Celtics, Eastern Conference Finals, Possible?

In sports we know that anything is possible…

  1. Warriors blow a 3-1 lead to lose the NBA Finals
  2. Indians blow a 3-1 lead to lose the World Series
  3. Falcons blow a 25 point lead to lose the Superbowl
  4. GloboGym blew a 4-1 advantage to Average Joe’s 

However, for the Boston Celtics, they are a few key players short to compete against the favored Cleveland Cavaliers this year.

The Celtics are currently sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference. They are four games behind the number one seeded Cavaliers and have a two game lead in front of the third place Washington Wizards.

With an impressive 38-22 record, the Celtics have been in the conversation of playoffs and maybe an MVP run with Isaiah Thomas. However, right now the team relies on Thomas for points and assists. Mr. Fourth Quarter averages about 30 points per game and nearly six assists. When he’s on all is well in Boston, but when he is off the team really seems to struggle which was evident in Monday’s 114-98 loss to Atlanta. 

The Celtics are two key players away from being REALLY good. First they NEED a center. The addition of Al Horford was a start. Horford averages about 14 points per game and six rebounds. However, some can argue that he is not a “true” center that will battle down low for rebounds and get you offensive boards. Some can also argue that there a very few “true” centers in the league right now. Horford provides good veteran presence, but the Celtics desperately need a big man that can go to work down low. They are a team that heavily relies on the jump shot and that can be a teams best or worst enemy. Some nights the ball just does not go in, that is part of the game, but that is when you need to feed the ball down low and someone willing to go to battle for offensive and defensive rebounds to keep you in the game and the Celtics lack option and depth in that area. 

Secondly, the Celtics need a person who can come off the bench and score the basketball. The Celtics starting five are all averaging double digit points per game, but need more depth to their bench. The Celtics do not have that one or two people that can come off the bench and consistently score. I believe with time and experience Jaylen Brown will be that person for the Celtics, but he needs to put in a lot of work in the offseason. To put in blatant terms, Brown is too small. He needs to put on muscle and to hone in on his footwork and shooting, all work that happens behind the scenes. If he can do that, the Celtics are a team to be reckoned with. 

It will be interesting to see what the Celtics do come free agency and the offseason. I hope the team surprises us all with a run in the playoffs, because as we know it’s been done before. 

The Celtics take on the Cavaliers tonight at home at 8:00 PM. The game can be watched on ESPN.

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