NBA

Kyrie Irving.

The Celtics' inactivity at the trade deadline could come back to haunt them

Published Add your comment

Football News
24/7

The All-Star break has probably come at the perfect time for the Boston Celtics as they're currently on a three-game losing streak and are playing their worst basketball of the season so far.

In back-to-back home defeats to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers in their last two outings, they gave up a season-high in points in each contest.

They've lost four of their last five and nine of 15 overall heading into this break.

Their roster has been stretched with injuries to both starters and role players in recent weeks and the over-reliance on Kyrie Irving on the offensive end could be a problem further down the line.

Unsurprisingly, rookie Jayson Tatum and sophomore Jaylen Brown have cooled off in terms of production having hit a sticky patch in the last couple of weeks.

Having made so many good decisions in the trade market over the years, and in the summer, in particular, president Danny Ainge may have made a mistake in not bringing in another scoring option to help Irving at the trade deadline.

Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets

Missed opportunity

The Celtics were keen to add more scoring to their roster and were reportedly in trade discussions with the Memphis Grizzlies to acquire Tyreke Evans who is enjoying a fine season.

The 28-year-old is averaging 19.5 points, 5.0 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game this year.

Memphis kept him out of their lineup for five straight games in anticipation of him being traded, but it failed to materialise.

Boston certainly had enough assets to make a deal work but the Grizzlies are believed to have wanted too much in return.

Memphis Grizzlies v Atlanta Hawks

But as well as Evans, there were other scorers available on the market for the C's.

Lou Williams was rumoured to be available for a trade as the Los Angeles Clippers were keen to secure first round picks and young talent, something the Celtics have in abundance.

But with the veteran shooting guard entering free agency in the summer, Ainge and the front office probably didn't want to take a short-term gamble and give up assets for a 31-year-old.

Another player they could've targeted was Jordan Clarkson from the Los Angeles Lakers.

New York Knicks v Los Angeles Lakers

He's a contender for Sixth Man of the Year this season as he's been a great contributor off the bench for much of the campaign.

He's putting up 14.5 points, 3.2 dimes, and 3.0 boards a night. The Celtics didn't look at him, however, and he ended up with the Cavs prior to the deadline.

The 25-year-old has made an impressive start to life in Cleveland alongside LeBron James and co. and dropped 17 points on Boston in his debut for the Wine and Gold.

The Ohio-based outfit looked energised by the acquisitions as they thumped their rivals 121-99 at TD Garden.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics

In comparison, Brad Stevens' team looked tired, out of rhythm and short of ideas.

It seems when Irving has a bad game, they end up losing, which wasn't the case earlier in the year as they were winning without him.

But as their leading scorer with 24.7 points per game, Kyrie's presence is huge for the team. The second leader in scoring behind him is Brown at 14 ppg which shows just how much they rely on their superstar point guard.

Adjustments

The men from Beantown have not become a bad team overnight, they still have a strong 40-19 record in the east but they'll just need to re-focus and get back to playing at the level they were in the first 20 games.

Washington Wizards v Boston Celtics

Their slump has seen them lose the number one spot in the conference to the Toronto Raptors but they should have an eye on the bigger picture and not let this affect them.

Boston had the best defence in the league in the opening months but they've lost their edge on that end of the floor recently, giving up 121 points to the Cavaliers and 129 to the Clippers in consecutive games.

"We're a group that's built what we have so far based on the defensive end," said Al Horford, per Celtics.com. "We've taken a big step back on that in the past few games, so I think the break came at just the right time for our group.

"We need to really get healthy, get re-focused, and get ready to have a great second half of the year."

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers

Coach Stevens has already stated that he will look to make changes and tweak some things offensively and defensively as they aim to find form again for the crucial stage of the season.

The signs in recent games have been worrying for the Celtics, but there's no reason to panic.

They still have the best head coach in the east but he must use the All-Star break to figure out a way to get his team firing on all cylinders again.

Topics:
NBA
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author

DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again