Brad Stevens had plenty of material to work with when it came to identifying areas in need of improvement following Thursday’s loss at Chicago.
Chief among the problematic areas was the Celtics’ defense -- or rather lack of defense -- when it came to contesting 3-pointers.
Chicago was 11-for-25 on 3s, an unusually efficient night for a Bulls team that feature a trio of stars (Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo) who have historically struggled from deep.
“There will be times when you want to go under a screen or whatever the case may be,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “But more often than not, we’re better when we’re up (close defensively).”
Stevens acknowledged his defenders gave the Bulls too much air space, something not likely to happen tonight when Boston takes on the Charlotte Hornets in their home opener this season.
After two games, the Hornets (2-0) are 16th in 3-point attempts (22.5) per game while shooting 31.1 percent which ranks 18th in the league.
The 3-point shot is not necessarily a major part of what the Hornets have done thus far to be successful.
But to avoid a potential repeat of Thursday night in Chicago, look for the Celtics to be more physical and provide a lot less breathing room to the Hornets on the perimeter.
Stevens identified the Celtics’ 3-point defense as being an area his team needs to be better at tonight.
“We played too far back against Chicago,” Stevens told reporters prior to tonight’s game. “We have to be better defending the three-point line than we were Thursday night.”
One of Charlotte’s strengths is their defense which is fueled in part by having lots of length at seemingly every position.
“They’re not only long but very skilled and really a very quick team,” Stevens said. “It’ll be a heck of a challenge for us.”