The ever insightful Derrenmatts from Celtics Green posted his list of Praises and Concerns after the first 4 games. Here is his list:
-when this team is in sync, there's no team that can stop our offense. We space the floor well, we move without the ball well, we pass the ball well, we create offense for one another well, and we take high percentage shots.
-our defense continues to be a bright spot. We are rotating into position a lot faster, we trust each other a whole lot more, we actively pester the ball more, and we funnel the plays into KG and Perk a lot better. We are also suffocating the driving lanes more.
-our team attitude is so much better. Its like a breath of fresh air. There's an aura of winning like I've never experienced the past decade. The team and the fans are much happier.
-we lead the league in FG% and opposing team's FG%
-we lead the league in point differential. We score 106.7 a night, while only surrendering 90.3 per contest. That's a whopping 16 pt differential. The closest team to us is a distant 2nd (Clippers, at 10.2 point differential).
There's a lot to like about our revamped team. For the first time in a long time, we are both an offensive minded, and a defensive minded team. And we have hit the road running on all cylinders. But championships are not won in the first 4 games of the season.
-we still aren't dominating the boards. I figured getting KG here would bump us up into the top 10, but we've actually been subpar. We're 21st in the league (29th in offensive rebounding), and that's head scratching. Elite teams have a way of owning the boards and we need to get to that level.
-we are 7th in the league in turnovers (23rd worst team, depending how you want to look at it). We commit 17.5 TO's per game. Of course we are also 2nd in the league in assists, and passing the ball around the floor so much will eventually make its way into the other team's hands. But still, we need to cut down on our bad passes, or else elite teams will take advantage of our miscues.
-we are susceptible to struggle when two members of our Trilogy are on the bench, whether to rest or because of foul trouble. Our bench has shown nice things when they are on the court together with 2 of our 3 star players. But when only 1 star player is on the court, our bench has been exposed. But I'm optimistic about our bench improving their production. Posey has only played in 1 and 1/2 games so far, and TAllen has yet to get into his rhythm. House has been shooting the ball really well, and he's playing with lots of energy. Pollard, Powe, and Baby have yet to do anything on the court, and in time, they will.
Overall, our positives totally eclipse our negatives, as evident by our 4-0 record. And there are so many ways we can improve our team. Its scary to think how much better we can become. Celtics fans are riding high right now, and we hope this wave continues right into the post season.
I agree with everything Derren has to say but would add a couple more thoughts to his. My biggest concern is the number of minutes our three stars are playing. Ray Allen is averaging 40.6 minutes and played all 48 minutes against the Nets after playing 35 minutes the previous night. KG is averaging 39.8 minutes per game and Pierce is averaging 38.4 minutes per game. And these big minutes are coming in blow outs. This is very concerning because if it continues, they won't have anything left for the playoffs and the playoffs are what this is all about.
I think the other things are going to come around. In the Nets game, they already cut down their turnovers to just 11. As to the offensive rebounds, When Perk is in the game, we tend to get more offensive rebounds and even when he is not in foul trouble, Doc tends to limit his minutes. Big Baby did a good job on the offensive glass in the last game before he fouled out. I believe that all this well settle out as the rotation gets set and the team gets more used to each other.
I agree with Derren that the positives on this team way outweigh the negatives. Whatever negatives there are will work themselves out as the rotation settles out and the team gets more used to playing with each other and as our bench gets healthy. There still have to be questions about Doc's coaching that need to be answered as the season goes on as well. So far so good, but he still has never won a playoff series and he still plays the stars too many minutes and in the last game, he stayed with small ball too long, allowing the lead to be cut to 8 and thus necessitating that the stars stay in the game. But, it has been a long time since we have had this much to be excited about in a Celtics team and I, for one, plan to enjoy every minute of it!