But now that it’s over, let’s take a minute to admire what the Celtics were able to do during their red-hot stretch.
For starters, Boston looked nothing like last year’s team. You know, the group of immensely talented players that could never put it together because they hated one another.
No; this club genuinely enjoys playing together, and you can see it on the court.
This C’s team moves the ball a heck of a lot better than last season, and that was on full display during the winning streak, as the Celtics were always making the extra pass instead of trying to go iso-ball and/or jack up contested mid-range jumpers.
Everyone looks more comfortable, and that’s a testament to how great of a locker room guy Walker is.
And the scary part about this Boston team is that it isn’t hit its ceiling yet.
During its 10-game winning streak, Jaylen Brown missed three games due to an illness. Gordon Hayward missed three-and-a-half of them due to a broken hand he suffered in a victory over the San Antonio Spurs, an injury that will likely keep him out for the next month and change.
Enes Kanter missed just about all of the run with a knee injury. Robert Williams was in and out of the lineup due to ankle issues. Daniel Theis was banged up, too.
Basically, the Celtics have not really been 100 percent healthy at any point over the first several weeks of the 2019-20 campaign, so once their roster is fully together, Boston is going to be dangerous.
The C’s showed during this incredible stretch that, when healthy, they have four 20-point scorers in Walker, Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Brown. They also have a vastly improving offensive threat and Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Marcus Smart.
The bench could certainly use some work, as the youngsters off the pine have yet to develop the type consistency that is required in the NBA, but the group that includes the aforementioned Williams, Grant Williams (the other Williams), Carsen Edwards and Co. could end up becoming a rather impressive unit going forward.
Do the Celtics need more? Absolutely. It’s clear that Boston can use more proven size up front, and it would be nice if the C’s added a veteran bench scorer, as well.
But in an Eastern Conference that is absolutely wide open, the Celtics have showed that they do, in fact, have what it takes to make a run to the finals, as neither the Milwaukee Bucks nor the Philadelphia 76ers have shown they are as far ahead as many expected.