The Boston Celtics face a crucial test this afternoon against the Miami Heat. Thus far, they have not risen to the occasion.
Boston’s first-half defense was porous, and that’s putting it mildly. The Celtics surrendered 79 points in the first two quarters and trailed by 26 at intermission.
Even a strong start to the third quarter hasn’t been enough to truly get them back in the game. They’re still down double-digits, and the reaction around the NBA world has not been kind.
We’ve seen the Celtics struggle immensely at different points this season, but then Brad Stevens‘ unit seemed to be turning a corner last month. However, Boston is in danger of losing its seventh game in 11 tries if it does not rally this afternoon.
That’s not great news heading into the playoffs, especially considering the Celtics might get stuck in the play-in round in the East.
Update: The Celtics are not fixed.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 9, 2021
Watching the #Celtics get beat badly at home by Miami just continues to confirm… this is a HUGE HUGE offseason for Danny Ainge.
— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) May 9, 2021
79 points is the most the Celtics have given up in a 1st half since January 1963 👀
— Max Lederman (@Max_Lederman) May 9, 2021
The Celtics have publicly said that these games are essentially playoff games, and this has been the response. https://t.co/ZPyXkiltl4
— John Karalis 🇬🇷 (@RedsArmy_John) May 9, 2021
On the bright side for the Celtics, they still have a lot of high-level talent. Facing a team with Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker and hopefully a healthy Jaylen Brown in the playoffs won’t be a fun task for any opponent.
However, this year’s Boston team is running out of chances to prove it is better than the inconsistent bunch it has been all year long.
You can watch the final quarter of Heat-Celtics on ESPN.