Throughout their recent struggles, the Boston Celtics have leaned on the fact that they still have the entire second half of the season to fix what ails them.
It may not be that simple.
While it's true that 33 games remain on Boston's regular-season schedule, the window for positioning this team for postseason success may be decidedly narrower as the trade deadline approaches.
On the heels of yet another meltdown against a top Eastern Conference foe, the Celtics, now more than ever, seem desperate for a shakeup. If that's to come, they don't have the luxury of time before they have to make some important decisions.
The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 18. Because of the All-Star break, the Celtics play just two more games before that point -- Wednesday night in New Orleans and Feb. 16 in Sacramento.
In what seems like a daily exercise, Celtics coach Doc Rivers reaffirmed his love for his roster after Sunday's disheartening loss to the Magic, which featured yet another second-half collapse and blown double-digit lead. If you believe Rivers, the Celtics have enough talent in their locker room right now to win a championship. Despite their struggles against elite competition, it's still hard to argue given how good they looked at the start of the season.
But recently, the Celtics have looked bad. Very bad. No lead is safe; home court is irrelevant; and it's hard to remember the last time Boston put together 48 minutes of consistent basketball.
Worse yet, neither players nor coaches seem to have an answer for how to fix the problems. The Celtics acknowledge the issues and suggest they will get better, but they offer no definitive plan of attack for fixing those ailments.
So how do they proceed?
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