BOSTON — Just when it seemed like the Boston Celtics had figured things out, they reverted back to the same type of inadequate play that plagued them earlier in the season.
After having their win streak halted at eight last Saturday, the Celtics dropped their third consecutive game with Friday’s 120-107 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden. While the C’s have been shorthanded of late, it certainly can’t be used as the be-all-end-all excuse for their recent performances.
Sitting just five games over .500 with the half-way point of the season approaching, the Celtics deemed it necessary to have a team discussion following Friday’s loss. Although players expectedly were mum about what exactly was said during the meeting, they provided a bit of insight shortly after the conversation was held.
“We all have to play to a certain level and we haven’t been playing to that level,” Jaylen Brown said. “So we got to talk and today was the time we chose to talk and I’ll keep the confinements of what we talked about between us. But we got to do better.
“It was well-needed. It was definitely well-needed and we’re trying to move forward in the right direction.”
Kyrie Irving added: “Much-needed. Much-needed, you know. I think everyone can see that we’ve obviously had some inconsistencies regarding our play so I think it was just a good time to address it.
The upcoming stretch will be telling for the Celtics. Following Sunday’s matchup against the Charlotte Hornets and a Christmas Day clash with the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston will embark on a three-game Western Conference road trip, including tilts against the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs. The C’s by and large have feasted on inferior opponents, but they’ll now be tasked with breaking out of a slump against tough customers.
Getting everything out in the open often can help a team turn things around, but talking only goes so far. Considering the Celtics’ struggles no longer can be chalked up as “a slow start,” Irving knows it’s gut-check time for Boston.
” … Forty-nine more games left to go,” Irving said. “This is where teams kind of show what they’re made of throughout the next 20 games, next 30 games or what not. And this is a very unique position for some guys to be in. We’re asking them to do a lot more than what we’ve asked in the past, including myself. I’m asking myself to do a lot more on both ends of the floor. It just takes a total collective unit out there. I don’t mean just the five guys out there. I’m including our coaches, players, everyone just to be on the same court.”