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The Weekend Greenie Bag - All Star Break Edition


Normally I run this blog on the weekend, but given that we’re still days away from NBA basketball being back from break I figured what better time to check in how other stoolies are handling this torturous time. As I expected, they were just as antsy as I am for some real basketball to come back. Know you too can participate in this mailbag by tweeting me whatever with #GreenieBag or email It’s easy, always open and the wackier the better.

With that said, you’r questions…

I won’t lie Alex I’m a bit confused by your question. Do you mean of Celtics players? Any team in the NBA? Any player combinations? Who the hell knows. As a result, I will answer the first three questions and only use the current Celtics lineup

Modern NBA lineup: Kyrie/Jaylen/Tatum/Morris/Horford

I feel like this is a no brainer. If you want to know what I would do once Hayward is back, I’d go with my 2K lineup of Kyrie/Jaylen/Hayward/Tatum/Horford

Purely Offense lineup: Kyrie/Jaylen/Tatum/Morris/Horford

Funny that to me the modern NBA lineup is their offensive lineup which may not be smart considering this team sucks dick on offense.

Purely Defense lineup: Kyrie/Smart/Jaylen/Horford/Baynes

Your offense would be big time brutal, but that’s not the point of this lineup. If we’re talking defense, this is my group. It’s versatile, it allows Horford to go back to the four, and hate him if you want but Baynes is a defensive stud.

It seems like our whole team defense has taken a hit since Marcus Smart got hurt, and nobody is really playing with the defensive effort that got them to such a hot start. Do you see our team improving defensively as a whole when we get Smart back? – Steven

You bet your ass I do Steven. I do not think Marcus Smart being back cures all their issues. Guys like Kyrie and Al and Jaylen have to get that focus back on the defensive end. Right now they’re going through the motions and teams are dropping 120+ on the regular. Sources say this is bad. So because it’s hard to get any worse, common sense says Marcus Smart will make a difference but I don’t like to just rely on common sense, I like to support my thought with evidence. Well, let’s see.

Here are how opponents perform when Marcus Smart is on/off the court

Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 2.38.08 PM

So you can see opponents shoot a worse percentage from the field and from deep, turn it over more, and are an overall -3.5 when Smart plays. Then you look at how the Celtics defense as a whole looks like when he’s on/off

Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 2.40.18 PM

You can see the offense is basically the same, it still stinks, but the defensive rating is 4 points better with Smart on the court than off. Everything we’ve seen from Smart this year, a guy who is top 7 in defensive win shares, tells us that while he won’t solve all their issues he 1000% helps. The way Smart plays in contagious and you can get on him for a lot of things, but energy and effort are not one of them.

How was jaylen brown not the mvp of the rising stars game? Continues to prove on those platforms why he will soon be a perennial all star. That play where he was putting on some Kyrie dribble moves then steps back and rips a 3? You gotta love the Celtics future. Keep doing great Greenie – Bryan

I don’t really care about who won the MVP of that game if we’re being honest. You give it to someone who won the game, that’s whatever. We all know Jaylen had 35 and looked great

But Bryan is right, when Jaylen has been on these type of stages he always seems to rise to the occasion and show out. It happened in the Africa Game and it happened again this past weekend. Only 21 too folks so yea I think it’s safe to say you should love what the future looks like.

What chance do we really have against the Cavs who improved offensively and defensively, and when Lebron will be putting up 40 a night? – Jared

Well it’s February still, so honestly who has any fucking idea what the Celtics or the Cavs would look like if they ever meet in a playoff series. If you want to make your judgement based off the last week before the break, the Celtics would get swept. Hell they may still get swept, but at the same time they could look like then same team that worked the Cavs in early January. We’ve already seen this happen with other teams in the East that overhauled their roster like DET. They looked GREAT initially after that trade first happened and then look what happened.

Look it’s fair to be honest about the areas that these new Cavs players will help their team. They are younger, more athletic, all those hot buzzwords you’ve heard since the trade first went down. But let’s calm down. Let’s remember who the actual players are, and their larger body of work. I would imagine the same Cavs fans that are now puffing their chests out would be the same fans that would laugh at you if you read those same names at the beginning of the season.

My issue with the Celtics vs Cavs has nothing to do with the new group. It’s how on earth they are going to defend Lebron when the Cavs run a high screen and he gets switched off onto your big in space. You can’t go all small players to maybe give yourself a chance against Lebron because that exposes you against Thompson. My barometer for this team has always been they just need to show me a competitive series against CLE whenever they played, and it’ll be interesting to see if they can do it.

Kyrie gives an interview “daydreaming about Gordon Hayward” on trade deadline day where the Celtics stand pat. Really?? Is there any other plausible interpretation other than the Celtics PR machine at work getting us primed for Hayward’s return THIS year? – Walshie

See Walshie I’m going the other way. I think the Celtics PR machine is doing the exact opposite. They want us convinced he’s not coming back. Everything you hear from Brad and Ainge has stressed that. But I’m more confident than ever because the players, mostly Kyrie who we all know has super next level thinking powers, keeps talking about it. He knows. He knows the truth and the fact that he’s zigging when the team is zagging makes my irrational hope go to the next level.

I’m sticking to that 3/23 timeline, which is about a month away. That would give Hayward 10 games to get acclimated before the playoffs. Listen I know it’s far fetched and could very well not happen, but we need to believe in something ya know?

Well it’s probably a combination of things. I think he’s regressing back to the mean a little bit, I think there’s part mental fatigue or “rookie wall” if you want to call it that. And I think that his busted finger has something to do with it as does his newborn baby. I saw this today and found it pretty interesting

It’s unrealistic to think Tatum was going to shoot 46% from three all year, but it’s also silly to think he’s truly as poor as he’s been shooting. It’s a long season and it wouldn’t shock me if we see a drastic change in how Brad uses him offensively to help him get out of this slump. We all know how important Tatum is as a secondary scoring option for this offense, so they need him to be back to his old self.

And that’s it! Hopefully this helped you kill some time until Friday when things are back to normal. Thanks as always to those who wrote in, keep that shit coming.

Only two more days, we can do this.