Sunday, June 16, 2024

Not ok: 10 takeaways from Celtics/Magic


In the present day’s takeaways are going to be barely totally different. They gained’t be clip-heavy, and there gained’t be a lot when it comes to Xs and Os breakdowns. I’ve some ideas to share and thought this may be the perfect area to take action. As ordinary, I stay up for getting everybody’s perspective within the feedback part.

The Boston Celtics misplaced their fourth straight recreation when dealing with the Orlando Magic. Nonetheless, the loss isn’t the difficulty. Crew’s drop video games, it’s to be anticipated. The worrying half is that this loss was a regression for Boston in a recreation the place previous habits reared their ugly heads.

#1 Shrinking towards physicality

While you consider how the Miami Warmth persistently acquire a bonus over the Celtics, you immediately consider their bodily fashion of play. They knock Boston round, get of their face, and throw them off their recreation. Orlando got here into the sport on Friday with the identical blueprint.

“Was it effort, was it toughness, was it execution?” Joe Mazzulla questioned after the sport. “I’m undecided which one it was, so I don’t wish to touch upon it, however clearly positively pissed off once you go empty possession after empty possession, after which they’re scoring on open threes and offensive rebounds.”

The Magic performed with no concern. They fought by switches, obtained bodily, and bullied the Celtics right into a defeat. You may’t escape it; the Celtics shrunk as the sport wore on. Orlando imposed their physicality onto Boston, and Mazzulla’s squad had little push-back.

#2 An imbalanced recreation plan

I get it. The Celtics roster has a lot top-end expertise permitting them to run a read-and-react offense is one of the simplest ways to include so many skillsets. When the staff is in rhythm and taking part in at tempo, working a free-flow system is smart. But, when your opponent is shutting these principal-based actions down and is placing you into some tough spots, there must be a blueprint to fall again on.

In Boston’s second recreation towards the New York Knicks, Mazzula confirmed a deep playbook that persistently created benefits for his staff. Why did not the Celtics go to these actions towards Orlando? Are we actually going to be banking on elite isolation play all season, the identical method we did with threes final time round?

There needs to be a stability. If the protection shuts issues down, name a play, run a sequence, or do one thing totally different. Discover methods to assault your opponent and go at with it till they’ll discover a option to cease you. This staff has an excessive amount of expertise to just accept being shut down for a complete half, no matter who was lacking from the lineup.

#3 The timeout debate

Joe Mazzulla’s choice to not name a time-out throughout a 17-0 run has actually created a robust dialogue amongst the fanbase. The reality is, there’s no assure a time-out would have stopped the bleeding or taken the wind out of Orlando’s sails. And at what level do you cease issues? When it’s 8-0? 14-0? Mazzulla has shared his thought course of on the time-out concern earlier than.

We additionally noticed him name a few time-outs through the fourth quarter. Nothing modified. It didn’t make the Celtics play sooner. It didn’t pressure them to search for higher pictures. And it didn’t fireplace them as much as play by physicality and lock it down on protection.

This was a staff loss. All people had a hand within the under-performance. Mazzulla included. However, time outs weren’t a deciding issue. Maybe they performed a component. And maybe they didn’t. I’m on the fence with this one, however can actually see each side.

#4 Depth points have been obvious

No Jrue Vacation? No drawback. That’s till Derrick White is pressured to go away the sport with a contusion after a troublesome display from Paolo Banchero. Immediately, your solely obtainable ball-handler is Payton Pritchard. The identical on the middle place. All of it seems good and dandy till you begin a double-big lineup, and Kristaps Porzingis leaves the sport on account of harm. Immediately, you begin to query the general depth of the roster.

Is Oshae Brissett able to taking part in a major function within the rotation when harm strikes? Can Luke Kornet offer you impactful minutes for lengthy stretches? There’s no denying the top-8 rotation at Boston’s disposal is outstanding. However questions stay over 9-through-15.

I’m removed from hitting the panic button, however these questions are honest and can come up all through the season. Proper now, there don’t look like any good solutions.

#5 The place was Svi Mykhailiuk?

The Celtics added Scvi Mykhailiuk to their roster this summer time. For me, the addition meant Mazzulla had one other capturing specialist to name upon when the staff was struggling from deep. Boston went 7-of-29 from three-point vary towards the Magic. Solely Jaylen Brown and Sam Hauser scored multiple of their perimeter pictures.

But, Mykhailiuk stayed glued to the bench. The most effective motion shooters on the staff didn’t get a single minute of taking part in time. I perceive his limitations on protection make taking part in him for stretches a tough activity. But, once you’re making an attempt to impress a rotation and have to see pictures falling, why not usher in a participant who was signed to knock down pictures?

#6 Jaylen Brown’s Jekyll and Hyde efficiency

Jaylen Brown began the sport the identical method he completed his outing towards the Milwaukee Bucks: En Fuego. When his shot is falling, and Brown is aggressive throughout the movement of the offense, he’s nearly unstoppable.

Nonetheless, as soon as the second half started, and the Magic upped their depth, Brown went from the human torch to Elsa — frozen. The issue wasn’t that Brown wasn’t making his pictures; that was a problem plaguing the entire staff. No, the issue was he had stretches the place he pressured the difficulty.

Once more, this isn’t completely on Brown. There are occasions when he’s on the market because the featured scorer. His job is to strain the rim and pressure defensive rotations. But, when his shot isn’t falling, discovering different methods to affect the sport needs to be excessive on the agenda, moderately than getting tunnel imaginative and prescient and taking part in one-on-many basketball.

#7 The Celtics want so as to add some counters

The above clip exhibits the Celtics going to a weakside stagger motion for Sam Hauser. The thought is to get the sharpshooter an open look as he comes off the 2 screens. Orlando’s protection has been wonderful this season. They shut down the play early, with Cole Anthony canceling a possible go and/or DHO. The protection then suffocates the Celtics, closing down on shooters and entering into their faces.

It’s moments like this when the Celtics want that secondary motion. A screening set that’s designed to blow open such intense protection. As a substitute, Jayson Tatum is pressured into a troublesome, tightly contested mid-range jumper after the play had damaged down.

It’s all nicely and good having these play designs, however figuring out what to do once they’re shut down have to be a part of the design. In any other case, we get possessions just like the one above.

#8 Gettin’ nerdy with it: Stagger slips

One factor the Celtics did succeed with was working stagger actions the place the second screener would slip in the direction of the rim, forcing the protection to both blitz the ball-handler or rotate to defend the roll man if a tagger didn’t slide over.

White does a superb job of participating two defenders by driving towards the paint as Kornet slips and rolls, permitting some separation to be created and releasing a lob go for a simple dunk.

Boston went to this motion and a variation the place Al Horford could be a “popper” on a number of events. Sadly, Orlando’s protection wised as much as these actions fairly shortly. Once more, a easy counter might have created some further success right here.

Maybe after the slip, there’s a second pick-and-roll and the slip screener turns into the go receiver in a brief motion.

#9 Sluggish tempo doesn’t go well with the Celtics

On my re-watch this morning, the Celtics’ lack of tempo within the second half was jarring. We’ve change into accustomed to early offense, pitch-ahead passes, and lots of transition alternatives. So, to see the Celtics strolling the ball up, slowly entering into their half-court actions, and failing to create constant high quality alternatives was disheartening.

Tatum had a troublesome recreation. His lack of tempo was a transparent indicator that Boston had been bullied out of their ordinary swagger. Because the staff’s star participant, the Celtics go as Tatum goes. If he’s pushing the tempo, it’s infectious. If he’s gradual, then the damaging results unfold like wildfire.

Boston is at their finest when taking part in with tempo and making sensible, fast selections. It’s generally known as the .5 system. Gamers have 0.5 seconds to determine whether or not they’re going to go, drive, dribble, or shoot. Mazzulla has carried out this technique over the previous two seasons.

Hopefully, the Celtics can course-correct and get again to their ordinary tempo of their upcoming video games.

#10 Silver linings.

I’ve been fairly vital of the efficiency in at the moment’s takeaways. Whereas I really feel it’s warranted, I do wish to finish on a brighter notice. The very fact is, it’s simple to view the Magic as a nasty staff after a number of seasons of them being a rebuilding roster on the foot of the Jap Convention. That isn’t the case anymore. Orlando is second within the East, has a top-3 ranked protection, and has two guys in Franz Wagner and Paolo Bancerho, who can be multi-time All-Stars of their careers.

Dropping to the Magic isn’t the intestine punch many are appearing like it’s. They’re a superb staff. It’s additionally value remembering this was the Celtics’ fourth lack of the season. It’s not like they’re slumping, and the postseason seems one million miles away. It was a nasty recreation. There are many classes to be taught from. And sure, the in-season match group is now blown large open.

But, within the scale of issues, the Celtics have began off nicely and have a possibility to enhance within the coming months. One loss isn’t going to outline their season. The identical method as one win gained’t change a lot proper now, both. Typically, you want a loss like this to pressure change and development, and given the Celtics lofty expectations, that’s precisely what we must always count on shifting ahead.

Wanting forward

The Celtics will face the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday at 6 PM ET. They might want to reply after dropping to Orlando, and will discover themselves decimating the Hawks protection — which continues to battle and is at the moment ranked twenty fifth within the NBA. Nonetheless, Boston might want to handle Atlanta’s movement offense and mitigate the affect of Trae Younger.

Both method, it’s an opportunity to place the Magic loss within the rearview mirror and see what classes have been taken from the sport. I’m specializing in what’s forward, not what’s behind us.



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