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MIAMI — Danny Ainge is not crushed by every Celtics loss because he expected his team to struggle with a pared-down roster filled with youngsters and journeymen.
The fact the Celtics entered Tuesday night’s 93-86 loss to the Miami Heat tied with the Jazz for the NBA’s fourth-worst record yet were 3½ games behind the Bobcats for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference is mind-boggling to Ainge.
The Celtics have dropped 15 of their last 17 games and are underdogs on most nights with their patchwork lineup, which recently added Rajon Rondo. Ainge, as the president of basketball operations has maintained all season, is more focused on long-term success and the health of the franchise than eking out wins for a short-lived playoff run.