Celtics Season Review

Celtics Season Review

by February 10, 2019 0 comments

It’s no secret that when compared with the preseason projections, this year’s Boston Celtics have failed to live up to expectations.

ESPN and TeamRankings both projected the C’s to be at least a 56.5 win team, but they have won just 35 of their first 56. With 25 games remaining in the regular season, they would have to win 22 games to match that projection.

Needless to say, it’s not happening barring a turnaround for the ages. The lackluster season started right from the beginning, going 10-10 in their first 20 outings.

There is plenty of blame to go around, with everyone from the coaching staff to the players admitting that they are partially to blame. This past week, Boston dropped back-to-back games where they at one point claimed at least a 20-point lead. The tension in the locker room has fluctuated, to say the least, but for obvious reasons, this caused said tension to rise once again.

Marcus Morris, in his second year since being dealt out of Detroit, was vocal about his issues with his team and where they stand after losing to the Clippers 123-112 Saturday night.

“I watch all these other teams around the league and guys are up on the bench, they’re jumping on the court, they’re doing all other stuff that looks like they’re enjoying their teammates’ success,” Morris said. “They’re enjoying everything and they’re playing together and they’re playing to win. And when I look at us, I just see a bunch of individuals.”

Furthermore, the back-and-forth between Kyrie Irving and the young core dominated headlines for the opening months. Irving spoke his mind following a substandard performance in Orlando where the Magic topped the Celtics 105-103

“The young guys don’t know what it takes to be a championship level team,” Irving said. “And if they think it’s hard now, what will they think when we’re trying to get to the finals?”

Shortly thereafter, 22-year-old Jaylen Brown chimed in, claiming that the whole team needed to be held accountable.

“It’s not one guy’s fault, it’s not young guy’s or old guy’s fault, it’s everybody,” Brown said.

Despite all these negatives circulating one of the league’s contenders, there are plenty of statistics and strong performances that encourage optimism for future endeavors in Beantown.

For one, their defense has been near impenetrable night in and night out. Boston is the only team in the top five of the league for both steals (8.9) as well as blocks (5.8) per game (per NBA.com). Their defensive rating is good for fifth in the league, sitting at a stingy 105.5.

In addition to stats, the Celtics have also posted solid games against top-tier competition. They are a combined 5-2 this season against the Raptors, Bucks, and 76ers. The comforts of home have transferred from last year’s impressive postseason run to this year, where Boston has gone 22-8.

So all that said, why have the Celtics failed to truly find a consistent rhythm? It seems like every time there is a hint of evolving into what was expected, they reset all progress with a couple of truly pitiful losses.

Placing all the blame on one or two players is preposterous. Gordon Hayward has yet to blossom into the 30-million dollar forward, Terry Rozier has looked like an inkling of the “Scary Terry” that led his team to the Eastern Conference Finals under a calendar year ago, and Jaylen Brown had his role relegated to the bench.

All those reasons and more have caused the slow start that was impossible to foresee. One thing to keep in mind is that this basketball team is young. Boston is the twelfth youngest team in the league, and that is maybe the most promising thing about this group.

The talent is there, the coach is there, and the room to improve is there.

But like peanut butter and jelly, it just has to all come together in the right place at the right time.

 

 

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