The Boston Celtics aren’t the team you thought they were.
The Boston Celtics were viewed as a championship contender before this season started, but it’s time to pump the brakes on those expectations. The Celtics held a team meeting after their 120-107 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, that saw their record drop to 18-13, and it lasted 36 minutes.
The Celtics only have one player, Kyrie Irving, averaging over 17 points per game, and he was apparently one of the most vocal during the meeting with some comments that hint at dissension in the locker room.
“Obviously some selfish play out there,” Irving said to ESPN. “Where we have some really talented guys, but we’re better as a team sharing the basketball. If we have nothing in transition shooting with 16 or 17 on the clock or shooting a fadeaway, something like that.”
Irving’s comments hint at Jayson Tatum who was removed from the game by coach Brad Stevens. Stevens’ reputation as a coach has taken a hit this season because this team hasn’t performed up to his usual standard.
Gordon Hayward, Al Horford and Jaylen Brown aren’t producing effectively this season in supporting roles to Irving who really hasn’t developed into the leader the Celtics hoped he’d grow into.
Not only are Boston’s stars struggling this season, but they lack depth with their big men after Aron Baynes had surgery to repair a fracture in his hand and Horford has rested with a knee injury.
After this three-game losing streak, the bottom line is that the Celtics aren’t contenders in the Eastern Conference until further notice. The Celtics own the third-best point differential in the conference, but their record puts them in the No. 5 spot. The Celtics trail the Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers.
If Boston made a trade for another star, then they might be back in the picture. However, that doesn’t seem likely until the offseason when they can chase Anthony Davis. There is, however, plenty of time for Irving to take his game to the next level, Hayward to resemble the player he was before last year’s injury and for Tatum and Brown to look like the budding stars they did during their rookie years last year.
But for now, it’s time to lower whatever hopes you had for them as championship contenders this year.