Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, has been unimpressed by his team so far in the 2018-19 NBA preseason. Does he have a point?
The Boston Celtics are coming off a successful season last year. They’ll have a few players coming back from their injuries, plus a few minor additions to the team. With all of this, the Celtics look to be in shape for another big year.
The team has big expectations and championship aspirations. The Celtics have already played in three preseason games and are 1-2 at this point — not what many people would have anticipated from one of the better teams in the NBA.
However, it’s only preseason. Teams aren’t playing their starters full minutes or allowing some players to play. The Celtics having one win and two losses isn’t all that alarming just yet.
Don’t tell Stevens that though.
It’s clear to see that he’s not happy with what he’s seen from his team in preseason so far. In the Celtics’ defense, they were without Kyrie Irving (rest) and Al Horford (right hand sprain) in two of those games.
Boston is talented enough to win games without one of those two players, but again, it’s only preseason. Let’s take a deeper look into the first three games of the preseason.
- Celtics @ Charlotte Hornets: 104-97 loss
- Celtics vs. Charlotte Hornets: 115-112 win
- Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: 102-95 loss
In two losses so far, the Celtics were unable to score over 100 points, which can be fine if they’re able to stop the other team from scoring, but they weren’t.
The NBA has transitioned into an offensive game and if Boston is unable to score, it may find this to be a consistent storyline throughout the season. The scoring and defense alike will be a lot better with the starters and bench players getting regular minutes.
In the three games, 22 minutes is the most a starter has logged in one game. Those numbers will rise once the regular season starts. Just looking at Tuesday’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Terry Rozier played in 20 minutes. The next closest starter was Gordon Hayward with 15 minutes.
These losses don’t feel that alarming when truly deep diving into the games. They have posted a defensive rating of 99.2 and an offensive rating of 96.3. It’s a little daunting to see the offensive rating be so low, but it will improve once the regular season rolls around.
Jaylen Brown doesn’t seem to be too worried about the start of the season.
Brown is right on this one. The Celtics more than likely won’t struggle this season. They look like a strong contender to come out of the Eastern Conference and become a threat to dethrone the Golden State Warriors.
Right now, it’s only preseason and the starters are far from logging the right amount of minutes. While it’s not surprising Stevens is upset with his team, he may need to be reminded there isn’t too much too worry about yet.