Even despite not having Ime Udoka, the 2022-23 Boston Celtics picked up things right where they left them last season.
There was no NBA Finals hangover for the C’s, with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both playing at an MVP-caliber level.
Nonetheless, some fans and analysts may have gotten a little too carried away with their early-season success.
Some claimed that they were a lock to go back to the NBA Finals and that Tatum was the leading MVP candidate, which may have taken a toll on their recent performances.
At least, that’s what former NBA player-turned-analyst Kendrick Perkins thinks.
Per the retired big man, Joe Mazzula’s team needs to get back to basics and not focus on the outside noise if they actually want to succeed:
“Celtics starting [SIC] reading them newspaper articles and watching highlights of themselves and went completely away from TEAM Basketball. I guess they’ll get back to playing the right way after the All-Star break. Carry on…” Perkins tweeted.
Celtics starting reading them newspaper articles and watching highlights of themselves and went completely away from TEAM Basketball. I guess they’ll get back to playing the right way after the All-Star break. Carry on…
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) December 22, 2022
The Celtics have now dropped five out of their past six games, barely beating an undermanned Los Angeles Lakers team in their only win.
That stretch includes losses to the Golden State Warriors without Stephen Curry and consecutive setbacks vs. the league-worst Orlando Magic.
The Celtics trail the Milwaukee Bucks by just 0.5 games in the race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
They’re the most stacked team in the Association and should be in for another deep playoff run this season.
But they cannot get ahead of themselves and need to get back on track before this becomes a habit.