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It is only a three-game losing streak, the longest of the Celtics season, but some changes may be in order. I will look at a number of advanced categories to compare the three games in the current losing streak with the 16 games played in the month of November when the team was on a roll and went 14-and-2.

Defensive Rating: The team was rated 6th in the League during the losing streak and second in November. Looks like the defense suffered a bit during the streak, but not drastically.

Offensive Rating: Celtics were rated 28th for the streak and 18th in November. The drop was more severe is apparent (105.5 to 93.6). Bad offense became even worse.

Effective Field Goal Percentage: Boston rated 27th during the three games and 18th in the month of November. Poor shooting got worse.

True Shooting Percentage: Celtics were 27th during the streak and 17th in November. Roughly the same as EfFG%.

Rebounding Percentage: Boston rated 21st in the streak and 7th in November. A large drop. The team went back to it's old ways and forgot that outrebounding opponents usually meant a win.

Assist Percentage: The team was 20th in the streak and 9th in November. The guys simply were not passing the ball enough, moving the ball around or passing in the right situations.

Assist-to-Turnover Ratio: Celtics ranked 28th during the three games and 14th in November. So even though assists were down during the three-game losing streak, turnovers per assist increased. Things got sloppy.

The first point here is an obvious one. Everything failed during the losing streak. The defense did not suffer much, but virtually everything else did. Coach Brad Stevens has been saying all along that offense was an issue for his team. It really plummeted during the past three games.

Playmaking and shooting efficiency all fell drastically. The rebounding woes came back. I see no reason to panic, but some type of external fix is needed. The defense and rebounding can be repaired internally. Increased effort and focus can do that. The offense, including the ball-distribution, needs external assistance. That means bringing in a player that can shoot and distribute the ball, while not being a liability on defense.


Danny Ainge is waiting for the big fish. Well, sometimes the medium-sized fish swim away while you wait for the big catch. The problems should generally get resolved upon Gordon Hayward's return. I recently wrote about his plight and progress, but I frankly did not expect him to be using his legs in his practice shooting so soon. But he is doing just that, using the hip, knee and ankle joints. Very encouraging. But the Celtics need help now.

Follow Tom at @TomLane HC

Photo via Willie J. Allen/AP Photo

Tom Lane 1/22/2018 01:21:00 PM Edit
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