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What is wrong with the Boston Celtics this season?

As it currently stands, the Boston Celtics sit at 15-16. They suffered a 108-103 setback to the Philadelphia 76ers last night at the Garden. The Celtics were actually leading 97-90 in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t close out the game. So with 31 games in the season gone, it’s safe to ask what is wrong with this team? I might have a few ideas as to what could be wrong.

The Boston Celtics are Consistently Inconsistent

Let’s just tell it like it is. The Boston Celtics are consistent at being inconsistent. They take two steps forward and then take two more back. This is a team that has some talent, but just can’t quite put it all together. We’ve been waiting for this team to put together a nice 5, 6, 7 game winning streak. But they just can’t seem to do that. So how can the Celtics break out of this?

Ime Udoka

It starts and ends with Ime Udoka. Now, this isn’t a blog to be asking for Udoka to be fired after 31 games. That’s just crazy and downright unfair. But I do think he can be better with his rotations of guys in the lineup. Why isn’t a guy like Payton Pritchard getting minutes when the Celtics go into scoring lulls? What took so long to get Aaron Nesmith minutes? Why are there nights when Josh Richardson was getting close to 30 minutes a game on off shooting nights? Sometimes, the rotations can be real head-scratchers. In my opinion, Udoka will get better with more time. But if not, people on Boston could turn on him very quickly.

Take it from Another Source about the Boston Celtics Struggles

Don’t believe me? Then hear it from the Rafters co-host Liam McDaid as I texted him and asked about Udoka in Boston so far.

“A huge part of the Celtics struggles are the trials and tribulations of first year head coach Ime Udoka. Udoka has inherited a Celtics team with two superstar wings and a lot of questions. He’s trying to make the best with the riches he’s got and in doing so he does a lot of experimenting with lineups and rotations. The decisions he makes on this front usually come to the dismay of younger guys fighting for a continued role on the team or decently established guys trying to develop their game further.”

Payton Pritchard

“Starting with last year’s surprise of the season for Boston, Payton Pritchard. Pritchard is averaging 10.6 minutes a game which is up from what he started the season at. Hovering around 8 and a half. Last year the PG saw just under 20 mins of action and would be left alone in games to show his scoring ability off pulling up from 40 feet with ease. After a promising first year stats for Payton are down across the board because of little activity. He’ll get a DNP(coaches decision) against the Clippers, then follow it up with 12 minutes in Phoenix, three days later in the next game he gets 2 minutes, then he’ll be back to 13 against Golden state. These inconsistencies are brutal to a player who is trying to make a mark in the league. One of our better weapons last year doesn’t know what minutes he’s getting night to night and his performance will suffer as a result. If a player can’t get in a rhythm from night to night, it’s exceptionally hard to remain consistent.”

Same with Nesmith and Romeo Langford

“The same goes for Aaron Nesmith and Romeo Langford. Two developing guys who could help the Celtics in their lack of 3 pt shooting. Ime started out the season rarely playing these guys and favoring Grant Williams who has emerged as a better player than most thought. For three young capable guys to get inconsistent activity night in and night out, it’s a disservice to the players and the team when they play a hurt Jaylen Brown 40 minutes a night and ride Tatum even on a colt shooting night.”

Jayson Tatum’s Leadership

Jayson Tatum needs to be the leader of this team. There’s no debate there. I thought the quote above was interesting because of how true it is with all things considered. He’s isn’t a vocal guy. He’s not the type to get on somebody. But the thing is: sometimes great teams need their leader to be vocal. Tatum is still young, but he’s been with the Celtics for almost five seasons now. He’s earned the right to get on guys if they aren’t pulling their weight. If the Celtics want to get anywhere, I think Tatum needs to take the next step up in his leadership.

In Conclusion about the Boston Celtics Struggles

This team is what it is at the moment. A middle of the road team that can’t get it together. The problem is we’ve been experiencing this for a few seasons now. If the struggles continue, things need to change and ASAP.

(Featured Image courtesy of celticsblog.com)

-Al Nahigian (@BigAl2793 on Twitter)

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