Author Topic: Last year's roster had a lot more talent  (Read 1945 times)

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Last year's roster had a lot more talent
« on: July 25, 2020, 07:54:42 PM »

Offline RodyTur10

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First of all I really like the top 6 of our current roster in the order of Tatum, Walker, Hayward, Brown, Smart and Theis. Also Kanter is a worthy rotation player. But after that the roster is incredibly weak. Of all the playoff teams the Celtics may have the least depth of all of them. This in contrast to last year, when players were fighting for minutes.

Below I have the roster of last year and we all know now how Irving became a big locker room problem and that this was a big reason for them to underperform. Nonetheless if you look at that team I think you have to agree that it should have been a championship contender.

Lots of changes happened in the summer of 2019, but the downgrade in talent is clear as day. Naturally Tatum and Brown made a big step in their development and also Hayward and Theis are better than last year, but that doesn't make up the amount of talent we lost. Even if the top 6 are equally good, the bench will kill us. Therefore I don't understand why there are Celtics fans (and also general NBA-fans) who believe that we have a reasonable chance at a title.


Roster 2018/2019 season

guards: Irving, Smart, Rozier, Wanamaker
wings: Tatum, Brown, Hayward, Morris, Ojeleye
bigs: Horford, Baynes, Theis, R.Williams, Yabusele

Roster 2019/2020 season

guards: Walker, Smart, Wanamaker, Langford, Edwards
wings: Tatum, Brown, Hayward, Ojeleye, Green
bigs: Theis, Kanter, G.Williams, R.Williams, Poirier

Transitions

Irving => Walker
Rozier => Langford
Morris => Green
Horford => G.Williams
Baynes => Kanter
(Yabusele => Poirier)
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Re: Last year's roster had a lot more talent
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2020, 08:06:34 PM »

Offline Monkhouse

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The team was talented, but the team wasn't cohesive.

I always like Morris, but let's be honest... He's never been the consummate teammate. He's always going to look for his shot.

Rozier? Don't even get me started on him. I soured on him ever since he went on First Take to air his grievances.. Good riddance.

The one big regret? Lack of big man like Horford/Baynes.

Theis has been performing well beyond expectations, but let's face it. Our big man depth is very short right now, and we need a more consistent bench scorer.

That being said, this team is built to be incredibly dominant in the future. Our bench players are all rookies, and young, but plenty of have that defensive moxy/switch-ability that will allow our starters to play with the 2nd and 1st unit. I pray Walker can remain healthy though.

There were several factors why the team never went far. Morris/Rozier looking to get their own in a contract year.

Irving doing a terrible job against the Bucks.

Hayward still not 100% ready.

Tatum not taking that next step forward, although we could probably point the fact Irving/Rozier/Morris got in the way of that.

EDIT:

I swear this topic has been brought up so many times...
« Last Edit: July 25, 2020, 08:30:46 PM by Monkhouse »
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Re: Last year's roster had a lot more talent
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2020, 08:29:43 PM »

Offline Roy H.

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This year’s team is better.  Talent doesn’t always transfer to wins.  Also:

Quote
Irving => Walker

Nope.
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Re: Last year's roster had a lot more talent
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2020, 09:10:07 PM »

Online gouki88

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So what? The 2011 Thunder were way more talented than the Mavs, as were the Heat. The '14 Heat were more talented than San Antonio. Could go on and on.

Also, I disagree about your conclusion. The jumps from Tatum (promising young wing to legit All-NBA talent) and Brown (solid 3&D young wing to legit borderline All-Star) are far more worthy of discussion than the minute difference between the others. There's no doubt that Kyrie has more talent than Kemba, but he fails to use it effectively (when he's on the court) as he doesn't ever play consistent defence, and any talent difference is outweighed by the difference in chemistry they bring.

The way you've structured the comparisons is also a bit disingenuous for my mind. You should do it on a minutes per game basis, IMO. Which would look like:

2019:   vs   2020:
Kyrie   =   Tatum
Tatum <   Brown
Horford   >   Hayward (most marginal difference IMO)
Morris   <   Smart
Smart   <   Kemba
Brown   <   Theis
Hayward   >   Wanamaker
Rozier   <   Kanter
Baynes   >   GWill
Theis   >   Semi
Semi   <   RWill
Wanamaker   >   Langford
RWill   =   Javonte
Yabu   =   Carsen

I think you only get an accurate reflection of the differences between the groups when you look at it this way. More top end talent, but less depth. Given how significantly rotations shorten in the playoffs I don't see this as too drastic a concern. We'll barely see any deeper than a 9-player rotation, so we'll see Kemba-Brown-Hayward-Tatum-Theis-Smart-Kanter and then one of Wanamaker, Semi or Grant, depending on match-ups.

I don't think that's a real concern, especially when you look at the 9th guy for others. For the Lakers (without AB and Rondo) it's Markieff Morris or Troy Daniels. For the Clippers it's probably Reggie Jackson, or JaMychal Green. For the Bucks it's Connaughton. For the Raptors it's Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Most of those guys are better than our 9th guy, but none of those other teams have 3 20PPG scorers, and another 17PPG scorer, alongside a DPOY candidate guard and two specialist bigs.

Re: Last year's roster had a lot more talent
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2020, 04:42:05 AM »

Offline ozgod

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First of all I really like the top 6 of our current roster in the order of Tatum, Walker, Hayward, Brown, Smart and Theis. Also Kanter is a worthy rotation player. But after that the roster is incredibly weak. Of all the playoff teams the Celtics may have the least depth of all of them. This in contrast to last year, when players were fighting for minutes.


And this is what undid us last year. If it was like NBA2k where there's no chemistry issues we would probably have made the finals last year. But last year showed us that the team needs to be a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. You can have a team that's too talented, especially if those players are unwilling to take lesser roles for the good of the team. Since you're from Europe, you'll probably know of the issues Real Madrid had with too many Zidanes and not enough Makeleles. That was pretty much our issue last year.
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Re: Last year's roster had a lot more talent
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2020, 05:42:21 AM »

Offline Csfan1984

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Going into the year we knew the talent was less. I still don't love the on court chemistry of the team. Sure guys have potential but only a few plays a game do they look like a team on offense. I do like the defensive effort more than last year's. With that and with Tatum and Brown playing more consistently there is a shot at winning, that I didn't think would happen till next year. Unfortunately DA chose not to upgrade the bench at the deadline so it is what it is. Guess he felt this wasn't a year to go for it. Let's see how far they can go being 7 deep.

Re: Last year's roster had a lot more talent
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2020, 09:10:56 AM »

Offline RodyTur10

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First of all I really like the top 6 of our current roster in the order of Tatum, Walker, Hayward, Brown, Smart and Theis. Also Kanter is a worthy rotation player. But after that the roster is incredibly weak. Of all the playoff teams the Celtics may have the least depth of all of them. This in contrast to last year, when players were fighting for minutes.


And this is what undid us last year. If it was like NBA2k where there's no chemistry issues we would probably have made the finals last year. But last year showed us that the team needs to be a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. You can have a team that's too talented, especially if those players are unwilling to take lesser roles for the good of the team. Since you're from Europe, you'll probably know of the issues Real Madrid had with too many Zidanes and not enough Makeleles. That was pretty much our issue last year.

You're right about Real ;D

Nonetheless last year's roster was balanced in terms of talent (enough playmaking, scoring, shooting, defense, rebounding), it was more about personalities, roles and chemistry. I don't think anybody saw the big problems coming when Irving made his false promise that he would re-sign in Boston if we wanted him. I have been critical on Ainge, but I don't fault him for the roster he built at that time (I do find he should've reacted when it turned out things weren't working, instead of just letting the train crash).

So while I believe that Ainge provided the coaching staff with an excellent roster last year, now it's more of a tweener. There's top end talent and players who are peaking (examples: Walker and Hayward), while the rest is very young and inexperienced and don't provide the depth like championship favourites as the Bucks, Clippers, Raptors or Lakers (Lakers now missing a couple rotation players will hurt them too) have.

Not really sure what the plan is. They had to do something with the cap space they had (under the assumption that rookie-contract extensions for Brown and Tatum would not give short-term future opportunities for that) and signing an All Star PG in Walker can't be bad, but that is a signal of a win-now-move while all the rookie-deals and the reluctance to trade picks for immediate help indicate the opposite.

The roster the Celtics have is good enough to be competitive, but in my opinion it lacks the depth to be a real contender.
Is it wise to not fully commit to Walker, Smart, Brown, Tatum, Hayward, Theis and Kanter?
Or is it reasonable to expect that a future with Waters(?), Smart, Langford, Brown, Tatum, G.Williams, R.Williams + Memphis pick may be even brigther?

Edit: we have 6 (more than) playoff-resistant players, but Kanter can be a huge defensive liability as the 7th guy in the Celtics system and while nr 8 or nr 9 in the rotation won't get many minutes they can significantly hurt you (for instance: if 10 minutes of both Wanamaker and G.Williams costs you 2 points a game, then over a whole 7-game-series that's 14 points). In the quite succesful playoff-run of 2018 we beat the Bucks 4-3 (total points: 717-713) and the 76ers 4-1 (total points: 532-517), thus such small gains or drop-offs in the rotation can really affect our winning chances.

Unless Robert Williams becomes a reliable defensive anchor I see second round exit as our ceiling. Indiana without Sabonis should be a doable match-up, but I would be worried to play the 76ers in the first round
« Last Edit: July 26, 2020, 09:30:03 AM by RodyTur10 »
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Re: Last year's roster had a lot more talent
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2020, 10:12:19 AM »

Offline jambr380

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The chemistry issues last season compared to the love fest this season are night and day. The talent level on the 2018-19 team should have been good enough to compete for a title, but they just couldn't get out of each other's way.

I also agree that the jump from Tatum and Brown shouldn't be understated. Ainge opened up the roster in order to give them as much room to grow as possible and they have not disappointed. How far we go will depend on whether or not they are able to perform at such a young age. They have shown the ability in the past, but there are a number of good teams we will need to fight through.

Beyond our top 7 (I am including Kanter), guys like Grant and Wanamaker may not be world beaters, but I think we can at least expect them to come in and give us consistent minutes. Our roster will only go as far as our top talent so health is vital...and that is not something we have had much luck with to this point. Obviously we are not the favorites to win the title, but it's not ridiculous to be hopeful that it could possibly happen.

Re: Last year's roster had a lot more talent
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2020, 09:45:00 AM »

Offline droopdog7

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OP making the same mistake after the fact that everyone made before the season.  We saw what happened and in retrospect it’s easy to see why.

The teams “leader” last year was an eccentric wannabe intellectual.  The team had not one (Rozier), not (Morris), not three (smart) role players that didn’t think like role players on offense.  Only smart brought a team skill while Morris and rozier were virtual black holes on offense.

Hayward was still recovering from his injury.  Tatum and brown were not as good then as they are now.  Taking way Irving and even horford has given the jays more room to flourish.  Hayward another year away from injury.  Kemba much less ball dominant.  Theis can somewhat mimic horford.

While this team still may lack the star to take then all the way, cohesiveness much much better.

Re: Last year's roster had a lot more talent
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2020, 11:03:09 AM »

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I don't really see the point of this conversation. Who cares about how much hypothetical talent we have compared to last year? Talent only matters when it translates to production, and that clearly didn't happen last year. This year's team is obviously better than last year because of what we see on the court.
2020 Celticsstrong All-2000s Draft: Denver Nuggets:
PG: Gary Payton / Steve Francis
SG: Kyrie Irving / Raja Bell / Danny Green
SF: Rip Hamiltion / Glenn Robinson / Robert Covington
PF: Carmelo Anthony / Draymond Green / Anthony Mason
C: Tim Duncan / DeMarcus Cousins / Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Re: Last year's roster had a lot more talent
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2020, 12:26:34 PM »

Offline DefenseWinsChamps

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But
20 Tatum > 19 Tatum
20 Brown > 19 Brown
20 Hayward > 19 Hayward

By a lot for each of them.

Re: Last year's roster had a lot more talent
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2020, 01:52:15 PM »

Offline boscel33

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You lost me at Irving => Walker.

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Re: Last year's roster had a lot more talent
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2020, 06:43:10 PM »

Offline RodyTur10

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I don't really see the point of this conversation. Who cares about how much hypothetical talent we have compared to last year? Talent only matters when it translates to production, and that clearly didn't happen last year. This year's team is obviously better than last year because of what we see on the court.

My point is that last year was a big disappointment and that on paper the Celtics had all the talent to be a contender that didn't materialize in real life, because of many chemistry issues.

This year we have much better chemistry, but we lack the talent we had last year to expect us be a contender. I think it's just false hope to believe that the Celtics are right up there with the Bucks, Clippers, Lakers or Raptors. Especially the Bucks are on a whole other level.

And Irving has been better than Walker in every year of his career. You may like Walker a lot more and find him easier to incorporate into your team, but Irving is just simply a better player (better passer, dribbler, shooter etc.). Walker is a bit better defensively and less injury-prone, although that argument might fade as well considering the problems with his knees.

Edit: Irving had a better season last year than Walker has now. Irving got All NBA second team for a reason (before he bailed on us during the playoffs), while I doubt that Walker will make an All NBA team this season.
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Re: Last year's roster had a lot more talent
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2020, 05:06:43 AM »

Online gouki88

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I don't really see the point of this conversation. Who cares about how much hypothetical talent we have compared to last year? Talent only matters when it translates to production, and that clearly didn't happen last year. This year's team is obviously better than last year because of what we see on the court.

My point is that last year was a big disappointment and that on paper the Celtics had all the talent to be a contender that didn't materialize in real life, because of many chemistry issues.

This year we have much better chemistry, but we lack the talent we had last year to expect us be a contender. I think it's just false hope to believe that the Celtics are right up there with the Bucks, Clippers, Lakers or Raptors. Especially the Bucks are on a whole other level.

And Irving has been better than Walker in every year of his career. You may like Walker a lot more and find him easier to incorporate into your team, but Irving is just simply a better player (better passer, dribbler, shooter etc.). Walker is a bit better defensively and less injury-prone, although that argument might fade as well considering the problems with his knees.

Edit: Irving had a better season last year than Walker has now. Irving got All NBA second team for a reason (before he bailed on us during the playoffs), while I doubt that Walker will make an All NBA team this season.
Again, I think you're massively oversimplifying things.

You might not think we're on the level of those teams, and that may well be right, but we have the best young wing duo in the entire NBA. None of those other teams are really geared to long-term competitiveness (Giannis impending FA, LA and Toronto have ageing rosters, Clippers also ageing and facing FA uncertainty). The way you keep presenting this argument is that this team has already plateaued and has no room for improvement.
We're looking at a duo with the potential to be Kobe (Tatum) and Josh Howard (Brown) like players.

I also think you're overstating the difference between Kyrie and Kemba.
Kyrie averages more assists, and is probably a better individual passer, but he's most certainly worse for a team's ball movement and flow.
Kyrie is a flashier dribbler, and can pull off more difficult moves, but he has no easier a time getting to his spots than Kemba does, which is the whole point of dribbling.
Kyrie is a better shooter, but he's a way way way worse mover off the ball. I think that is a more valuable thing to bring to the table on a team like ours.
Also, the difference on defence between the two is vast. Kemba is much less easy to be abused on the switch, as he is better at taking charges and stripping bigs in the post.

Kyrie is a better individual talent, but he that doesn't actually mean anything if it's not for the better of the team. I think you're underrating what this team is capable of

Re: Last year's roster had a lot more talent
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2020, 08:41:49 AM »

Offline jambr380

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We're looking at a duo with the potential to be Kobe (Tatum) and Josh Howard (Brown) like players.

Gouki, I agree with most of your post, but, geez, saying Brown has the potential to one day be as good as Josh Howard is going to turn a lot of heads.