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The Weekend Greenie Bag: How Important Is Home Court?

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Alright by this time of the day your scaries are starting to creep in, maybe you lost a little money betting football, maybe you’re still a little hung over, either way we have some time to kill before the SNF game and the Celts don’t tip for a little while so why not take this time to check in on the minds of stoolies. As you can imagine given the week the Celtics have had people are a little on edge. That’s OK, that’s really what this mailbag is for, we do not judge and we are a place you can do to overreact on either end of the spectrum. When things are good and you think this team can beat GS in 5 you can tell me, and when they barely beat the Suns and are in the middle of a horrific road trip and you question whether these players have even played the sport before, you can tell me about that too. Just tweet me whatever with #GreenieBag or you can email greenieceltsbag@gmail.com.

With that said, here are your questions….

I love jaylen as much as anyone and would love for him to be the OG of our future championship runs but I would have traded him and kings pick for Kahwhi and Id definitely do him Terry and the pick for AD. Championships either way. – Brian

Ah yes, the old Jayeln/Rozier/SAC for AD play. Surprised why Ainge is waiting so long to pull that off. And let me ask you something. As great as Kawhi is, would you really risk Jaylen and the potential at Zion or RJ Barrett. I know the Kings are off to a great start, but it’s a long season. Plenty of time for that to be in the 2-5 range, and then boom if he has to Ainge can always pair picks to try and move up. Let’s say all four of those picks convey and the SAC pick is like 6. You don’t think there’s a team in that top 3 that you could get to swap? In my opinion, I’d rather have Jaylen/Zion/Barrett than a possible one year rental of Kawhi.

My question is, if this team was like..9-2 would you have wished people were traded? Probably not. That’s a difference of 2 games.

This is more of a pet peeve than a question, but I’m tired of hearing that it’s early in the season. It’s early in the season for Toronto and Milwaukee and Golden State but they aren’t having problems. Celts have had all off-season to practice and all that and they’re still having a ton of problems. It’s very maddening.- George

Well it’s also kind of the truth. I think when you’ve played just 15% of the season you can still say it’s early. I think that gets stale once you get past 25 games you should stop saying early. That’s like 30% of the season and from there, unless your team does something drastic at the deadline, you’ve seen enough of a sample to start to make some real evaluations. You’re also not exactly correct. A few practices together in August/September is not exactly a lot either, especially when Kyrie didn’t play half the preseason. Their biggest problem right now is their inability to make open shots. They are among the best at creating open looks, but one of the worst in the league at making those shots. Guys are having well below their average starts, and you would think at some point they get back to what they average.

They’ve also played 9 of their first 13 on the road, so some would argue 7-5 isn’t so bad

Yeah its early and yeah they won but Thursday was atrocious. There’s a lot of finger pointing to do, but I think Brad needs to assume some accountability. In the past he was never afraid to yank a prized rookie from the game for blowing a defensive assignment, but he seems to be giving Brown and Tatum free run to do whatever they want on the court despite the volume of contested mid range jumpers that bog down the offense. Brown has been better lately, but Tatum is a wreck. His second half benching the other night was a step in the right direction but someone, either the coach or a veteran needs to get in his ear and tell him to burn the Kobe detail tapes. Also I don’t hold it against Hayward for being a step slow but his minutes restriction is not only preventing him from getting into a rhythm its also preventing his teammates from getting acclimated to him on the court. Obviously his health is paramount but to me the current situation isn’t tenable if the Celtics want to play through Gordon. – Paul in Somerville

I would say such is life when 21 year olds are a main part of your rotation. There are going to be ups and downs despite what last year showed. This is an entirely new situation for both Jaylen and Tatum, and their inexperience has for sure showed up at times this season. What concerns me more is the up and down play of the veterans, especially as of late on the defensive end. The issue is teams are attacking Hayward with whoever he guards, so they need to figure out how to cover for that. If you have to hide him, do that. I think the biggest thing Hayward is struggling with is the minutes restriction. You can tell he never wants to come out and wants to play through it, but for the sake of his long term health you have to do it.

I believe you can play through Gordon, and his playmaking the other night give you an idea of what that can look like. He’s still their best non Kyrie option in initiating the P&R among the starters, and you would think his shot comes around at some point when he gets his legs. Don’t give up on him just yet.

Do you think the Celtics should consider playing Hayward off the bench until he looks like his usual self? – Nate

I do not. I also do not think you move Jaylen to the bench either. I am of the faith that if this team is having issues with their starters figuring out how to play together, the answer in my opinion is give them more opportunities to play together. Go through struggles in the Fall so you’re nails by the Spring.

Zero.

Hey Greenie,

Die hard Celts fan and love your blogs. With that said I am writing to you in hopes that if you post this question maybe a few of the boys will see this think about it on the court.

I am absolutely disgusted with the amount of threes the Celtics take. I feel as if we sit on our heels from downtown on offense and wait for a kick out. It’s a snooze fest to watch for 48 minutes.

I wouldn’t mind it so much if they would just ATTACK THE BASKET!! Good things happen when you ATTACK THE BASKET. This team needs to get to the free throw line more and when that happens you draw fouls which can spell big time trouble for the opposing team, especially in late game situations.

Kyrie, Jaylen, Jayson, Gordon, Terry, Mook, and hell even Big Al can DESTROY defenses by attacking the basket. And they are all more than capable of finishing through contact.

I feel our mentality needs to be to physically attack the opposing team every night. To have that killer instinct every possession (that’s what Tatum should take from Kobe, not shoot every time). Something we are not seeing in the slightest so far this season.

Can I get your thoughts? – Jeff

Jeff, I can tell you right now don’t hold your breath. This team will never stop shooting threes, because Brad doesn’t want them to. You need to be able to shoot threes in this NBA, and with that outside of GS comes a bit of frustration. The thing is, there’s also room for both. In my opinion it is possible to have the three point shot be a main part of your offense, but also not be the worst team in the league at getting to the line. I feel like that’s not a lot to ask. Look at HOU, they can do it. This team is filled with slashers, well Brad call some godadmn plays that lets them slash. I think it’s everyone’s fault, from Brad and the sets he calls, to the players lack of awareness. Sometimes you can tell they have no clue what the situation is, they just get fixed on jacking threes. That’s where it hurts you.

But all I can say is get used to it and just embrace it, because it’s not going anywhere.

Greenie,
It’s been 12 games now where in my opinion besides the opener against Philly they have looked terrible. This is on top of a “meaningless” pre season where they also stunk out loud. It is not too early to panic, we have too much talent to sleepwalk through the season and playoffs. Hit the panic button! I want major changes from Danny, shorten the rotation please and get rid of a body for a pick (Jaylen or Terry preferably cause they do not seem to fit their current roles).
-Mike B.

Mike I’m going to have to ask you to calm the fuck down. You want this team to make a major change after 12 games of their season? No you don’t. I genuinely do not believe you. You are emotional and you are frustrated and you have no idea what the words are that are coming out of your mouth. Nobody could possibly legitimately feel that way.

Hi Greenie,

Love the blog and keep up the great work. You wrote about this a ton last year. That it was extremely important for a young Celtics team without Kyrie and Hayward to get the #1 seed. That played out and I think they were 1-7 on the road in the playoffs last year. Looking at the Eastern Conference and the team Ainge has assembled. My question is, how much do you value home court through the playoffs this year? – Sam

Wayyyy more than I did last year, and it’s because of the obvious. There is no LeBron James. Last year I felt home court was important for the Celts to advance because of their youth and reliance on the bench, which usually works out better at home. This year if everyone is healthy, I think home court is important because it most likely is their best shot at reaching the Finals. I don’t care how good this team ends up being, they will not be favored in a Game 7 in TOR, nor do I want to even worry about that building for a decisive game. The Celtics can’t win there, period. Just look at history.

That’s why at some point the Celtics need to stop messing around. TOR is already 12-1, and while they have played a shit ton of home games, it hasn’t really mattered. They’ve destroyed everyone they have played, whether it’s a potential contender or a lottery team, it hasn’t mattered. That’s why every H2H matchup with TOR is so important no matter when it takes place. If the Celtics true aspirations are to make a Finals, then home court needs to be the most important item on their list of things to accomplish.



And that’s it! Thanks again to everyone who wrote in, I hope this helped distract you just a little bit before the night games start. Enjoy the football/Celtics, and have a great rest of your Sunday night!