It’s obvious, but it still needs to be said.
The C’s most current three-game losing streak not only sums up what has been wrong with the championship hopefuls, it also leaves the Boston-based club under .500, 20-21, for the first time since it started. season 1-2. Beyond that, although they lost the first of the three-game set to the Utah Jazz, they continued to lose it to non-playoff clubs at the Cleveland Cavaliers 15-26, and last night to the Sacramento Kings 17-24. , 107-96, at home.
Of their 96 points against the Kings, no Celtic registered 20. The team’s top four, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart, scored a total of 23 of 61, or 37.7 percent. And the key microcosm of the Celtics’ experience was the lack of production they have collectively received from the rest of the team, though, lately, that would exclude Robert ‘Time Lord’ Williams, who is averaging 11 points, nine rebounds, and about three blocks per game in his last nine appearances, all off the bench.
In the race for Eastern Conference supremacy, the Celtics are falling behind, with a post-COVID Tatum, a struggling Kemba, lack of depth and a huge $ 28 million trade exception. Antics will be played like hell if the exception is not used by this deadline. This team has no one outside of its core four of guards / wings averaging at least 10 points per game. And because there are a lot of the top four players on their roster, all of whom aren’t playing their best, the team is currently in the play-in rather than the playoffs.
With 31 games remaining in the season, the Celtics, and one of the lightest remaining schedules in the league, are about to embark on a four-game road trip, including two in a row in Milwaukee to face the Bucks. With the possibility of a widening gulf between them and the upper echelon of the East, namely the Bucks, Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, the pressure is on Boston to do so. something between now and the trade deadline of March 25, Y potentially later in the acquisition market.
Right now, are you really picking the Celtics in a playoff series against the Bucks, 76ers, or Nets? Would they also be favorites against the Miami Heat? We are Of course Would they even effortlessly pass the Charlotte Hornets or New York Knicks with as much inconsistency as they have been? No no and no.
And the Celtics haven’t just struggled on the inside, either. They are only 27 in assists per game, 22 in defensive rating, 21 in pace, 20 in triples, 19 in points per game, 17 in rebounds and 13 in defense.
For once, it will hardly be good enough for Danny Ainge and the Celtics. And you know they need to do something; he has admitted it himself.
“It has been a challenging year”, Ainge said via Boston.com. “We’ve had trouble closing games and we’ve struggled with consistency and you hear me talk a lot about determination. It seems that we don’t have many characteristics of a really good team, for sure, ”added Ainge. “We have some talented guys, but our team right now is not playing as well as we expected.”
Whether it’s Andre Drummond, LaMarcus Aldridge, Steven Adams, Kristaps Porzingis, or someone else unexpected, if there is any chance of capitalizing on their current window, a move must be made, unless they switch to a rebuild.