The Boston Celtics currently sit at 6-5, and despite last night's loss are curving in the right direction. The team's defense has been exceptional, and they've already in this year's young season gone toe to toe with some of the league's best teams. They're not perfect by any means - a lot of the roster is made up of individually inconsistent players, but they've got the depth to make up for it, and they're coached exceptionally.
There does seem to be one issue hovering at the surface of the water, though: Three point shooting. They're not very good at, and it surfaced again last night; Shooting just eight of twenty six (30.8) from distance. Which you could just write off to a bad shooting night if that number wasn't actually an improvement on their season average (30.3).
What's somehow both jarring and encouraging at the same time is that they appear to be taking the right shots; According to NBA.com the Celtics take a 3 on roughly 30% of their possessions, and roughly 75% of them are coming on shots that are deemed 'open' (defender within 4-6 feet) and 'wide open' (6+ feet). Stevens' offense, and the player's ability to distribute and execute is clearly working - the shots just aren't falling.
It's a bit of a conundrum for Brad Stevens: How much are you willing to chalk up to the team being in a bit of a shooting slump (a majority of the team's perimeter players are below their career average) as an even minimal improvement in percentage would lead to a huge jump in productivity, and how much of it is that most of the roster is made up of below average 3 point shooters? If the answer is the latter, do you - as Max Sandgrdund suggested in yesterday's COJ - stop encouraging certain players to shoot 3's so frequently, or is the team's otherwise exceptional field goal percentage made up by the threat of the 3 point shot (even if they're not falling at a good rate)?
Start Your Morning Off With... Get Well Soon, Rudy Gobert
TBT: What the Hell Happened To.... Paul Silas
written by TB727
Intangibles have a funny way of being really important in sports. In recent years Brian Scalabrine and Kendrick Perkins were lauded as intangible guys. Guys that bring stuff to a team that doesn't show up in the boxscore. The saved loose ball to keep a possession. The really good pick to free up a shooter for an open shot.
When Perkins was traded to the Thunder back in 2011, his supporters compared it to taking away the Celtics' soul. But if you really wanted to know what it's like to have the soul of the Boston Celtics' taken away it was when this week's player, Paul Silas, was traded away.
Read More MattDotRich 11/19/2015 08:38:00 AM Tweet Edit