There is a different vibe around this year’s Celtics team. I made the point earlier in the summer that it felt a little forced. Every chance the media had to shove a microphone in front of the faces of any of the Team USA teammates they talked about the chemistry.
Maybe I shouldn’t have brushed it off.
As many have noted Boston has faced the same three teams as they did last year. However, there is a STARK difference in vibe inside the locker room.
“I think it felt more different in the preseason, there were more bumps,” said Boston play-by-play man Sean Grande. “The problems last year were easily traced to the preseason. The preseason games did not go well; the step skipping, which was a big theme of last year. The disposition to defend was there.”
“Even through this first week, which has been a really rocky one offensively, the Celtics are 2-1 because they are committed to defending,” he added.
Boston has allowed 102.7 points per game this season, good for fifth in the conference. Shockingly enough it’s the offense you have to “worry about” in the early part of the season.
Celtics Defense Thriving While Small
In a way I saw this coming (I’m sure a lot of you did as well), but I didn’t think it would happen so soon.
Grant Williams is the best center on the team.
Now that is a little hyperbolic, but early returns on the Manvil are strong. In the game Saturday against the Knicks Williams was a +16 in 19 minutes. He does all the little things on the court that really matter. He sets great screens, fights for rebounds, and spaces the floor. And what’s great about Grant is his ability to move the ball.
If Grant can keep this up and if Robert Williams can stay out of foul trouble maybe the Celtics lack-of-depth issues will get solved sooner than expected.
Adam Kaufman chats with Sean Grande to discuss all of this and MORE on this week’s Celtics Beat. Make sure you subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher! And make sure you follow Adam on Twitter here!
2:36 You can already see the difference in the first three games
9:01 Did Jaylen take a shot at Kyrie?
16:03 What does Tatum do at a NBA level?
19:40 GRANT WILLIAMS