Boston Celtics Week 7 power rankings: close losses hint at need for help

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Justin Quinn
·4 min read
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The Boston Celtics had a rough week with close losses to the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers, but did either of those games change how we thinks about this team fundamentally?

It’s clear the team needs more time to gel as a unit, and it’s also clear the binary star wings of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum need more help carrying the scoring load, but it’s also just past the quarter-point of the 2020-21 NBA season. With a historically massive traded player exception (TPE) as well as two smaller TPEs and nearly two months to find the right players to fill them, guessing where the Celtics stand in the wider NBA hierarchy is far from a science at present.

Even so, it didn’t keep a host of popular outlets from trying their hand at doing just that, so let’s take a look at where Boston sits this week in their eyes.

No. 9 - Rookie Wire

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

"Boston nearly pulled out the win over the Lakers on Saturday, but a last-second shot by Kemba Walker missed," related Rookie Wire's Cody Taylor. "Fortunately, the injury to Marcus Smart from that contest is not as serious as it looked with the veteran expected back in 2-3 weeks."

No. 9 - NBA

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

"Boston needs more from Kemba Walker, who shot 7-for-27 over the two games and had a couple of rough moments down the stretch: getting picked clean by Dejounte Murray and missing the step-back game-winner," wrote the NBA's John Schumann. "The Celtics have lost their last four games that were within five points in the last five minutes and, without Smart down the stretch on Saturday, they closed with Semi Ojeleye alongside Walker, Brown, Tatum and Daniel Theis."

No. 9 - The Athletic

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

"Without Kemba Walker for most of the season and losing Jayson Tatum for a bit, the Boston Celtics are still in a pretty good spot right now," observed The Athletic's Zach Harper. "The best news for them so far has been Jaylen Brown playing like a star. His ascension could be the thing that gets them into the NBA Finals this year."

No. 8 - The Score

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

"The Celtics are better than their record suggests as they went 2 - 3 without Jayson Tatum, who contracted COVID-19," noted The Score's staff. "Their mark should fix itself now that he's back, but they have a tough trip out West this week."

No. 8 - Complex

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

"I thought ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins was talking wild when he was saying Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are a top three duo in the NBA before the season started," opined Complex's Adam Caparell. "Well, he was right. They are dynamite and the Celtics are yet again one of the top teams in the East."

No. 8 - ESPN

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

"The final 10 minutes of Boston's dramatic loss to the Lakers on Saturday night were overshadowed by fears over Marcus Smart's leg injury being a serious one," wrote ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "And while the Celtics will undoubtedly miss him on their five-game West Coast swing that starts Tuesday in San Francisco against the Warriors, the fact that the heart and soul of the team is going to be out only two to three weeks with a calf strain is the best outcome that could've been realistically hoped for."

No. 8 - CBS Sports

AP Photo/Chris Szagola

"Boston was one Kemba Walker jumper away from beating the Lakers on Saturday, and they received encouraging news that Marcus Smart is only expected to miss 2-3 weeks after a nasty-looking calf injury," related CBS' Colin Ward-Henninger. "The Celtics also lost to the Spurs and beat the Bulls this week, as Jayson Tatum averaged 26.3 points on 42 percent 3-point shooting in his return to the court after a five-game absence."

No. 7 - Bleacher Report

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

"The Celtics got Jayson Tatum back from a long absence due to COVID protocols just in time for a big showdown against the Lakers in prime time," shared B/R's Mo Dakhil. "That game did not disappoint, going down to the wire. Unfortunately for Boston, it ended up on the wrong end." This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! https://embed.sendtonews.com/oembed/?SC=vAfwhBBXo3-1135511-8380&autoplay=on&V=2&format=json [lawrence-related id=46204,46191,46181,46174] [listicle id=46194]