The Celtics were a broken team on Sunday Night, as they tried to rally behind Isaiah Thomas in the wake of his sister’s death.
Isaiah Thomas tried to get in the game early, hitting some incredible shots to try to inspire his teammates to a win. Things didn’t really go that way however, as the Bulls consistently double-teamed IT4 which resulted in multiple turnovers for the small guard.
Avery Bradley had a pretty big night, trying to draw some of the offensive attention away from his Tacoma brother. The thing that ultimately might have killed the Celtics might have been the horrid defensive effort from their bench, as Bobby Portis lit up the scoreboard with 19 points on 8-10 shooting from the floor, including 3-4 from downtown. The Celtics had little respect for his jump-shot, which Portis might have noticed considering his production starting halfway through the second quarter.
So what now
Let me start off by saying the following: The Celtics need to find another scoring option FAST. Al Horford is a viable option to distribute the ball and find open guys, but he is not asserting himself as a scoring option the Celtics can rely on consistently so far. Perhaps the Celtics should look for more post-up opportunities for the big man, but Horford is a pass-first big who should really be looking for his own offense half the time. This, combined with the fact that Jae Crowder ended up with a plus/minus of -10, gives Celtics fans reason to worry what might come if Isaiah Thomas can’t produce due to the circumstances.
A guy I think the Celtics should use more is Gerald Green. Having a small role off the bench is something I think the Celtics should change, as Gerald has been a big-moments guy during the regular season when he was granted big minutes. He also can space the floor and provide a huge offensive boost should Isaiah begin to struggle.
As far as the situation with Isaiah Thomas goes, I feel like the Celtics are being somewhat careless. In my opinion, the Celtics should monitor Isaiah’s emotional state closely, as he was actually somewhat of a turnover machine on Sunday, accounting for 6 of the team’s 15 turnovers. If the Celtics wish to come out victorious against the Bulls, they need to crack down on rebounds and the turnover differential, and if that means lowering Isaiah’s involvement slightly, then that’s what they should do.
The Celtics will look to fix their issues and tie the series up tomorrow at 8 pm in the TD Garden.Hopefully Isaiah can battle his demons and the Celtics can rally behind their leader.
Check out my last article on why the Celtics should call up Abdel Nader next season here.