• The Boston Celtics put up a record of 22-8 since the new year
  • Ime Udoka may have finally solved the problem that had been plaguing him at the start of the season
  • Jayson Tatum's 54-point outburst against the Brooklyn Nets highlights his desire to lead this team

After a disappointing start to their season, the Boston Celtics may have finally found their footing and could be on pace to become the team fans need to keep an eye on during the playoffs.

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor sparked the conversation via a tweet that mentioned the Celtics going 22-8 since the calendar turned to 2022.

According to subscription-based stats site Cleaning the Glass, the Celtics have indeed become the NBA’s most potent team on the defensive end as they only allow 106.6 points per 100 possessions, almost five points less than the league average of 111.4.

In terms of offense, the Celtics are ranked third over the past two weeks after putting up 121.4 points per 100, a sign of a well-run offense.

A slow start was to be expected for the Celtics after major changes to their front office were made, including then-head coach Brad Stevens being promoted as the franchise’s next president of basketball operations following Danny Ainge’s departure and Ime Udoka taking up Stevens’ role on the sidelines.

Rumors of breaking up the trio of Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown hounded them as it looked like the team needed to hit the reset button, but continuous experimentation from the side of Udoka and a smart move during the trade deadline helped turn their fortunes around.

The Celtics acquired combo guard Derrick White from the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, and a top-four protected 2022 pick.

White was a major piece for the Spurs in previous years thanks to his versatility on both defense and offense, which he has since utilized to perfection off the bench for the Celtics to the tune of 11.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and one block per game in nine appearances.

Their most recent victory showcased a sense of urgency on Tatum’s end to lead this team as his 54-point outburst on Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets brought the Celtics to a razor-thin six-point victory.

If they keep this up for the rest of the season, Cleaning the Glass’ win projection for Boston has them reaching around 54, 55 wins.

With how well the Celtics are playing, it is hard to see them falling off anytime soon and could become a major problem to any team once the playoff season begins.

Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics reacts with teammates after hitting a three-point shot during a game against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden on March 6, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images