The Boston Celtics will enter the 2023-24 season with a different group of core players, which will bring excitement and nerves to fans. The Cs will enter a new era with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kristaps Porzingis.
Ultimately, I would caution fans to limit their expectations in year one with this core. And possibly beyond that.
Here are three reasons why the Celtics will be worse next season.
No. 1 reason the Boston Celtics will be worse: They will take a step back defensively
The Boston Celtics were overrated defensively this past season. Although the team was ranked seventh in the NBA in team defense, they did not pass the eye test. In the postseason, the Celtics’ defense was poor, and it led to their ultimate demise.
The Celtics have not positively addressed their defensive issues, as trading Marcus Smart for Porzingis makes them worse. Also, losing Grant Williams will impact the Cs on the defensive end. The Celtics will most likely take a step back defensively next season, and it could lead to a worse record.
No. 2 reason the Boston Celtics will be worse: Doubling down on Joe Mazzulla ball
Recent reports from ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst have highlighted that the Celtics have been making moves this offseason to support Mazzulla and his philosophies. The danger in this is that the Celtics lost in the Playoffs as a result of his philosophies. The C’s desire to shoot a high volume of three-pointers continues to be an Achilles heel for them.
Mazzulla has also shown a reluctance to preach defense, which is the direct opposite of Ime Udoka. It’s interesting that the Celtics are willing to accept Mazzulla ball when Udoka’s philosophy of defense first got them to the NBA Finals.
Doubling down on Mazzulla’s philosophy will make them worse next season.
No. 3 reason the Boston Celtics will be worse: Lack of chemistry
The C’s lack of chemistry with Porzingis is a major concern going into next season. Most contending teams or teams that are building towards a championship need a year to grow with a new acquisition. I am hesitant to say the Celtics won’t miss a beat next season because I think the Jays may need a year to build chemistry with Porzingis.
I don’t doubt that the Jays can win a title with Porzingis, but I think it may take a year of waiting.