In the first game of the 2021-22 campaign, the Boston Celtics dropped a double overtime squeaker to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Jayson Tatum shot 7/30 from the field, but it was an all-around phenomenal performance by the Celtics in head coach Ime Udoka’s debut. In their home opener versus the Toronto Raptors, they got thrashed by 32 points at the TD Garden.
There is an obvious adjustment period with their newly-hired coach along with several acquisitions in their retooling in the offseason. Defense is known to be their calling card, but they have allowed 138 and 115 points, respectively in their first two games. Their offensive schemes are vastly different from former head coach Brad Stevens, along with the lack of proven ball handlers to facilitate the plays. With that, here are four main issues surrounding the atrocious start of the Celtics.
Marcus Smart and Dennis Schroder are having difficulty facilitating the offense of Boston
With the departure of Kemba Walker, the Celtics did not add a floor general in free agency like Lonzo Ball or Kyle Lowry. They added Dennis Schroder to their squad, but he is more of a shoot-first point guard, while Smart is known for his tenacious and ferocious on the defensive side of the floor.
In the first two games, there were instances wherein there ball movement was impeccable, but there were many junctures wherein Tatum and Jaylen Brown were forced to manufacture their own shots or create for their teammates. It seemed like the old Celtics with too many anticipated isolation plays, wherein bad misses translate into semi-transition buckets for the opposing team.