The Boston Celtics are playing well lately. Heading into Saturday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors, the Celtics had won five straight. It’s been a struggle for the Celtics this year as they’ve hovered around the .500 mark most of the season. There’s been plenty of blame to go around, including head coach Brad Stevens, who recently made a stunning $70 million decision.
The Celtics are rolling lately
This is the Boston Celtics team that most have expected. The Celtics haven’t lost a game in 11 days and are riding a five-game win streak heading into Saturday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors. Boston had struggled most of the season, but starting with their April 7 game against the New York Knicks, they’ve been unbeatable.
Boston topped New York at home in a nail-biter, winning 101-99, and then outlasted the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves 145-136 in overtime two days later. What followed next was, by far, the most impressive stretch of the season.
The Celtics headed out for a three-game West Coast trip, beginning in Denver to face the red-hot Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets led comfortably most of the game, but the Celtics strung together a 31-3 run to come away with a stunning 105-97 victory. Boston then outlasted the Portland Trail Blazers 116-115 before completing their 3-0 road trip with a win at the Los Angeles Lakers.
It’s been a struggle most of the year for the Boston Celtics
The blame game was being played in Boston for much of the NBA season. Who was at fault for the Celtics underachieving? General manager Danny Ainge stepped up during a rough stretch and took responsibility for the woeful play. Ainge said the roster he put together wasn’t good enough.
Point guard Kemba Walker called out the team for its lack of hustle. Jaylen Brown was clearly frustrated by the offense, offering multiple “no comments” when asked about the team’s ball movement. For much of the season, the team has hung around the .500 mark and has been dangerously close to falling out of the playoff picture.
The low point of the season came on Feb. 21 when they played at New Orleans. The Celtics held a 24-point lead in the third quarter against the Pelicans, who stormed back to win in overtime. That began a three-game skid that put the Celtics at 15-17. Frustration was mounting and fingers were pointing.
Brad Stevens makes shocking $70 million decision
Give Brad Stevens credit. It’s apparent he wants to remain in Boston. Stevens has been criticized throughout the season as his team has blown numerous leads and hasn’t lived up to expectations. Stevens, many have pointed out, may be better suited for the college game as he might not be able to handle the egos of NBA players.
Well, Stevens apparently had his chance. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was a guest on NBA Countdown on Saturday and made a shocking announcement. “(Stevens) publicly … came out to say that he was not interested in that Indiana University job that opened a few weeks ago,” Wojnarowski said, according to Bleacher Report. “I was told that Indiana was prepared to offer him seven years, $70 million.”
Indiana is Stevens’ home and it’s the heart of college basketball. Instead, the job went to Mike Woodson, a former Indiana player. Wojnarowski said Woodson didn’t get nearly the amount Indiana offered Stevens. Wojnarowski said Stevens “did not entertain” the offer.