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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’ Early Season Struggles

After a highly anticipated off-season, the Boston Celtics have looked rather mediocre to kick off their 2018 campaign. They took down the Philadelphia 76ers on opening night with a blowout, which further reinforced the expectations that Boston was a force to be reckoned with. Well, they now sit at 2–2, and their other win was a shaky one against the New York Knicks. The season is young of course, but the Celtics need to pull it together and figure things out sooner rather than later.
In game two on prime-time television, the Toronto Raptors essentially exposed the Celtics. Kawhi Leonard dropped 31 points to go along with 10 rebounds, which was just too much for the Celtics to handle. The starting five (Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford) did not look bad, all reaching double figures in points scored. It was the bench that did not perform up to their standards, which made it tough for the starters to overcome the deficit. With that said, Boston did go into the locker room for halftime with a 53–49 lead. They then were outscored 33–26 in the third quarter, and an unacceptable 31–22 in the fourth. The Raptors went on to win the game 113–101, leaving the Celtics demoralized and frustrated.
Tatum got things going against the Knicks, as he scored 24 points in what was his best game of the year so far. Yet even with his stellar performance, it still was almost not enough to get by the Knicks. The Celtics snuck out of there with a 103–101 win, thanks in large part to Marcus Morris scoring 16 points off of the bench. Perhaps the most concerning game to date was their loss to the Orlando Magic. The final score was 93–90, but the entire roster missed shots and struggled to find any sort of rhythm. Kyrie Irving and Al Horford strung together solid performances, but other than that the team had nothing positive to take away.
Even though there is plenty to be worried about, it is far too soon to actually panic. Brad Stevens is at his best when he is minimizing issues and keeping the team focused. He will definitely figure out how to get the bench back to where they were last year, which will instantly help contribute to wins. Another thing to keep in mind is that these have been Gordon Hayward’s first four games with the team. Not only had he not played in over a year causing him to be a bit rusty, but his teammates are just now learning how to play with him. The Celtics had great chemistry last year, and are now inserting an all-star right in the middle of it. On paper one would think that would work right from the get-go, but in reality it takes time to develop chemistry. Maybe the first quarter of the season will not be as easy as expected, but that will only make the team better for the future. When it is all said and done, I still foresee the Celtics being one of the best teams in the NBA.