On To Round Two…

…so I made a prediction for the Boston Celtics first round series against the Chicago Bulls.  I had the Celtics initially beating the Bulls 4 games to 2.  Then I changed it because of Isaiah Thomas’ sisters untimely passing.  Made it 4-3 C’s.  Should have kept it at C’s in 6.  Have I not learned from going against my first inclination…in most situations?  Guess not.  Oh well…

The Celtics woke up from dropping the first two at home, Game 2 being especially frustrating and actually, embarrassing.  It helped that Rajon Rondo got hurt and did not play in the Bulls 4 defeats.  I knew Rondo would step up his game for the Celtics and the playoffs in general.  I was surprised to see what kind of difference he seemed to actually be making on the floor.  Especially after his uneven year.  I suppose you can never predict which version of Rondo he will bring to the floor.  But it was a big loss for the Bulls.

Apparently, Jimmy Butler was going through some physical issues as well, despite being on the floor as much as he usually is.  Every player most assuredly has something going on physically at this time of year.  But when Rondo plays awesome and you lose him…and your best player in Butler is fighting something also…those are big detriments.  Of course that goes without saying.

The Celtics definitely played better starting in Game 3.  But they were helped by the situations noted above, no question.  Food for thought heading into the second round matchup with the Washington Wizards.

The Wizards?  I’m not sure how much I can tell ya.  Similar to the Bulls, I can’t say I have watched a ton of Wizard basketball, if any.  I look and see that Washington and Boston split their season series 2-2.  The Celtics won both games at home by single digits, while they got walloped both times in the nation’s capital.  I can also tell you there has been some bad blood this year between the teams…for only God knows why.  I remember Jae Crowder getting worked up over something and putting his finger on John Wall’s nose after one game.  But per usual with basketball “fights”, I didn’t pay much attention to it.  The NBA has a bunch of fraudulent tough guys that talk a lot of smack, then when it gets physical, flail around like they’ve never thrown a fist ever…or run away still yapping and flexing their muscles and all that.  Not worth my time…

Anyway, as for the matchups, Avery Bradley will presumably guard Bradley Beal.  AB gives up 3 inches to Beal, but maybe the “disrespect” Bradley felt in Round 1 will continue to spur him on.  Marcus Smart gives up only an inch, so he should help here too.

But I don’t know how Isaiah is going to guard John Wall.  (Well, maybe this “defensive” matchup will be a wash, with Wall having to cover IT).  And I don’t know who is going to keep Marcin Gortat off the glass.  Maybe even Markieff Morris, for that matter.  Rebounding is still an issue for the Celts, and will be until/if they decide to fix that in the offseason.  Otto Porter killed them in their first matchup, but I’m going to worry about the other 4 starters over him.  Maybe that’s a mistake.  Especially if Brad Stevens leaves Gerald Green in the starting lineup.  Green would then likely guard Porter (Jae Crowder on Morris, Al Horford on Gortat).  Not necessarily ideal for Green to be guarding…anyone.

I will give Stevens credit however.  He made the change going to Green against Chicago, instead of Amir Johnson.  I’ve been saying for quite some time now that I have no idea what Johnson brings to the table.  Supposed to be a power forward but averages about four and a half rebounds a game.  At least Green can score.  But is this the right strategy for the next round?  No idea.

I know that spot with Green will be rotated around with several players…primarily Smart I would say.  So it’s not like Gerald will be playing 30 minutes.  Unless he is on fire of course.  Kelly Olynyk and Jonas Jerebko will be the other main “contributors” off the bench.  But that’s ok, the Wizards bench doesn’t appear that strong…to me, anyway.  But I already told you I haven’t watched them a lot, so what do I know?

Mid-season acquisition Bojan Bogdanovic seems to be the main guy to contend with off the Wizards’ bench.  Who else, Jason Smith, Kelly Oubre?  Nah.  Maybe if they let Brandon Jennings gun it up like he did early in his career, he can make a difference.  But he shot 27% in 23 games with Washington this year after he was acquired.  His shooting percentages have always been putrid, but this certainly takes the cake.  Though he is shooting 55% in the playoffs…so again, what do I know?

That’s about all I have for analysis.  And it’s not necessarily deep analysis anyway.  But I had to say something.  Sssssoooo…the result?

Washington in 6.  It was nice that the C’s finally got over the hump and won a playoff round under Brad Stevens.  Progress is still happening, slowly, but I believe surely.  I just don’t see how they stop Wall and Beal for a whole series.  Or keep Gortat from making a big difference on the boards every game as well.  The Celtics will play hard.  Isaiah will get his.  But I think this is where it ends…

 

 

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About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on April 30, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Well, then why don’t you ask for a guest blogger, in the form of Johnny J to provide analysis, who has watched every single game this year, including preseason and summer league! First, off Rondo did not have an up and down year. The Bulls did. They benched him for no reason. It was stupid. Hoiberg should be fired for doing what he did. I think there was descension on that team in a lot of ways, but they put Rondo back in the starting lineup and he was the old Rondo, distributing. I was really nervous when they had to play the Bulls. I still think they would have figured a way, even with Rondo, but I think your analysis was basically right. I said C’s in 6 too. After all that occurred though, the team has new life, and winning four in a row, including three in Chicago was something really special. Horford is playing like we need too. And other players are stepping up including Olynyk who in my opinion should probably start at this point. Put him at PF. He does what GG does, and even more, plays better D now as well. But, I think Brad likes Marcus and he on the 2nd unit so that probably does not happen. Anyway, I say Celts in 6 or 7. After yesterday the Wizards have to be thinking shit. Unless they come back and win tomorrow. They could. Wall is great. Beal is not in my opinion. He is Ray Allen without the athleticism and intensity. The problem is Gortat is a great rebounder and owned them yesterday, so that is going to be a problem, and they won’t shoot like that every game, obviously. My heart says 6, head says 7. We move on and have a nice series against the Cavs, Celts grab the #1 pick and move to the head of the pack for Banner 18 in 18!

    • Guest bloggers? Maybe someday! As for Rondo, I have to imagine there was a reason he was benched. Maybe it was for off the court/attitude/etc. reasons. But there is always a reason. I’ve heard that he has been inconsistent this year from various reports. But you are right, I don’t know. I can only go by what I hear in this particular case, right or wrong. But the C’s got through the Bulls, either way. As for Washington, it was a nice win for the C’s yesterday. But I am not sold. Your Gortat point is spot on, but though he won’t shoot like he did yesterday, neither will the likes of Jae Crowder and his 6-8 on threes. Morris getting hurt was big. I know, it’s only Markieff Morris. But I see him giving the C’s problems on the boards. Especially if they start Smart over Green, which I heard is a consideration. The whole team will not shoot like they did in Game 1. 19 threes? Kelly played pretty well, and although my feelings for him are well known, I would not have a problem with him in the starting lineup. But agreed, Stevens does like Olynyk and Smart off the bench. So we could be looking at Amir Johnson back with the starters…yuck. We will see, but it was an impressive run for the C’s after that early embarrassing deficit. And I’m not even talking about the #1 pick…I just can’t believe that they would ever get it!

  2. Would that be amazing. Right before game 1 of the ECF they get the #1 pick! I am setting myself up for a big disappointment, I know! Rondo, is not the prototypical point guard of today obviously. He can’t shoot, like at all. He makes marcus smart look like Bradley Beal. So, he was benched because of that supposedly, was the reporting, and THEN Rondo had an altercation, with a coach and was suspended. Am I to say, Rondo did not have something to do with it? Probably, but it was a bonehead move, and only when he was reinserted did they begin a good run. I think, at some point, coaches are going to have to just understand Rondo is smarter than them. The quicker they realize it the better, and then everyone can go along. He is not a perfect PG, but in the right situation, he could be amazing again. Probably in N. Orleans with A. Davis and Cousins is a good idea. Go Celts! We can talk about the Sox again soon…they are depressing me.

    • I surely don’t give Rondo enough credit for the player he is, probably because I dislike all the baggage he brings to the table. But I just can’t do it. When he was here, he just turned me off. Especially at the end. Plus…he thinks he is much better than he is anyway. Probably thinks he’s a no-brainer Hall of Famer. I’m just all set with him. But you could say that about half the players in the NBA too…let’s forget about the Sox for now. Sale is awesome, but the team just doesn’t excite me as a whole right now. Back to the C’s…what a game tonight! Washington should have won it at the end of regulation. But just a crazy game. Every time I don’t want to give Isaiah max money, he explodes like that. Brad seems to be pushing the right buttons with the personnel too. Gerald and Jerebko DNP’s. Amir only 5 minutes. At one point they had IT, Marcus, Avery and Rozier out there with Horford! I can’t say I’ve seen that lineup this year. I know it’s Washington and not Cleveland, and the defense is not necessarily there…but an exciting two games to start out!

  3. Yeah that line-up was a rarity this year, if ever. Best case scenario for IT is an extension this summer, which won’t be max, but huge money. He deserves that I think…but a lot to be decided until then. Just amazing what IT has done the last six games. Incredible. Game 3 now!

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