To the common observer, Marcus Smart’s blunt remarks Monday suggested the Celtics were coming apart at the seams.
But those who are involved behind closed doors in Boston have a different perception of the team’s latest incident.
Following the Celtics’ collapse against the Chicago Bulls at TD Garden, Smart criticized teammates Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for not passing the ball. Brad Stevens, who’s been alongside the trio for the past four-plus years, doesn’t sound concerned about potential problems stemming from Smart’s comments.
“I think the most important thing about last night’s message and what he said was that he talked to those guys about it,” Stevens told Michael Holley on Tuesday, as transcribed by NBC Sports Boston. “And I saw that today. It’s funny, when you’re in it and when you see guys at the facility — when you see him and Jayson sitting down eating breakfast together today and talking about how to come to find a solution for our team — those guys want to win. At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing.”
The fact of the matter is, Smart wasn’t speaking out of turn or making an ungrounded assessment. He’s the Celtics’ longest-tenured player, and as one of the more prominent team leaders, he should speak his mind when he sees fit. Tatum and Brown, meanwhile, should be able to handle criticism without emotions getting in the way, even if they might not wholeheartedly agree with it.
The C’s will try to halt their losing streak at three Wednesday when they visit the 2-6 Orlando Magic.