The Boston Celtics finally appear to be coming into their own, putting a halt to a streak of general poor play that not many saw coming.
The Celtics were expected to effectively steamroll through the Eastern Conference en route to the NBA Finals, but they quickly were brought back down to Earth after starting the campaign 10-10 before ripping off three straight wins.
Boston largely played out of character in the first quarter of the season, as an out-of-sync offense coupled with lackluster defense created for several disappointing performances. But if you ask Jayson Tatum, the Celtics’ early-season woes all point back to the preseason chatter.
“There’s a lot of different reasons. Maybe we believed the hype too much and we didn’t come out and perform,” Tatum said Tuesday, as captured by MassLive. “There’s a big target on our back. Teams are coming after us and maybe we didn’t understand that fully. Nothing we can do about the past, just focus on each game.”
Given the Celtics’ loaded roster from top to bottom, it’s tough to blame the unit for maybe getting a little ahead of themselves as the season got underway. But teams need to be battle tested in order to win a championship, and it’s safe to say Boston has been forced to show what it’s made of in the early going.
So even as win streaks and hot stretches come and go as the season progresses, don’t expect the Celtics to rest on their laurels at any point through the remainder of the campaign.