Sputtering offense taking its toll as Celtics struggle

The Celtics 2-2 start isn't particularly alarming just yet, especially over the course of an 82-game season. High expectations and rust can partially be to blame for the slow start, but the C's are sitting at the very bottom of the offensive totem pole heading into game 5, which is the last place anybody would expect to see the highly vaunted Celtics:

It's hard to say these numbers are indicative of success as the Sacramento Kings are sitting in 2nd, in spite of a 1-3 record and the fact that they'll probably finish in the basement of the NBA standings come April. But regardless of that, the Celtics shouldn't be anywhere near the bottom of any statistical categories when they're expected to be one of the best teams in the Eastern conference.

Still, a sluggish start has been holding this team back, and bad shooting is largely at fault--bad shooting that's been coming from unlikely sources:

Jayson Tatum has been an extremely bright spot for the C's through the early stages of the season, almost single-handedly pushing Boston over the New York Knicks on Saturday, but his perimeter shooting has been a weak point. Kyrie Irving has struggled even more from deep, with an 18.2% mark, which for reference is scarily close to Dwight Howard's 3-point shooting percentage from all of last year of 14.3. Obviously, Kyrie is a much better shooter than Howard from distance, but he should be able to find the bottom of the net from long range more than 18% of the time. We'll play that off to the small sample size for now.

Still, the Celtics offensive woes have cost them one game, against the Orlando Magic, and they'll need answers heading into Oklahoma City for a tilt with the Thunder on Thursday.

Without Aron Baynes the C's will rely on their defense to get the offense rolling. We'll see if it can push them past Paul George and the Thunder.

Follow Topher Lane on Twitter, @Topher_L. Photo credit: Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images