The Boston Celtics are in a funk right now. Considered as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference during the preseason, the Celtics find themselves two games below the .500 mark at 15-17 after Wednesday’s games. Boston is currently tied with the Miami Heat and New York Knicks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference team standings but if the tie-breakers are applied, they would miss the playoffs if the postseason starts today.
But despite their struggles, majority owner Wyc Grousbeck says that the franchise is sticking with President/GM Danny Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens. In an appearance on 98.5 Sports Hub on Wednesday afternoon, Grousbeck said that he’s happy with both Ainge and Stevens:
“I talk to Danny and Brad all the time, I feel very connected to those guys….I’m the one who has to make the decision. I’m the one who has to live with the change. Either one of those guys would immediately be the top candidate for the job. It doesn’t matter just about who else is out there. They’re our guys and we’re sticking with them. It was not even a question in my mind.”
Aside from expressing his confidence in Ainge and Stevens, Grousbeck also said that his team’s roster has “many keepers” and that they are going to keep them, especially their best players.
With the ownership saying on record that no major changes are expected to happen despite the team’s struggles, it’s now up to Ainge, Stevens, and the team to turn things around before Grousbeck changes his mind.
Injuries have played a big part in Boston’s struggles this season. Against the Hawks, they played without Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart. Walker missed the start of the season with a knee injury and he has played in only 16 games this season, putting up his lowest scoring average in five years while shooting just 37.5% from the floor. He’s back but didn’t suit up against Atlanta due to load management.
Smart has not played since the Celtics’ loss to the Lakers late last month. He has been rehabbing a left calf injury and without their top defensive player and fiery sparkplug, the Celtics have struggled to a 5-9 record.
He isn’t expected to return until after the March 5-10 All-Star break and for the Celtics, that’s still at least four games without Smart. All four remaining games before the All-Star break are home games for the Celtics and they are 8-5 at home this season so that stretch could be a good place to start a turnaround.
The Celtics have also tumbled in the odds board. After opening second behind the Brooklyn Nets in the Atlantic Division odds board, the best NBA betting sites now have the Celtics next to last with the Sixers and Raptors overtaking them. According to online sportsbook BetOnline, Boston is now a longshot +2000 to win the conference title.
Similarly, their championship odds have fallen. Boston has the 4th best odds to win the Eastern Conference at +1100 and the 7th best odds to win the 2021 NBA title at +2800. But right now, Boston’s main concern is to get back in playoff position and move up the ladder as far higher as they can to put themselves in a position to compete for the Conference and League titles.
Boston’s chance to get back on track starts on Friday when they host the 15-15 Indiana Pacers as three-point home favorites at SportsBetting.ag. After that, the Celtics will host a resurgent Washington Wizards team on Sunday before facing the Clippers, Raptors, and Nets. Let’s see if Ainge and Stevens can turn things around.
Steve Richardson started writing content online in 2013 and has yet to slow down. Since joining our team at GamblingSites.org, he has covered sports, casino news, gambling laws, and much more! ...
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