After an eye brow raising 2-2 start to the season that included a loss to the lowly Orlando Magic there were a fans of the Celtics that had to be wondering whether or not this team had too much talent. It was understood that this team might have a learning curve with the addition of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward joining a group of youngsters that carried this team to within a game of the NBA finals but the way these Celtics were playing just didn’t look like the defensive minded group that we were used to.
Well after a 117-113 win over the previously undefeated Milwaukee Bucks last night and now on a 4 game win streak, they are starting to put this hometown fans mind at ease and have me drinking green kool aid by the gallon again. It hasn’t all been great, and this team has certainly not hit their stride yet (when they do it’s going to be scary) but they are winning tight games down the stretch by making plays that Championship teams make.
For starters Kyrie looks like a different person since struggling to start the year. His shot is back and he has returned to abusing defenders off the dribble. We all must remember that despite all the young talent on this team, Kyrie came here to be the man. He no doubt wants all these young guys to step up and help lead this Celtics team on a deep playoff run, but just like any modern NBA superstar you know he craves the spotlight and recognition of being touted as the guy who carried them there. Sorry Jayson Tatum, your time is coming though. Also don’t forget that even though Kyrie verbally committed to staying in Boston it doesn’t mean this isn’t still a contract year, and you don’t have to be an NBA historian to know that those are typically some of the better years an NBA superstar will have.
Speaking of Tatum, he has shown glimpses of the star that we know he will be, and he is certainly scoring the ball efficiently, but this start to the year has shown me that he is still very young and very raw. In the big scheme of things that’s OK, he continues to improve and will be leading this team in scoring within the next year, but maybe we were all to drunk off last years playoff performance and thought he would skip over the growing pains that all NBA players go through. I still think he was hands down the best player in last years draft but he has a lot of room to grow still. I’d like to see him shoot better from the three by choosing better shots and continue to use more of his mid range game which is looking eerily similar to the guy who worked him out all summer, thanks Kobe.
So overall this team is 6-2 after 8 games and yet their performance feels, should I say underwhelming? It’s hard to complain too much and really just leads me to believe once Brad Stevens figures out exactly how he wants this rotation to work that the Celtics will go on a roll here and start dominating teams. As I mentioned before, they are just simply too talented to do otherwise. My prediction is that this team goes on another big win streak at some point this year and runs away with the East. I’ve set that over/under at 20 straight.
Last night the Celtics broke the team record with 24 three pointers, just one shy of the all time record. Those are Warriors type numbers. If they can continue to shoot the ball that well than anything is on the table for this team. Another aspect that was great to see last night was this team’s ability to hang on in crunch time and make the right decisions down the stretch, besides Jayson Tatum inexplicably turning the ball over late instead of getting fouled. That is the reason this team will be their right at the end, they don’t panic under pressure and Brad Stevens is the best coach in the league when it comes to late game situations. On the other hand Milwaukee completely fucked up their late game decisions and leads me to believe they cannot be considered a serious contender in the East just yet. Giannis is a fucking freak though, don’t get that confused with their ineptness at other positions and the Bucks coaching.
Get ready everyone, don’t let that slow start fool you, we are about to witness one of the greatest Celtic teams of all time this season. You better keep those Duck Boats running in Boston.