After looking last week at three concerns that could derail the Celtics season, it’s only right to explore three potential ways the team could exceed expectations.

1. Staving off defensive slippage

Last season, for the first time, Brad Stevens received consistent criticism for his coaching performance. Questions popped up about Stevens’ offensive system, which often failed to produce the right types of shots. Observers researched his entire tenure and realized, well, his teams haven’t always scored a lot. Many of those teams weren’t exactly stocked with playmakers, but last year’s team had plenty and still finished just 10th in offensive efficiency. Maybe Stevens needs to evolve. Maybe his players need to exercise less thirst in their quest for buckets. Maybe the blame deserved to fall on everyone.

Maybe there’s another lesson: Stevens might be a sharper defensive coach. He hasn’t coached a below-average defense since he led a torn-down…





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