Losing Gordon Hayward in the first game of the year looked like it might be the end of the Celtics’ season before it even started. Everyone started ruling the Celtics out of any sort of Finals contention, and it seemed like all the moves that were made to get Kyrie Irving over to the east coast were for nothing. After the horrific injury to Hayward, just about everybody counted the Celtics out, including Charles Barkley, who said on NBA on TNT: “Their season is now over,”, with Shaq and others agreeing with him that the Celtics just don’t stand a chance against the likes of Cleveland, Golden State, and Houston.
Kyrie and company have proved all doubters wrong though, as they now have won nine in a row, and now are 1.5 games up in the Eastern Conference. Irving has played well through this stretch, averaging 23 points and six assists, but the key numbers have come from the other newcomers to the Celtics team this year. The Celtics have five players (including Irving) averaging double digits in scoring, and are also the best defensive team in the league, holding opponents to 94.5 PPG so far this season.
Even if Hayward can’t return this year, the Celtics seem to be locking teams down, and have beaten the Spurs and the Thunder already this season, so not only is there a chance, they could seriously challenge LeBron and company in the east, especially with the struggles that Cleveland seems to be having. The Celtics’ next game is against Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers tomorrow night at 8pm EST.
What do you think? Can the C’s extend their winning streak, and continue to stay atop the East this season? Or will they come back to reality at some point? Let us know in the comments below!