The Boston Celtics have been giving the Cleveland Cavaliers a run for their money for the first spot in the Eastern Conference. Coming into Wednesday night, the two teams were tied for first place with identical 50-27 records. However, the Cavaliers proved why they are a championship caliber team and the Celtics are not.


Boston’s rebounding continues to be a major issue. On Wednesday they were out-rebounded by Cleveland, 51-38. The Celtics are currently ranked 27th in rebounding in the league, which is very concerning for a team hoping to compete against the Cavs.

For most of the season, Avery Bradley has led the team in rebounding, which says a lot about the Celtics bigs. Being mediocre in one of the most important areas of basketball will hurt Boston in the long run.

No rim protection

Although the Celtics possess a handful of solid perimeter defenders, they are still extremely soft in the paint. To compete against a team like Cleveland, they need sufficient shot blocking and size down low. Al Horford may have been a terrific offseason acquisition for Boston, but he doesn’t have the size and shot blocking the ability to protect the paint. It’s ideal to have a rim protector against Cleveland because LeBron James and Kyrie Irving will attack the paint all game long, as they did Wednesday night.

Lack of offensive firepower

Outside of isaiah thomas, Boston still lacks offensive firepower. When the playoffs begin, teams will focus on shutting down Thomas to force others to beat them. Wednesday’s game against the Cavaliers was a perfect example of how awful Boston looks without Thomas’ scoring prowess. Soon as Thomas went to the bench in the second quarter, the team melted down.

Perhaps this is why the Celtics should’ve acquired another superstar at the trade deadline.

Lack of bench scoring

Boston’s bench is ranked 20th in scoring this season, which is not good enough for a team that has so many other flaws. For instance, the Cavaliers are 28th in bench scoring, but they are elite in other areas, same with the Golden State Warriors.

With rebounding issues, no paint protection and lack of offensive firepower, the Celtics cannot afford to have a thin bench. Marcus Smart is the best player off the pine, and even he struggles to play consistently.

All these areas are a deep concern for the Celtics going into the playoffs. They are relying too much on Isaiah Thomas, which is a problem. One person cannot do everything. Although Boston is succeeding during the regular season, their obvious flaws are going to haunt them during the post-season.