The NBA is in the midst of an offensive explosion through the first week of the regular season. Twenty-nine teams are averaging 100 points or more per game, while more than half of the league is scoring over 110 points per contest.
The only outlier among that bunch? The Boston Celtics, who managed just 90 points against the lowly Orlando Magic in a 93-90 defeat on Monday night at the TD Garden.
The C’s rank 30th in the NBA in points per game (99.8) and 28th in offensive rating (which factors in pace). They’ve been bad by any measurable metric despite coming into the season with one of the deepest and talented rosters in the league on paper.
These struggles aren’t a huge surprise. This wasn’t a good team in the preseason on either end of the floor. While the defensive effort has shown up once the real games have started (C’s rank second in defensive rating) their offensive woes have remained consistent over the past month.
“We have a lot of work to do, that's for sure,” Gordon Hayward said after the loss to Orlando. “Through, how many preseason games did we play, three? We didn’t play well in those either, so we have a lot of work to do. I have no doubt we’ll figure it out, but we definitely have a lot of work to do.”
Some of the offensive problems stem from a small sample size, but others are bigger concerns that this team will likely have to deal with all season long. Let’s sort through the early ugliness to figure out the biggest issues that Brad Stevens will need to sort out in the coming weeks.