Following over a week without a game due to All-Star Weekend, the Celtics returned to the court with road matches on Thursday and Saturday, losing 98-97 to the Milwaukee Bucks and 126-116 to the Chicago Bulls, respectively.
No shame in losing by one point to the Bucks, especially on the road. Milwaukee was 43-14 entering that one for the NBA's best record, so you knew they'd most likely win. You also have to be a bit happy that it was Kyrie Irving taking the potential game-winning shot, even though it didn't go in. That's who you want taking the final shot, no repeat of last time.
But losing by double digits to the Bulls, who were 15-44 entering the game? The same team who suffered their worst loss in franchise history to the Celtics earlier this season? LOL! ZERO excuses for that one!
I was only able to watch bits and pieces (including the ending) of the Bucks game, but zero of the Bulls game. That one was for the best, judging by how angry fans were on Twitter. People acted like the season was legitimately over at that point. Does anyone blame them? I mean cmon, it's the BULLS!
Irving balled out on Saturday with team-highs of 41 minutes, 37 points, and 10 assists, which was about it. No other Celtic recorded more than five assists, and only four other players reached double-digit points, none of whom made it to 20.
Following the game, Irving maintained a positive outlook approaching the playoffs:
Words like that from Irving should make any fan feel better.
"I still don't see anybody beating us in seven games ... Because I'm here."
That's awesome. You gotta love a confident Irving. The playoffs aren't for another seven weeks almost. But he's giving the fans a reason to hope. A reason to be optimistic, despite some incredibly woeful defeats lately.
The Celtics have 22 games to go before the playoffs. Time for some fine tuning of this team. Time to get everyone ready. And time for Brad Stevens to work out the rotation issues he's been having.
Getting the one or two seed in the East is an unrealistic possibility at this point. Kiss that goodbye. The Celtics are looking at three, four, or five. Right now, they're the fifth seed at 37-23, currently 6.5 games up on the Brooklyn Nets. So honestly, it doesn't matter much. Three, four, or five. Right now, they're three games behind the three-seed Indiana Pacers.
Plenty of times for the Celtics to work things out, rest guys if needed, and fully prepare for hopefully a solid playoff run. And if Irving's confident, then I'm confident.