Kevin McHale urges Celtics to make tough changes

Go down

Kevin McHale urges Celtics to make tough changes

Post by 112288 on Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:28 am

Kevin McHale urges Celtics to make tough changes

BOSTON HERALD Steve Bulpett Saturday, December 01, 2018


So the phone rang early Friday afternoon, and it was Kevin McHale asking me what’s wrong with his Celtics.

Before I could dazzle him with my theories on quantum physics and hoop existentialism, he had the decency to answer his own question.

What a hell of a guy.

“I think they’re in a spot where they’re trying to keep a lot of players involved and a lot of players happy and catching a rhythm for a lot of players,” the Celtics legend said. “That’s always really hard. I’ve always believed that you need to make sure, as a coach, that your three or four top guys are in a great rhythm, and then after that, you’re going to have to have guys that fill in and play. You can’t make everybody happy all the time. That’s a tough thing.

“And granted, I think with Boston, one of the toughest things for Brad (Stevens) might be deciding who his top three of four guys are. There’s a lot of guys on that team that can really play. But at some point, you’ve got to go to guys and say, ‘Look, I’m going to run my offense, and these certain guys are going to get a few more shots. I’ve got to make sure they get going. I’m going to give them a few more minutes.’

“But it’s a tough, tough situation, because at some point you’re going to have to bruise some egos and sit some people down,” McHale added. “I’ve never seen any coach be capable of keeping 10 or 11 guys all happy, especially when they’re all really good. I mean, it’s one thing to keep your 11th man happy when he knows he’s not going to ever play; he’s just happy to be in the league. That’s not the case in Boston.”

McHale thinks Stevens was wise to start who he calls “the Marcus brothers,” Smart and Morris, “because all they want to do is compete and win.”

That brings into play the issue stated here often of certain Celtics who got to display their capabilities last season now being asked to do less.

“For those guys, you’ve just got to be as efficient as you can,” said McHale, whose plaque can be seen at the Hall of Fame during visiting hours. “Look, this is a player’s league. Danny’s done a great job of putting that team together, and I really like Brad as a coach, but it’s a player’s league and this is on them.

“I go back to what M.L. Carr told me when I got to the Celtics. He told me, ‘You’re fighting for your time. Your job is to, when you get on that floor, play so good that the coach thinks, I’ve got to keep him out there. And every minute you’re on the bench, he’s thinking, I’ve got to put that guy back in.’ So it’s a player’s responsibility to go out there and play at an unbelievable level that makes them invaluable to the team.

“And there’s a million ways you can do that,” he added. “It’s not all about scoring. It’s not all about touches. It’s not all about that stuff. The essence of being a true pro is when you have this kind of competition for playing time, you’ve got to be invaluable. You’ve got to put yourself in a position where that coach says, ‘Man, I’ve got to have that guy on the floor no matter what.’ It’s up to the players to get that done.

“But it’s tough. I really feel for Brad. He’s got a lot of guys that can really play, but at some point those guys have got to step up and say, ‘Man, winning means everything, and I’m going to make sure that this team wins this ballgame tonight because I’m going to play at a level that is going to propel this team to win.”

I mentioned that such, in a way, might be part of the problem. It certainly was in last season’s playoffs when people broke plays and tried to hit home runs, nearly costing the Celts the Milwaukee series and pulling them out of sync in Game 7 against Cleveland. And this year, the ball has not moved enough as some have tried to get it done on their own (an early Jayson Tatum issue that’s gotten much better).

“How about, I’m going to sprint the wing as hard as I possibly can,” McHale said. “I’m going to get two or three tip-ins just on the break alone because I’m going to get out in front. I’m going to get two or three layups because I’m outrunning everybody. I’m going to crash the offensive glass so hard I’m knocking people over to go get that ball. ... Those are all the things you’ve got to do. That’s what propels you.

“Like (on defense), here’s the deal, I’m going to lock that guy down. When Kawhi Leonard’s got it going, ‘Hey, coach, I know we switch a lot of stuff, but leave me on him. Please. I promise you I’ll do my job and I’ll stop him.’ That’s the kind of stuff you’ve got to do.”

McHale, a five-time member of the NBA’s All-Defensive teams beginning with his first season as a full-time starter (he won two of the first three Sixth Man Awards too), had some further thoughts about that end of the floor.

“There’s the theory that switching everything is now the best way to play the NBA game with all the pick and rolls and everything,” he said. “But man, that means sometimes the smarter teams will run enough pick and rolls and back-screens that your worst defender’s guarding their best player. And sometimes as a good defender, you’ve got to say, ‘No, we’re not doing that. Y’all can switch the other four spots. Me, I got this guy.’

“And not one of these things I’ve said says, ‘Oh, give me the ball.’ Go get the ball. Sprint your ass off. I promise you, if you’re a wing runner and you run as hard as you can 30 times, somebody will score because you’re running. You’ll drag somebody with you. You’ll drag two to the basket. You’ll do all kinds of stuff. At the end of the day, the guy in the 19th row may not understand what you’re doing, but the coaching staff will say, ‘We’re winning because of that,’ and you’ll play more.”

According to McHale, it’s about focusing on the larger collective goal.

“How about passing and cutting to open up spots for somebody else,” he said. “That’s what I’m saying. If you concentrate on all that stuff — all of that stuff — and you’re able to go out there and score 15 points without them calling a play for you and you’re locking down a guy at the other end, that’s winning basketball. And the coach is going to say, ‘I need that guy on the floor.’”

It is up to the Celtics players to buy into these philosophies that most assuredly Stevens has been preaching. The tone of McHale’s next call depends on it.

112288
avatar
112288

Posts : 6493
Join date : 2009-10-16

Back to top Go down

Re: Kevin McHale urges Celtics to make tough changes

Post by kdp59 on Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:30 am

sounds good to me...I hate all the switching on defense teams do now anyway.

I also like the Marcus Brothers being starters. I know most here think Morris is a scrub, but even so he brings toughness we need along with Smart.

my starters would be

Horford
Morris
Tatum
Smart
Irving

when Brown comes back, he and Hayward can lead the Bench group along with Rozier and Baynes.

forget the rest baring injuries Theis , Semi and company can play scrub time as far as I'm concerned.

there:

I am sure everyone is VERY happy I am not the coach....LOL.
avatar
kdp59

Posts : 3853
Join date : 2014-01-05
Age : 59

Back to top Go down

Re: Kevin McHale urges Celtics to make tough changes

Post by NYCelt on Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:06 am

kdp59 wrote:sounds good to me...I hate all the switching on defense teams do now anyway.

I also like the Marcus Brothers being starters. I know most here think Morris is a scrub, but even so he brings toughness we need along with Smart.

my starters would be

Horford
Morris
Tatum
Smart
Irving

when Brown comes back, he and Hayward can lead the Bench group along with Rozier and Baynes.

forget the rest baring injuries Theis , Semi and company can play scrub time  as far as I'm concerned.

there:

I am sure everyone is VERY happy I am not the coach....LOL.

Not bad actually.

That would create a deep and strong rotation. Two strong units, really.

I'd find a way to include Williams too.
avatar
NYCelt

Posts : 7420
Join date : 2009-10-12

Back to top Go down

Re: Kevin McHale urges Celtics to make tough changes

Post by dboss on Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:23 am

It is not clear to me that Brad has settled on a particular lineup.

Last night Baynes started at center and he held his own against Tristian Thompson, a guy that has killed Al Horford.

There are going to be a lot of games where where our wing depth comes into focus and other games were our guard play must be dominant and still others that require a bigger frontcourt.

I think that Brad is just trying to see what groups of players play well together and then use those groupings for different situations.  

I said in another post that more uptempo play at both ends demands more bodies.  Let's see what happens there.
avatar
dboss

Posts : 9579
Join date : 2009-11-01
Age : 68

Back to top Go down

Re: Kevin McHale urges Celtics to make tough changes

Post by wideclyde on Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:31 am

McHale is a Hall of Famer, but this idea of possibly hurting some feelings has been already mentioned on our forum.

His concepts of what gets a player onto the floor was great. So many more players should read and understand.

wideclyde

Posts : 1816
Join date : 2015-12-14

Back to top Go down

Re: Kevin McHale urges Celtics to make tough changes

Post by tardust on Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:52 am

kdp59 wrote:sounds good to me...I hate all the switching on defense teams do now anyway.

I also like the Marcus Brothers being starters. I know most here think Morris is a scrub, but even so he brings toughness we need along with Smart.

my starters would be

Horford
Morris
Tatum
Smart
Irving

when Brown comes back, he and Hayward can lead the Bench group along with Rozier and Baynes.

forget the rest baring injuries Theis , Semi and company can play scrub time  as far as I'm concerned.

there:

I am sure everyone is VERY happy I am not the coach....LOL.

I agree exactly on this lineup. The guys have to get in tune with each other and we need 8 players to get the bulk of minutes. When and if we are winning by a large margin then the others can get more minutes. I also believe you make teams adjust to you and not adjusting to them until you have to do it. Kyrie obviously should get the bulk of shots and then Tatum needs the second most touches to develop him like the star we think he will be. Horford and Morris will get theirs. Smart is the guy that can play hard nose defense on every possession and make some shots with limited threes. The main other thing would be Smart getting assists. Kyrie doesn't get enough assists on most nites and Smart could fill in that hole. We definitely need more than one 20 pt scorer. IMO
avatar
tardust

Posts : 491
Join date : 2012-05-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Kevin McHale urges Celtics to make tough changes

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum