We certainly hope so. Em, guys, your’re leaving off Al Horford and Jaylen Brown. All-star Al continues to spearhead the NBA’s toughest defense. Brown is a top-5 defender at all positions, among qualifying players, and the second-ranked guard. Also the top clutch shooter on the Boston Celtics.
That’s why 247 prefers the more inclusive “the Big Three-point Amigos.” This taxonomy brings in not only Brown and Horford, but Shane Larkin, perhaps Semi Ojeleye, and (recently) Aron Baynes — Baynes is 40% from 3 in March 😉 — as well.
Very well: Big Three-Point Amigos it is.
“Solid, unspectacular” – Allen, Nader
Nader seems to have Kelly Olynyk footwork withoug the size. He missed 4 consecutive free-throws at crunch time in a close loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. Nader commits more turnovers than assists.
Allen looks smoother, but has as many fouls (in limited action) as points. He definitely has a spring to his step, and real athleticism. But he either doesn’t like to shoot, or isn’t supposed to. Under normal circumstances, neither one would would be on an NBA roster or contract, let alone the Boston Celtics.
But that’s a negative and, fundamentally, wrong-headed way to look at the performance of two players who, if the Celtics were healthy, would be on the Maine Red Claws.
His only box score stats were 1 assist and 1 TO, but Kadeem Allen gave Boston 7:42 of solid time last night. He kept the team steady while in there, allowed Terry Rozier, Al Horford and Jayson Tatum to take a break from doing all the ball handling duty. Unspectacular, but solid.
Keith Smith put Allen’s recent performance in perspective in the tweet nearby.
For a back bench player or G-League callup, a better standard is to ask yourself, did the team hold it together while they were on the floor? These are “in case of emergency, break glass” players. On nights when the Celtics only have 9-10 guys on the floor, if they can give someone 5-10 minutes of rest, and the game doesn’t fall apart, that’s a plus.
From this angle, both Allen and Nader have delivered. In 39 minutes played, Allen is a cumulative -3 in on-the-floor plus-minus. His worst mark was a -9 against Atlanta, his best, a +7 against Toronto (in Feburary.) Virtually every other opportunity he’s had, you see something between +2 and -2.
Mader in a lot more exposure, is a similar story. He put up a -21 against the Bulls one night, and a +22 against the Knicks. Both were essentially garbage time opportunities. Since January 31, when he started playing meaningful minutes, Nader has provided major rest to Brown, Rozier, and Larkin without “burning down the house.” His cumulative plus-minus over that stretch (21 games, 279 minutes) is -21. In other words, on average, you play Nader 12 minutes, he costs you a point.
Is Brad Stevens worth all that money?
No one’s asking that now, exactly, as Brown and others around the NBA join the Brad Stevens NBA Coach of the Year bandwagon.
But someone has to needle Micheal Felger for wondering, at the time Danny Ainge gave Brad a contract extension, “why the Celtics would extend his contract when there was already three years left on it..”
Well, Mike, as Stevens completes his fourth consecutive season with a rising win total, all with a duct-tape G-League-heavery roster, “now you know.” Indeed, as regular contributor Teh_Noob demonstrated recently, if you calculate the added value of Stevens in terms of win shares (our advanced coaching analytic stat), and convert his contract to the NBA player salary cap, he’d be earning about 4-5 times as much.