Boston Celtics fans have been left with a bitter taste in their mouths after seeing their team fall to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. They came extremely close to making history by being the first team to come back from being down 0-3 in a seven-game series, only for Jayson Tatum and Co. to come up short in Game 7 of what turned out to be an epic series.
Celtics icons Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have now spoken out about the aftermath of Boston's disappointing end to their season. On the latest episode of the Ticket & Truth podcast, the two former Boston champions got brutally honest with what they believe this team needs to do in order to take the next step.
For starters, KG voiced out his opinion about how he feels the Celtics were doomed from the start of Game 7:
“I watched the first two minutes of how the C’s came out [and thought] ‘I don’t like that energy! That’s not energy to beat you!'” Garnett said, via Conor Roche of Boston.com.
KG then said that the silver lining here is that it's all part of “the process,” and that this squad needs “to go through some pain to get some great moments.”
Paul Pierce echoed his former teammate's sentiments. He then shared what he believes the Celtics must do next season as they look to bounce back from another ultimately forgettable campaign:
“You can’t keep bringing in new voices,” Pierce said. “I’m going to add to what I got right now. … I’ve got to add to it. It’s already good! I’ve got to add to it. It’s already there.
“So, I’m bringing Mazzulla back but maybe I’m bringing in a veteran coach, like Same Cassell. Some influence on the bench. Respect. A champion. Been a coach. Understands what it takes.”
For Garnett, it's all about being better. He's called on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to raise their respective games even further in order to give the Celtics a fighting chance in 2023-24:
“When I watch them play, I think it was maturity,” Garnett said. “I think the next step for the C’s, at least to me, is maturing. You’ve got to have those influences in there. …
“I’m talking from the development of a player now, these guys are top-tier players. They’re first-team, second-team All-NBA players. Now, it’s about bettering those players. Not even your bench, I’m not talking about Rob Williams. I’m talking about Tatum and Brown. It’s time for them to take the next step.”