Shaun Connolly

Playoffs are in full swing! As of writing this the Celtics romped the Heat and their dumb culture in game one of the first round. The whole starting 5 looked like the amazing group they always have been, coach Joe Mazzula only used 8 guys despite the blowout, and Larry Bird was in attendance. The latter being a Celtics fan’s wet dream. So many drunk fans in green screaming in that old man’s face. As so many teams in the NBA have proved and some in the NHL as well (looking at you last season’s Bruins team) that just being unbelievable in the regular season does not translate to a championship run. So I am here to assess the regular season with my end of season report card and translate that to how they fare in the postseason. Spoiler, I think they have a legitimate shot.

Backcourt (A)

Derrick White has been more than we could have ever asked for. I was at his first game as a Celtic two seasons ago and the Garden gave him a standing ovation, and I thought big whoop. I mean it was a good trade but at the time we still had Marcus Smart, and I was definitively on the Smart train. Sometimes it feels really good to have egg on your face. Whether it is Tatum or Brown there with him, or when Pritchard comes off the bench, they keep the ball moving. Unlike in past seasons where they tend to slow it down and the offense gets stuck in sludge. When the Celtics are scoring it looks like the beautiful game it is referenced as. Oh and I have to mention that they shoot the friggin’ lights out.

Frontcourt (A-)

Proof I am getting old and cranky, I was low on Al Horford and Kristaps Porzingis. Horford I thought was going to show his age and Porzingis I thought was going to get hurt like he typically has. I have been wrong. Wow they look like they have peaked! Then you had the psychic connection of Brown and Porzingis and then the absolute talented weirdness of Luke Kornet and this team seems unstoppable on both ends under the hoop.

Defense (A)

They have the second best defensive rating in the league! Only behind the Minnesota Timberwolves who have Rudy Gobert, Karl Anthony-Towns and Anthony Edwards! That is unbelievable. They are a defensive unit, they have each other’s back, they are switching or staying and fixing mismatches. They transition with the best of them, and if they keep a team under 100, they only have 2 losses this season. Impeccable.

Coaching (B)

Joe is a weirdo. That is a good thing for the most part. He really doesn’t have a life. He isn’t cheating on Nia Long with the training staff. He’s watching The Town every night for inspiration and loving his savior Jesus Christ. I still think he is a little stubborn and doesn’t make in game adjustments. He prepares for a game better than anyone, but doesn’t have a wild card to play if things go away from what they have decided to do. Luckily he has three of the top 20 players in the league on his starting 5, so it doesn’t bite him in the ass nearly as often as it has for other coaches with his style. He’s still unbelievable, but if we go 7 games against the Knicks in the Eastern Conference Finals, he may be why.

That’s it folks. Can’t wait to talk more about this in June when we are in the Finals. I’ll see you out on the duckboats when we hopefully win this thing!