The NBA season is full of ups and downs. Teams are always bound to go through their fare share of controversy over the course of a season.
One thing that often gets said across the league is that “no one feels sorry for you” and you can’t talk about “What if?” When looking at what has happened over the last two weeks in the NBA, let’s break the rules for a moment and ask the “What if?” question when it comes to the Celtics season.
What if Hayward had never gone down on opening night? What if Theis hadn’t torn his meniscus? What if Kyrie didn’t need surgery? What if Smart hadn’t torn a ligament in his thumb?
A few weeks ago none of these hypotheticals would have mattered. Now, we are reaching the point that the 2017-2018 season could be the biggest missed opportunity that the Celtics will have had.
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers look as vulnerable as they have looked in a long time and the Warriors are dealing with as many injury issues as the Celtics themselves right now.
In October when Hayward went down, the initial reaction from Celtics Nation and around the league was that it was okay because this wasn’t the year the Celtics were going to win a title anyways.
Fast forward to December and the Cavs had all but self imploded and the East was no longer running through LeBron (there’s still a very real chance that LeBron shocks everyone and drags Cleveland into the Finals again.)
By the time March came around Boston was rolling. Then Kyrie goes down with his knee, Theis tears his meniscus the next day, and three days later Smart tears his thumb ligament.
Now the mindset was to focus on next season and worry about bringing everyone back healthy. However, jump over to the West coast and we see Klay Thompson fractured his thumb and two nights later Kevin Durant fractured his ribs.
After all of those injuries, the biggest news in the NBA was that Steph Curry sprained his MCL and Steve Kerr declared that he “definitely won’t be playing in the first round of the playoffs.”
The Curry news brought the Celtics season into one big circle. Now, if all the “what ifs” had not happened Boston is heading into a postseason against weak LeBron, a Toronto team they can handle, an injury plagued Warriors team, and a Houston team that they have shown they can beat.
Instead, they are hoping they get the correct matchup in the first round so that they can survive and buy time for Kyrie to return.
In the NBA, there is no time to dwell on the past or worry about a “what if” situation. Still, Boston could look back on the circumstances surrounding the end of this season and seriously have to consider “what if” they had just stayed healthy.