The Westfield Voice

The Student News Site of Westfield State University

The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Celtics look to the 2nd Half of the season


As the NBA trade deadline has passed and the Celtics stood pat, it is clear Danny Ainge likes the team the way it is. Some analysts and fans may have been upset he did not go after a more established big man like Clint Capela, Steven Adams, or Andre Drummond. While adding one of them may have been nice, keeping the roster was the right move all along. Trading for one of these bigs would have sacrificed one of the Celtics key five players and it just isn’t worth it.

The Celtics have been playing phenomenally this year and once again have established defense as their identity allowing the second fewest points per game in the league. The young wing tandem of Tatum and Brown have exploded onto the scene with both players averaging over 20 points per game (PPG) and providing great defense. The duo have also become respected voices in the locker room, a necessity after last year’s problems regarding the leadership of certain players.

Marcus Smart is undeniably the heart of the team. His all defensive intensity and timely shooting always provide a pick me up for the entire team when they start slumping. Gordon Hayward has finally looked like the player we signed up for with averages of 17.5 PPG, 6 rebounds per game (RPG), and 4 assists per game (APG). While inconsistent, his all around style of play seems to be the glue that keeps the team together.

Then there’s the savior of Boston Celtic basketball in Kemba Walker. After last year’s drama with Kyrie Irving, it has been incredibly refreshing to have the All-Star starter join the team. Everyone on the roster loves him and he has lived up to his contract, pushing the team to third in the East behind the reigning champion Toronto Raptors and a Milwaukee Bucks squad that is downright unbeatable.

After all that build up about how the keys players have played so far, what does the second half have in store?

It is not exactly a cake walk for the Celtics as they have the sixth hardest schedule remaining including two games against the aforementioned unbeatable Bucks. Throw in the Clippers and a road game against the Lebron led Lakers and there are certainly some challenges ahead. Not to mention this all starts tonight against the Houston Rockets led by perennial All-Stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook. The Celtic’s last west coast road trip kicks off right after the break. Nothing easy up ahead.

Fortunately for this team, they are getting people back from the injury list in Theis, Smart, and Kemba. Jaylen might be out the next two games for precautionary reasons but certainly not a long term concern. There is also the long anticipated return of the often injured Robert Williams. There is some room for optimism ahead.

This team has been a refreshing change of pace. They are a group that play together, know their roles, and have a next man up mentality that rivals only the New England Patriots. The second half certainly has its obstacles but this team has had plenty thrown at them so far. They have had their doubters all season including yours truly. But there is something unique about them and I have overwhelming confidence in a deep postseason run to prove the aforementioned doubters wrong. Just watch.

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