NBA: Atlantic Division holiday season report card
Through 10 weeks of the NBA season and beyond, we've had the opportunity to check out where every team in the league stands in terms of potential regular season success. Most of the teams are placed right where they will be at the end of the season among the Conference standings, and barring major injuries, loss of form or unforeseen locker room trouble, we have gauged the strengths and weaknesses of every playoff contender.
The Atlantic Division is among the most competitive divisions of the league, up there with the Pacific Division and the Northwest Division, which had 5 playoff contenders last season and 2 of the top 4 seeds in the Western Conference.
The likes of Philadelphia, Boston and Toronto have all been touted as Finals matchups for prohibitive favorites Golden State, but all three of these teams have had issues to contend with already.
Read on to find out what state the Division is in today.
Streak: 1 loss
The Celtics have huffed and puffed their way to 5th place in the Eastern Conference standings, and they don't look likely to go higher than their current standings any time soon. Much hyped following the postseason of 2018, the Celtics' young core has largely stagnated, and in some cases, regressed in this season.
While they've had Kyrie Irving to bail them out in close games with his unrivaled ability as a pure scorer in the clutch, most of the Celtics squad has played well below its potential. Barring Irving and Marcus Morris (who's playing the best basketball of his NBA career this season), nobody is able to consistently knock down 3-pointers.
Jayson Tatum hasn't taken the leap expected of him, while a reduced role hasn't helped Jaylen Brown who looks thoroughly unpolished this season compared to the confident scorer he was in the playoffs last year. Terry Rozier's stock is at its lowest right now, while Hayward and Horford have not been their respective selves on the offensive side of things despite playing really good defense and leading the Celtics to a top defensive record once again.