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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Caitlin Clark would make the right Celtic

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This summer time, the Celtics don’t have a primary spherical choose within the 2023 NBA Draft, making Boston an unlikely vacation spot for Victor Wembanyama. Admittedly, I haven’t seen a lot of the French huge man to be jealous about. Nevertheless, I’ve seen sufficient of Caitlin Clark on this match to know that she’d be the right Celtic.

Boston’s offense is based on all people on the ground, notably their perimeter gamers, with the ability to do all the things on offense: shoot, drive, and move. The various skillsets of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Good, Derrick White, and Malcolm Brogdon collectively make them more and more troublesome to defend. They’ve the second most effective offense within the league (117.3 factors per 100 possessions).

Simply ask the Milwaukee Bucks. The Celtics hung 140 factors on them at Fiserv Discussion board Thursday night time en path to a 42-point blowout. Clark isn’t unfamiliar with that sort of offensive explosion. She’s averaged almost 32 factors a recreation within the Ladies’s NCAA Match, together with a cool 41 in opposition to South Carolina, arguably the very best protection within the faculty recreation.

Watching Iowa on Friday night time, I couldn’t assist however assume simply how properly Clark’s recreation would slot in at Boston. The Hawkeyes common essentially the most factors within the Large Ten behind her 27.7 factors per recreation. She’s a lethal exterior shooter (38.7% on 9.2 makes an attempt) and if she will get a shoulder round you, she’s a blur zipping to the rim.

My favourite factor about Clark is my favourite factor about Brogdon. They’re Black Friday buyers at 12:01 am; if there’s even the slightest crack in entrance of them, they’re making a bee line for a sale on simple buckets. It’s uncanny actually. Brogdon is nearly tied with Tatum and Brown in drives per recreation regardless of taking part in ten much less minutes an evening. With all due respect, neither are actually distinctive athletes, however slightly misdirection right here, slightly bump there and so they’re proper on the rim.

And with all of the switching groups are doing to forestall capturing pockets from forming, bigs are getting switched on to smalls and making unwilling dance companions.

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To like Clark and the Celtics is to embrace fashionable basketball. Meaning wrapping each arms round three-point capturing, even when it doesn’t make plenty of sense like on a quick break. Historically, you’re taught to fill the lanes and try to get a layup. Nevertheless, if you happen to’ve obtained the flexibility to shoot particularly on an evening once you’re feeling it, it’s OK to bombs away on the secondary break.

Clark can be implausible playmaker with how a lot consideration she attracts. She and teammate Monika Czinano roasted South Carolina a number of instances working easy pick-and-rolls. Boston doesn’t run plenty of PnR, however with Robert Williams lurking the baseline and hanging out within the dunker spot, he makes for an excellent goal if his defender decides to assist.

There are nonetheless some old style dynamics that new college groups incorporate like entering into the paint to generate open appears on the perimeter. Nevertheless, the idea has been turned on its head. As an alternative of throwing it into the put up for the large man to seek out open shooters, drivers are kicking out to the entrance court docket teammates for 3.

I cheated. This kick forward outlet from Brogdon to Sam Hauser is from Friday night time’s recreation in opposition to the Jazz. The Celtics aren’t precisely a working group (14 factors a recreation in transition, fifteenth within the NBA), however they’re the very best defensive rebounding group — sure, you’re studying that proper — and so they’ll take simple factors on the run at any time when they’ll.

In opposition to SC, Iowa obtained clobbered on the offensive glass 26-to-5, however ran the larger group off the ground once they may with Clark quarterbacking off of defensive rebounds and discovering run outs with pinpoint passing.


Alas, Clark isn’t destined to be in Celtic inexperienced. However hopefully later at present, she’ll have her one shining second in opposition to LSU within the championship recreation. And if Boston can replicate Clark’s dominance of the match to this point, the Celtics might be lifting a trophy of their very own in July.

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