The 76ers have been a laughing stock for years, but they’ve finally put together a roster that can challenge Boston. The Celtics’ recent acquisitions of Al Horford and Kyrie Irving were expensive mistakes. They’re paying dearly for their faulty rosters now – here’s how Boston might fix its biggest problem going forward.
The Boston Celtics are paying a steep price for Brad Stevens’ faulty roster construction, but there is a costly fix available.
The Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers competed for the uncoveted “Team Turmoil” championship during the preseason. Even still, only a few weeks into the regular season, a new competitor has arisen. The Boston Celtics lost their third game in a row on Nov. 1, and there are hints of discord in the locker room.
With a 128–114 defeat at home to the Chicago Bulls, Boston dropped to 2–5, squandering a 19-point second-half lead. The Celtics are now 0–3 in TD Garden, where they were just 21–15 the previous season. The Cs reached the NBA playoffs for the seventh year in a row in 2021, but had to qualify via the play-in round following a disappointing 36–36 season. The Hub’s problems do not seem to have been solved by a front-office shift.
Brad Stevens was reassigned to the front office of the Boston Celtics.
Brad Stevens took over as president of basketball operations from Danny Ainge after eight seasons as head coach of the Boston Celtics. For more than 18 years, Ainge led the Celtics’ front office and was the architect of the team that won the NBA title in 2008.
Stevens’ first action as the new general manager was to trade former All-NBA point player Kemba Walker. Later, he signed free agent Dennis Schröder, who was labeled as a point guard, but new coach Ime Udoka replaced him as the starting point guard. The second unit is led by Schröder.
Jaylen Brown averages 26.7 points each game, while Jayson Tatum averages 25.7 points per night. The only other players in double digits are Al Horford and Schröder. Smart is struggling to acclimate to his new role, shooting 29.3% overall and 28.2% from beyond the arc.
Smart openly vented his displeasure with his two All-Star teammates after Boston’s loss to the Bulls. Brown and Tatum, according to Smart, aren’t passing the ball enough. Is he making a valid point?
The Celtics’ defense is leaking and they’re being pummeled on the boards.
The Boston Celtics are in the center of the pack in terms of assists, averaging 24.1 a night. They rank 19th in assist percentage, with 58.1 percent of their made shots resulting in assists.
But it’s on the backboard where they’re having trouble. Boston ranks 20th in defensive rebounding percentage and 21st in offensive rebounding % in the NBA. When you add it all together, the Celtics are 29th in total rebounding % (or second-worst if you’re a pessimist).
Boston ranked 13th in the NBA previous season, allowing 111.8 points per 100 possessions, while having a.500 record. The Celtics’ offense is down this season, but they’re still allowing 110.3 points per 100 possessions, which ranks 27th. That, combined with a 19th-ranked 104.6 points on offense, results in a net rating of minus-5.7. This results in a 2–5 record.
If the absence of a typical point guard remains an issue, there is a well-known, if pricey, solution.
John Wall is available to the Boston Celtics, but he will not be cheap.
John Wall is taking a break from the NBA while waiting for a trade from the Houston Rockets. The Boston Celtics may be able to obtain him, but it would come at a high cost. | Getty Images/Carmen Mandato
While they hunt for a trade partner, the Houston Rockets are paying John Wall a little more than $540,000 each game not to play for them. Wall hasn’t been an All-NBA player in five seasons and hasn’t been an All-Defensive player since 2014-15.
In 40 games, he averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists while shooting a career-low 40.4 percent overall and 31.7 percent from behind the arc. Wall has never been a great shooter (career percentages of 43.1 percent and 31.7 percent, respectively), but even by his modest standards, last season was a disaster.
Despite this, he’s a more typical point guard than Smart or Schröder, averaging 9.1 assists per game in his ten NBA seasons, with three seasons in which he gave more over 10 assists each night. Last season, Smart set a career high with 5.7 assists per game, while Schröder is on pace to set a career high with 6.4 assists per game this season.
However, Wall has a $44.3 million cap hit, which is the NBA’s second-highest salary this season.
Because he signed an extension in August, Smart is not tradeable until January 25. Richardson’s $11.6 million contract, on the other hand, makes a Horford-for-Wall trade legal, though not fully practical.
Is it a panacea for the Celtics’ woes? When you’re already down on the glass, trading your top rebounder isn’t a winning approach. Neither team, on the other hand, is going into the season without a true playmaker.
Long regarded as one of the industry’s brightest young coaches, Udoka has become a stickler for reporting officials and adhering to team regulations. The Boston Celtics will continue to underperform unless he gets serious about fundamentals like rebounding and defense. Adding John Wall to the mix won’t solve one of those issues.
Basketball Reference and NBA.com provided the statistics. RealGM provided the trade appraisal. Spotrac provided contract details.
‘I Told Them You’re Going to Get Your Ass Kicked Tonight,’ Ime Udoka predicted the Celtics’ lackluster performance against the Wizards.
“The Boston Celtics are paying a steep price for Brad Stevens’ faulty roster construction, but there is a costly fix available.” The Boston Celtics have been struggling this season. They are currently sitting in the 8th seed with an 18-29 record. Their lack of success has caused them to pay a steep price for their head coach’s poor roster construction. There is a costly fix that can be done to help the team out and it will come at a cost. Reference: boston celtics coaches.
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