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2020 Playoffs Round 2 Game 1 C*#^tics at Raptors Thursday August 27 6:30pm on (TBA)

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  • slaw wrote: View Post

    Good post. They started the game forcing certain things offensively and it seemed to really put the off. But the fouls, turnovers and erratic shooting betrayed an unfocused team lacking urgency.

    The use of Siakam is baffling. He can be an iso guy once he is rolling but it isn’t his strong suit. I still don’t understand why he cannot be a screener with Lowry and FVV and vice versa. The insistence on forcing it to him in the mid post (he doesn’t get good post positions) seems misplaced.
    The super traditional "he's 6 inches taller, post him up!" basketball thinking is atypical for such a creative and flexible coaching staff. Depending on your guy's post skills, the defender's post defence, and all the other team variables in play (e.g. if you're giving up open corner 3's at one end then struggling for 2 point post ups at the offensive end), mean this maybe isn't an 'obvious advantage' you have to force feed. It's not 1987 or whatever.
    "We're playing in a building." -- Kawhi Leonard

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    • 007 wrote: View Post

      Very obvious that he went a few months without touching a basketball
      I don't understand this at all. Gyms etc. were shut down but tell me how Siakam could not have known a guy with a hoop in a driveway or the backyard? Personally or through the organization? Is it confirmed that he honestly sat in his condo for weeks?
      "We're playing in a building." -- Kawhi Leonard

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      • S.R. wrote: View Post

        The super traditional "he's 6 inches taller, post him up!" basketball thinking is atypical for such a creative and flexible coaching staff. Depending on your guy's post skills, the defender's post defence, and all the other team variables in play (e.g. if you're giving up open corner 3's at one end then struggling for 2 point post ups at the offensive end), mean this maybe isn't an 'obvious advantage' you have to force feed. It's not 1987 or whatever.
        If they want to do it he needs to work hard and catch the ball on the block. A big’s advantage is greatly reduced where Pascal is catching.

        Still, if I am Boston, much rather set my defense around Siakam stationary down low than him coming off screens, rolling, cutting and popping for threes.

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        • G__Deane wrote: View Post

          Nothing has changed in this regards.
          P isn't a Batman and may not ever be a Batman and that's OK.
          Robin needs a Batman.
          Masai has one thing left to prove.
          He needs to sign a Batman.

          Gasol, Serge and Kyle can/should all be gone within two years.
          Team needs a rebuild regardless of how these playoffs go.
          This was always a trot 'em out one last time season
          Yeah but who is the Batman. I think Giannis is unrealistic
          Only one thing matters: We The Champs.

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          • S.R. wrote: View Post

            I don't understand this at all. Gyms etc. were shut down but tell me how Siakam could not have known a guy with a hoop in a driveway or the backyard? Personally or through the organization? Is it confirmed that he honestly sat in his condo for weeks?
            Those were his words, yup.

            I was the one who started down that road earlier today and I've since read a good article from Eric Koreen at The Athletic, originally posted on July 8, and after reading that article, I wish I hadn't brought it up...

            Eric reasons very well how nobody should be criticizing a player for following the rules and during a global pandemic where everyone's been ordered to stay put. Not exactly the best time for a big move to the bridal-path mansion... And he'd have been roasted had he tried to use public parks when average citizens were not allowed to do so.

            Nick also said when he arrived at camp there was no sign of him being in anything other than tip-top shape.

            Ultimately this is probably exactly the same thing that a great many players in the NBA did -- Pascal was just one of them, who along with Middleton, said it honestly and openly to a reporter.

            Pascal just needs to believe in himself and get back to the things that have worked for him.

            I'm hoping for big improvements from him (and everybody) on Tuesday.

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            • The problem with Pascal is mostly mental.
              I think the idea of being the #1 guy us putting too much pressure on him.
              He should relax and not let those things worry him and just play his usual style of basketball.
              Just go out there and play loose and don't be afraid of what people might say.

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              • inthepaint wrote: View Post

                4. PLEASE, let's run some screens for Siakam. Bring back the spin moves. Have him spot up from the corner. Have him run the floor and leak out in transition. Let's stop the static back to basket iso's, and the dirk fadeaways. They're not efficient shots for him. Gotta stop trying to turn him into some kind player he's not. Use him with the natural skills he developed on his MIP year. That alone will attract doubles, and if he recognizes that and find the open man (rather than trying to be Kawhi, or some kind of "closer" someone told him he's gotta be all the time), our offence will be humming again with the ball moving
                All that iso shit with Pascal does not feel like Raptors basketball. I know we are trying to get him going, but it has to be within the flow of the offense.

                He puts up these wild shots, gets frustrated, and the cycle repeats. It reminds me of DeMar's struggles in the worst way.

                Our big offensive weakness is not having a shot creator who can break down the D. It's glaring and I don't know that our excellent guards and good team basketball are going to be enough. Just gotta hope for someone will turn up with some unexpected heroics. Norm seems like he can do it, just gotta unleash him.

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                • Scraptor wrote: View Post

                  All that iso shit with Pascal does not feel like Raptors basketball. I know we are trying to get him going, but it has to be within the flow of the offense.

                  He puts up these wild shots, gets frustrated, and the cycle repeats. It reminds me of DeMar's struggles in the worst way.

                  Our big offensive weakness is not having a shot creator who can break down the D. It's glaring and I don't know that our excellent guards and good team basketball are going to be enough. Just gotta hope for someone will turn up with some unexpected heroics. Norm seems like he can do it, just gotta unleash him.
                  There have been games where he passed out of the post double a lot and facilitated the offence from there. That's fine. But there wasn't much off ball movement (if any) on his post ups today, he & the whole team seemed to have a lot of tunnel vision on those possessions. More off ball movement needed Game 2 and he just needs his head up. All doable.
                  "We're playing in a building." -- Kawhi Leonard

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                  • S.R. wrote: View Post

                    I don't understand this at all. Gyms etc. were shut down but tell me how Siakam could not have known a guy with a hoop in a driveway or the backyard? Personally or through the organization? Is it confirmed that he honestly sat in his condo for weeks?
                    We have an official team mascot errrr some goofy global ambASSador that has a full court in his house. What could be more globally ambassadorial than letting a global player stuck in Toronto use your court every day?

                    Can't put this all on drake obviously but how they didn't hook up over 3 months is beyond me (just going by Pascal saying he didn't touch a ball).

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                    • S.R. wrote: View Post

                      I don't understand this at all. Gyms etc. were shut down but tell me how Siakam could not have known a guy with a hoop in a driveway or the backyard? Personally or through the organization? Is it confirmed that he honestly sat in his condo for weeks?
                      It's an excuse. Before the Celtics went to the bubble, Jayson Tatum said the same thing - that he went a few months without touching a basketball. Tatum is averaging 30+ppg or something in the bubble.

                      Hell, I haven't played basketball in years and I'm pretty sure I can still shoot a basketball.
                      Mamba Mentality

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                      • The Great One wrote: View Post

                        He was easily their best player in the Nets series. But I also said that don't expect him to put up the same numbers against the Celtics.

                        What would I pay him? 20M/year.
                        Is FVV better than Marcus Smart? Maybe... but how much better? Not defensively, that's for sure. Smart makes $13M/year. This series would be a perfect opportunity for Fred to proves he's actually worth $20M/year.

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                        • Yuck. Brutal shooting made this one look worse than it was, but they still need to be far better in offensive execution. Lowry was very good, OG was really good too, Davis I liked in the spurts where he wasn’t handling the ball, Serge was scoring early at least even if he was useless defensively. Everyone else was pretty bad to awful. Fred showed up defensively.

                          I don't even mind the looks Pascal is getting, but he absolutely has to convert when he gets to the rim. He has shown he can do that. Needs to try to finish stronger or something, the soft touch just isn’t there. Should probably get more looks coming off handoffs or screening for (or receiving a screen from) one of the guards to get some momentum towards the rim. But his post ups were pretty successful in generating good shots, he just didn’t finish, so no need to go completely away from that.

                          I did did like the few times they used Gasol as a true roll threat in PnR. Mixing it up for him might be effective in messing up the Celts’ PnR defence, not knowing whether to expect the pop or roll.

                          Have to lose two to win in 6. This is where Nurse earns his money, expect some fun adjustments for game 2. Throw in a little shooting regression and this thing can get turned around quickly.
                          twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                          • Pascal struggles have little to do with the hiatus or him not having access to a gym or whatever. His struggles are because of his change play style, which has been completely different.

                            He used to play loose, letting the offence come to him.

                            --We used to have plays drawn to him where he would get a high screen (sometimes two screens) where he would get the ball at the logo, drive hard to the paint with speed, spin, and finish (or do a nice dump off for an open big inside).
                            --He used to relocate to corner 3's after elbow actions and knock those down with ease.
                            --He used to have alley-oops from Lowry, finish transition buckets with ease as the recipient of long passes, because as soon as the ball was up on our end, he was already dashing to the other end.
                            --He used to ball handle and have screens set for him to find mismatches, typically ending in a bucket from him, from the screener, or from a corner shooter
                            --He used to set screens for ball-handlers and find mismatches that way, popping or rolling, typically ending in a bucket from him, from the ball handler, or from a corner shooter
                            --He used to cut to the basket on the baseline (him and OG)

                            That Siakam is gone.

                            The action now is slow, static, predictable, back-to-the-basket shots against long/double defenders, finishing up with a low%, contested fadeaway long 2, while the rest of the team stand and watch. All because someone told him he now must be Kawhi, or some kind of mythical "closer".

                            Countless of times I've seen him slow the ball right down and try to iso/postup against double teams, while one of OG/Norm/Thomas/TD (all of whom very good corner 3 shooters) is alone in the corner primed for a shot. It's like he either doesn't trust these guys, or he feels he must learn to force low% shots to somehow become good at it.

                            I don't know if this is a coach's or player's decision, but either way it's unacceptable. We're in to win games, not to artificially force Siakam into a player he's not. This series result will depend on how we use him.
                            2019 NBA Champions. Glad to have doubted the doubters.

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                            • Thank goodness I bet $1K on the Celtics; Sports Interaction was offering a whopping 2.25 for the Celtics to win the series!

                              Raps unfortunately don't match up well against Boston; they've owned us all season and by quite a margin.

                              Comment


                              • Reasons to be optimistic:
                                --Most of our players played terribly and should hopefully experience positive regression.
                                --Marcus Smart is unlikely to hit 5 threes multiple times in a 7 game series.
                                --Wannamaker is unlikely to shoot 2/4 or 50% from 3 again.
                                --Nick Nurse is our coach. Positive adjustments should follow.
                                --Some stuff worked. Zone, big lineups. Definitely a few things we may see more of.

                                Reasons to be pessimistic:

                                --The Celtics have the best transition defence in the NBA and the Raptors have the best transition offence. This was a half court game and you can make the argument Boston made us play poorly. Siakam in particular looks out of sorts in a half court game.
                                --Raps give up more corner 3's than any team in NBA history. Celtics are hitting them.
                                --Celtics are getting quality minutes from Robert Williams and Wannamaker. Depth should be a problem for them. If those guys play well it's bad news.
                                --It looks like Boston has the best player in the series. There will be a game in this series that is tied in the clutch. Who do you trust more to create a shot and hit it in the final minute in a half court setting. (Hint---it's not a raptor).

                                Improvements to make:
                                --Effort and shooting improvements should come.
                                --Need to play with pace.
                                --Posting up Marcus Smart is like posting up Kyle Lowry. Don't sabotage the offence to pick on Smart in the post.
                                --If Boston is hitting the corner 3 early in game 2 gotta revisit the strategy of leaving those guys open.

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