Nothing has gone right for the Boston Celtics so far this season.
Through 20 games, the projected Eastern Conference favorites are 10-10 after suffering a loss to a Dallas Mavericks team that didn’t have Dirk Nowitzki or Dennis Smith Jr. on Saturday.
Boston has lost games to the New York Knicks and Orlando Magic early in the season. The Celtics’ offense has been borderline offensive to watch, ranking dead last in the NBA in points. They shoot a lot of 3-pointers (35.8 per game) but don’t make them at a high clip (34.3 percent). Boston’s key five have yet to jell, as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have taken a step back after their monster 2017-18 seasons, and Gordon Hayward still is rusty after missing a season with the dislocated ankle and fractured tibia he suffered last season.
While it’s still only November, it no longer can be considered early for Boston. The NBA season basically is a quarter of the way through and the Celtics are nothing more than a below average Eastern Conference team.
Kyrie Irving knows it’s going to get late early if Boston can’t figure it out soon.
“You’re almost at that rock bottom point where the team is about to blow up,” Irving said, via Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix. “Not saying that we’re there, but for me there is no more time to waste.”
Indeed, Boston must figure out a cure for what ails it soon or it risks letting its season slip away. Whether the answer is another lineup change, a different offensive philosophy, increased effort on both ends, making open shots (Boston connects on just 37.9 percent of open looks) or a combination of everything, head coach Brad Stevens will have to cook something up in a hurry.
The Celtics will try to get back on track Monday night in New Orleans when they face the equally disappointing Pelicans.