Klay Thompson returns, Boston Celtics looking for offense

After a 941-day absence, Klay Thompson is back in the NBA in a way only he can. Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics are struggling to find the attacking rhythm.

Klay Thompson got his NBA back in a way only Klay Thompson could: with a quick trigger and absolutely no conscience. With his fiery competitiveness and stone-cold confidence, why should we expect anything else?

Seconds after his first NBA game since June 2019, Thompson was driving in lane and switching a difficult floater, despite the game being designed for Steph Curry to shoot. He went on to throw down a thunderous driving shot, expend a series of ballless jumps, create a 3-timeout transition, and play with the same unwarranted confidence, before two concussions. leg injury, making him one of the deadliest shooters in NBA history.

But it’s a more subtle series of collaborations that best encapsulate what Thompson’s return means for the Warriors – and for the rest of the NBA. After piling the ball into Otto Porter’s net in the second half, Thompson crossed the midfield as if to receive a dribble.

But the threat of a career 3-point 42% shooter rounding the screen has room to shoot – even after a 941-day absence from the NBA – enough to pull both his man (Cedi Osman) and Porter (Lauri Markkanen) on his side. That allowed Porter to fake serve, create a 4v3 advantage and find Jordan Poole for a 3rd corner from a weak side. hammer screen. A wide jump, partly created by a shooter that doesn’t need to touch the ball to deal damage:

We’re used to these levels from Curry, who pulls defenders towards him like a magnet in a paperclip (he had set up an opening scheme earlier in the half of a similar act). But Thompson possesses similar gravity, especially without the ball, and his reunion with Curry once again gives Golden State many players who create an open eye for teammates to the threat. threatened from their shot.

Guns of that caliber put constant pressure on the defence, tugging at the seams until the fabric came loose and someone finished with a perfect shot. Having two such players makes it almost impossible for the opponent to cover all of their bases. As if it weren’t hard enough to chase Curry as he constantly whirled around the field, opponents must now keep an eye on another, almost equally dangerous, shooter moving at the same speed and speed. And, since neither Thompson nor Curry need the ball to put pressure on defence, each can have a huge offensive impact without diminishing the other.

Thompson must keep making progress before he’s the kind of nuclear threat again. While his first two games are positive signs, they also show areas where Thompson has yet to get up to speed. He’s (understandably) hunts pretty aggressively, which disrupts the Golden State’s usual offensive line, and he clearly still needs to get his feet back and shooting rhythm (Draymond Green is healthy) will also help Thompson return to the trench). The Warriors will address these over time as Thompson teams up with his teammates and Steve Kerr to figure out how to balance an even deeper spin.

Overall, Thompson played as well as could reasonably be expected after so much rest, showing almost every stat of fitness and confidence by creating space from the dribble, Step in to catch and shoot for 3 seconds to balance, holding him. Defensive, explosive on one foot and most importantly, looks confident in every move.

It’s scary to trust your body to do tasks it hasn’t done in over two and a half years; The possibility of failure or re-injury can be on a person’s mind for a while, and putting that procrastination to rest is often the last step in an athlete’s recovery. Thompson seems to have put any doubts – as well as the pain of not being on trial – behind him, and can now focus only on what lies ahead.

Boston Celtics offense stuck in neutral

Few teams have received more sympathy from fans and the media this season than the Boston Celtics, who are sitting on the fringes of the mid-season Eastern Conference game picture that they certainly aspire to. higher. Despite a top 5 defense and the presence of two All Stars teams on the border, the Celtics are leading 21-21 by an average of 21-21 thanks to a stellar attack and fog of bad vibes hanging over the season. their prize. Boston only scored 109 points out of 100 possessions this season and worst of all failed to score any kind of chemistry or mounting scheme around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

It’s not surprising that a team without a class creator or a great shooter ranks 23rd in the NBA in terms of offensive efficiency, but it’s the way the Celtics move chaotically in their offensive behavior that makes watching them feels very arduous. The best attacks in the NBA create an advantage and build on them until the opponent can no longer keep up. Rarely does that happen in Boston’s offense, in which players take turns trying to score instead of working collectively to create a good shot.

The Celtics seem to pass more often as a result of unsuccessful scoring attempts than from pre-emptive moves to compromise the defence. Actions don’t alternate too much as each player will either run before taking a shot or reluctantly move on to the next player while teammates stand around watching.

To some extent, an offense built around scene creators like Brown and Tatum, will depend on crafting tough shots. Both players like to create space from the dribbling advantage and use size or agility relative to their defenders, and each can create separation on the perimeter almost at will. .

But as good as Brown and Tatum are as individual creators, they are not so adept at promoting effective offensive behavior by shooting or attracting the defense’s attention in ways that open the door for potential attackers. others. Both players go to the belt only at medium speed – which prevents them from regularly tearing down defences – and also not being a particularly adept passer – which prevents them from finding teammates that open up as they attract help . Tatum particularly tended to accommodate jumpers unnecessarily hard when better options were available, while Brown’s attempt to stretch when fouled is often seen as overkill.

In theory, Boston could overcome the star’s attacking limitations with sharp ball and player movements and quick decision-making, but lacked the commitment needed to move the ball and an ant. main creator can start those cooperative chains. Tatum and Brown can make basic passes like drop, tee off and read the roll, but both players are ultimately capable of scoring and not putting enough pressure on the defense with their passes. .

Al Horford and Marcus Smart are smart passers, but that brand of play is less valuable when the defense is never pulled out of position. Center Robert Williams will occasionally facilitate from high positions but is not a reliable center of attack, while Dennis Schroder is one of the more legendary, focus point defenders in the NBA. .

Part of Boston’s struggles is simply due to bad luck in the leaps. Horford, Smart and most other rotation players are shooting 30% or worse from 3, while Tatum has struggled to find his contact from virtual anywhere on the floor. As a team, the Celtics are hitting a staggering 31.5% on no-corner 3s and just 34% overall. from far away. Those points should improve, though even shooting 3 points above average still leaves Boston with systematic offensive errors.

The Celtics lost only 29% of their shots at the belt – fourth lowest in NBA – and unlike other belt-disliking teams like Phoenix and Dallas, there aren’t any marksmen who are good enough to recoup those points from other parts of the deck. Their offense of having too much creativity for one and too little player movement, and perhaps most concerningly, was less effective when Tatum and Brown floor sharing than when one in two drama individual.

However, the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčtrading Brown or Tatum probably won’t get to the heart of the matter. Two wings that can attack and protect multiple positions in defence are the type of players that NBA teams often take years to acquire; Boston has two of them, each under 26 and under contract at least until the 2024 season. Having a capable point guard to play alongside that duo, now makes more sense than that. split it up. The organization has not always been consistent in how it tries to build around those young stars, and perhaps the trade-off of their supreme flexibility is the lack of a clear vision of how to build around them. around them.

Obviously, the current iteration of the Celtics is not the right build. Boston could keep either Brown or Tatum, but it looks like the team will look different after the February trade deadline. The Celtics will no doubt have better days, who will remain one of the NBA’s most resilient defenses as they try to find the other end of the floor. But with more than half a season gone, the Celtics have a lot of problems to deal with and less and less time to deal with.

https://fansided.com/2022/01/13/klay-thompson-returns-boston-celtics-search-offense/ Klay Thompson returns, Boston Celtics looking for offense

Subhankar Mondal

Subhankar Mondal is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Subhankar Mondal joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: subhankarmondal@24ssports.com.

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