The Boston Celtics season is over.
There is no shame in losing to a better team and the Atlanta Hawks were the better team in this series. The Hawks have more offensive weapons and overall experience.
Brad Stevens "They're just better than us right now. It pains me to say it" pic.twitter.com/JwM0RcLR9R
— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) April 29, 2016
While the way the C’s lost the last two games of the series leaves a bad taste, overall this season was a positive one for the Sons of Brad Stevens. They increased their win total by eight from the previous year with 48 wins.
We found out that Isaiah Thomas is a legitimate quality player and big time scorer.
Jae Crowder has proven to be a glue guy who is a plus player both on offense and defense.
Avery Bradley showed us that he is one of the best perimeter defenders in basketball and has developed into a good offensive player who is still getting better. The Celtics really missed him in this series.
Kelly Olynyk improved as much as anyone. He can shoot the ball well from the outside and also learned to take it to the basket with authority. He never will be a candidate for defensive player of the year but he has gotten better on the defensive end and if he continues to get stronger he will be an adequate defender. He also has to prove he can stay healthy.
And most importantly, we learned that Stevens is one of the best coaches in the NBA. The young C’s coach is a great tactician who relates well to his players.
We also learned from this playoff series that the Celtics have plenty of work to do before they can be considered a contender.
They are one of the worst shooting teams in the league. Doc Rivers used to say this is a “make or miss league.” Teams that make shots advance. Teams that don’t will not go very far.
Stevens on not hitting shots in the series: "It put a lot of pressure on us to play from behind and try to hit home runs."
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 29, 2016
How bad was the Celtics shooting in this series? At one point in Game 6, they missed 16 straight three pointers. I don’t know which is worse, missing all those shots or the fact that they kept firing up three’s even though they weren’t going in. In the last two games of the series, the Celtics shot a miserable 14 for 61 from beyond the arc.
The Hawks did a great job of double and triple teaming Thomas. They did that because they knew that no one else on the Celtics could hit a shot to make them pay for concentrating on Thomas.
The Celtics were a poor shooting team all season. They were No. 24 in the league in field goal percentage at 44 percent and even worse from beyond the arc as they shot 33 percent, No. 28 in the league. To be a successful post season team, you must shoot the ball better than that.
Now the real season starts for the Celtics. This summer is huge. They have a high lottery pick, plus two more first round picks. They have substantial cap room where they can add two max players.
Celtics fans are more patient than fans of other teams in town. The Garden Faithful gave the team a nice ovation at the end of the Game 6 loss. But it’s now been two straight first round defeats for the Green.
Celtics fans are expecting the Wyc Grousbeck fireworks this summer. The pressure is on Danny Ainge to deliver. If not, patience will finally be running thin in Celtics Nation.