The Boston Celtics started their 2017-2018 campaign on an absolute tear, winning 17 of their first 20 games, including winning 16 games in a row. Early on, the Celtics established themselves as true title contenders. However, the Boston Celtics continue to struggle heading into the second half of the season.
The Boston Celtics Continue to Struggle
After a hot start, the Celtics have now lost 5 of their last 6 games. Including losses to the underachieving Lakers, without Lonzo Ball, and a loss to the Orlando Magic at home.
At one point the Celtics looked to be a virtual lock to get the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. But, with the Toronto Raptors closing in, trailing by only 1.5 games, is it time to panic?
After an almost impossible to duplicate start, the Celtics have for sure come back to Earth. However, health has surely not been great for this young Celtics team.
Dealing with Adversity
The Celtics have had to deal with a great deal of adversity all season long. Injuries have plagued this team all season long. Rookie phenome Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier are the only Celtics players who have been active in all 50 games this season. Even All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Al Horford have missed a combined 8 games this season.
This Celtics defense has been a big reason why this team was so effective early on this season. But, recently their defense has struggled, allowing over 100 points over their last 4 games. The Celtics offense is not good enough to win games over that 100 point threshold.
When Boston allows over 100 points, they are 11-13 and have allowed 100 points in 10 games since the start of January.
Scoring has also been an issue for this team and has been all season long. Outside of Kyrie Irving, the Celtics have struggled to find a consistent second scoring option. A lot of pressure is being put on 19-year-old Jayson Tatum and 21-year-old Jaylen Brown to develop their offensive skill set quickly.
With the trade deadline approaching, the Celtics seem to be a prime candidate to land another scorer. It’s unclear what Celtics General Manager and President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge is willing to part with at the trade deadline. But, it seems inevitable that Boston will make some sort of move.
The Celtics still have their $8.4 million disabled player exception (DPE), which was granted due to the horrific Gordon Hayward injury on opening night. The Celtics have until March 10th to use the money.
Second Half of the Regular Season
The Celtics should be able to turn this rough patch around. But, having an extra shooter or an extra big man would certainly bolster Boston’s chances to reach the NBA Finals.
Regardless of the fact that the Celtics continue to struggle, Boston still controls their own destiny in the Eastern Conference, and still will more likely than not land the #1 seed in the East.
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