Players on the Boston Celtics have been relatively quiet since being eliminated from the playoffs a couple of weeks ago. Aside from Terry Rozier's appearance on ESPN's First Take, everyone has kept their silence on what went wrong for the team this season. Aron Baynes felt this silence was too much.
Baynes decided to speak up regarding one of the most disappointing seasons in Celtics history. In his interview with CLNS' Adam Kaufman, he said the team's biggest mistake was not buying into the system of head coach Brad Stevens.
“I definitely think that Brad’s system is great. I’m a big believer in what Brad wants us to do. I’ve seen how good of a coach he is. I’ve seen how much he enhances guys abilities when they are playing for him.”
Stevens' system worked out initially, as the Celtics went to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2018 without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, their biggest acquisitions at the start of that season. Aron Baynes was part of that roster.
However, when both guys returned from injury, the Celtics' struggles began. Aron Baynes made note of this.
“I think there were sometimes where we didn’t buy into his system fully and that hurt us. Because when did, when we live within Brad’s system both offensively and defensively we look really good and we did the right things.”
It seemed he Celtics had figured it out in the 2019 playoffs when they swept the Indiana Pacers in the first round and won the series opener of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks… but that was it.
Whatever chemistry the Celtics had during the first five games of the postseason was gone. They were playing like they just met each other for the first time, and the Bucks took advantage of it, decimating them on both ends of the floor and sending them home early.
Now, the Celtics will head into the offseason with a lot of questions. One thing is for sure: Whoever is with the team next season will need to adjust for the sake of the team's overall success.
That said, Aron Baynes has certainly raised a few eyebrows by saying that the team didn't trust its coach to the extent it should have. The implications of this for free agency will be worth examining in the coming weeks.