You can stagger minutes. You can give Gerald Green a chance to go on one of his scoring streaks to spark some offense off the bench. You can even give Marcus Smart any sort of haircut you'd like to try to help his shooting. No matter how you slice it, though, the Celtics' offense has been horrible when their All-Star Isaiah Thomas is getting a breather.
It's a serious problem that Boston has been having, and with the playoffs lurking it is more important than ever: the Celts' offense outside of Isaiah has been bad all season, but nonexistent as of late. Last night's loss to the Cavs further exposed this issue, as Cleveland went on a 22-4 run during the six minutes that Isaiah was out. The Celtics' bench had only contributed three points through nearly three whole quarters. Here is how the offensive rating changes when Isiah is in the lineup versus on the bench:
The Celtics’ offensive rating past 5 games with IT on/off are staggering.— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) April 6, 2017
Updated numbers from this story (https://t.co/8Dn03ydSjJ) pic.twitter.com/K5cwQUG3KB
For perspective, the worst offensive rating in the NBA on the season belongs to the Philadelphia 76ers, and their 100.7 rating is still better than Boston's rating on the season without IT. Luckily the supporting cast brings enough to the table on the defensive end to close the gap a bit, but the offensive struggles have far outweighed the better defense without Isaiah:
C's numbers since All-Star:— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) April 6, 2017
w/Isaiah on floor: Off rating: 114.4 Def rating: 106.5
w/Isaiah off floor: Off rating: 89.8 Def rating: 99.1
Coach Stevens will often play Avery Bradley, Boston's second best scorer, with the bench unit to help the offense. Same with facilitating big-man Al Horford. But what else can be done to address this? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32
Photo by @CBSSports Erik Johnson 4/06/2017 07:19:00 PM Tweet Edit