Celtics Should Target Western Conference Sniper: Analyst

Bryn Forbes, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics

Getty Bryn Forbes, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics

Shooting has been a significant flaw in the Boston Celtics DNA over the last few years, but fixing the issue has never been more integral.

The Celtics currently sit 16th in three-point percentage and 23rd in field-goal percentage, clearly indicating the need for additional scorers. The perplexing part about Boston’s struggles is how they have two All-Star wings, which are at their best when given the green light to shoot the rock, along with a sophomore wing who came into the NBA with a sharpshooting reputation.

However, Aaron Nesmith has failed to live up to that reputation, and neither Jayson Tatum nor Jaylen Brown has found their rhythm just yet. As such, the Celtics are seriously struggling to put the rock in the hole and continually find themselves in close games because of it.

Shooting usually comes at a premium, especially if that player is a multi-faceted threat. We’ve all witnessed the rise of the “three-and-D” wing, one of the most sought-after skill sets in the modern NBA. That’s because teams understand that spot-up scoring becomes less valuable unless a sniper is at an elite level as you get deeper into the playoffs.

Of course, there are a few three-point snipers who buck that trend and remain valuable assets despite their skillset being strictly one-dimensional. The funny part is that apart from the Miami Heat‘s Duncan Robinson, the Celtics have found themselves linked to most of the league’s top shooters in recent months.

Analyst Believes Celtics Should Target Bryn Forbes

When talking about straight-up assassins, the name Bryn Forbes is usually towards the top of the list. A career 41% three-point shooter who understands his role and plays it exceptionally well, Forbes is exactly what the Celtics bench rotation is missing right now and precisely what the team hoped Nesmith would become.

According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, Forbes is a player the Celtics should be targeting heading towards the trade deadline. Currently, Forbes is playing for the San Antonio Spurs, where he has become an essential part of what Greg Popovich’s team looks to do when their second unit is on the floor. Buckley believes that Forbes’ skillset could help transform the Celtics fortunes.

“His three-point shot is more like a flamethrower. Since the start of 2018-19, he has buried 2.1 threes per outing at a 41.9 percent clip. And he’s done that in all of just 23.1 minutes. Stretch his numbers out to a per-36-minutes scale, and it jumps to 3.3 threes a night.

There aren’t many other layers to his game, but that should be fine for the Shamrocks. Even a spacing specialist could do a lot for this offense, and he shouldn’t cost too much to get,” Buckley wrote.

The Spurs are currently in the midst of a rebuild, and should the Celtics provide a package that would send back an appealing young talent along with a draft pick; it would be difficult for the Texas-based team to turn down the offer.

The Celtics Have Some Shooters Within Their Ranks

Frustratingly, the Celtics do have some good shooters within their roster. Sophomore guard Payton Pritchard is fast proving himself as a three-point threat with deep range and has shown a willingness to improve his off-the-dribble shooting.

Nesmith is the most perplexing member of the Celtics roster, considering he was primarily considered to be the best shooter in the 2020 NBA draft. However, we’ve seen more on defense than we have on offense from the sophomore wing, with many questioning his current role and if he should be given more movement shooting opportunities.

And, of course, the Celtics have Tatum and Brown. Both are considered elite finishers across all three levels, capable of scoring in a plethora of ways. Still, neither star has found consistency this season, and both have some terribly shot attempts they would rather never watch back. In fact, during the December 5 contest between the Celtics and Spurs, both Brown and Tatum fluffed multiple shots at the rim, and both had at least one airball to their name.

That’s the nature of the Celtics season thus far – all the talent, none of the results. The team lacks a functional shooter to plug in during shooting slumps to help space the floor and provide a little boost. Should Forbes be deemed unattainable, or the asking price for him is too high, Boston should still look around the league for shooting help; otherwise, the team is likely to face another play-in tournament to make the playoffs.

And for a team with two All-Stars, and a bevy of young, high-upside talent, a second year of play-in qualification isn’t going to be deemed a success. Hopefully, the Celtics can show us all some form of improvement in the shooting department when they face off against the New York Knicks on December 6, in what will be the second night of a back-to-back following their loss to the Spurs.



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