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Three Issues Arising Early in the 2018-19 NBA Season

The Boston Celtics improved to 3-2 with a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, but  still have a long way to go as a team looking to contend for a title.

With five NBA games in the books, the Boston Celtics are a respectable 3-2. Although most Boston fans would be happy at 3-2, the serious Celtics fans have observed plenty of flaws in the early season. In this post, we will review three issues concerning the 2018-2019 Boston Celtics.

Shooting

Although it’s only five games, the Celtics rank near the bottom of the league in nearly every offensive category. The club ranks 28th in the league while posting a 46.6 effective field goal percentage and 29th in true shooting percentage (50.1).

After a great three-point shooting season last year, the Celtics now rank 26th with a dismal 31.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc. On Thursday, Boston missed all 11 of its first-half three-pointers before finding the range in the second half.

If the Celtics have any aspirations of clinching the Eastern Conference, the offense needs to improve. On the positive side, the club ranks 5th in the league from the free throw line, though they’ve had a lot of difficulty getting to the charity stripe, as they’ve settled mostly for outside shots.

Closing Out Games

During the Celtics recent loss the team had two chances to defeat Orlando with five minutes left in the game. Even though it was in the hands of Kyrie Irving, the team will take time to gel as a unit.

Last season, for example, the Celtics were noted for their late-game stands, especially during the playoffs. In the final minute against Oklahoma City, the Celtics executed an after-timeout play to perfection to get Marcus Morris a wide open shot.

Expect to see more of that type of late-game execution as the Celtics will only get better with a healthy Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

Unity

So far in the young season the Celtics have shown signs of being disorganized during games. The chemistry will have to improve as time goes on.

In the second half comeback vs. the Thunder, Boston seemed to finally find some type of cameraderie out on the court. As Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, “We finally looked like ourselves again.”

Chemistry was such a strength of the Celtics team last season, that it is weird to see the team struggle so much in the early going. But Boston has a lot of moving and growing parts from last season and is figuring out how to make all the puzzle pieces fit.

Head coach Brad Stevens needs to address this situation so it will not get out of control. The Celtics, however, should be fine. Center Aron Baynes‘s hamstring injury is not serious and he should return to the lineup soon. As each games passes, Irving, Hayward, and Daniel Theis work their way back into playing shape.

Boston will look to build on its comeback win over the Thunder with another win over Detroit Friday evening.

Next: 15 Most Clutch Players In Celtics History

Forward Gordon Hayward has responded well from a serious injury. Point guard Kyrie Irving hit some big shots in the second half against Oklahoma City,. As time goes on, the Celtics will develop the on-court chemistry necessary for a deep playoff run, especially since they have one of the league’s best coaches in Brad Stevens.

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