Boston Celtics: There’s still time to turnaround the season after a poor start

Boston Celtics guard Dennis Schroder (71) Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics guard Dennis Schroder (71) Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Celtics fans across the world have been disappointed with the team’s rocky 4-6 start to the season. Many pundits are predicting negative outcomes to this season for the team now, and to them, I say hold your horses.

10 games into the season, the C’s have not shown much dominance on either end of the floor. Some fans are also starting to suspect that there may be some tension in the locker room. After all, Marcus Smart did come out to the media and make some negative comments towards the team’s two stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

During their recent three game road trip, the Celtics held a players-only meeting to address Smart’s criticism of the Celtics two franchise players. Many media networks portrayed this meeting as one that made no progress.

I believe Smart’s comments were perfectly in-line with what the Boston’s playbook/open secret is. But even Smart himself cannot escape the criticism facing this team. The Celtics would bounce back and beat the Orlando Magic 92-79 later that night.

In their following game against the Miami Heat, Jaylen Brown injured his hamstring, and he could end up missing a couple of weeks as a result. In that game, I had the same amount of points as Jayson Tatum did through the first three quarters. Even with Tatum struggling and Brown missing in action for the final quarter of play, the Boston Celtics ended up beating the Heat by 17 points. In my opinion, this is the most impressive victory of the season thus far.

This two-game win streak was snapped by the Luka Doncic led Dallas Mavericks last night. Though the Celtics took their first lead in the final minutes of play, an ill-advised foul by Marcus Smart and a Doncic three-point buzzer-beater over three black jerseys ended Boston’s night bitterly.

Though the Celtics have a losing record, all is not lost.

The few positives we have seen from the Boston Celtics so far

Brown shut down all thoughts of post-COVID sequelae right off the bat, as he dropped 46 points in the season opener against the New York Knicks. He has been averaging a solid 25.6 points per game, which is a career-high for him.

Must Read. Jaylen Brown and the ‘mind-boggling’ battle with effort. light

On the defensive side of the ball, Al Horford has been erasing shots left and right with a career-high 2.6 blocks per game. Though he’s the elder statesmen of this crew, he is running up and down the court like a rookie. Tatum has been averaging 8.4 rebounds per game, which is also a career-high. Smart has been himself, averaging a career-high 2.2 steals per game.

Rob Williams, the Timelord, has also put up career-high numbers in points, rebounds, and blocks per game as he acclimates himself to a full-time starting role. Even Jabari Parker has been able to impose his will on the offensive end during the limited minutes he has played so far. Obviously, this is a tiny sample size to analyze data or even formulate an opinion, but it should show fans that some things are going right.

No matter the individual potential being portrayed, basketball is a team game. Without winning games regularly, even with this talent-packed roster, the Celtics are not going to succeed in putting the NBA on notice.

This team is certainly not free of faults. One of the most disappointing losses on the season so far came at the hands of the Chicago Bulls. After failing to maintain a 19 point lead, the Celtics would end up losing by 14 that night. This 33 point turnaround for the Bulls was just one of the few occasions where Celtics fans booed the home team vociferously.

Knowing that a more patient play could have avoided several of the past six losses makes the 4-6 record even more difficult to stomach. Many teams that the Boston Celtics have lost to have had strong openings to the season, and they now have records of either 6-3 or 6-4.

This goes to show the amount of competitiveness present this early in the season. This should not distract anyone from the fact that there are absolute warriors on our squad that, at this moment, are not playing up to their expectations consistently.

What do the Boston Celtics do now?

Rationalizing a losing record doesn’t make me comfortable, but fans have to acknowledge that the season has just begun. Many of the Celtics have been coached under a different system. During his tenure as an NBA coach, Brad Stevens was well known for turning nothing into something. Well now the team is definitely something.

We have to be patient to see if Gregg Popovich’s pupil, Ime Udoka, is capable of producing greater results with this roster. With Stevens now filling the shoes of Danny Ainge in the front office, we will have to see if Stevens has that same cutthroat mentality. And make no mistake, Stevens will have to make several important decisions about this roster down the line.

Is Enes Kanter going to be moved? Should Parker be given a greater role than Grant Williams? Who are we willing to give up to get more scoring and energy on this team? Should Dennis Schroder replace Smart in the starting lineup?

Many are saying Smart might be included in a package to acquire a significant market piece. As a Celtics fan, nothing would crush me more. But there’s a reason I am not the general manager.

Next. The key issue that is holding this team back. dark

I say Celtics fans should maintain their composure, as nothing solid has been proven by the team yet. Maybe this team can flip this losing record into a double-digit win streak. The possibilities are endless.

The Celtics, however, should remember that only so much leeway can be given before the season gets out of hand and fans become restless and disappointed. Only the team should decide how long of a trial is needed with the line-ups, rotations, plays, and strategies.

The Boston Celtics play the Toronto Raptors for the second time this season on November 10th. This provides an opportunity for revenge. Hopefully, this little break will clarify what needs to be done to get back and stay in the winning column.