Three under-the-radar areas the Celtics will look to improve upon


BOSTON -- Win or lose, the Boston Celtics don’t spend a ton of time dwelling on the past. 

Being an on-to-the-next-game kind of team serves them well right now after their 113-104 loss at Detroit, which snapped their eight-game winning streak. 

So in the spirit of looking ahead, here’s a look at three areas the Celtics will try and shore up between now and their next game which is at home against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.

Contesting shots

The Celtics don’t get a ton of blocked shots but consistently rank among the league’s best defensive teams. Why? Because they contest the hell out of shooters, from the perimeter as well as within the paint. This was one of the more glaring areas Boston had more problems in than usual. Against the Pistons, the Celtics contested just 50 of Detroit’s 80 shots from the field, or 62.5 percent. To put that in perspective, during Boston’s winning streak, six of their eight wins involved them having a contested shot percentage better than 73 percent, with the lowest contested shot percentage being .632 against New Orleans on Dec. 10.

Passing game

During their eight-game winning streak, Boston’s passing game was among the best in the NBA.  During the eight-game streak, Boston averaged a 322.1 passes per game which ranked fourth in the league. But the ball didn’t swing around nearly as much against the Pistons. The Celtics had 280 passes against Detroit according to, which is more along the lines of their season average (292.7) which ranks 15th in the NBA.


This has been one of the bread-and-butter categories for this revived Celtics offense. During the eight-game winning streak, Boston averaged a league-best 39.5 points on catch-and-shoots in addition to 12 made 3’s per game which was also tops in the NBA. Saturday’s loss saw a noticeable drop in this category with the Celtics mustering just 18 points on catch-and-shoots.

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