Shamrock Roundup: Injured Celtics backing into the playoffs
With just three games left in the regular season, the Celtics are looking to end the year on a high note as they prepare for the playoffs. Boston holds a 40-39 record and sits 12 games out of first in the Atlantic Division, and while clearly the Celtics are not enjoying their best season, they played well enough to have clinched a playoff spot.
The past week has proven difficult for the Celtics; they beat the Washington Wizards on Sunday by a 107-96 score, but then lost two in a row by falling 101-93 to the Nets and dropping a 109-101 game to the Heat.
The Celtics certainly haven’t done themselves many favors this week as they hope to make the final adjustments before the playoffs, but key parts of the team are missing due to injury. While defense certainly plays a big role in setting the tone for each game, the lack of offense recently has been troubling for the Celtics. This is not 2008 when the Celtics could rely on stars like Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce to carry the team; this time around the Celtics will need 100 percent effort from everyone, not just two players.
Probably the biggest hit to the Celtics’ offense was the loss of Rajon Rondo, who this week made his first public comments since his season-ending injury.
“I’m in a place where I’m okay with it. I know this is my main focus: just getting healthy” Rondo said Wednesday.
What may be more troubling now is that Jeff Green left the game versus the Heat with elbow soreness. It appears that he landed awkwardly after a dunk and bruised his left elbow. The injury does not appear to be serious, but considering all the losses the Celtics have suffered they will need Green to be healthy if they hope to succeed in the playoffs.