The Boston Celtics are having an above average regular season (51-29) with the additions of Al Horford and their up and coming #3 pick Jaylen Brown. This team relies on synergy and ball movement to create success on the offensive end, but also relies on Isaiah Thomas putting big numbers game after game. The problem lies in the Celtics half-court offense; Do they have enough firepower to sustain a seven game series against Cleveland, Toronto, or Washington?
The Celtics are molded together with a bunch of defensive savvy role-players who can score from time to time. Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, and Jae Crowder will all be X-Factors come this playoff season. If they can simply make shots in the half-court game, they have a chance to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. That is obviously easier said than done. But, if Bradley and Crowder can catch fire come playoff time they will be a force to be reckoned with. Last year’s playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks we as fans witnessed Isaiah get doubled, trapped, and pushed around in the pick and roll. He is going to have to a better job of making plays for this teammates. I understand what you’re thinking; What do you want more from a guy who’s 5’9? That is Stevens job to figure out, whether that means different play-calling or having him off the ball. Granted, it should be easier for him with the addition of Al Horford making plays for other teammates.
However, this team will go as far is how effective Avery, Marcus, and Jae play. They are the pit-bulls of this team defensively and the Celtics need them to hit shots. Marcus needs to be able to run the offense efficiently, whether it is making the right play or being aggressive. These three also need to rebound the basketball with purpose, since they will be undersized in basically every match-up. I look for them to increase their defensive intensity as playoff time comes around, due to the drop-off of defensive efficiency from last year.
As of right now I don’t see the Celtics beating Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals. However I do give this team a decent shot at making it to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Leave a comment, and let us know what you think the Celtics will end up in the post-season.