Boston Celtics: Will big win over Nuggets spark the Celtics for the playoff push?

Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)
Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Could a big win over the Denver Nuggets spark the Boston Celtics? 

Let’s not get it misunderstood. The Boston Celtics have been one of the NBA’s most disappointing teams this season. They’ve certainly been the most underwhelming team, considering expectations, in the Eastern Conference this year.

After falling two wins short of breaking through in the East and making the NBA Finals in the league’s restart bubble last year, the Celtics, with less than 20 games remaining in this year’s regular season, are sitting in seventh in the Eastern Conference, at 28-26.

They’re currently on pace for a first-round playoff exit and, presumably, will be heading back to the drawing board during the offseason.

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Will a big win spark the Boston Celtics?

However, while unlikely, there is still time for the Celtics to turn its season around. And if there’s any team that can do it, it surely can be one as talented as Boston. On paper, you can make the argument that they have the second or third most talented rosters in the East – behind the Brooklyn Nets and perhaps Philadelphia 76ers.

Generally, for a turnaround to take place in the sports world (specifically, the NBA) there’s usually one moment when a team can look back and point to the pivot. For the Celtics, who have disappointed all season long, it could be a Sunday in April that represents their turnaround.

Down 79-65 with just a couple of minutes remaining in the third quarter on Sunday against the Denver Nuggets, the Celtics would go on a 31-3 run to win 105-87. Not only was the win huge to keep their head above water (or the .500 mark), but it also represents one of their most impressive wins of the season.

The Nuggets were one of the hottest teams in the NBA; winners of eight-straight and 17 of their at 20 games. And it appears that Denver was well on their way to another victory. However, then (perhaps) something clicked for the Celtics.

Boston outscored the Nuggets 31-8 in the fourth quarter and the Celtics looked like that dangerous, dark horse contender once again – what many expected them to be this season after just falling short of the NBA Finals last season.

A team led by Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, and Marcus Smart, with as much additional depth as they have, should be better than what the Celtics have been this season. And perhaps this could be a turning point for the team moving forward. Looking at their upcoming schedule, there’s no reason to believe why it can’t be.

There are some very winnable games on the schedule for the Celtics over the next few weeks and, now, on a three-game winning streak, this is a team that is in a position where they can begin to build some momentum heading into the playoffs.

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If the Boston Celtics build up their confidence over the last few games of the regular season and then make a deep run in the playoffs, I don’t think you can’t look back at this random Sunday night in April against the Denver Nuggets as the turning point of the season.