By Matt Noonan
Earlier today, I asked a few fans and friends of our site (and social channels) a simple question: are the Boston Celtics capable of a deep postseason run?
And while I don’t think so, many believe the Green and White will either be eliminated in the opening round or sent home in rounds two (or three).
Unfortunately, the Boston Celtics are not equipped for a deep postseason run. And a major reason is their depth, but also their health.
Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker are good players, but they cannot carry the Celtics to 16 postseason victories.
Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, and Daniel Theis could certainly help Boston win a series – perhaps it would be in seven games, not five or six – and the same could be said for Payton Pritchard, who has started twice this season.
Oh, let’s not forget Tristan Thompson, who has been so-so since arriving in Boston ahead of the 2020-21 season. Thompson currently leads the Green and White in rebounds per game (8.2).
Like many Boston sports fans, I am eager to see the Celtics win their 18th banner in franchise history – their 17th championship seems like years ago. Additionally, the 2007-08 team was much different than these current Celtics that lacks depth, as well as some leadership and accountability when needed.
Last night, Boston had a chance to gain some much-needed momentum heading into the final stretch. But unfortunately, a late rally, along with some missed chances allowed the first-place Brooklyn Nets to escape with a 109-104 victory.
Boston should have won last night’s meeting with Brooklyn, especially after taking down the second-best team in the Western Conference: the Phoenix Suns. But instead, I and other so-called “Green-teamers” are wondering if we will have to wait another year (or two or three!) to see this team truly compete for another banner.
As of this late afternoon, the Celtics sit in sixth place with 12 games remaining. They are currently in line to meet the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, a team they have beaten twice this season in three attempts. But as we all know, this potential match-up (or meeting) could change, pending how the next few weeks go.
Boston is slated to compete against five postseason teams over the next few weeks, including the New York Knicks, who have won nine of their last 10 outings. But before Boston worries about slowing down the Orange and Blue, they must find their grove against the Charlotte Hornets, who are currently in position for the NBA‘s play-in tournament.
A win tomorrow afternoon against Charlotte is just what Boston needs – in fact, 12 wins down the stretch would be great, but that is probably unlikely. However, if this Celtics squad can find ways to win games by not squandering opportunities and playing as a team instead of five individuals, then maybe – just maybe this particular group could surprise (or shock?) some of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
It seems like ages ago when we celebrated a Boston sports championship – did one of those wins include quarterback Tom Brady? – so while I don’t believe this team is capable of a deep postseason run, I’ll remain optimistic like I always do for my hometown Celtics.