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Friday, July 12, 2024
HomeBasketballAgain on monitor: 10 takeaways from Celtics/Hawks

Again on monitor: 10 takeaways from Celtics/Hawks


A bounce-back win over the Atlanta Hawks has bought the Boston Celtics again into the win column. Boston was lacking Jrue Vacation and Kristaps Porzignis, but nonetheless discovered a option to win. Most impressively, they rode out robust stretches the place the Hawks have been on hearth from deep.

We additionally noticed a rise in ball motion and a few dominant performances on each side of the court docket. Let’s dive proper in.

#1 Horford’s dominant rebounding

Al Horford simply continues to search out methods to assist this workforce. One sport, he’s pulling down his catch-and-shoot threes to spice up the offense, the following, he’s a short-roll creator. In opposition to the Hawks, Horford turned prime Wilt Chamberlain (sure, it’s hyperbole) on the glass, gobbling up 15 rebounds, with 12 of them on the defensive finish.

Clint Capela was seen because the prototypical rim-runner throughout his prime. He’s nonetheless a bodily presence across the rim, too. But, Horford’s skill to chop off angles and management his house allowed him to make sure the Celtics owned their defensive glass.

It additionally helps that Jayson Tatum has developed right into a high-level rebounder. As his 9 boards and Jaylen Brown’s 7 ensured, the Celtics managed the temp of the sport after defensive stops.

#2 Jaylen Brown is changing into an all-around producer

“I believe I’m a greater basketball participant than I’ve been lately,” Brown informed the media after the sport. “I’ve been in a position to see issues and make performs for others. Tonight was an instance: lots of hockey assists lots of getting the ball to the suitable locations. Have a superb movement. Have a superb offense. Me, it’s additionally about sustaining that steadiness of when to make these performs and when to be that killer, be aggressive once I must. I’m nonetheless determining that steadiness.”

To start the season, it felt like Brown was getting used as a major scorer. His position is projected to be a cutter, slasher, and spot-up finisher. But, in current video games, he’s embraced a extra full position. He’s utilizing his gravity to create straightforward reads off the dribble, and he’s rebounding, shutting down screening actions on protection, and attending to his spots on offense.

Take this play for instance. Brown exhibits nice persistence in each the primary and secondary actions. On the preliminary pick-and-roll, Atlanta seems to blitz by sending two at Brown. Slightly than seeking to pressure the problem he passes to Payton Pritchard and appears to reset the play.

As soon as Brown receives the ball again, he drives into the enamel of the protection however retains his pace and physique underneath management. 4 defenders collapse in an try to remove the rim. Brown reads the protection, goes right into a capturing movement to threaten a lay-up, and kicks it out to Sam Hauser within the nook for a 3.

These sorts of performs by no means used to current themself to Brown. He would both get flustered by the blitz, flip it over on the drive, or pressure the problem on the layup. His sport is evolving, and the spacing on the court docket helps showcase that.

#3 Derrick White’s ball motion

Much like Horford, Derrick White simply finds methods to influence the sport. He can scale his manufacturing based mostly on the workforce’s wants. With Vacation and Porzingis out, White was a playmaking savant, dispensing 11 assists for his teammates whereas conserving his turnovers down (he had 3.)

What I preferred about White’s efficiency was that each one his assists have been straightforward. Most of them got here by way of “subsequent move” basketball, the place he was a pivot level in a play that constantly discovered the open man. Even this dime to Tatum on the put up was a “subsequent move” play and ended up in a bucket.

This season, White has been Boston’s Swiss military knife on the guard place. Final night time, it was working a playmaker; later this week it may very well be hitting catch-and-shoot threes or pressuring the rim. Regardless of the Celtics want, White retains discovering methods to give you the products.

#4 Atlanta’s pick-and-roll protection

Atlanta caught to 2 major pick-and-roll ideas for essentially the most half. They blitzed on Tatum and Brown, they usually confirmed with everyone else. Each sorts of protection contain sending two on the ball-handler after the display screen has taken place. One retains two on the ball; the opposite sends one of many defenders again to get well to his man after just a few steps have been taken.

The Celtics carved open that protection time and time once more.

The above clip was Boston’s first offensive possession of the sport. The Celtics run a Horford/White pick-and-roll. Atlanta go to their present protection. The present permits Horford to get into the paint unchecked. Capela has to get well after White will get off the ball.

When Tatum receives the move from White, the protection has to shift, leaving the entry move broad open. Horford will get the straightforward bucket. Every little thing the Celtics did within the above possession got here after the Hawks dedicated to the present and have been sluggish to get well.

The Hawks look to blitz the DHO between Brown and Luke Kornet on this clip. Kornet relocates to the nail and acts as a pivot level. Atlanta’s protection has shifted over and is watching the sturdy aspect, leaving house for the ball to swing round on the weak aspect and pressure close-outs.

Brown hits Kornet, the massive man swings the rock to White, who goes right into a “subsequent move” mentality, swings it to Hauser, and growth, a straightforward three. Atlanta dedicated two to the ball, and Boston countered with a fast passing second to get an open shot on the second-side motion.

#5 Gettin’ nerdy with it: Discovering counters

Speaking of counters. One in all my greatest points with the Celtics offense in current video games has been their lack of a plan B. Too typically, the Celtics have regarded devoid of solutions when the protection shuts down their preliminary motion. So, as you possibly can think about, I used to be happy when the Celtics started to counter the Hawks’ protection, each within the pick-and-roll and on the perimeter.

Within the above clip, the Hawks do a superb job of shutting down the preliminary pick-and-roll — as soon as once more by way of present protection. The ball finds its method right into a second-side motion. Some stable protection forces just a few passes that lead nowhere. So, Payton Pritchard initiates a “Zoom” motion on the sturdy aspect, getting Sam Hauser onto the ball and curling off a DHO. The Hawks present onto Hauser, leaving Pritchard in house. A fast move out of the short-term double leaves Pritchard open for the three.

Counters like this are important when the protection is swarming. Particularly for second-unit gamers who’re attempting to create some rhythm for themselves and the workforce.

#6 Sam Hasuer’s motion

Sticking with Sam Hauser for a second. Can we simply admire how good he’s gotten at studying when to raise and sink out and in of the corners to make himself out there for passes?

#7 Turnover points

For essentially the most half, the Celtics took care of the rock. They ended the sport with 12 turnovers in comparison with 24 assists in a pass-heavy system. Nonetheless, there have been moments when sloppy play took over. Tatum was a major offender with 6 turnovers. Nonetheless, we’ve to rationalize that he has the ball greater than everybody else and faces essentially the most defensive consideration.

Nonetheless, 6 turnovers are an excessive amount of. White had 3, Brown had 2, Banton and Kornet had 1 a bit. It’s not the tip of the world, however stretches like within the fourth quarter, the place Boston had 5 turnovers, can swing the momentum of a sport. They only want to remain locked in, and never let the protection rattle their cages.

#8 Queta brings the hustle

Neemias Queta is enjoyable! He brings measurement, physicality, and vitality off the bench. In Kristaps Porzingis’ absence, Queta was injected into the bench unit, and made an inexpensive influence when on the ground. He ended the sport with 7 factors, 10 rebounds, and an help, and created issues for the Hawks on each side of the court docket.

Persoanlly, the beneath play stood out to me as a consequence of his vitality and energy.

Two off-ball screens (a slice and a large pin-down) to start the offensive possession present Queta’s exercise degree and hustle. He then slips right into a post-up and requires the rock. A bit little bit of disjointed play ends in a well-earned bucket.

We additionally noticed Queta step onto the perimeter and guard Dejounte Murray. Not that matchup anyone would have envisioned or needed to see, however he did nicely, given the mismatch.

Queta does nicely to stay along with his man right here. Cuts off the primary drive earlier than giving up his lead hip for the second. Horford rotates over and will get the steal of the season with a transfer straight out of NBA Road — I’m displaying my age with that reference.

#9 Jayson Tatum does Jayson Tatum issues

I believe the title of this one says all of it. Tatum was Tatumming in all places. What I preferred most was that the majority of Tatum’s three-point photographs have been coming off the catch. Why did I like that? As a result of on the season, he’s capturing 45.9% from deep in catch-and-shoot possession however simply 32.7% when pulling up off the dribble.

Tatum has been a greater catch-and-shoot perimeter risk for a number of seasons at this level. If he’s utilizing his dribble to create house for drives or to generate passing alternatives is when he’s a handful for opposing defenses; if he’s attempting to create photographs from deep, the protection has received.

After all, we additionally bought a wholesome dose of post-play, which has turn out to be the norm and is a welcomed addition. And do they get any prettier than this?

Tatum additionally balled out on protection and was a artistic pressure regardless of the Hawks seeking to blitz on each display screen. General, it was a stable bounce-back sport for him after a tricky displaying in opposition to the Magic. Hopefully, the flu signs he’s been coping with are a factor of the previous.

#10 Atlanta’s protection is dangerous

Atlanta’s protection is extremely disjointed. They rank twenty fourth within the NBA, and they should iron out some dangerous habits. The worst behavior on present is how they completely lose monitor of their man. A key defensive precept is “see ball, see man,” but the Hawks solely concentrate on the primary a part of that mantra.

As we’ve seen in a few of the clips above, the Hawks can turn out to be hyperfocused on the ball-dominant aspect and have a tendency to open themselves as much as back-cuts or weak-side screening actions.

Above is an efficient instance of how solely “seeing ball” can depart you inclined to getting cooked by way of cuts. I’m not complaining, after all. But it surely’s value stating so we are able to admire the Celtics’ high-level protection that little bit extra.

Wanting forward

We’re again to in-season match play now. The Celtics will face the Chicago Bulls of their ultimate group sport and can want issues to go their method in the event that they need to make it into the knockout levels.

Chris Forsberg broke down the completely different situations in a current put up on X (previously often called Twitter.)

I’m a giant fan of the match and the elevated degree of play we’re seeing due to it. Nonetheless, I would really like the Celtics to proceed collaborating in mentioned match, which suggests I, like most of you, might be on the sting of my seat once I get up on Wednesday and watch the sport again!



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