It's been a difficult week for the Boston Celtics.
The NBA had to postpone Sunday's matchup between the Celtics and Miami Heat after nine Boston players were ruled out -- seven of them because of health and safety protocols related to COVID-19. Tuesday night's game between the Celtics and Chicago Bulls also was postponed.
Despite these setbacks, it's been a positive season for the Celtics on the court. They own a 7-3 record after their first 10 games.
The Celtics moved up in the Eastern Conference standings Monday night without even playing. The Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Atlanta Hawks, which moved Boston slightly ahead of its rival and into first place in the East.
Check out the updated standings (for the top 10 teams) below:
- Boston Celtics, 7-3
- Milwaukee Bucks, 7-4
- Philadelphia 76ers, 7-4
- Indiana Pacers, 6-4
- Orlando Magic, 6-5
- Charlotte Hornets, 6-5
- Atlanta Hawks, 5-5
- Miami Heat, 4-4
- New York Knicks, 5-6
- Brooklyn Nets, 5-6
A strong start is always desired, but it's even more important in a shortened season like this one because there are fewer games to make up ground late in the playoff race. The C's don't have a wide lead over many teams just yet, but you have to be encouraged by the start as a whole.
The team's young stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, have been two of the league's best players over the first few weeks of the season. Brown is averaging 26.3 points per game. Tatum leads the team with a 26.9 points per game average and was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday.
C's rookie Payton Pritchard also has shined early in his career. He's played important minutes at point guard for a C's team that's been without All-Star guard Kemba Walker due to injury.
The Celtics have weathered plenty of challenges this season and the results to this point are quite impressive. This team can absolutely win the East at full strength. The No. 1 goal for the regular season should be to have a healthy roster by the time the playoffs roll around.