Despite the difficult stretch, the Celtics have much to thank



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BOSTON – As Brad Stevens said after the Celtics' 117-119 loss to the Knicks, there's plenty to be grateful for.

Of course, but this still does not make it easy for Celtics fans who are still trying to digest how a team tied to greatness this season has provided a frightening and scary performance after another.

According to Stevens' mantra, let's take a look at some things that – despite being a surprise .500 (9-9) – the C have reason to be grateful.

NEXT PROGRAMMING

There is a long list of issues that the Celtics have to address in the days and weeks before they feel well going in the right direction. But one thing we know will improve for them is their schedule.

The season began with nine of his first 13 road games, followed by three straight at home. Boston now starts with four of its next five games on the road, but opponents in that fifth game are below -500 (Atlanta, Dallas, Cleveland and Minnesota), with the exception of the New Orleans Pelicans. So there is the opportunity to get back on track against some surmountable teams – which is exactly what this team needs.

PATIENCE OF KYRIE IRVING

The more Kyrie Irving speaks, the clearer he becomes about his intentions to fight against the uneasiness of the entire team that the Celtics are currently in the middle of now. Having participated in very bad teams in Cleveland, in addition to great teams, he has a perspective on what happens uniquely and unlike any other person on the Celtics list. Slowly but surely, this team has to embrace the reality that they will have to play more for long periods if they want to succeed. And Irving seems all-in to being the guy to be the catalyst for this transformation, apparently no matter how long it will take.

MARCUS MORRIS

Although there are players with better numbers than Morris, there is not a single Celtic who has increased his performance and been more consistent than Morris this season. Their numbers are increasing in virtually every significant statistical category. Still, what he does more than anything else is to impact the game. And he does it by scoring, recovering and with his defense. It's the kind of game that has been scarce among your teammates. As inconsistent as Boston was this season, it's kind of scary to think about how bad things would be if it were not for Morris's strong season.

HIGH RANKING NBA

The score is up all over the league this season (well, almost everywhere. Right, Boston?), Which has had a statistical crash effect statistically for many, including the Celtics.

His defense has been one of the cornerstones of the season-high for most of the season, even though both the eye exam and the words of coaches and players suggest he has not been as good as his defensive rankings.

Still, for them to be among the best defenders in the league – even when their opponents guards passed through them like a broken ratchet – it bodes well for their chances of actually putting the staples on the teams as they start playing more on the same page.

TIME

The Celtics are clearly not where they want to be. Fortunately, there is still plenty of time to get on the field and have a strong regular season that can result in an even stronger playoff race than we have seen in recent years.

As we mentioned earlier, the schedule will become faster soon, with more home games against teams against which the Celtics should do better.

"This is an adversity we are facing now," said Al Horford. "Honestly, I never want to go through this, but this is the time. It's still early enough to be dealing with this and we need to be able … if we want to do anything, we need to get over this with what we're dealing with. "

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