Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeBasketball5 straight: 10 takeaways from Celtics/Raptors

5 straight: 10 takeaways from Celtics/Raptors


A win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday evening gave the Boston Celtics their fifth straight win. It was additionally the staff’s second straight in-season event W, placing them atop of East Group C. There are two extra video games to play on the group stage; if the Celtics stay prime, they progress onto the following spherical.

Nevertheless, the sport wasn’t with out controversy. A number of gamers discovered the court docket to be slippery, resulting in falls, slides, bumps, and bruises. Jaylen Brown appeared like he harm himself at one level, too. Nonetheless, the Celtics floor out one other win in a bodily recreation.

Past the court docket and the taking pictures struggles, this was a fast-paced recreation with a a number of read-and-react offense. Not many set performs had been run, and I want a 3rd watch to select up on a number of the cat-and-mouse video games each groups performed. So, I’ve tried to maintain the takeaways enjoyable with a touch of nerdiness in them

Let’s dive in.

#1 Overcoming struggles from deep

Jayson Tatum went 1-of-11 from deep. Kristaps Porzingis was 0-of-3. When two of a staff’s finest perimeter scorers are ice-cold, it could actually result in some offensive struggles. In years previous, these misses would have been contagious. Poor taking pictures would have gone viral all through the rotation. Not this season, although.

Boston has too many scorers. They’re attacking each degree of the court docket. In return, particular person taking pictures struggles can’t derail their offense like they did final season. Additionally they appeared to lean into paint touches to generate threes when the roster was on a chilly streak, forcing defensive collapses earlier than kicking it out for open appears to be like.

Take the above play, for instance. The Raptors surged within the third quarter. Boston’s shot wasn’t falling on the charge we might have hoped. So, Al Horford goes again to the basics. He assaults a close-out off the dribble, will get into the paint, attracts a defender, and finds an open Derrick White. The protection needed to react. Horford can put up you up, he can hit floaters, and he reads the ground in addition to anybody.

Good course of has turn into a trademark of the Celtics offense to start the season, no matter whether or not pictures are falling or not.

#2 Talking of threes

Can we simply take a second to understand how a lot scoring expertise the Celtics have? White, Jaylen Brown, Sam Hauser (who’s taking pictures 45.2% from deep,) and Horford all hit three of their perimeter jumpers. Jrue Vacation had two.

That’s 33 factors, regardless of two of your top-three gamers taking pictures below a mixed 10% from three-point vary. Luxurious doesn’t start to explain how well-constructed this season’s roster is. Kudos to Brad Stevens. Significantly.

#3 Gettin’ nerdy with it: “Wheel”

Sure, “Gettin’ nerdy with it” is again. I just like the whimsicality of the identify. For our first nerdy phase, we’re a play referred to as “wheel.” Like most actions, there are a collection of how it may be run, and coaches have three or 4 choices they wish to cycle by means of. On this occasion, Joe Mazzulla drew it as much as leverage the scoring gravity of Tatum to create a spot for Brown to assault off the drive.

The play is designed like this: The Celtics set a weakside stagger display screen for Tatum, who curls over each screens and relocates to the strongside nook. Whereas that is taking place, Brown is reducing strongside to weakside throughout the baseline.

Brown then will get a pin-in display screen from Vacation, locking down two defenders and creating some house. White has handed to Porzingis, who then hand-off to Brown and finishes the stagger screening motion, creating extra space between Brown and his defender. Porzingis rolls to the rim to interact Jakob Poeltel, who’s in drop. Dennis Schroder is seeking to get a excessive tag, too.

Brown dribbles, will get to his spot across the nail and hits the pull-up jumper.

Credit score to the Raptors, they defended the motion nicely. They didn’t change on any of the screens. As a substitute, the collapsed to restrict a drive and/or roll. But, the house created by Porzingis’ roll and the gap of the trailing defender who navigated two screens gave Brown room to get his shot off. Having Tatum within the nook additionally saved the Raptors protection stretched out.

#4 Kristaps Porzingis protection

Porzingis had one other massive evening on the defensive finish. His measurement and size across the rim compelled a number of altered pictures across the rim. He additionally ended the evening with three blocked pictures. My favourite was a block that flowed into an impacted shot on the Raptors’ second try across the rim.

Earlier this week, I wrote about Porzignis’ upside as a defensive occasion maker.

With Boston’s change 1-through-4 system and Porzignis working in drop protection, groups discover simple pictures laborious to come back by. There may be additionally a heavy give attention to limiting second-chance factors — the Celtics rank third within the NBA for 2nd likelihood factors allowed, primarily because of their means to have an effect on pictures across the rim and within the mid-range.

Right here’s an superior block, too.

#5 Jaylen Brown’s lob to Porzingis

This takeaway is a brief one. I really like the connection Brown and Porzingis are constructing. It’s been a speaking level to start the season. It would proceed to be a speaking level, particularly if it results in enjoyable possession just like the one beneath.

Nothing loopy occurred on this play. Porzingis mirrored his roll to the rim nicely, he saved himself in entrance of the protection, and Brown made the correct learn. Typically, the straightforward stuff is the perfect stuff.

#6 That includes Jaylen Brown

The Celtics ran a number of performs that featured Brown as the first scorer. The “wheel” motion above is an efficient instance of this. So is the beneath Zoom motion that acquired JB turning the nook and attending to his spot.

A fast cross out of the motion to re-locate after the protection shut his drive down didn’t take Brown out of his rhythm. Over his first 11 video games, Brown is taking pictures 41.3% on catch-and-shoot threes, so there’s no cause why he wouldn’t have been assured in taking the shot regardless of the protection killing the preliminary motion.

Boston additionally appears content material with Brown attacking out of the put up, as that is one thing we’ve seen extra ceaselessly over the previous week or so.

And, after all, the Celtics went to a excessive pick-and-roll to get their sizzling hand going downhill late within the recreation.

Like Tatum, Brown’s offensive shot choice has turn into extra various over the season’s first few weeks. Encouragingly, the staff acknowledges when he’s acquired it going and places him in a number of positions to benefit from his scoring means.

#7 Sam Hauser again minimize

Right here’s one other enjoyable play. Once more, nothing particular, however blink, and you could have missed it.

A Hauser dunk is uncommon. Getting it off a heady again minimize that caught the Raptors’ protection napping is the icing on the cake.

#8 Gettin’ nerdy with it half 2: Tatum slip display screen

Utilizing Tatum because the roll man in screening actions has slowly turn into a regularity inside the Celtics offense. He’s a gifted screener, has good positioning, and may draw a crowd when popping after contact. Nevertheless, Tatum can be good at timing his slips out of screening actions to create alternatives on the roll or within the brief roll when he can lean on his passing expertise.

Within the above clip, Tatum units a fast contact display screen on Poeltl to create a change for Porzingis that might give him a mismatch on Dennis Schroder. Nevertheless, Tatum slips after making contact (the contact, nonetheless minimal, is vital to forcing a change) and finds himself in house.

Porzingis makes a heads-up learn and will get the cross into the paint. Tatum will get the simple bucket. Fast offensive actions like this, which additionally play into Boston’s regular half-court offense, is usually a nightmare for groups to defend. On one hand, they wish to shut down Porzingis on the perimeter; conversely, you possibly can’t depart an MVP candidate unchecked rolling to the rim.

Issue within the different skills round him, and it turns into a pick-your-poison possession.

#9 One other stable Al Horford recreation

Horford has struggled in a bench function to start the season. He snapped out of these struggles towards the Philadelphia 76ers, albeit in a beginning function. Nevertheless, it could seem {that a} massive recreation was all it took to get the veteran heart again on monitor. He offered a stable impression off the bench towards the Raptors, each because the lone massive and as a part of a double-big rotation.

Horford went 3-of-4 from deep and performed some high-level protection when referred to as upon. What makes the Celtics protection so intriguing is that each Horford and Porzingis can change out of a drop protection to protect or contest a shot on the perimeter. Their measurement and footspeed normally generate alternatives to impression pictures when closing out, too.

#10 A decent rotation

Joe Mazzulla caught with a decent eight-man rotation towards the Raptors. In opposition to the Sixers, he went 9 deep. It’s too early to learn into something concerning minutes distribution and potential playoff roles, however it’s telling that Horford, Hauser, and Payton Pritchard had been the three gamers to get the nod off the bench. These are the identical three many anticipate to be on the bench rotation as soon as the postseason begins.

I’ll admit, when Boston was struggling within the third, I used to be shocked to not see a Svi Mykhailiuk look, only for some further firepower off the bench. Nonetheless, the rotation acquired the job executed, and the Celtics are one step nearer to successful their in-season event group.

Trying forward

The Celtics face the Memphis Grizzlies (2-9) on Sunday. Marcus Good isn’t more likely to be a part of the sport as he offers with an ankle harm sustained towards the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday evening. Nonetheless, it’s all the time enjoyable to see how the Celtics stack up towards Western Convention competitors, no matter how their season has gone thus far.

I’m hoping for a sixth straight win.



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