Brad Stevens still wants the Celtics to shoot 3's

The Celtics will not significantly alter their offensive approach based on one, albeit extremely terrible, game. While that was a safe assumption even without confirmation, Head Coach Brad Stevens did provide commentary on the subject of shooting

via Jay King
“You have to be aggressive. You have to be assertive,” Stevens said after Sunday's practice at the American Airlines Center. “(Turning down shots is) not a malicious selfishness by any means, but … we’re expecting everybody to soar with their strengths and we’re expecting everybody to take what’s there. People are affected with what happens prior to in a game, your aggressiveness wanes a little bit. We’ve got to be bigger than that. We’ve just got to make sure we play aggressive all the way throughout.”

The Celtics shooting was extremely poor Saturday night, particularly from distance where they went an abysmal 1 for 25. But this shouldn't be written off as a poor shooting night, this was a poor basketball night. There's a clear distinction.

A poor shooting night would imply that the Celtics simply couldn't buy a basket. That in the face of open jump shots and easy baskets, the C's saw shot after shot rim out. But that wasn't really the case Saturday night. The Celtics reformed to the mistakes they made last year offensively; purposelessly swinging the ball from side to side, without any level success (nor much effort) getting inside the three point arc The result was 25 shots from 3 point land, and I'm guessing all but a hand full of them were closely contested with just a few seconds left on the shot clock.

Which is why the 'Well, if they would've hit even 25% of the shots they took from out there' narrative doesn't really work. It doesn't account for shot quality. Here's an extreme way of looking at it; if I developed an offensive scheme that had me spending an entire game hucking up half court shots, at the end of the game your main takeaway is probably not going to be 'Man, if just a few more of those half court shots would've fallen.'

The Celtics don't need to stop shooting 3's, they need to find ways to get them better looks.