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Coach Nick on FIBA, Celtics defense and life after Al Horford

On differences between FIBA and NBA, what we can project from the Celtics’ performance overseas and the Jays.

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2019 FIBA World Cup - Serbia v USA Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Congratulations again to Spain after defeating Argentina in an all-Spanish World Cup Final. Celtics España had to love that one.

The most interesting thing I learned from the Cup, through 8:30 wake-ups, was how much the NBA borrowed from the international game. We talked about that and more with this week’s guest.

BBallBreakdown’s Coach Nick covered the FIBA World Cup, and saw astonishing developments from the Celtics cast. He noted Kemba Walker uses motion and momentum through screens, with less dribbling than Kyrie Irving, akin to a Celtics former point guard you might know.

FIBA World Cup - Brazil v USA Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

While Walker may fit favorably in the Celtics’ system like Isaiah Thomas once did, Coach Nick spelled concern for Boston in this week’s CelticsBlog Podcast. He saw stagnancy from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, while Team USA’s loss to France featured miscommunication between Walker and Donovan Mitchell.

The Celtics Blog Podcast — Havlicek Stole the Pod — is back featuring myself, Alex Kungu and occasional roundtable appearances by the CelticsBlog staff. I heard your suggestions, and while Kemba Walker may not be hopping on the mic in short order, improvements are on the way. Subscription links across every platform are here.

Nick also ripped into Marcus Smart’s frustrating tendencies. The basketball video breakdown expert gave a look into what the Celtics could look like in 2019-20 from an offensive and defensive standpoint.

Despite the negative pronouncements, stay for the pushback at the end. Smart’s further development last season and another year of recovery for Gordon Hayward could help Boston overcome what they lost this summer.

Kungu and I discussed Jerry Colangelo’s recent comments and more earlier in the week.

Show notes:

Can we compare FIBA and NBA (9:55)?

Isaiah came off handoffs and full-speed off catches, without a ton of dribbling like Kyrie. Kemba comfortable in the pistol action.

Does Kemba have to help Brown/Tatum reach next level?

Concerned about the youth...(16:45)

Defense after Horford, recovery, switching and more...the underrated loss of Aron Baynes (Celtics could get hammered by teams that go with two bigs)

Could the Celtics play a wing at center like USA did?

Marcus Smart criticism (23:30)

Weighing the Brad Stevens offense (26:15)

”He’s going to have to win a Finals. He’s going to have to make it to the NBA Finals.”

How the Celtics could play defense. (28:30)


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