BOSTON — The Boston Celtics have looked like a completely different team of late, and they might have adversity to thank for their current hot streak.
The Celtics fell on hard times in mid-December to the tune of a three-game losing streak. The final game of that skid, a 13-point defeat at home at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 21, prompted a postgame team meeting. Boston has gone 7-2 since the powwow, with its latest win coming in Wednesday’s 135-108 trouncing of the Indiana Pacers at TD Garden.
Irving isn’t sure if the meeting can be the highlighted as the sole slump buster, but it’s clear the Celtics talking things out produced nothing but positives.
“We can pinpoint a lot of turning points. We just wanted to build that chemistry first. Just getting to know one another, really put everything out there and then kind of move on from that point,” Irving said after Boston’s fourth straight win. “At that point, playing against Milwaukee, we weren’t at rock bottom but we needed to address some s–t in this locker room. It was just good to get stuff out in the air as grown men and guys that have expectations for themselves and want to be great. It was good to hear everybody honestly speak about what they wanted for themselves and what they wanted for the team. So that made things easier.”
Hands likely would have begun to hover the panic button had the Celtics’ struggles continued through the holidays and start of the new year. But now at the halfway point of the campaign, Boston can aim to take control of the Eastern Conference rather than have to dig itself out of a hole.
“Meat of the season right now and you can tell that our team is just feeling really good being around each other,” Irving said. “And it’s totally different in terms of how we feel out there. It’s just really positive.”