NBA Notebook: Romeo Langford, like the Celtics, is long on potential, short on production

The Boston Celtics did what the Boston Celtics – yes, even this season’s team – should do and that was easily beat the Houston Rockets.

While Celtics fans love it whenever this team wins, there was an undeniable “we got punked!” vibe many had afterward.

The win itself was cool, but the one thing folks really wanted to see – Romeo Langford play – never happened.

Langford, who has been out all season recovering from off-season wrist surgery and then COVID-19, was not on the injury report prior to the Rockets game.

It seemed the perfect return to action, right?

What better team to make your season debut against than the Rockets, a team that it’s literally in their best interest to lose games.

Get the duck boats out, because Romeo’s back!

And then, the Celtics Charlie Brown’d us with the last-minute news Langford would not play because of, “post Health & Safety Protocols reconditioning.”

As someone who makes a living off of word usage, kudos to the Celtics for coming up with a unique way of saying the kid isn’t in shape to play.

Considering the amount of time he has missed because of injury combined with testing positive for the coronavirus, the unpredictability of his return does make sense.

But his up-in-the-air status serves as a reminder of how the Celtics remain a team heavy on promise that has consistently come up short when it comes to production which as we all know, is ultimately what defines a team and its players.

The reasoning for being patient with Langford is plausible. But that doesn’t change the fact that Langford is a second-year player who is having a second lost season where he again, remains high on potential and promise with little to show in terms of actual production.

And for all the analytics breaking down the team’s defense or the lack of bench scoring or whatever other data point you want to delve into, it all comes back to one thing and that is Celtics players by and large, underperforming or in the case of Langford, not performing at all.

Danny Ainge, Boston’s President of Basketball Operations, is as eager as any of us to see Langford back on the floor.

“It’s hard to know for sure (when Langford will play) because he’s trying to come back from Covid,” Ainge told BostonSportsJournal.com. “He felt he was in a really good place. He’s day-to-day at this point. We just want to be wise with him.”

Having not played since September 17, 2020, it’s understandable why Ainge and the Green Team brass are being cautious about Langford’s return.

But that still doesn’t change the fact that Langford