BOSTON — In a Boston Celtics season that has resembled a roller coaster, Tuesday night’s blowout loss at the hands of the Toronto Raptors stands as one of the lowest points thus far.
The C’s looked utterly lifeless at times against their Eastern Conference rivals, and Brad Stevens voiced his displeasure with the effort following the game.
“It’s not like we don’t know what we need to do,” Stevens told reporters after the Toronto loss. “But for whatever reason, we’re taking too much shortcuts.”
Those comments drew some mixed responses from players in the locker room, with some seeming to not know exactly what Stevens was getting at.
Stevens clarified this comments before the Celtics’ tilt Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers at TD Garden.
“We all have a task to we do on each possession. And we all have to do it,” Stevens said. “If there’s five guys on the defensive possession, we always say all five have to be completely engaged and locked in to how we want to guard.
“… Certainly, there are going to be mistakes made throughout the course of a game, the course of a season. Great teams stop it after one time, and it doesn’t happen again. We just had too many yesterday.”
The Celtics undeniably were a mess on both sides of the floor Tuesday, with the defense particularly looking flat throughout the night, allowing the Raptors to throw Hail Mary passes to cherry pickers up court for easy transition baskets.
“If you want to advance your season past the regular season, or into the playoffs into other rounds those things have to be buttoned up, taken care of.”
The Celtics have 21 games to figure out their struggles, and while nights like Tuesday raise concerns, Boston’s potential continues to make them a threat every night.
Thumbnail photo via John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports Images