BOSTON — When the Celtics hit a rough patch in mid-December, Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder were among several players who stressed the need for accountability.
After Boston’s last two ugly losses, it was their head coach’s turn to fall on the sword.
The Celtics suffered a bad home defeat Saturday to the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden, just three days after falling to the lowly Los Angeles Lakers at home. It’s no secret Boston hasn’t played up to snuff of late, and according to Brad Stevens, that’s on him.
“I just feel like we’ve been really passive, to be candid,” Stevens said. “I’ve got to reassess things. I’ve got to do a better job, I’ve got to hold guys accountable at a better level. We’re not playing as well as we think we are.”
The Celtics struggled to find an offensive rhythm, hitting just 39 percent of their shots and connecting on just 7 of 32 3-pointers. More concerning, though, is the fact that they appear to be playing down to their competition. They’ve now lost two of three games to the Nets this season and barely beat the Philadelphia 76ers back in November.
Again, Stevens insisted that trend starts with him, not the players.
“I just need to do a better job,” he added. “This is more on me. We’ve had multiple times where we’re just not playing to a standard where we need to play to. We’ve had multiple practices where certain guys have really looked good and stood out because others haven’t, and that’s just bad coaching. I’ll get myself straightened out, and I’ll work on what needs to be changed.”
Stevens can try to shoulder the blame all he wants, but Marcus Smart and Evan Turner took things in a different direction when asked about their coach’s comments.
“That’s just coach being coach,” Smart said. “He cares too much. He’s a competitor still, so he’s going to feel like it’s his fault. Ultimately, we’re the ones out there playing. He puts us in a great position to succeed and we failed on each other. We didn’t hold each other accountable out there, myself included.”
“I think what he said earlier, he’s talking about kind of the culture he has set, and he felt like he let it slip a little bit in that regard,” Turner said. “(But) we’re not kids. We need to police each other and also just be pros, man.”
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens watches from the sideline as they take on the Chicago Bulls in the first quarter at TD Garden.
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