The Celtics turned the ball over 17 times in Monday’s 118-108 loss to the Pistons, and Kyrie Irving had one of his worst offensive games as a Celtic. But at the end of the day, they scored 108 points and got 26 out of Marcus Smart. Head coach Brad Stevens is much more concerned about the defense.
Stevens was asked about the C’s perceived offensive problems during his weekly call to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand on Wednesday. On defense they have averaged 105.8 points allowed in their past four games and are 2-2 in that span. Stevens is more focused on fixing the defensive end of the floor, which is where they have a better chance to be more consistent.
“Scoring wasn’t the issue [against the Pistons],” Stevens said. “Hey, we missed some opportunities, certainly. I thought our turnovers were – we can do better than having 17 turnovers – but our defense wasn’t as good as it’s been, largely because of the way that Detroit was playing. They put us in some bad spots. They were cutting with such pace and made us pay.
“If you look at us over the last seven games, our offense has gotten better and better and better. Even though we’re still sitting in a good spot overall, defensively we haven’t defended as well in the last six or seven games. So our focus is gonna be to get back to that mentality, because that’s where our bread will be buttered. That’s where we have to be great. In basketball, offense comes and goes as far as making shots. You can always pursue your right shot, your best shot, but you’re gonna have nights where the ball doesn’t go in the basket.”
Listen above for the full interview!