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What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump?

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Pick Three Areas of Improvement to Get Us Banner 18 in Upcoming Season

Bench Depth/Scoring
26
19%
Big Man Upgrade
33
24%
Improvement in Coaching/System
10
7%
More Experience & Vets
14
10%
Health/Luck
10
7%
Higher Impact from Max Players
7
5%
MVP-Type Star
8
6%
Knockdown Shooters
18
13%
Toughness/Physicality
6
4%
None of the Above / We're Not Close
3
2%
 
Total votes: 135

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What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#1 » by ConstableGeneva » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:01 am

You can pick as many as three options. Touch screen to choose.

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Feel free to expound/rant. Ainge and Zarren are monitoring the thread. They could learn a thing or two from you REALGMs!
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#2 » by Homerclease » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:06 am

Out of these options I’d choose experience. Tatum and Brown are 22 and 23 years old respectively. It simply wasn’t their time yet. Even if we got by Miami this year, we’d have been a long shot against the Lakers.

Smart is still relatively young, Timelord is a baby, Grant and Romeo were both rookies. Team needs time and experience to grow. A couple solid vets wouldn’t hurt the cause either but the fact remains that the core of this team is still very young
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#3 » by OBisHalJordan » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:04 pm

If Hayward and Walker played up to their contracts, the Celtics would have been in the finals this year
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#4 » by ddb » Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:22 pm

I like this thread idea. And I feel like it’s a combination of things that need to happen in order for this team to get to the final level of becoming legitimate contenders.

The first thing that needs to happen will happen naturally. And that’s further development and experience for the young core of the team. Tatum cementing himself as a superstar and learning how to be more efficient. Learning how to close in big games. Brown getting better and making the all star team. Grant Williams solidifying himself as a useful rotation player. Rob Williams solidifying himself as a useful rotation player.

The next area is health. Kemba & Gordon need to be healthy in order for this team to reach its potential. If that knee for Kemba or ankle for Hayward lingers then Danny better find a way to move these guys and that money for more useful pieces that can be on the floor complimenting Tatum/Brown.

Bench help. I’d like Kanter/Wanamaker gone. Find a key piece to the bench with that 5.7 tax payer mid level. Danny has to hit a home run on this. Jeff Teaque, Sege Ibaka, etc. somebody good willing to take less short term to have a key role on a contender.

Lastly, Center. Theis is nice........as the first big off the bench. So how is Danny upgrading the 5? He has 3 first round picks and some moveable contracts/young pieces to get a deal done. I don’t think he needs to move a top 6 player to find an upgrade at the 5. He just needs to fall out of love with his 3 first round picks.

I’d even move Theis/filler/picks to bring in a big man that can get Boston a legitimate modern day big (that’s taller than 6’8)
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#5 » by jmr07019 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:09 pm

1. Tatum becoming a true MVP caliber player
2. Improve big man rotation
3. Improve bench especially the shooting off the bench.
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#6 » by Parliament10 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:30 pm

jmr07019 wrote:1. Tatum becoming a true MVP caliber player
2. Improve big man rotation
3. Improve bench especially the shooting off the bench.

I like this. Numbers 2 & 3 are what we can actively do, to improve the team.
I feel that we can't really rush Tatum. He's already coming along nicely, at age 22.

But, we probably could tweak some other improvements, team-wide.
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#7 » by 100proof » Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:09 pm

I think Kemba has to go.

Just a bad fit, I get why Danny did it.
1) didnt think the Jays would make that big of a jumo
2) didnt think Marcus would improve like he did
3) needed something instead of nothing with the Kyrie ****

Find the right deal for Kemba and draft correctly the other things fall into place.
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#8 » by Banks2Pierce » Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:56 pm

Having 1 more reliable big. Even if we had 2 Theises, I think we could've had a better shot. Just couldn't count on any of the other options and Theis was foul prone enough to expose the issue. Someone head and shoulders above Theis without giving up any of the current core and we're looking pretty.

Really annoying that this was a wide open field and Hayward was the 50% version of a 50% version and the bigs that may still pop were a year or two away from being championship rotation players.
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#9 » by Green89 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:42 pm

A clutch scorer who can put the ball in the hoop to end a playoff game. A guy who's not afraid of the moment, who wants the ball in his hands on final plays, and who has the utmost confidence they can score at any time. Title teams always have at least one of them.
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#10 » by Bleeding Green » Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:41 pm

Gordon Hayward being healthy. I don't think a big helps or adding a bench scorer helps unless the bench scorer is better than Kemba, Brown, Tatum, Hayward at putting the ball in the basket. It certainly wouldn't hurt, but nothing is going to trump health.
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#11 » by floyd » Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:17 pm

Banks2Pierce wrote:Having 1 more reliable big. Even if we had 2 Theises, I think we could've had a better shot. Just couldn't count on any of the other options and Theis was foul prone enough to expose the issue. Someone head and shoulders above Theis without giving up any of the current core and we're looking pretty.

Really annoying that this was a wide open field and Hayward was the 50% version of a 50% version and the bigs that may still pop were a year or two away from being championship rotation players.


Theis also seemed gassed playing big minutes much of the time. We really need another reliable big. I’d also vote a vet play maker (maybe that’s a healthy Gordo) - calm dudes down in the crunch time.
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#12 » by fallguy » Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:55 pm

Everything else is secondary to Tatum becoming a top-5 player in the next three years or so. Without a top-5 guy, we're a dark horse at very best.
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#13 » by Jammer » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:14 am

I am going to touch on a number of topics that are not in your list, starting with coaching and moving on to skills, balance and talent.

During the playoffs I suddenly crystallized an opinion of mine that I previously just wondered about. The Celtics, as a team, were not "schooled" in turnover minimization. This is something that most college Intramural CHAMPIONSHIP Teams know. Heck, just play full court with a bunch of division I football defensive backs, wide receivers and linebackers who try to smother you with defense and you'll know what I mean.

Whoever gives Coach Stevens his review (Wyc, Mike Zarren, Danny) needs to go over the need to explain team actions against double teams and presses. This is not simply whether a pass was poor judgement. It's about how to react when the defense double teams the ball in the backcourt, crossing half court, etc. The Celtics clearly lacked a cohesive scheme to create outlets for whoever faced a double team. They didn't triagulate (90 degrees is optimum), creating three outlet possibilities with a man under the basket, which beats any double team every time. They didn't move to the ball, even if they were tired. This is all coachable. They threw passes that were "lazy" and within deflection of agressive, energetic opponents. That is something that is supposed to be gone over in camp, and pre-game, regularly. It was evident watching the Celtics as a UNIT that they were not schooled, as a team, in these tactics. This includes protecting your dribble, which even Tatum doesn't do enough of. This simple lack of insight, lack of diligence and lack of Effective communication by the coaching staff resulted in the Game 2 and Game 4 losses to Miami, as well as other games that I will not bother to add to the list.

Stevens also needs to consider an alternative when there is minimal time (0.5 seconds) to his zone defense and realize a man to man with a man in the lane and no one on the in-bounds pass is an effective alternative when there is minimal time. But he also needs to go over what they should be watching out for, which he obviously didn't, based on the heartbreaking outcome against Toronto. This is not after the fact quarterbacking because I have not written a thing here that I did not think of before it happened. What do I mean. Mentioning to keep your arms close to your body, and not dangling loosely, to minimize a hold by a screener when a guard or wing runs you by a screen on the last play. Listing the most obvious types of shots that could happen on a last second play. it's not rocket science, and Stevens does not do it. He needs to be more insightful, more diligent, and a better communicator to the TEAM.

Moving on to balance - ideally a team has three shooters, a penetrator, a pick setter, and a post threat. This is best accomplished when the pick setter is either a post threat or a shooter, or if the penetrator can shoot. The Celtics lineup has "streaky" outside shooters like Brown and Smart who don't make open shots like a natural shooter would. Tatum even has bad days, unfortunately. But regular season Kemba could break down a defense, post season Kemba could not. The Celtics need to evaluate if Kemba, as he ages, is gonna be the guy that breaks down the Top four defenses in the league, EVERY NIGHT, and make them pay with a pass or knock down shot. If they wouldn't bet their mom's life with a gun to her head on it, then they should consider moving Kemba.
The Celtics should have a better idea of whether it's medical or age or accumulated depreciation that he couldn't be counted on every night after the Philadelphia series. He has to be able to beat the Top 4 defenders in the league, or he is not the starting PG for a Championship Team. And he didn't shoot like a Championship PG against Miami.

Haywood is another one who has a nice set of skills, but his salary consumes so much of the cap he's worth about half of what they pay him. Defensively he's slow to switch, and doesn't cover ground that well or elevate that well. This is another candidate to move on from if a valuable return can be had. And Haywood misses way too many shots around the basket that a starting "Scorer" on a team with championship aspirations should not miss. It's agonizing watching him miss the easy ones.

For the number of shots he takes, I also wonder about Smart. He's not really starting PG material unless he has a strong supporting cast, and the Celtics did not get the dominant performances they needed from anyone to let Smart be Smart. Without two of Tatum, Brown, Walker or Hayward having BIG nights with support from the other 2, Smart's inconsistencies on offense are magnified. So there are three players they need to make decisions on going forward.

The Big thing the team lacks, besides someone who can takeover (hopefully Tatum), is a true center. There is no way you can argue that a guy like Rudy Gobert, who is 4 1/4 inches taller than Theis plus has 4 1/2 inches of reach more than Theis (combined 8.75 inch difference without jumping) does not affect more shots around the rim and finish plays that Theis doesn't. The Celtics could use a true center. If they could land someone like Embiid or Gobert, it would be huge.

The Celtics 4 picks in this year's draft may be more valueable in trade, so if they can't find playoff rotation quality players in the draft they simply are not much use. Maybe they get a guard, and maybe a stretch PF or SF. But they would hit the jackpot if they simply found 2 players they could actually play in the playoffs in the draft. And that's asking a lot. So, they probably need to consider trades to elevate themselves from overachievers to consistently able to beat the best.

And, like Triple7 says 2 posts down, they need to move the ball from side to side to side more to get the opposing defense moving its feet, maybe get caught leaning, or back-doored, or just to free someone up who should be moving instead of standing around.
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#14 » by Triple7 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:34 am

Banks2Pierce wrote:Having 1 more reliable big. Even if we had 2 Theises, I think we could've had a better shot. Just couldn't count on any of the other options and Theis was foul prone enough to expose the issue. Someone head and shoulders above Theis without giving up any of the current core and we're looking pretty.

Really annoying that this was a wide open field and Hayward was the 50% version of a 50% version and the bigs that may still pop were a year or two away from being championship rotation players.


Two Theises? man that’s awful waste of a spot. That’s two undersized 5 with no rim protection and man to man D. I’m good with him coming off the bench. we need a legit big that can man the middle.
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#15 » by Triple7 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:41 am

I voted for a big man upgrade for obvious reasons. Next for us to have dead set shooters coming off the bench. 3rd, for some changes is coaching style or system. Yup we move the ball sometimes, but we just move it side to side, and everyone is just standing at the 3pt line. We needed to move the ball fast, but with players cutting inside continuosly. Much like what the warriors have been doing. I would have loved to see Smart with all those drive and lobs to R.Will that he used to do before the playoffs, instead of him taking 3’s and killing our offense. If he focuses on playmaking and defense, then we don’t have any use for Kemba.
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#16 » by Spin Move » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:30 am

Triple7 wrote:
Banks2Pierce wrote:Having 1 more reliable big. Even if we had 2 Theises, I think we could've had a better shot. Just couldn't count on any of the other options and Theis was foul prone enough to expose the issue. Someone head and shoulders above Theis without giving up any of the current core and we're looking pretty.

Really annoying that this was a wide open field and Hayward was the 50% version of a 50% version and the bigs that may still pop were a year or two away from being championship rotation players.


Two Theises? man that’s awful waste of a spot. That’s two undersized 5 with no rim protection and man to man D. I’m good with him coming off the bench. we need a legit big that can man the middle.

Thies actually blocks a decent number of shots, he is a solid but not great rim protected, he had the exact same blocks per game last season as Embiid for example. His PNR defense on point guards is suspect, but outside of AD almost every 5 is bad at gaurding PGs.
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#17 » by Spin Move » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:24 am

If this team had a big who could score 15 taking 2 3's a game plus grabbed 10 boards blocked 2 shots a game and could gaurd the pick and roll we would win a championship. Finding that type of guy is hard AD obviously. A big who can do most of that and 2 bench players who can shoot and defend should be the priorities, we have enough top end talent if Tatum and Brown continue to improve at their current pace. This is why I would try and trade up for Wiseman, he has the potential to be one of those guys even if he never approaches his ceiling. We could use a vet shooter or two, the team is proabbly overall a bit too young. We are close though, however we need someone who can gaurd the Bam's and AD's of the world. I am going to assume health was the issue for Kemba and GH (obviously for him) these playoffs but in the Miami series those 2 did not get it done. If they can return to form and we can upgrade the five, get those rinngs ready.
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#18 » by Fencer reregistered » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:33 am

Green89 wrote:A clutch scorer who can put the ball in the hoop to end a playoff game. A guy who's not afraid of the moment, who wants the ball in his hands on final plays, and who has the utmost confidence they can score at any time. Title teams always have at least one of them.


I don't think our problem was guys being TOO RELUCTANT to shoot down the stretch of playoff games.
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#19 » by Triple7 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:54 pm

Spin Move wrote:
Triple7 wrote:
Banks2Pierce wrote:Having 1 more reliable big. Even if we had 2 Theises, I think we could've had a better shot. Just couldn't count on any of the other options and Theis was foul prone enough to expose the issue. Someone head and shoulders above Theis without giving up any of the current core and we're looking pretty.

Really annoying that this was a wide open field and Hayward was the 50% version of a 50% version and the bigs that may still pop were a year or two away from being championship rotation players.


Two Theises? man that’s awful waste of a spot. That’s two undersized 5 with no rim protection and man to man D. I’m good with him coming off the bench. we need a legit big that can man the middle.

Thies actually blocks a decent number of shots, he is a solid but not great rim protected, he had the exact same blocks per game last season as Embiid for example. His PNR defense on point guards is suspect, but outside of AD almost every 5 is bad at gaurding PGs.


He gets his blocks through help defense. He’s not a solid rim protector. he is actually mediocre in the eye test. Also a poor man to man defender on the block. I have watched Lowry, FVV and Dragic constantly attack him inside with no fear. That Bam two straight beat down, including that nasty dunk on him, was the final straw for me. I’m fine with him coming off the bench for cheap, but definitely not as a starter.
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Re: What is the Celtics' Biggest Need or Area of Improvement to Get Over the Hump? 

Post#20 » by 24istheLAW » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:56 pm

The Jays.

Title teams have an MVP-level player and a top 10 player. Neither of the Jays is that caliber player right now. If the team is going to "get over the hump" as currently constructed, Jayson needs to become that MVP-level player and Jaylen needs to become a top 10-level player. If that can't happen? They need to find a shakeup that will get them there. There's other stuff you can nitpick but that's the all-important bottom line.

_

Beyond that, they need to execute better offensively. I think Stevens likes to use offensive freedom as a carrot to get defensive buy-in on every possession, and down the stretch the team does braindead things because they're not used to being disciplined, careful with the ball, precise with shots, etc. Smart's hero-ball tendencies are the glaring example of this, but in general, the team settles for 1) too many jumpers and 2) the boldest players being the ones taking shots, rather than the ones with the right shot. Stevens needs to find a way to balance his desire to empower the players, with the team taking good shots.

Roster-wise, they could use vet depth. But I think the performance of the top of the food-chain guys is more important than that. Marvin Williams chose Milwaukee over Boston because those MVP type players are the bottom line. If Tatum is that guy, or you have that guy, the Marvin Williamses of the world come to Boston after the deadline. To me the depth thing solves itself when you figure out the bigger picture.

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