The Boston Celtics are off to a tremendous start to the season. The Celtics sit atop the Eastern Conference with a 16-5 record and are one-half games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks. Still, there are concerns that the Celtics may not be deep enough, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Appearing on FanDuel’s Run It Back, Charania said that he anticipates the Celtics being active on the trade market as February’s deadline nears. The goal for the C’s, Charania says, will be to “beef up” their bench rotation.
“I expect the Celtics to be active in the trade market as we get closer to February, to try to see if they can beef up their bench rotation.”@ShamsCharania‘s biggest concern for the Celtics is late game execution, what kind of player are they missing? 🤔
— Run It Back (@RunItBackFDTV) December 5, 2023
NBA Rumors: Celtics Expected to Be Active At Trade Deadline, What Do They Need?
Boston bounced back from its In-season tournament quarterfinal setback to the Indiana Pacers with a 10-point win over New York on Friday. The Celtics have won 11 of 14 and own a league-best +8.3 scoring margin.
Boston’s dominance at TD Gardens is a big part of its success. The Celtics, who own the fourth-best home mark in the Association since 2019-20, are 10-0 this season on their home court with a staggering +16.8 scoring margin.
Boston is the only team in the league that ranks in the top 10 in offensive and defensive efficiency. The Celtics rank seventh in the league in scoring at 117.3 points a game and fourth in scoring defense at 108.8 points. The C’s, who love to launch 3-pointers, are an excellent shooting team ranking in the top 4 of the league in EFG% and True Shooting%.
Boston does an excellent job in transition defense and preventing second-chance points. The Celtics also protect the paint well.
There are concerns. The Celtics do not score a lot in the paint, get to the free-throw line, or do not share the ball well.
Boston is also very top-heavy. The Celtics have six quality veterans, and Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kristaps Porzingis produce 68.6 of their 117.3 points. Their starters account for nearly 81% of their team’s points. 68.2% of their rebounds and 78.7% of their assists.
Al Horford and Sam Hauser have been terrific off the bench. Peyton Pritchard has had his moments lately, but he is shooting under 40% from the field and just 31% from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Luke Kornet is who he is. Meaning that he is a good rebounder who can fill in at center for about 10-to-15 minutes and not hurt the team. Neemias Queta could take Kornet’s place as the C’s primary backup at center. However, he has only played in three games thus far.
In all reality, the Celtics are only eight deep. The Celtics’ most significant need is a guard who can either light it up off the bench or an actual reserve point. The C’s also could use a big man who can defend and provide regular scoring, mainly if there is an injury to Porzingis or Horford. Porzingis has already missed five games and has only played in 65 games three times in his career.
Even if there weren’t injury concerns, Boston could use a veteran wing or another combo forward.