BOSTON — The Boston Celtics saved the locker room closed for 36 minutes following Friday night time’s 120-107 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Backyard, holding a team meeting to clear the air after dropping a 3rd straight recreation.
“A lot wanted,” Celtics guard Kyrie Irving mentioned of the dialogue. “A lot wanted.
“I believe everybody can see that we have clearly had some inconsistencies relating to our play, so I believe it was simply time to tackle it.”
Essentially the most pointed criticisms of the team’s current play — and the reasoning behind the meeting — got here from Irving, who repeatedly cited an absence of “cohesion” and mentioned that there was “some egocentric play” amongst his teammates.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 30 factors, Khris Middleton had 21 factors and 9 rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the short-handed Boston Celtics 120-107 on Friday night time.
Already with out Al Horford, the Celtics introduced that heart Aron Baynes will miss Four-6 weeks after having surgical procedure to restore a fractured fourth metacarpal in his left hand.
“At this level it comes down to cohesion, having the ability to belief the cross, belief what now we have occurring on the market,” Irving mentioned. “Clearly some egocentric play on the market the place … now we have some actually gifted guys, however we’re higher as a team sharing the basketball. And, if it is late within the shot clock, that is after we begin taking pictures our iso performs, as opposed to if now we have nothing in transition taking pictures with 16 or 17 on the clock, or taking pictures a fadeaway, one thing like that.
“I get caught up in that as properly. For me it is a onerous problem, as a result of there is a steadiness I’ve. I actually can do something I need on the market, however on the similar time it is what can I do for my teammates to be extra profitable. I’ve to be very aware of that.”
Whereas Irving did not identify any gamers particularly, these references — the fast pictures in transition, and the fadeaways — utilized to pictures Jayson Tatum took throughout Friday’s loss. Tatum was yanked out of the sport by Brad Stevens after one ill-timed stepback midrange jumper halfway by the primary quarter, and once more after taking another unhealthy shot early within the second — a mistake he compounded by then getting referred to as for a technical foul as Milwaukee continued to blow the sport open.
Irving additionally, as he has a number of occasions this season, identified the team’s youth as a part of the problems the Celtics are trying to work by because the 12 months progresses.
“I am enjoying the sport I really like daily,” he mentioned. “Typically being within the journey there may be some darkish spots occurring, you are challenged, you do not know what to do, and that is high-quality. I will be the primary to admit I’ve handled my very own challenges to be extra constant within the defensive finish, do issues for myself that might be extra useful for our team. To be sincere I am not enjoying the minutes I might need, the position I might need, that I selfishly would need for myself.
“That each one goes on the again burner to being affected person with what I’ve to do to develop as a pacesetter of this team and assist these different younger guys to be extra ready for what they’re going to encounter as they become old on this league and are going by proper now. That is a part of the deal that I’ve, as opposed to what number of pictures I get or how profitable I’m. It is how profitable we’re as a team.
“I need to ensure that these guys are comfy on the market, and it is extra their success as a lot as mine. That is an essential factor — being in line with that and affected person with them.”
Another of these younger guys, Jaylen Brown, had one in all his greatest video games of the season, scoring 21 factors on Eight-for-14 taking pictures to go along with 7 rebounds, 2 assists and Four steals. Extra importantly, he was aggressive at each ends, together with each stripping Giannis Antetokounmpo within the half court docket after which, later within the recreation, dunking over Milwaukee’s celebrity ahead.
“It is not about me,” Brown mentioned. “It is about us. We’re attempting to be a unit, both we’re going to be all in or we’re not.
“I did not take something personally from it, however all of us obtained to be higher.”
It was solely per week in the past that Boston beat the Atlanta Hawks, giving the Celtics their eighth straight victory and seemingly placing the team’s inconsistent 10-10 begin to the season behind them.
However then they misplaced in Detroit to the Pistons on Saturday, then at dwelling Wednesday to the lowly Phoenix Suns earlier than falling behind by as many as 26 factors to the Bucks on Friday night time. After taking a 10-1 lead within the recreation’s opening minutes, Milwaukee outscored Boston 57-22 over the following 16:24 of recreation time, opening up a 58-32 lead. The Bucks would proceed to hold on to the lead for the rest of the competition.
In idea, Boston had an affordable excuse for his or her efficiency: the absence of beginning energy ahead Marcus Morris and beginning heart Al Horford with knee accidents, and of backup heart Aron Baynes to a damaged hand he suffered within the opening minutes of Wednesday’s loss to the Suns.
The team, although, clearly thought in any other case, and spent greater than a half-hour speaking about precisely why earlier than permitting the media into the room to ask them about it.
“I believe that for us, sitting from the place you guys are sitting, considering that the offseason and considering that all of us like are collectively 24/7, all of us simply are supposed to come collectively as human beings coming to play the sport we love,” Irving mentioned. “It is quite a bit simpler mentioned than achieved by way of constructing a championship team and even having aspirations to be on that championship stage, and it begins with our habits, it begins with our preparation, how we go about treating one another and going on the market and placing on an excellent efficiency each single night time no matter whether or not the ball goes within the rim or not.
“It is simply trusting one another. In order that’s an on a regular basis factor. I do know everybody would love to suppose like, ‘Hey, what is going on on?’ It is simply not straightforward. It is an on a regular basis job. I have been saying it because the starting of the season. It is not going to look fairly. It is not going to look nice always. However the greatest factor for me is simply persistence and in addition being sincere with one another about how we really feel and having the ability to speak to one another with out anyone speaking it private.”
There have been already questions concerning the veracity of Boston’s win streak, given all eight wins got here in opposition to groups which can be under .500 — and a number of other got here in opposition to among the league’s worst opponents. Issues won’t be getting simpler anytime soon, both, as Boston has 5 straight video games in opposition to groups with .500 or higher information to finish December.
“Yeah, I do not know,” Tatum mentioned, when requested for a solution to the team’s inconsistency points this season. “I want I had a solution.
“However we’re going to be all proper.”