After a promising start to the off-season, the optimistic outlook for the Boston Celtics has taken a turn for the worse. In the span of two months, the championship runner-ups have become the embodiment of the saying, “what can go wrong, will go wrong.”  

The team internally suspended Head Coach Ime Udoka for a full season due to misconduct in the workplace. After a cryptic late-night “Woj-bomb” tweet by ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski referring to an “unspecified violation of organizational guidelines.” The story quickly unraveled,  revealing that Udoka had an “intimate relationship with a female member of the franchise’s staff.” As a result, on Sept. 23, the Celtics announced that Assistant Coach Joe Mazzulla would be promoted to head coach for the upcoming season. 

Center Robert Williams III opted to undergo surgery on his left knee, sidelining him from basketball related activities for eight to 12 weeks. Injuries are no stranger to Williams, as they’ve plagued him throughout his five year National Basketball Association career. This left knee also caused a setback for Williams last season, resulting in him being in and out of the lineup during the playoffs. As a pivotal piece to the Celtics' championship run a season ago, Williams' spot will be a tough void to fill.

Newly acquired forward Danillo Gallinari endured a torn ACL while representing his home country of Italy during a FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifier game this summer against Georgia. Initially reported as a torn meniscus, Gallinari’s injury was elevated to a torn ACL after further evaluation by team doctors. Set to be a scoring spark plug off the bench for the team, Gallinari’s debut will have to wait much longer than expected. However, the Celtics are hopeful Gallinari may be able to return near the end of the season if recovery goes well. 

Free-agent veteran forward Blake Griffin signed a one-year contract on Sept. 30. A possible attempt to bolster their injury ridden roster, the Celtics will seek to utilize Griffin’s experience and physicality in their frontcourt. Despite not being the player he formerly was, Griffin provides valuable depth to this roster that was already lacking in size. The six time all-star will play in pursuit of his first NBA championship.  

Following last season's finals, Sportsbooks had the Celtics as the odds-on favorite to win the championship. However, after news broke about their setbacks, betting lines were updated, and the team slipped out of the first position. 

As the upcoming season is on the horizon, the Celtics will look to play through this adversity and carry on where business left off. Their first regular season game is scheduled for Oct. 18 at home against the Philadelphia 76ers.