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Comment 1 reply
You're cherry picking stats to prove your point.
I’ve posted all this before, but we’ll do it again…
Richardson shot a blistering hot 41% his rookie year (tiny sample size), then an above average number his third year. Other than that he has 1 about average season (which would last year have been below average, but was league average at the time) and 3 below average seasons, including the last two where he shot 34% and 33%, basically the same as Smart.
The Smart season you reference is the only year he’s shot above average from three in his 7 year career (and had it been last year it would have been just below league average). He’s career 32% from 3, and his last two years were 34.7% and 33%.
Again with Schroder you picked out his one outlier season where he shot 38.5%, but his career average is 33.7%, which is basically what he shot last year from behind the line.
All three of these players are below average shooters from 3, there is ample evidence to support that at this point. All three of them have a good outlier season and have shot more poorly recently. The only difference is Shroder’s outlier season happened more recently than the other two. If any of them are likely to pop up to average, I’d say it is Richardson who would be looking to recapture the magic of 3 seasons ago with Miami and chalk up his recent shooting to circumstance.
Doing a brief and cursory tour through the eastern conference, teams I think Nesmith could play against their PF: Hornets, Bulls, Cavs, Wiz, teams it would depend which PF was out there: Sixers, Raptors, Bucks, teams where he’d get roasted IMO: Hawks, Nets, Pistons, Pacers, Heat, Knicks, Magic. I just don’t see it, agree to disagree there. I’ve never once looked at Nesmith and thought he could play wing/big, he’s always looked to me to be more comfortable on the perimeter as a true wing. Admittedly a little slow footed on defense, which I attribute more to over-aggressiveness than lack of athleticism.
What is the best case scenario rotation for this team?
Are there any backups that should or shouldn’t play with each other? With the starters?
Which of Schroder/Richardson/Smart has the best shot at shooting league average from 3?
What is the best balanced offense/defense lineup the C’s can play right now? Best shooting lineup?
Comment 1 reply
Disagree with 90% of what you said.
Most notably, Smart Schroder and Richardson while they might be "capable" of shooting average from 3, they’ve not done that in recent seasons. It is a much smarter bet that they will continue to be below average. Their skills lie elsewhere.
I highly highly doubt 6’5" Nesmith will see significant time playing PF.
Comment 1 reply
I'm sure Smart would prefer to spend most of his time creating with the ball in his hands.
I’m just not sure defending the SG or SF is something that would stop him from doing that, and when talking about position, usually we’re talking about who a player is defending. Truthfully I don’t like the 3 PG lineups, especially with the really little PG’s the C’s have had in years past. I think they get roasted defensively. But I’m totally OK with two of the PGs on the floor at a time, especially against backups. Smart and Schroder are 1" shorter than Langford, and 2" shorter than Nesmith or Richardson. To call them "small guards" and the other guys wings seems to be creating distinction for no purpose.
I agree Schroder is a better player right now than Pritchard and I agree his playmaking is better. I’m sure his defense is better too. I know the one thing Pritchard is a lot better at is shooting. In my above exercise I have him on the court with Schroder a lot, and with Tatum a lot. He’s basically only going to have to be a secondary playmaker who hits outside shots. That’s a role Schroder can’t fill as well. So don’t ask him to.. play him when Tatum and/or Brown are sitting and let him create.
I’m not arguing Pritchard should play instead of Schroder, I think they both end up playing a fair amount. Let’s say in my original post I take 4 minutes from Pritchard and give them to Schroder, Pritchard plays 15 and Schroder plays 25. Is that something to get hot and bothered about? I’m basically saying I think Pritchard will play similar minutes to last year. Schroder plays more games than Kemba, but 5 or so minutes less per game and Pritchard stays around 19 mpg. I don’t think that’s way off from Pritchard’s abilities.
Sure, I'd argue that there should be a little more context for fit, and Schroder's fit isn't great
But I’ll play rank the players. Also, I agree with you that they’re not going to trade Schroder.
Most of these players 4-9 could easily move 1 or 2 spaces in either direction. Also, I could totally see Schroder going before Horford since he is likely to be a lot more available. But at their best, I think Horford is still better. If you get an unprotected first from a crappy team for Schroder, I’d take it, but that’s not likely at all.
Comment 1 reply
Yeah I said "not many of the non-stars"
I definitely could have said that better, but I meant players surrounding the J’s, who can obviously shoot very well, but are more likely to have the ball in their hands and less likely to be spacing the floor for others. Obviously there is less of a need for spacing around Jaylen and Jayson than there would be around two stars who can’t shoot, but it does still exist.
Comment 1 reply
Really liked your OP. It was well thought out and informative.
My one quibble would be using a metric that factors in playing time. I think we all expect Horford and Timelord to miss time. But given the depth the team has at center, the C’s don’t need Horford to play a ton of minutes. They would probably be totally fine with a Mourning-esq season where Horford played not a ton of minutes, but was effective when he played.
I’d argue Timelord is an above average backup C, and Kanter is a well above average 3rd string C. So how much court time Al manages this season doesn’t concern me so long as he doesn’t have a season ending injury. Sit out back to backs. Play only 20ish minutes a game. If he’s got an ache or minor tweak, sit out until he feels 100%. I want Al around for a light work load and available in the playoffs. I’d actually prefer he doesn’t have a Pau Gasol season around 2 Vorp… I think it puts him at too much risk for injury.
Maybe I just already have lower expectations than most about Al’s season. I’d still like to see him play with the starters when he plays, which seems not to be everyone on celticblog’s opinion.
Comment 1 reply
1) I agree, I just think especially with a first time coach they’re likely to get played more than 30 mpg.
2) I just can’t see either Timelord or Horford playing PF, and for me that means Kanter doesn’t have a regular role. As you said.
3) To me it matters less the amount of minutes Nesmith gets, and more which players he gets them with. I’m really hoping he makes some strides defensively enough that Ime can defend putting him in with the starters. If he plays only 4 minutes at the beginning and end of each half (16 mpg total), I don’t care, it spreads out the shooting better and makes the J’s lives easier.
4) I think I see Langford like I see Kanter. He’ll play when someone is hurt or in foul trouble. Which is more likely with Langford because he can back up multiple positions.
5) I seem to be higher on Pritchard than many on celticsblog, I think he will have a role this year, in large part because not many of the non-stars on this team can shoot. The list is basically Pritchard, Nesmith, Horford (shoots average from 3, above average for a big), and arguably Romeo if he is just parked in a corner? Everyone else is below average, sometimes quite a bit below.
I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but if the team is truly doing everything they can to support the J’s, part of that is they get easier assignments on defense (Richardson, Smart, arguably Schroder) and part of that is there is spacing on offense (Pritchard, Nesmith). So to me it makes sense to try to have at least one of the players from each of these groups on the court as much as possible.
Comment 1 rec
Given that he just had to settle for a lot less money to play with the C's
I think that’s an indication of the league’s current thinking on his value.
I’d say he has to really play fantastically to warrant a 1st. Whoever is trading for him would be in the same boat as the C’s. They either can’t resign him for any real money, or they have cap space and they could just wait and sign him next summer without giving up a first. It would have to be a team who believes half a season of Schroder is worth a first round pick.
Personally, if Schroder is playing well enough to be worth that pick, the C’s are probably having a good enough season that it is worth more to them to keep him for the rest of the year than get a (likely heavily protected) first rounder. Not to mention the first rounder will get worse after trading Schroder to the team as he will make them better in theory.
Again, agree that this lineup is more likely than mine
But the shooting is likely to be bad to really bad for most of the game. Part of the point of my exercise above was to see who ends up on the court at the same time as each other. If you play Nesmith with the starters (even if you play him basically only at the beginning and end of each half), there ends up being someone who can shoot on the court most of the time. With the minute distribution you have, there will be an awful lot of time with Tatum, Brown and 3 dudes who are below or at league average from 3.
I don’t think Kanter will see time unless Rob/Horford isn’t playing or there is foul trouble. Maybe not even when there is foul trouble, the other will just play more like starter minutes.
I do agree there will be a backup PF getting a small amount of minutes as the lineups look pretty ugly when Tatum goes out without a PF.
Comment 1 reply
Would love to see this over the course of the year
But I think minutes without either of these guys might look ugly, especially when Tatum sits as our PF depth isn’t awesome.
I just can’t see a first time coach deciding to lose several more games this year playing his two best players less.
Agree, Yam might be in their future plans
But it is a big stretch to say he is "the future". As much as I like Pritchard, I wouldn’t consider him "the future" yet either.
But yes, Schroder is definitely not the future and if the choice is between him and Smart to start, it will be a quick decision.
I think your plan is more likely to happen than mine
But I hope Nesmith and Pritchard are staggered because if neither of them are on the court the shooting isn’t good. Even if they play every minute apart, there are 14 minutes of clogged lanes for Brown and Tatum.
Also, I noticed during my exercise that the lineups without Tatum look really ugly at PF. Basically ends up being guards, small wings and a C. I think we’re likely to see at least one of those breaks covered by Hernangomez, Grant or Parker.
Comment 1 reply
I think coaches have to think this way
Approaching a game, thinking about who they’re going to play how much.. season averages won’t help them. Season averages will work themselves out over the coarse of a season. I expect Kanter and Bruno to play as you do. But not if Horford and Timelord are healthy and playing.
Regarding matchups… sure they can factor in, but only usually on the edges. If you’re constantly changing major parts of your rotation for matchup purposes, you’re not very good.
Regarding small guards vs wings, Smart can be either, which unlocks a little of your puzzle. I’d say against backups Schroder and Pritchard can share a backcourt, which basically unlocks it the rest of the way. You and I disagree about Pritchard on a fundamental level I’d say.
Comment 1 reply
So basically you’d have 5 guys at or above
30 mpg each:
And that’s basically only at 4 positions, with Horford and Timelord platooning Center.
Assuming 32 minutes each, that’s 160/192 minutes 1-4. And basically no shooting outside of Tatum/Brown.
Hope so, it would require him staying healthy
OP’s list of minutes going out and minutes coming in adds up to 140 mpg in and 127 mpg out, meaning somewhere numbers have to be trimmed a bit. Especially if you see Timelord playing 3rd star kind of minutes, or Nesmith taking a leap into the rotation.
You can pretty easily get those minutes by cutting Kanter to a spot player, and severely reducing Fernando and Hernangomez.
Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
I don’t think I would say one of the deepest in the NBA, because they’ve still got some question marks in their rotation compared to the contenders. Which is OK, that’s where the team is right now.
In the 8 you mentioned:
R Williams, can he stay healthy?
Pritchard can he play defense?
And to a lesser degree:
Smart/Richardson, can they shoot a little better?
Horford, is he too long in the tooth?
Schroder will he play nice with others?
Most team’s 9-10 spots have similar questions to the C’s.
Where the C’s have more depth than most team’s I’d say is they have some experienced NBA players in spots 11-15. Oddly, they have less experience in spots 8-10.
Comment 2 recs
Yes, please let's stop forgetting that even if Pritch and Nesmith don't improve past last year
They’re basically the only above average court spacers the C’s have (outside of the two stars). While often a talent play is a good idea, you do have to consider fit at least some.
This is the rare deal that makes both teams worse. ATL is already pretty deep and needs top end talent more than a bunch of potential. And BOS needs some shooters around Tatum and Brown more than a better version of Romeo Langford.
Comment 2 recs
I wouldn’t get too worked up
Over Romeo or Grant seeing playoff minutes. They only see playoff minutes with this roster if they’re having awesome seasons or if someone important is hurt and the C’s chances are shot already anyway.
Sign a PG to a two way contract and I’m ok with the roster balance as is.
Hernangomez was driving
A hard buyout bargain and they’re hoping that they can get a better deal from Dunn and Edwards? Plus you start from automatically 250k less?
Don’t know, doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. They get a second round pick swap and save some money for someone they were going to cut anyway?
Would have liked to see the shot charts over 3 years if possible, small sample sizes
And would have liked some context for the assist chart, is where on the court his assists seem to go different from the average NBA player?
Personally I’d like to see Richardson as a secondary creator/shooter on the second unit, but perhaps he is more likely to start.
Can’t get to October fast enough.
Comment 1 reply
I would probably throw out Philly since he had zero spacing there
He shot his worst percentage since 2016, and shot a lot more because there was no spacing and not many players on that team could shoot.
Also the sample size for OKC is incredibly small. To illustrate that, if he made (7) more shots he would have shot Steph Curry % from three. If he took and missed (18) more shots, he’s Marcus Smart from 3. Again, on OKC there are not a lot of other players taking shots from him before they shut him down.
One interesting trend is the percentage of his shots which are 3 pt attempts have gone up each year. Last year, his at the basket attempts were way down. Suggests to me that he knew they were going nowhere so he hung out at the 3 pt line rather than heading into the paint as often. But it is such a small sample size there’s not much to take away from it.
Personally, given that the Philly situation was so wacky and the OKC situation was so short, I think Al’s stint in Boston is the best indicator for how he might play next season. We will likely see more 3 pt attempts than 3 per game, but maybe not Philly and OKC levels