The Boston Celtics were eliminated from the NBA In-Season Tournament on Monday, dropping a high-scoring affair against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Can you guess what the response has been?

That’s right, takes are already flying about how the C’s must improve to avoid the same fate once the postseason rolls around. They’re not necessarily undeserved, though. There have been a few clear things that have hindered the Celtics this season, and Shams Charania of The Athletic believes he knows how they’ll look to fix those problems.

“My concern with the Celtics is the same that we’ve seen in the last couple years, which is late-game execution. They got outscored 17-7 in the final 1:30 of (Monday’s game),” Charania said on “Run It Back” presented by FanDuel Sportsbook. “… The Celtics gave up a couple first-round picks in the Jrue Holiday trade, but they still have some left. I expect the Celtics to be active in the trade market as we get closer to February, to try to see if they can beef up their bench rotation.”

Story continues below advertisement

The Celtics have received inconsistent minutes from their bench rotation to this point in the season, with Sam Hauser, Al Horford and Payton Pritchard proving to be reliable options.

They’ve all had their roles change, however, as injuries to Kristaps Porzingis and Holiday have thrust the former two into the starting lineup at different points. Pritchard, on the other hand, saw a serious increase in minutes with Holiday out of the lineup in late November.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Hauser has played well, averaging 10 points per game while appearing in all 20 of Boston’s contests. Horford is still himself, though his numbers have dipped due to playing less. Pritchard has come on strong as of late.

The rest of the bench has given relatively nothing.

Story continues below advertisement

Dalano Banton has earned more minutes in recent weeks, but his inconsistencies as a ball-handler and finisher at the rim have been the primary reason for his minus-4.1 offensive box plus/minus. Oshae Brissett provides energy but hasn’t found consistent minutes. Luke Kornet and Neemias Queta have been locked in a battle for minutes since the latter returned from injury. Svi Mykhailiuk and Lamar Stevens just aren’t playing.

It would be hard to argue the Celtics couldn’t use more out of their bench, but Boston hasn’t exactly had enough time to figure out how it would like to deploy each of its reserve players. There’s a spot open on the roster, but the next three months could tell us that it might not necessarily need to be filled by a costly acquisition.

The C’s just might need some time.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images