Ever since the Celtics’ COVID problems and the return of Kemba Walker, the Celtics have been struggling and haven’t been able to consistently win and play well together. In the Celtics first game back after the coronavirus outbreak throughout the team, the Celtics had an easy win against the Orlando Magic, 124-97 and it looked as if the Celtics didn’t skip a beat. After this game was where our struggles began. We had a blowout loss to the New York Knicks in Kemba’s return and we never showed any effort or passion throughout the whole game. After that, we suffered back-to-back losses vs. the 76ers, which is a team we usually do well against but really struggled against this year. On our west coast trip we did very average, going 2-3 with the wins being very close games vs. the Warriors and Clippers. We recently returned from our west coast trip and after a great game vs. the Raptors, we’ve lost to the Pistons and have been blown out by the Wizards.
If there is one silver lining from last night’s loss to the Wizards, it’s that Kemba Walker had 25 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and shot 9/18 from the field. Coming into yesterday’s game, Kemba had been averaging 14.0 PPG on 25% shooting from the field in his last three games. For Kemba, his stats don’t tell the full story. Ever since Walker’s return he’s looked like a shell of his former self. Kemba’s ability to explode, to blow past defenders, and finish through contact seemed to completely dwindle since his prime years in Charlotte. This being said, vs. Washington Kemba seemed like his old self again. Although the Wizards have one of the worst defenses in the league, Kemba had himself a day. Kemba was able to consistently shoot from beyond the arc, finish through traffic, and overall exposed the Wizards defense. Despite the loss, it was good to see the veteran point guard take a step in the right direction and hopefully this will transfer into games going forward.
In spite of the Celtics struggles recently, Jaylen Brown’s leadership continues to be put on display and is an encouraging sight for the Celtics organization and the fans. Two years ago, after a bad loss like the one vs. Washington, the Celtics post game interviews would’ve been filled with bad blood, tension, and finger pointed at each other. This year however, problems are being properly addressed and any issues are kept within the locker room. After the Wizards game Jaylen Brown was asked if this was “rock bottom” for the Celtics, he replied saying “It could be, It’s up to the mentality of everybody, how we come in everyday and prepare to work. If you let it be a rock bottom mentality then that’s what it’s gonna be.” In conclusion, it’s obvious the improvements are needed. Improvements could be making trades and getting another star or could just be mentally improved. My question is, would you rather have Danny Ainge go out and trade for someone like Andre Drummond, John Collins, Nikola Vucevic or Blake Griffin, or hope the Celtics chemistry improves and Marcus Smart coming back was really the problem?