The Boston Celtics arguably have become the NBA’s greatest mystery this season.
Save for the Golden State Warriors, the case can be made that the Celtics have the deepest roster in the league. But for now, all the Celtics’ surfeit of talent has earned them is the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Through the first month or two of the campaign, most chalked Boston’s struggles up as ironing out the kinks and trying to find a rhythm. Now, with 26 games remaining in their regular season, it might be time to reevaluate who the C’s really are.
During an appearance Monday on WEEI’s “Dale & Keefe,” Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix tried to make sense of Boston’s lingering issues.
“They just had better chemistry last year,” Mannix said, as transcribed by WEEI. “Everybody just knew their roles and embraced their roles. … They played together. … They just seemed really comfortable playing with each other. This group? Not so much.
“At times there seems almost a competition between the veteran players and the younger players. … I don’t think they don’t like each other. I think there are a lot of guys in different places in their careers and they’re trying to do different things. Plus you have Gordon Hayward who is trying to find his way while trying to find his rhythm. It’s just kind of a discombobulated bunch that is inside that locker room.”
Mannix does make an astute point about the makeup of the Celtics’ roster. For players like Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown — and even Jayson Tatum — a lucrative second contract surely is on their brands. Kyrie Irving, meanwhile, very well could be simultaneously weighing out his next career move all while trying to lead a team with lofty expectations.
It’s only natural for a personal athlete to let personal gain creep into their brain. But regardless of their individual performances, a championship would boost each player’s stock in a big way. With this in mind, it would behoove each member of the Celtics to rally together for the greater good.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images