Boston Celtics Fall to Spurs: What Did We Learn?


The Boston Celtics played the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday and while they came up away with the loss here 5 things take away from the ‘internal victory’.

5. David Lee Continues to Disappoint

David Lee had two points, eight rebounds, one assist and two turnovers in 21 minutes of play on Sunday. His offense has been straight horrible these last couple of games. A phrase you never want hear: David Lee’s defense looks better than his offense.

If he can’t produce offensively and adds nothing of value defensively, he needs to be benched. The Celtics were at their best overall when Lee was on the bench and I think Brad Stevens is slowly beginning to realize that.

4. The Starting Lineup Needs to be Changed

The lineup of Marcus SmartAvery BradleyJae Crowder, David Lee and Tyler Zeller are just not getting it done. While the defense by the Smart, Bradley, and Crowder is phenomenal, Lee and Zeller are just not great defenders and are getting bullied in the paint. Offensively this lineup struggles with it scoring fewer points per game on average.

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Tyler Zeller only played 6 minutes this game because he is just not a starting quality center and Lee continues to chuck up shots while not making most of them. They also need to feed the offense through Smart more often if today is any indication. Personally, I think this lineup should be changed to Smart, Bradley, Crowder, Jared Sullinger and Amir Johnson should be the starting lineup because it is the perfect balance of offense and defense.

3. The Shooting Needs to Improve

The Celtics shot 6-29 from 3 point land, good for an ugly 20.7% from beyond the arc. The looks on the floor looked good, but they were just not falling tonight.

Personally, I would love to see Stevens use RJ Hunter to get some shooting and Terry Rozier to open up the lane because quite honestly they are better option than David Lee and Evan Turner for offense. When Isaiah Thomas is having a rough shooting game (like he did today), the Celtics need somebody else to step up off the bench.

2. The Celtics Need More Talent

You can only go so far with team full of role players and emerging draft prospects. I think we may have a star in Marcus Smart, but he will take time to develop. They came close to matching the Spurs, but every time they came within striking distance the Spurs regained control. The talent the Spurs have is just too much and this will continue to be a problem come playoff time for the Celtics.

How Danny Ainge will address this issue remains to be seen whether he does it through trades (Paul George and Demarcus Cousins anyone?), draft picks (Thanks Nets!) or free agency will be interesting to see.

1. Marcus Smart is the Real Deal

Marcus Smart looks much improved from his rookie season as we could see Sunday. He is driving to the hoop, knocking down shots, and playing phenomenal defense. He had 17 points, three assists, three rebounds, and four steals.

Next: Marcus Smart: Superstar Inbound

He looked comfortable out there on the court, played some stellar defense on Kawhi Leonard, and had some clutch buckets in the 4th quarter. If you can take away a positive from this game it would definitely be Marcus Smart