Every Monday we take a moment to reflect on the Celtics past week while looking forward at what the team has in store coming up.
1) A tough first week
The Boston Celtics started their 2013-14 campaign on a low note, losing their first three games. The three losses were all painful in their own way. They were close battles, with every fourth quarter issuing a moment where it seemed like the Celtics could win. Sadly, inexperience and lack of a ball handler became magnified at the end of the game.
In the loss to the Pistons, the Celtics' final five meaningful possessions consisted of three turnovers and two blocked shots. Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford were handling the ball, and it was clear that Rajon Rondo was missed. Last year Paul Pierce carried the load in the fourth quarter, now there is no one that seems to be able to take care of the ball.
2) A rocky road ahead
The Celtics head to Memphis on Monday night to wrap up a back-to-back on the road. Then they head home to host the Utah Jazz, which should offer a very good opportunity to win their first game.
Next, the Celtics head to Florida and play the Orlando Magic on Friday night then the Miami Heat on Saturday night.
A good week might produce two wins, only because they seem to keep games close, then the wheels fall off in the fourth quarter.
3) The arc is not their friend
A lot was made about Brad Stevens' focus on three-point shooting in practices during the preseason. No one was left out of those drills, meaning everyone should be a threat to shoot the deep ball.
As of right now, the Celtics are no threat behind the arc. As a team they are shooting 22%. Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee have made three pointer each. This team needs to spread the floor and in order to do that Bradley, Lee, Jordan Crawford, and Jeff Green need to force defenders to respect their jump shots.
On the bright side, the Celtics' opponents are shooting 28% from behind the arc, so that's good.
4) The Brandon Bass experience
Brandon Bass has quietly done some nice things in the first three games. He's averaging 13 points and shooting 54% from the field. He is also playing some solid defense. He gave Josh Smith a hard time on Sunday, and he'll be asked to do the same with some of the big men on the Memphis Grizzlies tonight.
5) Paging Jeff Green
The absence of Jeff Green was strange at the end of last night's game against the Pistons. Green sat out the entire fourth quarter and it left us baffled. Was he hurt? Did Stevens just not want him out there? It was confounding considering all the talk about Green's leadership and skill coming to the fore this year.
This could just be a ripple in the ocean, or it could turn into something bigger. Will Green spend more fourth quarters on the bench? Will he not be a option at the end of games? Is this the type of thing the Celtics will do in order to "tank"?
This will be something to keep an eye on in the next week or so. Jeff Green has always seemed a little bit delicate, and now he's sitting out in fourth quarters of close games. How will this affect his confidence and his performance?
Enjoy the week of games and be sure to check back here for more thoughts on the Celtics everyday.
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