Since the All -Star break, the Celtics have played inconsistent basketball. Embarrassing losses to the Knicks, Rockets, and Cavaliers have plummeted the Celtics to second place behind Milwaukee. Currently, the team is 2 games in front of the 76ers and 2games behind the Bucks. Any hopes of returning to game seven rest on tough defense and focus on making the right decisions. In this post, we will review three areas the Celtics need to focus on heading into the postseason.
Despite, a strong first half the club needs to play tight defense and focus on mental toughness. Sloppy turnovers will not cut it against teams like Milwaukee and Golden State. Currently, the team is on a three- game winning streak and playing as a club ready for the playoffs.
Getting to the championship will require clutch scoring, defense, and rebounding. Unfortunately, the Celtics rank near the bottom in the rebounding department. The top rebounding teams are the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks. However, the Celtics are rebounding better than the Golden State Warriors. The Celtic’s top rebounders are Jayson Tatum 8.9 rebounds per game, Robert Williams 8.7, Jaylen Browns 6.7 rebounds per game, and Al Horford 6.9 rebounds per game.
Head coach Joe Mazzulla is under a lot of pressure. Recently named head coach, they have been criticizing how he manages the players. Namely Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Both players need to be fresh in order to win the championship. Brown suffered a serious facial injury earlier in the season. Mazzulla is the youngest coach in the NBA.
The Celtics are under pressure after last year’s loss to Golden State. Playing smart and solid rebounding will play a significant factor in the outcome. At 51-23, the team needs to regain its first- half form.