What's wrong with Celtics offense - numbers tell the story
How can such a talented team be so effective on defense (first in Defensive Rating) and so horrible on offense (27th in Offensive Rating)? The Celtics are in 5th place in the East, and more was expected of them. Few fans expected Boston to trail both Indiana (3rd) and Philadelphia (4th).
Would Boston being ranked 24th (105.4) in points/game, 29th (43.2%) in field goal percentage and 19th (34.9%) in 3-point percentage give you a hint? There's more! The Celtics are ranked 3rd in the League in percentage of points from beyond the arc (40.8%) and 29th in percentage of points in the paint (34.9%).
Uncontested field goals made against Jazz:— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) November 18, 2018
Kyrie: 5 for 6
rest of team: 8 for 37
In summary, the numbers verify what we knew already - the team shoots a lot of threes, but not well. And they don't rely on points in the paint nearly enough. In general, they have trouble putting points on the board, and when the 3-pointers aren't falling, the offense sputters.
The Celtics are now 24th in offense after tonight's putrid showing. Yes, Gordon Hayward is still working his way back. But, at some point, the numbers are what they are.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) November 18, 2018
The Warriors are the measuring stick for the rest of the League until they falter. They sit dead-last (30th), behind Boston, in percentage of points in the paint. Conversely, Golden State doesn't rely nearly as much on the 3-pointers. They are ranked 18th (29.3% of points on 3's) to Boston's number-3 ranking in the same category.
Here's the clincher! The Warriors hit field goals at an-almost 50% (49.6) clip, good for top ranking in that category. How about 3-pointers? They are first there also at 39.1%. Boston is ranked 29th and 19th respectively in those two categories. Former Celtic Jae Crowder may have part of the answer. He said Marcus Smart needs help from his teammates on doing the necessary dirty work to produce wins. Drive into the paint - fight for rebounds - play in-your-shirt defense - dive for loose balls. That works. When are we going to see it?
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Photo via Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images