A good run for the Celtics this year. Restored to their proper place after last year's meltdown. Big series win against the Raptors in 7 games where they were firing on all cylinders. They met their match in the Eastern Conference Finals though. A Heat team brimming with confidence after running through their bracket in the division carried on their successful ways.
Also check out our Denver Nuggets Report Card. Western Conference Finals 2020.
With their season finito let's grade this final series and the last sample we will get of Boston this year.
Jayson Tatum. A-
Who but he? Star on the rise no doubt. Damn kids is young nowadays. I didn't agree with the TNT crew that he needed to press more early in games. While his shot wasn't falling early he was still doing plenty of other things. Assists, rebounds, defense...Was homie the leading rebounder for the C's this series? Or for the playoffs. Excuse me if I err, I am clearly not basing my assessments on the retention of stats. To the point, homie scores 28 in the second half after nothing in the first. He was THERE. PRESENT. Matching up with Jimmy in the pivotal possessions of Game 1 (and throughout the series) was a joy to watch. An amazing play by Bam was the only thing that stopped Tatum from packing one for the W in Game 1.
A much more complete player than most of the other young stars I see. Already capable on the defensive end. They caught an L though right?
Marcus Smart. B-
Dude competes and brings that energy night in and night out for shizz. 'Wild Thing' of a player you live and die with. Like I said, similar to Manu in that regard but a lesser extent. This series it really didn't come through. The adventurous shot selection, could deferral have been a better option? For the volume of 3's taken, is it needed? A drive, or mid-range game could also be a more high percentage option. The D was not as effective consistently, the Heat shooters burned them here and they rooks.
Kemba Walker. B+
Kemba was ballin'. Homie was a big focus of the Heat (and the Raptors. Rightly so). He was often the trigger to the offense and saw a lot of doubles and traps. I thought homie had to do a lot just to get the ball into the Celtics plays. Without his handles this series might not have been so competitive. Shooting woes, I don't know about. He was a definite contributor to winning, don't forget he made some tough shots throughout the series.
Heat punished him on D with a steady switch to bigger opponents. Also Dragic got his this series.
Jaylen Brown. B
Yo homie is my favorite player on this squad. My question, do you have another gear? Felt some games dude stayed in the cut and could have asserted himself more. A few times opportunities to pack it at the rim emphatically were half-jump finger rolls. Did the motion offense of the Heat, and switch everything defense of the Celtics nullify your ability to put the clams down consistently on one of their stars? Notable scoring contributions in fourth quarters could have been more present throughout? Inexplicably did not see much of you on Jimmy through the series. If you frustrated him like you did Siakam, that would have been a major morale crush to the Heat. More, more, more. of you. The stakes is high.
Points taken away for the L and also the magnitude of the role Jaylen was expected to fill. You also a star and the No. 1A piece in my mind on this squad.
Bold statement basketball culture tee. #LiveFierce fashion.
Daniel Theis. B-
Fought hard but still a work in progress. Bam went H.A.M. The Heat pick and roll was a dunk fest. One to grow on.
Enes Kanter. B
This series a microcosm of your entire career. Skilled offensive player and disrupter. For all your ability to grab offensive boards how come you are equally inept on the defensive glass? Baffling. Foot speed is disappointing and likely the reason you don't see prolonged minutes.
Gordon Hayward. B-
Yo the first game back the man was a sparkplug to the Celtics win! To me that was the high point of his contribution to this series. Definitely not at 100% and could not stop much on the defensive end, also compounded by the presence of Jimmy Buckets he would face often. Passively attacking plays as the series wore on also didn't help. Like Mark Jackson said, 'if you on the court, no excuses.'
Brad Stevens. B
Really like Brad. He's instilled a culture with the C's I really like. The kids work hard and play right. I thought this would be a great battle between basketball minds as well, game within a game, him and 'Spo. Look I ain't starin' at the X's and O's but the pick and roll for Miami was a dunkathon! Also Miami's zone caused the C's a lot of problems in the series. Really felt the great basketball mind of Brad Stevens could have gotten more creative.
This was a disappointment. Coach carries a lot of the weight too.
Brad Wanamaker. B
Wanamaker with solid minutes in a backup point role. Feisty on the defensive end. Capable contributor on the offensive end driving and shooting within game flow.
Just not enough minutes to really see, but if you could really clamp down someone I am sure we would have seen more of you. Good playmaking abilities was a surprise.
Robert Williams III. B-
When I first saw dude play in the Toronto series I was like OK, this is why Tacko ain't dressed. Williams is an impressive size himself! You betta be blockin' shots at the rim. Dude provided more of the same in less minutes this series (than versus the Raps).
Footspeed is an issue. Clearly a matchup with smaller, quicker players and an opponent like Bam will cause him problems. Young though, and brimming with possibilities.
Grant Williams. B
More than solid. Competed hard with good results. Defense not a problem but height is. Rook right? Good upside and was given major minutes in crunch time. Proved Coach's trust this series much better than the last.