Ham’s Hoops Roundup May 11th – Avery Bradley Is Great and The Celtics Are Back

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Scores and Series Updates:

Washington 101  –  Boston 123   (BOS -4.5)
Boston leads 3-2… Game 6 @WAS… ESPN Friday 8:00


San Antonio  @  Houston   (HOU -7)
San Antonio leads 3-2… Game 6 @HOU… TNT Thursday 9:00

Cleveland eliminated Toronto 4-0

Golden State eliminated Utah 4-0


Takes, Takes, TAKES:

1)   The Celtics finally looked like the Celtics again.

For the first time in what feels like months, we saw a fully healthy Celtics team firing on all cylinders. They wreaked havoc defensively and flipped turnovers into transition buckets. Offensively they spread the floor and moved the ball and cut and, most importantly, hit shots. Hot take fresh out of the oven here but when the Celtics are hitting shots they look like a very good team.

Whether those shots fall in Game 6 in Washington, we’ll have to wait and see. But it does feel like they’ve figured it out offensively. They ran a ton of stuff through Horford (who has been absolutely awesome on both ends all playoffs) early and let him act as a point center and the Wiz just had no answer for it.

He spurred the ball movement, dragged Gortat out to open up the paint, and created more space than this offense has had all series.

They still have to hit shots again on Friday to close the series out. But for the first time in the last month, the Celtics actually look like the team they’ve always wanted to be.


2)   Avery Bradley is not a very good basketball player. He’s a great basketball player.

Avery Bradley could not score a single point and still be a very good basketball player. Avery Bradley is the only thing preventing John Wall and/or Bradley Beal from doing whatever they want on the court. The Celtics play very good team defense. And Al Horford is a great anchor. But Avery Bradley creating I split a fifth of tequila before an open bar hangover headaches for guards on the perimeter is what’s kept Washington from running away with this series.

When Avery Bradley is healthy and scoring points, he’s a great basketball player. With the way teams play today, filling a roll is as important as ever. And one of the most important rolls in basketball is perimeter defender who can shut down the opposing team’s lead guard and hit open shots. Avery Bradley–probably the best perimeter defender in the league and gives you 18-7 a night shooting 40% from deep–fulfills that roll as well as, if not better than anyone in the league. Avery Bradley is a great basketball player.


3)   Al Horford’s performance is exactly what makes Kristaps Porzingis so valuable.

Look I know I inject too much Knicks stuff on here so let’s just change this to “stretch five” and the Knicks to “any team”

That game last night shows you just how valuable a guy like Kristaps is today. Horford opened that entire offense up last night. He dragged Gortat out of the paint with his shooting ability. He took advantage of his size difference over a smaller four. He facilitated from the top and terrorized the defense with his ability to roll or pop off a pick. He opened up the lane. He created lanes for cutters. He took the pressure off the lead guard. And he did all that while still protecting the basket as well as any traditional big on the other end. Most teams still don’t have an answer for that. And even the teams that do have a strong counter would rather not have to send their big man out on the perimeter and leave the paint area susceptible to drives and back cuts.

Or you could just play your 7’3″ unicorn in an arcane offense and discourage him from shooting threes because you’re a stubborn delusional geriatric asshole.

*swallowing razorblades*


Highlights:

Kelly Oubre… not exactly beloved in Boston right now.

(It’s absolutely insane that people are referencing the Adam Jones situation with this. If you equate the two at all you’re a moron and you’re also probably an asshole too.)

File “Jason Smith steal Jaylon Brown’s lunch and swallowing it whole” under things I did not expect to see this series or actually ever for that matter.

Totally legal. Nothing to see here.

Game was basically over at this point but the Wiz might as well have left the court after this. When your opponent is hitting these shots it’s just not your night.

Wild stat entering the night.


Around The Association:

Don’t stunt on ’em Dirk. They ain’t ready Dirk. Oh no. Oh no, no, no. No please. Don’t do it to ’em baby. They are not ready. Dirk, no. Don’t stunt on em in the ’98 turtleneck. Don’t do i– OH MY GOD HE DID IT

Dirkus Circus out here stuntin in the ’98 Duncan joint with the Mike Jordan jeans man what a flex

Speaking of legendary bigs and the suspect clothing styles of the late 90’s how about Shaq rolling in with the Cargo Shorts and slippers below the jacket and tie? Look, I’m all for the John Clayton Memorial No Pants If It’s A Waist-Up Frame look. Pants are the worst. I’d say a good 85% of choosing this profession is getting to work in mesh shorts day in and day out. It’s great. So I’d never begrudge Shaq for the no-pants suit look. Plus they’re in Atlanta. I was just in the south this weekend. Anywhere south of the Mason Dixon Line from April to September you should never, ever be required to wear pants.

But the Cargo Shorts is such a preposterous move that I have to hate on it. Like dude cargo shorts are more uncomfotable than just wearing the pants. They’re hotter and heavier and generally just more uncomfortable to sit in. I don’t even care about the fact that cargo shorts are quite possibly the worst look of any article of clothing. Looking like shit is fine. I walk outside my building in a Clemson sweatshirt and old gym shorts literally every day. I always look awful. But at least I’m comfortable. Shaq probably spent half the night shifting around to not sit on his side pockets. Wild move.


Schedule for Thursday, May 11th:

San Antonio  @  Houston   (HOU -7)
San Antonio leads 3-2… Game 6 @HOU… TNT Thursday 9:00



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