As we are in the middle part of the season, the Celtics sit at the 8th spot in the eastern conference at 25-24. While for some franchises that’s a decent spot, for the expectation in Boston — that’s disappointing. If the Celtics want to move up the conference and not have to fight for a playoff seed, here’s what they need to do.
More ball rotation
Marcus Smart was vocal in a press conference earlier this season about Jaylen Tatum and Jalen Brown reluctant to facilitate. Coach Udoka also has made it a emphasis to share the rock as well. Too many times we see a Celtics game turn in to the ‘Tatum and Brown show’ with so much iso ball. Teams catch on quick and it takes role players out the offense.
Celtics need to share the ball around the perimeter to force the defense to rotate. The ball needs to move or else we’re going to keep seeing the stars be the only ones able to take guys off the dribble.
Develop a post game with the bigs
Offensively, Boston needs to get their bigs more involved. Robert Williams can’t only score off of putbacks and running the floor (although he does it well). It’s clear Al Horford is passed his prime. Last game against the Kings he looked bad with the ball in his hands. Taking one dribble pull-ups and shooting mid range shots. The big guys need to be able to score with their back to the basket. It allows the game to be slowed down and give Tatum and Brown a breather on possessions. It also forces teams to respect the inside scoring which spreads the defense.
Everything to go right with Brown and Tatum
As much as these adjustments will help — the Celtics are still under the bar as far as talent goes. The last 2 games Celtics won, Tatum scored 51 against Washington and 36 against Sacramento. Brown has been struggling with injuries but has been getting buckets when suited up. Yes, the role players need to step up. However, Tatum and Brown still need to be healthy and on the floor to see some success in this conference.
Trade Dennis Schröder
As the trade deadline is heading near, it would be silly not to trade Schröder. His 15.4 points a night certainly is a nice boost. However, the Celtics can’t have their starting point guard averaging only 4.6 assists a night. He’s not a consistent enough shooter only averaging 4 shots behind the arc a game. He’s not a leaper that can finish in the paint among the trees inside. And he’s not defensive minded as a Marcus Smart. The C’s may have gotten him for cheap but like they say, ‘you get what you pay for.’
Now that Tatum appears to be out of his shooting slump and Brown is healthy things may be looking up. But expect some major moves in the upcoming days for the C’s.