The Boston Celtics (26-12) are looking to get back on track after losing five of their last nine games, including back-to-back blowout losses to the Denver Nuggets (123-111) and Oklahoma City Thunder (150-117) on Tuesday.
The recent stretch of lagging defense and tough losses have proven to be their first test of adversity this season. Surging star forward Jayson Tatum recently gave NBC Sports Boston some insight into what Boston has to do to rediscover their identity and play winning basketball again.
“I think it’s on the first group; we’ve got to back to our identity,” Tatum said. “When we were playing at the best and highest level, we would just play faster. That’s some 0.5 basketball, shoot it, pass it, or drive it. When we play like that, we’re damn near unguardable. Making shots is part of that, so they go hand and hand.”
Over the last nine games, Boston ranks 23rd in offense (113.5) and seventh in defense (112.8). A bit of a reversing trend for a team that held the top offense in the League and a bottom-15 defense before the Celtics’ 4-5 stretch of basketball. Going forward, Boston will likely look to marry their two-way play at a higher level beginning with a road game against the Dallas Mavericks.
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