Are Celtics just not built for playoffs?
Don't get me wrong. The Celtics had a great regular season. Brad Stevens is an excellent coach who gets the most out of his players. They play hard and mostly unselfish basketball. Isiah Thomas proved himself to be an all-nba caliber player this year and he is surrounded by great role players. They have one of the deepest benches in the league.
However, watching this team so far in the playoffs this year it is clear they are missing something. Its not a question of effort it's just that they are too one-demonsional offensively. Horford is getting paid like a superstar player but he is not and never has been. Great glue guy who can defend and score within the flow of the offense. However, he has never been the type who will really step up and get you a key bucket in a tight situation or put together a dominant type of performance. He does pretty much everything well but he's not exceptional in any one area.
The rest of their team is solid but unspectacular. Their offense just bogs down too much and they are too reliant on Thomas to bail them out. It's a formula that can work in the regular season, but not so much in the playoffs where teams have a full series to adjust and game plan. Too many possessions just seem to end with wild contested shots at the basket and contested threes. Not exactly a formula for success.
This roster as currently constructed can only go so far I think. Celtics are in a great position as far as assets right now ( probably better than any team in the league). This offseason might be the time to push those chips to middle of the table and see what they can get.
Rondo Wade and Butler were going to be a tough out for any team in the playoffs. Winning this series potentially saves Hoibergs job.
Ive been saying this all year. They have no primary rebounder or rim protection. Signing Al Horford didnt change anything. Hes a better version of Kelly Olynyk but provides the same dynamics. In the playoffs weaknesses get exploited and once Thomas gets locked in on and shooters get closed out on they dont have much too thier offence.
The Eastern Conference standings is not a reflection of the best teams this year. Miami was one of the better teams at seasons end but missed the playoffs.
You said it. This team needs to be constructed like Iverson's teams were. Maybe they should have gone after Noel a little harder. Time to go all in.
at least not with the way they are currently built!
I think if Chicago takes this series a trade to get Butler (who is exactly what they are lacking) may become far less likely.
Chicago may look to chase more talent in the off-season to put with him, like using their draft pick to get a guy like Eric Bledsoe or chasing a big FA like CP3, Millsap or Griffin.
I don't know what it is about Boston but they just don't seem like a legit playoff team, there is a lack of that grit and swagger not to say guys on the team don't have it but something is missing. Can see Boston swinging for the fences with PG13 this summer or essentially building with young talent on a competitive playoffs team.
The Bulls are better built for the playoffs than the regular season because the schedule allowed for a short rotation, quick hooks on their young players, and needed rest for Wade and Rondo in between games. Even if the Bulls make the conference finals, and seem to have re-found their way to know how they have to play in order to maximize their personnel, they still need to answer some questions. It covers up for some of their failings, but they still have to account for missing so badly on Nikola Mirotic. Even yesterday, while he made some shots and plays, there were a couple moments where he was dying to hand Boston a run by making bad decisions on both ends. In the regular season, without the quick hook or quick timeout, it probably happens. They missed on thinking there is a purpose to Michael Carter-Williams in what they are doing. Robin Lopez is made to make his name in this matchup, but is not a 30 minute guy. Physically, it is asking too much, and there are too many matchups where he can't be Afro Jesus. Cristiano Felicio is erratic in performance and effort. Jerian Grant doesn't seem to work well when running the offense. Zipser, Portis, and Valentine aren't always consistent in their play, but always seem to give effort. That is still not the healthiest outlook for the rookie scale side of the roster. The playoffs carry far more weight than the regular season, but they can't live on the edge over 82 as they have the past two seasons. That said, if you look at how the Bulls attack the Celtics pick and roll, and how they are reacting to the Celtics sets and able to jump some of the plays, this is probably the high point of the Fred Hoiberg NBA resume. Yes, they have a matchup advantage, but they are also out-executing them. The concerns about Hoiberg's role in the failure of the Bulls youth is still there. The same goes for Paxson and Forman. They brought in Canaan, Carter-Williams, Grant, and Payne this season, and none of them can be trusted on the floor. Nikola Mirotic is going to be a restricted free agent. They need someone in that role, but cannot go into next season trusting him to do it. What they can take solace in is that the deeper they go, the more appealing a destination they become. They are going to have as much as $30 million to play with even if they pick up the options on Wade and Rondo. With how crazy the NBA offseason can be, who knows how things can play out if they get lucky.
This year's team lost the grit and hustle that they were known for the previous two seasons. They used to get after teams on defense forcing turnovers and getting easy baskets in transition. Of course they have struggled to rebound all year but they have been even worse in this series. I can't even comprehend the lack of effort the team is playing with. The Bulls have the size advantage but with effort you can reduce the impact on the boards. I'm disappointed that the team is not rallying around IT and fighting with everything they have.
This series shows why Ainge didn't push harder to get a Butler or PG. The team is flawed in more ways than just needing a 2nd go to scorer. Even making a trade for Ibaka or PJ Tucker would not have done anything going forward. They would not have re-signed Ibaka and probably not Tucker either. Meaning they would have given up assets for a slightly longer playoff run.
bad match up for them.jimmy butler is the best player in the series,rondo and d wade have so much playoff experience.celtics on bad with rebounds as well.
They just have too many weaknesses for a 1st seed. Weaknesses that can be exploited in the playoffs. This team is not yet ready for a championship run and facing a team that has players like Butler, Rondo and Wade who have tons of playoff experience can really be tough for a team like Boston. If they won the lottery, I do hope they pick Fultz.
ive been saying this since december. This team is not buit to win championships. Crowder, Bradley and Johnson should all be bench players. Im not saying that there bad, but they are not star players. WE MUST FIND A WAY TO FLIP THSOSE BROOKLYN PICS INTO ALL STAR CALIBER PLAYERS. To pair up with Horford and Thomas. If we cant then unfortunaely we wont see championship possibilities until Brown, potentially Fultz and potentially Porter or Ayton mature and become star players. Now that might not be a bad thing either . There are no Garnett or Ray Allen trades out there to be made. (Meaning , a hall of fame type player on a real bad team)So if we keep the team as is, we shouldnt expect any championships any time soon. Getting one superstar is not enough. we need at least two more all star type players. I believe if we have that then IT would play more like a point guard instead of a two guard
Anybody who thought this team was going to compete for a championship this year was fooling themselves. ECF always felt like the best case scenerio.
they should have went for Drummond while he is available
So I'm assuming by the comments, the majority of you think they are done in this series? I think they get 1 back in Chicago and go on and win in 7
If they only win once in Chicago, they will have lost the series.
Well, at least Game 3 isn't on TNT. Maybe they have a chance to keep it close.
I think they may still win the series. The Al Horford signing was horrible though, he struggles to stay healthy and does very little of what they need (rebounding, rim protection, toughness). A guy like Biyombo/Nurkic would've been much better for them and would've cost way way less.
I would take Al over the two guys you just mentioned and were going to the finals we will win this serries in 7
It is a bad matchup. To say they are "just not built for the playoffs" is to say that had they drawn Indiana, Milwaukee, or Miami the story would be the same. I don't think that is the case. They split with Chicago during the regular season, but swept Indiana and Miami. They took three of four from Milwaukee. None of those teams crash like the Bulls do, and all are more content to shoot jumpers. Those game would look different.
In the big picture, however, they are small at every position. It is something they need to consider when they continue to build their team. It is not crazy to think that in a couple years that Bradley and Crowder are coming off the bench, and they give Horford a better partner up front. They do have to strike on two of those this summer in the draft and free agency. The following year will send Thomas and Bradley into free agency and blow up any flexibility.
They wouldn't be a contender by making this move, but they'd be in a lot better position if they simply had a 2nd guy that could get the defense off-balance when Isaiah is resting. Even if it were just a guy like Lou Williams or something...when Isaiah leaves the floor, they have nothing offensively.
They have plenty of flaws, but that's a big one that shouldn't be terribly difficult to fix.
Do they trade Marcus Smart? What is he worth? Doesn't seem like a guy who handles adversity well...
I think they need Josh Jackson and hope he maxes out his upside. You hope that he and Jaylen Brown click.
That's probably the future there. With IT.
Crowder, Horford, and Olynyk are role players.
Other than getting Josh Jackson, they might need to look at trading the pick for two Philly picks or for the two Kings' picks plus other assets (Ben McLemore and Kosta Koufos?).
You guys are missing the point. This team is built for the future. They knew even if they traded for PG13 or Jimmy Butler, it wouldn't be enough to beat the Cavs and the Warriors. Because they held onto their picks, they'll have the opportunity to add a top 5 pick this year and next year, in addition to still having enough money to go after a star in free agency (like PG13). They lost their chance to contend this year when KD decided to sign with the Warriors instead of them. Be patient Celtics fan. A true contender will be there in 2 years. Right now is all about establishing a winning culture and developing younger players to see who will be a part of the future.
Additionally, what happened to Marcus Smart? All he does is flop and try to be a pest on defense. He's great at those things, but what happened to his offensive game? I thought he was a PG prospect coming out of college, but he's just a flopping Tony Allen now.
He forgot how to drive and just shoots threes which he sucks at. He was the best player on the floor for a stretch in the first half. He was the only Celtic that did anything good.
Yeah Celts are built for th future. Tons of moves they can make while keeping there top picks. Which I still think is the best bet. Smart, Brown and the Nets Picks. The other guys provide stability/leadership or trade possibilities.
I've always said this team as presently constructed cannot be taken seriously as a contender unless they go all out on defense for 48 minutes forcing teams into 20 plus turnovers every night & even in a playoff series with no back to backs that's just not realistic.
The Celtics are a wing scorer (one that can legitimately take some pressure off IT) & a good to elite rebounder/rim protector away from true contention. The scary part about that is both of those needs could likely be addressed this offseason.
If I'm Ainge I hold off on using his bunker of assets tro try and acquire a wing currently under contract like Paul George or Bulter and go all in on the Stevens & Gordon Hayward reunion. Then try to use the abundance of picks to address the holes in the froncourt. I'd even consider trading down in the draft with Sacramento if they're also willing to part with WCS. Or see if Van Gundy is willing part with Drummond.
If Philly gets 5 and 6, would a Celtics first pick get you those two picks?
Celts are looking for "transcendet players" Those are only found in the top of the draft. Top 3 picks this year
The Celtics are still a work in progress and if an opposition team can keep Thomas quiet then they always have a chance. Plus as said above - Butler is a top player, Rondo will always be up for this match up, D-Wade may be 35 but he's still good and he is a big match player if anyone is.
If the Celtics do lose, it will be interesting to see what Ainge does via draft and FA. He will at worse have a top 4 pick and has cap space to target a top draw FA. A 50 win team with these young pieces to add will surely be fairly high on any FAs list.
Gordon Hayward has long been rumoured and I could see them making a run at Blake Griffin too.
Even outside of the Brooklyn picks they have players stashed, their own picks could put Smart, Rozier even Jaylen Brown into play if they wanted to add another star via a trade especially if that player is saying they may walk at their next FA and their current team might get nothing.
After watching the first 2 games I agree with your take on the team. But I don't think this shows that it is the time to push all the chips in. I thinik it is the exact opposite. Crowder, Bradley, Horford are all glue guys. Going all in would not be enough. I think it has showed us that the team still needs to build up through the draft. They need to wait it out until they hit a star in the draft.
I've missed both games in this series, but I really don't understand this rebounding thing. The biggest part of rebounding -- especially defensive rebounding -- is blocking out. The Celtics have lots of professionals on their roster who are also large human beings. I don't understand why they can't block out. Bradley and Crowder are good rebounders for wing guys. Are they constantly switching on D and thus getting caught out of position on rebounds?
This has been an issue all season. Instead of putting a body on somebody everybody turns around and watches the ball(Smart might be the only one that boxes out consistently). They've given up tons of offensive rebounds off of free throws. There were even multiple times this season where a player sitting on the ground(literally) got an offensive rebound while surrounded by 2-3 Celtics.