Despite all of their talent, the Boston Celtics have limped out of the gate this season, compiling an 11-10 record through 21 games.
The Celtics were expected to be the class of the Eastern Conference, but their offense has been a disaster. And while their defense rates well metrics-wise, the Celtics have gotten blistered by a number of guards, including Jamal Murray and Trey Burke. Boston also isn’t getting to the rim or the free-throw line, and despite shooting the third-most 3-pointers per game in the NBA, the C’s rank just 18th in 3-point percentage.
Of course, there still is time for the Celtics to figure things out, and one former member of the Green has an idea of how they can reach the lofty heights many predicted for them.
Paul Pierce spoke with NBC Sports Boston’s A. Sherrod Blakely on Wednesday at “The Tradition” Gala at TD Garden and revealed what he believes the key to the Celtics’ turnaround will be.
“Sacrifice is going to be the word I’m going to constantly say with them,” Pierce told Blakely. “They have to play at a faster pace. They have so many guys that can put the ball in the hole. Yeah they’ve been great defensively, but they have so much on offense, they have to play faster, you know, give each other more opportunities because you got guys like Jayson Tatum — you know, maybe on another team he’s capable of scoring 25 points a game. Same with Jaylen Brown, same with Kyrie Irving, same with Gordon Hayward.
“They got guys who are capable on this team of being 20-point scorers, but on this team that’s not going to happen. If you want to win, you have to sacrifice, you have to sacrifice. Some nights it may be your night, some nights it might not be your night. When me, Kevin (Garnett) and Ray (Allen) came along, I was averaging 25 points a game when they came. I said, ‘You know what? I don’t need to do that. They want to establish themselves. They want to make a name for themselves.’ Well, you make a name for yourself by winning.”
Will Boston heed the advice of The Truth and sacrifice for the common goal of achieving NBA immortality? We’ll find out soon enough.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports