The Boston Celtics were absolutely breaking down against the Atlanta Hawks in a 127-112 loss Wednesday night.
And though they weren’t available to play in the game, Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart were seen at points on the court encouraging their teammates.
At one point, the two sidelined guards were even seen consulting with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum on the court, convening about what they need to do as the four leaders of their team.
They ultimately didn’t appear to come up with anything, and the brutal loss capped off an even tougher stretch where the Celtics have lost 14 of their last 21 to fall to 15-17 on the season.
It’s something Boston’s four best players are very aware of, and actively discussing amongst each other — according to Brown.
“We talk about it every day, all the time,” Brown told reporters after the win. “Obviously, being in the position where we won a lot in our careers, and we know what it looks like. Now we’ve seen examples of what it’s not supposed to look like and (losing is) new for everybody.”
And given how strange this season is, with all the adversity the team has faced between injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak, these guys must be absolutely gassed from having to play shorthanded through what’s been a pretty brutal schedule.
Not to mention, the Celtics hardly have had time to practice. How do they even have time learn a game plan, never mind execute one?
Brown thinks it has an impact.
“You know, you got to execute each and every night, and I think it has been a challenge for this group to go from game to game with no time in between and execute game plans,” Brown said. “And I can tell the mental, whatever the mental focus is it’s not there, it’s not enough. It’s almost as if — I don’t know, but it just isn’t there. But we just got to be better going from game to game and having the right enthusiasm and the right mentality for each game which is tough. You know, but we got to be able to do it.”
The Celtics have four games before a much-needed All-Star break grants them a little bit of relief from this grueling schedule.
We’ll see how they respond.