April 11, 2024

The Boston Celtics lost a high-scoring game against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Monday, eliminating them from the NBA In-Season Tournament.

What has been the response, can you guess?

Yes, opinions are already circulating regarding what the C’s need to change in order to prevent suffering the same fate in the postseason. Still, they’re not always unjustified. This season, the Celtics have been clearly hampered by a few issues, and Shams Charania of The Athletic thinks he knows how they’ll look to address those issues.

 

“My concern with the Celtics is the same that we’ve seen in the last couple years, which is late-game execution. They got outscored 17-7 in the final 1:30 of (Monday’s game),” Charania said on “Run It Back” presented by FanDuel Sportsbook. “… The Celtics gave up a couple first-round picks in the Jrue Holiday trade, but they still have some left. I expect the Celtics to be active in the trade market as we get closer to February, to try to see if they can beef up their bench rotation.”

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The Celtics have received inconsistent minutes from their bench rotation to this point in the season, with Sam Hauser, Al Horford and Payton Pritchard proving to be reliable options.

Hauser has played well, averaging 10 points per game while appearing in all 20 of Boston’s contests. Horford is still himself, though his numbers have dipped due to playing less. Pritchard has come on strong as of late.

The rest of the bench has given relatively nothing.

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Dalano Banton has earned more minutes in recent weeks, but his inconsistencies as a ball-handler and finisher at the rim have been the primary reason for his minus-4.1 offensive box plus/minus. Oshae Brissett provides energy but hasn’t found consistent minutes. Luke Kornet and Neemias Queta have been locked in a battle for minutes since the latter returned from injury. Svi Mykhailiuk and Lamar Stevens just aren’t playing.

It would be hard to argue the Celtics couldn’t use more out of their bench, but Boston hasn’t exactly had enough time to figure out how it would like to deploy each of its reserve players. There’s a spot open on the roster, but the next three months could tell us that it might not necessarily need to be filled by a costly acquisition.

The C’s just might need some time.

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