As the halfway point of the 2012 NBA season quickly approaches, the Boston Celtics find themselves near the bottom half of the Eastern Conference standings, with a slim lead over the Milwaukee Bucks for the seventh playoff slot.
With another half of the season left to go, there is still a lot of basketball to be played. This means that the Celtics cannot afford to lose games down the stretch and allow teams to sneak past them into the playoffs.
The big three have looked average at times, but continue to carry the load in Boston.
Scoring has been one of the biggest issues for the Celtics. They're averaging only 90.3 points per game in a conference with teams like the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat that can put up triple digits on any given night.
Last season, the Celtics benefited from bench production with players like Glen Davis and Jeff Green. This season, however, Boston's only bench player worth noting is Brandon Bass and his 12 points-per-game average.
If the Celtics want to compete with Miami and Chicago, then they are going to need to put up more points, and that starts with Jermaine O'Neal. As a starter, O'Neal should be averaging more than 5.9 points per game and should play more than a defensive role on this team.
While the Celtics may be struggling now, it's safe to say they will play well enough to earn a postseason bid.
But Boston isn't the only struggling team that will stick around this season. Here are four more.