SI got it way wrong -- not only is Al Horford not the Celtics' best player, neither is Irving or Hayward

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SI got it way wrong -- not only is Al Horford not the Celtics' best player, neither is Irving or Hayward

Post by bobheckler on Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:39 am

https://weei.radio.com/blogs/john-tomase/sports-illlustrated-top-100-nba-players-six-celtics-make-list-starting-al-horford




SI got it way wrong -- not only is Al Horford not the Celtics' best player, neither is Irving or Hayward



John Tomase
September 14, 2018 - 4:45 pm






Sports Illustrated recently released its list of the top 100 players in the NBA, and the Celtics were represented by an impressive six players, which is half their active roster on any given night. It's a testament to Danny Ainge's powers of evaluation and Brad Stevens' ability to develop and maximize talent.

The SI list raised eyebrows, however, by placing Al Horford atop the list of C's, at No. 16 overall, one slot ahead of teammate Kyrie Irving. Here's what SI said about Horford while praising his ability to impact a game not only on both ends of the floor, but in the locker room and creating a culture:

From an impact perspective, Horford is only a few degrees removed from Draymond Green. Both rank among the league’s best defensive players (Horford, for what it’s worth, led the top defense overall) and augment high-functioning offenses with their playmaking. And each, in his own way, has made himself completely indispensable to one of the best teams in the league. The Celtics were forced to do without their two biggest stars last season. They marched all the way to the Eastern Conference finals regardless—because their most valuable player was still in uniform.

That's high praise, and Horford deserves it. Even the Average Al crowd recognizes his impact; they just wish he'd be more overt about it on a nightly basis. That said, before we get to the actual best player on the team, here are the rest of SI's rankings:

16 - Horford
17 - Irving
25 - Gordon Hayward
39 - Jayson Tatum
47 - Jaylen Brown
82 - Terry Rozier

While Rozier's inclusion is mildly surprising -- he really didn't emerge until the postseason after spending most of the year as the backup to the backup point guard -- the rest of the list is hard to argue. SI chose Horford over Irving and Hayward largely for reasons of durability. Irving has missed 21 percent of his teams' games in his career, a number that limits his effectiveness. There's little doubt he's a top-10 player when healthy, but he needs to stay healthy.

Similarly, with Hayward coming off a devastating broken leg, he'll need to prove he's recovered, too. A year ago, he was a consensus top-20 player whose all-around game consistently placed him slightly ahead of Irving and Horford on these lists. The fact that he's still No. 25 after missing an entire season speaks to the respect he commands around the league.

As great as both of them can be, I have a sneaking suspicion we'll be talking about No. 39 on this list as No. 1 on the Celtics when the season is over. Tatum was the best player on the floor for huge chunks of Game 7 against the Cavaliers last May, and he was clearly the best player on the team throughout its improbable playoff run.

With a sweet-shooting stroke, the length and strength to hold up defensively, and the confidence to dunk on LeBron James and then let him know it, Tatum isn't just the future face of the Celtics. He's already their best player, and don't be surprised this upcoming season when he proves it.



bob



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Re: SI got it way wrong -- not only is Al Horford not the Celtics' best player, neither is Irving or Hayward

Post by dboss on Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:55 am

I have to disagree with the author's assertion that Tatum is the best player on this team.

He is not the best player on this team.

Was he the best player for the Celtics during last year's playoff?

One could make an argument that Jaylen Brown was the best player during the playoff run.

Tatum led all Celtics in scoring at 18.5 PPG but Jaylen was just a hair behind him at 10 PPG. As well as Tatum played he only shot 324 from behind the arc during the playoff as compared to Brown who shot .393. Brown had an AFG of 55% compared to 52% for Tatum. This despite a horrendous game 7 shooting performance from Jaylen. Brown averaged 4.8 rebounds and Tatum averaged 4.4. their stats are very close in a lot of areas except for FT shooting where Tatum is great and Brown is horrendous. Defensively Brown is a better one on one defender and is obviously more physical.

I am not making an argument about Brown being the best player on this team. Kyrie Irving is clearly the best player on this team.

The best part is that having two young players like Brown and Tatum is remarkable. Their performance during the playoffs mirrored one another on many levels and the anticipation for both of them to get a lot better is realistic.
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Re: SI got it way wrong -- not only is Al Horford not the Celtics' best player, neither is Irving or Hayward

Post by bobheckler on Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:04 pm

dboss wrote:I have to disagree with the author's assertion that Tatum is the best player on this team.

He is not the best player on this team.

Was he the best player for the Celtics during last year's playoff?

One could make an argument that Jaylen Brown was the best player during the playoff run.

Tatum led all Celtics in scoring at 18.5 PPG but Jaylen was just a hair behind him at 10 PPG.  As well as Tatum played he only shot 324 from behind the arc during the playoff as compared to Brown who shot .393.  Brown had an AFG of 55% compared to 52% for Tatum.  This despite a horrendous game 7 shooting performance from Jaylen.  Brown averaged 4.8 rebounds and Tatum averaged 4.4.  their stats are very close in a lot of areas except for FT shooting where Tatum is great and Brown is horrendous.  Defensively Brown is a better one on one defender and is obviously more physical.

I am not making an argument about Brown being the best player on this team.  Kyrie Irving is clearly the best player on this team.  

The best part is that having two young players like Brown and Tatum is remarkable. Their performance during the playoffs mirrored one another on many levels and the anticipation for both of them to get a lot better is realistic.


dboss,

You had a typo. Jaylen scored 18.0 ppg in the playoffs, not 10.0. This makes more sense.


bob


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Re: SI got it way wrong -- not only is Al Horford not the Celtics' best player, neither is Irving or Hayward

Post by dboss on Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:45 pm

Bob thanks for catching that error.


Last edited by dboss on Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: SI got it way wrong -- not only is Al Horford not the Celtics' best player, neither is Irving or Hayward

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:47 pm

I love our young guys, there is no doubt about that. But, let's slow down a little in the crowning of Tatum as "the best" Celtic.  Since when do we put a person on a list for what we "think" they will be like this year???  When does a kid overtake a point guard with the deadliest handle in the league?  What makes him better than a guy who has been one of the steadiest players, who has improved his game every year?

So Gordon Hayward goes down with a gruesome injury last season, and everyone forgets he is an all star with a shot that will win many games that "got away" last year???????

This all may come true at some point, But Jason Tatum is NOT the best player on this team right now and I take offense to those who are so ready to disregard those three guys who have worked on their trade year in and year out, improving, changing their game, and leading this team in the locker room and on the floor.  

Slow down, let's enjoy this dance a little


Last edited by RosalieTCeltics on Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: SI got it way wrong -- not only is Al Horford not the Celtics' best player, neither is Irving or Hayward

Post by dboss on Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:01 pm

The kid is barely out of puberty. These type of articles are bad if a young player reads his own press clippings. The good thing is that Tatum is humble. He also has a lot of confidence in his game but knows he has a long long way to go.



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Re: SI got it way wrong -- not only is Al Horford not the Celtics' best player, neither is Irving or Hayward

Post by NYCelt on Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:28 pm

Premature for sure.

Put together another season like the last one, and we can start to talk about it.

And I expect he will.
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Re: SI got it way wrong -- not only is Al Horford not the Celtics' best player, neither is Irving or Hayward

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