I think it's fair to say that the 2018 Boston Celtics did not fully live up to their expectations. Both the fans, and the organization, surely did not envision a 21-14 record going into the New Year's Eve matchup with San Antonio, good for fifth place in the East.
But that's neither here nor there. This is the 2018-2019 NBA season, and we are leaving 2018 in the dust. One could even argue that the 2019 portion is what really matters, due to the playoffs/Finals being in April, May and June of 2019 (now that I write that out, why do the playoffs take so long?).
After a victory over the Sixers on Christmas, a confusing loss to the Rockets, and a resilient comeback win over the Grizzlies in the last five days, the Celtics tendency to give their fans a 48-minute-long heart palpitation is probably just a part of their personality at this point. But what needs to change heading into the New Year?
Keep Kobe Bryant away from the Celtics' young players
Kobe Bryant was a great basketball player. Great enough to be considered a top-15 player of all-time if you ask me. Not much higher or lower, but 15th is still nothing to fret about. If someone of his stature is offering advice to a young NBA player there's no doubt they should take it; unless you are a Boston Celtic.
The Celtics and Lakers both happen to be competing for championships, since the Lakers signed LeBron James last summer, another pretty good basketball player. Now, if this is the case, why would Kobe Bryant willingly help out a guy like Jayson Tatum? Makes no sense to me. Did the French help the Germans in World War II? Certainly didn't. This has got to me some sort of sabotage from Kobe. I suggest we sever the Kobe-Tatum relationship stat.
Beat the teams you're supposed to beat
I did my own little "teams the Celtics are supposed to beat list" and their record came out to 12-8, which is good, but not great. And the goal is to be great if I'm not mistaken. There are some brutal losses to teams like the Suns, Knicks, Jazz.
Obviously they're not gonna win every one of them, but for example, the Raptors are 16-3 against teams that are around or below .500. This is something I expect to turn around in 2019. The C's have a ton of home games in January, which is an opportunity to gain some momentum and start cooking with gas early in the year. Kyrie Irving said after the loss to the Rockets, "it's the little things" that win games. A team with this much talent won't let the little things go unnoticed forever.
Disavow all national holidays
Hear me out; Kyrie told the media "F*$% Thanksgiving" after a loss to the Knicks, and the Celtics went 9-1 in their next 10 games. He proceeded to steal Christmas out from under the feet of Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler and their cowardly third-fiddle Ben Simmons with a 40-point, game-saving performance. If he comes out on New Year's Eve and drops 30 on the Spurs, I think it's safe to say that the Celtics fanbase can no longer celebrate holidays.
If Kyrie is going to undergo an all-out assault every time he steps on the floor for these types of things, there's not a chance I'm gonna even think about St. Patrick's Day or Easter, and any male with a girlfriend already knows Valentine's Day doesn't count.
This reads a bit like a New Year's resolution list, but I guess that's just what people do these days. The Celtics are not exempt from needing to improve. So hopefully as we ring in 2019, we'll start to see them round into form. Hopefully.