If you've been watching the Boston Celtics recently, it's hard to find much to be optimistic about these days. The team has been struggling over the past six games, with losses to the defending champion Golden State Warriors, the LA Clippers, and the Indiana Pacers. While they did manage to pull out a victory over the Lakers in overtime, they also suffered two straight losses to the Orlando Magic to start their seven-game homestead.
Wednesday night's loss to the Pacers was particularly disheartening. The final score was 117-112, but the game was nowhere near as close as the final score would show; the Celtics were overmatched for much of the game. It was so bad that the Celtics were even booed by their fans at TD Garden. Something we've unfortunately that has become an expected standard in this city.
It's hard to pinpoint precisely what has been going wrong for the Celtics. Some have pointed to their defense, which has been subpar in recent games. Others have pointed to the team's inability to close out games, as they have lost several close contests in the fourth quarter. Whatever the reason, it's clear that the Celtics are not playing up to their potential.
Despite the team's struggles, there have been some bright spots. Jayson Tatum continues to shine, finishing with 41 points, five rebounds, and four assists in Wednesday's loss to the Pacers. Malcolm Brogdon, acquired by the Celtics this past offseason, also had a solid outing against his former team with 18 points, seven assists, and four rebounds. And Robert Williams had a productive game off the bench, finishing with six points, 12 rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a block in just 22 minutes.
The Celtics will have a chance to turn things around on Friday when they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves, but it won't be easy. And on Christmas morning, they'll have to face off against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukie Bucks. As a pessimistic Celtics fan, it's hard to have much hope for the team's chances in these upcoming games. But as Tatum said, "there's nothing we can do right now to change what happened. Just gotta get ready for the next one."
It's important to remember that the NBA season is a marathon, not a sprint. The Celtics have plenty of time to turn things around and get back on track. But while it's sometimes hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we know the Celtics can figure things out and play to their full potential, and they will. We all know there's no doubt they will be a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference when the playoffs come in April, and we're ignoring the Boston Red Sox and booing the Patriots' first-round pick.
Overall, it's been a frustrating last few weeks for Celtics fans so far; there is no doubt about that. But looking at everything as a whole and not a microcosm, The team has the talent and the potential to be one of the top teams in the league, but they still need to put it all together on the court. So here's hoping the Celtics can turn things around and start playing up to their potential. If they can do that, there's no telling how far they can go.