What each Celtics starter should work on this summer

The Boston Celtics Have Faced Elimination, but Not Like This - The New York  Times
NY Times

Although the Celtics fell just two games short of a NBA championship—we can’t act like there weren’t flaws within the team. There’s flaws with every team. And as we head in to the summer, this is the time for guys to work on their individual game. Because no matter how good a player was the previous season, there’s always room to improve. Here’s what each Boston starter should work on this offseason. 

Jaylen Brown: Handle

Want to know what hindered the Celtics the most? Turnovers. Granted, not all of that was on Jaylen Brown. The guy is a former all-star. However, too many times in the Milwaukee series we saw him play isolation ball but lose his handle trying to switch directions. This past season he averaged 2.7 turnovers a game. Brown can run the floor, finish above the rim, shoot the ball and more, but he needs to work on his dribbling if he wants to help his team take that next leap. 

Jayson Tatum: Passing 

If you average nearly 27 points a night—teams are going to find a way to stop your productivity. By doing that, the Warriors were able to force Tatum to give up 100 turnovers in just one series. Forcing Tatum to drive and kick made the young superstar get caught in the air, and pass the ball in to the opponents hands too many times. We know Tatum can score, defend, run the floor and everything else—but the C’s need to see better passing. The 4.4 assists per game he was averaging won’t be enough next season. The more double teams and schemes he’ll see, the more he’ll need to be a playmaker. 

Robert Williams: Getting healthy and post moves

Hats off to Robert Williams for suffering a torn meniscus in his knee midseason but still finding a way to play in the postseason this year. He clearly wasn’t 100% but gave maximum effort. This offseason he’ll need to work on getting back to his high-flying self. As for his game—Williams has got to work on some post moves. During the postseason the Celtics weren’t dominant in the paint on a consistent basis. They don’t need Williams to work on his range. He shoots 73% from the line. He needs to be a reliable threat in the paint once the ball is slowed down. 

Marcus Smart: 3 point shooting 

Being the first point guard to win Defensive Player of the Year since Gary Payton was a special moment for Marcus Smart. But offensively, the Celtics are going to need more out of him. The 12 points a night on 33% shooting from deep isn’t going to cut it. He’s now part of the big three in Boston. Expect him to be in the running for an all-star seat this upcoming season. He’s a streaky shooter that’s not afraid to pull the trigger, sometimes that helped, and sometimes it put the C’s in a hole.  Smart needs to smarten up and work on his jumper. If he can do that, the rest of the eastern conference is in a world of trouble. 

Al Horford: Productivity

The longtime NBA veteran is passed his prime now—which always makes things to tough as to what he needs to work on in the summer. But it’s clear the big guy should just work on his stamina and productivity level. He can show up big in spurts. His minutes will probably drop to around 25-30 minutes depending on Robert and Grant Williams’ development. But there’s still a place for him in Boston of course. After making his first finals appearance—don’t expect a falloff from Horford. 

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