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Not getting too high on the good or too low on the bad works in the NBA and in life. Brad Stevens seems to agree. During the 16-game win streak, Brad has been saying that the Celtics were not as good as their record would indicate. The defense has been exquisite, but the offense needs work.



More specifically, Boston needs to pick up the offensive pace. They are currently ranked 20th in offensive rating. Here is the Boston Herald's Mark Murphy:


At one stage, the Celtics won three straight games while shooting 40 percent or slightly higher, and that low ebb of efficiency (41.7 percent) wasn’t good enough. Kyrie Irving nearly bailed his team out again with eight points in the last two minutes, but the Celtics won’t get far by relying too much on the point guard’s elite closing skills. They needed his 47 points to win in overtime Monday night in Dallas.

It’s time for a tweaking. Irving, asked about what had to be fixed, chose brevity when he said, “Just continue to play with pace and get the ball to the second side.”

Regarding the first point, the Celtics are 21st in the NBA in pace — a valued stat that measures possessions per game. They’re also 20th in offensive rating (points per 100 possessions). Neither speaks well of a team that aspires to be a top-five offensive squad.



So the illusion of the mirage created by the 16-game win streak has disappeared, and I would not doubt that it brings a bit of relief to Stevens. The loss has revealed the reality that Brad had expressed all along. As very good as this team is, there is no room for complacency. The reality of a good shot at a championship is still there. Improve the offense while not backing off on the stellar defense, and it can happen.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Kelly Wilkinson/Indy Star

Tom Lane 11/24/2017 08:16:00 AM Edit
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