The Boston Celtics have found themselves in a decent spot heading down the home stretch of an eventful and nearly lost season. They have proven that–despite big injuries–with a defense first mentality, they can remain relevant and even force an upset or two come playoff time. Although the Celtics have been playing lock-down defense, their offensive efficiency remains a glaring issue.
Despite now averaging almost three more points per game then they have all season, the Celtics offense still ranks among teams that wont make the playoffs. Offensively, the Celtics are on the lower end of playoff teams in terms of their ability (or inability) to put up points.
Paul Pierce can still put the team on his back from time to time, but the Celtics are really going to need some solid bench contributions from guys like Jeff Green and Jason Terry if they want to hang with some of the higher-end offenses in the upper tier of the league. Even smaller minute earners like Jordan Crawford will be important to the Celtics offense heading down the stretch.
Everything comes back to Rajon Rondo. Without a natural ball-handler and crisp play-maker, the Celtics have to work ridiculously hard and put in too significant of an effort to try to match their opponents points. There were some bold opinions stating that the Celtics would somehow be better without a top five NBA player, but now their glaring weakness is really starting to become more apparent.
They will have to continue to play together and be a “team by committee” and run the small-ball line ups and use surprise and unpredictability to their advantage. Against certain teams the Celtics are going to look good, but against high-octane offenses the Celtics will most likely unfortunately continue to struggle and easy buckets will just be way too hard to come by.
This has been a growing issue in the franchise for a couple of years now, and come playoff time if they don’t figure out something new, it’s going to continue to be an issue. Defense is great, but you still have to put up points to win games. The Celtics rank 18th overall, but more often than not that ranking looks generous.
Eric St. Cyr Covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. Follow Him on Twitter @ericJsaint