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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

How Long Can This Celtics Streak Go On For?

The Boston Celtics have now won 13 straight games after opening the season at 0-2. Looking back, it took this young Celtics team no more than 24 hours to get over Gordon Hayward’s horrific injury. That’s pretty fast.

As Brian Scalabrine stated on the broadcast in the Brooklyn game, it really seems like every single player on the roster is exceeding expectations. That’s almost unheard of. The best part is that it’s not just the household names like Kyrie Irving and Al Horford that are excelling: it goes all the way down the bench to guys like Daniel Theis and Shane Larkin. Everyone is exceeding expectations.

It all starts with defense. The Celtics have seven of the top nine individual defenders in the league according to basketball-reference.com. Kyrie Irving has been at the top of the league in steals, which may come as a surprise. You can chalk that up to both Irving’s effort and, more importantly, Brad Stevens.

It has been clear lately, now more than ever, that Stevens is an elite coach in the NBA. His defenses, year in and year out, have been among the league’s best. The night the news of the Irving trade broke, Brian Scalabrine stated that although he liked the trade for the future, the Celtics would take a step back in regards to their record, and an even bigger step back defensively. Fortunately, so far, Scalabrine was totally wrong. This team is the strongest we’ve seen since 2008 when The Big Three (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen) were assembled. Now, the main question lingering around Boston is: can this production level be sustained?

It seems as if there’s no slowing down. As long as Irving and Horford are healthy, I think they can make a run at the title. Obviously, they are due for a loss; this streak can’t continue. There’s no doubt that they can continue to play at such a high level. The coming weeks will be the biggest test for the Celtics as they head into matchups with powerhouse teams like Golden State, Orlando, and Detroit.

A blowout loss during this stretch wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for the Celtics. Let’s not forget that this is one of the youngest rosters in the league, which, of course, translates to inexperience. An end to the streak in a demoralizing defeat would be a pretty good wakeup call for the team and the young players. A win is always big, but learning a lesson from a loss would be even more beneficial down the road.

What is important for the Celtics is that they get the best possible play out of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The game of those two young players has been the most encouraging aspect of this Celtics team. Allowing them to grow would be nothing but a positive for Boston. Even if lessons come in the form of a loss, they will give this team the chance to prove their mettle again—an opportunity that they always seem to relish.