On second thought, perhaps there are some deep issues that are plaguing the Boston Celtics.
Earlier this week, I downplayed the Boston Celtics‘ early-season struggles. But after another disappointing loss and some interesting and thought-provoking postgame comments, I think it’s time that we give the idea that perhaps there are some underlying issues plaguing the Celtics a second thought.
After blowing a 19-point lead to the Chicago Bulls, in which the Celtics were outscored 39-11 in the fourth quarter, Marcus Smart had some interesting comments after the epic collapse that resulted in the team falling to 2-5 on the season.
“Every team knows we are trying to go to Jayson and Jaylen and every team is programmed and studied to stop Jayson and Jaylen. I think everybody’s scouting report is to make those guys try to pass the ball. They don’t want to pass the ball and that’s something that they’re going to learn.”
“They’re still learning and we’re proud of the progress they are making, but they are going to have to make another step and find ways to not only create for themselves but create for others on this team, to open up the court for them later in the game where they don’t always have to take those tough shots or take tough matchups when they do get the 1-on-1 or see a trap,” he continued.
The comments started as if he was calling out Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum but it concluded on a “let’s get better as a team approach. Even though Smart is probably viewed as a leader of the team, as he’s one of the longest-tenured players on the roster – especially after Brad Stevens moved to a front-office role – it’s still quite interesting.
Brown and Tatum are still “young” but at this point are what they are. Both are seasoned stars and have played deep into the postseason and have accomplished much in the league. Brown is 25 and Tatum is 23. Smart is 27.
At least to me, that seemed interesting.
Smart has had enough. He sees the team struggling and perhaps needed to address the elephant in the room. There’s no question that Smart is probably coming from a good place, but there also seems to be a bit of frustration tied into these comments.
Brown and Tatum have been inconsistent this season and perhaps Smart has noticed that. That said, the majority of Celtics players have struggled mightily too. The Celtics will go as far as Tatum and Brown can take them, but they also can’t do it alone.
Tatum and Brown are clearly the two best players on the Celtics, but if this team is going to make the playoffs and make some noise when they get there, they’re going to need to play more team basketball than they’ve been playing this season.
And that’s exactly what Smart was echoing in his comments.
This could all blow over and maybe this is what was needed for the Celtics to get on a roll. Or, perhaps it could be the start to a ruckus season inside that Celtics’ locker room. Especially with a first-year head coach at the helm, you never really know what’s going on in a locker room until it boils over.
Question is, was this an example of a locker room issue boiling over or just some isolated frustration that needed to be released?