Boston, MA - After a four game winning streak that included victories against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Detroit Pistons, and the Oklahoma City Thunder, the 2018 Boston Celtics season was looking up. After Kyrie Irving dropped thirty-one points, it looked as if the Brad Stevens-coached Celtics were finally starting to figure out their rhythm early on in the 2018-19 season.
Since this point, though, the Celtics have entered into a skid after losses against the Indiana Pacers and the Denver Nuggets, bringing them to a game tomorrow against the Phoenix Suns that suddenly has become a crucial game for them to avoid dropping to 6-5 on the season (especially when many thought it possible for Boston to boast a record like 10-1, 9-2, or even 11-0 in some cases at this point in the season).
Frankly, there are many problems the Celtics need to address. While Irving has slowly been surely coming back into his old form, he still needs a lot of progress to regain control of the title of top point guard in the NBA. With a twenty-five thousand dollar fine following his hurling of a basketball into the stands in Denver, there are still a few Kyrie kinks to work out.
The Gordon Hayward problem also looms large over Boston. It is clear that Hayward is not looking like his old self yet and Stevens has yet to figure out how many minutes Hayward should be playing during any given game. Until then, Hayward has become something of a black hole on offense (and in the explosion of scoring era that the NBA is currently in, it remains to be seen if defense still can truly win championships).
But regarding minutes, Terry Rozier is reportedly unhappy with his playing time thus far in Boston, leading to rumors that the Celtics are going to try to move him. This obviously puts Boston at a disadvantage on the market, but it also causes ripples in the clubhouse. The seeds of dissent cannot be sown in a clubhouse with championship ambitions.
I don't expect the Celtics to struggle for long, though. Stevens is a very gifted coach and if anyone can figure out this Celtics roster right now, it's definitely him.