The Celtics over the course of NBA history often have ranked among the most prideful and toughest teams in the league.
The 2020-21 C’s, however, largely have not embodied typical Boston basketball this season.
The Celtics on Wednesday dropped to two games below .500 on the campaign with a blowout loss to the mediocre-at-best Atlanta Hawks. It marked Boston’s third consecutive defeat, and the club now is on the outside looking in at the Eastern Conference playoff picture. This is a team, mind you, that came within two wins of reaching the NBA Finals last season.
Arguably the greatest concern for the C’s amid their current slide has been their total lack of a sense of urgency when the going has gotten tough. Jaylen Brown effectively addresses this problem while speaking with the media after Boston’s ugly loss at State Farm Arena.
“As long as you’ve got that Celtics jersey on, you should never be comfortable losing,” Brown said, per Celtics team reporter Taylor Snow.
Boston only is at the halfway point of its season, but Green Teamers now are warranted to have their hands hovering over the panic button. The Celtics have yet to offer any indication that they are capable of truly flipping the switch, and the players themselves do not appear to have any answers to their lack-of-urgency issue. Jayson Tatum acknowledged Wednesday’s game was about pride, more than anything else, and Boston didn’t even come close to answering the bell.
Things aren’t going to get any easier for the Celtics either. Boston after the All-Star break plays seven back-to-backs, which doesn’t bode well for a team with serious question marks about its toughness. In turn, the C’s need to make the most of these final four contests before break and decide what kind of team they want to be.