What a season for the Boston Celtics. In just the first year with Head Coach, Ime Udoka, the team made the NBA Finals. Jayson Tatum has taken another step toward becoming one of the league’s best and Jaylen Brown is doing the same. Marcus Smart earned his well overdue Defensive Player of the Year award and Rob Williams showed the potential to be the Center for the future. Individually and as a team, the Celtics took plenty of leaps and the win column backed it up. Before getting into the changes, let’s look at the success of the 2022 Boston Celtics.
The Energy Is About to Shift
That is what Jaylen Brown tweeted out on January 31st. From then, the Celtics finished the season on a 25-6 tear after starting 27-25. The Celtics before this tweet were blowing double-digit leads, playing selfish basketball, and things were looking bad. One thing that stayed consistent was the defense. The Celtics and Warriors were tied with the best defensive rating in the league that season at 106.9. Since Brown’s tweet, the Celtics have led the league in net rating at 15.0. The next closest was Memphis with 8.8.
The energy is about to shift
— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) January 31, 2022
This Celtics team went out there and decided to make a change to the team. The talent was always there with Smart, Brown, Tatum, and Williams. It was just a matter of buying into the system which resulted in winning when done correctly.
To Finish the Job
If it wasn’t obvious, this team has some things to do before being able to win the Finals. A couple of these things are fortunately in-house and fixable. The Celtics need to trust Coach Udoka’s system at all times and play less hero ball. That will come with Tatum and Brown’s growth. The Celtics also need more shooting. Luckily for them, Payton Pritchard is pretty good at that and very tenacious. Aaron Nesmith did not get much time but when called upon, he provided great defense. Nesmith spoke on how he pressured himself to get his shot falling leading to more pressure.
Brown and Tatum both need to focus on turning the ball over less and working on playmaking. These two have the same struggles so working on them together is another growing pain you’d like to have with someone with you. Robert Williams could work on developing a post-game and work on stretching the floor a bit. Williams was a huge bright spot on the lob threats, but you can always get more dangerous. As for Smart, you simply have to love and trust at this point. Smart will make the right plays according to himself. He is 28 and here for the long run.
Fully expect the Celtics to be right back in another Conference Finals and do not be shocked to see them squaring off in the NBA Finals once again.
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