BOSTON – One of the takeaways Boston wanted from this offseason was to be a more effective team offensively.
The knee-jerk reaction would have been to add the best pure scorers via free agency or the NBA draft.
Instead, the Celtics have sought growth from within while sprinkling in more athleticism which has in turn helped them become a better scoring team.
They hope the early season success they have had offensively will continue tonight against the Chicago Bulls.
To say Boston is scoring more points doesn’t do justice to the progress they have made in becoming a much more diversified scoring group.
And it shows up statistically in a multitude of spots on the floor.
Look at mid-range shooting, something the Celtics weren’t very good at last season.
According to NBA stats czar Richard Lipe, the Celtics were 27th last season in mid-range shooting percentage (.370). This season, they are connecting on 48.2 percent of their mid-range shots which ranks 3rd in the NBA.
For a team that’s usually smaller than their foes, having the ability to knock move the ball and create good, mid-range looks, bodes well for them having the kind of offensive success they are seeking.
And it hasn’t just been one or two guys, either.
In fact, Boston’s starting five are all shooting at least 50 percent from the field. And two of the team’s key reserves, Jaylen Brown and Tyler Zeller have shot a combined 58.8 percent from the floor.
Also, the Celtics’ 108.3 points per game average is the highest after three games since the 1990-1991 season.
A big part of the team’s improved scoring is how they have better utilized the 3-point shot.
For starters, they are taking more of them this season, averaging 28.7 per game which is up from 26.3 last season.
They’re also connecting on 39.5 percent of their 3s which ranks 4th in the NBA. Hitting the long ball has done wonders for their Effective Field Goals Percentage (eFG%) which is currently a league-best .577.
Defense will remain the backbone of this team. But for them to have the kind of long-term success they have their sights set on, improving their offense – something they have done thus far this season – is critical to their continued growth.