In what may be the understatement of the year, the Boston Celtics are struggling. The Celtics suffered some brutal losses the last two weeks but hit a new low Sunday. The Celtics blew a 24-point lead in the third quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans, prompting Stephen A. Smith to question the leadership head coach Brad Stevens.
The Boston Celtics hit a new low point
It’s been an ugly couple of weeks for the Boston Celtics. Since Feb. 7, the Celtics are 3-6 and have had some very tough losses. After snapping a two-game skid with losses to the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz, Boston defeated the Toronto Raptors at home. They then dropped consecutive games to the lowly Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizards.
The Celtics haven’t had consecutive wins in a month and find themselves mired in mediocrity at 15-15. Things got much worse on Sunday. The Celtics appeared to be on the way to a quality victory on the road when they held a 24-point lead in the third quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans. They lost in overtime.
“We kind of got away from what got us the lead, not moving the ball, guarding, and they stormed back,” said Celtics star Jaylen Brown, according to ESPN. “This one definitely hurts. It’s tough. Just a tough loss — a game we 100 percent should have won.”
Frustration appears to be mounting in Boston
For the Boston Celtics, the losses are mounting and so is the frustration. General manager Danny Ainge has said he should take the blame for the Celtic struggles. During a recent radio interview, Ainge admitted, “our roster obviously is not good” and it was his job to do better.
Prior to the Ainge comments, veteran point guard Kemba Walker blasted the team for not putting in enough effort. “(We) just need to play harder,” Walker said, according to ESPN. “That’s it. We’re not playing hard. We’re not playing as hard as we know we can. When you play hard, great things happen. And right now, it just hasn’t been consistent, our play. So like I said, we’re going to continue to watch film and learn from our mistakes and get better.”
Jaylen Brown has also been clearly frustrated. He’s averaging one “no comment” a week during press conferences, about as many wins per week his team is getting. The team is struggling mightily, sitting in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Stephen A. Smith blasts Brad Stevens after latest loss
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith always has something to say. It’s part of his act. Smith loaded Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens with compliments before taking a shot at the young coach. Smith said Stevens is a very good coach and is respected. He then laid into him, questioning his leadership skills.
“My question is the motivational skills that he has available to him,” Smith said on First Take on Monday. “Are you the kind of guy that can galvanize the troops and maximize the potential around you? He knows what the hell he is doing, but I’m talking about that leader of men that’s able to peel something out of you that you might not even know that is inside of yourself.
“The great, great coaches figure out a way to do that over the years. It’s something about you as a coach, where you shove aside the X’s and O’s because everyone knows what the other is doing. I have not seen that yet. As a result, I think you’re going to hear a lot of noise about Brad Stevens if this stuff continues. You’re going to hear a lot of people talking about why have we raved about Brad Stevens so much. You’ve got Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. This is the sport of basketball and you should not be a .500 team with two studs like that.”