A Concerning Start to the Celtics Season?


Keegan Sullivan, Staff Writer

Heading into the 2021-22 NBA season, the Boston Celtics faced some great expectations given to them by the media and fans across the country. However, these expectations have not been fulfilled just yet. The Celtics offseason moves and hires could have a role. Former head coach Brad Stevens decided to move into a new position within the Celtics Organization as the President of Basketball Operations, taking over for longtime President, Danny Ainge. 

Stevens, who led the search for a new head coach, had a plethora of coaches he believed would lead the Celtics to another world championship. After the search, Stevens settled on hiring Ime Udoka. Udoka became the 6th African American head coach for the Celtics ever. With a new coach comes new styles, defenses, and expectations. In addition to a new coach, the Celtics brought in many new players, in hopes of boosting the Celtics bench production.

Stevens made some trading moves in the offseason that he thought would be beneficial for the roster and team production. To build around young superstars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Stevens signed some key free agents, like former LA Lakers guard Dennis Schroeder, who he traded for forward Josh Richardson. In addition, he brought back former Celtic Al Horford. Bringing these guys in would add a lot of depth and scoring off the bench, something that the Celtics lacked from the previous season. 

The start to the season has not been what the players, coaches, or fans have wanted. Through 11 games, the Celtics are 5-6, losing two games in double overtime and another on a buzzer-beater by Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic. The main cause for concern was the Celtics blowing a 19 point lead at the end of the 3rd quarter against the Bulls and losing 128-114. There are definitely areas for improvement, but one thing needs to be understood: the whole coaching staff is new, the players are getting used to a new system and head coach, and some of these players are getting used to playing with one another. As fans consider the worst-case scenario, there is no reason to think the Celtics won’t bounce back and be contenders with the likes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown leading the charge.