It’s always refreshing to know that you’re not alone. When the Warriors bested the Celtics in the NBA Finals last week, it was obvious that Boston’s lack of scoring off the bench was one of the biggest differences in the series. The Warriors went on a 21-0 run in Game 6 when Ime Udoka took out Jayson Tatum, and never looked back.
Does Brad Stevens have a playmaker on his roster?
The C’s, as we know, received five points from their bench, which clocked in at a cool -64.
It was great to hear Brad Stevens acknowledge that Tuesday in his post-season mortem.
“If you ask me right now what we need, I'd like to have a little bit more scoring -- consistent scoring off the bench,” Stevens told reporters. “I think that we have some short-term needs there.”
Amen. The Warriors’ reserves outscored the Celtics’ backups 52-9 in Games 5 and 6. Grant Williams averaged just 4.2 points per game, and Derrick White shot 37.8 percent from the field. Payton Pritchard was a non-factor, and Daniel Theis hardly played.
The Celtics shot poorly in the series overall, exposing their dearth of playmakers. Boston’s defense did the job: Golden State never exceeded 108 points. The Celtics’ offense failed, especially late.
In Games 2 through 6, the Celtics shot 38.1 percent from the field and generated 28 assists and 18 turnovers in the fourth.
Stevens admitted the Celtics need to find ways to create more offense. “I think we need more playmaking. I think that that's real,” he said.
While it seems unlikely the Celtics will explore wholesale changes — Stevens also talked about walking a “fine line” and the fragility of rosters — they appear willing to address their biggest weaknesses.
That’s more than we can say for the Patriots, who have actually gotten worse in the secondary and failed to replace Josh McDaniels with an actual offensive coordinator.
The Red Sox, too, didn’t address their need for a right-handed first baseman or more reliable arms in the bullpen. They’re rolling now, but those two imperfections cost them early.
After months of being gaslit, it’s nice to know we’re not so crazy after all.