Who could’ve guessed that the Boston Celtics would be some middle of the road team in the Eastern Conference throughout the first two months of the NBA season? After making an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals just a season ago, the Celtics were entering into the 2018 season as favorites. While other rival teams upgraded their rosters, the Celtics stayed put and assumed that the talent they already had on board was good enough to compete when everybody was healthy.
That may be true. When the Boston Celtics are fully healthy, their roster seems to be stacked with talent. But seeing their team sit six games back from first place in the conference alone doesn’t really add up. Wasn’t the addition of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward supposed to uplift this team in 2018 again? Sure, we knew that Irving was already familiar with the system, but Hayward was re-debuting with the team after last season’s injury early on.
When the Celtics rejoiced and got healthy again, they seemed to lack team chemistry upon their return. Although they have had some shining moments after the last couple of weeks or so, Boston is still quite aware that they are far from where they want to be. And while everybody on the outside tries to figure out what the root of the problems are, the team’s leader thinks that he might have it all figured out.
Are Personal Agendas the Downfall for the Celtics?
If you ask Kyrie Irving about why the team is struggling, his theory is simple – egos have taken over in Boston, and as expected, it’s becoming a problem. Forming a talented team with established stars can be challenging in the NBA. Not only does scheme, and chemistry matter a lot, but leaving egos at the door when coming into the facility is key to succeeding in a team sport. The ‘super team’ tactic is possible to execute, but it definitely isn’t easy.
It seems as though the Celtics ended up being one of the few teams that are seeing the plan backfire right now. While winning is number one in everybody’s agendas in Boston, it seems as though everybody wants to be the hero and get their numbers the way they want them. And for that, Boston is struggling to piece everything together and consistently win games.
“Someone told me the other day that we all wanted to win individually, but we all wanted to win on our terms. Our own terms. When you have your own individual intent, that can get in the way of the group and what’s best for the group. … It’s just being part of a profession and figuring it out, and having guys willing to listen and be patient.”
Will the Celtics Get past This?
According to The Celtics Wire, some of the select players’ personal agendas could include wanting to soak up the spotlight, earn impending free agency dollars, and etc. These circumstances aren’t out of the ordinary, but they are a bit surprising as the Celtics did so well for themselves last season, even with injuries occurring. Maybe, this Boston team has had a hard time dealing with the little bit of success that they had in 2018.
Did this team peak already after last season? Or is this entire situation just a prolonged phase that will eventually pass? We can’t make any assumptions, but we can assume that Irving’s recent comments can either help the team for better or for worse.
If players can understand and come to a realization that personal agendas need to be tossed aside, then the Celtics can finally move on. But if the craving for personal gains continues to play a part in the locker room, then Boston’s struggles could remain in effect until somebody steps in and attempts to make a change. Their leader, Kyrie Irving has been the first one to say something. Now, we will see if any progress will be made from that.