The Boston Celtics are a peculiar case to crack. Through most of the season, they’ve had great ball movement on offense (currently 4th in the NBA in team assists) and have played spectacular team defense (2nd in opponent fg%, 1st in team rebounding, and 5th in team steals). These all add up to make a true democracy of a basketball team. You’ve got Kyrie who is the leader, but wouldn’t be able to lead as effectively if it weren’t for his supporting cast.
Does this remind you of any team in particular? Think of the 2015 Atlanta Hawks who finished with a 60-22 record. They were 2nd in team assists and 3rd in fg% in the NBA that season. They were also 4th in team steals and held opponents to under 43% shooting from the field. This was one of the most team oriented basketball teams in recent memory. But once they had to face The King in a playoff environment… they were outclassed in every aspect of the game,resulting in a quick 4-0 sweep.
This proves that in playoff basketball, you need a number one guy that will be a consistent forefront to your offense. Kyrie is extremely efficient shooting the ball this year, averaging 24.7ppg on 48.9fg% and 40.4 3pt%.
The Celtics offense in the playoffs would HAVE to run through Kyrie to maximize efficiency, which may end up throwing off guys like Tatum, Brown and Rozier who are new to playoff basketball. This doesn’t even take into account Gordon Hayward, who would have to be squeezed into a new role right before crunch time. As it stands right now, the Celtics are a great regular season team, but I don’t see how they would have a chance at beating Cleveland or possibly even Toronto in the east. Nevermind the powerhouses out west.