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…
Posted on April 30, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged Al Horford, Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, Bradley Beal, Chicago Bulls, Gerald Green, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Jimmy Butler, John Wall, Marcin Gortat, Marcus Smart, Markieff Morris, NBA playoffs, Otto Porter, Rajon Rondo, Second round, Washington Wizards. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.