USA TODAY Sports
Lee is in the middle of the worst shooting slump of his career.
It was only one shot. But the airball three-pointer that Courtney Lee tossed up at the end of overtime against the 76ers early in December—a game the Celtics lost just seconds later—defined his time in Boston so far: totally off the mark.
Despite his lackluster numbers, Lee hasn’t been a total bust. His defense has been lauded, and he’s clearly working hard to help the team win.
However, a major reason the Celtics traded for him in the offseason—and the aspect of his game fans were most excited to see—was his scoring ability. So far, it has been totally absent and doesn’t look to be improving.
A 10.2 point per game scorer during his first four years in the NBA, Lee is averaging just 5.9 this season. Despite shooting better than 40 percent from beyond the arc in three of his first four seasons in the league, Lee is shooting just 28.6 percent from deep for the Celtics.
During one six-game stretch in November, Lee missed 10 consecutive threes.
Apparently, Lee himself isn’t worried about his shooting slump and expects shots to start falling. He’s certainly being given ample time to settle in, having played in all 23 of the Celtics’ games thus far and averaging more than 24 minutes per contest. But Celtics fans would like to see some substantive improvement sooner rather than later.
The Celtics could use it, too—they currently make fewer three-pointers per game than any team in the NBA other than the Chicago Bulls. As the season progresses, Lee must return to the shooting form he displayed in the first four years of his career. To this point, however, his failure to break out of his shooting slump makes him one of the Celtics’ least improved.