Boston Celtics find themselves in the midst of a dark cloud hovering over their franchise.
The Celtics blew a 28 point lead against the Clippers the other night and currently sit in 5th place in the Eastern conference.
Kyrie Irving is suffering from a knee strain, with no concrete date of return having been announced.
While, all is not lost for the Celtics, the mood in the locker room has taken a tumble. After the ‘Clippers fiasco’, Marcus Morris has revealed that the Celtics players don’t have fun playing together anymore.
Boston Celtics lost for just the 6th time, since 1954-55, when leading by ≥ 20 points at the half
And for only the 3rd time at home
They are now (223-6, .974) overall under that criteria
However..it doesn’t mean the season is over
— Boston Sports Info (@bostonsportsinf) February 10, 2019
Boston Celtics fans booed their home team off the court after Boston blew a 28pt lead to the Clippers pic.twitter.com/EWQCBupEsI
— throughouttheassociation (@associationvibe) February 10, 2019
Morris questioned the camaraderie between the players and how they were playing as a bunch of individuals and not like a well-oiled team.
“For me, it’s not really about the loss, it’s about the attitude that we’re playing with,” Marcus Morris said.
“Guys are hanging their heads. It’s not fun. We’re not competing at a high level. Even though we’re winning, it’s still not fun. I don’t see the joy in the game.
“I watch all these other teams around the league and guys are up on the bench — they’re jumping on the court, they’re enjoying their teammates’ success. They’re enjoying everything, they’re playing together, and they’re playing to win. And when I look at us, I just see a bunch of individuals.” he added.
Now, with Morris openly questioning the team spirit, reports of further locker room issues have emerged as well.
The players are merely trying to ‘co-exist’ and don’t really share chemistry or a common purpose, as reported by Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn.
“The Celtics locker room issues aren’t that big of a surprise to some NBA folks I talked to today. The consensus is that the players aren’t necessarily beefing but they aren’t that close. It’s like they are trying to coexist politely, and it’s not working.” Gary Washburn has reported.
The #Celtics locker room issues aren’t that big of a surprise to some NBA folks I talked to today. The consensus is that the players aren’t necessarily beefing but they aren’t that close. It’s like they are trying to coexist politely, and it’s not working.
— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) February 10, 2019
Reports have also stated that a few Celtics players are unhappy with the number of minutes Brad Stevens is letting Gordon Hayward have.
Now, with Kyrie Irving hitting free agency post the ongoing season, the Celtics management will need to ensure that they clear up this mess.
LeBron James and the Lakers will be actively looking to recruit free agents in the summer, especially after the Anthony Davis debacle in February.
According to Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer, Anthony Davis holds the key to Kyrie Irving’s Celtics future.
Kyrie will be willing to stay back only if Celtics manage to recruit Anthony Davis, else he might seriously consider moving away from Boston.
“Though Irving’s future with Boston is murky now, with LeBron teasing a reunion in Los Angeles and the Knicks angling for Durant and Irving to join forces, if Davis were acquired, league sources believe Irving would stay, which, in turn, would also help retain Davis for the long haul.” Kevin O’Connor has reported.
“Irving’s contract prevented Boston from pursuing Davis now, but a new deal with Boston could keep them together.” he added.
AD and Kyrie could form a very able partnership in Boston, one that could send shockwaves across the NBA. But for the time being it seems that Boston will need to sort out their locker room issues before they can dream about a bright future.