While the offense remains solid, Doc is left to answer questions about his team’s subpar defensive play.
As we approach the end of November the NBA is starting to get into full swing the Celtics are remaining over .500, sitting at 8-6 at the time of this posting, but it is not the defense that has usually been the Celtics M.O. that’s been carrying them, but the offense. The Celtics have been giving up an average of 100.1 points a game, which ranks them 22nd in the league in points allowed. This is simply unheard of in the past few years in the New Big Three era, but it seems age has finally caught up with the team on the defensive side. It has become so evident that Doc Rivers has recently dedicated entire practices to’ pick and roll’ D. At least they realize the issue early in the season and are working on it so hopefully there will be improvement for the home stretch and the potential playoff run.
Though its not all doom and gloom for the Celtics, they do have a respectable offense, averaging 99.3 points a game which ranks them 12th in the league led by Paul Pierce averaging just over 20 ppg and Rondo averaging over 13 apg. The Celtics will be able to get revenge on division leader Brooklyn on Wednesday as they face off in the TD garden for the first time since the Nets handed Boston a 102-97 loss just shy of two weeks ago. They need to come up with victories against the Nets and Trailblazers before they head off into December which will see the Celtics have 9 of their 14 games on the road including their first west coast trip of the season, games we know they have traditionally had a difficult time with in the past.
The Celtics do have plenty of shining spots on their team, most notably Rondo, Pierce, and Garnett as well as other players Jason Terry being what we expected on the offensively, as well as Bass, Green, and Sullinger all providing glimmers of hope in their limited minutes. Hopefully Courtney Lee is able to pick up his game as he has been less than expected up to this point in the season.
As an aside, Fab Melo and Kris Joseph have been called back up to Boston and will be dressed for Wednesday night’s game against the Nets after spending most of the season in the D-League. It will be interesting to see the role they play, if any. Tip off is 7:30 ET Wednesday night. Let’s go Celtics!!
- John Calabro