Like many of us, I'm looking for reasons to believe in this Celtics team. I figured I'd do some research and see if any of the recent NBA champions struggled mightily during the regular season like the 2009-10 Celtics. The answer is yes.
Here are some excerpts from the Spurs 2006-07 recap on Hoopedia:
The Spurs got off to a strong start in the regular season, winning 11
of their first 14 games, including victories over Dallas, Phoenix and
But as the season unfolded, the Spurs failed to live up to their
lofty expectations. Following a 9–7 record in January, the Spurs
started February with a 1–3 record. They struggled down the stretch in
many of those defeats, and the Spurs quickly found themselves far
behind the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns.
Trade rumors began swirling around the
Spurs. Unaccustomed to struggling during the regular season, the Spurs
were frustrated. With the trade deadline quickly approaching, Popovich
had to choose whether or not to keep the team together. His decision
was not to make a trade. Then, it was as if their whole season had
magically turned around in one moment.
With quiet determination, the
Spurs spent the rest of the season flying under the radar, winning
thirteen games in a row during February and March. The Spurs won those
games with either tough defense or by hitting big shots down the
stretch. The Spurs were an NBA-best 25–6 in the final 31 games. During
the 31-game stretch, the Spurs averaged 98.8 points while holding their
opponents to 87.9 ppg. With the NBA's top ranked defense and
a 58–24 record, the Spurs entered the postseason in good shape.
This story sounds eerily familiar. A strong start. Disappointing winter. Trade rumors. Should the GM blow up the nucleus? And then… it magically turned around in one moment.
With 25 games remaining, there's still time for the Celtics to make a Spurs-like finish to the season. In this case, let's hope history repeats itself.