Should Robert Williams’ knee continue to hold, it will be a dilemma for the Celtics
After the first two games of the championship, the two sides were tied, and the third game will move to Boston.
The Celtics took away the game with a wave of three-pointers in the fourth quarter of the first game, and the Warriors made a critical strike in the third quarter of the second game to put the game into garbage time. There were many and accurate three-pointers on both sides, and a tie was a reasonable situation. . In the first two games of the Celtics, the three-point shooting rate was as high as 46.2%, and the Warriors’ shooting rate was 41.5%, and both sides had excellent touch.
A large number of accurate three-pointers increase the chances of turning the score over, and it is possible to pull away or catch up with the touch. However, with the increase of familiarity, the three-point shooting rate on both sides is bound to decrease, and it is impossible to maintain such a shooting score in the face of excellent defense. The Celtics won’t use back and forth in the face of Stephen Curry’s block and cut, and they will be more active in finding someone when transitioning from offense to defense; the Warriors will block and press on the far perimeter, just like the first goal of the second game Draymond Green let Al Horford eat Like turtles.
After the outside touch cools down, the paint area becomes the focus, especially near the basket, which is a battleground. The Warriors have Green to guard the last line of defense, and the Celtics have top rim protector Robert Williams in addition to veteran Horford. Both sides have their own strengths.
The picture below shows the distribution of shots after the first two games of the Green Shirts. The fiery red hit rate from beyond the three-point line is very high, but the hit rate near the basket is only 47.8%, and the finishing ability is significantly reduced.
The shooting distribution of the Warriors is as follows, because Klay Thompson’s overall shooting hot spot is relatively small; but the shooting rate near the basket is also only 50.8%, even if it is slightly better than the Celtics, but it is not an ideal number.
In addition to the two starting penalty areas, the Celtics also have Mesozoic Daniel Theis. The Warriors have Kevon Looney to send out a lot of hot pot, and the trapeze Andrew Wiggins can also help protect the frame, and the air defense on both sides is not bad.
The biggest problem facing the Celtics now is R.Williams’ knee and ankle injuries. In the third quarter of the second game, Marcus Smart made a layup and was blocked by Looney. When he landed, he hit R. Williams’ side knee, causing him to fall to the ground and couldn’t stand up in pain.
The paradox is that the Celtics did not immediately replace R.Williams. Although the courtside commentator Jeff Van Gundy speculated that it was because he did not want to waste a timeout, the out-of-bounds state was a dead ball and could be replaced. Coach Udoka didn’t make any moves. After waiting for about 20 seconds, Udoka seemed to suddenly remember that after R.Williams fouled, he was replaced by G.Williams, and then he didn’t play again.
R.Williams’ knee injury was something that he knew before the fight. According to the interview before the championship game, R.Williams said that the knee pain can be managed, and I said the following:
The last few games have been normal training, ready to play.
It seems a little too rushed now. Every injured player wants to play early, especially the coveted championship game.
Players all want to fight, and it is up to the uniform and coaching staff to decide whether to play or not. Shortly before the playoffs began, R.Williams underwent surgery on a half-moon cartilage injury in his knee and is expected to be out for 4-6 weeks. According to coach Udoka, the decision of the medical team to perform surgery has nothing to do with R. Williams himself, and the return to the team will also depend on the overall condition.
Now it seems that R.Williams’ return to the team is undoubtedly too hasty. His state can play, but it is obviously not the best state. R.Williams did not play in the first two games against the Nets in the first round. He played in the third game 26 days after the operation. He played for about 15 minutes in the last two games. It seemed that there was no big problem. The situation happened in the second round of the Eastern Conference. A collision with Giannis Antetokounmpo in Game 3 left R.Williams out of the game for the rest of the series. He did not play until the first game of the Eastern Conference Championship.
The collision with Antetokounmpo was unremarkable, but it made R.Williams feel uneasy and suspicious. Referring to the handling of similar situations by other teams, it is even more doubtful whether the Celtics are too rash. The reality is that R.Williams has played in the Eastern Championship except for the third game. The coaching team is controlling his playing time. He only played 22.5 minutes on average in six games, handed in 9 points, 6 rebounds and 2 hot pot results, guarding the penalty area and letting Bam Adebayo played quite uncomfortable. (Adebayo broke out in the third battle, which happened to be the one that R.Williams did not play)
Anyone with a discerning eye can see that R.Williams is not in ideal condition. The vertical take-off height that he relies on for a living is not as good as before, and he needs more time to accumulate energy to take off, which makes his working range for the first air catch smaller and his finishing ability worse. The threat of hot pot has also dropped a lot. More troublesome is the ability to move laterally. The Warriors pulled R.Williams out many times to play pick-and-rolls, while the Celtics switched defenses in advance to avoid R.Williams being pulled out. The two sides were tit for tat in this part.
All hit this juncture, no more than five games, I believe R.Williams himself must want to continue to play. Considering that the team has just signed him a four-year, 48 million very cost-effective extension contract, which is equivalent to tying up an excellent frame protector at a price around the middle class, should he continue to play quite a headache. If you fall down due to hard support, knee injuries may affect athletic ability and are often irreversible. R. Williams, who is only 24 years old and has a long contract, is the future of the green shirt restricted area. Is it worth it? Holding on to the 18th championship in team history is the best ending, but what about losing the future of R.Williams for not winning the championship? The present or the future is always a dilemma.
Back to the championship game, for the Celtics, the positioning of the flanking double J and G.Williams is the focus behind. The data shows that ace Jayson Tatum scored 13 points in 55 possessions against Andrew Wiggins’ defense, shooting 5-for-15 from the field. Wiggins has height, speed and physical fitness. The great improvement in defense this season is not an easy opponent to deal with. The Western Championship defense Luka Doncic has made great contributions. The Celtics have repeatedly tried to switch Wiggins out of the pick and roll to help Tatum create dislocated singles, but it seems to have limited success.
Personal observation is that Tatum is too deliberately making physical contact to get to the free throw line, ignoring that direct shooting is his strength. Maybe it’s his right shoulder that’s keeping him from doing what he wants, and Tatum’s shooting isn’t as decisive as when he was healthy. His strongest trick is to shoot directly in the face of opponents with insufficient height. Now that Wiggins eats turtles, the Warriors switch to a center so that he cannot directly pull up and shoot. After finally switching defenses, he encountered the defenses of Curry and Poole. Tatum often chose to cut into the penalty area and drilled into the penalty area. In the end, he ended up with a strange ineffective end or a mistake in the pocket.
The first game was cold from the beginning to the end, and the second game was hot in the first half and the second half was rapidly frozen. Tatum’s ability to score points is still very important.
The sturdy forward G.Williams has a far less presence in the championship game than in the first two rounds. Facing the Bucks and the Heat, he played well and averaged more than 30 minutes per game, and his strong physical contact was very powerful in hand-to-hand combat. The Warriors play very differently from the Eastern Conference, requiring a lot of chasing off the ball to take away the advantage of G. Williams, and Udoka almost halved his playing time.
In fact, it was a good decision to let G.Williams play wrestling with Green like in the second game. Although the two brands are different in size, the NBA referee is not a day or two, but destroying the rhythm of the Warriors and irritating Green always Can’t go wrong. In addition to Marcus Smart, the Celtics need someone to fight with the Warriors, and G.Williams is the best and easiest option.
Another main player, Jaylen Brown, is also not ideal in shooting. There are only two quarters in the championship game. Brown is what the Celtics want to see. At other times, limited by the ability to dribble the ball and unable to make correct judgments in the face of the Warriors’ rotation and assist defense, the main threat is to open up the space for one-on-one mid-range jumpers.
Not only is the double-J attacking situation unstable, but the main Smart shot is only good half court. The offensive efficiency of the main ball carriers in the Celtics is ugly. ORtg hovers around 100. Only Derrick White, who has a hot shot, reaches 104, showing that they are a little helpless against the Warriors’ defense. Don’t forget that this is still based on the fact that the entire team is over-accurate in three-pointers. Waiting for the perimeter to start crashing numbers will only be more ugly.
The aggressive defense of Curry and Green early in the second game allowed the Warriors to avoid the nightmare of losing two games in a row at home. The problem for the Warriors now is that Thompson’s shot selection and feel are extremely poor. Outside of the mid-range where a lot of shots are ineffective, the 3-point line doesn’t know where to go. Thompson’s scoring drought made the Warriors more dependent on Curry’s appeal. It can be foreseen that the physical contact between the two sides will only become more and more frequent. Whether Jordan Poole can become a breakthrough point for the warriors is one of the factors that change when the two sides are deadlocked.
Compared to R. Williams’ worrisome knee, the Warriors don’t have a major injury problem. It has always been one of the Warriors’ advantages to be able to use more people and the coaches are more daring to use them. It depends on whether R. Williams will further allow the Warriors to expand their advantages.
The next two battles will be played in Boston, and the most likely outcome will be a win and a loss on both sides. From the standpoint of fans, of course I hope that R. Williams will not continue to support it; it’s just that the team will consider it, it’s really unknown.
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