The Boston Celtics have started off on a cold streak in this young NBA season, but just because the season started a week ago doesn't mean we shouldn't be concerned about what's going on with this team.
What is going to concern Celtics fans the most, right off the bat, is the lackluster defense the team has put together thus far. They're giving up nearly 102 points per game, despite playing at a very pedestrian pace.
Part of the problem is that they were forced to meet up with the Miami Heat in their first game, a contest in which they gave up 120 points. From there they held Milwaukee to 99 points and then the Wizards to a measly 86 points. There may be a hollow victory in the Wizards game, inasmuch as it was the Wizards they blanketed—but a victory is a victory.
The point is not that they got their defense going against a bad team, just that they got their defense going.
With a guy like Kevin Garnett in the middle, and Rajon Rondo and Courtney Lee (and eventually Avery Bradley) on the perimeter, that should work itself out.
A glaring problem for the Celtics offensively, however, has been the on-and-off start from Jason Terry, something that is a little bit disappointing.
Now, Terry put up a nice game offensively against Milwaukee, making two threes and ending the game with two assists to go with his 10 points, but he sandwiched that game in between two stinkers on the offensive end.
Against Miami, Terry made just two of his seven shots from the field to go along with a goose egg out of three from long range. Then he pulled a 2-for-8 shooting day out of his hat against Washington, making neither of his three-point shots.
Something that has been obvious about Terry for the majority of his career is that he's not afraid to take shots, even if he's been missing them. The concern for me is that doing that too often, too early for a team that isn't exactly running and gunning will be dangerous.
Terry has made a career of ignoring defeat and only concentrating on the next victory, and honestly that's the ideal mentality for a basketball player. The only problem is that he's operating with a team that has little room for error. He's got the confidence enough to take big shots at the end of the game, but for a streak shooter like Terry, that confidence can prove to be irrational in retrospect.
Boston needs to keep their record as good as possible until they're back to full strength when Avery Bradley returns—which looks like it will be sometime in late December according to ESPN—otherwise they could fall into unfavorable playoff positioning.
If they want to play as many home games as possible, they'll need to secure themselves a top-four spot—something that's going to be most difficult for the Celtics, considering they are in what looks to be the toughest division in the Eastern Conference. It will be even better if they end up with the second or third seed, that way they can avoid a series against Miami until the conference finals.
Terry himself has lamented the poor start of Boston's bench—a unit that doesn't score or rebound much and that doesn't defend well—saying to WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia, "We're not even close to where we want to be."
On his own performance he said, "I'm going to score. I'm going to figure it out. Believe me when I tell you, I'm going to continue to shoot the ball and I'm going to take advantage of every opportunity."
That's a great mindset to have when you're down, but there is a point where he's trying to do too much.
We're not to that point yet, but if Terry does go colder than a cast-iron toilet on the shady side of an iceberg, it might be an opportunity to let him chill out and see what Leandro Barbosa can do in his stead.