It’s Only 4 Games, But…
(Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)
It has only been four games but the Boston Celtics 3-1 record does not hide their sloppy shooting percentages. The Boston Celtics only loss came on opening night to their divisional rival Philadelphia 76ers.
What really hinders the Celtics’ great start to the season is the shooting numbers from certain players. Players such as Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker are having a very slow start with their shooting numbers. Tatum is averaging 37 percent from the field and taking over 20 shots a game. Although Tatum is averaging 21 points this early in the season, shooting below 40 percent from the field will not help the Celtics win games as the season progresses. Luckily, this shooting struggle from the young forward is coming from beyond the arc. Tatum is shooting a fantastic 48 percent from deep.
Walker is also struggling from the field, shooting 39 percent from the field and only 37 percent from deep, which is not the worst but could be beneficial if the percentages were higher. Walker just like Tatum is putting up high scoring nights and is averaging 24.5 points a contest. But shooting poorly will eventually catch up to the all-star point guard.
Although it has only been four games I think it is safe to say that Gordon Hayward is BACK! Hayward has been starting for the Celtics and is scoring 17.5 points on amazing shooting numbers. Hayward is shooting 48 percent from the field and is shooting an incredible 58 percent from beyond the arc. After suffering a horrific ankle injury in 2017, Hayward had struggled to find consistency in his offensive game in his return last year. But, in these four games, he seems to be playing at the level that everyone hoped he would when the Celtics first signed him.
A surprise this year for many fans was when Jaylen Brown received a huge extension from General Manager Danny Ainge. The Contract was worth four years, 115 million, and many did not like the idea of paying over 100 million to the young guard. However, it’s only been four games but the contract seems worth it for Brown, as he is averaging 17 points a game shooting the ball at 50 percent from the field. The contract given to Brown seems to be worth it, especially if he continues his play all year.
It’s only been four games but the Celtics have inconsistent minutes to their rookies and new additions. Rookies such as Carsen Edwards, Tacko Fall, and Grant Williams have been subjected to very inconsistent minutes. Some games see Edwards and Willams seeing 20 minutes off the bench, but then the following game the players will receive seven minutes. Looking at each game, there should be no reason these players are receiving inconsistent minutes because they were not being blown out or blowing out another team. Once these rookies receive consistent minutes (hopefully 15 minutes a game) then they will start to feel what the NBA is made out of and will improve.
Now with Romeo Langford coming back from an injury from the summer, minutes will be limited for every rookie. But consistency will help the teams young guns to improve and gain a better understanding of how the NBA unfolds.
With Tacko Fall, I am surprised that head coach Brad Stevens had only played him in one game. The four minutes that he had played went very well. He is not a liability on either side of the ball from the small amount that we had seen from him this season. Even if he only plays a few minutes a game towards the end or during garbage time of a game, he can show his worth for the Celtics.
Another surprise I have during these four games thus far is that newly acquired center Vincent Poirer has not even seen the court for the team. Daniel Theis has been mediocre as the team’s starting center, and Robert Williams is doing alright coming off the bench. But Poirer could help the team with rebounding and defense. Especially when Enes Kanter is being sidelined for a knee contusion, someone like Poirer would be perfect to fill in, so you would think at least.
In the four games that the Celtics had played, they have shown that they are still a playoff-contending team. They seem happier and more united compared to the past two years. Although it is still earlier in the year, it seems that the culture of the locker room is more stable which in turn can allow for a more unified team.