The Boston Celtics seven-game homestand is off to a horrible begin with back-to-back losses to the Orlando Magic. We stated after Friday’s loss that Orlando is best than most notice, particularly now that they’re getting wholesome. However that is nonetheless a crew Boston needs to be dealing with at residence, even when Jayson Tatum is out.
The Celtics have the New England Patriots to thank for retaining them off the entrance web page as a “What’s mistaken with the Celtics?” story and because the lead matter of each sports activities radio present. The Pats epic debacle in Las Vegas knocked the Celtics off the map for not less than a day or so.
2. Boston cleaned up lots of their defensive points from the primary misplaced to Orlando. That included the defensive rebounding…for a lot of the sport.
Late within the sport, it grew to become an issue once more for the Celtics. And, as per traditional when this is a matter, Boston is simply outhustled for the ball.
Nobody will get a physique on Markelle Fultz right here and he finds Franz Wagner for the second-chance triple:
Down by one, the Celtics get the cease. However Two-Method participant Kevon Harris outraces everybody to the unfastened rebound. Additionally, why is Grant Williams holding is block out for thus lengthy and never pursuing the rebound?
Needing to get a cease once more, Boston comes up with one. However as soon as once more, Fultz outhustles everybody to provide you with the large rebound:
Thrice within the last two minutes of an in depth sport the Celtics let guards beat them to the boards. That may’t occur.
3. The final Markelle Fultz rebound above didn’t come again to kill Boston, as a result of Fultz dedicated a turnover on the inbounds play. Sadly, the Celtics gave it proper again.
It’s unclear who was at fault right here and nobody was speaking postgame, past “Didn’t execute”. Did Grant Williams lead Jaylen Brown too far? Did Brown cease his reduce too early? Both manner, this was unhealthy:
Nonetheless, the Celtics had life. Down three, there was greater than sufficient time left to get lookup. Credit score to the Magic for having the whole lot coated, however the Celtics need to get a greater shot than this:
Ball sport. Again-to-back losses and 4 losses within the final 5 video games.
4. The above had been simply the late-game follies that value Boston. The principle points all through the sport had been poor capturing and turnovers.
Solely Malcolm Brogdon (3-of-6) and Marcus Good (3-of-7) had been respectable from downtown. Everybody else mixed to shoot 6-of-34 on three-pointers. And, for what it’s price, Brogdon and Good mixed to shoot 2-of-10 on two-point pictures.
If you begin out traditionally good from behind the arc, there’s just one place to go. The Celtics have quickly gotten to that place within the span of per week or so. Will that re-level some? After all.
Proper now, Boston goes by means of it. The pictures are nonetheless largely good ones. We don’t need the Celtics to move up open or wide-open appears to be like too usually, however discovering one other technique to rating is a should.
As for turnovers, the general numbers are beginning to creep up. Jaylen Brown is clearly annoyed with getting referred to as for thus many travels. There appears to be a reasonably simple reply for that: cease touring a lot. Not one of the calls in opposition to Brown are unhealthy ones, nor are they him being officiated unfairly. He’s touring and he’s getting referred to as for it.
Marcus Good and Grant Williams each had 4 turnovers on Sunday. Good’s will come, to some extent, because of his position because the crew’s level guard. However he’s committing some unhealthy giveaways by attempting to make spotlight performs when a easy move will do.
For Williams, he’s simply attempting to do an excessive amount of typically. His enchancment has been so good, that it’s nice for Williams to discover the studio house from time to time. However he has to recollect his position and dial it again too.
5. The protection was higher. Significantly better, truly. However Jaylen Brown falls asleep off-ball and provides up a layup not less than as soon as per sport. In shut video games, these performs are killers:
Brown has no concept Markelle Fultz reduce out of the nook till Fultz is catching the ball and laying it in. For a crew with title aspirations, Brown must be higher than this.
6. The Celtics might be 81-0, lose the common season finale and somebody would recommend they want a commerce. That’s kind of how our overreactionary world works now.
Boston doesn’t want a commerce. They want the blokes they need to play higher. Positive, the subsequent month-and-a-half might unveil a necessity for one thing Boston doesn’t have proper now. However in the present day, in mid-December, the Celtics don’t must make a commerce.
Additionally: Should you say they want a commerce, be ready to recommend who Boston ought to commerce for and, simply as importantly, who the Celtics ought to commerce away. And ensure it’s affordable and authorized too. There’s an terrible lot of “Payton Pritchard and a primary for (insert borderline All-Star right here)” stuff on the market that’s fully nonsensical.
7. That stated…the Celtics do must shake up the rotation some. We hinted at this final Takeaways, however right here’s a extra fleshed out concept. Observe: That is best when Rob Williams is ready to play 25-Half-hour (which needs to be his top-out vary within the common season).
· Rob Williams
· Al Horford
· Jayson Tatum
· Jaylen Brown
· Marcus Good
· Malcolm Brogdon
· Derrick White
· Grant Williams
· Payton Pritchard
· Luke Kornet
On this state of affairs, Boston returns again to their beginning group that dominated the NBA from January till Rob Williams bought harm. Brogdon and White get their 25 minutes per sport off the bench, however by taking part in quite a bit in three-guard alignment. Each can maintain their very own in opposition to larger gamers. Grant Williams performs his customary position because the third large. (On nights when Horford or Rob Williams sit, it’s Blake Griffin time.)
That leaves Pritchard and Kornet to get about 8-12 minutes an evening as deeper depth. That ought to hold everybody recent and rested, whereas nonetheless affording Joe Mazzulla the lineup versatility that makes the Celtics particular.
Finally, Sam Hauser can regain his rotation spot. However Hauser wants a short while to reset. When he will get again to creating pictures, drop Kornet or Pritchard, relying on what the sport requires.
8. Monday and Tuesday would be the first time the Celtics have had two consecutive days off with out journey in a month. Which means Tuesday needs to be a apply day, and that ought to do Boston wonders.
NBA groups not often apply in-season. There simply isn’t time. The every-other-day nature of the sport schedule not often affords it. The day after a sport is a restoration and movie day. The fellows who’re out of the rotation might scrimmage, however the regulars will get in a restoration exercise and do movie work.
With a apply day, and a wholesome roster, Joe Mazzulla and employees can deal with among the current points and possibly set up just a few new wrinkles. This apply day is hitting on the precise proper time for the Celtics.
9. That is the final time we’ll deal with it (hopefully!), however Rob Williams regarded good once more. Williams hit the ground a few instances, which was sufficient to catch the breath within the throat of Celtics followers. However he bounced proper up and bought again to it. Rhythm and conditioning are off for Williams, however that may come throughout the subsequent week or two.
Sure, the final week has been crappy for the standings and the play on the ground. But when Williams stays wholesome and the Celtics get again to being the Celtics once more, this mid-December stretch of woe might be only a footnote.
10. As famous above, Boston doesn’t play once more till Wednesday. That’s a few days to get issues proper. The Indiana Pacers are powerful. They arrive at you in waves, as they play fairly quick. Indiana can get unfastened with a bunch of various guys who can shoot the ball.
This can be a good check for the Celtics and their mindset. Boston misplaced a pair to good groups out west after which got here residence and appeared to suppose they might simply stroll over the Magic. In the event that they take an identical informal method to the Pacers, the Celtics will lose once more.
After a few days off, and a apply day, let’s hope Boston can rediscover what made them particular to start out the season. This can be a good likelihood to get again on monitor constructing as much as the large Christmas Day matchup in opposition to the now first-place Milwaukee Bucks.