The Boston Celtics have some very big problems right now. I stress right now because it’s way too early in the season to get TOO worked up. but I stress “very” because the Celtics problems are really, really, really quite bad. Don’t let the 11 point final spread fool you, the Celtics got blown out all game long. A couple of Jason Terry threes in garbage time helped cut a big gap down to the 99-88 final.
The Celtics two biggest problems tonight: defense and turnovers.
Defensively, the Celtics are terrible. They’ll probably be very good at some point later in the season, but right now, they are as bad as it gets. Part of the problem tonight was the effort. Some guys, especially Rajon Rondo, seemed to have very little interest in playing defense. Rondo got torched out of sheer laziness multiple times. And while I know Doc said Rondo needs to spend a lot of his energy on offense, he needs to expend some on D.
The rest was just terrible execution. The Celtics pick and roll defense is cringe-worthy. You can pick any two people at any level of adult basketball right now and I’m pretty they could at least get a decent look on the C’s pick-and-roll defense. Milwaukee literally scored half their points in the paint.
It didn’t get much better on offense. There were so many sloppy turnovers (18 total). Guys were just falling down sometimes and coughing the ball up. Guys weren’t catching the ball cleanly, which often meant they couldn’t move the ball. It was just ugly.
- Paul Pierce had a very rough night. He somehow scored 11 points when his first basket of the game didn’t come until nearly the end of the third quarter.
- Kevin Garnett had a stretch where he carried the load, but he didn’t have it going through the whole game.
- Rajon Rondo was OK on offense. He didn’t attack enough. He finished with 14 and 11 assists, but his game wasn’t that great.
- Bass was decent.. 10 points, 6 rebounds and… 3 assists? it was good for second on the team.
- Courtney Lee had a couple of moments, but he’s still finding himself.
- Jeff Green was better. He had 11 points and a couple of spectacular plays. It’s a step in the right direction, but not where he needs to be.
- Jared Sullinger was really the best player on the floor for a while. He played 18 minutes and had 6 points and 7 rebounds… 3 of them offensive.
- Jason Terry wasn’t great. His stats came at the end of the game. But at least he got stats. That’s a step.
- Darko was terrible in 5 minutes. Horrible. He airballed a jump hook in the lane and had 2 turnovers in 5 minutes.
- Leandro Barbosa only played 7 minutes.
In the end, I expended more energy sitting on my ass typing this recap. Brandon Jenning (23 points, 13 assists, 6 steals) and Monta Ellis (14 points) had their way with the Celtics. Then Tobias Harris got into the fun and scored 18. That’s just embarrassing.
This team isn’t close to where it will be at the end of the season. These guys need to figure out a lot of things.