If you’re one who doesn’t like to blame season-long struggles on injuries and will point to the fact every team deals with something, well, you’d be in disagreement with a number of Celtics players.
That was at the forefront of the minds of the majority of the six Celtics players who spoke with the media following Boston’s season-ending loss in Game 5 of the first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets.
It is true, of course. The stats signifying how few minutes Boston’s top guys played together this season is staggering. It did seem like someone — Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Robert Williams, etc. etc. etc. — was always missing from the Boston rotation.
And that proved to be the most frustrating part of the 2020-21 season for those like Tristan Thompson and Marcus Smart.
“For our team, it was tough, we never really had a full roster for more than a game or two,” Thompson, the first-year Celtic, said one a postgame video conference. “We just never really had a chance to have our whole team and have it be together on one string, so that was the frustrating part.”
Marcus Smart added: “We got to stay healthy. When we’re healthy and we have everybody, we’re a (expletive). We’ve proven that time after time when we’re healthy. … Like I said, I don’t think it’s nothing to stress about. We probably have a lot of fans and just a lot of people on the outside probably thinking this and that but hey, like I said, three out of four years we’ve been to the playoffs we’ve been to the Eastern Conference Finals, went to the plays every year. This is just one year we didn’t have everybody, we didn’t have a full team, and it affected us.”
Boston heads to the offseason with plenty of questions after losing the best-of-seven series in just five games.