Danny Ainge On Building The 2020-21 Celtics: ‘I’ve Made Mistakes’

Getty Images Tristan Thompson of the Celtics uses the Hyperice Hypervolt on the bench during the second half against the Atlanta Hawks

It was Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge’s turn to step to the plate, as the team brass continued its Explain Campaign ’21, Thursday morning.

After Celtics Governer and CEO Wyc Grousbeck joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger and Mazz show, Wednesday evening, Ainge followed suit; joining the radio station’s morning crew in an attempt to explain another embarrassing loss and to take on full responsibility for the Celtics’ poorest stretch of the regular season. And it’s continuing to get worse, game by game.

After Boston’s 127-112 beating in Atlanta, Ainge called in and had a whole lot of explaining to do.


Danny Ainge On 2021 Celtics: ‘We’re Playing Terribly, We Don’t Have A Good Enough Team’

Now, Danny is contractually obligated to join 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich every Thursday morning. However, the Celtics president of basketball operations was especially forthright in observing Brad Stevens’ team.

“We’re playing terribly,” Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub, Thursday morning. “We don’t have a good enough team in my opinion.”

This isn’t a new take from Ainge, who told Toucher & Rich one week ago that he didn’t believe the Celtics — in their current state — are talented enough to compete for the 2021 NBA title. However, this time, Ainge took it a step further; he blames himself for the moves he made before the start of the regular season.

“I’ve made mistakes,” Ainge said. “There are things I wish I would’ve done better and thank goodness we live in a world of basketball and there’s a way to rectify it, although usually, those ways aren’t overnight. They take time.”

Time is one that that’s not particularly on the Celtics’ side, at the moment. One month away from the NBA trade deadline, Boston’s positioning in the Eastern Conference is reeling.

Deadlocked in a three-team tie for eighth place, the Celtics (15-17) are knotted with the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls in the East. 32 games into the regular season and Boston is free-falling; losers of 11 of their last 16 outings.

“It’s hard to explain,” Ainge said. “I mean, we talked last week about the intensity level and how it hasn’t been there. I don’t have an explanation; the team is not playing well. We’re not playing hard, consistently. We have great stretches most games, with exception to last night. We didn’t have any good stretches until the game was over with six minutes to go in the game and the guys that don’t get to play very much got to play.”


Ainge: ‘I Just Think Our Team Is In A Major Funk’

Still, Ainge isn’t losing hope. Ravaged by COVID-19, postponed games, a demanding schedule, and long-term injuries, the Celtics aren’t the only team that’s been disappointing.

These are enough reasons for Danny to rationalize Boston’s underwhelming overall record.

“Every team is close to .500 minus the top six or seven teams right now,” Ainge explained. “They’re all hovering around (.500). Miami was in the Finals last year; they’re under .500.”

Ainge is still hoping the Celtics’ shortcomings are temporary.

“I just think that right now our team is in a major funk and I don’t know all the answers as to why,” Ainge said. “I wish they were playing better for them and for our fans.”

READ NEXT: Celtics TV Announcer Weighs In On Potential Brad Stevens Firing


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