Man, I like the Hornets. LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward are a lot of fun to watch. Then they got Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier in supporting roles supplying lots of three point shooting (14 3s per game) and good scoring (38ppg).
You look at them and compare those guys in those roles to our Celtics:
(1) Their two stars actually pass the ball and make their teammates better. Both among the best ball-handlers and passers at their positions. Also good shooters.
(2) Genuine scoring and shooting support for their star players. 38ppg from their 3rd and 4th best players. Compare that to Boston - who is it even? Schroder is the 3rd best scorer, then who? Smart? Horford? Josh Richardson? Such a lack of genuine quality offensive support for Tatum and Jaylen.
And they play small!
Miles Bridges a combo forward plays PF. They play two combo guards and a ball-handling SF. They play with speed and skill. Push the ball. Out-skill opponents.
We don't. We don't try to out-skill anyone except for the worst of the worst. We don't play with pace. We don't try to out-run everyone. Everything is so slow and stodgy. Mucky halfcourt offense. Ugly team to watch.
It is only when you watch some of these other teams in the league that you realize how far behind the Celtics are in terms of their roster composition and skill levels.
And yet the Celtics are 2 points per game better, because for all their scoring, the Hornets give up the second-most points in the NBA. Basketball is played at both ends of the court. The Celtics have chosen to emphasize defense at the expense of offense, while the Hornets have chosen the opposite extreme. It does not mean that the Celtics are less skilled or less talented than the Hornets.
No doubt about it, the Celtics have more real and unrealized potential. The J's score points individually, and the C's defend better as a team too. Unfortunately it doesn't reflect in the record. Wouldn't it be great if we could blend the two?
I'm looking forward to the Celtics having no worse than a 32-24 record by the trade deadline and starting a climb up in the standings. We're 10th, but only 5.5 games out of first. A good month of basketball and our record and standing can look a lot more like the collection of talent that's on the roster.
Didn't quite get up to 32-24 by the deadline, but 31-25 is solid, and we've climbed from 10th to a tie for 6th.