By Bryce Carter
BANGOR, ME- As of right now, the Boston Celtics are in second place in the Eastern Conference trailing the Cleveland Cavaliers by 4 games. The Cavaliers have made some impressive moves following the All-Star Break heading for the playoffs, most notably the signing of point guard Deron Williams and center Andrew Bogut. The Celtics, while still sitting high in the East, did not make as much noise as expected at the trade deadline. While the C’s seem to be rolling at the moment, Cleveland is getting healthier and healthier and the Celtics have not had many injuries to deal with this season, mostly Avery Bradley going down for a about a month or so. But the Cavaliers are still in charge of the East. The Celtics need to make this run to the playoffs one to remember if they want to be representing the East when The Finals role around.
This could be tough for the Celtics, due to one of the hardest remaining schedules in the NBA. They have to play the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, and underrated Denver Nuggets all in the middle of a 5 game road trip. They also have to play the Washington Wizards, who are right on the Celtics tails for the 2nd seed, the previously mentioned Cleveland Cavaliers, plus games against young and up and coming teams like the Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks. A lot of these games will be must win for Boston if they want to make a legit run for a championship this year.
Another concern with the Celtics is not capitalizing on the trade deadline. They have so many pieces that could be traded for a superstar, like the Brooklyn Nets pick that was acquired in the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett trade, as well as players such as Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley that are very good players and could make a lot of teams happy, but are they the guys that coach Brad Stevens and the Celtics want to push for a title with? If they got a player like Jimmy Butler or Paul George they would be much happier. Even trying for then Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. He would have taken over the center position, moving Al Horford to the power forward, where he feels more comfortable. They probably wouldn’t have had to give up much for him, but Cousins was dished to the New Orleans Pelicans right after the All-Star game and that fantasy for Boston fans fell flat. The Nets pick is confusing Celtics fans at the moment. This upcoming draft is exceptionally guard heavy, and the C’s are loaded at guard, with names such as Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart. The hope amongst Boston is that they trade the pick before the draft. Celtics fans are praying that general manager Danny Ainge knows what he is doing with that draft pick, and knows when to trade it away.
This upcoming run for the Celtics has to be something special. They will have to beat a plethora of playoff teams ready for huge runs, including a few super teams. If the Celtics can win 4 of the 5 games in their upcoming road trip, they will be in good position. They are facing a huge amount of playoff teams away from the TD Garden, and are in desperate need of a spark to send them flying into the playoffs, and Isaiah Thomas needs to be ready to lead the charge for the C’s.