It’s apparent, but it surely nonetheless must be stated.
The C’s most present three-game dropping streak not solely encapsulates what’s been unsuitable with the championship hopefuls, but it surely additionally drops the Boston-based membership to below .500, 20-21, for the primary time since starting the season 1-2. Past that, whereas they did lose the primary of the three-game-set to the Utah Jazz, they adopted it up by falling to non-playoff golf equipment within the 15-26 Cleveland Cavaliers, and final night time to the 17-24 Sacramento Kings, 107-96, at residence.
Of their 96 factors in opposition to the Kings, no particular person Celtic recorded 20. The workforce’s core 4 of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, and Marcus Sensible shot a collective 23-for-61, or 37.7-percent. And the important thing microcosm of the Celtics expertise was the shortage of manufacturing they’ve collectively obtained from the remainder of the workforce, although, as of late, that will exclude Robert ‘Time Lord’ Williams, who’s averaging 11 factors, 9 rebounds, and about three blocks per recreation in his final 9 appearances, all off the bench.
Within the race for Jap Convention supremacy, the Celtics are lagging approach behind, with a post-COVID Tatum, a struggling Kemba, a scarcity of depth, and a big-ass $28 million commerce exception. They’ll be clowned like all hell if the exception doesn’t get utilized by this deadline. This workforce has nobody outdoors of their core 4 of guards/wings averaging at the least 10 factors per recreation. And since a lot is on the principle 4 guys on their roster, all of whom aren’t enjoying their finest, the workforce is at present within the play-in as an alternative of the playoffs.
With 31 video games left within the season, the Celtics, and one of many lighter remaining schedules within the league, they’re about to embark on a four-game highway journey, together with two straight in Milwaukee to face the Bucks. With the potential for a widening chasm between them and the East’s upper-echelon — specifically, the Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, and Philadelphia 76ers — the stress is on Boston to do one thing between now and March 25’s commerce deadline, and probably afterward on the buyout market.
Proper now, are you actually choosing the Celtics in a playoff sequence in opposition to the Bucks, 76ers, or Nets? Would they be favored in opposition to the Miami Warmth both? Are we certain they’d even effortlessly get by the Charlotte Hornets or New York Knicks with as inconsistent as they’ve been? No, no, and no.
And the Celtics haven’t simply struggled on the inside both. They’re solely twenty seventh in assists per recreation, twenty second in defensive ranking, twenty first in tempo, twentieth in threes made, nineteenth in factors per recreation, seventeenth in rebounding, and thirteenth in protection.
For as soon as, nearly received’t be ok for Danny Ainge and the Celtics. And he is aware of they should do one thing; he’s admitted it himself.
“It’s been a difficult 12 months,” Ainge stated through Boston.com. “We’ve struggled to shut out video games and we’ve struggled with consistency and also you hear me speak loads about resolve. It simply looks as if we don’t have a number of traits of a extremely good workforce, for certain,” Ainge added. “We have now some gifted guys however our workforce proper now shouldn’t be enjoying in addition to we had hoped.”
Whether or not it’s Andre Drummond, LaMarcus Aldridge, Steven Adams, Kristaps Porzingis, or anyone extra sudden, if there’s any probability to capitalize on their present window, a transfer needs to be made, except they pivot to a rebuild as an alternative.