Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Three leaf clover: Tatum within the clutch, Joey Curveball, and hating the Sixers


Nothing sweeter than not shedding, and the Celtics are 4-0 since our final Three Leaf Clover. The cherry on prime of the proverbial basketball court docket formed cake is thrashing the Sixers which we are going to get to in a bit. A number of nice stuff to debate this week.

Stat of the Week: eleventh

In line with NBA Stats’ play kind knowledge, Jayson Tatum is posting up the eleventh most within the league (tied with Wemby, Jaren Jackson Jr., and KD). The ten gamers forward of him are numerous kinds of massive males and Zion Williamson. The NBA’s monitoring has him down for 3.0 publish up possessions a sport, however that solely triggers when Tatum takes a shot out of 1 — he’s truly posting up far more typically than that.

Oh, it’s in all probability value mentioning of the 30 gamers that common 2 or extra publish ups per sport, Tatum is 4th in effectivity at 1.27 factors per possession. He trails solely Alpern Sengun, SGA, and Kristaps Porzingis, who simply occurs to be the most environment friendly excessive quantity publish up man in your complete freaking NBA.

Tatum’s maturing proper earlier than our eyes, after solely averaging 1.4 publish ups per sport final season, he’s moved as much as three whereas, most significantly, remaining at nearly the very same stage of elite effectivity. Excessive stage publish up gamers power assist and doubles along with being low turnover performs. It’s a combination that Tatum can go to create straightforward offense for himself and others, and to safe a good look throughout crunch time. It’s changing into an necessary facet of how the Celtics and Tatum assault groups.

Xs and Ooooohhhhs: Joe throwing defensive curveballs

Joe Mazzulla went on J.J. Reddick’s podcast and began speaking about curveballs like he was Mark Mulder in 2002 (I’m not a baseball man, the one massive curveball pitcher I do know is Barry Zito, and I used that comparability a number of weeks in the past, so that is all I bought). His that means was that final 12 months, on either side of the ball, we didn’t have many alternative methods to play. Our offense was, at instances, too predictable and the protection a reasonably mundane man-to-man scheme that dropped towards pick-and-rolls. Mazz has, to this point, stored his phrase, particularly on the defensive finish.

Over the previous couple of weeks, the Celtics protection has seemed unrecognizable at instances. Joe is doing plenty of artistic stuff on that finish; frequently protecting opposing groups off-balance by extending strain full-court and mixing up coverages within the halfcourt. Right here’s a number of simply from the Philly sport.

Our pretty regular man-to-man halfcourt protection with drop towards the pick-and-roll, however with the added wrinkle of sentimental full-court strain to exploit some shot clock.

Various ranges of full-court strain has been a theme, particularly when Pritchard is on the court docket. I really like this model the place PP hounds the ball-handler then the Cs combine it up with a 2-3 zone.

Right here’s a extra conventional 2-2-1 press that Joe’s been experimenting with for some time.

Some stuff hasn’t labored, like this halfcourt lure that bought shredded by two passes and Joe seemingly threw away within the trash can, fortunately being in Philly means he was in a single massive trash can.

Then, there’s no matter that is. A 3-2 zone? Tender man protection? Field and 1 the place Jrue is enjoying free security? All the above? I’m not sensible sufficient to essentially perceive it, however I do know one factor: it’s lovely. I additionally know two issues: it’s efficient. Joe has busted this out efficiently towards the Knicks and now Philly.

It’s this sort of innovation and malleability that Joe meant when he introduced up curveballs. Distinctive sport planning that has beforehand given groups just like the Warmth an edge over the Celtics. It’s extraordinarily encouraging that Joe is utilizing the early season to experiment with totally different appears to be like, and it’s much more encouraging what number of of them are working.

Non-basketball Stuff of the Week: hating the Sixers is enjoyable

Each human is biased, so enable me to indulge my biases right here for a minute. The Sixers are extraordinarily straightforward to hate, and the NBA is solely extra enjoyable due to it. Joel Embiid is likely one of the largest human beings to ever roam the Earth, and I don’t consider that’s an exaggeration. But, when gently grazed by an opponent, it’s as if gravity is turned up a number of notches. He crashes to the ground with the grace of a younger teen trying the Dougie. This isn’t basketball Joel!

As obnoxious as it’s, I’m additionally glad it occurs. It simply makes the hate really feel so justified. The Celtics haven’t had a real, sustained rivalry in fairly a while. Sure, there have been the 2 Finals towards the Lakers within the new Large 3 period, that bizarre 1.5-year stretch the place the Wizards have been sort of rivals for some motive, and naturally Lebron. These Philly video games are intense, the followers are into it, and the league takes discover when the groups play one another. The one factor holding it again from being a real rivalry although? The Celtics all the time win, and I wouldn’t have it some other method.

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