Opening Up The Files On The Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics: 5 takeaways from opening week

The Boston Celtics have much to work on despite going 3-1 in the first week of the new season. We saw plenty of high points but maybe even more low points that this team needs to address in their next few off days before playing the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.

Here are some notes/ takeaways to keep in mind after the first week of the season is complete, four games in:

1. The most important thing the Celtics can look to fix is their defense as a whole. In the playoffs last year, this team learned the pros and cons of playing drop coverage and we saw it happen again against the Bulls. The thing is, Boston lacks too much size to be playing with too much space between the ball handler and the defender. I really enjoy the smaller lineups and I think it can work well but I don’t think it should impact defense as much as it has with this group.

2. The Celtics are struggling to get rebounds on either end of the court and create second chance opportunities for themselves. I understand that Rob Williams is out but the lackluster effort from the rest of the team isn’t acceptable. And yes, I understand the Celtics lack size which impacts rebounding but the effort isn’t there and it’s having way too much of a negative impact on the team. Noah Vonleh is long but he’s not a center and the expectations of him being one needs to hinder.

3. It usually takes Jayson Tatum a few games to get in rhythm but he started the new season off by playing at an MVP level. If I’m going to nitpick, Tatum is still complaining to the referees about not getting calls his way that often leads to a technical. He is also struggling from 3-point range, despite dropping 40 points three games into the season. Most of his 3-pointers are heavily contested but Tatum’s able to connect on the rest of his shots from inside the arc at a pretty high clip at 67.3 percent.

4. Grant Williams needs to keep his composure in the heat of the moment and relax. The persistence in which he needs to prove his point to the referees whether he’s involved in the play or not needs to be addressed by the leaders of the team and even Joe Mazzulla. Grant’s overreactions and negligence to accept a call for what it is has started to give him a not so great reputation. I truly believe Grant looks at his status as vice president of the NBAPA in a way that automatically demands respect from the officials and unfortunately for him he hasn’t earned it yet on the court.

5. The Celtics lack size compared to many teams and it was evident in the loss against the Bulls, allowing 35 total rebounds between Chicago’s two centers in Nikola Vucevic and Andre Drummond. Chicago out rebounded Boston 60-45, which means more than half of their rebounds came from their big men in the center position. The Celtics don’t have anyone big enough who can contend with the prominent big men of a Vucevic or even a Drummond right now on their roster without Rob Williams and that’s a problem.

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