There’s a lot I want to say about this whole season, from literally the offseason, all the way to this embarrassing Game 5 exit.
First off, this season brought so much promise, and I mean sooooo much. The team just came off a depressing Game 7 loss to the Cavs in which we all believed they were winning, considering the great home record they had in last year’s playoffs. They were already showing all the tough and excruciating pain they went through the several seasons prior. The hard work was finally showing, unfortunately, they did not have their two best players in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward (I’ll talk on this later). It was all building up to the 2019 season, FINALLY. The team was predicted to be the best in the league, a 65-win team, a juggernaut that was finally reborn….we all thought. No one was predicting a season like this.
The season looked like a disaster from the first game, I’ll be completely honest. I gave this season so much hope, gave it sooooo much time, literally up until the last game I thought the season would turn around. After last night, I looked back and really criticized the season, and to be honest there was a lot wrong from the beginning. They started the season 10-10, not good for the team they had, and the season they just came off. I still gave them time though, not looking at them from the opposite view, the realistic view. I waited for them to finally have a turning point. I thought the Fuck Thanksgiving by Kyrie was going to be the turning point (joke). But c’mon, I was truly looking for an excuse every time. I gave Gordon Hayward almost the whole season, which honestly many didn’t even give him half. Maybe they saw something, but honestly, the man needs another season, we really need to see if he can actually play. His injury was way too harsh and isn’t a quick fix, but maybe that’s another excuse. Jayson Tatum didn’t perform as everyone predicted. To be completely honest, I didn’t even consider him the second or third best player.
Throughout the season I started to notice that Marcus Smart was consistently there (look back at my articles if you don’t believe me). I am a massive Smart fan, and so is all other Celtics fans, and for obvious reasons. Every game, I thought, why does no one ever talk about Marcus Smart outside of Boston? Well, after this second round exit, it must show a little bit the impact he has on this team. I’m not saying they definitely would have won the series, but realistically he would’ve given them a better chance. AL Horford was consistently a presence. The best thing about Al, if he isn’t scoring, he’s getting assists; if he isn’t getting assists, he’s rebounding, blocking, stealing, and so on. Not a superstar, but some nights makes a Superstar impact. I also started to notice this, it’s plain and simple, Jaylen Brown is GOOOOOOD. People need to give this guy a damn break. Yes, he had a noticeably underperforming start to the season, but he showed up, he bounced back. The one thing about Boston fans that ticks me is they never give time, they don’t think logically, they are so spoiled and really don’t even know it I feel like. I’m sorry to say that but a perfect example is Jaylen Brown. People from the start this season slept on him, never saw the impact he really had. It didn’t help that Brad never really started him, expecting Mook’s poor second half of the season to turn around (like everything else). My whole argument for these three is consistency. In a season that never had an up, never even had an exact downside to the season, everything about it was just in-con-sis-tent.
But to move on from that, those inconsistencies (wow, honestly this piece is inconsistent, I keep saying I’m going to move on but can’t, weird) carried into the postseason. Yes, they had the terrific sweep of the Indiana Pacers, but that’s where it all started again. Every time the Celtics showed their potential, it would come crashing down. They took the 1-0 lead over the Bucks, in Milwaukee, but they got too cocky maybe? I don’t know, all I can definitely state is that the next four games were embarrassing, especially from Kyrie in the last three games going 8 for 22, then saying you’ll never see that again, to then going 7 for 22, so we basically didn’t see that again that’s true Kyrie, to then going 6 for 21, you are doing great sswweeeeeeetttieee. Yes, this is harsh, but I have run out of excuses for him honestly. I stood by him all season, considering he did have a great season, but time after time it seemed like he didn’t care. That could be me, I dunno.
Another thing I want to say that I started to think about last night. Al Horford was asked about his future, and he gave a straight forward answer, he wants to come back to Boston. Kyrie has been asked time and time again, yeah it gets annoying, but this wouldn’t have happened if he told the truth. It shows that Kyrie honestly doesn’t know about his future. I was asked about this by my friend Val (@mvalente321 on Twitter), and honestly, I started to really see what everyone was talking about. After Al did that last night, it really portrayed what a leader is supposed to look like. If Kyrie was really thrilled, or really saw potential coming out of this team, he would come back. No, I definitely do not want to see Kyrie leave, I think he is something special something completely different, and if he did I’d be sad, but maybe this just really isn’t it. Maybe it’s a good thing that he walks away, maybe not. Again, the title has “Mixed Emotions” in it, I was being truthful when I said that. All I know is, I’m a bit spectacle about Kyrie staying now, and maybe it’s time to start being a little more realistic. If he really knew what he wanted, he’d do what Al Horford did, and come out and say his plans.
It’s just crazy to look back at this whole season and see everything that happened. The thing that irks me is this second round exit, and is confusing. We bring back our supposedly two best players, and the two guys we specifically got to get to The Finals and play the same team that made no significant changes in the offseason, but simply just got better (and for some reason Khris Middleton never misses against the Celtics).
I don’t want everything Danny Ainge worked for to turn into nothing. It was a long, grueling process from what Boston fans are accustomed to. It is simply pointless to take everything we went through, and throw it away and call it a waste. The Celtics didn’t go through all the bad times, to get to Game 7 of the ECF the year before they were actually supposed to win, without their two best players, to lose at home and just call it that for that whole process. The fans must believe in Danny Ainge, must believe that this confusing, horrible, roller-coaster season will turn into something great.
Follow me on twitter @WTPSheehan. Thank you for reading. Go Celtics
Photo(s): The Basketball Writers