Kevin Garnett is still the heart and soul of the Boston Celtics defense
The Boston Celtics fell to 2-3 on the season after losing 106-100 to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Garden on Friday. The lost also dropped their home record to 1-2. The Celtics are struggling to find their chemistry on both sides of the ball, at an incredibly inconsistent rate. There are times when they are putting up 30 in a quarter and looking sharp on offense, then there are times when they put up 30 IN A HALF (home opener against the Bucks, yes I was there, no it wasn’t fun).
Although the offense can be incredibly frustrating to watch sometimes, we’ve seen this before. The Celtics aren’t the prettiest looking offensive team, and we all know how they will their way to wins. They’ve been doing it for years, and although our offense loses us a game here and there, it comes around every season. Rajon Rondo continues to prove why he thinks he is the best point guard in the game.
Rondo, one of the few bright spots for the Celtics early on, is averaging 16 points, 12.5 assists, and 5 rebounds per game while shooting an astonishing .574 field goal percentage and even more surprising .429 three point percentage (career .246 3p%). He has kept his assists numbers up while also looking for his jumper more, which has been falling a hell of a lot more than it has in his whole career. As long as Rondo is playing at this high of a level, I think the Celtics will have a shot to make some noise in the playoffs. Obviously one person can’t win a championship, but Rondo is pushing the threshold with his great play, and really hasn’t had a bad game so far this season.
Now back to the defense. Obviously there will be some hiccups along the way with all these new faces being asked to make an impact right away (Lee, Sullinger, Terry, Green), but I expected a bit more from the Boston Celtics. We have had one of the best defenses in the league since Kevin Garnett came to town.
Has anyone else noticed that every night the Celtics open the gate with a nice run, then as soon as KG comes out, we fall apart and can’t get out offense going or stop anyone? I understand that we are limiting KG’s minutes by even more than last year, and I agree with it. Why waste his legs now when we know we are just coasting to the playoffs (as usual)? Someone needs to step up and keep this defense in tact when KG goes to the bench, because every game we seem to lose our composure without Garnett out there. I understand Jared Sullinger is a rookie and Brandon Bass isn’t the greatest defender, but our big men need to start playing defense. I really can’t count how many times I’ve seen the opposing power forward sneak behind Sullinger for an easy dunk. It has to stop. We are the Boston Celtics, and we know defense wins championships.
Well, that mini rant basically sums up where the Celtics are at right now. We know who we are. We need to play better team defense. Our best players (Pierce, Rondo, Garnett) need to play well, and our role players need to at least be consistent in their overall production in order for us to win. As Benti touched on earlier this week, the Celtics are going through a prolonged preseason, that I personally think could last until playoffs (which is fine as long as we figure it out).
The Celtics head to Milwaukee Saturday to hopefully get some revenge for having their home opener ruined by the Bucks (hate to keep bringing it up, I’m still bitter for paying 30 bucks to sit and be depressed in the Garden). Hopefully they can pick themselves up from this loss and have a huge team effort Saturday night.