Celtics head coach Ime Udoka criticized Boston’s lack of energy and effort during Wednesday’s 116-107 loss to the Washington Wizards at TD Garden.
Udoka acknowledged how the situation, especially given the fact Boston was playing at home and coming off a night off, is hard to rationalize. Celtics veteran forward Al Horford seemed to think similarly during his somewhat dejected postgame press conference.
“I really don’t know. I mean, we just weren’t focused enough,” Horford said after the game. “As a unit we just need to continue to do our jobs, do our jobs and be professional. It’s happening right now early in the year, and it’s something we have to take care of, and I believe we will.
“Yeah, I’m trying to figure it out myself,” Horford added. “We should never be questioning energy and effort. That should never be something. And it’s something that we just need to, we’re playing for something big here and we just have to make sure we’re all on the same page and we’re all committed to it. I think that’s the biggest thing.”
Udoka even shared how he saw that lack of energy and focus during the team’s shootaround, which prompted the first-year head coach to call out his group ahead of Boston’s fifth game of the season.
“I told them they were going to get their (expletive) kicked tonight if you come with that focus in the game, and for three quarters we played the same way. We waited to get down 15 and started to play with the effort we had in the other four games,” Udoka said postgame. “It’s disappointing. We’ll have a chance to hit it again on Saturday. If we bring the right intensity we’ll be ok, but you got to show up every night, can’t just pick and choose and just show up and think you’re going to beat people.”
The Celtics fell to 2-3 with Wednesday’s defeat. Boston returns to action Saturday for a home-and-home against the Wizards in Washington.