Welp, we just cannot have nice things this season can we. In what has mostly been a year from hell, it's somewhat poetic that as soon as the Celts start look like the team we know they can be and are playing a much better quality of basketball with their prized trade deadline acquisition playing a huge part in that turnaround
that he is now put into Health & Safety protocols for the second time. The fact that it happens on the same night the Celts are playing the Sixers who are fully healthy now is just the icing on the cake. Now nothing is going to change in terms of catching the Sixers in the standings, they are a billion games up. But PHI/BOS matchups are always important. This is a potential second round matchup if both are able to advance. In their first two meetings, the Celts were without Jayson Tatum due to covid, so we once again will not get to see what both teams look like against each other at full strength. That's annoying.
There are certainly a lot of reasons the Celts have been mostly underachieving this season. A lot of it has to do with their own play, but I'd say this little fact also helps tell the story of their 2020-21 season
That is simply outrageous. Read Forsberg's tweet again. The fact that they are even in a position to still end up in a top 4 seed is pretty insane. They should probably look more like the Raptors who have also had some shit luck with covid/health & safety if we're being honest.
All I want is to see this team's normal rotation/roster for a decent stretch. Just give me a week. Instead, we had to lose Tatum early in the year when he got off to a great start, then he really struggled coming back for a few months and is just starting to produce like himself again. Now, here we are with Fournier. A guy that makes a legit difference for this team and how they want to play and as soon as he starts to look great, boom, he's out. Who knows for how long too. Is this another false positive like the first time he went into the protocol? Is he actually positive and is now going to miss multiple weeks? It's all so frustrating for a team that is trying to find its footing and build some momentum.
We should also tell the truth when it comes to tonight's game. There is enough active talent to beat the Sixers. Not having Fournier sucks and it will change how they probably wanted to attack them, but this is a game the Celtics can still win. The Jays are active, Kemba is active, Smart is active, the Murder Kornet is active. There's just a smaller margin for error. It's now more important that the Jays/Kemba get off to an efficient start. Smart's shot selection is now more of a factor. Tonight is about shutting down the non-Embiid players, Fournier isn't exactly a defensive stopper, so that can still happen.
It just really sucks that all year we haven't been able to see this team play with their normal rotation for a long stretch of time. That shit matters. No team has had it worse, and while that's certainly not an excuse for the Celts being 25-25 at the moment, it does help explain it a little bit.