As we get closer and closer to the end of the NBA regular season, the Boston Celtics have gotten farther and farther away from the level of basketball they should be playing. Every passing week has brought forth new issues that have hampered the team.
Luckily, the Celtics’ remaining schedule will provide them with all the answers they need.
After a slow start to the season, Boston rebounded to post a 36-29 record through 65 games. The Atlantic Division title was still within grasp—the New York Knicks’ lead was down to 2.5 games—and the team had successfully overcome losing Rajon Rondo to a season-ending injury. The Celtics were 16-6 without their All-Star point guard.
However, since then, things have begun to crumble.
Boston has now lost five straight games. To make matters worse, the team’s injury toll has only been rising—both Kevin Garnett and Courtney Lee have missed time with ankle injuries (via Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn).
But while their offensive production has not faltered much, the Celtics have struggled on the defensive end in recent weeks.
Over the last five games, the team’s defensive rating has skyrocketed to 106.6. Boston is also allowing opponents a staggering 101.2 points per game.
Both are significant increases over the team’s season marks of 102.2 and 95.9, respectively.
Unfortunately, the Celtics have various reasons to hold responsible for the drop-off.
It’s a collective team effort that will hopefully get resolved over the course of the team’s final 12 games.