I’ve been meaning to write this post for ages!
So, the Boston Celtics have been pilloried all season! Media was down on them, fans were down on them, even some of the loyal Boston fans! Why? Because they weren’t winning at the same clip that they did last year.
In many ways, Boston was a victim of their own success. Last year was a bit of a fluke, scoring the No2 Seed in the Eastern conference, even with Hayward crocked in the season opener and Kyrie missing for quite a few games, along with being out for the playoffs, but yet they marched all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals!
With Hayward returning this year, many people felt that with the emergence of Tatum and Brown, along with Kyrie recovered from his surgery, that this team would be No 1. What they fail to recognise is, Hayward is nowhere near the player that he was, and this realisation didn’t come until much later on in the season, where his general play and confidence has finally clued the fans in.
I honestly think people thought Hayward was going to do this when he got back
But of course he’s finger rolling and laying up everything with minimal drives to the hoop. Dude proper broke his leg!!! Come on!
(On a side note, check his look after his dunk on Giannis, that was a look from a bad man then!)
You can tell his confidence is really shot, and his situation made harder with the studs playing in his position with Jaylen Brown, Morris and Tatum and all three of them being very good athletes, especially Brown! How would you feel, if you use to be able to skywalk, and now you’re earth bound, and your team mates playing in your position are all slam dunking. Then when you get a pass to put one away, you are forced to lay it in, or even to give it up, as you don’t just feel right. That has happened countless times this season when I’ve watched him play.
So, the two big reasons on high expectations have been explained – last year’s success and Gordon’s return.
But other factors beyond Celtics control as well! Raptors added Kawaii, and have just been absolutely beasting! Bucks, with the new coach and the Greek Freak playing at MVP level is now No 1 in the East.
Tatum and Brown have slumped a little and struggled with the rotation. It’s inevitable really, but personally I am convinced both of them will pick it up in the clutch. It’s in their character.
I was pretty set on Boston being in the top three seed position by the end of the season, however the mid season trades that has just gone down has forced me to re-evaluate. Namely the Sixers traded Fultz away and managed to obtain Tobias Harris! OMG, so now they have Butler, Joel E, Simmons and Harris! Sixers are behind Celtics at the moment, but if they click they could really challenge all the way now!
However, I am not sold on Sixers, I think that’s a fragile locker room. Simmons has a huge ego and Jimmy Butler wants to get paid, now Tobias is there…….if they win, then it’ll be all good, but it will be super interesting to see how they face adversity. I am not convinced they will be that good in the playoffs. Altogether trading away Fultz for Tobias Harris was a fantastic move them in the long run.
I am going to bank on Boston turning it on after the All Star Break. Now that the trade deadlines have passed. The guys can concentrate and focus on their roles. There was a bit of bitching and moaning apparently, but this team is going to be locked in. I am going for Boston reaching the conference finals again.
*Props on Danny Ainge not pulling the trigger. Morris needs to be traded when Brown and Tatum are more seasoned. I would say next year. Kyrie is expendable, he’s not really right for this team. But if they get AD, then Kyrie would be a monster fit then and they should do all they could to keep Kyrie.