The Boston Celtics have undoubtedly underachieved considering the lofty expectations that were set for them following the team’s series loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in seven games in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals.
Boston currently sits at 25-18 following a three-game skid, just fifth in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics were and still are expected to possibly make a run for the NBA Finals, but their play hasn’t shown that they have what it takes to compete for a championship yet.
Terry Rozier, Boston’s backup point guard, had some reasoning for the Celtics’ struggles over the course of the season, according to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports:
“I don’t think we’ve all been on a team like this,” he said. “Young guys who can play, guys who did things in their career, the group that was together last year, then you bring Kyrie [Irving] and [Gordon] Hayward back, it’s a lot with it.”
Gordon Hayward, the team’s All-Star free agent signed prior to last season, played just five minutes before suffering a gruesome injury in the season opener. He hasn’t been the same since returning from the injury and has been relegated to a bench role as of late.
The Celtics boast arguably the best bench in the league and have had the luxury of being able to mix-and-match starting lineups to see which group works – which they have taken advantage of. Outside of constants Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, and Al Horford, head coach Brad Stevens has tinkered with starting lineups frequently this season, replacing Hayward and Jaylen Brown with the likes of Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris.
Taking into account Boston’s success last season without what seemed to be their two best players, you have to wonder if the team’s deep roster will limit their success in the coming months leading into the playoffs if they don’t make a move soon.