Originally written on Atlantic Twine  |  Last updated 10/15/14
Photo by AP It seems as though the Boston Celtics are right where they started–square one. This season has been full of incomplete performances by Doc Rivers’ group, but especially when it comes to  Tuesday’s loss against Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers (11-32). Granted Irving did post a 40-point performance, but there should be no excuse for the players to display productivity in the box score. It’s bad enough be on the defeating end against Cleveland, but it puts a horrific taste getting beaten by subpar teams–New Orleans Hornets (14-27) and Detroit Pistons (15-25). Remind you, Boston has lost to the Pistons twice in the 2012-13 season. As Doc Rivers puts it. His team plays in stretches, not the full 48 minutes. “I thought we played in stretches, in spurts,” Rivers told reporters. “I thought the first quarter, offensively, we were terrific and defensively we were bad. We gave up 31 points in the first quarter. I thought the third quarter probably set the game of basketball back 30 years by both teams. And then the fourth quarter, we didn’t get much better offensively, and Kyrie Irving happened. I think he had 15 points in the fourth. … And he made some tough shots. But we couldn’t convert. We just, offensively, we had those flat periods, and when we are good when we have those flat periods, we get stops. And right now we’re not when we have droughts.” When extensive talking about quarter by quarter and progression becomes relevant, it brings a negative along with commentary. There comes to a point in the season where you start making positive strides. But it seems the Celtics keep tracing backwards with every defeat weighing a ton on their shoulders. Questions now rise. Can this current team actually win a NBA Championship, or is it time to pull the plug on some players (realistically speaking this time)? Some nights this Boston team plays with a ton of fire containing high power dunks by Jeff Green and relentless frame of mind within Jared Sullinger and Avery Bradley. But other nights there is becomes a curiosity if the mindsets of the members in green and white are conscious. In terms of the passion for the game, Celtics lack on a lot of accounts. Sitting with a 20-21 record in the Eastern Conference shows evidence how much Boston has underperformed to their high hopes in the offseason. With a top-heavy schedule on the doorsteps (New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers…), Rivers’ team could be looking at a vital stretch to the team’s 2012-13 season before the NBA All-Star break. Boston will look to snap–sounds like a broken record– the four-game losing skid against the New York Knicks (25-14) on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. only on TNT.

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