The Boston Celtics are aware of their own struggles. The team is just 11-10 on the year, good enough for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. For a team expected to battle for the Eastern Conference Finals and beyond, that’s a huge early-season disappointment.
Speaking to reporters this week, star point guard Kyrie Irving gave yet another assessment of how the Celtics are feeling about themselves lately.
“You’re almost at that rock bottom point where the team is about to blow up,” Kyrie Irving said. “Not saying that we’re there, but for me there is no more time to waste.”
That’s probably an overreaction at this point, at least externally, but if that’s how the locker room feels at TD Garden it’s not a good look.
The oddest part of all this comes when looking at some of Boston’s year-over-year statistics over at Basketball-Reference.com. This Celtics team looks much the same as it did last year in terms of things like pace, offensive and defensive rating, and the four factors for both offensive and defensive stats.
Boston’s losses have come as a mixture of both failing to close out close games down the stretch, and laying eggs against teams they should beat both at home and on the road. The Celtics have combined those two factors into a couple multiple-game losing streaks, which has put them in a tough spot early.
What does Brad Stevens plan to do about the Celtics’ struggles this year? The changing nature of both sides of the ball in the NBA this year makes that question a little bit harder to answer, but he’ll have to figure it out soon if Boston wants to make that run at the Finals.