I feel much the same. In the past few years there were clear limitations with the team and you could point to those limitations as the reasons the Celtics would lose. They did not have enough talent...the young players were talented but still maturing...etc. There was a direct correlation between what you saw and what you knew. Most times when they lost, you could say "well, once player X matures and Y happens, things will go better". It was logical. You didn't feel like things were baffling when they lost. And when they played over their heads you could chalk it up to the talent firing on all cylinders.That's dramatic but I really am at a loss. They were winning tough games both home and road against playoff teams last season with skeleton crews yet they can't buy those kind of wins at full strength this season. This whole season has just seemed really off and I didn't expect it. Growing pains to start, sure, but not mediocrity and major quarter-long lapses halfway through. I disagree with the idea that this team goes as far as Kyrie takes them. I think they go as far as the Jays and Hayward take them. Can't continue to have games where at least one of the three are complete zeros.
This year, the opposite is true. There's no logic to poor play or losses. Moreover, when you can point to something, it's a moving target. Jaylen Brown had a great game - is it because he was given more rope to play or because he took off the hand pad thing? If it was the hand pad, has everything we've been saying about his poor play this year directly attributable to that? Same with Hayward - he had an awful game. Is it the injury or struggles to fit with the team composition? Rozier - did he just have a great run at the end of last season, or is it that he's adjusting to a new role? And so forth.
What I'm hoping is that we as fans do not see the problems as clearly because we don't have the information, and that Stevens et al aren't nearly as clueless as the rest of us are.