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Celtics puzzled by roller-coaster ride of a season

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Before the season began, the Boston Celtics were one of the teams that received high expectations from fans and everyone else around the league. And rightfully so, as they were a few minutes away from making the NBA Finals last year, before falling to LeBron JamesCleveland Cavaliers.

The return of All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward was thought to be the missing piece for the Celtics’ championship aspirations, and with the young core of Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown all expected to become better players, it was hard to believe that anyone from the Eastern Conference could pose a threat against them.

But after 42 games, the Celtics aren’t as dominant as many people thought they would be and frustrations are starting to rise as players are looking for answers on how the team can find consistency moving forward.

Steve Bullpet of the Boston Herald caught up with some of Boston’s players following their 105-103 loss to the Orlando Magic, and Smart was the first to express his sentiments on what has been an up-and-down season for the Celtics.

“Yeah, you get to a point where you have great games, good games. And then you turn around and have a game like this, and, you know, it’s hard. It’s frustrating. It’s monotonous and real, real, real repetitive right now, and something’s got to change to stop that. We’ve got to get better as a team. We’ve got to close out games better. We can’t let guys play like All-Stars and beat us on their own.

“That’s how it’s been for us all year. I don’t know what to tell you. We’re going to keep getting our butts kicked and keep getting beat if we don’t change it. That’s all I can say.”

Although the Celtics have drastically improved after starting the season 10-10, winning against teams they should be beating is something they haven’t been able to do all year.

The Celtics were up 12 late in the third quarter against the Magic, and what seemed to be a game that has already been decided, quickly slipped away from Boston’s grasp in the final 12 minutes, and veteran forward Al Horford is clueless as to what has happened.

“I felt like we were in a good position there, I think we had them on the ropes. I’m honestly not really sure what was the cause of that. I have to go back and look at it on film.”

With their brief road trip ending against the Brooklyn Nets, Horford said the Celtics should be looking to play with high intensity for the entirety of the game in order for them to win.

The Celtics are currently 0-2 in the said road trip.

“It’s definitely disappointing but we have an opportunity there to go against Brooklyn and finish this road trip on a good note before we get back home. I feel like we came in with good focus here to this game tonight and we have to carry that to that next game, but we just have to be more consistent, all together, as a group.”

What was thought to be a breakout year for the Celtics has turned out to be a season filled with inconsistencies and frustrations. They still have enough time to turn things around and be the team they want to be.

But they have to figure it out quick.