A wonderful start has been followed by a very average middle for the Boston Celtics.
How will it end?
That’s too tough to say right now, but as long as coach Brad Stevens and star point guard Kyrie Irving are around, the Celtics should always have hope.
The question surrounding Boston at the All-Star break, however, is whether it has enough as is. Actually, the Celtics believe they have enough in terms of talent — with the likes of Irving, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, rookie Jayson Tatum and others.
Basically, what Stevens appears to be asking himself is if all the right pieces are in all the right places.
“We’ll look at everything,” Stevens said Wednesday. “Obviously, you’re always looking for small tweaks defensively and offensively, but we haven’t gotten enough out of our rotations and subs and all those things. We’ll take a deeper dive into that.”‘
The coach added:
“I don’t think we’re all that we were cracked up to be during our 16-game winning streak, and it’s probably hit us more in the last month than it hit us before.”
Boston (40-19) trails the Toronto Raptors by two games for first place in the Eastern Conference. But the Celtics have lost three straight, getting clobbered by remade Cleveland on Sunday, then losing to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, at home.
So there is likely a reason Irving is thinking about more than his fifth All-Star Game appearance entering the weekend.
“I can’t even think about All-Star or anything. I’m thinking about so many things right now, just from a standpoint of how to be better, because I know what’s coming,” he said. “I have to communicate that with our guys. And just prepare them better. So I gotta prepare for myself and then go from there.”