Early Shooting Struggles Baffling Lee, Celtics

david lee

It’s been a rough opening week for the Celtics‘ offense.

The team shot just 36.6% (67-for-183) from the field in losses to the Raptors and Spurs this weekend, leading fans to doubt what was originally thought to be a flawless group. Everyone outside of Isaiah Thomas and Amir Johnson, it seems, has been lackluster — and with difficult matchups with the Pacers and Wizards coming up, a 1-4 start is now a definite possibility.

Forward David Lee — despite getting relatively good looks — is one of many struggling to find himself in the early-going, missing 15 of 20 field goal attempts in the first three games.

“Me, personally, I’ve been working my butt off and can’t seem to get one to fall,” Lee told the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. “Everybody on the floor had looks they normally make, and they haven’t made them. I had a few I could have finished. Everybody’s putting their individual work. I thought the team played very, very hard. We’ll keep putting the work in, and I think we’re due for a very fast start offensively.”

Perhaps the Celtics’ biggest problem has been converting three-point tries, an issue especially prevalent on Sunday. The C’s shot just 6-for-29 from behind the arch against San Antonio, with scorers Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley going a combined 2-for-9.

Head coach Brad Stevens said he isn’t worried about the disappointing numbers, but stressed the Celtics have to capitalize on more opportunities.

“You gotta make the open ones, you gotta continue to find the open ones,” Stevens said. “So I’m not concerned. If you’re unable to make them as a group, which we aren’t, the defense just loads in, and you [can’t] get anything at the rim. You gotta fire with great confidence.”

Whether the Celtics bounce back could be reliant on a change to their starting lineup, which has been out-scored by the bench so far 171-131. Tyler Zeller has been a non-factor — he’s yet to play more than 16 minutes in a contest — while Marcus Smart‘s defense has been his lone area of consistency.

But can we realistically expect a switch anytime soon?

“I don’t think we’re going to have rotations and all that stuff figured out as early as you’d like,” Stevens said, “because it’s one of those things where we’ve got a lot of equal guys, and guys who can really step up and make plays on a given night. So I think that we just have to continue to trust the process and make sure that we’re diligent in un-turning — or looking under — every stone. And I’ll do that, and we’ll see.”


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Jack Niemuth

Jack Niemuth

Sports Blogger: , , http://Celticsgreenblog.
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