Celtics Big Three look towards their first test: 5 games in 7 days this season starting tonight.
After the first 2 weeks of the season the Celtics have started out slow with the only things to show for it are two wins by the skin of their teeth against probably one of the worst teams in the NBA (especially with John Wall and Nene both injured), the Washington Wizards. The lack of the Celtics ability to close out games is something that should certainly be watched if it continues for another couple weeks but those things tend to work themselves out. What has me worried is the lack of production from the bench early on. All offseason, Celtics fans were excited for the much needed depth on the bench added and some proven commodities. So far they have not shown what they were brought here for, and that is to spell the aging stars Pierce and KG. The bench scoring needs to improve in a hurry and they will have a tough time competing with the elite of the NBA if they are dependent on their starting 5 to win all their games for them.
This is especially important as the Celtics begin a deathly stretch of games. (5 games in 7 days) starting off with Philly on Friday night then embarking on a road trip through Milwaukee and Chicago then home for Utah and on the road to face the Nets. The revamped 76ers are going to give the Celtics a run for their money as we all remember the hard fought conference semifinals matchup these two had last year. The Celtics need to take advantage of no Andrew Bynum who is still out nursing his knee injury. There is still plenty of size on the team and we know playing against big teams has been an issue for the Celtics in the past. The Bucks have plenty of scoring threats as we saw this past week when the Bucks took care of business against the C’s. You need to believe this game is circled as a way to get revenge for an early loss. The Bulls are doing their best rendition of Jekyl and Hyde this season as you never know what you are going to get from this Derek Rose-less team. Utah has been playing like a middle of the road team, and the Nets seem to be trying to find their path like the Celtics early on so that could be a game to watch for both of these divisional rivals searching for the winning method.
This is a week that the Celtics really need to be able to string together a few wins as you dont want to fall too far behind in the standings no matter how early it is. The Knicks seem to actually be playing inspired basketball as difficult as that may be to grasp for many. If they keep winning games and the Celtics continue to tread water, these may come back to haunt the Celtics towards the end of the season when they will be battling for seeding.
Nothing to fret about yet, still a long season but the Celtics, more specifically their bench, need to wake up and this needs to start on Friday night. Let’s go Celtics.
- John Calabro