Celtics sputter into 2019 with plenty of questions

January 01, 2019 - 9:47 am

When it came to year-ending predictions, this wasn't probably in the mix when it came to these Celtics.

Brad Stevens' team finished off the 2018 calendar year with a 120-111 loss to the Spurs in San Antonio. When a team scores 46 points in one quarter -- as the Spurs did in the third -- that's usually going to lead to such results. (For a complete recap, click here.)

And while there were a few excuses the Celtics could hang their collective hat on -- such as the absence of big men Aron Baynes and Robert Williams, along with Kyrie Irving being limited to 28 minutes due to a scratched eye (forcing him to return with sunglasses) -- the reality is Boston remains more of a work in progress than most anticipated.

A microcosm of this team's uneven existence was Gordon Hayward's 22 minutes in which he didn't score a single point going 0-for-6 from the field, five of which came from beyond the 3-point stripe. Jaylen Brown did attempt to pick up the slack with a season-high 30 points, but it wasn't enough.

Thanks in large part to Spurs' center LaMarcus Aldridge (32 points, 9 rebounds) the C's were dominated on the inside, with an 11-for-34 showing from 3-point territory also not helping the visitors.

The Celtics head into 2019 with the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference, behind Milwaukee, Toronto, Indiana and Philadelphia.

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