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Celtics players only meeting proving fruitful despite early reports

Celtics, Jayton Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart

The Boston Celtics’ players only meeting Tuesday following a tough loss to the Chicago Bulls is showing immediate results, despite reports to the contrary. It was reported that Marcus Smart was unhappy with Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

The Celtics were outscored 39-11 in the 4th quarter by Chicago, in a 128-114 loss. The collapse led to a player’s only meeting in Orlando before their game Wednesday.

It was reported by Nick Goss of NBC Sports in Boston that the meeting was highly emotional. Reportedly Celtics guard Marcus Smart took exception with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown holding onto the ball. He was especially critical of late game situations.

Most reports on the meeting claimed not only was it not beneficial, but possibly detrimental. So much for that sentiment.

Following the players only meeting, the Celtics crushed the lowly Magic, 92-79. They held the Magic to 10 points in the 3rd quarter. But hey, Orlando is among the leagues worst teams.

Well, then they played at Miami the following night. Miami had won six straight and is considered one of the better teams in the league.

The Celtics led by double digits throughout. Boston defeated the Heat 95-78. They held the Heat to a season-low nine points in the 2nd quarter.

At the very least, it’s safe to say the team has got back to its roots and brought energy and intensity.

There had been some friction for a while, as the Celtics have struggled to live up to their potential in recent seasons. But what most people, Marcus Smart included, missed was that the team’s biggest issue has been on the defensive end.

Following the loss to Chicago, the Celtics were 30th in the NBA in points allowed, at over 119 per game. Since Brad Stevens arrived in Boston as the head coach in 2013, Boston consistently was among the best defensively.

Whether they had struggled on the other end of the floor, you could always count on the Celtics bringing that energy on the defensive end.  It kept them in a lot of games and won them a lot of games.

If Boston can continue to play with energy and enthusiasm on the defensive end, they will be fine. The offense will come. They are too talented to continue struggling.

The question remains though, can they keep up with the improving Eastern Conference.