As the 2020-21 Boston Celtics’ fall from grace continues — following the news of Jaylen Brown’s season-ending surgery and back-to-back losses against the Miami Heat — many are left wondering what went wrong in Boston and what does the future hold?
The Celtics have now lost seven of their last 10 games, including Miami’s shooting clinic Tuesday night at TD Garden, where the Heat’s offense shot at a 59.3% clip, including 16 threes in a 129-121 victory. With only three games left in the regular season and barely clinging onto one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, Boston is now in a dogfight.
The Celtics, currently seventh, is three games behind the New York Knicks on the cusp of clinching the Play-In Tournament. All the while, The Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy made a laundry list of issues that plagued this year’s Celtics team.
Shaughnessy: ‘Celtics Players Don’t Have Sufficient Respect for Stevens’
In his latest column, Shaughnessy does his best to answer the same questions lingering in the back of the minds of Celtics fans while shedding light on glaring weaknesses and bad habits.
“Accountability is in short supply on Causeway Street. Ownership loves Danny Ainge,” Shaughnessy wrote. “Danny Ainge loves Brad Stevens. Wyc Grosbeck appears to be owner-for-life and wants Danny to be GM-for-life. They both want Stevens to be coach-for-life.”
Is Stevens still considered untouchable?
“Would the Celtics fire Stevens?” Shaughnessy asked. “Would Stevens ever quit? Both scenarios seem doubtful. Stevens has to hate coaching these guys, but will never tell us that. Anyone who watches the games has to conclude that Celtics players don’t have sufficient respect for Stevens. They can’t possibly be doing what he is telling them to do.”
Shaughnessy On Jayson Tatum: ‘Plays Hero Ball, Does Little To Make Anyone Better’
Dan then went into each of the Celtics’ core players, including Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, Kemba Walker, and Jaylen Brown.
“Jayson Tatum has his 60-point game and his sandwich commercial, but plays hero ball and does little to make anyone else better when he’s on the floor,” Shaughnessy wrote. “Referee-obsessed Marcus Smart still behaves like a nitwit and gets nothing but love from his coach and GM. Kemba Walker came here too late in his career to have the impact he would have once had. The Time Lord can’t see to stay out of the trainer’s room.”
Shaughnessy On Jaylen Brown: ‘Hard To Tell Whether He Wants to Lead This Dysfunctional Bunch’
As for Brown, who received the toughest blow of the 2020-21 Celtics season when he found out his injured left wrist will require season-ending surgery, Shaughnessy compares the 24-year-old All-Star to two of the biggest leading pro athletes that Boston has to offer; Boston Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts and Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron.
Still, Dan isn’t quite sure if Jaylen himself truly believes in the Celtics culture.
“Brown could have been this team’s Bergeron or Bogaerts, but from our social distance, it’s always been hard to tell whether he wants to lead this dysfunctional bunch,” Shaughnessy wrote. “None of that matters now that he has been subtracted from the mix. The NBA is a player’s league. The Celtics have several good players. But there is something seriously wrong.”