What a difference a year makes. In 2018 the Celtics lost to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Championship. That roster was minus a Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. This year, with a healthy roster the team slipped all the way to a fifth seed in the East. Several factors can contribute to this year’s disappointment. In this post, we will examine three reasons why the Celtics failed to play a brand of basketball fans can be proud of.
Three Reasons Why The Celtics Need To Play Like Celtics in 2019/20
No More Finger pointing One area that needs to be addressed in 2019/20 is no more finger pointing. This was the norm for this year’s squad. Previous Celtics greats Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Kevin McHale, and Paul Pierce would never blame other teammates.
The team needs to focus on cohesiveness and unity. Over the course of 82 games, unity prevails where fingerpointing ends up in a losing battle. If the Celtics can regain their 2018 form, this is one area that needs to be eliminated immidiately.
For a team that came so close a year ago, you would never know by the actions of this seasons team.
Better Ball Movement The second area that needs improvement is the passing department. Games in which all five players were involved in were usually games that resulted in a victory. For most of the season, the ball and game fell on Kyrie Irving. Gordon Hayward returned after a season _ending injury in 2018 was a disappointment. The rest of the players Marcus Smart, Al Horford, Jayson Tatum,Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris contributed significantly. Reserve guard, Terry Rozier spent most of the season complaining about his lack of playing time.
Better Shooting The biggest weakness, for this year’s team was the shooting. The Celtics finished fifteenth overall in three _point shooting. In the two_point shooting area, the club ranked fifth. In the rebounding department, the Celtics ranked 16th and on the defensive side, the team sank to 22nd.
All factors considered the club lacked consistency. At times they showed flashes of brilliance and other times they would return to unacceptable basketball. If the team aspires to be an Eastern Conference Contender, then they need to play like a Celtic team. Teamwork, Shooting and rebounding.
The Upcoming Season If 2019 /20 is going to be a success it will have to be a complete team game. Head coach Brad Stevens needs to be more of a disciplinarian. Too many times last season the coach allowed the players to walk all over him.Regaining trust in each other is an important ingredient for any teams success.
The Boston Bruins are enjoying a very sweet 2019 playoff run in a quest for their second Stanley Cup of the millennial. One of the reasons behind the successful run is the play of netminder Tuukka Rask. Rask has guided the Bruins past victories over Toronto, Columbus, and two wins over Carolina with game three Tuesday night. In this post, we will examine three reasons, why Rask has been so successful and where he stands amongst recent Stanley Cup goalies.
What Separates Tuukka Rask From Other Elite NHL Goaltenders?
Young Defensive Group Outside of Charlie McAvoy the team has an extremely young group of talented defensemen. Starting with Charlie McAvoy the team is a well_ balanced unit with Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Connor Clifton, and Torey Krug.
The young group has been a significant reason that has contributed to Rask’s success this season. Krug, in particular, has been a vital force on the team’s power play.
If the Bruins expect to get past Carolina, then the defense will have to keep the Hurricane forwards at bay. The Bruins defense was one of the best in the NHL in 2018/19
Penalty Killing another reason for Rask’s success this postseason has been the play of the penalty killing unit. During the season, the penalty killing ranked near the bottom. During the playoffs, however, the penalty killing has been the out of the four playoff teams remaining. Currently, the team is riding a five_ game unbeaten streak.
One of the reasons for this year’s playoff success is the play of the penalty killing unit. The group have prevented the opposition from scoring. Currently, the club is enjoying a five _game postseason unbeaten streak thanks to the penalty killing. If the team can get past Carolina, the play of the penalty killing unit is vital.
Rask Versus Recent Stanley Cup Goalies; The past three seasons the Stanley Cup Champions have been The Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins twice and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Compared to Stanley Cup goalies, Rask statistics rank with the best. Corey Crawford of Chicago is 244-142 career as a Blackhawk. In, the Playoffs his record is 48-37. Another example, Matt Murray of Pittsburgh compiled a 29-14 overall record this year, with 2.60 GAA and a 919 save percentage. Murray had a dismal playoff record in 2019 at 0-4 record.
Rask’s numbers, on the other hand, were far better than both in 2019. 27-19 298 GAA and a 912 save percentage. Career _wise Rask is 265 150 228GAA and a 921 save percentage. The most wins by any Bruins goaltender in the clubs history.
Post Season Success It wasn’t too long ago that Tuukka Rask was getting criticized for his lack of victories in postseason. With consecutive losses to Ottawa and Tampa Bay, it’s safe to say that Tuukka Rask has finally arrived as an elite NHL goaltender.
With a quarter of the 2019MLB season completed, it’s safe to say the 2019 Red Sox have many question marks. Question number one is pitching. Currently, the club is tied for third in the ALEast behind Tampa and New York. Any hopes of a mid _season surge into first place will fall on the starting pitching. In this post, we will review three areas that the organization needs to focus on a return to return to first place.
Lack Of A Closer Will Prove Costly For 2019 Red Sox
No, Craig Kimbrel In 2018 the Red Sox bullpen had a combined total of 46 saves. A lot of the credit went to closer Craig Kimbrel and setup man Joe Kelly. Kelly was instrumental in the post _season last year as he was one of the managers Alex Cora’s trusted relievers. In the offseason, Kelly signed a multi _year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Since Kelly’s departure, the majority of the responsibility has rested on reliever Ryan Brasier. Brasier has so far been adequate but does not even come close to Joe Kelly’s caliber. Kimbrel, on the other hand, remains a free_agent. He is believed to be seeking a long _term deal perhaps equaling six or seven years. Lack of Hitting So far, the Red Sox are 17-19 in the American League East. Overall, the club is hitting 283 as a team fifth best in the league along with a total of 42 home runs. As of late outfielder, Mookie Betts has been on a torrid hitting streak. Newly recalled Michael Chavis had been one of the teams most productive hitters belting seven home runs in less than two weeks. Also contributing with the bat have been Rafael Devers and catcher Christian Vazquez, and JD Martinez has been consistent. Starting Pitching Needs To Be Healthy After 36 games, the Red Sox starting pitching has suffered injuries to two key pitchers. Both starters David Price and Nathan Eovaldi have been placed on the DL Out of the two, Evoldi’s injury is considered more serious. It was diagnosed that Eovaldi will miss at least 4to 6 months of pitching due to Tommy John surgery.
If the team has any aspirations of returning to first place, then they will need a healthy David Price and Nathan Eovaldi. Also on the injured list is lefthander Brian Johnson. Johnson’s injury is not regarded as serious. The season Ahead If the club expects to have any hopes of postseason then a lot will depend on the health of the pitching. Also, investing in closer is one alternative the organization needs to think about if they expect to play even close to last season.