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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Bostonvestigation: How legitimate are these whispers of concern that you just’re listening to concerning the Celtics?

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Whether or not they’re whispers behind a wall of confidence at the back of your mind or maybe a satan looming in your shoulder, your issues with the Celtics most likely made their presence recognized on Monday.

This loss towards the Hawks was disgusting, I hated watching it, and I used to be none-too-pleased when Vit Krejci, whom I heard of for the primary time yesterday, lit the Cs up for 16 factors to assist gasoline Atlanta’s 30-point comeback.

It’s bizarre. The Cs have seemed unbelievable all through this season, but anytime they lose a sport, which solely occurs about 21% of the time, the fanbase loses it on-line. You’d assume that this staff had simply misplaced 5 straight with a few of the posts after the loss.

But, it doesn’t really feel all that loopy. I really feel it. After I see what I noticed yesterday, the whispers develop a bit louder. All of it comes again.

I see Bobby Portis sinking a go-ahead putback in Recreation 5 of the 2022 Japanese Convention Semifinals.

I see Steph Curry catching fireplace to snap the Cs’ NBA title hopes after they go chilly within the fourth quarter.

I see Caleb Martin ending Boston’s playoff run in Recreation 7 of the Japanese Convention Finals.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Miami Heat v Boston Celtics

Picture by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE by way of Getty Photographs

All the identical questions come again into the fold.

“Huh, it’s actually going to be the identical once more this yr, isn’t it?”

“Have they discovered nothing?”

“Can they not shut video games?”

The 2 main components that performed into the collapse Monday are persistent for the Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown version of the Celtics.

Boston’s followers positively get some kind of PTSD anytime their squad coughs up an enormous lead. It sucks and is the worst method to lose a basketball sport. For those who mix that with the truth that they nonetheless managed to present themselves an opportunity to win the sport however had been outplayed by the Tenth-place Hawks in crunch time, it stings much more.

It seems like a variety of the hardship that the Celtics have confronted over the previous two-and-a-half seasons has been self-inflicted, kind of like what occurred in Atlanta.

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Simply earlier this month, Dean Wade singlehandedly introduced the Cleveland Cavaliers again from the lifeless to beat Boston. His sizzling taking pictures erased a 22-point fourth-quarter lead from the Cs that night time and set the alarms off, very similar to they went off on Monday.

Nonetheless, the alarms don’t sound typically. Within the ten video games between that night time and final, Boston ripped off a 9-1 stretch, solely dropping to the reigning champion Denver Nuggets (you’re allowed to really feel a sure sort of approach about that one, for positive).

That’s the vital factor.

The Celtics have constructed a ton of huge leads this season. In reality, they’ve taken 30-point leads in additional video games (16), than their quantity of losses on the season (15). They don’t typically lose them with out recovering.

They even recovered within the loss to the Hawks, instantly rising the lead again to double-digits after Atlanta lower it to 3 within the third quarter. The issue is that they weren’t in a position to end off the sport when it was shut.

This can be a extra distinguished problem with this staff. Historical past would inform you that the playoffs are going to characteristic extra tightly contested video games than 30-point blowouts.

What are the Celtics going to do then? Hopefully not what all of us witnessed on Monday, that’s for positive.

Boston’s offense tends to change into one-dimensional within the last minutes of shut video games. The ball finds both Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown and they’re anticipated to generate scoring alternatives for the staff.

That is wonderful… typically.

There’s been a variety of speak concerning the Celtics discovering their “curveball” come playoff time. Proper now, all it seems like we see them throw to opposing defenses is the two-seam fastball, with Tatum and Brown being these seams.

Combine it up.

Run some actions away from the ball.

Make the protection have to regulate from possession to possession.

The iso stuff really labored a bit towards the Hawks. Each Tatum and Brown managed to create factors for themselves down the stretch with Tatum throwing down a monster dunk after which sinking a fadeaway and Brown getting a fader of his personal to drop.

Nonetheless, the Hawks had been in a position to regulate and make issues robust on each of those guys. They received Tatum to show the ball over late after which pressured Brown to accept an terrible stepback three with lower than a minute to go.

If there have been extra layers to the late-game sport plan, possibly one of many league’s worst defenses wouldn’t have been in a position to string collectively key stops towards its greatest offense.

I’m not completely positive how vital the loss is. We’re in late March now. The Celtics have already secured the highest spot within the Japanese Convention with 10 video games (it was 11 once they clinched) remaining. The outcomes don’t imply a complete lot for the rest of the common season. Except for making an attempt to lock up the NBA’s greatest document, Boston doesn’t have a ton to be taking part in for at this level.

Don’t get me mistaken. I’m the most important “win each single sport since you’re higher than the opposite staff” man ever, and I believe it will’ve been sick to tie the franchise document for wins in a season.

I’m undoubtedly disenchanted in what I watched final night time, however I’m undecided it would matter in a month.

Perhaps it would.

I hope not.

It definitely doesn’t change the exceptional run this season’s Celtics staff has had up to now.

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