The Celtics offense had looked OK through Boston’s first five games of the 2018-19 NBA season, but the attack generally had lacked rhythm.
Boston frequently found itself reverting to isolation basketball, which is a disservice to a team that’s littered with high-energy players capable of wreaking havoc in transition.
This wasn’t the case against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night, as the C’s were off and running from the get-go and cruised to a 109-89 victory at Little Caesars Arena. The Celtics’ pace seemed to overwhelm the Pistons, who effectively were stagnant from start to finish.
After the game, head coach Brad Stevens noted that given Boston’s depth, it’s only right that his team kicks things up a notch on the offensive end.
“Our pace is better, which is good,” Stevens said, as captured by MassLive. “If we’re gonna play nine guys this much or 10 guys this much, then we might as well move a little faster. The last two games have been a lot faster.”
Stevens quickly remembered the Celtics faced a 16-point halftime deficit to the Oklahoma City Thunder in their last game, forcing the head coach to tweak his initial sentiment.
“The last three halves have a been a lot better,” Stevens said, correcting himself.
The fact of the matter is, there aren’t many teams around the league that possess as many playmakers capable of stretching the floor as the Celtics. So if Boston continues to build off its last two games and maintain a high level of pace, opponents just might not be able to keep up.
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Celtics-Pistons game:
— Save for the tough loss against the Raptors in Toronto, the Celtics’ defense has been stifling through their first six games of the season.
— Boston’s 63 points at the break marked its highest first-half point total of the season thus far.
— Robert Williams III, the No. 27 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, scored the first points of his professional career in the fourth quarter. While it came in garbage time, the rookie certainly made it count.
— Kyrie Irving only scored three points, marking the second time this season he’s failed to log a double-digit point total. The star guard only notched less than 10 points on two occasions in the previous two seasons combined.
— Daniel Theis had scored 13 combined points on the season entering Saturday, but the second-year forward erupted for 17 against the Pistons. Theis wasn’t able to enjoy his big night as much as he would have liked, though.
— Andre Drummond pulled down at least 13 rebounds in each of the Pistons’ first four games, including two 20-plus performances. The Celtics limited the veteran big man to eight boards.
Thumbnail photo via Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports