Examining why Brad Stevens bemoaned the Celtics as ‘very average’

Originally posted on RealGM  |  By Colin McGowan  |  Last updated 4/6/21

There are concrete reasons why the Boston Celtics are struggling. Marcus Smart has been banged up and out of rhythm. Kemba Walker, brought in to be the team’s third star behind their two young wings, has lingering knee issues that seem like they’ll linger for the rest of his career. They haven’t found a big man they’re totally happy with, cycling dissatisfied through Tristan Thompson, Robert Williams and the recently traded Daniel Theis. 

Their defense, perennially excellent since Brad Stevens showed up, has been just okay. They foul a lot and don’t get to the line enough themselves. There’s too much isolation junk in their offense. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can beat anybody off the dribble, but not so consistently that they should be trying to do it trip after trip. 

Jaylen in particular is a different and much better player than he was in his first couple of seasons, but you wish he would seek more of those slashing, catch-and-explode buckets he used to get when he was just a rook with a busted jumper. Make it easy on himself. That is the Celtics’ foremost if frustratingly unspecific problem: little of what they do looks easy. 

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