To say that the Boston Celtics haven't lived up to expectations in the first half would be a massive understatement, as they sit fifth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 25-18.
This team was one game away from reaching the NBA Finals last year. With Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward back at full strength - coupled with long-time nemesis LeBron James leaving for the Los Angeles Lakers - Boston was supposed to be the top team in the East.
But this loaded roster just hasn't been able to mesh well together, and the Celtics have struggled to find any consistency. They dropped a third straight game to the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, and it's anybody's guess if this group will manage to regain last year's form in the second half.
It's hard to understand why Boston is struggling so much, but point guard Terry Rozier believes it stems from the Celtics simply having way too much talent on the roster.
"I don't think we've all been on a team like this," Rozier said, via Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. "Young guys who can play, guys who did things in their career, the group that was together last year, then you bring (Kyrie) Irving and (Gordon) Hayward back, it's a lot with it."
The Celtics offense starts with Irving and second-year standout Jayson Tatum. Though Hayward has struggled to regain his form (he's still easing back from a gruesome leg fracture), Jaylen Brown, Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart are among the many talented players that should have Boston atop the East.
Rozier has expressed his disappointment about a shortage of playing time before, and sometimes the Celtics get to a point in games where some of these player want to do it on their own. The group simply hasn't found enough ways to work closely together, and it's why they don't look as dominant as last year.
The good news for the Celtics is that there is still half a season to go, so they have the time to turn things around and make a charge at one of the top seeds in the East.
What This Means
The Celtics certainly have plenty of roster depth, but that hasn't been a strength for them this year. The guys are struggling to find their groove together. If they don't learn to play like a team soon, GM Danny Ainge will be forced to consider some bold trades - either at the deadline or in the offseason.