The Celtics are fifth from the bottom in average scoring at less than 90 points per game. They have a relatively acceptable .463 field-goal percentage but are coming off three straight games with slow starts. They are tied for the league's worst rebounding rate at 37 boards per game.
Statistics have never defined the Celtics under head coach Doc Rivers, however. Boston's calling card in this era has been the team's ability to play as one, both offensively and defensively, and to regroup when things go badly.
Those qualities have been missing so far this season. While newcomers like Brandon Bass, Keyon Dooling and Mickael Pietrus have made immediate impacts, the team as a whole does not always work as one entity on defense, leading to open baskets for the opponent. Rebounding has been an ongoing problem despite the presence of two traditionally strong rebounding big men, Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O'Neal, in the starting lineup.
The elephant in the room for the last couple of seasons, of course, is age. The Celtics are the fourth-oldest team in the NBA, and in all three losses, their fatigue has been apparent. If they look this tired and this old heading into game No. 11, it's worrisome to think how much they will be hobbling when they get their turn with a back-to-back-to-back in April.
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