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Celtics coach Brad Stevens ‘disappointed’ in himself after loss to Bulls

Brad Stevens, Celtics

After the Chicago Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 126-116 at United Center on Saturday night, Brad Stevens made sure to shoulder the blame for another vexing loss to an objectively inferior foe.

“I’ve said this before: I’m disappointed in myself,” the fifth-year coach said, per ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. “I’ve got to do a lot better.”

Brad Stevens may very well believe his game plan for Saturday’s game and decision-making during it were the driving force behind Boston’s loss.

The defensive numbers suggest as much is possible. The Bulls shot 53.4 percent overall, 40.0 percent from beyond the arc, and 95.2 percent from the free throw line, good for a team-wide true shooting percentage of 64.8. Zach LaVine had 42 points on 29 shots, while Lauri Markkanen had 35 points and 15 rebounds on 20 shots.

The Celtics also surrendered an offensive rating of 126.0 to the league’s bottom-ranked offensive team. Yikes!

But Stevens’ contrition is just as easily explained by his hopes of getting out ahead of another potential locker-room controversy. Boston has enough talent to push the Golden State Warriors harder than any team in the NBA. But a real contender’s whole is always greater than the sum of its parts, and Stevens knows the Celtics won’t change that equation unless their culture improves and their chemistry grows.