The best team in the east, the Celtics, took on the best team in the west, the Warriors in their final matchup of the season. The Celtics beat the Warriors 92-88 on November 16, but Stephen Curry led the Warriors to a 109-105 win over the Celtics.
The Celtics got off to a hot start when they took a 37-27 lead over the Warriors after the first quarter. The Celtics struggled in the next two, scoring 17 points in the second and 19 points in the third. The Celtics just can’t seem to create shots without Kyrie Irving on the floor, this leads to teams doubling him in the late minutes of a game due to the gap of capable scorers on the team.This strategy does not apply to the Warriors because double-teaming Curry leaves Thompson, Green, or Durant open. The Celtics usually put Marcus Smart on Curry, but he was out due to a “hand injury.” Terry Rozier struggled when he had to guard Curry and the defensive schemes Brad Stevens implemented had no answer for Curry. Curry was held to just nine points in the previous matchup, but the former MVP went off for 49.
Kyrie Irving kept the game close for the Celtics with 37, but Tatum only had four points and Horford only had 15. Jaylen Brown impressed with 20 points, but it was not enough. The Celtics need more scoring options, they have the talent they just need to put the pieces together. They could either wait until Tatum and Brown develop into stars, wait until Hayward comes back, or look externally. The trade deadline is February 8th, and the Celtics could make a splash. They could trade for someone like Clippers guard Lou Williams, who would help with scoring off the bench. They also could make a big move by getting superstars such as Anthony Davis from New Orleans or Kawhi Leonard from San Antonio. They are both rumored to be on the trade market, but it would take a lot to get them. Packages might include Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier, and a first-round pick.
Even though they lost, The Celtics have proven that they are legitimate contenders. They have lost to the Cavaliers by three, beat the Cavaliers by 14, lost to the Spurs by three, and beat the Spurs by 14. They beat the Raptors by one and beat the Rockets by one. Banner 18 most likely will not come this year, but that doesn’t mean the Celtics won’t go down without a fight