The Boston Celtics were expected to be among the top teams in the Eastern Conference this season, and while they could still make a run to the 2021 NBA Finals, they have been a mostly average team throughout the first 30 games.
The C's are 15-15 entering Tuesday night's game versus the Dallas Mavericks. They are 4-6 in their last 10 games, and Boston has won back-to-back matchups just once over its last 19 games.
NBA legend Magic Johnson revealed his three most disappointing teams in a tweet posted Tuesday, and the Celtics were among them. The Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks were the others.
The Celtics haven't played great on a consistent basis, but are they really one of the three biggest disappointments in the league?
The Miami Heat went to the NBA Finals last season and they have a lackluster 14-17 record. If the playoffs started today, the Heat wouldn't make it. The Atlanta Hawks were supposed to be a playoff team this season after adding some veteran players to a young roster headlined by Trae Young. Atlanta is 13-17 and outside of a playoff berth.
Another team sitting at 13-17 is the New Orleans Pelicans, who haven't yet made the leap to playoff contender in Zion Williamson's second season. In fairness to the Pelicans, they did earn an impressive win over the Celtics on Sunday, which included a 24-point comeback.
The Denver Nuggets are barely above the .500 mark at 16-14 one year after reaching the Western Conference Finals. They are 4-6 in their last 10 games.
We haven't seen any truly dominant teams this season, although the new-look Brooklyn Nets could be starting to really take off with a six-game win streak. The league has enjoyed plenty of parity in 2021, and that should set the stage for a fantastic and competitive playoffs in the spring.
There's no question the Celtics need to improve their roster before next month's trade deadline, though. Bench scoring and shooting are among the team's most pressing needs to address.