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Why Jason Tatum and the Celtics Have What It Takes to Beat the Warriors Now

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Derrick White made a trip from the top of the break into the paint and across the baseline into the corner, rocking Nick Claxton as the Nets stacked the paint with bodies against Jason Tatum. Tatum dribbled forward and threw a pass to White, who scored three points, as Boston earned 109 points on 47.7% shooting to defeat Brooklyn’s nascent defense.

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Share nets staff and schema to annoy Celtics Ways the warriors did it NBA Finals. Show two bodies in the paint. Take the tip away. Determine how well Tatum and Jaylen Brown can break down defense and find kickoff passes. Brooklyn changed everything and the presence of Ben Simmons and Claxton in the paint upset Tatum, who shot 7 for 22.

Marcus Smart: “(We) are just doing the right play Tell CelticsBlog/CLNS Media in Brooklyn. “You have to have a threat on the edge, and then you find the players who are open if (double-team). We have the advantage if GT drives and has a defender, and they bring in an extra defender. It means someone is open and we just have to find him.”

Once you do that, ironically, the ball finds JT again, and he’s the one who passed it, and the team is scrambled. They try to stop every threat they see and forget about JT. That’s exactly what we have to play. When we play like this, it’s hard. overcome us.”

Teams that can throw multiple bodies at Tatum in the paint fare better against the Celtics than those, like the Hornets, who try to double it down on offense. Charlotte allowed Tatum easy passes to Derrick White, Grant Williams and others on a short lap, who beat the Hornets’ rear wheels. Without edge protection, Tatum shot 7-for-10 in the paint during his 51-point performance Sunday.

The more energetic Tatum has found various ways to get to the edge in the first half of the season too, be it as a roller coaster (1.8 possessions per game), and his cutter and transition tackles rank in the league’s 79th percentile in points per possession. .

Offense begins with the defense of a team that adjusts its identity around its dual-large lineup, and Al Horford and Robert Williams, who missed the Celtics’ loss at Golden State in December, have a 99 defensive rating combined. When they play Tatum, they boast an offensive rating of 118.6. Joe Mazzola recently hailed Boston’s projected 1.34 points per possession when Horford and Williams paired.

Their absence didn’t quite explain Boston’s slump in the last Warriors game. Blake Griffin played the active minutes starting. Grant Williams played an odd negative from the corner. The Warriors neutralized shooters like him by switching over, as they did in the Finals, and Boston shot 30% from three. While it all didn’t fall on Tatum, he shot 6 for 21, struggled to shake off Klay Thompson and Jonathan Cuminga, and his off-the-ball movement diminished.

“Against great teams, whether they’re converting, whether they’re showing up, whether they’re keeping that, you have to be able to go into different packages, you have to be able to cover solutions,” Mazzola said in practice on Wednesday. .

Mazzola explained that the Celtics changed their play calls and frequency several times during their recent victory over Brooklyn. Boston does not call plays from the sideline, instead enabling its plays to make reads from a core set of plays, whether they are built around lateral, middle, or off-the-ball runs. The Celtics aim to create advantages, and Mazzulla has seen them at their most stagnant playing five-on-five, failing to set the right monitor, or making false readings.

Team Robert Williams got more involved in the high-profile Charlotte mini-series, sending their wingers and guards down the hill on these inconsistencies. Transition always creates opportunities to find crossover matches, though Boston’s half-court implementation eventually saw the team separate as a historic unit early this year. The shadows of that execution have recently returned.

“Keep moving, create space, move off the ball, and set the screens,” Tatum said. CelticsBlog/CLNS. “If I had the ISO, they’d send the extra blitz ball screen. Just the things we realize when we get into games and read them right, draw two, pull it up, find the open man, play four on three, miss a good shot for a great shot.”

Tatum’s rebounding possessions per game (4.1) are lower than his average in each of the past two years (4.7). His action off the ball changed everything for Boston’s stagnant offense from the Finals. Thanks to that, he is no longer among the top 20 double teams players received each night, according to the NBA’s CourtOptix data.

The Warriors don’t want to double it though. They are comfortable dragging him into mismatches, loading at the edge at the last second and redirecting the ball to players like White and Smart.

The key to Boston tonight involves moving Tatum to new places on the ground with drives or secondary actions, rather than shooting triples that Golden State gives players the innings for Boston.

Mazola stresses the need to fight for proper distancing. This allows both Brown and Tatum to shoot 70% inside this season, better than elite finishers like Zion Williamson, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Domantas Sabonis. This will be necessary to defeat the warriors.

These actions stem from the free creativity they exercise, rather than play. That disappeared in December and came back in encouraging ways against a Warriors-like Brooklyn defense.

“JT gets a lot of attention. They try to make it as difficult as possible and bring him together for him,” White said. CelticsBlog/CLNS in Brooklyn. “Other guys have to stay apart, cut in, be in corners, be in the right positions and just be willing to start playing after that. Obviously, there were some possessions where we didn’t have a great distance, and the opposite is when we did the right things and we got Looks great.”

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