Here’s Who Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman Blame For Celtics’ Struggles


The Celtics suffered their third straight loss Monday night, dropping their record to 25-18. Boston sits in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, seven games behind the top-seeded Toronto Raptors.

Things could be worse, obviously, and there’s still time for the Celtics to figure things out before the NBA playoffs. But expectations were sky-high in Boston, and the C’s have failed to live up to the hype despite Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward rejoining a team that took LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals last season.

So, who’s to blame for the Celtics’ inconsistency?

Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman debated that question Tuesday on ESPN’s “First Take,” and each had a very different opinion, as you probably guessed.

Kellerman’s biggest issue lies with Irving, who called out his teammates after Saturday night’s loss to the Orlando Magic, while Smith believes head coach Brad Stevens and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge should be questioned for their handling of Hayward’s transition back into the lineup following last season’s gruesome leg injury.

Either way, it’s clear the Celtics have some problems they must solve before they can fulfill their potential as legitimate NBA Finals contenders.

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