The Celtics need to take advantage of a great stretch of home games coming up
The Boston Celtics have had a terribly inconsistent start to the season. That being said, they have just won their fourth straight and after sweeping a three game road trip, they are emerging as one of the strongest road teams in the league. Boston’s 11 road wins are the most in the Eastern Conference, and that has been vital to keeping them as the three seed.
Now, it is time for the Celtics to bring back the fear of TD Garden. The Celtics are about to start a stretch of 12 out of 17 home games, and they will be looking to build on their best four game stretch of the season. The Could get finally gain some ground on the Raptors and get some separation from an incredibly cluttered Eastern Conference.
The problem, however, is that the Celtics have left a lot to be desired with a weak 6-5 record at home. The Celtics have been average at home and, right now, TD Garden is not a place that teams fear playing.
With all the momentum from the road trip and a fully health lineup for the first time in a while, the Celtics need to be able to have a dominant home stretch for the first time of the season. The Celtics have a long history and reputation of the best home court advantage in the league, and this team will be facing one of their most important tests during this home stretch.
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The Celtics need to put the inconsistency behind them, and they need to continue to take their balanced approach. They cannot expect Thomas to bail them out of every single game, but they are finding multiple ways to win games now. The Celtics are starting to get much better results out of the talent and everyone is looking better as a unit.
The Celtics will also have an opportunity to take advantage of some weaker competition. Games against the Raptors and the Cavaliers will be the biggest challenges and most important games during this next 17 game stretch, but they are realizing that every single game needs to be taken seriously.
The Celtics will have multiple games against sub .500 teams, and the Rockets should be their biggest challenge after the Raptors and the Cavaliers. The Celtics will have other difficult games including the Thunder and the Jazz, but those are the teams that they need to be beating on a consistent basis. They cannot expect to win them all, but the days of playing down to their competition needs to be behind the Celtics, and they need to get separation from the weaker teams, while giving those other top teams a great battle.
The Celtics knew that they had to improve from their start, and that is exactly what their doing. Hopefully they will finally be able to stay healthy, and we will finally be able to see the real results of what Brad Stevens can do to optimize the most talent he had throughout his career in Boston.
This home stretch will be the most important test of the season for the Celtics, and they need to capitalize on this opportunity to put that start behind them. Stevens has always seen his teams improve as the season goes on and that is exactly how this season is starting to trend. That being said, all this progress could be destroyed in a matter of games of they start losing to inferior teams at home.
The Celtics are synonymous with home court advantage, and now it is time that they proved that with a team that should be talented enough to truly contend in the Eastern Conference.