Will things get worse for the Boston Celtics?
Through the first 10 games of the season, the Boston Celtics have gone 4-6 and have not flashed much promise under first-year head coach Ime Udoka. It’s still early and that’s not an indictment on Udoka, but for a team that many believed could be a dark horse contender in the Eastern Conference, this is certainly not the start that the Celtics envisioned.
And, unfortunately, it will likely get a bit worse before it gets better.
After sustaining a hamstring injury, there’s a chance that Jaylen Brown, who at worst is the team’s second-best player, could end up missing multiple weeks. After additional tests, a more clear timeline is expected soon.
Nevertheless, Brown is expected to miss at least some time and it’s going to send the Celtics back a few steps. To make matters even worse, the Celtics’ schedule doesn’t exactly lighten up over the next couple of weeks.
Up next for Boston is the upstart Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers (twice), Atlanta Hawks, and then the Los Angeles Lakers.
Brown is averaging 26 points, six rebounds, and three assists per game on 49 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent shooting from 3-point range. He’s been the team’s leading scorer this season as Jayson Tatum has struggled with his offensive efficiency to start the year.
Brown has been one of the most consistent players for the Celtics this season and is going to be a big loss for this team, even if it is just for a few games. If it is for an extended period, it could have some big repercussions for the team’s offense which is already struggling to start the season.
Through the first 10 games, the Celtics have a bottom-third offensive rating in the league.
Despite all that, if the Celtics are able to string three or four wins together, they’d be back in the thick of the Eastern Conference race. However, they’re likely going to have to do with without Brown over the next couple of weeks.
Quite frankly, I’m not sure if that’s going to be an easy task for the team to pull off. If there’s any time for Tatum to break out of his early-season shooting slump, this is the ideal time to do it.
Without Brown, Tatum is going to have to step up to keep the Celtics afloat.
Question is, can the team limit the damage that potentially awaits this team over the next couple of weeks without Brown? If not, it’s likely going to get a bit worse before it gets any better for the team overall.