All the planning a team does before the season starts can go out the window pretty quickly. And for the Boston Celtics, it did so less than six minutes into the season.
Gordon Hayward's injury (in addition to being heartbreaking) essentially changes much of what the Boston Celtics were trying to do offensively this season. They've lost one of their two primary ball-handlers, one of their best perimeter shooters, and probably their best decision-maker.
"We're going to try to stay within somewhat of the base we put in," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Friday in Philadelphia, "but we're going to have to do some significant tweaks with what we're emphasizing."
Al Horford has to take on a bigger role in the offense. After Friday's win, Stevens called Horford's 16 shots (after 18 total in the first two games) "a good step in the right direction." And Horford won't be the only Celtic asked to make plays out of the post.
"We'll look to play through the post a little bit more at a bunch of different positions," Stevens said. "And we'll look to get Kyrie off [the ball] and then back to it. It'll be something that hopefully we'll get better at as the season goes along, but there are some things we need to tweak to be the best that we can be."
For every team, whether they go through significant injuries or not, the season is a continuous evolution on both ends of the floor. The Celtics' offense can't undergo a complete overhaul right away, but it will surely look much different in February and March than it does now.
"I imagined that any ways," Stevens said, "but now I really imagine that."
Some teams are off to a great start and some need more tweaks than others.
- Last week: Some All-Star combinations will work -- and some won't
- This time last year: Warriors, Cavs poised for third straight Finals meeting -- The season hadn't started yet, but the Warriors had the league's best preseason record and the Nets were tied for the league's worst. Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic were starting together in Denver, while point guards Patrick Beverley, Jrue Holiday and Reggie Jackson were all starting the season on the shelf.
- Plus-minus stud: Evan Turner (POR) was a plus-61 in three games in Week 1.
- Plus-minus dud: Eric Bledsoe (PHX) was a minus-71 in three games in Week 1.
- Hero team of the week: Houston (3-0) -- The Rockets are the only team with three wins and the first one was an impressive victory at Golden State, where the Warriors were 114-9 over the previous three regular seasons.
- Zero team of the week: Phoenix (0-3) -- No effort in the home opener and two losses by more than 40 points is what gets a coach fired.
- East vs. West: The West went 3-2 against the East in Week 1.
- High jumps of the week: Memphis (+10), Indiana (+5), Minnesota (+5), Orlando (+5)
- Free falls of the week: Boston (-9), Dallas (-6), Oklahoma City (-5)
- Team to watch in Week 2: LA Clippers -- After walking through the Lakers and Suns in Week 1, the Clips will play some more serious Western Conference competition, hosting the Jazz on Tuesday and visiting Portland on Thursday.
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Pace: Possessions per 48 minutes (League Rank)
OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions (League Rank)
DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions (League Rank)
NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions (League Rank)
The league has averaged 102.7 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 103.6 points scored per 100 possessions this season.
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NBA.com's Power Rankings, released every Monday during the season, are just one man's opinion. If you have an issue with the rankings, or have a question or comment for John Schuhmann, send him an e-mail or contact him via Twitter.
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