Celtics picks could mean less iso-ball this season
I am not alone in my dislike of isolation basketball. All of the quotes below are from former NBA player and coach, Sam Mitchell:
"I thought this was supposed to be the new NBA where its not so much iso-basketball."
Many NBA fans are tired of watching a single player control the ball, ready to take their defender one-on-one while teammates streak to the corners waving for a chance to launch a 3-pointer.
"Its supposed to be space, pace and flow - and everybody touches the ball."
The Celtics grabbed 6'6" wing Aaron Nesmith with the 14th pick. Not known for his passing skills or proclivity, Nesmith is tagged as a guy with non-stop, off-ball movement that can hit the long ball. We used to see a lot of that from the late John Havlicek and Detroit's Rip Hamilton. I want it back.
"Last couple years, it's been your turn - my turn, and see who can get to the basket."
Danny Ainge took 6'1" guard Payton Prichard with the 26th pick. Prichard is a scorer but also a willing, and effective facilitator (20.5 PPG, 5.5 APG last season at Oregon).
"That type of basketball (iso-ball) will wear a player down."
The above quote by Mitchell was uttered in reference to the recent injury to Klay Thompson. Sam's argument is that going 1-on-5 or 1-on-3 "wears you down", promoting the onset of fatigue and injuries. Playing the young guys early in the season may lower injury risks for the vets.
"Let's get down to playing team basketball."
I agree! The Celtics are stacked with talent, a brilliant coach and a crafty GM. But brilliance often leads to overthinking solutions. That perhaps defines Brad Stevens. What happened to off-ball movement, team play and floor time for the young guys?
"There may be guys from 10-to-17 that prove themselves early."
Mitchell's final quote above refers to the depth of this draft and the possibility of mid-first-rounders proving themselves better than their draft position. So Brad, play the kids. Demand less iso-ball. Let Nesmith do what he does best - never stop moving and getting the ball from his teammates to justify his claim as an "absolute sniper", And see what Pritchard, the 4-year product from Oregon, can accomplish early in the season.