Saturday, October 31, 2015

Celtics Lack Intensity

Watching the Celtics lose to the Raptors last night was tough. The Celtics intensity was incredibly low and the offense made no sense. The Raptors are a more talented team than the Celtics, but the Celtics simply didn't care throughout most of the second half.

By Bradjward [CC BY 2.0 (], via Flickr

The Celtics offense was so bad that when Kelly Olynyk stole the ball from Patrick Patterson and the Celtics tried to convert a fastbreak, Isaiah Thomas shot a three (that inevitably was a brick). The Celtics couldn't get to the basket for an easy two? No, the Celtics made last nights game harder than it had to be.

Kelly Olynyk launched way too many three's (five to be exact) and if I'm Brad Stevens, that's simply intolerable. Is Olynyk a decent shooter? Yeah he's alright, but the Celtics did not work the inside game enough. Rarely did they penetrate, really suck the Raptor defense in, then kick the ball out to wide open shooters.

The shooters had small amounts of air space and still the Celtics launched 26 three's last night. The Celtics are an average three point shooting club at best and they need to focus on movement towards the basket first. This idea of trying to be the Warriors won't work for the Celtics.

The Celtics ought to focus on early offense, Evan Turner had the right idea at times when the ball was pushed ahead enough. Neglecting the mid range game will not only continue to hurt the NBA, but especially the Celtics who have guys who could propel at those spots (Turner, Bradley and even Thomas).

Defensive intensity was another problem. In the third quarter, when the Raptors made a big push, the Celtics transition defense was deplorable. All they needed to do was get back and show some signs of life.

Instead, the Celtics folded and made Toronto look much better than they are. Talent is great, but effort trumps talent. The Celtics lacked effort last night and that's why they lost.

Celtics players and fans know this team can play closer to Toronto. While the Celtics only lost by 10, the deficit was much larger throughout most of the second half. What do the Celtics need to do to play better? Utilize ball penetration to provide better floor spacing, shoot the right three's (not shooting as many as Golden State does) and play with greater intensity.

Play harder, Celtics!