Charlotte’s Kemba Walker (15) steals the ball from Boston’s Marcus Morris (13) during the second half Monday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Things aren’t good in the Garden right now.

The Boston Celtics were 9-8 entering Wednesday. They are 4-5 on the road. They’re inspired and then sluggish, resilient and then resigned, adding up to something far less than the Eastern Conference powerhouse pundits in Boston and beyond predicted before the season began.

The fans are getting restless. And the media has started to pick at the conference favorite. Chad Finn in the Boston Globe said the “talented players who were supposed to fit perfectly still too often look like pieces from a different jigsaw puzzle.” Gary Washburn, also of the Globe, wrote “There’s something wrong with the Celtics and (coach Brad) Stevens has to try to figure it out.” Paolo Uggetti, in The Ringer, wrote Boston’s “got a longer way to go than we all expected.”

If Celtics fans and followers are frustrated, they’re paying attention.

If they’re panicking, they’re crazy.

Or, they’re at least not attuned to basketball history — and recent history, at that. The NBA has taken on a formulaic pattern. Teams that load up in the offseason — be it through trades, draft picks or free agent signings — and come into the season weighed down by heavy expectations tend to show the strain of that hype, only to figure it out in plenty of time to pull off the playoff run everyone saw coming.

It’s a group that will include these Celtics. The Eastern Conference finals begin May 14 and 15, and Boston — barring injury or moves that blow up the roster — will be there.

Need an example? How about 2010, when LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami and the Heat became universal favorites to win the NBA Finals? The team couldn’t mesh on the court, couldn’t hold a lead and even admitted to crying in the locker room during a five-game losing streak in March.

What happened? The playoffs started, the Heat woke up and rolled through the Eastern Conference playoffs and reached the NBA Finals.

How about the 2014-15 Cleveland Cavaliers, who had Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and LeBron playing together for the first time? The Cavs were expected to win the Eastern Conference. They found themselves at 19-20 near the midway point of the season … and in the NBA Finals at its end.

Rinse and repeat. The Golden State Warriors in 2016-17, Kevin Durant’s first season with the team, lost five of seven games in February and March … then won 15 of their final 16 regular season games and the NBA title. Alarms went off all around Cleveland last year as the Cavaliers lost 13 of 19 games and plummeted out of range of the No. 1 seed … only to return to the NBA Finals at the end of May. Even this year, the race is on to bury the Warriors and proclaim the West a wide-open race after sloppy losses and moments of infighting from the two-time defending champions.

So, sure. The Warriors might miss out on the coveted November championship this season. Cancel the parade.

There’s a similar sentiment growing in Boston, and it’s just as absurd. Chemistry doesn’t win in the NBA. Cohesion doesn’t win. “Ubuntu” was the hot word in 2007-08, when the Celtics won their most recent championship, but that didn’t do it either.

They help, no question, particularly when those teams meet their equals in the later rounds of the playoffs. But talent wins in the NBA, more consistently than in any other sport. The best lineup wins. Or the best player. Preaching “Ubuntu” didn’t make the difference in 2008 — having Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett on the same court did.

The season is long enough that as long as a team has an abundance of talent, all problems seem to get solved in time. Bosh didn’t know his role on that Heat team. They figured it out. Love was a square peg on the Cavaliers. They figured it out.

The Celtics, too, will figure it out.

They’ll figure it out because they’re the East’s most talented team. Philadelphia is close, and it makes sense that fans in New England are spooked because a team with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons only got better by adding an All-Star in Jimmy Butler.

But they’re still not Boston. The Celtics brushed aside the 76ers last year and would have been in the NBA Finals last season had LeBron not been a Cleveland Cavalier. He’s since been removed from the Celtics’ radar, tucked safely away in Los Angeles, and instead that team that was oh-so-close a year ago adds a healthy Gordon Hayward and a healthy Irving and features a more seasoned Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

And that mix might miss out on the playoffs, supposedly? Because Stevens is benching stars and the offense has scuffled?

Not buying it.

That’s not to say a blind eye should be turned to the Celtics’ struggles. The frustration is legitimate, and the Celtics deserve criticism for how they’ve approached a season of endless possibility. And high seedings and home court are valuable, particularly if history repeats itself and an injury or two forces the Celtics to go for the Finals shorthanded.

They should be better than this. Much better.

But that’s the point. They are. And in the NBA, when the playoffs arrive, we’ll see again that that’s all that matters.

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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