The maddening enigma of the Celtics
Hold on to hope, Celtics fans, writes David Thorpe
By David Thorpe
Last April and May, the Celtics shocked the NBA. Absent two of their best veterans—Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward—the Celtics took LeBron James and the Cavaliers to the seventh game of the Eastern Conference finals. Along with Al Horford, three young players led the charge: Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, and Jayson Tatum. It was a wonderful surprise. It only seemed logical that this year, healthy, the Celtics would be as good as anyone.
Before the season, the respected prediction tool called the Basketball Power Index pegged Boston at 38 percent to make the Finals. That’s an incredibly high number in a 15-team conference. Then they started playing games, and a few months later their chances of making the Finals are barely above ten percent (depending which system you prefer). They are currently the fifth seed in the East. The last team from the East to make The Finals when seeded below the top four spots was the 1999 Knicks. Jayson Tatum was 15 months old.
At times they ha…