If you were to sum up the most prominent storyline of the season for the C's thus far it would revolve around one thing: health. We're only 27 games into the season and the injury bug, which usually bites teams towards the end of the season after many back-to-back's and body breakdowns, has tormented Boston's starters. By now we should all be aware of who's been in an out - Jae Crowder with an ankle injury, Al Horford with an odd concussion that put Celtics fans on edge and, the latest, Isaiah Thomas with a groin injury.
Now, all of these players are pivotal in their own way; Horford and Crowder provide great defense while Isaiah Thomas attacks the rim and is our main source of offense. So, needless to say, having these players out for extended periods of time really hurt the C's, their chemistry on the court as well as what's most important, their record.
But for the first time this season Boston has a team that is healthy. Although their 15-12 record is a far cry from where most thought they would be at this point in the season, their glaring and persistent injury issues understandably has led them to this point. Now on a two game win streak after beating a good Charlotte team and the lowly Heat, the Celtics can get back to being as good as they are when fully healthy.
#Celtics now in sole possession of third spot in East. More significantly, C's 9-3 with opening night starting lineup all healthy & playing.— Scott Souza (@Scott_Souza) December 19, 2016
Celtics are now 9-4 with their best four players in the lineup. 6-2 on the road. No losses by more than 7 points. +3.2 point differential.— Michael Dyer (@Mike_Dyer13) December 19, 2016
The Celtics, as currently constructed, are widely believed to be a team on the cusp of something great, bearing a trade or two (Nerlens Noel? DeMarcus Cousins?). Yes, they are lacking in some areas but they make up for it with great team basketball. Take that 9-4 record when healthy, extrapolate that to cover 26 games and you have an 18-8 record. But as is stands the C's are 15-12 and working their way back up in the standings. It's still early in the season, though.
Remember, Boston has only had its true starting lineup available for 12 of their 27 games. That's not many games. Sure, they spend a lot of time together during practice but live game action is something else. Hopefully the team can stay as healthy as they are now because if their 9-3 "when healthy" record is any indication, they'll be pretty damn good.
Photo credit - Issac Baldizon/Getty Images
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Luis Gonzalez 12/20/2016 09:42:00 AM Tweet Edit