.  We all know that Smart will not shoot at a high rate of efficiency and we also know he is a great defender.

I think perhaps his defense actually transcends the statistics.  There is the emotional impact that is easily overlooked.  I would bet that this teams feels more confidence when Smart is playing.  I would bet that other teams are glad that he is not on the court.  Smart rarely takes plays off on defense and opposing players know that he brings a high level of physicality to the game.  He is the most physical and toughest player on the Celtics.

This team can live without him being an offensive weapon.  His offense is gravy.  But I can honestly say that this team does not have the same swagger without him.  

There are 24 games remaining.  He will be back soon.  Collectively this team just needs to play better at both ends.  It would help if they could make more open looks, stop standing around, make a few more freebies.  This teams needs to rely more on attacking the paint instead of launching another 3 point shot attempt especially in games where they really need a basket.  

Losing the EC lead may be a good thing.  Perhaps it will motivate them to play better.

The Celtics need their veterans to show the way and that falls mostly on Kyrie's shoulders.  

Cleveland looked good yesterday and once the flood gates opened all of their shoots were taken with a high level of confidence.  But that is still a new and largely untested configuration.  Teams that will face them will study film and figure out how to take something away.  Lebron is unstoppable but no one else on that team is.  They all can be stymied.
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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:26 pm

Okay, so it is my turn. I will not get into stat's, points (offensive or defensive). I will say and I have said for over a week now, we miss Marcus. What he brings in energy, defense, and just plain guts are so important to this team. I know his offense drives us all nuts, but like I said before, they are not paying him for his offense. Blaming Stevens? For what????? Where does Kyrie enter the blame game and why??? Two weeks ago every one was in love with him. Morris?? He needs to learn how to pass the ball, not every shot is his when he receives the ball from another player. He is beginning to drive me nuts with respect to that, and how hard he does not play defense.

Why are there always four opposing players under the basket for a rebound when the Celtics take a shot. How many times do I say during a game, One and Done. The first winning streak was not done with a team beginning to know each other, it was shear luck. Time to sit back, look at themselves and realize they are a team. Stevens always preached having the ball go thru at least four guys before a shot was taken. Now the guy with the ball comes down stops at the three point line and shoots. What the hell kind of game is that??????

No way I am giving up on this team. They were good before, they will come together again. Brad Stevens is a bright guy, he will figure this out, and before long we will be singing their praises again.

My only complaint is that they did not go hard after a shooter to come off the bench. Bellini to Philly????? Come on Danny, there wasn't anything we could do? If not him, who else? I knew Joe Johnson would chase the ring and I don't blame him.

keep the faith, this too shall pass. The all star break is coming at the right time.

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by swish on Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:39 pm

dboss wrote:
swish wrote:For what it's worth.

    Celts have played 58 games

    With Marcus they are averaging in 46 games.
    On offense = 102.5 points per game
    On defense = 98.6 points per game
    Without Marcus they are averaging in 12 games
     On offense = 104.3 points per game
     On defense = 101.2 points per game

    swish

Swish based on these numbers it looks pretty much like a wash when comparing the point differentials with or without Smart.   But maybe that only tells a  part of the story.  We all know that Smart will not shoot at a high rate of efficiency and we also know he is a great defender.

I think perhaps his defense actually transcends the statistics.  There is the emotional impact that is easily overlooked.  I would bet that this teams feels more confidence when Smart is playing.  I would bet that other teams are glad that he is not on the court.  Smart rarely takes plays off on defense and opposing players know that he brings a high level of physicality to the game.  He is the most physical and toughest player on the Celtics.

This team can live without him being an offensive weapon.  His offense is gravy.  But I can honestly say that this team does not have the same swagger without him.  

There are 24 games remaining.  He will be back soon.  Collectively this team just needs to play better at both ends.  It would help if they could make more open looks, stop standing around, make a few more freebies.  This teams needs to rely more on attacking the paint instead of launching another 3 point shot attempt especially in games where they really need a basket.  

Losing the EC lead may be a good thing.  Perhaps it will motivate them to play better.

The Celtics need their veterans to show the way and that falls mostly on Kyrie's shoulders.  

Cleveland looked good yesterday and once the flood gates opened all of their shoots were taken with a high level of confidence.  But that is still a new and largely untested configuration.  Teams that will face them will study film and figure out how to take something away.  Lebron is unstoppable but no one else on that team is.  They all can be stymied.

 dboss

  You always do a great job of getting your points across - I hear you loud and clear. I rarely speculate out into the future - simply because so much can change in the blink of an eye. Like Sam used to say "see me in april".  I'm much more comfortable dealing with stats from the past as a guide to what could happen in the future. Nothing really specific. You mentioned some of the things that Marcus does that impact the outcome of a game - and yes that's all a big plus - and yet my numbers show that the bottom line is the fact that with him in the lineup they won 60% of their games - and without him they also won 60% of their games.  Perhaps Rozier in his own way picked up the slack.

   swish

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by dboss on Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:05 pm

Swish

I just took a look at Terry's numbers and he has been scoring quite well.  In February he is over 17 PPG game so he has replaced some of what we got from Smart.

Do you think Brad should shorten his rotation once Smart returns?

I think DT should in the top 8 rotation guys.

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by k_j_88 on Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:10 pm

Presumable rotation of players...

Irving
Brown
Tatum
Horford
Morris
Rozier
Smart
Baynes
Theis
Monroe

That's 10 guys.


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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:17 pm

I can't see him shortening it to 8 guys. Baynes gets the start but usually comes out early. So I do agree that Theis should be there for Brad to call on. He played PF to Monroe the other night. He is a high energy guy who plays well in that second unit or sometimes with the starters. I have been impressed with him.

It is going to take Monroe a few games more to get into the swing of things. If much is expected, possibly much will be returned in the case of Monroe.

We can second guess all we want, but they are going to have to play themselves out of this funk. I believe they will do it
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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by swish on Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:01 pm

dboss wrote:Swish

I just took a look at Terry's numbers and he has been scoring quite well.  In February he is over 17 PPG game so he has replaced some of what we got from Smart.

Do you think Brad should shorten his rotation once Smart returns?

I think DT should in the top 8 rotation guys.

Dboss

dboss

I have a statistical site (nba.com) that I reference a lot.Its great at handling defensive stats that are not available on basketball ref.com. In a comparison of Smart and Rozier in regards to what the players they are guarding shoots percentage wise against them. Overall, at 5 different distances,the man that Smart guards shoots at a 3.2% lower figure then against the rest of the league. Against Rozier he shoots at a 4.4% lower figure then against the rest of the league. I like Rozier over Smart for both the present and the future.

I'll yield to Brad when it comes to game time decisions. Only he and his staff professionally know the game plan and other privy info not available to the fans.

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Re: Now cometh the blame game.

Post by jrleftfoot on Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:12 pm

swish wrote:
jrleftfoot wrote:Sometimes numbers are just numbers. We are obviously missing Smart, according to MY  lying eyes, no matter what the numbers say AND we need a knockdown shooter. And yes, we need to finish better at the rim. Baynes is abysmal in that category. Brown and Tatum are inconsistent finishers. Brown gets too fancy sometimes. Throw the hammer down! Tatum gets outmuscled by defenders and seldom gets a foul call. This team is not, as presently constituted a championship caliber team except in our green dreams.

    jrleftfoot,

 Your right  - stats do sometimes lie - as do eyes - but I do feel a little better when I can back up my eyeball opinions  with a fact or two.

  swish
I`m not saying stats aren`t helpful. Obviously,statistical analysis has become more and more critical in all team sports ,( especially baseball), in this computer age.Why is the three point shot being encouraged in basketball and swinging for the fences in baseball? Primarily, I think, because statistics indicate that that is the way to go--the same with the infield over-shifting in the big leagues. Your stats are much appreciated , swish, and have,more than once, convinced me that I was barking up the wrong tree. I think that sometimes , though , they are inadequate to tell the story. The Celtics have twice been beaten like whipped dogs in the last week,( by the Cavs on their own court)  and , whether or not they have the same winning percentage with and without Marcus Smart,   ( I am not sure if a large sample juxtaposed against a small one is actually statistically significant---I`ll leave that to you stat guys). I am of the belief that they would have competed much more valiantly, if that`s not too strong a word, with him in the rotation.
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