The 2021 Boston Celtics — losers of seven of their last 10 games, including losses against subpar teams such as the Sacramento Kings, Detriot Pistons, and most recently the Washington Wizards — have reached an all-time low.
Following its most impressive win of the season — a blowout against the Toronto Raptors — the turn of events are, to put it mildly; a head-scratcher. Losing back-to-back games against teams that, respectively, both, entered their matchup against Boston with a mere six in its win-column, is proof that the Celtics are pummeling.
Especially when the Celtics’ effort is in question — which often leads to blaming, or better yet, speculating, as to what is the root of the issue, 26 games into the regular season. Boston Globe’s veteran NBA and Celtics writer Gary Washburn believes the Celtics are showing signs of an NBA team that’s at the beginning stages of tuning out its head coach in Brad Stevens.
Washburn On 2021 Celtics: ‘It’s About A Team That Appears To Be Tuning Out Its Coach’
And that the evidence is not just their recent losses but also, in the team’s body language and in Jaylen Brown’s postgame comments, following Sunday’s loss.
“A team with a win against the Clippers in Los Angeles and the Warriors in San Francisco also lost to the Kings, Pistons, and Wizards in that span,” Washburn wrote. “Sunday wasn’t about execution, it’s about a team that appears to be tuning out its coach and lacks cohesion. Jaylen Brown, the mouthpiece of the team, has said, “I don’t have anything to say about that” or “no comment” a few times over the past few games.
“It seems he knows what the problem is, but he doesn’t want to air dirty laundry and cause even more issues.”
Brown’s postgame comments, or lack thereof, after the Celtics’ loss against the Wizards was certainly eyebrow-raising. The manner in which he chose to either answer questions carefully or plead the fifth, especially for questions that pertained to chemistry issues, gave off an interrogation room vibe where Jaylen seemed unforthcoming.
Washburn On Celtics’ Brad Stevens: ‘Stevens Is Grasping At Straws’
Washburn then turns his attention to All-Star forward Jayson Tatum. Accusing Jayson of looking like a player simply going through the motions of a game, Gary says Tatum “didn’t compete or show effort” and it looked like he needed a vacation.
As for Stevens? Washburn wants to see consistency.
“Tatum has to find more ways to contribute even when he is not scoring,” Washburn wrote. “And Stevens needs to figure out a consistent rotation. He played rookie Aaron Nesmith 28 minutes after he played a total of 15 minutes since Jan. 25. Stevens is grasping at straws and it’s going to take some soul searching over the next 48 hours to change the course of the season.
“Because they’ve gotten nothing accomplished so far through the first 26 games.”
Back home, the Celtics will take on the tall task of facing Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. Coming off of their 122-105 blowout win over the champion Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday, Boston will certainly have its hands full, Tuesday night at TD Garden.