Can the Celtics get back on track tonight vs. the Hornets after two straight losses?

Jayson Tatum Celtics pic
Jayson Tatum Celtics pic

For most of the 2023-24 season, the Celtics have been the best team in the NBA. At 62-18, they have the best record in the NBA by six games. They have an incredible home record of 35-4 this season. Additionally, this is Boston’s first 60+ win season since 2008-09. The Celtics are the betting favorites to win the NBA Finals this season. 

However, Boston has not looked like themselves in their last two games. On Tuesday, the Celtics lost only their fourth home game of the season, 104-91 vs. the Bucks. On Thursday, the Celtics were on the road in New York to face Jalen Brunson and the Knicks. Jayson Tatum’s 18 points led the Celtics to a 118-109 loss to New York. Their second straight loss. Boston will be on the road tonight to face the Hornets. Can the Celtics get back on track and get a win in their second to last regular season game?

Are the Celtics trending in the wrong direction with the playoffs on the horizon?

After a loss to the Knicks on Thursday, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla addressed the media. He told reporters that he was not a fan of the effort level his team gave in the first half. However, Mazzulla called the Bucks and Knicks “highly desperate” to try and make up for why the Celtics lost two in a row. In reality, any team in playoff contention is trying to play their best basketball this late in the season. The Celtics have failed to do that in each of their last two games.

While the Celtics have not played particularly well this week, Boston is still a team that can turn it on in the postseason. The team made serious upgrades to their starting five this offseason by acquiring Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday. Both players have helped the Celtics have the best record in the NBA this season. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were already the team’s dynamic duo. Derrick White rounds out Boston’s starting and that is one of the best in the league. At their best, the Celtics are an elite team that has talent on both sides of the ball.

As the #1 seed in the East, the Celtics should have a lighter matchup in the first round of the playoffs. They will be playing whoever earns the #8 seed through the play-in tournament. Chicago and Atlanta are locked into the #9 vs. #10 game. Several teams are still in contention for the #7 vs. #8 game and there are two games left in the regular season to determine that. The Celtics will look to flip the switch in the postseason and make a deep run. Can the betting favorites to win the NBA Finals get the job done?

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