From our friends and TrueHoop partner CelticsHub, Ryan DeGama examines the Celtics' need to pick up their pace of play:
The Celtics aren’t playing fast enough. Boston is second to last in the league in pace, averaging only 90.7 possessions per game. But according to Synergy Sports Technology, they’re second in the league averaging 1.32 per play in transition. Read that again. The Celtics have the second-most potent transition attack in the league and are playing at exactly the wrong pace to maximize that competitive advantage.
Forsberg's thoughts: Couldn't agree more with the suggestion in the article. It's not like the Celtics have a particularly bad halfcourt offense. In fact, the Celtics rank ninth overall in the NBA averaging 0.893 points per play, according to Synergy Data. But it's hard to ignore how good the Celtics are in transition. Given that Boston often falls into the trap of being a one-dimensional, jump-shooting team in the halfcourt set (even Doc Rivers admitted they have no consistent post presence and we see more pick-and-pops than pick-and-rolls), Boston needs to run in order to get easy buckets at the rim (or 3-pointers with Ray Allen trailing). What's more, the second unit is in desperate need of picking up its own transition game (and that's on both the point guards like Keyon Dooling to break out and bigs like Chris Wilcox to run the floor). One last, and maybe most important thing: The key to transition offense is simple -- halfcourt defense. Stop the opposition and have a chance to attack the other way. The Celtics currently rank 19th in halfcourt defense (0.871 points per play) and that's clearly a number that must improve.