Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /customers/5/5/b/ on line 212 Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /customers/5/5/b/ on line 212

CELTICS: What a difference five games can make – Enterprise News

Celts go from woeful to wonderful with an offense that’s soaring.

There were plenty of problem areas that needed to be dealt with as the Celtics stumbled around the first quarter of the season.

“This is a lot of things,’’ said coach Brad Stevens last month. “We have a myriad of issues we have to fix.’’

A lack of chemistry at the offensive end was right there among the leading reasons why the Celtics, the preseason pick to win the Eastern Conference, was just 10-10 two weeks ago.

There was a lot of confusion on offense with players getting in each other’s way, and there was no consistency to the Celtics’ attack.

That, and the fact that the Celtics were missing wide-open shots on a regular basis, added up to a .500 record from a team that was supposed to be rolling right out of the game.

Here we are two weeks later and the Celtics are playing their best basketball of the season with a five-game winning streak, and the offense is roaring.

The Celtics have averaged 126.2 points on 51.4 percent shooting in wins over the New Orleans Pelicans, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls.

This marks the first time since March 1988 that the Celtics have scored at least 115 points in five straight games.

In the winning streak, the Celtics have made at least 13 of their 3-pointers, the best five-game stretch in franchise history.

The margin of victory in those five games is 28.6, helped greatly by the franchise-record 56-point blowout of the Bulls on Saturday night when the Celtics dominated from start to finish in a 133-77 victory.

READ  MHS and SHS students attend state literary rally - Bastrop Daily Enterprise

It broke the team record of 51 points, set in 1962 when the Celtics routed the Philadelphia Warriors, 153-102. It also tied for the biggest road win in NBA history, equaling the 136-80 trouncing by the Seattle SuperSonics of the Houston Rockets on Dec. 6, 1986.

The Celtics will try to keep the good times rolling Monday night when they face the Pelicans at the TD Garden (7:35, TV: NBC Sports Boston; radio: WBZ-FM/98.5) to kick off a stretch of four games in six nights.

They may have to go against Anthony Davis without both Al Horford (left knee soreness) and Aron Baynes (sprained left ankle), who are listed as questionable. Guershon Yabusele (sprained right ankle) will not be available. Davis was kneed in his hip during Sunday’s win over the Detroit Pistons and left the game, though he did return.

The low point of the season was probably the night before Thanksgiving when the Celtics were booed at home during a loss to the Knicks, falling behind by as many as 26 points to a team that was 4-14.

Since that embarrassment, the Celtics have gone 6-1, improving to 15-10, with the lone loss coming to the Dallas Mavericks on Nov. 24.

Stevens changed his lineup, putting Gordon Hayward on the bench in favor of Marcus Morris, then adding Marcus Smart to the mix when Jaylen Brown was out with a back injury.

The Celtics are 5-0 with Smart as a starter, and the presence of Hayward and Brown on the second unit has given the team a non-stop offensive attack.

READ  CNBCTV18 Market LIVE: Sensex, Nifty open positive led by Reliance Industries, HUL mildly supports, HDFC, TCS drag indexes - CNBCTV18

Hayward continues to shake the rust off and has gotten comfortable being a playmaker with the reserves. Brown has played two outstanding games since returning from his injury last Thursday night.

The Celtics were averaging 106 points in the opening 18 games of the season when they stood 9-9. They are now up to 110.3 points thanks to the recent surge.

“The offense has gotten better over the last couple weeks,’’ Stevens told reporters after the win in Chicago. “You kind of see a turning point there when we went to Atlanta, and I just thought we looked different with our pace, our tempo. Our pace in the half-court, just everything was a little better, and we just have to keep building on it.

“We’re going to have a night where we don’t shoot it at all, and our defense is going to have to win the game for us, but we’re playing, we’re sharing, we’re not turning it over, and that’s usually a good thing.”

The schedule has also been helpful for the Celtics, who are at the tail end of a 15-game stretch in which they are facing just one team (the Pistons this Saturday night) with a winning record.

After taking on Davis and the Pelicans (14-14) Monday night, the Celtics play the Washington Wizards (11-15), the Hawks (6-20), the Pistons and the Phoenix Suns (4-22) before the Milwaukee Bucks come to Boston.

The no-heavy-lifting schedule provided the Celtics a chance to shake out of their early season doldrums, and they have taken full advantage of the opportunity.

READ  Delta Air Lines (DAL) Stock Moves -0.88%: What You Should Know - Yahoo Finance

The offense is humming with contributions throughout the lineup, and the Celtics have a winning streak going.

They have looked more like the team that entered the season with high expectations in recent days, and there is still much improving that can be done.



Leave a Reply