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Boston’s offense is problem, fixes may have to come from within

Jan 25, 2013, 12:39 PM EDT

Doc Rivers, Rajon Rondo AP

Boston is two games below .500 and it’s become evident this isn’t a problem isn’t gong away easily.

Boston’s offense is 21st in the NBA scoring just one point per possession (100 per 100 possessions, via Hoopdata, well below the league average of 102.7). Thing is, that’s slightly better than the 98.7 the Celtics averaged last season. What’s different is the defense went from allowing a dominating 95.5 points per 100 possessions up to 100.4 — which is still eighth best in the NBA but not dominating enough to cover up the stagnant offense.

The question is, how do you fix it?

With the return of Avery Bradley the defense has gotten better, but it has not and likely will not return to the dominant force it was before.

If the Celtics are going to get better, they need to do it on the offensive side of the ball. Which means starting to get more points in the paint — the Celtics get 40.1 percent of their points in the paint, 23rd in the NBA. Boston has become a jump shooting team that doesn’t get a lot of easy baskets at the rim or get to the free throw line often.

Boston is looking around on the trade market for some help — they have interest in J.J. Redick, for example — but the problem is nobody really wants what Boston is offering. From Paul Flannery, who has been doing great work at SBN:

In the short term, the Celtics are stuck. They are right up against the hard cap and it’s not as if there’s anybody waiting by the phone who could actually help. Their trade options aren’t strong either.

Their secondary players — Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry — are on reasonably affordable contracts but they have all had disappointing seasons. Their young players — Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger — might tempt someone, but giving up on the future for a short-term gain with a team that may have run its course does not seem wise. Jeff Green has no trade value.

I don’t expect Ainge to trade Paul Pierce or Rajon Rondo and blow the thing up.

So the points have to come from inside the locker room. Terry in particular had been a disappointment and needs to find a comfort zone where he can come in, create shots, knock down shots and produce some offense. On paper he looked like an upgrade over Ray Allen, but right now opponents say the Celtics miss Ray Allen.

Boston is in the dreaded eight seed spot right now. If Andrew Bynum comes back to Philly and jump starts their season, Boston might have to improve just to make the playoffs. But even if they don’t, the eight seed gets the Miami Heat in the first round, and that wouldn’t go well for them playing like they are right now.

It’s not good. And there are no easy answers. But Kevin Garnett is not going to panic.

  1. hehateme2 - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Their secondary players — Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry — have all had disappointing seasons.

    Wern’t these supposed to be the saviours after Ray Allen jumped ship?

    Allen looks smart for leaving whern he did.

  2. lemfaxx - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Coz rajon trying to be a garnett & kevin trying to be a rondo… 😦

  3. infectorman - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    Its time. You know what to do.
    A little C4 and some fuses will do the trick.

  4. andyhr17 - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Just gotta ride out the season, see what happens, and start the tinkering in the offseason. Not much can be done mid-season.

  5. lemfaxx - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Coz rajon tryng to be garnett & kevin trying to be rondo…. 😦

  6. scalfor3 - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    A lot of guys simply aren’t playing up to expectations. The Jet has been a shell of his former self, Bass and Lee have reverted. KG’s offense has been really inconsistent. Pierce’s scoring is up, but his shot has been flat recently; he looks tired. Jeff Green is Jeff Green. The only constant is Rondo, but he can’t do everything every night.

    • Kansachusetts - Jan 25, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      I am a huge Rondo fan, but he’s their only trade option unless they were to find a patsy to take Pierce. So what could the get for Rondo, Green, Bass, and Terry? Could they get a fairly good point guard and a very good big?

  7. dko83 - Jan 25, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Who knew Jet wouldn’t be Jet this year. I didn’t see it coming.

    • eventhorizon04 - Jan 26, 2013 at 12:17 AM

      I’m guessing the Mavericks, since they didn’t try too hard to keep him.

      • dko83 - Jan 26, 2013 at 5:33 AM

        Good call man. But they didn’t try to hard to keep ANYBODY. Do you remember the finals? He made me love him only to crush me now… harsh, Jet.

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