The Boston Celtics have lost their last three games and won only two of their last six since returning from the All-Star break. Perhaps it’s the growing pains of reintegrating the starting five from last season, or maybe the team is better with four ball-handlers on the floor rather than having two bigs.
To begin the season, the Celtics had no choice but to run single-big lineups as Robert Williams continued to recover from off-season surgery. That was when we saw them play their best offense. Sure, there are times when you need multiple big bodies sharing the court together — like when you’re facing Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, or a team like the Cleveland Cavaliers, who also run double bigs in their starting five.
Of course, it’s all well and good building a lead with a strong offensive unit, but recently, the Celtics have shown that no lead is safe. It doesn’t matter if they’re in total control after the first quarter or on course to win when entering the fourth; the Celtics have found ways to blow leads and let teams back into games.
In the latest episode of Vitamin C’s, we discuss the egregious loss to the Brooklyn Nets and the two heartbreakers against the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers while discussing some of the finer talking points surrounding this barren run.
- Have we seen Joe Mazzulla make game-defining adjustments? Is he capable of doing that?
- Is it time to give the guards more ball-handling duties and allow Tatum and Brown to put the team on their back by focusing on scoring and making secondary reads?
- Grant Williams finally looked to be gaining confidence in his three-ball against Cleveland before clanking two free throws. Can we expect him to bounce back quickly?
- Is it time to diversify the team’s shot selection rather than relentlessly hunting threes?
- Are we witnessing a humbling effect after potentially growing over-confident?
Losses always bring about the bigger question, and sometimes, they feel like an overreaction. Yet, when you’ve dropped multiple games in a similar fashion, with the same mistakes rearing their ugly heads, it’s probably fair to start looking at the bigger picture and trying to make sense of what’s happening.
Still, Mazzulla seems to be completely comfortable with the current learning curve his team finds itself working through and has faith that they will grow stronger because of it. The problem is, at this time of year teams should have already learned their lessons and be fine-tuning the finer details in their game plan and of their identity. Right now, it feels like the Celtics have done their season backward, and that is a concerning thought considering the playoffs are right around the corner.
You can find the full episode of Vitamin C’s in the YouTube video above or by following one of these links to Spotify and Apple. Just remember, whenever something is going wrong, a quick dose of Vitamin C should be able to help perk you right back up!