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GAME 7, ECSF: Boston Celtics @ Toronto Raptors - Friday September 11th, 9pm ET - TSN/TNT

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  • Matt Thomas did what he was supposed to do, play composed basketball and played to his speed. He’s not much more than a 9th -10th guy but he showed he can play good enough D to stay on the floor and not make mistakes

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    • saints91 wrote: View Post
      Matt Thomas did what he was supposed to do, play composed basketball and played to his speed. He’s not much more than a 9th -10th guy but he showed he can play good enough D to stay on the floor and not make mistakes
      He should have been a release valve option for Fred last night instead of the old "I need a hero" heave

      It's Klaw Season. Time to hunt.

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      • RandomGuy wrote: View Post
        Love Nick Nurse as a coach and a person but he lost us the last game pretty much, crucial mistakes by him:

        Playing Marc instead of Serge, just give his minutes to a person who has it going all series... He was literally the only confident offensive player when he was on the court (excluding Powell)
        Not benching Siakam when he was killing momentum with his brainless fouls and turnovers. He's not Lebron, don't be afraid to bench him!
        Not playing our bench more (Matt Thomas looked nothing but productive on both ends out there).
        Not taking a timeout to draw an actual play with a moving ball... for our last chance to tie the game. Why? This one's really bizarre for me.

        All of these factors would have probably resulted in a W for us and all of them were under the coach's control so that's why I'm putting the L on him this time.
        Nick coached scared imo. I don't remember seeing him looking this panicked last playoffs. Being so rigid with his lineups was like he was coaching not to lose rather than coaching to win.

        I wonder if last year he was loose because he had no expectations, and now with the title and COY he was feeling the pressure. (On a side note, I think Pascal was probably experiencing the same sort of pressure.)

        Gasol was so bad this series I think we could have definitely won had we gone away from him. Vogel has benched Mcgee and Howard for three straight games and the Lakers are thriving.

        Just a shame. But as Jay Triano once said on national tv, "What the fuck are you gonna do?"

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        • Lots of stuff to criticize but you've got to love this team. Down 10 with less than 5 minutes to go and they have not one but two chances with the ball in their possession to tie of take the lead in the final minutes. They went down fighting. That's how I'll remember them

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          • Nurse rode the guys that got them there last year. It was a mistake in the end and hopefully he looks back and realizes his blunder.

            The most likely scenario is we have a very similar team next year. I think Serge is the big wild card because he's probably going to want a long term deal. But everyone else is probably back. Maybe we look past Gasol or he retires.

            Ultimately though it's really possible that we get back to this place. Second seed in the East. Chance to play for a chip. As long as we have Lowry on the team anything is really possible.

            But with the Giannis sweepstakes hanging over Masai's head things could take a u-turn. Maybe he wants to shed as many contracts as he can now so he has that flexibility in 2021? But that's a rebuild move, not a retool move.

            Anyway, all I can say is that I am proud of this team. They competed hard and it was one of the best seasons we ever had even though we lost to the bloody Celtics. The heart breaking thing is we could have advanced. So many dumb mistakes but what are you going to do. We could have lost in that OT to the Bucks in game 3 last season and not have a chip. Sometimes the chips fall properly and sometimes they don't.


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            • They deserved to lose this game, but we had the chance to steal it (it came dow to just 5 pts), which is why is such a tough loss. There are lessons to be learned though.

              Gasol finished this one with a team low (by a wide margin) -19 (on a 5pt loss), shot 28% from the field. In about the same number of minutes, Serge had 14pts and 8 rebounds, and was a +6.

              Throughout this whole series, our problem was offence (much more so than defence). No player is perfect, but instead of balancing that out, we deliberately chose to ride with Gasol, a player with zero offence, allowing the Boston centres to be free to ignore him and go help/double Siakam & FVV (precisely when these players were struggling and could have used more space to spark the offence).

              1-dimensional players (without offence or defence) have no place in NBA playoffs, let alone in game 7's. There's just no margin of error for that. This is why guys like that typically don't play in 4th quarters/crunch time. You need fast, athletic 2-way players that can be impactful on BOTH ends of the floor. You simply can't afford to hide people on offence or defence after the first round. Opponents will find that, and exploit it. When Gasol was on the floor, Celtics could take a breather on defence, and have the energy and manpower to hammer down Lowry, Siakam and Fred.

              Guys like Norm, Serge and Thomas are not perfect, but they were putting the ball in the damn basket, which demanded the Celtics attention. All series long. Gravity and space on offence generated by guys that actually look for the basket is CRUCIAL. It provides a pressure release that facilitates the game for your teammates. This is part of the reason why a guy like Thomas, without any flashy plays, can end with a team high +6. He sucks the energy out the opposing defence rather than give them a break, because he's constantly hunting his shot (which is Gasol's polar opposite)

              Norm & Thomas move a ton without the ball (especially Thomas). That creates a natural flow and movement on the overall offence. They're hunting their shots, so the defence has to contort itself to chase them, which opens up gaps for other guys. With them on them on the floor the offence moves and flows, because they're moving with it. In contrast, with Gasol on the floor, he's parked in the high post, in no position to rebound, just setting screens and doing dribble-hand offs that lead to nowhere (because the defence knows they just need to focus on the ball handler, not him)

              We realized late on this series that our small lineup was finding success. That's the lineup we chose to close games with because it provided the best offence/defence mix for us. Instead of using that lineup more throughout the game to maybe build a cushion, we stubbornly wasted a lot of time with Gasol. Boston had a couple of runs with him on the floor, and our guys couldn't recover.

              We were stubborn and we paid the price. Hopefully we learned some lessons for next year:

              1. Stick with 2-way players that can give you on BOTH ends of the floor (should've learned that already with Derozan, another 1-dimensional player)
              2. Play these players more often, not just in crunch time
              3. If a player doesn't have it one night, it's ok to give them some leash to play through their funk, but draw a line. You don't want to be reactionary, but you can't be stubborn either. If they don't have it, shrink their minutes and give it to the ones that are earning it. Base your decisions on the reality of the series and the opponent you're playing right now, as opposed to solely on regular season stats and old playoffs.
              4. Try to have a relatively similar size leash with your guys and avoid playing favourites. That's the best way to create a healthy and fair internal competition that will ultimately give you the best product on the floor.
              Last edited by inthepaint; Sat Sep 12th, 2020, 10:21 AM.
              2019 NBA Champions. Glad to have doubted the doubters.

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              • Hey, great season all. Disappointing end but they fought, gotta be proud of the team. We should see most of them back next year, though there are definitely some interesting choices to make in FA.

                Three big runs by the Celtics killed us in this one. Two with Gasol, who still couldn’t buy a three but otherwise was putting up boxscore numbers. But as ever, the boxscore is basically irrelevant with him, the whole point of him is to grease the offence and anchor the defence, and the offence in particular just died in those Boston runs. Pascal being a big negative offensively just kills what they can do, and with Lowry looking exhausted most of the game, they just didn’t have the options. Having to rely on Norm when we go small is tough - his scoring can be a lifesaver but you also get the decision making we saw late in that one. Double edged sword. Ibaka was very good in this one, especially in those minutes against lineups without all of the Celts’ big guns (kind of had to go small late, neither C could hang with that group). Nurse had some questionable decision making (no big lineup to get that late defensive board? Not going back to Thomas after a good first stint? Play calling in general...), but he was a little limited by Gasol having zero offensive impact, Serge being targeted just as much defensively by Kemba, Lowry being exhausted, Siakam just not being himself, that it’s hard to be too upset.

                Just a really rough series for a bunch of guys, but the whole team fought through it to force game 7 and almost took it, in spite of generally awful shooting for most of the series. Standing ovation for this team. Hope we do see most of them back for next year, I could do another season like that, with our core guys one year better.
                twitter.com/dhackett1565

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                • DanH wrote: View Post
                  Hey, great season all. Disappointing end but they fought, gotta be proud of the team. We should see most of them back next year, though there are definitely some interesting choices to make in FA.

                  Three big runs by the Celtics killed us in this one. Two with Gasol, who still couldn’t buy a three but otherwise was putting up boxscore numbers. But as ever, the boxscore is basically irrelevant with him, the whole point of him is to grease the offence and anchor the defence, and the offence in particular just died in those Boston runs. Pascal being a big negative offensively just kills what they can do, and with Lowry looking exhausted most of the game, they just didn’t have the options. Having to rely on Norm when we go small is tough - his scoring can be a lifesaver but you also get the decision making we saw late in that one. Double edged sword. Ibaka was very good in this one, especially in those minutes against lineups without all of the Celts’ big guns (kind of had to go small late, neither C could hang with that group). Nurse had some questionable decision making (no big lineup to get that late defensive board? Not going back to Thomas after a good first stint? Play calling in general...), but he was a little limited by Gasol having zero offensive impact, Serge being targeted just as much defensively by Kemba, Lowry being exhausted, Siakam just not being himself, that it’s hard to be too upset.

                  Just a really rough series for a bunch of guys, but the whole team fought through it to force game 7 and almost took it, in spite of generally awful shooting for most of the series. Standing ovation for this team. Hope we do see most of them back for next year, I could do another season like that, with our core guys one year better.
                  Powell and Gasol are likely gone. Maybe even Ibaka.
                  Mamba Mentality

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                  • planetmars wrote: View Post
                    Good on Kyle.. wow. Reading that makes me want to say that I appreciate Pascal. He had a really bad postseason which was very frustrating but he has been and will continue to be a very good basketball player. I hope he uses this year as motivation and comes back better next year.

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                    • See, this is what I'm saying. To be a great player you need the mindset of a great player. Siakam doesn't have that. He also doesn't have the competitive fire and "refuse to lose" mindset that Lowry has. When Lowry has a bad game, you know he's gonna bounce back the following game. Siakam had 7 straight horrible games in this series.

                      Siakam is nowhere near Kyle Lowry's level. When Lowry leaves, things aren't going to be the same.

                      Mamba Mentality

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                      • Siakam didn't just look shook/weak handles etc, he actually looked sick/drained after the game. You can say it was the same for everybody but COVID/bubble messed this guy up. Who did he look obviously faster than this series? Almost nobody, he just looked like a guy with no advanced motor like we're used to seeing.

                        He'll be fine and better next year, more like he was all season and as Kyle said, hopefully uses the criticism as motivation and comes back ready to destroy guys. Bottom line is though he's still a Robin in search of his Batman. That's not a strong criticism, it's his reality.

                        Miami will be good next year, Bucks will still be great next year, Nets could be good next year, Boston is young, talented and arrogant and could easily be top two in the East next season. The Celtics are likely winning a chip in the next three years, maybe this one, who knows. Raps could conceivably fall back to 4-6 in the East next year. And the West is getting deeper with Dallas, Denver etc

                        Masai has some big decisions to make and can't afford to trot the same team out. Bye Gasol (thanks for everything), they'll probably sign Serge back and a slight over pay for FVV. That means we get a much needed change to the starting rotation imo. I'd like to see an obvious upgrade and not just to the bench. We need another 1B with Siakam or a superstar isn't coming here.

                        If not we become that much less attractive to Giannis as a middling team; next year matters.
                        Last edited by G__Deane; Sat Sep 12th, 2020, 11:04 AM.

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                        • The NBA can be wildly unpredictable. I had this team as a 5th or 6th seed coming into the season, and they were the 2nd best team in the league.. and a few bad plays from potentially advancing to the ECF again, or even the finals.

                          Pascal was drafted at the 27th spot. Who knows who we get at the 29th spot this year. Did anyone even know who Matt Thomas or Terrence Davis were before they were selected after the draft? I mean those guys weren't even drafted. Give those two more minutes next year, and maybe one turns into an all-star caliber player like Siakam did for us this season.

                          A lot can happen in one off season. I am not hitching my cart to Giannis or any other super star that is playing right now. Our super star is Masai. As long as we have him we are good (and please MLSE, extend the dude). He'll find a way to keep us competitive.. and look at Miami. They have a bunch of role players and Jimmy Butler. Butler isn't even really playing that well and they just almost swept the Bucks and are in the ECF.

                          Masai will find 2-way players that can shoot and have a drive. An edge. The "Masai" type of player is awesome. He's got a nose for finding those guys. He'll find more.

                          Star players definitely make it easier for you to win. But when you have a collection of awesome dudes that every team wants.. you have trade capital that can eventually get you a star. In the meantime build within.. Stay competitive. Try to get far into the playoffs and eventually get a chip again. It's a process and in the meantime gives fans like me a great product to watch and cheer for.



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                          • OG is eligible for an extension and had a great season. The raps are obviously trying to keep max room for 2021 which implies they certainly wait until next summer to deal with OG. But that could cost them big time if he improves next season. If Giannis signs his extension with the bucks this offseason I wonder if the raps try to lock OG up at a more reasonable number. Bobby Marks said his comparable could be Caris Levert's 3 year 52 million. That could shoot up a fair bit if he has a strong season next year.

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                            • OG was one of the really nice surprises overall this season. I'd like to see him be a bit more aggressive at times but his D is becoming stellar. Just keep working on his handles and finishing

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                              • G__Deane wrote: View Post
                                OG was one of the really nice surprises overall this season. I'd like to see him be a bit more aggressive at times but his D is becoming stellar. Just keep working on his handles and finishing
                                OG came back to the bubble with much improved handles. Not sure why Pascal wasn’t able to at least dribble a basketball every day during the Covid break.

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