The Celtics' championship window may have been closing for the past couple of seasons, but if the first three games of this shortened season are any sign, that window is about to come to a crashing close.
The C's will play their home opener on Friday night at TD Garden against the hapless Detroit Pistons, and it will likely present Boston's best chance at a win thus far. The Green enter the opener sitting at 0-3 after starting the season on a three-game road trip.
Record aside, it could be too early to claim the sky is falling for an aging Celtics team. They may be 0-3, but it's not like they've been playing the Little Sisters of the Poor. Two of Boston's three losses came against legitimate Eastern Conference contenders, opening the season with a loss against the Knicks before falling to the Heat earlier this week. The third loss, a defeat at the hands of the lowly New Orleans Hornets, came on the second night of a back-to-back following the loss in Miami.
Another reason the Celtics haven't gotten out on the right foot has a lot to do with the right foot of their best player. Paul Pierce has yet to hit the floor, and he could make his return on Friday night.
While there may be greener pastures ahead for the Green, they can't sit around too long and wait for things to turn around. Pierce's return will help, there's no doubting that, but things will ultimately get more difficult for the C's down the road. If they can't take advantage of a favorable stretch they're about to enter (17 of the next 22 at home), Boston will be in deep trouble. The schedule only gets tougher as the season progresses, something that will be magnified for a team as old as the C's.
However, with that heavy veteran presence, the Celtics will surely be looking to just get into the playoffs (and hopefully avoid the Heat and Bulls in the first round). An 0-3 start certainly won't do anything to put that in jeopardy. However, if they can't turn things around at some point in the near future, it could be a long winter and spring in Boston for Celtics fans.