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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Celtics Looking For Improvement Out of The All-Star Break

Kyrie+Irving+of+the+Boston+Celtics.

Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics.

As we head toward the end of the regular season, the Celtics look to reclaim their spot at the top of the Eastern Conference—a spot they gave up to the Toronto Raptors shortly before the All-Star break. With that said, the Cleveland Cavaliers are right on their heels, which will make for a pretty exciting playoff race. Cleveland also made multiple moves at the trade deadline to help improve their squad, but the Celtics didn’t make any trades other than signing Greg Monroe. Boston has been trending in the wrong direction recently, losing five of their last ten games, including three straight losses.
The Celtics have played as many games (59) as any other team in the NBA, so they are in dire need of a break. Marcus Smart is injured, and the whole team could really use some rest. Jayson Tatum has started and played every single game this year, which is, by far, more games in one season than he’s ever played in his life. Many analysts have been critical of him lately due to his struggles, but it could just be some fatigue. After a full week of time off, both physically and mentally, we should expect Tatum to get back into the groove.
Not only does playing the most games in the NBA take a toll on a team, there’s other factors that come into play as well. Playing four to five times a week, and being on the road half of the time makes it extremely tough to practice. Many think professionals are good enough to not have to worry about practice, but especially with an exceptional coach like Brad Stevens, practice is essential. Plays can be inserted at practice along with defensive schemes, and the players are able to gel and form chemistry, which is key for being successful.
Rumors are still lingering that Gordon Hayward could return to the team prior to the start of the playoffs. If that’s true, then the Celtics would be in even better shape to make a deep playoff run. However, it shouldn’t be expected, as Hayward suffered a terrible injury and it’s important that he fully recovers before he comes back. No one understands that more than Brad Stevens; he will make sure Hayward isn’t rushed back. With the emergence of Terry Rozier, along with the other young guys on the team such as Jaylen Brown and Tatum, the Celtics should be able to pick each other up and make up for their lack of postseason experience.
Although Boston, as a whole, is young and inexperienced, Kyrie Irving and Al Horford have about as much experience as a team could ask for. Irving essentially won the 2016 NBA Finals with a dagger in the final 30 seconds, while Horford is a vet and a high character guy. There have been multiple times throughout this year that the two of them have appeared to be on a whole other level than the other eight players on the court, probably due to their high basketball IQs. Health is definitely going to be a determining factor in where the Celtics end up when the 2017-2018 season is all said and done, but after this nice little break, look for Boston to bounce back and get back on track.