Friday, September 28, 2018

Celtics look 3-point happy in first preseason game

The Celtics finished the 2017-18 season averaging more 3-point attempts than most teams in the league.

It was a big part of their identity, and if there's one thing we learned from Boston's preseason opener against the Hornets on Friday is that not a lot has changed. The Celtics chucked up 47 attempts from deep at a 19.1 percent clip.

To put that into perspective, the Celtics averaged 30.4 attempts last season. Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris combined for 4-of-15, Semi Ojeleye went 0-for-7 while Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward each finished 1-for-5 from deep

Boston was rusty, that's typical for the first tuneup of the year. However, 3-point shooting will be a vital piece to the Celtics' offense and is something worth keeping a close eye on.

While defense is certainly the backbone of Brad Stevens' system -- it's the biggest reason why his tenure with the Celtics has been a success -- efficient shooting will be just as important. The majority of the looks from deep on Friday were contested or forced; a telling sign of a team that settled for quick shots early into the shot clock rather than allowing the offense to develop naturally.

After a deceiving 20-point second half lead, the Hornets eventually pulled ahead and ran with a win, topping the Celtics, 104-97. Hornets and Celtics will settle their exhibition rematch Sunday evening at TD Garden.

Josue Pav√≥n

Photo used is courtesy of USA Today

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