My Official Second Half Goals For Every Celtic On The Roster

Maddie Meyer. Getty Images.

With the Celts slated to finally get back to action tomorrow night, what better time than to talk about what my goals are for everyone on the roster for the second half of the season. Some are more lofty than others, some players have more than others, but I was able to narrow things down to just one goal for each guy. I think we all want to see this team continue to ride their momentum into the second half, and these should help. Also, for the sake of this blog let's just assume everyone will be on the roster the whole way through because that's just easier and I make the rules in this blog so just accept it. 

Jayson Tatum

When I evaluate Tatum's first half, there are a couple areas of improvement. He obviously performed at an All Star level, but we can be honest, his last month mostly stunk from an offensive efficiency standpoint. So my goal for Tatum is something that is going to be pretty important moving forward.

Get back to the 75th percentile in isolation offense.

Right now? Tatum sits at a brutal 27th percentile, scoring just 0.79 points per iso possession and 34% from the floor. I would like to see him get back to his production last year, which was 75th percentile / 1.00 ppp / 40.8%. If he can match the current 75th percentile numbers (1.05 ppp) over the second half, that is going to make a huge difference for this offense. 

Jaylen Brown

For Jaylen, his goal is a little harder to quantify because there aren't really numbers to support it. It's more an eye test thing. The leap he's made on the offensive end has been great. But what still needs improvement comes in an area that was a bit of an issue last year in the bubble playoffs.

Get better with off ball defense.

Too many times we see Jaylen over help, or be late, or turn his head and watch his player cut and score. You know it when you see it. I want to see Jaylen be more consistent as an off ball defender. On ball, I have few problems. It's the off ball defense that I still feel like Jaylen falls asleep too consistently with.

Kemba Walker

Kemba's looked great now for half of his games played. It's been a relief. But there is still more to grow. Kemba is too important to this offense and the overall ceiling of his team, so I'm looking at his most important area

Get back to the 90th percentile in P&R offense

Like Tatum and iso offense, P&R offense has been just as brutal for Kemba. Currently in the 40th percentile scoring 0.85 ppp and 35% from the floor. My goal for him is to get back to the Kemba we saw last year. The 90 percentile, 1.09 ppp and 47% shooting. If Kemba is able to match that over the second half of the season, it opens everything up for not only his offense, but the Jays as well. Especially in the playoffs when things slow down and teams go P&R heavy. We need to see Kemba improve on that end.

Marcus Smart

It feels like a century since we've last seen Marcus play. Because of that, I feel like there are some out there who don't really remember the version of Marcus we had this season. A lot of focus when it comes to Marcus has to do with his shooting. Well I don't give a fuck about that. I have bigger fish to fry, so my goal is pretty simple

Get back to being an All NBA defender

The truth about Smart's defense before his injury is simple. It stunk. I would go so far as to say it was a massive drop off from the defense we saw him play last year. For example, he ranks 65th in defensive win shares this year. Last year? 16th. His 112 Drtg this year is the highest of his career. Opponents are shooting 45.4% while being defended by Smart, which is up from 42.8% last year. Once he's back, I need him to show he can produce as the All NBA First Team defender that we think of him as. 

Daniel Theis

Theis is someone who I feel will always be underappreciated. We started to see how important he is when playing with the starters in terms of helping create space, protecting the rim, all that shit. So what is my goal for Theis over the final 36 games? How about this

Shoot 35% from the top of the arc

We all know in theory Theis should thrive as a pick and pop player right? Well, he's shooting just 17.6% on threes from the top of the arc. He goes slightly to the left and it jumps to 50%. Slightly to the right and it's 44%. But if he's going to share the floor with Kemba, he needs to be able to consistently knock down that top of the arc three. League average from that spot is 35%. That's all I want to see over the final 36 games. Just be average.


Tristan Thompson

The one thing that Thompson has proven to be as advertised in this season is his offensive rebounding. Love it. Guy is a monster on the offensive glass. That's the good part. The bad part is where my goal kicks in

Make at least 2 kick outs a game after offensive rebounds

I get that sometimes he can put it right back up and score. But I also know that there are probably 2-3 plays a game where EVERYONE AND THEIR GODDAMN MOTHER is screaming at the TV for him to pass it back out after an offensive rebound and not try and score over 3 defenders. He ends up getting his shit blocked, it's a whole thing. So, I don't want him to change his aggressive style, I just want him to remember that he doesn't always have to force a shot after an offensive rebound. The shot clock resets Tristan, let's use it.

Robert Williams

Rob has been so good this year. Can we just start with that? What a leap he's taken. It's the consistency for me really. We saw this type of impact in flashes last year, but now it's every single time he steps on the floor. Normally that would be my goal for Rob, just show us you can be consistent. He's done that, so it's time to take it up a level

Get better at defending the post

We all want Rob to play in the playoffs right? Well in order for him to get heavy minutes, he has to improve as a post defender. He ranks in the 24th percentile allowing 1.11 ppp and 58% shooting. Players score on him in the post 55% of the time. That's bad. I would like to see him get as close as he can to what a 35 year old Marc Gasol is currently doing. They face the same amount of post ups a game, but Gasol is in the 75th percentile giving up just 0.68 ppp and 40% shooting. Rob has the athletic ability to be able to defend the post, I just want to see him actually do it at an acceptable level. Especially with what their playoff path could look like.

Payton Pritchard

Pritchard is another guy it's hard to complain about. He's been incredible filling in the rotation as a rookie. That's why I feel comfortable asking for more from him with his goal

Be more of a threat to score

Here's the thing with Pritchard's role. He's great as a spot up shooter. I have all the confidence in the world when he plays off ball and takes whatever three his heart desires. But what I want to see from him is a more aggressive approach. Did you know he ranks in the 95th percentile in isolation offense and is putting up 1.29 ppp shooting 54%??????? Sure he barely does it, but that's my point. I've seen Pritchard get into the paint whenever he wants, but he has just 10 FGA right under the FT line. I want him to take that shot. Stop spinning around and looking to pass. Take the jumper. We all want it and we know you can make it. I want at least 2-3 FGA like that a game from Pritchard in his minutes. 

Romeo Langford

Some talk about Romeo like he's going to be the savior off the bench this team needs. I'm not going that far. My goal for him is low because my expectations are low. We just have no idea what he is or what he can do or if he can even stay healthy for long enough to find out. So my goal is simple

Show us that he can play reliable NBA caliber defense

That's it. That's all I want to see. Last year he held opponents to 40% shooting. That's incredible. The Celts perimeter defense needs massive improvements, and I'm hoping Romeo can fill that role. I don't care about his offense, I don't care about his playmaking. Show me that those defensive flashes last year were real and I'll be happy.

Semi Ojeleye

Semi has sneaky improved basically across the board this year. Scoring, shooting, rebounding, assists, they are all up from last year. He basically only does one thing, which is spot up shoot. That's where my goal for him lives


Get to 40% as a spot up shooter

An insane 62% of Semi's production comes from spot up shooting. As we know, this is mostly threes. He's already an impressive 38.8%, but he's shooting just 30% from the right corner. If he can get that to around league average (39%), I think he can crack the 40% mark. He shoots 50% from the left corner on the same attempts (28 vs 26), so my goal is pretty simple. Find a way to be better from the right corner.

Jeff Teague

My goal for Teague is that he enjoys whatever he ends up doing outside of basketball or in another city at the end of the month. I wish him the best. If we're being serious, my expectations for Teague are already so low that his goal isn't all that impressive, but it's something that I do think will help

Shoot better than 29% in the paint

That's a real number. He shoots just 29.8% in the non restricted area. That is so bad. Just last year he shot 36%. Can we have that? I'm not even saying that's good, but it's better than what we're getting this year. Where has his floater gone? Why can't he make the one shot he's built a reputation on  making? Just get back to 36% over the final 36 games. That's the bar.

Grant Williams

It's been a weird sophomore season for Grant. Outside of his improved three point shooting, it's mostly been a disaster. That's why we're starting low for our second half goals, but it's something that is actually important

Stop fouling in the bonus

That's it. That's all I want. When the Celts are in the bonus, which happens a lot, I do not want to see Grant commit any terrible off ball fouls. Those need to stop immediately. Let's start there and see where it gets us.

Aaron Nesmith

Is Nesmith still on the team? Many people are asking because nobody has seen him. In the event he does play, I have just one request/goal

Actually run some off screen sets doesn't even have any tracking data for Nesmith off screens, because it basically never happens. That seems like an issue. He's supposed to be this sniper, well let's actually see the team run some offensive sets that are run for all the good shooters in the league. Just run some Ray Allen type plays and let's see what he can do. 

Javonte Green

Javonte is an exciting player, especially in transition. Love seeing him on the break. The only problem is there are also times when he has to produce in the half court. That's less awesome. I do have an idea on how to fix that, which leads me to his goal

Cut off ball more

We see Javonte cut around 13% of his possessions. For someone who can't really shoot, I need that number to be way higher. I would love for him to be more like the Avery Bradley years, where you could always count on him moving and cutting without the ball.

Carsen Edwards

I'll admit, it's getting a little hard to come up with goals for players that basically never play. If we're in the trust tree I didn't really think this one through when I started this blog. I guess his goal can be similar to Semi's

Shoot better than 35% on spot ups

Carsen isn't really a facilitator. His role is to come in and knock down catch and shoot opportunities. Well he's shooting just 35% on spot up shots. I feel like that has to be better. It's hard because Brad refuses to be consistent with his opportunities but what do you want from me he barely plays and I needed to write something.


Tremont Waters

Everything I just said about Carsen is true for Tremont, so let's keep this quick

Show you can actually play at the NBA level

We haven't seen it. Sure he's a great natural passer, but he's shown us nothing that he'll be able to score at this level. In fact it's been a disaster. 

Tacko Fall

Tacko is about as close to perfect as you can get. Love everything about him and his potential. So what should his goal be?

Play more than 8 games

This is more of a team goal, because if they continue to be inconsistent against bad teams and rob us of Tacko minutes than there's nothing we can do. But he played just 8 of the first 36, I'd love to see that number doubled. That sounds outrageous I understand that, but a man can dream.

So there ya go. I don't think these goals are all that crazy, but they would for sure make the second half of the season much more enjoyable. Now we just have to pray they actually can be met.