Celtics Co-Owner Wyc Grousbeck Says It Was the 'Worst February' He Can RememberMarch 3, 2019
The Boston Celtics had a February to forget.
A 5-6 record doesn't tell the whole story, as the Celtics lost by a buzzer-beater to the Los Angeles Lakers before blowing a 28-point lead to the Los Angeles Clippers and falling by 11.
Boston also lost four straight games in which the team averaged just 100.0 points per contest. A road defeat to the 18-45 Chicago Bulls was arguably the low point.
Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck naturally wasn't pleased with the team's month and even told reporters at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Saturday that it was the "worst February" he could remember. Grousbeck bought the team 17 years ago, per Nicole Yang of Boston.com.
"Thank God it's March," Grousbeck said. "We're undefeated in March."
The 38-25 C's started this month off well with a 107-96 win over the Washington Wizards. However, Boston is just fifth in the Eastern Conference and almost certain to miss out on a top-two seed with the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors separating themselves from the rest of the pack.
The 2017-18 Celtics went 55-27 and were within one game of the NBA Finals despite All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving missing 22 regular-season games (and the entire postseason) and losing Gordon Hayward for all but the opening five minutes of the year after he suffered a broken leg.
They entered 2018-19 with lofty expectations given the returns of Irving and Hayward in addition to the core that remained from the team that made the playoff run.
In August, Westgate Sportsbook (h/t Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated) posted an over/under win total of 57.5 for the C's, higher than every team but the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Writers and editors from various media outlets, including the New York Times and Washington Post, picked the C's to make the NBA Finals. There wasn't much reason to believe the C's would fail to meet those expectations.
While it hasn't clicked this year, it's also possible this team turns on another switch in the playoffs and rolls on to the Finals. Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving told reporters he doesn't think any team can beat the C's in a seven-game series, and Grousbeck also expressed confidence.
"I really have a lot of hope for these guys," Grousbeck said. "I give us a chance. I don't think anybody wants to play us in the playoffs. I really do think, after 16 years in the league, that these guys still have a chance."
He also said the C's could lose in the first round given the team's potential opponents, which is more of a possibility if Boston gets the No. 5 seed and is forced to start on the road.
Ultimately, NBA championships aren't won in the winter, so we'll see where the Celtics' fate lies in the spring. But at first glance, no team may have a bigger postseason gap between floor and ceiling than Boston.