The Boston Celtics seem to do this every season since the assembling of the Big 3. Start off hot, cool down by the New Year, heat up again and then hit the skids right into the playoffs, while all their fans bathe with anguish.
This year’s story is no different– different chapter but same verse.
The Celtics (47-18) lost to the New Jersey Nets, 88-79, on Monday night, marking the fourth time in five games the C’s have been unable to rack up more than 90 points. Boston currently has lost three of its last four games.
There were doubts when Danny Ainge shipped Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson away, as well as dumped Semih Erden and Luke Harangody (and Marquis Daniels) to clear up space for players off of the scrap heap. So while the new-look Celtics try to mesh in time for a serious playoff and championship run, they will need to take advantage of their easy schedule in order to avoid having to play the likes of the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, or Orlando Magic in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Against the Pacers tonight, the Big 3 and Rajon Rondo will need to carry the load for the Green as people like Jeff Green, Nenad Kristic, Troy Murphy, Carlos Arroyo, and Sasha Pavlovic get acclimated to their new surroundings and teammates.
The good news for the Celtics? A familiar face in Delonte West will be returning to action, after playing in less than a dozen games this season.
Celtics vs. Pacers, 7:30, at the TD Garden.