BOSTON – When most people think about the Boston Celtics’ offense, three words tend to come to mind almost immediately – lots of 3’s.
There’s a very good chance we’ll see them launch a few – OK, quite a few – in tonight’s Game 5 matchup against the Washington Wizards.
But head coach Brad Stevens says the 3-pointer, which appears to be their shot of choice, isn’t Plan A when it comes to scoring.
“Everything we run would be a lay-up option first,” Stevens said. “And anytime you can get an angle at the rim, you want to try and get that.”
But there’s a problem with this plan.
“The problem is the other team tries and take that away,” Stevens said. “Ultimately the next thing … then it’s to spray it out and either attack again or shoot the 3.”
Boston’s 3-point shooting was among the league leaders in the regular season, with 33.4 per game which ranked third in the NBA. And that 3-point shooting was part of an offense that averaged 108.0 points per game which ranked seventh in the NBA.
In the playoffs, Boston has launched even more 3’s per game (36.2) which ranks second among teams in the postseason even though their scoring is down (106.3) and ranks sixth in the NBA.
“Our offense has been really good this year because of our ability to attack the paint and spray it out,” Stevens said. “There are different ways to do it. We’ll try and exhaust all of those.”
Here are three pointers to get you geared up for tonight’s Game 5 matchup between Boston and Washington.
BRADLEY A GO: The left hip pointer injury Avery Bradley suffered in Game 4 won’t keep him out of the starting lineup. He suffered a right hip pointer earlier in the series. Not surprisingly, the right hip pointer is in better shape than his most recent injury.
PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE: Kelly Oubre Jr., returning to the Wizards lineup after serving a one-game suspension for his two-handed shove of Kelly Olynyk in Game 3, is bracing for what should be a showering of boos whenever he touches the ball. He said road games at Kansas State (Oubre Jr. played at Kansas) gave him a taste of what it will be like tonight. “My job is to go out there and play basketball,” he said. “I’m not worried about the fans.”
“QUOTE-UNQUOTE”: “They were the better team in every which way the last two games. We have to play better and there’s a lot that goes into that.” – Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.