The Celtics suffered their third straight loss at homecoming against the Los Angeles Clippers and boy do the Celtics need this All-Star break. They look gassed.
The Celtics sit second in the Eastern Conference, two games behind the Toronto Raptors and with the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers starting to put things together, the Celtics could quickly fall to the No. 3 seed if they continue to play the way they are.
The Celtics have lost 4 or their last 5 games as they crawl to the all-star break, especially Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. These two have not been the same and I really think it is because of fatigue. People forget that they are 21- (Brown) and 19- (Tatum) years-old. They are going to need those two to somehow find some extra fuel to finish out the season and then into the playoffs.
What else could you ask for from these two kids? They’ve stepped up big time in the absence of Gordon Hayward and there just starting to run out of gas and that is normal.
The worst thing to happen to this Celtics team was that 16-game winning streak because what that did is overrate this team a little and made them go all out in the short-term and not for the long haul. Offensively, the only real weapon right now is Kyrie Irving and not much else. If he is not creating anything, no one else really is. Defensively, they’ve let up over 120 points the past 2 games and that has to be due to fatigue because that is not Brad Stevens basketball.
We’ve seen the peak of this team already this season during that long win-streak. It seems that this team has kind of plateaued for this season. The new-look Cavs have regained control of the east even though their not the number 1 seed. The Raptors have won 7-straight games and right now, the Celtics do not look so promising in the playoffs against those two teams with a lot of non-proven playoff performers.
I used to believe the Celtics could take the Cavaliers in a 7-game series in the Eastern Conference Finals and possibly win. Now? I am really starting to wonder whether the Celtics can even make it to the Conference Finals, let alone beat the Cavs. The Cavs would smash the Celtics in five games, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown physically and mentally are up to that task yet because their so young (Even they have been so great this season) and that does not leave a lot of help for Kyrie Irving who I know will deliver.
I hope they prove me wrong. Maybe the Celtics recover on a nice long break and bounce back and finish the last 23 games of the season strong right into the playoffs. At this point, it is starting to bleak for the Celtics to even make it to the Eastern Conference Finals if they continue this sluggish play.