How can the Celtics turn their fortunes around in the second half of the season?

TD Garden
© Benoît Prieur / Wikimedia Commons

The Celtics’ results this season have been underwhelming to say the least. The Shamrocks have been disappointing all season and plagued with inconsistency, despite having one of the most talented wing duos in the league and a formidable new coach on the sidelines.

So what’s gone wrong? And why are the Celtics struggling despite their talent?

Celtics results this season

Boston was active during Brad Stevens first off-season as Head of Basketball Operations. Most notably, they traded the new (Kemba Walker) and brought back the old (Al Horford). They also managed to fill in the gap left by Stevens with a new head coach in Ime Udoka.

Many expected the Celtics’ results this season to remove the stale taste of last year’s frustrating campaign and lift them once again to Eastern Conference contention. Halfway through the season however, we can safely say Boston is nowhere close to their ceiling. They are currently sitting 11th in the East with a 22-22 record. They are also struggling to find an identity they desperately need if they plan on making a deep playoff run.

The tale of the two Jays

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are undoubtedly two of the most talented players in the entire NBA. They have also played together for the entirety of their careers and reached the Eastern Conference Finals together tgree times before the age of 25.

My point is they know each other, and they’ve proven that they can play and win together. The mystery seems to be that they have recently forgotten how to do so. When Tatum lights up for over 30 points, Brown disappears. And when Brown goes into his bag and torches defenses, Tatum is nowhere to be seen.

If you look at the Celtics’ games this season, you will find them blowing big leads, losing games against below .500 teams, and playing more iso-ball than a team with their proven chemistry should.

The buck stops with Tatum and Brown, which brings out the most asked question about the pair…


Should Boston finally break them up?

Silver lining

Before we get swept up in the trade rumors (will do so below), there is a recent silver lining for Boston fans to be excited about. The Shamrocks have won 4 of their last 5 games.

In their January 13th matchup against the Pacers, “The Jays” showed us what this team can do when they are clicking on all cylinders. Tatum and Brown scored 33 points and 34 points respectively on an identical 11-19 shooting. They were aggressive, they involved their teammates, and they found a rhythm they desperately needed.

The remaining Boston Celtics 2022 NBA schedule could look very different if they can continue to do so.

The trade rumor mill

The trade deadline is less than a month away, and Boston needs to make things happen before then. The roster right now needs shaking up, especially in an Eastern Conference that looks more competitive every year.

Last year the Cs were involved in Jerami Grant trade rumors. In fact, they offered Detroit a bunch of picks for him which obviously didn’t work out. If Boston is serious about saving their season, we should see a better deal on the table for the rebuilding Pistons.

Brad Stevens should consider offering them Marcus Smart on top of an array of picks. Smart is undoubtedly a great defender and can also be a great mentor for the young Pistons players. Stevens just needs to acknowledge that its time to let him go.

On the flip side, acquiring Grant and his skillset on both ends of the floor could be the sparkplug that Boston needs.

Dennis Schroder is another player Boston should consider shipping. He is on a one-year deal and will most likely want a heftier contract at the end of the season, something the Celtics cannot give him. Shopping him would be interesting, especially considering he’s been playing well as a starter.

Finally, when it comes to Tatum and Brown, it is unlikely that Boston is going to move them at the moment, but it could be a different story in the offseason.

Let’s see if the Celtic’s results this season can improve after the all-star break.

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