Ringer ranks Boston Celtics as top backcourt in Eastern Conference

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Ringer ranks Boston Celtics as top backcourt in Eastern Conference

Post by bobheckler on Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:02 am

https://celticswire.usatoday.com/2018/09/17/ringer-ranks-boston-celtics-as-top-backcourt-in-eastern-conference/



Ringer ranks Boston Celtics as top backcourt in Eastern Conference



By: Greg Brueck-Cassoli | 1 hour ago



The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks placed the Boston Celtics duo of Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum atop his list of the Eastern Conference’s best backourt pairings on Monday.

The Celtics are the perfect example of how difficult it can be to separate players by position these days. There’s little difference between how they will use Tatum, Gordon Hayward, and Jaylen Brown in their projected starting lineup. Boston head coach Brad Stevens will slide them between the 2 and 4 positions over the course of the season. I put Tatum at shooting guard because he has the slightest frame of the three and he’s the best spot-up shooter.

The more important question is how will Kyrie handle playing with so much talent. He spent his first three seasons in the NBA dominating the ball on terrible teams, and the next three in a my-turn, your-turn offense with LeBron James. He had the highest usage rate of his career last year (31.0) before his season-ending knee injury, and that will have to come down with Hayward returning from his injury and Brown and Tatum blossoming in their absence.

The Celtics’ run to the Eastern Conference finals was fueled by an equal-opportunity offense that attacked the weakest link in the defense. They didn’t have a go-to player: Whoever had the matchup advantage got the ball. There would be no way to stop them with a similar approach this season. For that to happen, though, Kyrie would have to change his game. He may not see the need to. He already won a title without giving up the ball, and he can score on any defender.

Tatum will have to sacrifice regardless. Kyrie and Hayward won’t take a backseat to a 20-year-old, no matter what he did as a rookie. Stevens will stagger their minutes so they all get chances to play with the ball in their hands, but there are only so many shots to go around on a team with five potential All-Stars. It’s a problem every coach in the NBA would love to have, but it’s still a problem.


Irving and Tatum’s top ranking is boosted a bit by the latter’s inclusion as a the former’s running mate. Tatum is really closer to a power forward than he is a shooting guard, but Boston’s system is dynamic enough that the decision can at least be justified.



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Re: Ringer ranks Boston Celtics as top backcourt in Eastern Conference

Post by gyso on Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:19 am

Our backcourt duo would be Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown. On offense and defense.

Even by positions, JB is more of a two, Gordon Hayward is a three and Jayson Tatum is a four.

They will switch a lot, but that is how it plays out.

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Re: Ringer ranks Boston Celtics as top backcourt in Eastern Conference

Post by KyleCleric on Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:33 am

gyso wrote:Our backcourt duo would be Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown.  On offense and defense.

Even by positions, JB is more of a two, Gordon Hayward is a three and Jayson Tatum is a four.

They will switch a lot, but that is how it plays out.

That's how I see it as well. It may depend some on match ups but most of the time I see it as those 2.

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Re: Ringer ranks Boston Celtics as top backcourt in Eastern Conference

Post by dboss on Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:29 pm

I agree. Even though they have overlapping skills 2-4, the long term strategy is for Tatum to become stretch 4.

All 3 of them can play the 3 spot.

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