Boston, MA - After a fun All-Star Weekend for the Boston Celtics, they came back under the lens of a solid winning streak and the guarantee by Jayson Tatum that the Celtics would be NBA champions by the end of the year. In the two games since the All-Star festivities, this promise is harder to believe as the Celtics find themselves struggling against the competition. They dropped one game to the best in the Eastern Conference and then another right after to a team that is actively trying to tank.
First up, the Celtics took on the Milwaukee Bucks, led by the MVP favorite, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and fell by just one point by a score of 98-97. Giannis crushed the Celtics with a game-leading thirty points as Kyrie Irving returned to regular season action and dropped twenty-two points, but it was not enough to defeat the Bucks who just barely managed to pull away late. Khris Middleton's late three-pointer sank the Celtics and proved that even though Boston might be able to hang with the big boys, they still have trouble closing out those games.
In the next game Boston played on the road, their away record dropped to 14-15 as they fell 126-116 against the Chicago Bulls, who are 16-44 this season. It was definitely an embarrassing loss for the Celtics as they found themselves in a 26-point deficit against a team that, earlier in the season, they clobbered and delivered them the worst loss in the history of their franchise. Kyrie claimed 37 points, but it still was not enough, as Chicago's Zach LaVine scored a career high of 42 points.
It's interesting how the Celtics performed better when Kyrie was sidelined. They won more games and definitely had more energy. Kyrie's return shows he's the best player on the Celtics, but yet they still cannot manage to nab a victory. As Irving doubles down on his comments about the problems with the young core of Boston, the Celtics might be wondering if life after Kyrie wouldn't be so bad after all.