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GAME 5: Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics 09/07/20 6:30 PM ET TSN

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  • Scraptor wrote: View Post

    So much pounding the rock.

    I don't think he is quick enough to take all his matchups off the dribble, so he ends up trying to figure out what to do for 10 seconds.

    It feels like he is best when he gets the ball in secondary action. Either catch and shoot the three or fake and drive for either a layup or dish.
    All his matchups? Lol. Can Fred take even 10% of his matchups off the dribble? He’s no Trey Burke.

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    • MixxAOR wrote: View Post

      I feel like we are not underachieving in this battle. So we can be disappointed but this is not upset.
      I think what is disappointing is some of the individual performances. Siakam is a max salary player and FVV is a UFA but they have both been awful. Gasol looks like a guy who knows he doesn’t have it and is just trying to survive his minutes. Powell looks scared? I don’t know what the hell is wrong with him. Davis and Thomas have not even been given a real chance to contribute. They can’t keep relying solely on a 34 year old PG. These guys needed to step up if this team wanted to beat Boston and not one of them has.

      Maybe they lose anyway but, man, a lot of these players need to look in the mirror.

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      • S.R. wrote: View Post
        There is the possibility that this really isn't anybody's fault, this is just the ceiling of this team and Boston is better. They're grasping at straws.

        Still a chance, just have to win 2 in a row again. Disappointing it's gotten ugly again, felt like they may have started to turn a corner before this one.
        That's a possibility, but I believe we have the personnel to beat Boston. The problem is there are several guys currently playing very far from their ceiling at the same time (notably Siakam, Norm and FVV), plus Gasol being thoroughly washed after not playing ball for 6 months at the age of 35. Love the guy, but he just doesn't seem to know where the basket is anymore, and while we shouldn't depend on him to win a series, on a team struggling big time offensively (much more so than defensively), that's a problem, regardless of how else he contributes. The reason it's a problem is beyond the lack of production/raw points from him - it's the nasty collateral effect that has on the rest of the team when opposing defences can afford to ignore a guy and gang up on the rest.

        This will sound like sacrilege to some but if you're struggling offensively right on the first quarter, how about starting one of Thomas/TD/Norm, guys that are fast and hungry for the basket and that will demand attention from the opposing D? Set the tone and pace of the game early, throw an unconventional offensive look right from the get-go and let boston scramble to figure out. Then when you've got the damn first quarter out of the way, if analytics tells you must get back to the old way, then go ahead and do it, but now at least you haven't dug yourself a hole on Q1 playing something they've totally figured out how to defend already.
        Last edited by inthepaint; Tue Sep 8, 2020, 03:23 AM.
        2019 NBA Champions. Glad to have doubted the doubters.

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        • golden wrote: View Post

          All his matchups? Lol. Can Fred take even 10% of his matchups off the dribble? He’s no Trey Burke.
          I think when he gets a favourable switch he can make things happen. If he gets a big on him good things usually follow... but most of the time it feels like we aren't able to get that working.

          It's why that pass to Gasol and pass right back keeps happening. He can't go downhill and Gasol thinks the ball is lava.

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          • inthepaint wrote: View Post

            That's a possibility, but I believe we have the personnel to beat Boston. The problem is there are several guys currently playing very far from their ceiling at the same time (notably Siakam, Norm and FVV), plus Gasol being thoroughly washed after not playing ball for 6 months at the age of 35. Love the guy, but he just doesn't seem to know where the basket is anymore, and while we shouldn't depend on him to win a series, on a team struggling big time offensively (much more so than defensively), that's a problem, regardless of how else he contributes. The reason it's a problem is beyond the lack of production/raw points from him - it's the nasty collateral effect that has on the rest of the team when opposing defences can afford to ignore a guy and gang up on the rest.

            This will sound like sacrilege to some but if you're struggling offensively right on the first quarter, how about starting one of Thomas/TD/Norm, guys that are fast and hungry for the basket and that will demand attention from the opposing D? Set the tone and pace of the game early, throw an unconventional offensive look right from the get-go and let boston scramble to figure out. Then when you've got the damn first quarter out of the way, if analytics tells you must get back to the old way, then go ahead and do it, but now at least you haven't dug yourself a hole on Q1 playing something they've totally figured out how to defend already.
            I don't think it's sacrilegious, in fact I am really surprised that mad scientist Nurse has been so reluctant to mix up his rotation. If not for that OG three this series would be over, and Gasol has looked completely washed aside from a few flashes of his old self.

            Serge has looked good on offense but dicey on D. You could try Norm (or another guard) but then you slide OG/Pascal to the 4/5 and can Norm handle Jaylen Brown? Dude has been big and physical against us.

            Lot of soul searching ahead.

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            • Scraptor wrote: View Post

              I think when he gets a favourable switch he can make things happen. If he gets a big on him good things usually follow... but most of the time it feels like we aren't able to get that working.

              It's why that pass to Gasol and pass right back keeps happening. He can't go downhill and Gasol thinks the ball is lava.
              Celtics are baiting Fred to beat a big man to the rim - which he can't most of the time. He's falling right into their trap and his ego is getting in the way. Same thing when he tries to finish at the rim on fast breaks, instead of looking for the trailer. The only half-court action that's working for Fred is when Gasol screens high above the break, giving him some daylight for a 3-pt shot with less fear of a contest.

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              • golden wrote: View Post

                Celtics are baiting Fred to beat a big man to the rim - which he can't most of the time. He's falling right into their trap and his ego is getting in the way. Same thing when he tries to finish at the rim on fast breaks, instead of looking for the trailer. The only half-court action that's working for Fred is when Gasol screens high above the break, giving him some daylight for a 3-pt shot with less fear of a contest.
                Yup. Celtics put Marcus Smart on Lowry and they did a great job slowing us down and getting the ball out of Lowry’s hands. Leaving FVV to create instead of off ball. Smart is a great defender.

                The adjustment in my view is for Siakam to be a ball handler and play like an all star and create in transition but he is no where near playing like a top player. He might be the 7th best player in the series so far.
                Last edited by Rudy Bargnani; Tue Sep 8, 2020, 09:50 AM.

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                • This is the thing, the Celtics (and Tatum/Brown/Kemba specifically) get stopped by Toronto's defence and they bounce back - double down on what they need to do and still play their game. Kemba gets his step backs, Tatum and Brown get to the rim, Tatum gets his shot in your face no matter how tight the defence is, etc. The Raptors have been pushed right out of their comfort zone and aren't even playing like the Raptors in these games they're losing. I don't know what team this is on the offensive end led by Fred Van Jordan.

                  Game 3 we saw sparks of Toronto playing like they do in the second half and they pulled that one out. Game 4 we saw even more Toronto basketball. Game 5 it all went away again.
                  "We're playing in a building." -- Kawhi Leonard

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                  • S.R. wrote: View Post
                    This is the thing, the Celtics (and Tatum/Brown/Kemba specifically) get stopped by Toronto's defence and they bounce back - double down on what they need to do and still play their game. Kemba gets his step backs, Tatum and Brown get to the rim, Tatum gets his shot in your face no matter how tight the defence is, etc. The Raptors have been pushed right out of their comfort zone and aren't even playing like the Raptors in these games they're losing. I don't know what team this is on the offensive end led by Fred Van Jordan.

                    Game 3 we saw sparks of Toronto playing like they do in the second half and they pulled that one out. Game 4 we saw even more Toronto basketball. Game 5 it all went away again.
                    The Raptors are looking really tired.. especially Kyle. And he's our engine. When he's misfiring our team is a train wreck. Celtics don't have a single engine. They have three of them. If one goes out, they have two others that can keep them upright.

                    Kyle Lowry is a dangerous man in elimination games. I expect a huge KLOE game from him in game 6. If we go to a game 7 I'm worried his flame will be extinguished - but one game at a time.

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                    • G__Deane wrote: View Post

                      Did Gasol actually end up with zero points???
                      You need more from your 7' starting centre, I don't care how good his screens and pretty passes are....where have I heard that before?
                      Gasol had 4 points and 2 rebounds in our only comfortable win of the series. As ever, yeah, nice to have, but the team’s success absolutely does not hinge on Gasol’s production. Gasol playing well has basically nothing to do with whether he scores. He was awful in this game, though, including not scoring. But we lose this game regardless if he scores say 10 points and otherwise plays the same. Everyone was garbage.
                      twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                      • planetmars wrote: View Post

                        The Raptors are looking really tired.. especially Kyle. And he's our engine. When he's misfiring our team is a train wreck. Celtics don't have a single engine. They have three of them. If one goes out, they have two others that can keep them upright.

                        Kyle Lowry is a dangerous man in elimination games. I expect a huge KLOE game from him in game 6. If we go to a game 7 I'm worried his flame will be extinguished - but one game at a time.
                        Overall, I think grinding a game down to a halfcourt slog exposes the Raptors offence. We knew this was a weakness heading in. Without transition scoring, this team needs to get all its points in the halfcourt but also doesn't get into the up and down rhythm they like to play with.

                        Boston's also good at taking things away that are working. Gasol had one game getting buckets rolling to the rim, next game Boston collapsed on him and he couldn't get there anymore. That's where you need exceptional athleticism - the best NBA players can beat your defence partly because they're just a bit stronger, a bit faster, elevate a bit higher, etc. The one guy who theoretically can be that for Toronto is Siakam and he's struggled, although his inside scoring is coming around. Lowry can do it once every 3-4 games but not nightly. Fred thinks he can do it but he really can't, take away his space and his efficiency falls off a cliff. Those are the top 3 guys.
                        "We're playing in a building." -- Kawhi Leonard

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                        • Scraptor wrote: View Post

                          I don't think it's sacrilegious, in fact I am really surprised that mad scientist Nurse has been so reluctant to mix up his rotation. If not for that OG three this series would be over, and Gasol has looked completely washed aside from a few flashes of his old self.

                          Serge has looked good on offense but dicey on D. You could try Norm (or another guard) but then you slide OG/Pascal to the 4/5 and can Norm handle Jaylen Brown? Dude has been big and physical against us.

                          Lot of soul searching ahead.
                          Looked real bad playing small every time they’ve gone that way in this series. I can see it when in foul trouble but it’s not an obvious solution.

                          Based on the games that have been close versus disasters, the answer is just finding ways for the starters to work as they are currently constructed. For all the Gasol flack, from games 2-4 the starters were crushing Boston each game. That’s the equation for a competitive game. If the starters are garbage, it’s over, and if we have to plug in Norm or Serge, we’ve seen all year that means worse results, so it’s an even longer shot that works than just hoping the good version of the starters shows up in any given game.

                          I think the answers are more tactical than rotation changes, except for finding a bench unit that works (please give Terry real minutes). Otherwise, as annoying as this answer is, the Raptors need to hit their threes. Another game, another good defensive performance from Boston that cut off the inside scoring and gave up lots of threes (many uncontested) and the Raptors just missed way too many. Now, in this game I think they lose even if they hit, everyone was too out of sorts, but going forward they need to hit those shots to be able to pull this off even if the better version of themselves show up.
                          twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                          • Lowry is our only effective offensive weapon to start the game. He needs to be aggressive as he was in games 2 and 3 and drive to the hoop to start the first. Instead, we settle for 3's, miss them, and then everyone's shooting under pressure resulting in denial and increased point differential.
                            Official Pope of the Raptors sponsored by MLSE.

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                            • S.R. wrote: View Post
                              This is the thing, the Celtics (and Tatum/Brown/Kemba specifically) get stopped by Toronto's defence and they bounce back - double down on what they need to do and still play their game. Kemba gets his step backs, Tatum and Brown get to the rim, Tatum gets his shot in your face no matter how tight the defence is, etc. The Raptors have been pushed right out of their comfort zone and aren't even playing like the Raptors in these games they're losing. I don't know what team this is on the offensive end led by Fred Van Jordan.

                              Game 3 we saw sparks of Toronto playing like they do in the second half and they pulled that one out. Game 4 we saw even more Toronto basketball. Game 5 it all went away again.
                              There's a bit of an alpha tug of war between Siakam and Lowry that's happening right now. Lowry isn't ready to hand over the keys to the offense to Pascal (nor should he), and Pascal isn't giving him a good reason to do it. Kyle trusts FVV more than Siakam at this point and that's our new Lowry/DeRozan, your-turn/my-turn tandem in the half court.

                              Nurse lets his players work it out on the floor in real-time and he's not going to tell a guy like Lowry to defer to Pascal just to "get him going". We saw this effect in reverse last year where Lowry went passive in games where Kawhi played and then dominated when Kawhi sat out. The biggest problem here, like you pointed out, is that the extra usage is now going to FVV, because the easiest thing in the NBA to do is have a ball-handling guard jack up shots and to try to finish at the rim with low efficiency to inflate his raw numbers. That's exactly the offense Boston wants us to take and FVV is playing right into their hands. I'm not saying FVV is being selfish, but we should have been using the 8 seeding games and the Nets series to force-feed the offence through Pascal and get his half-court chemistry working with Lowry AND forcing Gasol to take 10 3's a game. Instead, we saw a bunch of FVV 30 point games and constant reports of how FVV is getting a max offer in free agency this off-season. I think that's gotten a bit to his head and he thinks he needs to be our go-to scorer or something.

                              The other thing we're seeing is the Celtics ability to almost completely wipe out our transition game. We could almost count on 4-6 points from Pascal on a fast-break and I can't even recall one Lowry to Pascal touchdown pass, which is so common in the regular season.

                              And all of this is made worse because we play 4 on 5 on offense because of Gasol and because the starters are tired, since Nurse has zero trust in his bench guys to give them some rest.

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                              • S.R. wrote: View Post

                                Overall, I think grinding a game down to a halfcourt slog exposes the Raptors offence. We knew this was a weakness heading in. Without transition scoring, this team needs to get all its points in the halfcourt but also doesn't get into the up and down rhythm they like to play with.

                                Boston's also good at taking things away that are working. Gasol had one game getting buckets rolling to the rim, next game Boston collapsed on him and he couldn't get there anymore. That's where you need exceptional athleticism - the best NBA players can beat your defence partly because they're just a bit stronger, a bit faster, elevate a bit higher, etc. The one guy who theoretically can be that for Toronto is Siakam and he's struggled, although his inside scoring is coming around. Lowry can do it once every 3-4 games but not nightly. Fred thinks he can do it but he really can't, take away his space and his efficiency falls off a cliff. Those are the top 3 guys.
                                You are absolutely right.. and I knew the half court game was problematic since day 1.. even when Siakam looked like a super star. We don't have strong ISO players on this team. Norm was really the closest thing we had but he has so many flaws, and is why he's coming off the bench.

                                I never thought Siakam was a good ISO player. His strength was in transition and when he was comfortable with his 3pt shot, would keep defenses honest.

                                But if there was one player that essentially helps feed off everyone else it's Kyle. When Kyle has a bad game, the team will. When Kyle has a good game, the team can rely on him and just play a little more relaxed.

                                Ultimately though it's just really too bad that Fred has been a disaster this series. He's supposed to be a ball hawk but really hasn't done much to fluster Kemba. When he switches on someone like Tatum, he's got free points. And Fred is trying to run the offense most of the time and it ends up in a bad shot with no time left on the clock. Fred's net rating this series is atrocious. He might get a 3 here or there, but it's usually way to late to make any kind of difference.

                                I would have liked to seen Siakam be the point guard for this team more often, but he left his game back in Toronto. He just has no confidence in himself to make the right play.



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