California journey helps Celtics curtail what ails them

However give him a cross on this. Nice gamers aren’t essentially nice leaders (and it’s in all probability time we cease insisting they be). Plus, the Celtics’ lackluster play then would’ve examined anybody’s persistence.

“I’ve been by means of too many battles to hold onto the identical feelings sport after sport,” Irving stated.


In one in all their largest wins of the season, the Celtics routed the Warriors in Oakland.

Reality be instructed, the Celtics have simply as a lot of an opportunity to win the East title because the Bucks, Raptors or Philadelphia 76ers. They’ve acquired a celebrity in Irving and strong supporting items. Each Stevens and his roster are playoff examined, as few key gamers on the Bucks, Raptors or Sixers have gone deeper within the playoffs than the Celtics’ have.

Plus, the Celtics consider higher days are coming, and that’s half the battle, regaining that confidence.

“For essentially the most half we performed nice basketball on this journey,” stated Jaylen Brown. “We’ve been away from residence a very long time. We needed to get all 4 video games on this journey, however it’ll be good to go residence and take the subsequent step. We’ve simply acquired to choose it up. And also you try this by successful. Successful stands out.”

Brown says the fitting formulation is staying true to your identification, one thing that escaped the Celtics for some time.

“Once we play with tempo and tempo, it’s robust for anybody to beat us,” he stated. “Once we gradual it down …”


The Starters give their tackle the state of the Celtics.

Generally when gamers on a crew is on the highway, they’ll’t escape one another. They’re on the similar resort, generally eat on the similar spot, and that may have a unifying impact. Maybe that has been the case in California for the Celtics.

“The way in which we performed and stayed collectively, it confirmed,” stated Al Horford. “We performed with a function and wish to proceed that manner. It’s about consistency, and we did lots of that on this journey.”

Half of Boston’s remaining 14 video games are towards groups presently .500 or higher. In April, 4 of their 5 video games are towards groups with dropping data. At 1 half of video games out of third place — the Celtics’ ceiling — that purpose may nonetheless be reached to shut out 2018-19. That’s why anybody who made a remaining assertion on the Celtics prior this journey was being too hasty.

The NBA season is lengthy, and tough patches are anticipated. The Celtics, maybe, have hit their remaining one. It’s in all probability smart, although, that they don’t consider that and fall right into a entice.

“It’s not like we solved a puzzle after three (wins),” stated Stevens. “We now have to get higher.”

Sure, they do. However similar goes for any crew that calls itself a contender. The pack is simply too tight and the competitors too stiff within the East. The Celtics needed to get as far-off from residence as potential for a whole week to search out out who they’re. However highway journeys, as fantastic as they become, do have their limits.

“We have to get out of right here,” Irving stated. “We’ve been right here lengthy sufficient. No disrespect to any California native, however we have to get out.”

* * *

Shaun Powell has lined the NBA for greater than 25 years. You may e-mail him right here, discover his archive right here and observe him on Twitter.

The views on this web page don’t essentially replicate the views of the NBA, its golf equipment or Turner Broadcasting. 

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