Celtics offense ranked 9th most efficient, but defense comes in at 18th
Shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who has watched the 4-3 Celtics through the beginning of this season, but in Kirk Goldsberry's latest Efficiency Landscape the Celtics are a mixed bag. Boston own's the league's 8th most efficient offense, but their defense is in the bottom half at 18th.
As the ESPN analyst warns, of course this is a small sample size of only two weeks, but the Celtics league leading defense of last season has not made an appearance this year yet. Yes Robert Williams will help, but he also missed and was limited in a fair amount of games last season and postseason and the Celtics defense was still solid.
When you have the reigning Defensive Player of the Year on your team (Marcus Smart), you shouldn't be this bad defensively. One issue is the team's big men as a whole. Al Horford isn't playing at the level he played last season and postseason and the team doesn't have Daniel Theis to fill in for when Time Lord and/or Horford are out.
The Celtics wasted their MLE on a very poor defender in Danilo Gallinari who is now out for the season. They also allowed their large Evan Fournier TPE to expire unused. Stevens did reportedly attempt to sign Montrezl Harrell on the cheap, but the former 6th man of the year picked his former coach Doc Rivers and the 76ers instead.
So what can the Celtics do in the meantime? They could try and sign another veteran big like Derrick Favors or Dwight Howard, or give Maine Celtics' Mfiondu Kabengele a shot. But also the rest of the team needs to also step up their defense. The guards and forwards as well. Smart can't be satisfied with some hardware last year. He needs to be just as solid this season and demand maximum effort from the rest of the team. Head coach Joe Mazzulla also needs to push the right buttons to get the most out of the team defensively as last season's coach Ime Udoka was able to do.