I know the lack of defense has a lot to do with Boston's struggles however I also found the lack of bench support is starting to play a factor.
During the offseason, I was too excited to see this Celtic bench in action. I thought having Terry, Green, and then eventually Barbosa would probably have to be one of the most feared benches in the NBA. So far, I have been extremely disappointed with the bench production throughout these 3 games of the regular season.
I know the season is still young, but as I look around towards the Clippers bench (which I considered to be the most lethal bench in the NBA), I see how much of an improvement they've made with their bench productivity, and I get a better understanding of the amazing scoring gap between the two teams.
It's a scary thing to say, but the Celtics have yet to outscore the opposing team's bench. The Heat's bench put up 33 points vs the Celtics' 29. The Bucks' bench put up 37 points vs the Celtics 33. Then finally the Wizards bench put up 62 points vs the Celtics 27. So far the Celtics bench have been outscored by 14.3 points a game.
I know this is a very small sample size (especially considering theres 79 games left in the season), but as it stands right now, the Celtics bench are averaging 29.7 points a game. To help put that in perspective, that ranks the Celtics 21st in the NBA in bench scoring. Not only that, but so far this bench only exceeds the 2007-2008 bench by 1.9 points.
I know I shouldn't do this (especially since they're two different players) but I use Ray Allen as a measuring stick for Jason Terry. Since opening night, I see what Allen gives to the Heat, and I compare it with what Terry has done with the Celtics. Once again I know the Celtics are only 3 games in, but so far Allen has already been hitting game-winning 3's for the Heat, and the only 3's that Terry has hit thus far, have come in the final few minutes of a blowout loss.
Terry is getting beat at his own game (bench playing), and I'm not sure what it takes to get him going, but I hope he gets into the rhythm of things sooner than later. I really want to see Leandro Barbosa getting more minutes, I don't think he's being utilized enough, maybe he can even start if Courtney Lee continues to play at the level he's playing at.
To me Jeff Green has been playing at an acceptable pace. He struggled against the Heat but he's made up for it, averaging 11 points in his last 2 games shooting 10/19 from the field. He took a lot of jumpshots against the Wizards but once he gets to attacking the rim more, and drawing fouls (and making his free throws), he'll be fine.
As far as the other bigs that come off the bench I'm not sure what to expect. Doc Rivers insists on using small ball lineups, but it looks like defensively, it's not helping too much. Hopefully Doc will starting playing big lineups, and get Darko Milicic more involved in the games. I say if you got em flaunt em. Celtics have bigs, you might as well use them.
What are your thoughts? Does the bench play seem frustrating to anybody else? What adjustments do you feel need to be made?