It has been a rough season so far for the Boston Celtics, relatively speaking. Labeled as among the favorites to win the post-LeBron era Eastern Conference prior to the season, the Celtics are not only having a hard time finding consistency, but they are also seemingly getting tired by the losses they’ve been absorbing of late.
That collective frustration was clearly manifested by Celtics guard Marcus Smart when he insinuated that he and his teammates are playing as though they don’t belong in the NBA, per Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
As bad as the Celtics have looked, however, it’s not as if they don’t have the talent or time to get it together. But with the way Smart was talking, I wondered if he was still confident his club could get to the championship-contending level it had been planning on since last summer.
“I am,” he said, “but we’ve got to stop sugarcoating things. That’s the problem. We’ve got to stop sugarcoating it. We’ve just got to call it what it is. We’re playing like punks; that’s just what it is.
That’s a strong quote from the hard-nosed ex-Oklahoma State Cowboys star, who himself is dealing with regression. After averaging 10.2 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.5 rebounds in 29.9 minutes per game last season, Marcus Smart is only posting 5.8 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per contest so far this campaign. Although those drops in numbers can be sufficiently explained by a decrease in his playing time (he’s playing 23.1 minutes per game this season), it can also be attributed to the entire team’s malaise.
Smart’s comments could also be a product of an embarrassing loss to the New York Knicks at home on Wednesday, just before the NBA took a break for Thanksgiving.
Maybe that one-day respite is all the Celtics need to get it together. They will look to end their losing skid this Friday against the Atlanta Hawks on the road.