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How can the Boston Celtics right the ship ahead of the 2023 postseason?

The Boston Celtics have been stumbling toward the finish line as the end of the 2022-23 NBA season comes into focus, and with many of the problems behind the downward spiral of the team being mainly self-inflicted, fans are starting to lose patience with the team.

Some of the issues stem from effort, focus, and dedication that has largely been missing since around the midpoint of the season. Others are a factor of the overall health of the ball club taking a dip with collateral damage keeping players out of the rotation or playing a diminished version of their game.

And individual issues ranging from Grant Williams’ contract situation and related slump and coach Joe Mazzulla’s admitted mistakes combining to see Boston fade as a cohesive unit at exactly the moment they ought to be doing the opposite.

How to address things in the 10 games left in the season? Here are a few ideas.

Hire an assistant coach with NBA experience

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This is easier said than done at this point in the season, but having an extra brain helping keep an eye on rotations and serving as an intermediary or outlet that isn’t Mazzulla could go a long way toward limiting mistakes while improving communication.

This doesn’t need to be a long-term hire, nor a big name in terms of who they go after.

Someone with in-game NBA experience who has been on the coaching side of the clipboard — perhaps a former Celtic in the vein of Evan Turner or Dana Barros — would do the trick.

Reward consistent effort and excellence

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

To be clear, changing the way the team plays at this stage of the season is a way to make bad play of late even worse. But the consistent lack of floor time for players like Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon in crunch time and a paucity of plays being run for Jaylen Brown.

And this despite his averaging a considerably more efficient (48.8% from the floor and 37.9% from 3 to 43.7% overall and 33.2% from deep) 26.0 points per game to Jayson Tatum’s 27.1.

Boston doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel here, but playing your best (and best-focused) players when it counts most seems like a no-brainer.

Don’t be afraid to lean on fundamentals when things are going sideways

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Again, reinventing the wheel at this late hour is the opposite of what the Celtics need, but some comfort playing a variety of zones on nights the team is clearly checked out on that end, or some set plays to run — and re-run when they work — ought to be leaned on more than they have been.

The rest is up to the players, who aren’t going to be bullied or shamed into putting forward their best effort every night by analysts and fans demanding it any more than their coach “getting tough” with their level of focus and effort.

Ultimately, the synergy required to win a title is key for an imperfectly-formed ball club like Boston, and if they don’t find a way to recreate the energy they started this season with, not much else can save them.

Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire