The Boston Celtics have felt cursed at times over the course of the last few seasons.
After the way things played out with Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Gordon Hayward and Kemba Walker, they came so close yet so far before things blew up in the franchise’s face.
But in the 2020-21 season especially, Boston struggled to put together solid stretches — even though flashes here and there revealed what they were capable of around a core of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart.
Smart, in his Celtics Media Day interview Monday, still doesn’t truly get what happened.
“We learned that we love each other,” Smart told reporters. “We did a lot of things together that most people didn’t think that we did. But on the court it was a different story — it just didn’t click. Not getting too low, getting too high. This is a marathon not a sprint. You have to go out there and demand it and take it.”
Smart’s assessment was evident. Throughout their mediocrity and lowest points, the Celtics locker room never broke and the team stuck by each other.
“For whatever reason it just didn’t click,” Smart added. “That’s life.”
The Celtics have more defined roles entering this season, with Tatum and Brown emphatically being referred to as the “pillars” of the team now and for the future. Smart himself looks forward to returning to his natural point guard position, finally Boston’s primary ballhandler entering his seventh year.
“I’m looking forward to us getting back to being the team we used to be,” Smart said. “The team we have now is the team we’re going to rock with.”
Hopefully the chemistry translates to the court this time.