On Friday, the Boston Celtics fell to the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers, 132-123, in overtime.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 29, 2022
So, is this a sign of bad things to come for Boston?
The green has dropped the last two games after starting the season 3-0.
Joe Mazzulla’s squad merely had been “outscoring” teams earlier in the season, lending to the fact that the Celtics’ defense needs a severe tune-up.
The Celtics have allowed opponents to score at least 117 points in four of the first five games of the 2022-23 season.
Although it is a small sample size, the Celtics rank 28th in defense rating to start the season.
Their defensive struggles were highlighted in their two losses this week.
There were bright spots for Boston in parts of the defeats, but Mazzulla and company will need to find their defensive shoes if the team wants to succeed.
The reason that the Celtics succeeded in 2021-22 and the 2022 postseason was their defense.
They had a top-10 offense, but their defense was arguably the best in the league.
With the team being similar to the one last year, it is very surprising to see the drop in defensive performance.
The return of Robert Williams III in the second half of the season should be a huge help, but he will not be the sole reason for a jump from 28th to first or second in the defensive rating.
The Celtics Moving Forward
Heading into the games on Saturday, only one Eastern Conference team has a negative points differential and a winning record.
It is the Celtics, who will get Grant Williams back on Sunday.
They are not in trouble yet, but the injury bug and lack of defense have hurt the team.
Next up for Boston is the Washington Wizards before rematches with the Cavaliers and Bulls.
Each of those teams — including the Celtics — is in the top seven in the East.
Although it is early, these games will be a good test for Boston.