Despite all of their issues, the Boston Celtics got their act together late in the 2020-21 season to win an NBA Play-in game and even take a game from the mighty Brooklyn Nets Big 3 in the postseason.
Well, if we’re being truthful, it was actually Jayson Tatum that almost single-handedly got their act together.
Tatum’s and (before he injured his wrist late in the year) Jaylen Brown’s isolation abilities created points out of nothing and saved countless possessions throughout the stretch run of the 2020-21 campaign.
It didn’t lead them anywhere close to contention, however. Given all of the posturing done by Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens this past offseason, not blowing past last year’s win total and postseason finish would be a disappointment.
So, it makes sense then that Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report sees what was a fairly predictable and stagnant offense as the biggest question mark haunting the Cs ahead of the upcoming season:
The Celtics finished 13th on D end after ranking between second and sixth in each of the previous three seasons, and we should trust Smart and Co. to sort things out.
The offensive trouble signs were more glaring. The Celtics were overly reliant on isolation sets, and their extremely low number of potential assists per game further illustrated a lack of flow. You could see the stagnation take hold—sometimes for a few plays in a row, sometimes for entire halves or games.
Luckily, new additions like Dennis Schroder and Al Horford should help the flow of the offense, as should a new scheme implemented by Ime Udoka.
Perhaps he can take some cues from the offense he just helped coach in Brooklyn, which saw everyone from Kevin Durant to Mike James make major jumps offensively.
Either way, Udoka should be doing everything possible to make his squad’s offense look unrecognizable from last year.