A rival coach expects the Boston Celtics to be not as good on defense as compared to last season.
Per Keith P. Smith of SB Nation, an unnamed rival coach of the Celtics shared his outlook on the Brad Stevens-led squad. For the rival coach, the Celtics' defense will not be up to par. However, he believes that their offense will be better and will still be a playoff team.
“They’re not going to be as good on defense. If they are, give (Brad) Stevens Coach of the Year right now. But they’ll be fine on that end. He’ll ask (Enes) Kanter to just drop and they’ll dare his man to shoot. The French kid (Vincent Poirier) will play more when he needs a defender out there. Offensively, I bet they are better. The kids will improve, (Gordon) Hayward will be better, and Kemba (Walker) just fits perfectly. I’ve seen some saying they aren’t a playoff team. That’s stupid.”
Though the rival coach didn't fully explain why analysts believe that losing Al Horford left a big gaping hole in the Celtics' defense. Horford, a five-time All-Star and was selected into the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2018, signed with the Philadelphia 76ers during the summer.
In his stint with the Celtics, he was the team's anchor on the defensive end. Last season, the team had a defensive rating of 107.0 for sixth in the league. They were also fourth in steals with 8.6 per game and 10th in blocks (5.3).
It still remains to be seen whether the Celtics' defense goes down a notch or not. But Stevens, despite his struggles last season, is still seen as one of the best coaches in the NBA. He'll figure things out sooner than later.