Friday, June 21, 2024
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Three leaf clover: Tatum within the clutch, Joey Curveball, and hating the Sixers

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

Stat of the Week: eleventh

In accordance with NBA Stats’ play kind information, 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 varied kinds of huge males and Zion Williamson. The NBA’s monitoring has him down for 3.0 submit up possessions a sport, however that solely triggers when Tatum takes a shot out of 1 — he’s really posting up rather more usually than that.

Oh, it’s most likely value mentioning of the 30 gamers that common 2 or extra submit 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 submit up man in the complete freaking NBA.

Tatum’s maturing proper earlier than our eyes, after solely averaging 1.4 submit ups per sport final season, he’s moved as much as three whereas, most significantly, remaining at virtually the very same stage of elite effectivity. Excessive stage submit up gamers pressure assist and doubles along with being low turnover performs. It’s a mixture that Tatum can go to create straightforward offense for himself and others, and to safe an honest look throughout crunch time. It’s turning 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 huge curveball pitcher I do know is Barry Zito, and I used that comparability just a few weeks in the past, so that is all I bought). His that means was that final yr, on each side of the ball, we didn’t have many various methods to play. Our offense was, at occasions, too predictable and the protection a reasonably mundane man-to-man scheme that dropped in opposition to pick-and-rolls. Mazz has, thus far, stored his phrase, particularly on the defensive finish.

Over the previous couple of weeks, the Celtics protection has regarded unrecognizable at occasions. Joe is doing a whole lot of inventive stuff on that finish; commonly retaining opposing groups off-balance by extending stress full-court and mixing up coverages within the halfcourt. Right here’s just a few simply from the Philly sport.

Our pretty regular man-to-man halfcourt protection with drop in opposition to the pick-and-roll, however with the added wrinkle of soppy full-court stress to take advantage of some shot clock.

Various ranges of full-court stress has been a theme, particularly when Pritchard is on the court docket. I 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? Smooth man protection? Field and 1 the place Jrue is taking part in free security? All the above? I’m not sensible sufficient to actually 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 in opposition to the Knicks and now Philly.

It’s the 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, 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 permit me to indulge my biases right here for a minute. The Sixers are extraordinarily straightforward to hate, and the NBA is just extra enjoyable due to it. Joel Embiid is without doubt one of the largest human beings to ever roam the Earth, and I don’t imagine 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 making an attempt 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 in opposition to the Lakers within the new Large 3 period, that bizarre 1.5-year stretch the place the Wizards had been type of rivals for some cause, 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 at all times win, and I wouldn’t have it every other manner.



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