The Boston Celtics Have to Play Better on the Road
The Boston Celtics lost their 22nd road game of the season at the hands of the rallying Dallas Mavericks in a game where the Celtics never had a lead. They lost 104-94, a score which indicates that the Celtics had a chance, but unfortunately this was not the case.
The Celtics were eaten alive on the glass per usual, but what’s more disheartening is that they could not defend the pick-and-roll in the slightest. For a team that once lead the league in this defensive category, something seems to have taken a turn for the worst and until further notice, it doesn’t seem to be on the path to improvement any time soon.
The rotation is as short as it gets now, featuring just nine guys who have gained the trust of coach Doc Rivers — but the question is why? Jason Terry has become an absolute defensive black hole and he’s struggling to find his offense. If Terry isn’t shooting every chance he gets, then what’s the point of even having him on the floor?
A growing issue that’s cause some to question Rivers’ decisions has been the Jeff Green and Paul Pierce conundrum. Green may have not had his best game last night, but he still played five less minutes than the progressively-declining Pierce.
It just seems impossible for Green to grow at all if he’s constantly on the floor alongside the captain who is continuing to try to put the team on his back, and one has to question if he even possesses that ability any longer. Rivers’ loyalty and stubbornness with whom he chooses to give precious minutes to is starting to become a questionable tactic.
Another growing issue that has started to become more than noticeable has been Avery Bradley on offense. He’s shooting just 19-63 over his last stretch of six games and it’s getting to the point where he just simply needs to be touching the ball a lot less.
Last night, Bradley got more shots than both Pierce and Green, as well as Terry, Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee. It could be that his shots simply aren’t falling, but most opposing teams are letting him shoot the Celtics out of games now … and it’s not a bad strategy. Bradley has turned into a unique case — he seems to be turning into a guard who just shouldn’t have the ball in his hands.
The Celtics currently have the worst road record among any team that is playoff-bound at a dismal 12-22. The offensive struggles continue to grow worse by the game, and there are no signs or visible solutions in fixing this terrible issue.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, Lee rolled his ankle last night and is questionable for tonight’s game in Memphis. If Rivers’ starts Terry over Green in Lee’s absence, then the questions surrounding Rivers’ coaching decisions will only grow louder.
Eric St. Cyr Covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. Follow Him on Twitter @ericJsaint