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Author Topic: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?  (Read 3646 times)

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Re: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2020, 08:44:11 AM »

Offline Moranis

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No.  Boston is not a contender because its top 2 players do not compare favorably with the top 2 players on the actual contenders.  You win with your best players not your bench.  A great bench helps immensely in the regular season and can help turn a tight series, but at the end of the day if your best players aren't good enough then your team is not good enough.
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Re: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2020, 08:47:31 AM »

Offline Roy H.

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Is the bench player Kevin McHale?

Otherwise, I think we can be a top four team, but I donít think we can beat Milwaukee or either LA team.
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Re: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2020, 08:50:59 AM »

Offline Donoghus

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No.

They're already a fringe title contender (offense and defense that are top 5 in the league, top 5 net rating). One random starter/high level bench piece piece doesn't change that imho.

To ascend from that fringe contender zone they go from having 3 top 25 guys to at least 1 top 10 guy. Honestly if this year's Bucks team wasn't so good they'd probably not be "fringe", but the Bucks are a 07-08 Celtics, second/third year Miami LeBron, a 15-16 GSW level, etc. team.

Those sort of teams get beat of course, but its tough!

Pretty much my feeling.   

It's the top that's the prohibitive right now.  Not necessarily depth or needing a stud bench player.


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Re: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2020, 08:52:03 AM »

Offline Fafnir

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Is the bench player Kevin McHale?

Otherwise, I think we can be a top four team, but I donít think we can beat Milwaukee or either LA team.
I'm not as much a believer in this Clippers teams as I thought I'd be. They just have some really uneven performances across the board.

If it weren't for LA weird roster construction that has them playing big at their best, which I don't think they can do against the Clippers I would favor them to win the west. Which is very much not how I thought I'd feel at the start of the season.

Re: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2020, 09:22:41 AM »

Offline DefenseWinsChamps

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No.  Boston is not a contender because its top 2 players do not compare favorably with the top 2 players on the actual contenders.  You win with your best players not your bench.  A great bench helps immensely in the regular season and can help turn a tight series, but at the end of the day if your best players aren't good enough then your team is not good enough.

Good narrative, but not true.

The Spurs top two players at that point were not on the same level as the Heat. Same with the Pistons. The first year the Warriors won they weren't considered on the same level as other talent they faced. Even the Mavericks didn't have two top players comparable to those they faced. They only had Dirk, and at the time, he wasn't considered on the same level as the top guys.

There are plenty of examples where what you said just isn't true, or the narrative shifts after the championship to say that the winners had true superstars all along, and now that's how they are remembered.

Re: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2020, 09:32:57 AM »

Online CelticsPoetry

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Is the bench player Kevin McHale?

Otherwise, I think we can be a top four team, but I donít think we can beat Milwaukee or either LA team.
I think we can hang with the Clippers, as we've shown already, but come on man, we got the Lakers' number. I simply dont think they are as good as their record says

Re: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2020, 10:32:10 AM »

Offline Moranis

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No.  Boston is not a contender because its top 2 players do not compare favorably with the top 2 players on the actual contenders.  You win with your best players not your bench.  A great bench helps immensely in the regular season and can help turn a tight series, but at the end of the day if your best players aren't good enough then your team is not good enough.

Good narrative, but not true.

The Spurs top two players at that point were not on the same level as the Heat. Same with the Pistons. The first year the Warriors won they weren't considered on the same level as other talent they faced. Even the Mavericks didn't have two top players comparable to those they faced. They only had Dirk, and at the time, he wasn't considered on the same level as the top guys.

There are plenty of examples where what you said just isn't true, or the narrative shifts after the championship to say that the winners had true superstars all along, and now that's how they are remembered.
Curry won the MVP the first year the Warriors won the title.  You don't need to shift narratives after the fact, when before the fact the media said he had the best season in the sport.  And that year, Curry's Warriors defeated the Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Rockets before beating the Cavs.  Curry was clearly the best player in every series before Lebron.  As for the Cavs, the 2nd best player in the Finals was probably Tristan Thompson (I'm not joking, if it wasn't him it was JR Smith).  So sure, Lebron was the best player in the series, but Curry was 2nd, Thompson was 3rd, Green was 4th, and Iguodala was 5th.  Heck Barnes might have been the 6th best player in the series.  So yeah the Warriors with the 2nd and 3rd best players in the series (including the league MVP) compared favorably at the top to the Cavs.  Even if Irving and Love were in the series, they would have compared favorably.  It wouldn't have been the same running down the list, but either way Curry was always going to be the 2nd best player to Lebron and they always would have compared favorably. 

As for the Spurs, Parker was 2nd Team All NBA and both he and Duncan finished tied for 12th in MVP voting.  Had Duncan not missed a bunch of games he would have been on an All NBA Team as well and would have finished higher in MVP voting (he was 1st Team the year before and 3rd Team the year after and was 7th and 10th in MVP voting those 2 seasons).  Kawhi was still rising but was a 2nd Team All Defense and finished 11th in DPOY voting, so his defense was starting to be a known commodity.  Obviously Lebron was the best player in that series, but Wade was no where near prime-Wade at that point (54 games and just 19, 4.5, 4.7 stats).  In fact Wade's last appearance on an All NBA Team was the season prior to that one when he was on the 3rd Team (part of the reason the Heat won that series was Wade was still a top tier player, he wasn't in 14).  Bosh was always an after-thought on those Heat teams.  So the Spurs had the 2nd and 3rd best player in that series, which is comparing favorably at the top. 

Obviously the Mavs was a big upset, but Dirk was also clearly the 2nd best player in the series.  Dirk was absolutely amazing in his prime and he was full on prime that season.  Now obviously Tyson Chandler was not on Wade's level (though he did finish 3rd in DPOY), but there is a reason that series is considered one of the biggest upsets in Finals history.  Exceptions don't make the rule.
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Re: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2020, 10:38:46 AM »

Offline boscel33

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I believe it's more about health.  If we are 100%, I think we can compete with anyone this year.
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Re: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2020, 10:39:53 AM »

Offline celticsclay

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No.  Boston is not a contender because its top 2 players do not compare favorably with the top 2 players on the actual contenders.  You win with your best players not your bench.  A great bench helps immensely in the regular season and can help turn a tight series, but at the end of the day if your best players aren't good enough then your team is not good enough.

Good narrative, but not true.

The Spurs top two players at that point were not on the same level as the Heat. Same with the Pistons. The first year the Warriors won they weren't considered on the same level as other talent they faced. Even the Mavericks didn't have two top players comparable to those they faced. They only had Dirk, and at the time, he wasn't considered on the same level as the top guys.

There are plenty of examples where what you said just isn't true, or the narrative shifts after the championship to say that the winners had true superstars all along, and now that's how they are remembered.
Curry won the MVP the first year the Warriors won the title.  You don't need to shift narratives after the fact, when before the fact the media said he had the best season in the sport.  And that year, Curry's Warriors defeated the Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Rockets before beating the Cavs.  Curry was clearly the best player in every series before Lebron.  As for the Cavs, the 2nd best player in the Finals was probably Tristan Thompson (I'm not joking, if it wasn't him it was JR Smith).  So sure, Lebron was the best player in the series, but Curry was 2nd, Thompson was 3rd, Green was 4th, and Iguodala was 5th.  Heck Barnes might have been the 6th best player in the series.  So yeah the Warriors with the 2nd and 3rd best players in the series (including the league MVP) compared favorably at the top to the Cavs.  Even if Irving and Love were in the series, they would have compared favorably.  It wouldn't have been the same running down the list, but either way Curry was always going to be the 2nd best player to Lebron and they always would have compared favorably. 

As for the Spurs, Parker was 2nd Team All NBA and both he and Duncan finished tied for 12th in MVP voting.  Had Duncan not missed a bunch of games he would have been on an All NBA Team as well and would have finished higher in MVP voting (he was 1st Team the year before and 3rd Team the year after and was 7th and 10th in MVP voting those 2 seasons).  Kawhi was still rising but was a 2nd Team All Defense and finished 11th in DPOY voting, so his defense was starting to be a known commodity.  Obviously Lebron was the best player in that series, but Wade was no where near prime-Wade at that point (54 games and just 19, 4.5, 4.7 stats).  In fact Wade's last appearance on an All NBA Team was the season prior to that one when he was on the 3rd Team (part of the reason the Heat won that series was Wade was still a top tier player, he wasn't in 14).  Bosh was always an after-thought on those Heat teams.  So the Spurs had the 2nd and 3rd best player in that series, which is comparing favorably at the top. 

Obviously the Mavs was a big upset, but Dirk was also clearly the 2nd best player in the series.  Dirk was absolutely amazing in his prime and he was full on prime that season.  Now obviously Tyson Chandler was not on Wade's level (though he did finish 3rd in DPOY), but there is a reason that series is considered one of the biggest upsets in Finals history.  Exceptions don't make the rule.

You have a fair point in the warriors series, but the heat spurs thing is a really poor example of what you are arguing. The heat had 2 superstars at that point even if wade was slipping. Bosh was also a parental all star. Older Duncan, young Leonard and Parker were just not on that same top level talent....

Also your narrative is pretty hilarious when you argue wade missing games was sign of him slipping but Duncan missing games was an argument he would have done better if he played more games despite the fact he was 5 years older than wade. Lol
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 11:39:03 AM by celticsclay »

Re: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2020, 11:17:47 AM »

Offline fairweatherfan

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No.

They're already a fringe title contender (offense and defense that are top 5 in the league, top 5 net rating). One random starter/high level bench piece piece doesn't change that imho.

To ascend from that fringe contender zone they go from having 3 top 25 guys to at least 1 top 10 guy. Honestly if this year's Bucks team wasn't so good they'd probably not be "fringe", but the Bucks are a 07-08 Celtics, second/third year Miami LeBron, a 15-16 GSW level, etc. team.

Those sort of teams get beat of course, but its tough!

Agree with this take. We already are a contender, just not a strong one, and another bench piece at best shuffles us closer to the top of that crowded mix.

Here's my contender tiers, teams in no particular order:

Tier 1
Bucks

Tier 2
Lakers
Clippers

Tier 3
Us
Rockets
Nuggets
Raptors
Heat
Sixers
Maybe Pacers with Oladipo back

There's no realistic bench piece that brings us up into the LA tier let alone alongside Milwaukee. Barring major developments we peak at 4th best chance.

Re: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?
« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2020, 11:24:48 AM »

Offline #1P4P

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No, unless that bench piece is Gobert. Without seriously altering the roster, this team is a Tatum/Brown leap away from being perennial title contenders. With their continuous improvement, that leap can occur sooner rather than later.

The Bucks and Sixers are too advanced in their development for the C's to overcome this season, but that gap will close due to roster management. The Bledsoe extension and Brogdon non-extension and the Shamet/1st for Harris trades were short-sighted moves.

Patience is key.

Re: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2020, 11:25:21 AM »

Offline seancally

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I think an additional reliable bench scorer (Davis Bertans?) makes us the clear favorite to land 2nd in the east. I think we will anyway but it's certainly up for grabs at this point. I also think a young reliable bench scorer improves the long-term ceiling of the team.

For me, the real wild card is this: How much better are Tatum, Brown and Hayward by the playoffs? Does Hayward look the way he did to start the season? Do Brown and Tatum's dud games happen less often, or with less of a pronounced drop-off?

Young guys can improve in the midst of seasons, not just year-over-year. Especially if Tatum starts to string together 4-5 really solid games in a row with regularity, and avoid the awful games he's had at times this season, we become a much more problematic playoff team. I also think Brown and Tatum will be more consistent in the playoffs.

So if that happens, AND we have one solid bench guy for scoring punch... we can be an outside/underdog contender.
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Re: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?
« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2020, 11:41:20 AM »

Offline celticsclay

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No, unless that bench piece is Gobert. Without seriously altering the roster, this team is a Tatum/Brown leap away from being perennial title contenders. With their continuous improvement, that leap can occur sooner rather than later.

The Bucks and Sixers are too advanced in their development for the C's to overcome this season, but that gap will close due to roster management. The Bledsoe extension and Brogdon non-extension and the Shamet/1st for Harris trades were short-sighted moves.

Patience is key.

The 76ers?What in the world have they shown to be a tier above us? I would grant they match up well against us, but aside from that... they have three more losses and now are without two starters for a couple of weeks. Probably the 5th or 6th seed.

Re: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2020, 11:44:57 AM »

Offline PhoSita

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I think what would make the Celts a contender is Tatum making another big leap from All-Star caliber to superstar caliber (e.g. peak Paul George / Paul Pierce).  Or Jaylen could do the same thing, I suppose.

Stocking the bench with more reliable veterans would help that as well, but the first thing is the really significant part.
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Re: Are we one good bench piece away from title contention?
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2020, 11:51:52 AM »

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I think an additional reliable bench scorer (Davis Bertans?) makes us the clear favorite to land 2nd in the east. I think we will anyway but it's certainly up for grabs at this point. I also think a young reliable bench scorer improves the long-term ceiling of the team.

For me, the real wild card is this: How much better are Tatum, Brown and Hayward by the playoffs? Does Hayward look the way he did to start the season? Do Brown and Tatum's dud games happen less often, or with less of a pronounced drop-off?

Young guys can improve in the midst of seasons, not just year-over-year. Especially if Tatum starts to string together 4-5 really solid games in a row with regularity, and avoid the awful games he's had at times this season, we become a much more problematic playoff team. I also think Brown and Tatum will be more consistent in the playoffs.

So if that happens, AND we have one solid bench guy for scoring punch... we can be an outside/underdog contender.

I agree with this, and I would add that the seeding could matter a lot. A good and very possible seeding of the first six would be Mil-Bos-Tor-Mia-Phil-Ind. In round one, Philly dispatches Miami, Toronto sends Indiana home, and Milwaukee and Boston easily beat the 7th and 8th seeds. In round two, Milwaukee takes out Philly. We then have to go through Toronto and Milwaukee. Not an easy road, but we'd have home court against Toronto and the matchups are (relatively) favorable to our talent. Barring some real development from our squad, Philly just feels like a bad matchup for us.