Celtics

How the Celtics have morphed into the NBA’s best offense

(Kathyn Riley/Getty Images)

It was only three weeks ago when the Celtics opened their season in Philadelphia shooting worse in that matchup (36 percent) than over any of their 82 regular-season games last year. The 93 points the visitors mustered in the opening night defeat was the lowest point showing in the entire league outside of the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers.

On Wednesday night, the Celtics scored more points in a regular season game in regulation since 1992, cruising to a 140-133 victory over the Washington Wizards with their ninth straight win. They have scored 104 or more points in all nine of those victories and currently sit with the best offense in the NBA (113 points per 100 possessions) after 10 games.

What a difference a month makes.

The C’s are finding a number of different ways to win during their hot streak and after a sluggish start to their offensive prowess in October, this group is morphing quickly into the most dangerous scoring group of the Brad Stevens era. Even with one of their best weapons (Gordon Hayward) watching from the sidelines, the C’s have only gained momentum on the offensive end of the floor, putting together three of their best offensive outings of the year to lift them to No. 1 in the NBA.

The points came easy against a Wizards team that is not interested in playing much defense (28th) in the league due to their personnel. Seven players scored in double figures for the C’s in the offensive eruption led by none other than Kemba Walker (25 points).

A look at the shooting numbers leaves plenty of room for improvement for Boston as the team ranks just 15th in FG percentage (45 percent) and seventh in 3-point shooting (37 percent). Yet, somehow, this team is far and away the best offense in the league through 10 games. How have they managed to pull this off in the first few weeks despite a number of key injuries? And is it sustainable over the long-term? Let’s look closer into this promising start.

Taking care of the ball

More possessions mean more shots and the Celtics are better than any team in the league right now ensuring that they get a chance to score every possession. They have turned the ball over just 11.5 times per game, nearly two fewer turnovers than the second-place team in the league. With all of their high volume players (Walker, Brown, Tatum) etc. doing a great job taking care of the ball, they are maximizing chances.

Bench coming alive