Brad Stevens says Celtics need to play better ‘to be who we want to be’
This season has been quite the rollercoaster for the Boston Celtics. After fighting their way to game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last season, they have yet to find a way to get all their parts to click together.
The team is all but a lock to make the playoffs but has still underperformed given the majority of the expectation for this young team headed into this season.
Head coach Brad Stevens weighed in on how the Boston Celtics this season have looked as compared to in the past, in relation to the team’s identity:
Brad Stevens asked if he knows the identity of the 2018-19 Celtics.
"I think I know what we’ve been, and I know who we can be. I have a good idea. Ultimately, we’ll see if we get there. Ultimately, we’ll have to play better than we did the other night to be who we want to be."
— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) February 27, 2019
Stevens is right. This Boston team has not looked like they did in moments last season where they dominated opponents. Through the month of February, Boston faced losses at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and most recently the Chicago Bulls.
Losing these types of games have prevented the Celtics from climbing into the top of the Eastern Conference and has kept them floating at the fourth and fifth seed.
Much of the identity struggle comes from what feels like two separate factions of the team. The divide between Kyrie Irving and the younger players on the roster has been detailed throughout the season.
Irving himself has even been open about his struggles regarding leadership and motivating the players still fairly new to the league.
Last season, players like Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown experienced great success in the postseason despite Irving and Gordon Hayward sitting out with injury. That success could be fueling feelings that have created a rift in the locker room.
Either way, the Celtics are running out of time to get their team chemistry straightened out.