Coming into the season, the Celtics looked on paper like the likely breakout candidate in the East — some team was going to break out of the pack and challenge the Heat atop the East. Boston’s depth and veteran core made them seem a likely candidate.
Instead, the Knicks have broken out and the Celtics have floundered. Boston is 13-12, the seven seed in the East, and their offense has been atrochious for stretches.
Celtics GM Danny Ainge has seen this core group start slow and finish strong before, so he is not reaching for the panic button, is not thinking trades, he told the Boston Herald.
“I’m probably in the same place Doc (Rivers) is,” Ainge said yesterday afternoon, referring to his coach. “We’re not playing as well as we’re capable of. I don’t think we’ve played our best basketball yet….
“We don’t need to make a change. We need to get better. So between the players and the coaches and the management, we’re all working together to try to figure out how to get better.”
Asked if he is confident that the roster he has assembled still can be succesful, Ainge paused and said, “I’m uncertain. I want to see more.”
Some Celtics fans have seen enough, but they need to be patient.
It’s the offensive end where the Celtics need the most improvement (the defense has been erratic but I expect that to come around, for old times sake). Boston needs to get Jason Terry more touches off the bench — he is using 17 percent of the team’s possessions when he is on the floor. That’s about the percent you want Chris Wilcox using. Terry should be in the low- to mid-20s.
But it’s more than just Terry. Ainge can afford to be