The Celtics Are Doing Great. Here’s What They Could Improve On.

In order to improve beyond how good the Boston Celtics are playing, there needs to be a focus on a consistent offense.

The Celtics, while defensively the best team in the league, severely lacks on the offensive side of the game. As a team, the Celtics currently rank 22nd in field goal percentage in the league, and rank 20th in field goals made. They rank 24th in 3pt percentage in the league. They also rank 20th in assists. These rankings make it seem as if the Celtics have a below average offensive roster. One would think that this would not be the case, with offensively sound stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown being focal points on your team. Yet, with a recent shooting slump in the duo, during an already career-worst shooting year, that ends up becoming very possible.

With the first (Jayson Tatum, 1951) and the third (Jaylen Brown, 1512) most minutes on the team with the first (Jayson Tatum, 484) and second (Jaylen Brown, 376) most field goals attempted, the duo, dubbed ‘the Jays’ by the fans, carry the offensive burden on the Celtics. 

If they have a bad shooting night, then that means the team will have a bad shooting night. They’ve had many of them. 

'the Jays' - An Offensively Bad Season

This season, for Brown, is paired with his rookie year in terms of worst shooting percentage, with an equal 34% 3PT and a slightly higher 52 eFG% (Rookie Year - 51% eFG%).

For Tatum, it is his worst shooting season by far. This season, he is shooting 33% 3PT and a 49.8 eFG%.

It is therefore logical to correlate the offensive gaps the Celtics have been experiencing with the off shooting numbers coming from the main duo. For the team’s offensive woe’s to dissipate, it’s crucial to mediate the efficiency of shooting. In simple terms; they need to make the ball go in the hoop more than it does not.

Consequences of the New Gameplan?

Could the worse shooting be a consequence of the new type of game plan Ime has implemented? With a new coach, comes an adjustment period for players, and the larger team as a whole. Ime Udoka preaches ball movement and rapid shooting. 

Taking many more shots a game while also constantly moving can possibly be the reason for the shooting slump seen in the Jays. Shooting while fatigued, without having a chance to rest can certainly spell doom on efficiency. This is further evidenced by the relatively high free throw percentages. When allowed to take their time, they can still hit shots, so it is not like this slump purely based on the two missing the basket.  At the same time, this game plan has led to a league best 8 win streak. Shooting might take a toll because of Ime’s coaching, but it could be a calculable loss. It did take some adapting from the team, as evidenced by the beginning of this season.

Fortunately, "Maximum" Derrick is Here

Even with the offensive missteps that have found themselves on the celtics. The front office has made a great move in acquiring Derrick White. He made an instant impact in his first game as a Celtic, being a big reason for the win against the Denver Nuggets, led by MVP Nikola Jokic. White had 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, on 43% 3PT. His second game also ended in a win against the hawks, contributing similar numbers.  He was traded by the Spurs to Boston in a package that included Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford and a first round draft pick.

Derrick White is a floor-spacing combo guard who fits in perfectly to the Celtic’s fast paced defense-focused play. While many doubted the seemingly big give-up of decent players and a pick for a question mark during a time the team seemed to be gelling perfectly, the decision to trade for White turned out to be a great one. 

If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix It

A fast-paced offense leaves room for error, as you’ll get more chances to score, yet be more fatigued and less likely to score. While many can find issues with this style, for the Celtics, it has led to an 8 game win streak. It’s crystal clear that they know what they are doing, accounting for the lowered shooting percentages with excellent defense. Still, the shooting percentages from our star duo, and by extension the rest of the team, is lower than it should be. Maybe more time is needed to fully adapt to Ime’s new way of playing professional basketball.

In conclusion, if the Celtics improved on offensive areas, they would become locks as contenders for this years' championship. This team is looking special, so I have faith they’ll improve. Defense wins championships, but offense brings you there. It shouldn’t be forgotten. 

Want more Celtics? Check Out the Top 10 Celtics Plays Since the New Year!


Popular posts from this blog

What is Highrise City?: A New Cities-Skylines Competitor [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

The Best Jaylen Brown Poster Dunks of All-Time

Who is Payton Pritchard?

Was the Derrick White Trade Worth It For the Boston Celtics? Who is Derrick White?