USA Today Sports

Celtics look 3-point happy in first preseason game

Josue Pavon
September 29, 2018 - 7:40 am

The Celtics finished the 2017-18 season averaging more 3-point attempts than most teams in the league. 

It was a big part of their identity, and if there's one thing we learned from Boston's preseason opener against the Hornets on Friday is that not a lot has changed. The Celtics chucked up 47 attempts from deep at a 19.1 percent clip. (For a complete recap of the Celtics' first exhibition game, click here.)

To put that into perspective, the Celtics averaged 30.4 attempts last season. Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris combined for 4-of-15, Semi Ojeleye went 0-for-7 while Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward each finished 1-for-5 from deep

Boston was rusty, that's typical for the first tuneup of the year. However, 3-point shooting will be a vital piece to the Celtics' offense and is something worth keeping a close eye on. 

While defense is certainly the backbone of Brad Stevens' system -- it's the biggest reason why his tenure with the Celtics has been a success -- efficient shooting will be just as important. The majority of the looks from deep on Friday were contested or forced; a telling sign of a team that settled for quick shots early into the shot clock rather than allowing the offense to develop naturally. 

After a deceiving 20-point second half lead, the Hornets eventually pulled ahead and ran with a win. Hornets and Celtics will settle their exhibition rematch Sunday evening at TD Garden.