Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“As I was on the ground I just remembered Jayson running past me,” Smart said. “So when [Morris] tapped it to me, my first instinct was just to get it to Jayson as quick as I can. I didn’t even see Kyrie on the other side, so it just kind of worked out perfectly. I knew exactly where Jayson was. I knew we had two players down the court. I just didn’t know who.”
Falling backward, Smart heaved a no-look, two-handed fastball to Tatum, who caught it without a bounce about 30 feet away. It was a perfect toss.
“He just flung it over his head,” Morris said, smiling and shaking his head. “The pass was just crazy.”
Go ahead watch that play again. Hell, watch it all day long for the next month. There’s no getting sick of this one.
I talked about this play in the latest Locked On Celtics podcast, and one of the points I made is that this is the type of toughness Brad Stevens is talking about with the Celtics.
Toughness isn’t just burying a shoulder in some guy’s chest and trying to box him out, it’s also staying with plays when things don’t happen the way you want them to. It’s this kind of play, where you make the steal, lose it, and somehow find a way to get it back and make a play instead of giving up when it doesn’t work the way you want it to at first.
Here’s the podcast so you can listen to more.
Why does Marcus Smart make plays like this all the time? Because he never stops working on a play.
He’s also pretty damn intelligent too. He made that play initially, before falling, and recognized he had two teammates down the floor. He’s aware of the situation and it helped him make a play quickly.
Page 2: Winning on team terms vs. individual terms
No one’s saying the code to this oft-confounding team has been cracked.
But Kyrie Irving will admit that there’s been a change in the personal dynamics in the Celtics locker room. Or at least it seems that way right now, in the wake of Saturday night’s 118-109 win in Minnesota.
“Night and day honestly, but it comes down to the circumstances we were afforded,” the Celtics guard said.
“Someone told me the other day that we all wanted to win individually, but we all wanted to win on our terms. Our own terms. When you have your own individual intent, that can get in the way of the group and what’s best for the group. … It’s just being part of a profession and figuring it out, and having guys willing to listen and be patient.”
This is an important distinction by Kyrie.
Whatever was happening earlier this season wasn’t done out of some kind of “F-you, I’m doing this my way no matter what” mentality. Whenever guys were going off on their own, they were trying to make plays to help win. They just weren’t doing it the right way.
This is why I keep coming back to Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum as two of the main focuses in those struggles. They’re both young, they both had big summers working out with Hall of Famers and heroes, and I think they started this season with a little bit of those messages from the legends in their heads.
That’s obviously (a) a guess, but I think it’s a fair guess considering the evidence and (b) an oversimplification because that’s not the only reason things weren’t going well. I don’t want the takeaway to become “the Celtics struggled early because Jayson and Jaylen worked out with Kobe and T-Mac.” And I certainly don’t want to make it sound like I’m discouraging workouts like that. Those are important for young players to get great coaching and advice.
But I do think that both of those guys came into the season thinking a bit differently than we expected and the team needed them to. We’ve seen both settle into some grooves lately, especially Tatum (as I said yesterday). Brown’s injury is a setback but he’s been getting it lately too, and I’m sure he sees the team getting wins without him so he has no real choice other than to slide right in and give the team what it needs.
I have full confidence in these two guys. People have come down on Jaylen lately but he’s going to be an important piece to a Celtics championship. He’ll figure it out.
“After a thorough evaluation, I elected to make this move with the overall development of our team in mind. As a team, I believe it is imperative that we make unfaltering strides in the right direction and build the right habits to help put our players in the best position to evolve not only now, but into the future. I want to thank Fred for his dedication and efforts, as well as for his enduring commitment to our team.”
Hoiberg was named the head coach in Chicago on June 2, 2015, after spending five seasons as head coach at Iowa State where the former player was nicknamed “The Mayor.” During his time with the Bulls, he coached the team to a record of 115-155. His 155 losses are the fifth most by a coach in Bulls franchise history.
Now? They do it now? After all the obvious times and the obvious reasons to fire him, they do it now?
YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE BAD! YOU WANT TO BE BAD! YOU OWN YOUR OWN DRAFT PICK YOU IDIOTS LEAVE THE BAD COACH IN AND GO FOR ZION WILLIAMSON YOU MORONS!
Hoiberg should have gone a long time ago, but it’s obvious Gar Forman and John Paxson are the bigger problem in Chicago. They’re still around though, so there’s still hope for that top pick, Bulls fans.