The Boston Celtics were the overwhelming favorite to win the Eastern Conference entering this season, but they sit at a lackluster 11-10 on the season - 6.5 games behind the Toronto Raptors for the first seed.
While All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving enjoys another productive season, the rest of the Celtics have struggled offensively. Youngsters Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown haven't regained their magic from last season.
Gordon Hayward has looked sluggish at both ends of the court, as he continues to ease himself back into the lineup after missing all but a couple of minutes last season because a leg fracture.
But the sluggish start isn't enough to convince Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers - who coached the Celtics from 2004-13 - that his former team is in trouble.
"I still think the Boston Celtics are the favorites," he said on Skip and Shannon: Undisputed.
Rivers added that it does take time for the Celtics to get things going, and he compared their situation to the 2010-111 Miami Heat superteam. They had a mediocre 10-8 start to the season, before catching fire as LeBron James led them to the NBA Finals - where they'd fall to the Dallas Mavericks.
Under head coach Brad Stevens, Boston has had one of the most stingy defensive units, but it's been cancelled out by anemic scoring. Though Irving can take over a game on any given night, the Celtics won't be contending if he's the only player scoring on a consistent basis.
What This Means
Perhaps the Celtics are feeling the pressure of simply being the conference favorites this season, a status they didn't have while LeBron ruled the Eastern Conference in both Miami and Cleveland.
The Celtics still have three quarters of the season to go, but they'll have to get it going on offense if theyr'e to find that championship-caliber form.